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Military Move wins Derby for Windsor Park Stud

The team at Windsor Park had plenty to celebrate when Military Move won the $2.2million Telecom Derby last weekend and rightly so as they added the coveted derby trophy to their already laden cabinet.

"It was a big thrill and a very proud moment in the history of Windsor Park in the 30 odd years since our inception we have won a lot of group one races, but this is our first New Zealand Derby," according to a very proud Steve Till.

"From our perspective the most rewarding aspect was that it wasn't just a Windsor Park bred horse that won, but that is was a son of Volksraad and that he has now sired a Derby winner.

"It's a crowning achievement for him he has now sired stakes winners from 1000 metres to 3200 metres he really is a fantastic sire to be able to do that.

"We have a lot of trophies in our cabinet but that New Zealand Derby was one that was missing we almost won it with Just A Dancer the sire of All Night Party – the dam of Military Move – so this is a top reward.

"We have won other derbies even the VRC Derby this year with Monaco Consul but this is special we have had a couple of significant group one winners this season now, and Volksraad is heading for his eighth Grosvenor award, he has been the most successful stallion in the past decade."

Not only is Volksraad synonymous with Windsor Park, but so is the female line of Military Move. Fair Dawn owned by Bob and Joy Cheek, came to reside at Windsor Park when Sue and Nelson moved to the Kaipaki Road property over 30 years ago, and four generations of good winners have descended from her.

According to Steve Military Move was a lovely foal, a classic yearling and it is no surprise he developed into a top race horse.

"He was a very good type as a yearling and Doug Cave bought him for $75,000 and he then on sold him at the Ready To Run sale for $110,000. He was a classic Volksraad type a rich bay with those little Volksraad characteristics and markings it was easy to see he was a Volksraad.

"We are delighted for Shaune Ritchie and the Ritchie Family, he has handled this horse beautifully, and it's a credit to him that he was racing in the spring classics and stays up to win the Derby. He went a slashing race in the 2000 Guineas and being beaten by Katie Lee is no disgrace.

"It's a good old Windsor Park family, Nelson and Sue have been associated with this family for four decades now, when they came to Kaipaki Road Fair Dawn came with them and they have bred some really good horses from her right through the generations," he said.

Fair Dawn(Fair's Fair- Colleen Dawn) was unplaced but left five winners including the stakes winners Silver Boy (Silver Dream), Daylight and Wadsworth (Crest of the Wave). Dawn Crest also by Crest of the Wave won six races and left Our Dawn Star (Star Way) a stakes winner of 12 races in Australia. Another sister Fair Wave left Sound Wave.

Dawn Crest left three winners including Dawn Music (Mussorgsky).

"Dawn Music didn't have a lot of starts, but she did break 1.10 at Ellerslie. She won three races but didn't have very good front legs, and eventually that put paid to her racing career. She redeemed herself at stud though leaving a really good one in the dual group one winner Catalan Opening (Kaapstad), as well as a couple of other winners including Military Move's dam All Night Party.

"We thought a lot of All Night Party (Just A Dancer) she was good enough to go to Sydney to race, she won a race at Canterbury over 2000 metres and equaled the track record. She raced very much in the style of her father Just A Dancer – it's nice that his grandson has won the Derby for us, after he went down to Castletown in that race. Just A Dancer did turn the tables on Castletown a couple of times and did beat him in the 1991 Sydney Cup."

At stud All Night Party has left just the two winners, Military Move and Molloy (Entrepreneur) who won three races in Hong Kong as Fashion Jewellery. Her two year old filly by King's Chapel was purchased by Te Akau Stables, from the 2009 Select Sale, and she has a King's Chapel colt foal at foot. She is not in foal but will go back to Volksraad next spring.

A daughter by Kaapstad and thus a three-quarter sister to Catalan Opening, is part of the Windsor Park broodmare band and at Karaka this year Windsor Park sold her Volksraad colt a three-quarter brother to Military Move to Bruce Wallace for $53,000. Mardi Gras is in foal to Thorn Park and has a King's Chapel filly at foot.

Over the last few years Windsor Park have restricted Volksraad's book to 80 mares and he still gets a full book. He is in fine fettle and the team at Windsor Park is confident he will have no trouble getting 80 mares again this season.

"He's been a great stallion to us over the years, he has been really good to us, so now we will look after him," concluded Steve.


- Michelle Saba