Pantani's Derby win delights Cambridge breeders

For his proud breeders Saturday's South Australian Derby G1 winner Pantani (Pentire-Dewamar by Marscay) is an affirmation of what New Zealand is best at: producing classic stayers.

The grey gelding was bred by Wayne & Vicki Pike of Longlands Stud, Cambridge in partnership with Wayne's brother & sister-in-law Gavin and Sharon Pike.
They bought Dewamar in foal to Vettori, for about $70,000 from well-known Australian owner-breeders Geoff & Beryl White. Vicki Pike describes the mare as "huge, possibly more than 17 hands, yet she won at two and was fourth in the Gimcrack Stakes."

However, Dewamar proved problematic as a commercial proposition with both the foals she left for the Pikes inheriting their dam's physique. Vicki says "They were big, gangly, lengthy, leggy types, not ideal yearling sale horses because they looked as if they'd take time to mature. Yet both have won at three."

The now four-year-old St Basil (by Vettori) was sold for $45,000 to Bevan Laming at the 1999 New Zealand Premier Sale and has won seven from 15 starts; while Pantani has now won two races, earning $A200,000 for his Derby win alone. Dewamar missed to Carnegie in 1998 and the Pikes sold her in foal to Pentire at the 2000 Inglis Australian Broodmare Sale for $A100,000.

Despite quitting the mare because her progeny were not easy to sell, the Pikes are delighted with Pantani's success. Vicki says "Wayne raced [1981 Wrightson Horse of the Year] Drum and ever since then we've loved stayers and have tried to breed and race them. And Pentire is now doing exactly what he was brought here to do: leaving classic stayers."

There was justice for the Pikes in Pantani's eyebrow-width victory because they also bred Battle Hawk who lost the same race in an equally close finish in 1994. Battle Hawk's dam Ayla is still among the ten broodmares at Longlands Stud. Now nineteen years old, she's in foal to Cape Cross, and her daughter Morgan Mackie (Kaapstad) is in foal to Carnegie.

Ayla's dam Miss Jubilee also produced the Pikes' first Group One winner Steely Dan and was a half-sister to G2 winner Rationale, the grand-dam of this season's Victoria Derby G1 winner Amalfi (Carnegie). All these horses are descended from the taproot mare Mazabuka (GB), also the ancestress of Hollywood Gold Cup winner Cadiz, Dannevegas (Waikato Times Gold Cup G2), Sonata (QTC Tattersall's Cup G2), Bandon (MRC Manawatu Cup – twice) and Boundless (WRC Gloaming S.).

And, as it happens, Pantani has a connection with another current season Derby winner. He went through the ring at Karaka in 2000 immediately before the $3.6 million colt: AJC Derby winner Don Eduardo.

Acknowledgements to:
Arion Pedigrees and the Australian Stud Book's invaluable new CD-ROM "Thoroughbred Families and Sires of Australia and New Zealand".

- Susan Archer


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