Clearview Park Stud in Timaru have announced they have secured Group One winner Jon Snow ahead of the forthcoming breeding season where he will stand for a fee of $6,000+GST.
Aaron Tapper and his partner Lacy Stewart are delighted to welcome the good-looking son of Iffraaj, named after the lead character in the hit-series Game Of Thrones, to Clearview Park Stud.
“We’re just so excited to have the King in the North down here,” Tapper quipped.
“It’s a real coup for South Island breeders and owners to be able to access a horse of Jon Snow’s quality. We are standing him in association with the Zame family, who raced him, and we believe at $6,000+GST he is very reasonably priced in the marketplace.
“To have a young, Group One-winning stallion that is fresh off the track and in people’s minds, it will certainly help the breeders down here who will have a fantastic commercial option to breed to without the cost of sending mares to the North Island.”
Prepared by Cambridge trainers Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman, Jon Snow competed at the highest level on both sides of the Tasman, winning four of his 23 starts and was placed on a further eight occasions.
A winner over 1200m at two, Jon Snow capped an outstanding three-year-old season when winning both the Gr.2 Tulloch Stakes (2000m) and Gr.1 Australian Derby (2400m) in the space of seven days in Sydney.
The strapping entire had been stakes-placed on five occasions in the lead-up to that Australian raid, placing in the Gr.1 Levin Classic (1600m), Gr.1 New Zealand Derby (2400m), Gr.2 Hawke’s Bay Guineas (1400m), Gr.2 Great Northern Guineas (1600m) and Listed Karaka 3YO Mile (1600m).
At four, Jon Snow won the Gr.3 JRA Cup (2040m) at Moonee Valley before placing in the Gr.1 Caulfield Stakes (2000m).
After 10 months on the sidelines with a foot issue, he added a further Group One placing to his record in the Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) behind Grunt and signed off when placed behind Danzdanzdance in the Gr.1 Zabeel Classic (2000m) on Boxing Day.
“He raced at the highest level in Australia and was competitive with the best,” co-trainer Murray Baker said.
“He measured up to both Sydney and Melbourne Group One class, which is no mean feat.
“He was a winner at two and had plenty of speed and he was a genuine racehorse with a fantastic temperament. He was a pleasure to have in the stable.”
Training partner Andrew Forsman also spoke glowingly of the horse he purchased on behalf of the Zame family as a yearling.
“Obviously he is quite a big horse and physically imposing,” Forsman said.
“He was a good mover, everything about him appealed. We had Turn Me Loose (also by Iffraaj) at the time and there were a lot of similar qualities there. As a physical type he was hard to fault, just a good size and he did everything right.
“A lot of people don’t realise that he competed at weight-for-age against some of the best horses in Australasia,” Forsman said.
“He won an Australian Derby and was right up with the best of his generation. He was third in a Makybe Diva (Gr.1, 1600m) and at a mile at weight-for-age, at that time of the year, it doesn’t get much more competitive anywhere in the world and he was right there.”
One of nine Group One winners for high-class sire Iffraaj, Jon Snow is the first foal out of the two-time winning O’Reilly mare Orinda, a half-sister to multiple Group Three winner (Mr) Ubiquitous.
Bred by Richard Moore of Soliloquy Lodge, Jon Snow’s third dam is triple Group One winner and New Zealand Filly of the Year Solveig.
It is a family which has, through the years, provided Group One winners the likes of Culminate, Captivate, Gallic, Fiveandahalfstar and Eileen Dubh.
“He is free of Danehill blood and his first dam is by O’Reilly, his second dam is by Zabeel and his third dam was a champion,” Tapper said.
“We would hope to send around 15 mares of our own to Jon Snow and the Zame family will also be supporting him.
“Lacy part-owns Rideitlikeustoleit with local trainer Pat Collins, and she is a Group placed
half-sister to Gingernuts who will potentially visit Jon Snow, while we also have a close relation to Melody Belle that will go to him.”
Both Tapper and Stewart come from racing families. Aaron’s father Bruce trains in Timaru, while his grandfather was successful Matamata owner-trainer Hec Tapper.
Meanwhile Stewart assists her grandfather, Leonard Stewart, who also trains from Timaru. – NZ Racing Desk