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Lambourn Stud's New Zealand Oaks triumph

The New Zealand Oaks 2400m G1, run at Trentham today, is a particularly important race for breeders, not that television viewers would know it from Trackside's jockey-and-trainer-oriented coverage.

This year's winner Wharite Princess (His Royal Highness-Regal Visit by Vice Regal) certainly gave a well-deserved victory to jockey Bruce Herd and trainer Lisa Latta, who are personal as well as professional partners. The filly also represents a significant achievement for the Lambert family's Lambourn Stud near Palmerston North which bred and sold her at the 2002 New Zealand Festival Yearling Sale for $20,000. Six of the past ten New Zealand Oaks winners have been purchased at the NZ National Yearling Sales, for an average of just under $36,000. The previous nine winners were:

BRAMBLE ROSE (Shinko King-Images by Gleam Machine) 2001 NZ Select Yearling Sale, $32,000
VAPOUR TRAIL (Jetball-Devil's Lair by Sir Tristram) Leased by Peter & Philip Vela to Bruce Sherwin
TAPILDO (Rhythm-Emulate by Sir Tristram) 1999 NZ Select, $5,000
SHE'S COUNTRY (Kenfair-Cross Country (USA) by Ben Fab) 1998 NZ Select, $36,000
SAVANNAH SUCCESS (AUS) (Success Express-Alma Mater by Semipalatinsk) 1997 NZ Premier, $21,000
TYCOON LIL (Last Tycoon-Imposing Bloom II by Imposing) 1996 NZ Premier, $100,000
SAWATDEE (Deputy Governor-Chanson d'Amour by Serenader II)
Not sold as a yearling
ALACRITY (Grosvenor-Daybreak Express (AUS) by Duke Ellington) Retained and raced by her breeder David Paykel
TARTAN TIGHTS (Tights-Ultra Sound by Sound Reason) Retained and raced by her breeder Graeme Robertson

Wharite Princess' dam Regal Visit was a handy mare, good enough to win four races and place in three black type races in Canterbury. No longer breeding after her 2001 foal was destroyed, she has had four winners from seven foals to race. The best of them before Wharite Princess was Maghera (McGinty), a stakes-placed winner of eight races trained by Greg Lambert and the only daughter of Regal Visit retained by Lambourn Stud. She has had two foals, a two-year-old colt by Turbulent Dancer bought by Kevin Myers for $24,000 at last year's New Zealand Select Sale, and a yearling filly by Woodborough retained by her breeders.

Lambourn Stud is best-known for its success with the Irish-bred mare Sanctimonious. She left dual Australian G1 winner King Phoenix and SW Barbarino Boy, and is second or third dam of G2 Steel Phoenix, G3 Eros and G3 Beaujolais. The Stud will offer three members of this family, by Pins, Danske and Howbaddouwantit, at the upcoming New Zealand Select Yearling Sale.

Wharite Princess' immediate family is considerably less distinguished - she is the first stakeswinner from this branch since the very good New Zealand and UK jumper Royal Mail. Despite this, breeders have supported it with some very good sires, notably in her pedigree Sabaean, champion sire Oncidium and the under-rated and unusually-bred His Royal Highness.

By Grosvenor from the imported Mr Prospector mare Gem In The Rough, His Royal Highness has seven crops of racing age and has produced 63 winners from 118 runners. He stands at Newbury Park, Palmerston North at a fee of $4,000. Wharite Princess is her sire's sixth stakeswinner and second Group One winner, after Zvezda (WRC Thorndon Mile G1). His Royal Highness has had marked success with mares by a small group of unfashionable sires: All A'Light II, Tom's Shu and especially Roughcast, damsire of Zvezda, G3 Ima Royal, G3 Figurehead, G1-placed Figurante and stakes-placed Shadow.

However, Wharite Princess is the result of a better-known nick, between Sir Tristram (paternal grand-sire of His Royal Highness) and Vice Regal. Fifteen of the 47 stakeswinners so far produced by Vice Regal mares have been by Cambridge Stud's supersire and his sons. Among them are no fewer than six Group 1 winners: Hades, Grand Echezeaux, Our Unicorn, Greene Street, Jezabeel (all by Zabeel) and the 1990 New Zealand and Australian Oaks winner Domino (by Grosvenor).

The NZTBA warmly acknowledges these information sources:
Arion Pedigrees, the New Zealand Stud Book Australian Stud Book and the Australian Bloodhorse Review

- Susan Archer


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