The 2022-23 racing season has delivered another long line of triumphs for Waikato Stud, whose continued success has come on the back of two of its iconic stallions.
Current kingpin Savabeel keeps churning out a seemingly endless supply of big-race performers, and this season marks his eighth Centaine Award for worldwide progeny earnings and his seventh Dewar Award for combined Australian and New Zealand progeny earnings. Savabeel has also claimed eight Grosvenor Awards for champion New Zealand sire throughout his career, meaning he has now earned a total of 23 stallion awards.
On the Australian sires’ premiership for the 2022-23 season, Savabeel sits in a highly commendable third place – trailing only I Am Invincible and So You Think, and ahead of the likes of Snitzel, Zoustar, Dundeel and Written Tycoon.
Savabeel has had 182 runners in Australia this season, which is the lowest among the top nine on the premiership and less than half the 377 runners sired by premiership leader I Am Invincible. Those 182 runners have included 97 winners, eight of them at stakes level, and Savabeel’s Australian progeny have earned a combined A$18.44 million this season.
Standout Savabeel progeny I Wish I Win, Major Beel and Atishu have all won at Group One level in Australia this season, backed up by Group Three winners Mr Maestro, Po Kare Kare and Milford, and Listed winners Avebury and Angelic Miss. High-class galloper Mo’unga went winless this season but placed in the Gr.1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m), Champion Stakes (2000m), Underwood Stakes (1800m), Ranvet Stakes (2000m), Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) and Chipping Norton Stakes (1600m).
On home soil, Savabeel was represented by 54 winners from 111 runners, who combined to deliver total earnings of over $2.68 million. There were five individual stakes winners, headed by Prise De Fer’s victory in the Gr.1 Captain Cook Stakes (1600m).
Meanwhile, Savabeel’s predecessor as headline act of the Waikato Stud stallion roster, the late, great O’Reilly, also continues to wield a major influence on the New Zealand industry and has just been named champion broodmare sire for the fifth time and the third year in succession.
These accolades are part of another landmark year for Waikato Stud, who bred and race the superstar sprinter I Wish I Win, whose four wins this season included the Gr.1 TJ Smith Stakes (1200m) and the A$10 million Golden Eagle.
Waikato Stud also bred fellow Group One winners Atishu, Icebath and Major Beel, and they claimed a tenth Sir Patrick and Justine Lady Hogan New Zealand Breeder of the Year Award at the Property Brokers National Breeding Awards last week.
“It’s been a really special season and we’re hugely proud,” Chittick said. “And we’re not the only ones who can feel that way. It’s been an absolutely unbelievable year for the New Zealand industry all around, and I think everyone involved should be incredibly proud.
“Savabeel has had another great year. To be third on the Australian premiership behind I Am Invincible and So You Think is a pretty fair effort, and he’s coming away with a total of $25 million worldwide and $20 million across Australasia. Those are very special results.
“He really showed his versatility on that first day of The Championships at Randwick in April, where he had such a unique double with I Wish I Win in the TJ Smith Stakes and Major Beel in the Australian Derby (2400m). I think that’s the first time it’s ever been done, certainly in our part of the world – the same stallion and same breeder winning a Group One sprint and a Derby on the same day. That’s something we’ll never forget.”
O’Reilly had another superb season as a broodmare sire, producing a total of 81 winners from 181 runners in New Zealand for $4.1 million total earnings with 10 stakes winners domestically including Group One winners He’s A Doozy and Belclare.
With 17 stakes winners globally, the progeny of O’Reilly’s daughters earned a total of over $23 million with Australian Group One winners Espiona and Major Beel flagbearers.
“To be champion broodmare sire for the fifth time is another fantastic honour for O’Reilly,” Chittick said. “He’s been a wonderful horse for us, and his legacy is continuing to be felt.”