Rich Hill Stud principal John Thompson was a happy man as he reflected on a wonderful week for his resident stallion Shocking while sipping on his Sunday morning coffee.
A brace of Australian victories on Saturday capped off a seven-day stretch that saw the dual Group One winning son of Street Cry produce eight individual winners throughout Australia, New Zealand and Macau.
Amongst those successes was impressive Rosehill winner Shock Alert for former kiwi trainer Bjorn Baker while promising three-year-old Zelenski added a black-type placing to his record at just his fourth start when finishing third behind Catalyst in the Gr.3 Cambridge Stud Northland Breeders’ Stakes (1200m) at Ruakaka.
Thompson is delighted with the success for Shocking who he believes has become one of the forgotten sires in the local market despite fashioning an impressive record since he commenced duties at Rich Hill eight years ago.
“It is great to see him (Shocking) doing the business as he has always been a consistent producer of horses that win races,” Thompson said.
“In his first crop there were four individual stakes winners including Fanatic who won the New Zealand Oaks (Gr.1, 2400m), Chocante who won the Brisbane Cup (Gr.2, 2400m) and The Hassler who won the Championship Stakes (Gr.2, 2200m) at Ellerslie.
“He has had a steady stream of black-type winners since then along with a number of horses who have gone on to win multiple races across a variety of distances.
“The number of mares he has been getting has dropped away as it tends to do with a number of stallions but with the backing of a good syndicate of owners behind him, he has still managed to maintain a steady stream of winners.
“At a fee of $8,500 this season I think his record shows he is tremendous value as a proven producer that the market may have forgotten a little.”
As the spring racing scene in Melbourne hots up Thompson is also excited about the feature race prospects for Gr.2 Adelaide Cup (3200m) winner Surprise Baby who is on track for a tilt at the big one, the Gr.1 Lexus Melbourne Cup (3200m).
“His (Surprise Baby) win in the Adelaide Cup was a hell of a thrill and he looks to have come back even better for this campaign,” Thompson said.
“He put in an enormous run for fourth first up at Moonee Valley, where he came from near last to finish just in behind them.
“I understand he is heading to the Bart Cummings (Gr.3, 2500m) where a win would qualify him for the Melbourne Cup.
“If he could perform well in the race that his sire won then that would be a pretty memorable day for everyone.”
Thompson is also paying particular attention to Shocking’s other weekend winner in Vegas Jewel who was successful on debut at Echuca after being sold through the Stud draft for $130,000 at the 2018 National Yearling Sale.
“I’ve kept an eye on the filly after we sold her at Karaka last year,” he said.
“She is trained by Mark Kavanagh and is out of Vegas Magic who is a half-sister to Vegas Showgirl, the dam of Winx.
“She was a cracking foal and from all reports did it pretty easily on Saturday.
“You never know how they will go on but the Street Cry connection through Shocking and Winx is very interesting for us.”
With Shocking still having spaces available in his bookings for the current breeding season Thompson is hopeful that the latest run of success will translate to greater interest from local breeders who haven’t yet settled on their 2019 matings.
“We would like to see more mares being sent to him and there is space available,” he said.
“He is getting the results to back up our confidence in him so hopefully that can boost his numbers further this season.” – NZ Racing Desk