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Graeme Hunt has great faith in Eulogy line mares

Salamanca (nearest camera) takes out the Champagne Stakes at Riccarton - Photo NZTM website
Salamanca (nearest camera) takes out the Champagne Stakes at Riccarton

Photo NZTM website

Salamanca's (Alamosa- Anca) impressive win in the recent listed Berkeley Stud Champagne Stakes at Riccarton did not come as a surprise to his breeder Graeme Hunt.

What did surprise him was how well he won.

"I am surprised that he won that well in the wet, on what he had shown in his first win (at his only other start). I knew he was capable of winning. It's very exciting for me as not only is he Alamosa's first stakes winner, but he is also Anca's first foal. For a first foal he was outstanding and he has always been a lovely horse," enthused Hunt who is also a shareholder in Alamosa.

"Anca was one of the mares I specifically bought to go to Alamosa so I am thrilled. Unlike most of my mares I purchased her while she was still racing, and I had to pay plenty for her too. They are hard mares to get but now it looks like it was worth it. Besides, she descends from my favourite matriarch in Eulogy.

"Physically she is quite a big strapping mare, and that suits Alamosa. Salamanca has turned out to be neat medium size good type of horse."

Hunt, a member of the Wellington branch of the NZTBA, has always had a love affair with mares from the great Hall of Fame mare Eulogy(GB), and he has four or five in his portfolio. Eulogy (Cicero – Kelibia) was imported to New Zealand by George Currie in 1915 as a consort for his stallions Limond and Absurd, whom he stood at Koatanui Lodge just outside Wanganui. She produced 14 foals and a dynasty of multiple stakes and classic winners throughout the year's right through until today.

Hunt's faith in Eulogy mares has produced a number of winners including the group one winning mare Barinka (Shinko King[IRE] –Hey Barlu), and the listed winner Shi Kin Fly (Shinko King[IRE] – Blondini), and now Salamanca.

He is also the breeder of the Avondale Cup winner Creil, Guillotine and his half brother Efficient whom he bred with Scott Williams.

Anca (Howbaddouwantit[USA] – Sky Mist) was a good racehorse winning seven times and just missing out on black type. She is a full sister to Needuask who won six races including the group two Concorde Handicap.

Sky Mist (Sky Chase – Gold Idol) won the group three Gold Trail Stakes and two other races and also left a good winning mare called Phaedra who won seven races and is the dam of the listed winner Demophon who is also by Howbaddouwantit. Gold Idol is a half sister to Gliding (Noble Bijou[GB]) who is the grandam of Ambitious Dragon (Pins[AUS]- Golden Gamble) and Ichiban Lass the dam of the group three winning mare Delightful that Hunt also owns.

Through the stakes winning filly Gold Spot they descend from the Pennon branch of the Eulogy family – as does Barinka – while other descendants from Pennon include Showgate, and Bonecrusher. Blondini descends from the Praise branch of Eulogy

"I believe that Eulogy mares go well with both the Northern Dancer(USA) line and the Star Kingdom(AUS) line and Alamosa has got both. He goes back to a Star Kingdom mare in Starquita, and he has Northern Dancer on his top line through Try My Best(USA), the sire of O'Reilly's sire Last Tycoon (IRE).

"Throughout the years Eulogy line mares have produced some top horses, and all along they have mainly been owned by farmers or small breeders, not the big studs and yet they have still been high achievers.

"Since the Eulogy line mares have been introduced to Northern Dancer line horses they have produced some real champions, Elvstroem (by Danehill out of a Marscay(AUS) mare Circles of Gold) and Starspangledbanner (Choisir [AUS]). Every year a good two or three-year-old pops up here or in Australia descending from Eulogy. Look at It's A Dundeel (High Chaparral[IRE]- Stareel) - he is another one with the Northern Dancer influence that descends from Eulogy."

It's A Dundeel descends from the Epitah line of Eulogy. It has produced the New Zealand Cup winner Gold Bullion, a top handicapper in Dalvui and of course the champion filly Staring the grandam of It's A Dundeel.

"Anca's topline is actually Blushing Groom (USA) through Rahy the sire of Howbaddouwantit, but she gets Northern Dancer there through Nijinksy (USA), the sire of Fair to the Wind his dam. On the bottom her dam is out of Gold Idol who is by Zephyr Bay (AUS) who is by the Star Kingdom sire Biscay, another descendant of Pennon.

Anca is currently in foal to Cape Blanco(IRE) and has a weanling colt by Darci Brahma in the weanling sale at Karaka this week. Her yearling filly also by Alamosa sold at Karaka earlier this year to Ann Herbert for $70,000.

Hunt is considering Ocean Park as a suitor for Anca this spring.

"There is a lot to like about him. Physically he reminds me of a good Zabeel, and he brings the best features of both Zabeel and Thorn Park, and has the potential to make a good sire. However then again I may go back to Alamosa."

"I have four mares in foal to him at the moment, including Delightful (Omnicorp-Ichiban Lass), Bilancia (Montjeu[IRE]-Mistaurian) a half sister to stakes placed Kasumi and Cold Shoulder (Volksraad[IRE]-Refuse to Dance), a half sister to Efficient.

"I think he is a stallion with great potential. He was so genuine as a racehorse, he won at two, three and four - I am sure when he started racing he wasn't really seen as a potential stallion, but he performed on sheer ability and was one of the best colts around that we have seen for a few years."

Alamosa, who stands at Wellfield Lodge in the Manawatu, is currently the leading first season sire in New Zealand, with four individual winners of five races. He was the Champion New Zealand Colt in 2008 and was a group one winner at two.


- Michelle Saba