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A weekend Green will never forget

Barneswood Farm's broodmare gem Symphonic has a Savabeel filly foal at foot, a full-sister to Orchestral, and is back in-foal to Savabeel. - Photo: Supplied
Barneswood Farm's broodmare gem Symphonic has a Savabeel filly foal at foot, a full-sister to Orchestral, and is back in-foal to Savabeel.

Photo: Supplied

It has been a momentous week for Barneswood Farm’s Sarah Green, which kicked off on Saturday with a memorable double at Ellerslie.

Green cheered home her pride and joy Desert Lightning to win the inaugural $1 million Elsdon Park Aotearoa Classic (1600m), before putting on her breeding hat to barrack for farm graduate Orchestral, who took out the $1.5 million TAB Karaka Millions 3YO (1600m) in the following race.

“It was such a special night on Saturday, it was unbelievable. We had 46 people with us who had flown up (from Ashburton), it was amazing,” Green said.

Green and fellow Barneswood Farm principal Ger Beemsterboer have been active at New Zealand Bloodstock’s National yearling sale in recent years, purchasing fillies under the guidance of trainers Peter and Dawn Williams, with a view to future broodmare careers. However, they had one exception in 2021 when they purchased a Pride Of Dubai colt out of Little Avondale Stud’s draft for $150,000.

“We always buy fillies, but we had left the sale that day and had gone over to Waiheke,” Green said. “Peter rang us to see if we were interested in buying a colt. We trust Peter and Dawn implicitly, so we said yes. They have never put us wrong, they have always bought the best of the best.”

Their judgment proved to be correct, with that colt being Desert Lightning, who has won five and placed in five of his 16 starts to date, including victories in the Gr.1 TAB Classic (1600m), Aotearoa Classic and Gr.2 Avondale Guineas (2100m), supplemented by placings in the Gr.1 New Zealand 2000 Guineas (1600m), Karaka Million 3YO Classic (1600m) and Gr.3 Manawatu Classic (2000m).

Green was vocal in her praise for Desert Lightning and said he is finally getting the kudos he deserves.

“Turning for home he just went to another gear and that was so exciting to see,” she said. “He is a special horse, and it is really special to see him get the credit that he has deserved.”

With Saturday’s victory, Desert Lightning earned a spot in the A$4 million All-Star Mile (1600m) at Caulfield on March 16, and Green said he would take his place in the field all going well after the Gr.1 Trackside Otaki-Maori Classic (1600m) at Otaki next month.

“To get the slot to the All-Star Mile is wonderful,” Green said. “I think he will go to the Group One at Otaki and then we will go to the All-Star Mile all going to plan. We will definitely be going to that if he goes.”

Green didn’t have long to wait before she was celebrating more success at Ellerslie on Saturday, but this time as the breeder of Karaka Millions 3YO victor Orchestral.

“By the time we got out of the presentation room (following Desert Lightning’s win) she (Orchestral) was about 400m from home, and I could hear her name being called out,” Green said. “We started screaming for her and it was unbelievable to see her win.”

Orchestral is another New Zealand Bloodstock graduate, but it was Barneswood Farm doing the selling and not buying in 2022, with trainers Roger James and Robert Wellwood going to $625,000 to secure the Savabeel filly out of Hanui Farm’s draft.

Orchestral is out of Symphonic, who was purchased by Barneswood Farm as a yearling at Karaka for $330,000 and went on to win four races and finish runner-up in the Gr.3 Cuddle Stakes (1600m) for the Williams’ before retiring to the broodmare paddock, where she has quickly become the matriarch of Barneswood’s broodmare band.

“She (Symphonic) was always a tough mare, and she has put that into her foals,” Green said. “I remember not too long-ago Dawn said she would probably be our best broodmare, and think she is absolutely right about that.

“We have had a number of good mares on the track but Symphonic has turned out to be one of the best broodmares.”

While Green was overjoyed to see a product of her farm take out New Zealand’s richest race on Saturday, she said it doesn’t quite top the feeling of cheering home her own horse.

“People always used to say to me ‘wait until you have bred your own’. I never thought it could get more exciting, but it was pretty special seeing something you bred go on and do that on Saturday for the owners and trainers she has now,” Green said.

“I still don’t know that it eclipses seeing Desert Lightning racing like that, it is very special, not only for us but our family, who follow him. To get messages from people back in Ashburton who were watching was great.”

The excitement didn’t stop on Saturday for Green, who headed to New Zealand Bloodstock’s National Yearling Sale at Karaka earlier this week to watch Orchestral’s full-brother go through the sale ring as lot 464.

The Savabeel colt was knocked down to the $310,000 bid of the Hong Kong Jockey Club, and while a little disappointed with the result, given his full-sister’s success over the weekend, Green is excited by the possibility of travelling to Hong Kong to watch him race.

Symphonic has a Savabeel filly foal at foot, which will likely be retained, and is back in-foal to Waikato Stud’s Champion stallion.

“I want to keep the filly at foot, I have become quite attached to her,” Green said. “My husband has other ideas, so we will see who wins that battle of the wills.”

Barneswood Farm has had plenty of high-class fillies over the last decade, and Green is now enjoying watching them enter the next stage of their career as broodmares and seeing their foals go through the sales ring.

“We have about seven or eight broodmares at the moment,” she said. “Most of them are here but we also have some over in Australia at Sledmere Stud in the Hunter Valley.

“To see them go to the next stage of their career has been great.”

“We have got an Exceed and Excel colt out of (Group One winner) Media Sensation that will go through the Easter Yearling Sale in Sydney, so that will be exciting to see.”

In the meantime, Green will still be trying to come down from the high of her superb Saturday double.

“We will never forget that night for as long as we live,” she said.



 

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