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Sangster wins the VRC Derby for NZTBA members Clyde and Pat Buckingham

Once again the Kiwi's have triumphed in the VRC Derby with the New Zealand, bred, owned and trained Sangster (Savabeel-Quinta Special) dishing our a decent galloping lesson to his opposition.

Sangster was bred by Emblem Limited the breeding and racing enterprise of Clyde Buckingham and his wife Patricia. He is the first group one winner bred by the couple and understandably they are delighted with the result.

"It was marvelous, and what is even more exciting is the fact that we were at the races in Melbourne to see it. I didn't back him though," added Clyde.

"The way my punting was going I knew I would stop him so I thought if I leave him alone he will have a better chance. It was pretty exciting though watching him come down that long Flemington straight."

Sangster is the fourth foal of Quinta Special [IRE] (Spectrum – Al Galop [USA]), and he was followed a year later by a full sister. Unfortunately for Buckingham, the mare died about an hour after foaling that filly.

As a yearling Sangster was offered for sale at the 2010 Select Sale through the Windsor Park draft but failed to make his reserve of $25,000. He was then consigned to Kilgarvin Lodge in order to be prepared for the 2010 Ready to Run sale.

As Eion Kemp was over subscribed with youngsters he engaged the services of Trent Busuttin to help out with the overflow. Busuttin was so impressed with the young Savabeel colt that he purchased him at the Ready To Run Sales for $19,000 and set about finding a syndicate to race him. Several months later he also purchased the full sister.

"Savabeel's weren't really the flavour of the month in early 2011, and Trent Busuttin approached me and said he had a syndicate of first time owners who were interested in buying the filly – but they only had $8,000. I wanted a bit more but felt if it was going to bring a few more young people into the industry then I would give them a break, they now have a full sister to a VRC Derby winner.

Despite the loss of Quinta Special the Buckingham's still have a nice portfolio of broodmares that Clyde describes as belonging to the United Nations.

"We currently have seven mares and they come from all over the world, we have mares from England, Ireland, Italy, France, Australia and New Zealand, and they mainly foal down at Windsor Park or Waikato Stud and return home to Karaka in the autumn.

"When we retired and sold our printing business with 66 staff and the farm at Ohaupo where we stood Ebony Grosve, we decided we needed somewhere to keep the mares but didn't necessary want to have to undertake all the work.

"Windsor Park was quite happy to accommodate the mares for the breeding season and work in with us with weaning and yearling preps so we basically sent them all there and purchased our lifestyle block at Karaka. We tend to support their sires, although I have sent mares to Pentire over the last couple of seasons. We also have a share in Savabeel so always have a couple of mares visiting him at Waikato Stud.

"It works well, in the breeding season once a month we drive down to Cambridge and Matamata ooh and aah over the stock, go out for lunch and have a nice day out, knowing the stock are in good hands.

It was through an earlier association with Windsor Park that the Buckingham's acquired this "United Nations" of mares. Clyde's interest in thoroughbreds had developed over the years after to being introduced to the industry by Kit Davison of Mapperley Stud fame. He was at a luncheon at Windsor Park and happened to sit next to the late Joss Collins who was then with the BBA.

"I wanted to get some imported bloodlines and asked Joss what was the best way to do that without spending an absolute fortune, thinking that I may have to buy a weanling. Joss asked me what sort of money I wanted to spend – which was around about $100,000 a horse – and he said that from time to time some nice mares from good black type families came up within that price frame.

"The first mare to come down was Bold Faith[GB](ex Bold and Beautiful) a Warning mare who has left A Plus Fit by Anabaa, and she was followed by an Italian mare Imco Main [IT] (ex Miss Darimba) who was by Danehill and the winner of eight races in Italy. She is the dam of Changing Eyes ( Black Minaloushe) a multiple stakes winner in South Australia..

"The third mare Joss selected was Quinta Special and she was followed by a French mare Plaza Doree [FR](Saumarez – Shangrila) her first foal Miss Lincoln is by Savabeel and is a winner out of Lisa Latta's stable. This is the family of the Canadian horse of the year Arravade and closer to home Palia, Onemorenomore etc

"To add to the international mix Rodney Schick acquired a stakes winning Zeditave mare for me as well. All of these mares came via Australia and had one season at Widden Stud before landing in New Zealand in foal. It was the same with New York (Danzero- Council Rock) the dam of the Turnbull Stakes winner December Draw when I bought her.

"She was actually purchased by Paul Moroney in foal to Singspeil to Southern Hemisphere time, which is why there was a gap in her breeding record between Appiel and December Draw."

As it happened New York was held up in Australia by EI and it was another 18 months before she and Andra who had gone to Coolmore to be served by Rock of Gibraltar came home. While stuck in Australia, New York was served by Dehere twice and Andra went to Rock of Gibraltar and came home in foal to Fastnet Rock. The Rock of Gibraltar out of Andra sold through the premier sale for $60,000 and was purchased by IDL and the Dehere filly was sold to clients of Richard Collett's for $100,000. In 2011 the Fastnet Rock filly sold to Victoria for $85,000.

The Singspiel yearling came home as well.

"She was rejected by Inglis as she had epiphysitis so I ended up keeping her to race. She has won three races from eight starts and has her first crack at black type this weekend in the listed Timpson Family Trust Sprint at Te Rapa.

"New York missed to Dehere and we had her in foal to Savabeel when she contracted grass staggers here at home in Karaka, sadly she had an accident when confined in a small paddock and she is also no longer with us, but Appiel could come on and develop into a nice broodmare proposition."

The Buckingham's locally bred mares include Lady Harriet (ex Harriet) a Centaine half sister to Woburn from the same family as Vonusti, Zamazaan Lass and Prince Bourbon, who is in foal to Pentire, and Scarlett Cape who they own in partnership with Margaret and John Thompson with whom they raced the multiple stakes winner Fooram.

"While we were racing Fooram Pat and Margaret decided unbeknown to John and I that we needed to buy her half sister by Cape Cross at the yearling sales, she was a monster and I reckon at age seven she is still growing. Needless to say she was too big to be a racehorse, and she is in foal to Savabeel.

"He is the only stallion I currently have a share in and he is certainly kicking goals this year. I have always concentrated on breeding mares with classic style pedigrees and mate them with stallions with similar pedigrees. If I had put a bit more speed into some of these families I may have achieved some results a lot earlier. Basically we breed to sell and buy to race," he added.

For the Buckingham's that philosophy has worked rather well over the years as they have been involved with some fine racehorses, as well as Fooram who won seven races including a group two AJC Chairman's Handicap and STC Manion Cup they also raced the AJC Derby winner Ebony Grosve with Pat's sister Shirley and her husband Trevor Tobin. They later stood him at stud for four years. More recently they have been successful with the gallant stakes winner sprinter Richard Beymer.

"It's been a marvelous interest for me over the past 30 years or so, from the days when Kit Davison talked me into a syndicate to race a Prince Echo horse, when through mutual friends we used to meet up at the Grove Hotel prior to going to Eden Park for various cricket and rugby tests. In those days Eden Park was 'dry' and Davison was as skinny as a batten on a fence, we would line his hunting jacket with booze so he looked the same size as the rest of us and head off to the park!"

And you get the feeling talking to Clyde Buckingham that the mischievousness of those days like his passion for racing and breeding hasn't waned over the years either and breeding a VRC Derby winner is only going to encourage him more!


- Michelle Saba