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Icepin strengthens Pins position on sires' premiership

The winner of the Waikato Stud Two-year-old Classic Icepin (Pins-Ice Maiden) was rather fittingly Waikato Stud's latest stakes winning graduate.

Icepin became the 31st stakes winner for his sire Pins (Snippets-No Finer), who leads the sires premierships both here and in Singapore. He became the 10th stakes winner for Waikato Stud this season and later in the day, across the Tasman in Melbourne, Tootsie (Pins-Hyades) added the Group Three Mannerism Stakes to her valuable black type tally.

"Icepin's win was a great result. He is a lovely cut of a horse and certainly looked it in the parade ring at New Plymouth. I was so pleased for Herbie Dyke, his owner, – he's been a great supporter of racing forever," explained his breeder Waikato Stud's proprietor Garry Chittick.

"And how he bought him is a good story as well. It was the old story of the yearling having an issue with x-rays, a minor chip below the front fetlock which the vets assured us would have no ill effect, but still he was passed in.

"Herbie came back to the marquee. He had already had some success with the Group One placed Raid (Pins-Vanilla Sky) and other Pins progeny. So we haggled over the price and agreed on $50,000 then tossed for $10,000. He won, I lost, and he got the horse for $40,000.".

Prior to his win in the Waikato Stud Classic, Icepin had run second to Sister Havana in the Karaka Million. He commenced racing in October with an inglorious debut bucking as he left the barrier, and finished a reasonable eighth. He had a short break and resumed in December to run fourth at Waikato, before impressively winning a lead-up to the Karaka Million at Ellerslie in mid-January.

"Unfortunately Icepin was the last foal we bred from Ice Maiden (O'Reilly – Lake Lucerne). She only had three foals and the first two, Frozone and Pins On Ice, are both winners in Australia. Ice Maiden, a winner of four, was the only mare we had out of Lake Lucerne (Centaine- Pilmuir). However, we still have other branches of this family."

Lake Lucerne was a stakes placed winner of six races and a full sister to Kinjite, himself a group one winner and successful sire at Waikato Stud. Another full sister, Last Lady, is the dam of another current Waikato Stud sire Scardee Cat. They descend from the champion Australian 2YO of her year Wenona Girl (Wilkes- Golden Chariot) who was one of Chittick's foundation mares when he established Thornton Park Stud in the Wairarapa some 35 years ago.

Another of his early acquisitions was Georgina Belle (Pakistan II – Castle Belle). She was a stakes placed winner who had gone to the States. Garry purchased her there and sent her home via England where she was mated to Habat in Southern Hemisphere time. That foal was Habania who raced in Australia and won seven and was group three placed. Habania left the stakes winners La Rose Noir and Urbane and to O'Reilly she left a mare called Hyades who is the dam of Tootsie.

Georgina Belle's first New Zealand-bred foal was the Sound Reason mare Celia Leigh, and from that family Waikato Stud have produced some outstanding race horses including Glamour Puss, Starman, Rare Insight, Crepe de Chine, Arenti etc.

Tootsie and Icepin are both out of O'Reilly mares and he is now proving himself as a successful broodmare sire. He is also the dam sire of the brilliant mare Daffodil who exuded class winning an 1100 metre sprint race fresh up at Taranaki last weekend on her way to autumn spoils in Sydney.

The Chittick's will be in Sydney for the carnival and the yearling sales where Waikato Stud will sell a full brother to Tootsie. As well she has a colt foal at foot by Pins and is back in foal to him.

"Tootsie's win was great for her lessee John Couch. He deserves some rewards, and she deserved a group win following her second placing to Vonusti in the Group One Telegraph.

"He did try and extend the lease, but she will return home to Waikato Stud at the end of this racing season and join the broodmare band as a multiple stakes winner of seven races, and hopefully John will lease another filly from us who will turn out to be just as good."

The stellar heights reached by Pins come as no surprise to Garry Chittick.

"Now that Pins has got older horses, and a great spread of age racing, it's only natural that he will feature as a leading sire. Even in his first crop he had five stakes winners in Australia which was more than the other first season sires of his ilk including Redoute's Choice and he certainly didn't have the representatives he had,.

"And it's set to go on as he served 100 mares last year and the year before 170. That crop has sold exceptionally well so far, and we still have Sydney to go. As a result of his success, we have also sent a lot more mares to him and we have about 40 in foal to him this year.

The deeds of star three-year-old Katie Lee have catapulted Pins to be the sires premiership leader in New Zealand and he also leads in Singapore where he has two star performers in Waikato (ex Skywalker Wilkes) and Goldschatz (ex Centri Belle) a winner of five straight including the Group Three Fortune Bowl last week, while Maple Star (ex Hideaway) made it two wins from two starts over the weekend.

Pins also sits just below fellow Waikato Stud sire O'Reilly on the Centaine Award sires table. The Centaine Award is for the sire whose New Zealand-conceived progeny for the season under review has accumulated the highest stake earnings worldwide.

"The irony is that Mark Player made the comment to me last year that Pins wasn't doing as well as O'Reilly in Hong Kong and I think since then he has left 17 winners up there this season, so the next few months are going to be very exciting with all the sires premierships especially when you consider that all the major derbies are yet to be run.

"The next few months could be pretty exciting, and hopefully there will be some more group one winners, as I wouldn't mind winning that Breeder of the Year title again," said Garry with his tongue firmly planted in his cheek.


- Michelle Saba