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Chittick family celebrate an outstanding year

Celebrating Group One success is a habit that the Chittick Family of Waikato Stud have become very used to this season.

With six individual Group One winners this season, three in the Spring and three in the Autumn, it has been a fantastic year. And for the icing on the cake three of those Group One winners Daffodil, Vision and Power and Metal Bender have won dual Group One races.

"When we had two group one winners and a listed winner in one afternoon when Daffodil, Swick and Tootsie won last November, we had a big celebration, not expecting to repeat the feat in April as well. It's been a fantastic year, hard on the heels of two or three very good years. It's a good habit to have," enthused an obviously delighted Mark Chittick of Waikato Stud.

Vision and Power (Carnegie-Escada) was supremely impressive winning the Group One Doncaster Handicap at Randwick on Saturday - backing up from a Group One victory in the George Ryder stakes at Rosehill two weeks previously. And later in the afternoon it was the turn of Daffodil (No Excuse Needed-Spring) to hand out a galloping lesson to her Australian rivals when she ran away with the Group One AJC Oaks.

For Mark Chittick, holding the fort at home in Matamata, the day was made even more special with the win by Bird (Danasinga-Quiescent), a filly he bred and races, in the Listed New Zealand Bloodstock Warstep Stakes at Riccarton, securing the title of New Zealand Bloodstock South Island Filly of the Year to go with the New Zealand Bloodstock Filly of the year mantle held by Daffodil.

The sixth individual Group One winner for the stud actually came over Easter weekend when Markus Maximus (Pentire – Shafty Lady) won the WATC Derby. He joins Alamosa (O'Reilly- Lodore Mystic) – Toorak Handicap, Swick (O'Reilly –Crème Anglaise) VRC Stakes, Daffodil (No Excuse Needed- Spring) New Zealand 1000 Guineas, Metal Bender (Danasinga – Jacqwin) Rosehill and Randwick Guineas, and of course Vision and Power(Carnegie-Escada) in the group one haul.

Vision and Power is the fourth foal of the Centaine mare Escada, and her second group one winner the first being Glamour Puss (Tale of the Cat) winner of the VRC Salinger Stakes, and SAJC Goodwood Stakes as well as seven other races. She in turn is a half sister to Rare Insight a winner of three races including the AJC Stan Fox Stakes.

"Escada has a lovely Pins colt at foot but was not served as she foaled late this season. She has a two-year-old Pins filly and her yearling by that sire named Freyberg will race in Australia from the yard of Danny O'Brien. An Australian racing career is also the plan for Heritage – the Redoute's Choice yearling colt out of Glamour Puss.

He is her first foal, and now Glamour Puss has a Pins filly at foot and she is foal to O'Reilly.

"Heritage is a lovely colt, he has all the attributes to make a sire, pedigree confirmation all he has to do is perform on the racetrack. It's just magic that Vision and Power has added the group one win in the Doncaster to the pedigree of Escada – leaving two group one winners and a group two winner is no mean feat.

"We were having a debate recently about who is the best mare on the farm and at the moment she rates as number one. It's a family Garry has nurtured so it means a lot to us," he concluded.

Escada herself was a winner of four races and was placed in the Group Two Tesio Stakes at Moonee Valley. She is a sister to Starman the winner of 11 races including the Raffles Cup in Singapore and the Selangor Gold Cup in Malaysia, and to Cazuleigh – the dam of The Fatz (Grosvenor) and Gio who left Crepe de Chine (Pins) and Arenti (O'Reilly). Their dam Celia Leigh (Sound Reason) produced 11 foals all winners including the stakes placed Khairleigh (Khairpour) who left a stakeswinner in Danziga (Danasinga).

Celia Leigh was the first New Zealand bred foal out of Georgina Belle (Pakistan II- Castle Belle) a stakes placed winning mare who had raced in America. Garry sent her home via England and mated her to Habat to Southern Hemisphere time, that foal was Habania (Habat-Georgina Belle) a stakes placed winner of seven races and the dam of 10 winners including the stakes winner La Rose Noir (Centaine) and Urbane (Sir Godfrey), while her O'Reilly daughter Hyades produced Tootsie another stakes winner for Waikato Stud this season.

The story of Daffodil and her pedigree have been well documented over the past season she is from the second crop of the Machiavellian sire No Excuse Needed from the O'Reilly mare Spring out of Head of the River (Shirley Heights). Spring herself broke down in spectacular fashion in the Group One LevinClassic and was thankfully saved to commence a breeding career and she has now left three winners.

Making up the treble of winners this weekend is Bird (Danasinga – Quiescent), a three-year-old filly who was bred and is raced by Mark from a mare he bought from the late Ollie Goodwin who is best remembered for standing Sound Reason. He no longer owns the mare but now has a nice black type winning filly to carry on with. Bird is a half sister to Happy Gilmour – renamed Smooth Sailing (Kinjite) a multiple stakes winner in Asia and five other winners.

Bird's dam Quiescent is a winning mare by Gleam Machine out of the Goodwin's top mare Torquay (Wharf) the winner of the Group Two Great Northern Oaks and the Group Three Manawatu Breeders' Stakes. She in turn left a listed winner in South Africa in Queen of Kiwi (Kinjite) and the Group Three Rotorua Stakes winner Seraphic (Imposing) the dam of the Group Two NRM Auckland Thoroughbred Breeders Stakes winner Irlanda (O'Reilly).

The tale of the stud's sixth Group One winner for the season Markus Maximus
(Pentire- Shafty Lady) unfortunately doesn't have such a happy ending for Waikato Stud.

"I bought the mare from Wayne and Vicki Pike in foal to Pentire with a No Excuse Needed colt at foot. We sold a nice Savabeel yearling colt from the family to Mick Price last year, and then unfortunately the mare broke a leg in a storm one night and we didn't get a filly from her. It's a shame really as it's a good winning family with Shafty Lady being a half to the stakes winner Joan's Best out of a listed winner in Yankee Gold. Shafty Lady has had four foals to race and they are all winners including the Group Three Manawatu Cup winner Nanjara. Hey you win some you lose some," concluded Mark.


- Michelle Saba