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Spanish Whisper does her owner breeders proud

Spanish Whisper winner of the Group 2 J Swap Contractors Matamata Breeders Stakes

Spanish Whisper winner of the Group 2 J Swap Contractors Matamata Breeders Stakes

Winning races is not something new to South Auckland based father and son Elias and Daniel Nakhle, but breeding a stakes winner is.

The Nakhles along with Darren Brady, bred and raced the recent Gr.2 J Swap Contractors Matamata Breeders Stakes winner Spanish Whisper (Lope de Vega[IRE]-Cutting Remark[AUS]).

“She didn’t really have a right to be there,” said Daniel Nakhle after she put up a huge fight to win the prestigious fillies’ event, “she is not a two-year-old type.”

Spanish Whisper is trained by Peter and Dawn Williams at Byerley Park, of which the Nakhles’ are proprietors. The original intention of the trainers was to just educate the filly as a two-year-old and give her a trial which she duly won.

“Two days after the trial Peter said we will give her one race, which she won, at Ellerslie over Christmas, and after that he said we will give her one race again, where she ran second to Avantage,” he recalled.

“After that he said she looked too well to put in the paddock, so we kept going to the Breeders Stakes. There is no better trainers that Peter and Dawn to get her fit and keep her that way.”

Spanish Whisper may carry the Nakhle brand and is the first stakes winner they have bred but Daniel is the first to admit that they can’t really claim the kudos for her breeding.

“On the advice of Russell Warwick who is my go to pedigree advisor, and with the help of Danny Rolston bidding over the phone, I bought Cutting Remark) at the Patinack Farm dispersal sale at the Gold Coast.

“She had a lovely pedigree, she is from the same family as Rock Of Gibraltar(IRE), she had been an expensive yearling and was already in foal to Lope de Vega(IRE), who stood at Patinack Farm initially.”

Cutting Remark had already produced four foals, and subsequently the only other two to race Last Try Wins (by Casino Prince [AUS]) and The Carbarita Kid (Onemorenomore[AUS]) have each won three races.

She is by Encosta de Lago(AUS) out of the Shirley Heights(GB) mare Push A Venture. Cutting Remark was unraced, but her sister Glowlamp was a winner and was stakes placed on nine occasions including group one placings in the AJC Champagne Stakes and MRC 1000 Guineas.

Their half-brother Offenbach by Danehill(USA) won eight races including the Gr.3 Hobart Cup, and his two sisters Isle of Gibraltar and Star of Gibraltar were both stakes placed winners. Star of Gibraltar has produced two stakes performers in Tukiyo and Santuzza. 

In fact Cutting Remark was the only foal from Push A Venture that did not race, the other nine were all winners. Push A Venture herself was placed, and she was a half-sister to three stakes performers including Offshore Boom the dam of the European Champion Racehorse and successful sire Rock Of Gibraltar.

Following Spanish Whisper Cutting Remark produced a Foxwedge(AUS) colt which the partnership has retained, before slipping a Makfi(GB) foal last year. She is now in foal to Super Easy, a mating selected to replicate the Danehill(USA) cross with the family that has produced so many stakes performers.

The Nakhles have around 20 mares, which are mainly kept at their Byerley Park property, with a number of the dry mares providing a picturesque back drop at Daniel’s Ardmore property. Included in this number is Irish Colleen(Shinko King[Ire]-Fayette) a stakes winning mare they raced who has produced the exciting young galloper Killarney (by O’Rielly), and the listed Levin Stakes winner Celeris (Fusaichi Pegasus[USA]-Cuphill[AUS]), who is also part-owned by Spanish Whisper’s third partner Darren Brady.

“I met Darren after we had got into a bidding dual on Celeris, he was the underbidder, and I thought that there was no fun racing the horse on our own so we invited him to take a share,” said Nakhle.

“He is in the real estate business in South Auckland and we have since done a lot of business together as well. He’s a great partner and was pretty excited when Spanish Whisper won the Breeders Stakes.”

Elias Nahkle immigrated to New Zealand from Lebanon in 1969, and started building houses in South Auckland. The builder on the next lot was Ricky Church who was known to dabble in the odd racehorse. Nahkle senior loved to have a flutter on the horses and Church offered him a share in a horse he had leased. It won its first start and the rest is history.

The building business turned into property development and eventually the family purchased a property in Hill Road in Manurewa with a bit of land, and naturally in the front paddock appeared a horse or two, which the Nakhle children would feed and pet. When twelve-year-old Daniel was asked what he would like for his thirteenth birthday, he told his father he would like a particular weanling in the front paddock.

“That was my first encounter with officialdom, when I discovered that NZTR wouldn’t let me have ownership until I was 18,”according to Nahkle.

“However like Dad I was hooked, and together we share a love of horses and enjoy having a punt.”

Over the years their peacock blue colours with sky blue chevrons armbands and cap have been seen on a lot of horses, including Ego (E Dubai[USA]-Buckling[AUS]) the winner of six races including the Gr.2 Concorde Handicap, who stands for free at Haunui Farm.

Their shared passion also led to the development of Byerley Park training centre in Karaka, which encompasses a 1600m training track with two lead in tracks of 200m and 900m respectively totalling almost 2400m.

The track has three surfaces, a grass, sand and a plough with the option of a straight 800m rising gallop and has a separate warm-up track, arena, lunging rings, tie-ups, wash bays and viewing box.

“After Takanini closed down in the mid 2000’s it was a dream we shared with the Clotworthy family to have a small training centre close to home in South Auckland,” explained Nakhle.

“There are around 150 horses in work there at the moment, with about 20 trainers from the bigger stables like the Williams’s and the Wallace’s through to owner trainers with one horse.

“Kerry Verner is now our crossing keeper and he keeps everyone on their toes and entertained for that matter, there is a good bunch of guys down there and it’s going well, and producing top racehorses.”

There is no doubt that Spanish Whisper fits into that category, and if she isn’t seen out again this season more can be expected of her as a three-year-old.

Winning races is not something new to South Auckland based father and son Elias and Daniel Nakhle, but breeding a stakes winner is.

The Nakhles along with Darren Brady, bred and raced the recent Gr.2 J Swap Contractors Matamata Breeders Stakes winner Spanish Whisper (Lope de Vega[IRE]-Cutting Remark[AUS]).

“She didn’t really have a right to be there,” said Daniel Nakhle after she put up a huge fight to win the prestigious fillies’ event, “she is not a two-year-old type.”

Spanish Whisper is trained by Peter and Dawn Williams at Byerley Park, of which the Nakhles’ are proprietors. The original intention of the trainers was to just educate the filly as a two-year-old and give her a trial which she duly won.

“Two days after the trial Peter said we will give her one race, which she won, at Ellerslie over Christmas, and after that he said we will give her one race again, where she ran second to Avantage,” he recalled.

“After that he said she looked too well to put in the paddock, so we kept going to the Breeders Stakes. There is no better trainers that Peter and Dawn to get her fit and keep her that way.”

Spanish Whisper may carry the Nakhle brand and is the first stakes winner they have bred but Daniel is the first to admit that they can’t really claim the kudos for her breeding.

“On the advice of Russell Warwick who is my go to pedigree advisor, and with the help of Danny Rolston bidding over the phone, I bought Cutting Remark) at the Patinack Farm dispersal sale at the Gold Coast.

“She had a lovely pedigree, she is from the same family as Rock Of Gibraltar(IRE), she had been an expensive yearling and was already in foal to Lope de Vega(IRE), who stood at Patinack Farm initially.”

Cutting Remark had already produced four foals, and subsequently the only other two to race Last Try Wins (by Casino Prince [AUS]) and The Carbarita Kid (Onemorenomore[AUS]) have each won three races.

She is by Encosta de Lago(AUS) out of the Shirley Heights(GB) mare Push A Venture. Cutting Remark was unraced, but her sister Glowlamp was a winner and was stakes placed on nine occasions including group one placings in the AJC Champagne Stakes and MRC 1000 Guineas.

Their half-brother Offenbach by Danehill(USA) won eight races including the Gr.3 Hobart Cup, and his two sisters Isle of Gibraltar and Star of Gibraltar were both stakes placed winners. Star of Gibraltar has produced two stakes performers in Tukiyo and Santuzza. 

In fact Cutting Remark was the only foal from Push A Venture that did not race, the other nine were all winners. Push A Venture herself was placed, and she was a half-sister to three stakes performers including Offshore Boom the dam of the European Champion Racehorse and successful sire Rock Of Gibraltar.

Following Spanish Whisper Cutting Remark produced a Foxwedge(AUS) colt which the partnership has retained, before slipping a Makfi(GB) foal last year. She is now in foal to Super Easy, a mating selected to replicate the Danehill(USA) cross with the family that has produced so many stakes performers.

The Nakhles have around 20 mares, which are mainly kept at their Byerley Park property, with a number of the dry mares providing a picturesque back drop at Daniel’s Ardmore property. Included in this number is Irish Colleen(Shinko King[Ire]-Fayette) a stakes winning mare they raced who has produced the exciting young galloper Killarney (by O’Rielly), and the listed Levin Stakes winner Celeris (Fusaichi Pegasus[USA]-Cuphill[AUS]), who is also part-owned by Spanish Whisper’s third partner Darren Brady.

“I met Darren after we had got into a bidding dual on Celeris, he was the underbidder, and I thought that there was no fun racing the horse on our own so we invited him to take a share,” said Nakhle.

“He is in the real estate business in South Auckland and we have since done a lot of business together as well. He’s a great partner and was pretty excited when Spanish Whisper won the Breeders Stakes.”

Elias Nahkle immigrated to New Zealand from Lebanon in 1969, and started building houses in South Auckland. The builder on the next lot was Ricky Church who was known to dabble in the odd racehorse. Nahkle senior loved to have a flutter on the horses and Church offered him a share in a horse he had leased. It won its first start and the rest is history.

The building business turned into property development and eventually the family purchased a property in Hill Road in Manurewa with a bit of land, and naturally in the front paddock appeared a horse or two, which the Nakhle children would feed and pet. When twelve-year-old Daniel was asked what he would like for his thirteenth birthday, he told his father he would like a particular weanling in the front paddock.

“That was my first encounter with officialdom, when I discovered that NZTR wouldn’t let me have ownership until I was 18,”according to Nahkle.

“However like Dad I was hooked, and together we share a love of horses and enjoy having a punt.”

Over the years their peacock blue colours with sky blue chevrons armbands and cap have been seen on a lot of horses, including Ego (E Dubai[USA]-Buckling[AUS]) the winner of six races including the Gr.2 Concorde Handicap, who stands for free at Haunui Farm.

Their shared passion also led to the development of Byerley Park training centre in Karaka, which encompasses a 1600m training track with two lead in tracks of 200m and 900m respectively totalling almost 2400m.

The track has three surfaces, a grass, sand and a plough with the option of a straight 800m rising gallop and has a separate warm-up track, arena, lunging rings, tie-ups, wash bays and viewing box.

“After Takanini closed down in the mid 2000’s it was a dream we shared with the Clotworthy family to have a small training centre close to home in South Auckland,” explained Nakhle.

“There are around 150 horses in work there at the moment, with about 20 trainers from the bigger stables like the Williams’s and the Wallace’s through to owner trainers with one horse.

“Kerry Verner is now our crossing keeper and he keeps everyone on their toes and entertained for that matter, there is a good bunch of guys down there and it’s going well, and producing top racehorses.”

There is no doubt that Spanish Whisper fits into that category, and if she isn’t seen out again this season more can be expected of her as a three-year-old. – Michelle Saba



 

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