It takes a special two-year-old to win a group one race, especially one over 1600 metres, and Seabrook(Hinchinbrook[AUS]-Midnight Revels), the recent winner of the Gr.1 Moet and Chandon Champagne Stakes, appears to be just that.
Starting with a 1000 metre Listed race at Moonee Valley last October, this filly has only ever raced in black type company. She resumed racing in February, when she was promoted to third in the Gr.2 Blue Diamond Prelude after being knocked sideways in the straight.
A month later she travelled to Randwick and scored and impressive half length win in the Gr.2 Sweet Embrace Stakes over 1200 metres. A start in the Gr.1 Golden Slipper was next, and despite an unfavourable draw she ran well to finish fifth.
Luck was against her again in the Gr.1 Sires’ Produce Stakes when she completely bungled the start and afterwards never really settled into a rhythm to finish ninth. But two weeks later she atoned for that performance with an impressive late finishing run to win by half a length, with a further three-quarters of a length back to third.
Her breeder, Bay of Plenty farmer, Warwick Jeffries attributes a lot of her courage and ability as a two-year-old to her wonderful temperament. Something he says she has inherited from her mother Midnight Revels (Don Eduardo-Midnight Rock[AUS]).
“She has a beautiful temperament, if she didn’t have she would never have picked herself up after she got knocked sideways in the Blue Diamond Prelude,” said Jeffries a member of the Waikato Branch of the NZTBA.
“The other day in the Champagne Stakes, was just unbelievable, she is just out there and doing it and the whole family is as proud as punch of both her and her mother.
“Midnight Revels has a lovely temperament and she has also passed that on to the two Proisir (AUS) colts I have bred from her as well.”
Jeffries a sheep and beef farmer based about 15 kilometres from Tauranga, purchased Midnight Revels three years ago when she was in foal to Snitzel’s three-quarter blood-brother Hinchinbrook, specifically to send to the Rich Hill based stallion Proisir, whom he had purchased a share in.
He had been racing, and breeding horses for about 15 years at that stage, but decided to expand into buying a stallion share, and then investing further in a more suitable mare to send to that horse.
“I liked the fact she was by Don Eduardo and her female family was all Australian speed, and I liked the cross with the pedigree and physically with Proisir.”he said.
Jeffries must have been on the right track as the first Proisir(AUS) colt he bred from the mare returned him $100,000 at the Karaka Sales last summer, and previously he had sold Seabrook for A$85,000. Midnight Revels has a weanling colt by Proisir(AUS), but is not in foal. Her first two foals by Zizou(AUS) have both been placed in Australia.
Seabrook’s female family certainly does contain a fair bit of Australian speed to go with the class of Don Eduardo’s blue bloodlines. Midnight Revels did not race, but her three-quarter blood sister My Emotion won the Gr.2 Moonee Valley Fillies Classic, and the Gr.3 VRC Thoroughbred Breeders Stakes.
Their dam is Midnight Rock (Rory’s Jester[AUS]) who herself is a half-sister to the Gr.1 ATC Coolmore Classic winner Aloha, and six other winners. They are out of the two-year-old stakes winning Danehill(USA) mare Midnight Tennessee, who is a half-sister to the dual group one winner in Malaguerra (Magnus[AUS]), and eight other winners.
“I got involved, to give myself an interest off the farm and I like breeding animals, but I like to get it right,” he said.
“The rule is four mares on the farm, but recently I purchased Star Bright a Sebring(AUS) mare, at the Sydney sales, I did do a lot of homework before I bought her and she will also be well suited to Proisir.
“She is in foal to Sooboog(AUS) a son of Snitzel(AUS), and I have three other mares here, two in foal to Proisir (AUS) and one to Burgundy. The mares are kept on the farm here, but foal down in the capable hands of Casey and Michelle Dando at Bradbury Park.
“They do all my foaling, and yearling preparation work. There are some great people in racing, and the support from the people in the industry is great. With Seabrook out there doing it I have had lots of positive texts and phone calls and” he concluded, “that makes my whole family very proud.” - Michelle Saba