The progeny of Wellfield Lodge stallion Alamosa are firing on all cylinders.
The multiple Group One-winning son of O’Reilly has been represented by three new stakes winners this season in On The Rocks, Beefeater and Aspen Lass, while the multiple stakes winner Stolen Dance achieved a well-deserved Group One win in the Thorndon Mile (1600m) before being retired to stud.
Already the sire of a classic winner in 2013 Gr.1 VRC Oaks (2500m) winner Kirramosa, Alamosa has an opportunity to taste further classic success through his talented three-year-old son On The Rocks, when he takes his place in Saturday’s Gr.1 Vodafone New Zealand Derby (2400m).
The Michael Moroney and Pam Gerard-trained colt is the winner of three of his seven starts and follows a well-worn path to Derby success as a last start winner of the Gr.2 Avondale Guineas (2100m).
On The Rocks comes from the family of one of the best New Zealand bred stayers in the modern era.
He is out of the Volksraad mare Cold Shoulder, a half-sister to the Gr.1 VRC Derby (2500m) and Gr.1 Melbourne Cup (3200m) winner Efficient and the Group Two winner and successful sire Guillotine.
Alamosa’s progeny earned $1.1 million in prizemoney in New Zealand last season and according to Wellfield Lodge Principal Bill Gleeson, he is on-track to usurp those figures this season.
“The past two years are the best he has had since he has been at stud,” Gleeson said.
“The facts speak for themselves. He is very level with Tavistock on earnings, runners and winners, there is not much between them, but he has had more stakes winners and stakes wins. He is not only providing winners all over the place but he is providing quality winners as well.
“Beefeater won the Gr.3 Taranaki Cup earlier in February and Alinko Prince and Aspen Lass are on track for the Auckland Cup next month.”
Gleeson was also responsible for breeding On The Rocks and the colt was snapped up by astute judge Paul Moroney at the 2016 NZB Select Yearling Sale for $40,000.
“I was not surprised at all by the win in the Avondale Guineas,” Gleeson said. “He was luckless in the Karaka Million Classic.
“He is such a good actioned horse and I am in agreement with his trainers that he will be a lot happier on firm tracks.
“As a yearling he was very athletic but not robust, with a lot of quality about him.
“In some people’s eyes there was a question mark about whether he was big enough, but there was always something about him that I liked. He had a great attitude and coped with his prep well. He has a massive stride for a smaller horse. I liked the way he did everything and I didn’t hesitate to show him to a lot of trainers.
“Wellington based breeder Graham Hunt and I owned the mare and raced her. When Graham decided to downsize a couple of years ago I took over breeding from her by myself. Since then I have transferred her back to Graham and she is now in-foal to Reliable Man.
“She has a two-year-old full brother to On The Rocks in the paddock and a yearling filly by Tavistock, which we will most likely race.” - Michelle Saba, NZ Thoroughbred Breeders Association