Wentwood Grange are on a winning roll and are hoping that momentum continues this weekend in Queensland.
Last Saturday the Cambridge farm enjoyed a winning double at Randwick courtesy of Lifesaver (Helmet – Storm Fronts) and Kolding (Ocean Park – Magic Star).
“We weren’t expecting that result,” Wentwood Grange’s Sean Hawkins said.
“Lifesaver goes alright fresh and he has been thereabouts but it was a massive surprise. Then Kolding really showed a good turn of foot at the end. It was awesome.”
Lifesaver, who was bred under the Wentwood Grange breeding banner of the Llanhennock Trust, was fresh up and recorded his fourth career win when successful in the TAB Highway Handicap (1000m).
The Matthew Dunn-trained five-year-old is the fourth foal from unraced mare Storm Fronts who is currently in foal to Cambridge Stud’s Almanzor.
Lifesaver is a half-brother to dual South African Group Three winner Readytogorightnow (More Than Ready). The family’s international success was a driving factor in the Hawkins family’s decision to take him to Melbourne as a yearling.
“We went over there for a South African buyer’s bench due to Readytogorightnow being a stakes winner over there,” Waikato Thoroughbred Breeders’ Association committee member Hawkins said.
“We went over to target that but he ended up being sold to Matty Dunn through bloodstock agent Neil Jenkinson.”
The Sydney double was completed by the Chris Waller-trained Kolding who was bred by Warren Pegg and consigned by Wentwood Grange at the 2017 New Zealand Bloodstock National Yearling sale where he took the eye of astute bloodstock agent Guy Mulcaster who secured him for $170,000.
Kolding has won his last three starts and is out of Magic Star who has produced seven foals to race for seven winners, including the Group Two winner Sampson (Dubai Destination) and Listed winner Miss Upstart (Snippetson).
Magic Star died during foaling last year though Pegg has retained her daughter Unique Magic (Denman) with an eye to breeding from the six-time winner when she finishes racing.
The victory of Kolding continued the exceptional form of his Waikato Stud sire Ocean Park, who was also the sire of Wentwood Grange-bred Savigne (Ocean Park – Hy Fuji) who won at Canterbury on May 22.
Also trained by Waller, Savigne will step up to Group One level in Saturday’s Queensland Oaks (2200m) where she has drawn wide in barrier 18.
“It is unbelievable, especially since she has really gone the hard way to get there,” Hawkins said.
“They always had the Queensland Oaks in the back of their mind and Guy Mulcaster had said they were going to give her every opportunity to get there, which they did, but she kept running second.”
“If you look at her record she is a very consistent, honest filly so it is great for them to have a crack and to have a plan come to fruition for them.”
Savigne is bred to be a Group One filly being a half-sister to Gr.1 Doncaster Mile (1600m) winner Kermadec (Teofilo) who now stands at Darley in New South Wales.
Like Kermadec, Savigne was bred by Wentwood Grange and was sold by the Hawkins family’s operation at the 2017 New Zealand Bloodstock Premier Yearling Sale for $200,000 to the bid of Guy Mulcaster.
Their dam Hy Fuji may be getting on in years but Hawkins said she is not feeling her age.
“She is 19 and empty at the moment but will go to stud this year.
“She looks amazing, she is as fit as a flea, fat as butter and kicking and bucking around the paddock.
“She has a Teolfilo colt, a full to Kermadec, that we will be taking to the sales next year.”
One sure to be interested in that colt is Neville Morgan who is developing an incredible strike-rate with Wentwood Grange.
The Australian-based racing enthusiast co-owns Savigne, raced Kermadec and owns Kolding outright.
“That is a great relationship we have there and long may it continue,” Hawkins said. - NZTBA