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Oaks triumph for Shinko King, small breeders & the Manto tribe

Ashwell Farm's sire Shinko King got his first stakeswinner today when his strapping daughter Bramble Rose (ex Images by Gleam Machine) won the New Zealand Oaks 2400m G1 at Trentham.

Shinko King (Fairy King-Rose of Jericho by Alleged) was a Group One-winning sprinter in Japan with a record of eight wins from 27 starts over four seasons, testament not only to his ability but also his physical and psychological soundness in a very tough racing scene. He shuttled from Japan for three seasons, 1998-2000, but has remained in New Zealand since then and was recently purchased by Ashwell Farm and a group of local breeders to stand permanently in this country.

With two southern hemisphere crops of racing age he has eight winners from 21 starters, including Bramble Rose and the stakes-placegetters Original Sin and King George. The non-winning two-year-old filly Eternal Melody has also been stakes-placed.

Seven yearlings by Shinko King sold in 2002 for an average price of just over $20,000. He has 13 yearlings catalogued for Karaka 2003, all in the Select and Festival Sales.

His Oaks winner was sold on behalf of her Hamilton breeders John & Shirley Goodman by Esker Lodge at the 2001 New Zealand Festival Sale for $32,000, a good return on Shinko King's 1999 service fee of $5,000. Bramble Rose has now won three races and was previously Group 2-placed in the Eight Carat Classic and Royal Stakes at Ellerslie.

And she's from the kind of New Zealand female family that frequently produces outstanding racehorses. In fact, you don't have to look far down her catalogue page to find another one: Images' half-brother The Filbert, who won 11 races including the ARC Air New Zealand S. G1 and was third in Bonecrusher's epic 1986 Cox Plate and the Japan Cup. Their non-winning dam Fauxzaan (Zamazaan) also produced G3 Red Hawk and stakes-placed Faux Tiara to give her four winners from five raced progeny. All these horses were, like Bramble Rose, bred by the Goodmans.

Fauxzann's dam, Tittle Tattle (Faux Tirage) won once, was second in Fair Symbol's 1961 New Zealand Oaks G2 run at Riccarton, and left seven winners from eight foals to race. They included the dam of Bottled Sunshine (Queensland Derby G1, Western Australian Derby G2), and Zama Lad, winner of 18 races, among them a stakes race on the flat and several hurdle races in Australia.

Images won three races and has maintained the family tradition of leaving a high percentage of winners with a 100% success rate from her four raced foals to date. As luck would have it, Images had six foals in her first six years at stud and the Goodmans offered all of them for sale, but did not mate her in 2000, so she does not have a yearling for sale this year.

What's not evident on a sale catalogue page is that this is another branch of the family which has produced the famous "Belle" horses, notably Star Belle, Tri Belle, Delightful Belle, Kashmir Belle and more recently dual Group One winner Aerosmith, Golden Slipper winner Belle Du Jour and brilliant two-year-old Flying Babe. The ancestress of these horses, Belle Fox, was a full-sister to Bramble Rose's fifth dam Belle Zorra.

This makes Bramble Rose a 16th generation tail-female descendant of the taproot mare Manto, foaled in Great Britain in 1822. During the last 160 years the Manto tribe has produced over 400 Group and principal race winners, more than any other thoroughbred family active in Australasia.

Other significant horses claiming Manto as their matriarch are Nightmarch, Rancher, Abit Leica, Strawberry Road, Solvit, Ebony Grosve, Tie The Knot and yes, two other winners of the Group One New Zealand Oaks: Candide (1988)and Tang (1979). Tang's second dam was Forget, a sister to Tittle Tattle, but Bramble Rose's connection to Candide is much more distant with no common mare until their female lines converge on Manto's grand-daughter Flora McIvor.

With grateful thanks to the Australian Stud Book's website: www.studbook.aust.com and CD-ROM database of Thoroughbred Families and Sires of Australia and New Zealand; and Arion Pedigrees: www.arion.co.nz


- Susan Archer