The new season is under way and the first stakes race the Gr. 3 Winter Cup has been run and won at Riccarton by Platinum Command (Red Giant[USA]-Wednesday Rocks), bred at Westbury Stud by Gerry Harvey.
“It’s a nice way to start the season with a black type winner,” said Westbury Stud’s General Manager Russell Warwick.
“You never know how the cards are going to fall each season and where the stakes winners will come from, but it’s a good start. I think from Wednesday (August 1) through to Saturday we had bred seven winners in New Zealand including Platinum Command.”
Harvey also bred Julius (Swiss Ace[AUS]-Oh So Royal[AUS]) the open sprint winner at Te Rapa on Saturday, and he is on track for a tilt at the Foxbridge Plate, and Trusty Lad (Reliable Man[GB]- Miss Juventus) who was an impressive winner at Doomben.
Platinum Command is a seven-year-old mare and she has now won 10 races from the stable of Lisa Latta in Awapuni. She has also been Group Three placed twice and been knocking on the door of a stakes win for some time.
“She deserved that win after being beaten by a nose in the same race two years ago, and she can now go on a be a very valuable broodmare,” added Warwick.
“When she went through the Festival Sale she was one of the last four or five lots and Lisa Latta kept delaying her flight plans to be there she was so determined to buy her, and she paid $40,000 for her. The same partnership Lincoln Farms and Neil McAllister also bought Platinum Rapper her half-sister by Makfi for $55,000 and she won a race in May beating the recent Listed Ryder Stakes winner Aternatin, so she obviously has ability too.
“Lincoln Farms have since sold their share in Platinum Command to Ashburn Lane Investments, as John Street isn’t really that interested in breeding horses these days.
“Palatial the grandam of Platinum Command only had the one foal which makes the pedigree look a bit light up top but the win by this mare will change that.”
Platinum Command was the first New Zealand bred foal from Wednesday Rocks an Encosta de Lago(AUS) mare out of Palatial(Danehill[USA]-Palatious) a Sydney city winner of three races. Her first foal by Testa Rossa(AUS) Lucky Happy won two races in Hong Kong.
Last summer Wednesday Rock’s yearling colt by Makfi(GB) sold to Bruce Perry Blooodstock for $100,000, and she is currently in foal to Tarzino and will visit Reliable Man(GB).
Palatial the grandam of Platinum Command is a sister to the Group One winning mare Danelagh, who has gone on to produce the former Hong Kong Horse of the Year Vengenance of Rain (by Zabeel), and his Group One winning sister Dizelle. She won the Australian Oaks, and then went on to produce the Gr. 1 VRC Oaks winner Pinot and the listed winner Dizlago. Another stakes winning daughter Bernacia produced the Group Two winner Old North.
The third dam Palatious(AUS) by Semipalatinsk(USA), won the Gr.2 Perth Cup and Gr.2 C.B.Cox Stakes as well as running second in the Gr.2 West Australian Oaks. She is a sister to the stakes winners Memphis Blues and Evasion and the stakes performers Bluetinsk and Russian Trader.
This is a great female family and Warwick and Harvey had no hesitation in sending the young mare to Red Giant(USA) when he was resident at Westbury Stud.
“Giants Causeway(USA) is a proven cross over Danehill(USA). That cross has produced lots of stakes winners, so we sorted out a few mares with Danehill(USA) in their first or second dam to go to Red Giant(USA). Red Striker (ex Megara) is out of an Encosta De Lago(AUS) mare out of a Danehill(USA) mare as well so it’s a cross that works. It was happening too often not to be a fluke.
Harvey has around 300 mares in New Zealand and 350 in Australia, and initially he was sending mares here to make sure that the Westbury stallions had the numbers.
“He has 292 mares here to go to stud this season, I know I have just sent off the third draft of the matings for them,” Warwick said.
“We start off with a list it goes backwards and forwards a bit, and then we chop and change a bit until we get the final list. Mares that Gerry owns from New Zealand families mainly come here, which makes sense, but the bulk of his commercial mares stay in Australia. More recently the likes of the Group One winning mares Lotteria, and Royal Descent have come over here to be served.
“It shows the confidence he has in the industry here, and it gives a young mare a good start. As well as our own stallions,” concluded Warwick, “Gerry has shares in Tavistock and Savabeel, so he needs to send quality mares to there.” - Michelle Saba