Clyde and Pat Buckingham know what it feels like to breed a Group Winner.
Operating under their Emblem Ltd banner they have bred the likes of three time Group One winner Sangster (Savabeel x Quinta Special), Group Two winner Lasarla (Rip Van Winkle x Imco Main), Group Three winner Adorabeel (Savabeel x Plaza Doree) and were also part of the partnership that bred Group One winner Kaaptan (Kaapstad x Fanny Black).
The Karaka-based couple, who are members of the Auckland branch of the New Zealand Thoroughbred Breeders’ Association, can now add Gr.2 Auckland Thoroughbred Breeders’ Stakes (1400m) winner Yearn (Savabeel x Princess Uno) to the list.
It was the first black type victory for the six-year-old mare that the pair essentially gifted as a yearling to owners Cath and Mark Lupton.
“The mares we accumulated were getting a bit old and were only having fillies year after year,” Clyde Buckingham said. “We had excessive numbers and we wanted to race the boys but we were infiltrated with fillies.
“All of a sudden we had these three fillies so I said to Mark why didn’t he get a bit of work into them and see if he could quit them for us.
“He managed to lease the other two and said he wanted to lease Yearn.”
The lease stated 10 percent of any winnings went to the Buckinghams and included a $30,000 right of purchase clause which was exercised earlier this year.
“It is a great thrill to see the Luptons get the prize, good on them,” Buckingham said.
Yearn’s record currently stands at seven wins and thirteen placings, three at black-type level, and over $270,000 in prizemoney. She is the sixth foal from Danehill mare Princess Uno who Buckingham purchased at the New Zealand Bloodstock May Sale in 2013 when carrying Yearn in utero.
“I thought she was a nice type and she was a Danehill,” Buckingham said. “I thought I would buy her and hopefully we would get a colt.
“After a few beers I put my hand up at $25,000 and I think Graeme Rogerson was a bit disappointed because it was a bit of a steal.”
A winner at two, Princess Uno is a daughter of Private Account mare Numero Privee and from the family of multiple Group winners Quixotic Lady and Confide.
The Buckingham’s bred a further three foals from Princess Uno before gifting her to Mapperley Stud. They had established a firm friendship with the Matamata farm through Kit Davison who Buckingham credits with getting him involved in racing.
“I had always been going to the races and betting on them but never thought of owning one,” Buckingham said. “Kit got a group of us together, mainly from Tauranga in the kiwifruit industry, and we all put some money in a bought a horse.
“We called her Fanny Black and she won a few. That started it off and got my interest going.”
Buckingham, who is now in his 80s, bought his first broodmare after a chance meeting in Cambridge.
“I got invited to a lunch at Windsor Park and I was fortunate enough to sit alongside Joss Collins who used to work for the British Bloodstock Agency for about 38 years,” Buckingham explained.
“I said to him that I would like to get a European mare and in the off season negotiate with one of the top sires over there and see if we can get a half-price service fee.”
That plan didn’t quite come off but the Buckingham’s did go on to import around nine mares from Europe including Quinta Special (Spectrum), the dam of Gr.1 VRC Derby (2500m) winner Sangster.
The Buckingham’s now have five broodmares which they claim are their best bred yet. The mares foal-down at Windsor Park Stud and the mares return to their Karaka property after weaning.
“We have no staff here,” Buckingham said. “We just go out and ooh and aah, give them a pat, look important and then come back inside.”
Buckingham’s pick of his 2019 crop is a colt by Cambridge Stud’s shuttle stallion Almanzor.
“We bought a share in Savabeel when he first came out but we sold that at a handsome price and we have since bought a share in Almanzor,” Buckingham said.
“We have a colt out of Appiel and he is one of the nicest animals I have ever seen.”
“I like the Volksraads and Green Deserts and in recent times I have been impressed with Iffraaj.
“I have been matching up Green Desert with Iffraaj.”
Buckingham claims there is no secret to their successful record of breeding Group winners.
“A bit of luck helps,” he said.
“I get a bit of advice from the kitchen. It gets due consideration.” -Amie Best, NZTBA