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David and Masey Benjamin Still Enjoying The Yearling Sales

Booming pictured above in the blue silks with Vinnie Colgan on board. - Picture by equine photographer Trish Dunell
Booming pictured above in the blue silks with Vinnie Colgan on board.

Picture by equine photographer Trish Dunell

It's coming up to six years since Fayette Park last had a draft of yearlings at the New Zealand Bloodstock Yearling Sales at Karaka and this January as David Benjamin relaxes in Hahei celebrating his birthday he ponders on the things he misses since he and Masey sold up Fayette Park and preparing yearling for the sales is definitely one of them. However this year he will be back for at least a couple of days as he sells lot 710 in the Westbury Stud draft, a Postponed filly out of Beautiful Sea, a half sister to the recent group one winner Booming. Beautiful Sea (Grosvenor – Syrian Sea) and Lovemedo (Stravinsky- A Little Love) are the only two mares that Masey and David kept when they dispersed their bloodstock, but they still own a third share in Postponed and a life time service to Don Eduardo. "Booming winning the group one Zabeel Classic was a thrill, he obviously has ability and to think that he was from one of the two mares we decided to keep was a great boost for us." "We bred Beautiful Sea with Ted McLachlan (Senior), he provided the mare Syrian Sea (Vice Regal –Aegean Sea), and we provided the service to Grosvenor. She was a big chestnut foal with a near fore that went at right angles and we couldn't sell her so we bought Ted out, and sent her out on to the hills at Fayette. "When she was two I told Scotty Eagleton and son Blanton to go and get her as we were going to breed from her, they both said you can't do that she's only two – but she was big enough and we sent her off to Gold Brose. "She produced a colt that we sold to Hong Kong and in Paul O'Sullivan's stable he raced as Kiwi Dash and won four races. Paul did tell me it was the sorest horse he has ever had in his stable! "Her next foal was a colt by Postponed and called Madifyoudont he won four races in Australia, and the first year that Don Eduardo came to Fayette I sent her to him and the result is Booming, our 17th group one winner. "I did raise a few eyebrows with that mating as she is 3 X 3 to Sir Tristram with him being the sire of Zabeel and of Grosvenor, but others had tried it before and it's obviously worked. "Beautiful Sea has left Laguna de Bay (High Chaparral) a recent winner in Victoria, has a full sister to Booming at foot, and is in foal to Ifraaj. "She has to have a special shoe fitted to that near off fore and it has to be refitted every month. She's a cranky old thing and has to be tranquilised to have her feet done, but it's worth it now she is the dam of a group one winner. "It was a thrill to be able to breed Don Eduardo's first group one winner from the time he stood at Fayette Park, and given our association with Eduardo Cojuangco and Gooree Park Stud. "Many years ago Mr Cojuangco purchased 35 mares in the States for Gooree Park but in those days they could not import them directly from the States to Australia, so they stayed at Fayette Park for a season. "We were his guests on Derby Day when Don Eduardo won the AJC Derby and 18 months later I wrote to him and asked him if he would consider standing Don Eduardo at Fayette Park when he retired. "We met at the Inglis Sales complex at Randwick and after a 15 minute conversation under the big tree we made a deal to stand him at stud and shook hands. I asked him if he wanted a contract drawn up and he said don't you trust my hand shake and that was how we came to stand him at stud on the shake of a hand." Don Eduardo (Zabeel-Diamond Lover) still holds the record for the being the most expensive yearling sold at Karaka. He is a member of New Zealand's racing royalty being a grandson of the mighty Eight Carat. As a racehorse he won five races including the group one AJC Derby, and as a stallion has left seven stakes winners Divine Rebel, Swift Alliance, Vickezzchardonnay, All In Black, Booming and Dashing Donna. With the last two Booming and Dashing Donna winning on Boxing Day at Ellerslie. Dashing Donna (ex Epic Pulse) won the listed Newmarket Handicap. Following the sale of Fayette Park Don Eduardo was relocated to Haunui Farm in Auckland. Lovemedo the second mare the Benjamin's kept will also be represented at the sales with a Postponed colt, initially sold by them as a weanling last year. She has produced another foal to Postponed and is in foal to Mastercraftsman. They also have a share in lot 1048 also in Westbury's draft a Postponed filly out of Miss Monolith (Monolith-Lyphinale) who is a half sister to the dam of Pasta Post (Postponed-Blue Heaven). "We have a share in Miss Monolith with Garry Hackett our third partner in Postponed. Now that the tracks have firmed up the Postponed's are starting to fire again, he has had eight winners in the last six days here in New Zealand. It's great to see that he has a permanent home at Westbury and he is being well patronised there," said David. The Benjamin's also have shares in three or four horses of racing age, just to keep their interest up. "I miss the yearlings, and I miss the foals, but I don't miss trying to sell services, debt collecting, staying in cheap motels in the provinces while trying to do those things, but most of all I miss meeting people, that's always fun and we will be going to the sales like we have for the past 38 years and doing just that having some fun."

- Michelle Saba