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An era ends with Zabeel's retirement

The curtain has come down on Australasian breeding's most famous 'like father, like son' double act with the announcement of champion sire Zabeel's retirement.

His extraordinary success and remarkable influence on the thoroughbred industry has continued the legacy of his iconic sire Sir Tristram.

"It's the end of an era and what a ride it's been for Cambridge Stud," Sir Patrick Hogan (pictured above with Zabeel) said. "I could never have imagined what Sir Tristram was able to achieve and pretty well immediately afterwards came Zabeel to take over the mantle – it's been an amazing 33-year run."

Sir Tristram sired 45 individual Group One winners, including three Melbourne Cup winners (Gurner's Lane, Empire Rose, Brew), during a decorated career that earned him Australasian sire and broodmare sire titles. He was also inducted into the NZ Racing Hall of Fame in 2008.

"I've been fortunate and I'm very proud that the two horses have done so much for myself, my family, all concerned at Cambridge Stud and everybody that has had a Sir Tristram or Zabeel around them, it's been mind-boggling," Sir Patrick said.

The sire of 100 individual Group winners and 43 individual Group One winners, Zabeel will now live a life of luxury in the same paddock that he has occupied since his retirement to stud in 1991 after a successful racing career that earned him a Group One victory in the Australian Guineas.

"He is enormously fit, both physically and mentally and you wouldn't pick there was anything wrong with him," Sir Patrick said. "He had 30 odd mares this season and when he came to the end of serving he hadn't got any in foal so he is officially retired.

"The fertility just hasn't happened, but he's a horse that's not going to go away though and his progeny in New Zealand and Australia will continue to perform for many years to come.

"He's been an extraordinary horse with three Melbourne Cup winners and four Cox Plate winners and as a sire of sires he's left a horse like Reset, who has produced a VRC Derby winner (Rebel Raider), a Caulfield Cup winner (Fawkner) and a Cox Plate winner (Pinker Pinker)."

The 27-year-old Zabeel has also left Savabeel, himself a Cox Plate winner, who has in turn produced top-flight successes Sangster (Auckland Cup, VRC Derby, International Stakes), Scarlett Lady (NZ Stakes, Queensland Oaks) and Brambles (Queensland Derby).

"Zabeel's a great broodmare sire as well and his daughters produced the first (It's A Dundeel), second (Atlantic Jewel) and third (Dear Demi) in the Underwood Stakes this season."

"I might be biased and the Australians may disagree but in my time, and I'm 74, I can't identify a horse in the last 50-odd years that has been as successful as him."

Sir Patrick rated Might And Power (pictured above, courtesy of Bruno Cannatelli) as the best horse Zabeel had produced, a short margin ahead of Octagonal (pictured below, courtesy of Bruno Cannatelli).

"If I had to be on the panel of judges then I would put Might And Power on top, it was just the way he raced with that great cruising speed that won him a Caulfield Cup, the Cox Plate and the Melbourne Cup," he said. "I'd put him in front with Octagonal a close second."

Zabeel produced numerous six figure plus yearlings, the highest was Don Eduardo at $3.6 million in 2000, and stamped in the manner of his noble self.

"He's got a great physique, a beautiful strong head and a very bold eye," Sir Patrick said. "They always talked about it in the ring. Overall he is a lovely horse and Robert Sangster once said "this horse could step out of any box anywhere in the world and you would have to take notice of him."

Zabeel also had his own way of doing things that lasted right up until his last visit to the breeding shed.

"He'd have to go 50 yards and 25 of them he would be on his hind legs every time, even this season. That was a quirk of his."


Sir Patrick to have the final honour

Sir Patrick Hogan led his first yearling into the Trentham sale ring in 1956 and he has plans to be at the head of the final Zabeel to grace Karaka.

"Zabeel's last crop is four fillies, and I shouldn't imagine that they will be sold, and a colt and I own that one with a partner and he will be the last yearling ever sold at auction," he said.

"He will be the final one presented in 2015 and, God willing and I'm standing up, I will lead him through the ring."

The colt is a half-brother to the Gr.1 Easter Handicap winner Time Keeper, who topped the New Zealand Three-Year-Old Free Handicap of his year.

ZABEEL FACT FILECareer Premierships
Dewar Stallion Trophy (NZ-based sire whose progeny have accumulated the highest combined stake earnings in Australia & New Zealand) - 15 times
Champion Australian Sire - twice
Champion Australian Broodmare Sire - twice
Champion New Zealand Sire – four times
Champion New Zealand Broodmare Sire - twice

Career Statistics1007 individual winners100 Group race winners43 individual Group One winnersProgeny earnings of $A173 million (approx)Dam sire of 1184 individual winnersDam sire of 66 Group race winnersDam sire of 22 individual Group One winnersDam sire progeny earnings of $A129 million (approx)3 Melbourne Cup winners –Might And Power (1997), Jezabeel (1998), Efficient (2007)

4 Cox Plate winners – Octagonal (1995), Might And Power (1998), Savabeel (2004), Maldivian (2008)

3 Caulfield Cup winners - Might And Power (1997), Sky Heights (1999), Railings (2005)

2 Australian Horses of the Year - Might And Power (1998 & 1999), Octagonal (1996)

Zabeel's Group One Winners
Able Master Lights Of Heaven
Bazelle Maldivian
Bezeal Bay Might And Power
Champagne Mouawad
Cronus Octagonal
Dignity Dancer Our Unicorn
Dizelle Railings
Don Eduardo Reset
Dress Circle Savabeel
Efficient Shower Of Roses
Fiumicino Sky Heights
Gallic St Reims
Gondokoro Vengeance Of Rain


Grand Echezeaux Unearthly
Greene Street Vouvray
Greys Inn Zabeelionaire
Hades - Helene Vitality (H.K.) Zabrasive
Hill Of Grace Zacheline
Inaflury Zagalia
Jessicabeel Zavite
Jezabeel Zonda
Lad Of The Manor
- NZ Racing Desk