Awapuni is certainly proving to be a happy hunting ground for Waikato NZTBA member Joan Egan after two recent black type successes.
Egan bred and races Concert Hall (Savabeel[AUS]-Classic Legacy) the winner of the Gr.3 Manawatu Cup last month and Beauden (Bullbars[AUS]- Belle Femme) who won the Listed Marton Cup both on that track.
“Awapuni is definitely Beauden’s favourite track, he has raced there eight times for six wins and two placings,” recalled Egan, “and Concert Hall’s win well that was great and it’s really lovely to see her back to her best, she definitely likes the cut out of the ground.”
Trained by Team Rogerson, Beauden scored his latest win and his third for the season on the back of a third placing in the Gr.1 Zabeel Classic on Boxing Day. Prior to that he had won a 2000 metre Open Handicap at Awapuni after knuckling over at the start.
He is a son of one of Egan’s foundation mares Belle Femme(AUS) who was herself the winner of eight races including the Gr.2 Rich Hill Mile, and the Listed Wairarapa Breeders Stakes. Egan bred and raced the mare with her good friend the late Marilyn Kent after the pair had combined resources to buy to a mare called Cast Your Fate (Bletchingly[AUS]-Shannon Belle) out of the Sydney sales. She was in foal to Flying Spur(AUS) and that foal was Flying Babe(AUS), and the next foal was Belle Femme (Zeditave[AUS]).
Flying Babe(AUS) was the Champion 2YO filly of her year, winning the Gr.2 Matamata Breeders Stakes, and the Gr.3 Eclipse Stakes, and the Listed Great Northern Foal Stakes, at three she went on to win the Gr.3 Hawkes Bay Gold Trail Stakes and has gone on to be a stakes producer.
“Marilyn and I used to take turns at breeding Belle Femme(AUS) but when Marilyn died, and her boys decided they didn’t want to breed any more foals she came back to me. I looked at her and I said to myself I think I will try something out of left field now. I chose Bullbars(AUS) he was just down the road at Highview Stud. I liked his pedigree he is well related; he just didn’t have performance on his side.
“When he was foaled, he was a chestnut and I thought where did this chestnut come from? Belle Femme’s sire Zeditave(AUS) was a chestnut and Helmet who is closely related to Bullbars(AUS) was a chestnut and a crack sprinter winning at group one level three times, so I thought that was a good thing.
“I was still selling yearlings at that stage and Brent(Taylor) and I were discussing their placement, and he said he would be in a lesser sale, and I thought I like this colt and I am not prepared to give him away.
“I think having Flying Babe in the pedigree didn’t do Belle Femme’s progeny any favours. Although they all sold well and I made money, everybody who bought one thought they should have been fast two-year-old sprinters and that just wasn’t the case.
“Mind you it did take until her eighth foal to produce a good one and that was really at the end of her breeding career. I was hoping for a filly. She was a good mare and raised them well and is now enjoying retirement at home.
Home is 145 acres at Rotokauri, west of Hamilton on the property she shares with her husband Peter. The mares and young horses enjoy a charmed life on this property where their every need is catered for by Egan who has loved horses all her life. Testament to that is the fact that Concert Hall’s grandmother Super Sound(Sound Reason[CAN]-Lyn’s Orchid) was put down in late 2018, aged 30, ten years after she had ceased breeding.
While Concert Hall’s dam Classic Legacy (Carnegie[IRE]-Super Sound) who is a spritely 18 year-old has just got in foal to Per Incanto(USA).
“I don’t like to send my mares away when they are in foal,” explained Joan, “and as I had left her empty after she foaled to Vadamos in 2018, I was able to do that. I can get to Trelawney Stud within an hour, so that’s about as far as I am prepared to travel them when they are in foal. They foal down at Trelawney and come home with their foals when they are weaned.
“Classic Legacy’s Vadamos(GER) filly is typical of the family, I am happy because that’s what she produces, but Brent is always disappointed when they arrive as foals.”
Needless to say, Classic Legacy has produced four foals with Concert Hall being the only one to race to date. She has now won six races, with the Gr.3 Manawatu Cup being her only win this season. She did however run second in the Listed Haunui Farm Karaka Classic at Counties earlier in the season.
Last season the Roger James and Robert Wellwood mare won four races including a hat trick in autumn which finished with success in the Gr.3 Wentwood Grange Cuddle Stakes. This is the same family that produced the South Australian Oaks winner Lee’s Bid and her VRC Derby-winning son Arena, as well as the prolific winner Ultra Sound and her New Zealand Oaks and 1000 Guineas-winning daughter Tartan Tights.
As well as Classic Legacy, Egan has three other mares in foal. Bunyah(IRE) (Distant View[USA]-Miss Mistletoes[IRE]) the dam of the group one winner Sword of Osman (by Savabeel[AUS]) is in foal to Preferment and has a full brother to Sword of Osman at foot.
Penny Bright(Pentire[GB]- Bright Beauty) is in foal to Vadamos (GER) and her daughter Acoya a four times winning Bullbars(AUS) mare is in foal to US Navy Flag
Lady Eiko (Stravinsky[USA] -Lady Teruko) a sister to the group two winner November Rain, is in foal to Tavistock. Egan is racing her first foal Reiko a filly by Reliable Man(GB) who won on debut out of Jamie Richard’s Te Akau Stable, where she also has Sword of Osman’s half-sister by Ocean Park who is yet to race.
Egan is happy with her racing team at the moment and loves to talk about them.
“Beauden gets treated like a king at Rogerson’s where he is trained and I also have Sandrine (Savabeel[AUS]-Klarissa) back in work there. She started back in work after her spell last winter but went lame after a day and it turned out she had a non-displaced fracture in her cannon bone, that is now fully healed. Debbie also has my Reliable Man(GB) three-year-old filly out of Penny Bright Andrina, who is grey like her father.
“Whereas the two-year-old filly out of Penny Bright, has thrown to the mother and is a chestnut and is in work with Roger James and Robert Wellwood. I really like her and have called her Splash of Red. As well they have Concert Hall and Lyn’s Orchid a Redwood filly from Solyn from the same family as Concert Hall.
“And I have just sent Concert Hall’s half-sister by Makfi(GB) to Stephen McKee, he is called Taking Chances. After all,” she quipped, “everything you do in the racing game is taking a chance.” - NZTBA Michelle Saba