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Yearling sale pass-in wins the Levin Classic

"What a clever little pony he is!" That's how Windsor Park Stud General Manager Steve Till described Distill (Volksraad [GB] – Fairy Tipsy), the recent winner of the group one Levin Classic for three-year-olds.

"It was a great thrill for all of us here at Windsor Park and although he was a relative outsider it didn't surprise us as he had good form as a two-year-old. We knew he needed good ground as he has a big stride for a small horse and in the Levin Classic he got the ground to suit and the run in the open to suit and he was able for fulfil that promise he had shown at two."

"Distill was a plain yearling on the smallish side and for that reason he was not easy to trade. We had a realistic reserve of $40,000 on him but he couldn't find a buyer at that level so we brought him home.

"Nelson (Schick) was talking to Roydon Bergerson- the trainer of Distill - a couple of months later and suggested he come up and see if there was anything he might like to train. He decided to have a crack with this guy.

"He trained him to win his first start and shortly after that Mick Preston approached us and bought him on behalf of Hong Kong owner YK Wong and fortunately he decided to leave the horse with Roydon, so it worked out well."

Following that first start win, Distill ran third in the group three Waikato Stud 2YO Classic and fourth in the group one Auckland Diamond Stakes. He finished the season unplaced in the group one Manawatu Sires Produce Stakes. Racing earlier this spring, Distill was unplaced in both the Hawkes Bay and Wellington Guineas, both races run on unsuitable tracks. His trainer is confident that he will get up to Derby distance in the autumn and that will be his aim.

Distill is the fourth foal from the Casual Lies (USA) ([Lear Fan- Morna[GB]) mare Fairy Tipsy. Her first foal is Mr Tipsy (Montjeu[IRE]), also a stakes winner this season, having won the listed Westbury Stud Karaka Classic over 1600 metres at Counties before being placed second in the listed Rotorua Plate (1900 metres) and the group two DHL Counties Cup. Last season he won the listed Marton Cup and as a four-year-old was placed in the group one Auckland Cup and the Sydney Cup.

Her next foal Absinthe (Golan [IRE]) was retained by Windsor Park and won one race. Her first foal, a filly by High Chaparral (IRE), will go under the hammer in the Premier Sale at Karaka this summer, and according to Steve Till is one of the nicest High Chaparral fillies they have produced.

Fairy Tipsy's third foal was a filly by High Chaparral and named Chapchick. She was purchased by Bill and Mimi Lloyd for $90,000 and is currently in work. Another High Chaparral filly sold this year at Karaka to clients of John Chalmers for $200,000. She missed to that stallion and Mastercraftsman(IRE) but is safely in foal to Rip Van Winkle (IRE) who descends from the same family as Volksraad.

"Fairy Tipsy isn't an overly big mare but she has thrown two stakeswinners. It's surprising where your good mares come from, it's not always the obvious ones that turn out to be top producers.

"Having said that, she did win five races and was third in the group two Hawkes Bay Cup and is from a lovely family.

"Her half brother Revolt (Thorn Park) has won two races in Sydney and according to the Hawkes family who train him, he is shaping up to be a black type performer. They are looking toward an autumn campaign with him."

"It's a very versatile family that throws sprinters and stayers. Rebellious Angel (Success Express[USA]) is an unraced sister to the group one Railway winner Coogee Walk, both being out of the top class sprinter Boardwalk Angel (AUS) (Bletchingly-Elegant Walk)," he said.

Distill became the fourteenth group one winner for Volksraad (Green Desert [USA] – Celtic Assembly[USA]) who is the senior statesman stallion at Windsor Park. At age 23 he has been Champion Sire in New Zealand eight times and was Champion Sire of Two-year-olds in 1996-97.

"He's been a great stallion for a long time and often you find that stallions, no matter how good they have been, they get less numbers in later years and leave less good horses. That self fulfilling prophecy hasn't been the case with Volksraad - he still has good support and still has the ability to leave good race horses. That has been his hallmark since the start and it still is."

"We have restricted his numbers to around 50 for the past five years or so, we try and look after him. He is still serving well, in good form and looking as good as ever so hopefully he will be around for a year or two more."

"He has some nice yearlings going to Karaka this year. In the Premier sale we have a full brother to Corsage (ex Spray) who is also a three-quarter brother to the New Zealand Cup winner Torlesse, and the first foal of Queen of Avalon (Montjeu – Argante), a half sister to Monaco Counsel. He is bred on the same cross as the highly rated Ginner Hart (Volksraad- Lyford Cay).

"We also have a filly out of Tipple a half sister to Brew and Bubbles and daughter of Horlicks. There are some nice racehorses amongst his yearlings and his stock continues to be quite tradable. He has left good horses like Mexican Rose in Singapore and only the very best stallions around get to leave over 50 stakes winners.
He may not be in "fashion" at the moment but each year he lets his horses do the talking and once again he has come up with another group one winner," he concluded.


- Michelle Saba