This week we speak to Warwick Jeffries who bred Dark Destroyer (Proisir x All Can Party), winner of the Gr.1 Tarzino Trophy (1400m) at Hastings last Saturday.
How many mares do you breed from? I have six mares here in New Zealand – with another in Australia. One is at Grange William Stud and the others are foaling down at Highline Thoroughbreds with Cam and Eva Heron.
What else do you have in your bloodstock portfolio (youngstock, racehorses etc)? I have a couple of two-year-olds with Stephen Autridge at present. One is by Snitzel out of Midnight Revels which is a 7/8 sister to Seabrook, and the other is a Merchant Navy filly. I’m looking forward to seeing them progress.
Do you make your own mating decisions or seek advice from others – if others who? I discuss a lot with a close friend who often will give some interesting options, we tend to bounce ideas around together before settling on the best way forward. I have also a history in breeding stock, I had stud sheep with dad for 30 years, which helped me become comfortable analyzing pedigrees. While it is obviously not the same from sheep to horses, that early education certainly made it easier to understand horse pedigrees. I also am a shareholder in Hello Youmzain as well as in Proisir.
Do you have a favourite cross? Not really. I try to line up on type and mare I have in front of me and go from there to match the right stallion to her. I really enjoy the process and the outcomes
Proven stallion or new season sire? I don’t really look at this kind of thing, my process has been to find mares that will suit the two stallions I have shares in. I bought All Can Party as I believe she’s a good fit with Proisir. When looking at things on paper I liked how the pedigrees looked and it’s turned out to be a good match at this stage.
Best breeding advice you have received? When I was young my dad gave me great advice on how pedigrees work on the sheep farm. I learnt all about the family trees and how they work, have transferred this across to thoroughbreds – I know it’s not the same but this early education in pedigrees has helped me greatly. Though you’re only as good as your next runner – as the old saying goes.
Who do you admire in the thoroughbred breeding industry? I really admire the Stallion Handlers and I am always impressed by their expertise. I’m thankful for John Thompson and Rich Hill for offering me a chance to have a shareholding. I think Proisir is heading to becoming an outstanding stallion.
If you could own any broodmare (past or present), who would it be? This is tough to answer as I really like All Can Party – I also really rate Midnight Revels as well, they are my two mares whose foals have won Group Ones so I wouldn’t choose any others at this stage. I love them both as they’ve had lovely foals who’ve done very well. If you could spend a day learning the tricks of the trade on any farm in the world which would it be? Arrowfield Stud. In my opinion John Messara is leading the breeding game. He seems to always be three steps ahead of the field.
Proudest moment as a breeder? It’s not just one moment. Dark Destroyer last weekend of course, but Seabrook winning two two-year-old Group Races in Australia was outstanding. She won the Group 2 Sweet Embrace Stakes and the Group 1 Champagne Stakes in Record Time. Running fifth in the Golden Slipper, only two lengths from the winner was a day to remember.
Finish this sentence: The best part of being a thoroughbred breeder is… the love of the horse and the satisfaction of when you get it right. Also I have to say knowing that the horses are owned by people that love them as much as I do is great to see. David Archer is a fantastic owner, he has the horse at heart the whole time and I know that his horses are really well looked after.