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Exciting times for Savvy Sam Williams

Little Avondale Stud's proprietor Sam Williams is hoping that Savvy Nature (Savabeel[AUS]- Generous Nature) will be the next group one graduate from the New Zealand Bloodstock Ready to Run sale.

According to Williams who bred Savvy Nature in partnership with ABP Enterprises, Angus Taylor Family Trust and Storm Thoroughbreds, the Ready to Run sale is turning out to be a big sale for New Zealand Bloodstock.

"It would be very timely if Savvy Nature were to win the VRC Derby. He would be their seventh derby winner since 2010, and become their 16th group one winner in the last six seasons. He looks a smart horse and he could be even more exciting in 12 months' time," he said.

Savvy Nature goes into the Victoria Derby on the back of a stylish win in the group two Mitchelson Wines Vase at Moonee Valley recently. That was his third win in seven starts. He won first up as a two-year-old last May, and followed that with a second placing, before being given a short break.

He returned to the track in late August and ran third in a three-year-old handicap at Rosehill, before winning the group three Spring Stakes at Newcastle. At his next start he ran a game second to Complacent in the group three Gloaming Stakes, before running third behind Complacent and Criterion in the group one Spring Champion Stakes after an inconvenienced run.

A fortnight later with no Complacent in the field and with the addition of blinkers he blitzed a good field of three-year-olds by three lengths with a further four lengths back to the third horse.

"Savvy Nature was always one out of the box. I always insisted that he would have been the top selling Savabeel at the Sydney sale in 2012, but he didn't get there. He had a little issue on his x-rays - two vets in Australia said he would be fine, but my vet at home was a little more cautious and said I couldn't take him. It was about the time that John O'Shea was embroiled in the court case over Dashere and the veterinary advice on the x-rays, and ironically he is the one who has ended up with the horse.

"Savvy Nature used to poke his tongue out all the time. He always had his tongue hanging out. He was spoilt by all the staff here when we were getting him ready to go to Sydney. When he didn't make Sydney I had him broken in and sent up to Mark and Shelly Treweek to prepare him for the Ready to Run sale.

"After a couple of weeks Mark rang me – we hardly ever ring each other as there is no need –and said 'Sam we have a problem, this horse keeps jacking up and won't go onto to the track. I can't do anything with him we might have to geld him'!

"I decided to consult Sam and Jamie Beatson as they were old equestrian friends of my wife Cat's from way back and based in Cambridge. So I rang Jamie and said I need a favour. I have this horse that won't go onto the track, and he laughed and said 'oh, do you own that Savabeel colt at Lyndhurst that won't go on the track?' Anyway they sorted him out quick smart and sent him back to Lyndhurst for the rest of his prep.

"We took him to the Ready to Run sale and Bryce Hayes, who works for O'Shea, bought him and immediately after was approached by Max Whitby who said hed love to take a big share of that horse, and that's how he ended up in the Whitby Bloodstock colours."

Williams bought Generous Nature from the Sydney Easter sale for some banker friends who wanted to put some money into a quality broodmare. He well exceeded the budget and the partners ABP Enterprises, Angus Taylor Family Trust, Little Avondale Trust and Storm Thoroughbreds all ended up with a quarter share each.

"ABP Enterprises is my sister Anna and her husband Ben Petro – who works for the ANZ, then there was the Angus Taylor Family Trust, but Angus has since pulled out, and Storm Thoroughbreds is Amanda and Kerry Wilkins. They are all Wellington-based bankers – bankers have all the money so I thought I should get my hands on some. They are fantastic guys to be involved in a partnership with. Generous Nature was the first mare ever for Angus and the second for the others. They are now starting to dabble in racehorse ownership. It's a good thing my sister married a bank manager as it's hard to find clients nowadays.

"Generous Nature came from the Sangster family dispersal sale. I went to Sydney with Bruce Perry to buy two mares - did the rounds and she caught my eye in the Sangster draft. When I started bidding on her Bruce said what are doing you won't be able to afford her! But we did so he asked me what else I had looked at – but we never got near any of the others.

"I like Carnegie mares even though she was unraced. It's better to be unraced than just placed. She was a good-sized, roomy mare and very attractive, and had Danehill across Carnegie through her mother, the stakes-winning mare La Lagune (AUS)(Danehill[USA]-Commercial Choice[USA])."

Commercial Choice (Knight's Choice[USA]- Commercial Venture[USA]) was also a stakes-winner of nine races and is the dam of the listed winner Make Me A Miracle (Flying Spur[AUS])

"Generous Nature's first foal was Sir Ferrari who sold at Karaka for $80,000 and her filly by General Nedyim fetched $350,000 the following year. That filly hurt herself after two runs and was retired and Sir Ferrari won a couple of races here and is a winner in Macau.

"We had made a fair bit of coin by this stage so we sent the mare to Savabeel and we bred Savvy Nature, and her Pins filly that followed was sold at the Sydney Easter sales this year to John O'Shea for A$50,000.

"I manage the mare and do all the stallion selection as these guys really didn't know much about that side of things and with us investing in the mare we don't want to lose either. I select three stallions each year mostly on pedigree and type and present them with the pros and cons for each of them.

"She has left an outstanding Nadeem colt this year. The Nadeem cross is an interesting cross with La Lagune being by Danehill and Nadeem being by Redoute's Choice (Danehill[USA]- Shanta's Choice[AUS]). It's a 3 x 3 cross to Danehill. It was a nice cross to do and obviously she was at a crossroads in her breeding career, so we decided to pull back on the stud fee and Nadeem had just arrived here at Little Avondale, and he was sexy and commercial if something did crop up in the family," Williams said.
Well something sure did crop up in the family in the form of Savvy Nature, and Williams reports that Generous Nature is currently under service to Savabeel again. That should keep the bankers happy.


- Michelle Saba