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Breeder of the Year finalists announced

Three previous winners of the Mercedes Breeder of the Year title are among the four finalists for this year's award, to be announced at the Mercedes Thoroughbred Racing Award dinner on Friday 16 August.

Nominations are made by the NZTBA council and branches, and the 11 councillors' votes decide the finalists and the winner. This year's finalists are:

Susan Archer & Michael Martin, Auckland
Breeders of champion Sunline, three-time Australian & three-time New Zealand Horse of the Year, and new member of the Australian Racing Hall of Fame. Sunline won four Group One races from nine starts in 2001-02.
Michael and Susan won this award in 1999.

Garry Chittick, Waikato Stud, Matamata
Winner of the 1993 title, Garry was responsible for no fewer than six stakeswinners and the Australian premier jumps winner Blue Star last season. Taupo Retreat won a Group One race in South Africa; Sylvaner, Okiwi Bay and Ugachaka were Group 2 winners in Australasia, and Critic and Country Rose won Listed Stakes events in New Zealand.

Tom Williams, Te Parae Stud, Masterton
Two Group One performers upheld Te Parae Stud's proud tradition of Australian success in 2001-02: high-class stayer Dress Circle (AJC The Metropolitan G1) and the very good three-year-old filly Sixty Seconds (STC Arrowfield Stud S. G1). Dress Circle was bred by Tom Williams in partnership with his brother 'Buzz', and Sixty Seconds was bred by the Te Parae Trust.

Peter & Philip Vela, Pencarrow Stud, Hamilton
Winners of this award two years ago, the Velas bred five winners of ten Group & Listed Races last season, most notably the Caulfield & Melbourne Cups heroine Ethereal and New Zealand Oaks G1 winner Vapour Trail. Paolino and Copper Mountain were Group winners in New Zealand, and Hoeberg, Group One-placed in Dubai, won a stakes race in Singapore.


- Susan Archer