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Great news for The Oaks

A jubilant Dick Karreman leads Recite back to scale - Photo NZTM website
A jubilant Dick Karreman leads Recite back to scale

Photo NZTM website

If you are a breeder, or an owner, winning a group one race is the ultimate aim.

Winning a group one race when you own the horse, bred the horse, still own its dam, stand the stallion and sponsor the race, is euphoric. Just ask Dick Karreman.

Queensland-based Karreman owns Recite (Darci Brahma – Chant) the winner of the group one The Oaks Stud Manawatu Sires Produce Stakes. He is also a shareholder in Darci Brahma who stands at his The Oaks in Cambridge, which is also home to his extensive broodmare band which includes the 2005-06 Champion two-year-old filly Chant(Traditionally [USA]- Chantenay[GB]), dam of Recite.

And the smile on his face as he led the filly back to scale at Manawatu said it all.

"It was a fantastic that Dick was there to lead the filly back. He got a huge buzz out of being there and seeing her win. It's such a thrill to own a group one winner, know that it is your breed that is winning, and that you stand the stallion," said Rick Williams General Manager of The Oaks.

"That's what keeps Dick motivated. His commitment to the industry here is rock solid, but it's still satisfying to see him achieving group one success, especially with a filly knowing that she can come back into the broodmare band," he added.

Extremely satisfying as well for Williams who over the past decade since Karreman purchased The Oaks has been at the helm and has managed the mares and planned the matings.

Karreman purchased the Cambridge farm in 2002 from Terry Jarvis, complete with 42 mares many of whom had been sourced from Europe by Williams when he ran the farm for Jarvis. Since then the number of mares has increased to around 100 with a number coming into the fold as successful racehorses along with a further number of imports from Europe.

Heading the list of successful racehorses is the champion mare Seachange (Cape Cross[IRE]-Just Crusing) a winner of seven group one winners along with her group one winning half sister Keepa Cruisin (Keeper [AUS]). The group two winners Obsession (Bachelor Duke [USA] –Mystery Creek) and Smoulder (Traditionally [IRE]- Flying Firebird) and the listed winners Upstage (AUS) (In the Wings [GB]-Tambara [USA]), and Oakwood (Spartacus[IRE] – Guardian Miss [AUS]) are just a few that come to mind.

Currently The Oaks racing team has around 22 fillies and mares scattered amongst trainers throughout the country including Recite along with the group one winning mare Artistic (Darci Brahma – Artless), Zurella (Zabeel – Doneze Girl), a group two winner who ran second to Artistic in the New Zealand Oaks, Innovation and Innocent Lady.

Along with the Darci Brahma winning pair who were second and third in this year's group one New Zealand Oaks Blanket Bay (Emerald Cove [IRE]) and Aurora Lights (ex Southern Sunset [GB]), both of whom are out of European mares.

"I have had a good run out of the mares I have sourced in Europe. Europe has been good to me," concedes Williams.

Chant, the dam of Recite is also a daughter of a European mare purchased by Williams from a December Tattersall's sale.

"Chantanay, the mother of Chant, was one of the mares that I sourced for Terry Jarvis and came with the stud when Dick purchased it. I particularly liked her on type and she was nicely bred being by Warning (GB) (Known Fact [USA] – Slightly Dangerous [USA]) out of a dual stakes winning mare in Chanzi (El Gran Senor[USA] – Ghaiya [USA]).

"She has had a funny breeding record and has left a couple of winners beside Chant but hasn't had a lot of luck as a breeder. She is currently in foal to Roc de Chambes, The Oaks homebred stallion who was the champion Japanese colt of 2007. He is a son of Red Ransom (USA) out of Fairy Lights (IRE) - she has also left the stakes performers Keyora (Bachelor Duke [USA]) and Roman Chariot (Faltaat [USA]).

Chant was her third foal. As a racehorse she had two wins at two including the group three Eclipse Stakes and the listed Fairview Ford Stakes. She was second in the group one Diamond Stakes and the group two Matamata Breeders' Stakes. As a three-year-old she was third in the listed James and Annie Sarten Stakes. Her racing career was curtailed when she was badly galloped on.


"On paper she was a good mating for Darci Brahma and it was his first year. I liked the mating so much she has been back every year since. Her first foal is In Tune who has won a race from Steve McKee's stable. Recite is her second foal and her third foal died. She missed last year, but is safely in foal to Darci again now, and will no doubt return to him again in the spring."

As a two-year-old Recite is unbeaten. Trained at Hastings by John Bary she debuted in December winning a 1000 metre two-year-old event at Trentham by three lengths. Her next start was also on that course six weeks later in the group two Little Avondale Stud Wakefield Challenge Stakes where again she won easily.

Given a month or so to recover from that run, she ran in the group two J Swap Contractors Matamata Breeders' Stakes over 1200 metres where she beat Bounding. Again. With a month or so between races she lined up in the Sires Produce Stakes and gave her rivals an absolute galloping lesson winning by a length and a half.

"She's not just good, she's very very good," enthused Williams, "she was a bit pretty in the Sires and had a decent blow afterward, yet she still won with ease. She goes to the paddock now and the plan is to have a go at a couple of fillies races here in the early spring with the target being the group one Caulfield 1000 Guineas. If she fails in that we can still bring her back for the 1000 Guineas here. Darci needs a good horse in Australia and we think she can step up to that class.

"We are thrilled with the way his stud career has taken off. His stats are pretty impressive especially his starters to stakes performers. Recite is a group one winner from his third crop which is usually the year when a stallion has a lean period. He has two group one winners from his first crop in Artistic and Nashville and a champion in Super Easy."

Other stakes winners from his first crop include Darci Be Good, Sir Lovesalot, and Malandrino. From his second crop he has a group two winner in Valbuena and three group one placed fillies in Aurora Lights, Blanket Bay and Waterford.

"For a horse who has only been at stud for five years his starters to winners and stakes performers are way ahead of any other successful stallion at the same stage, and he is still accessible to the average New Zealand breeder. He served 160 mares last season and we hope he will serve around the same this coming season," stated Williams.

Darci Brahma's stud fee for the new season will be set later this month.


- Michelle Saba