Okawa Stud, once one of the famous thoroughbred nurseries in Hawke’s Bay, is undergoing a revival with the property now standing the well-bred stallion Rock ‘N’ Pop.
The son of champion Australian sire Fastnet Rock took up residence at Okawa last month, having transferred from Waikato Stud where he has stood since 2013.
Tom Lowry, who is the third generation to take over Okawa Stud, said this week he was delighted to stand Rock ‘N’ Pop and hopes that it will give Hawke’s Bay thoroughbred breeders an option of mating their mares with a locally-based stallion that has extremely good bloodlines and is at a reasonable fee.
“We will be standing him at a fee of $2000 plus GST and if breeders want to send two mares, and they both get in foal, we will only charge $1000 plus GST for each one,” Lowry said. He added that there is no live foal guarantee.
Rock ‘N’ Pop is a Group 1 winning son of Fastnet Rock and out of the Group 1 winning Sir Tristram mare Popsy. He only had 11 starts as a racehorse, recording three wins, three seconds and a third.
He won the 2011 Group 1 New Zealand 2000 Guineas (1600m) at Riccarton as a 3-year-old and also took out the Listed Karaka Mile (1600m) at Ellerslie before finishing second to Silent Achiever in that season’s Group 1 New Zealand Derby (2400m). He was also placed third in the Group 1 International Stakes (2000m) at Te Rapa.
At stud Rock ‘N’ Pop has achieved good results from a limited number of horses to race.
Surely Sacred is his best performer, with his three wins including the Group 2 Auckland Guineas (1600m) and the Group 2 Avondale Guineas (2100m). He was also third in the Group 1 ATC Derby (2400m) and fourth in the Group 1 Rosehill Guineas (2000m) in Sydney before being transferred to Hong Kong.
Other winners from his progeny include The Lord Mayor, who won two races in New Zealand before going on to better things in Australia. Rainbow Thief and Breakdance have also been successful in Australia while Telecom Man has been a winner in Hong Kong and My Boss has won in Singapore.
Rock ‘N’ Pop was bred by Hawke’s Bay’s Sam Kelt who raced his dam Popsy. She was the winner of six races, including the Group 1 New Zealand Derby (2400m) at Ellerslie and Group 1 Grosvenor Championship Stakes (2000m) at Te Rapa, and finished second to Royal Tiara in the 1995 Auckland Cup (3200m).
Lowry bought a share in Rock ‘N’ Pop after the horse won the New Zealand 2000 Guineas so he was involved when the horse finished second in that season’s New Zealand Derby.
“He’s always been a nice horse and he will be the first locally-bred Group 1 winner to stand in Hawke’s Bay since Shannon back in the 1980s,” Lowry added. -NZ Racing Desk