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Taranaki breeders do it again!


In 2014 Taranaki businessman Chris Thompson, decided to invest in a couple of broodmares to boost his thoroughbred interests.

He had already been involved with thoroughbreds for about 30 years, breeding and racing a few and on selling them out of Alan Sharrock's stable in New Plymouth, trading under the banner of Kaipikari Thoroughbreds from his 11 acre Urenui property.

But with the desire to breed a few more, he purchased four broodmares and as it has turned out two of those mares have sons running in the 2017 Vodafone New Zealand Derby. They are the Avondale Guineas winner Gingernuts (Iffraaj[GB]-Double Elle) and the lightly raced dual winner Excalibur (Tavistock-Strabelle).

"It's really exciting, who would have thought at the time I bought those mares that they would have ended up with Derby runners in the same year," said Thompson a member of the Whanganui/Taranaki Branch of the NZTBA.

"The Derby outcome aside they have both proved to be very good investments on my behalf, as I sold the brother to Excalibur for $100,000 and the full-brother to Gingernuts for $90,000, both through the Gavelhouse website".

"I decided to try buying reasonably bred mares from stud dispersals, and as it has turned out it is actually a very cost effective way of breeding."

Thompson paid $2,000 for Strabelle, a winning Stravinsky mare who had already left a winner in The Cannon (by Keeper[AUS]), after she was passed in at the National Mixed Broodmare Sale. She was carrying a positive test to Tavistock.

Strabelle is out of the Zabeel mare Big Belle, herself a half-sister to the dual group one winner Wonder Dancer, both being out of Heavenly Belle a daughter of the mighty Star Belle.

She subsequently produced an outstanding bay colt to Tavistock, and in the 2014-15 racing season that sire started to make his presence felt, and by the end of the following season 2015-16 he had left two Derby winners in Tarzino and Tavago, the latter being bred on the same cross out of a Stravinsky mare out of a Zabeel mare. Unfortunately for Thompson, he didn't breed another foal out of Strabelle and she has since died.

Coincidently Tarzino's dam Zarzino, a Zabeel mare, was also sold in foal to Tavistock in 2014 to another Taranaki based breeder Graham Meredith for $1500, and the subsequent colt foal she was carrying was sold at the 2016 Premier Yearling sale for $400,000 to DRG Thoroughbreds in Australia. Tarzino has since been retired to stud in Victoria.

Harking back later that year Thompson attended the Winter Bloodstock sale and purchased Double Elle for $3,000, from a Goodwood Stud dispersal.

"I bought Double Elle in foal to Iffraaj, when Gingernuts was just a yearling, and she subsequently foaled a full brother, who I sold on Gavelhouse last year for $90,000 to Te Akau as well. He is not unlike Gingernuts physically, but according to Jamie Richards (part-trainer of Gingernuts) he is more forward than Gingernuts was at the same time".

"He has had a few trials and will be an autumn two-year-old like Gingernuts was. He is a lovely horse and I have kept a 10% share in him which I am quite excited about".

"When I bought Double Elle she hadn't left anything, and then Runway(by Pins) came out and won a couple and earlier this season Rideitlikeustoleit (by Alamosa) came out and won three races and he looks like he will go on with it too."

Double Elle is by Generous(GB) out of the Oregon(USA) mare Timberland Lass, who was out of Windrift an unraced Sir Tristram(IRE) mare out of Bob Steads fabulous Oaks winning mare Devante (Sobig-Skylit). Windrift is a three-quarter sister to the Oaks winner Trappings (by Grosvenor) and a half-sister to Record Breaker (Taipan II[USA]). Devante is a half-sister to the dams of the group one winners Leggings, She's Fun and Sound Horizon.

"Double Elle has a beautiful Jakkalberry(GB) filly foal at foot, she is a lovely bay, not a chestnut like Gingernuts and Griffin, and she is back in foal to Jakkalberry but that foal belongs to Luigi Muollo".

"I don't know where I will send her this year, I have a bit of an idea, but if Gingernuts wins the Derby I will have to think seriously about going about to Iffraaj. Going to Iffraaj is an expensive risk, I tend not to spend that much on stud fees, but with a mare like Double Elle it may be worth it".

"One thing for sure I will be at Ellerslie to watch the Derby, I swore I would never go to a Derby until I had a runner, but this is as good as having a runner," he said.

"Gingernuts blew me away with his win in the Avondale Guineas the way he won it. I backed him and after he missed the jumped I thought that I should throw my tickets away, but I am glad I didn't. It was an impressive win, but knowing the horse business and my luck it will probably be Excalibur that wins the Derby." – Michelle Saba


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