Fairdale Stud’s Duncan Fell had every reason to be feeling proud on the eve of Karaka Million night, as he had two graduates in the Karaka Million 2YO and one in the Karaka Million 3YO, not bad from yearling drafts of six in 2018 and five in 2019.
However, the pride turned to jubilation when Cool Aza Beel (Savabeel[AUS]- Cool’ n ‘ Sassy(AUS), stormed away with the Karaka 2YO race.
“It’s important to get a win like that on the eve of the sales,” enthused Fell, “it’s our annual harvest.”
“It feels good, very exciting it’s very fulfilling to know that we have breed a horse that has got ability, and without things going wrong as they can do, it eventually all falls into place it’s very exciting.
“It was a log way up that straight, especially when the other two horses ranged up to go past him, but he just dug in and kicked on.
“He always looked like a ready-made two-year-old. He had great constitution and was an ultimate professional as a yearling, he took all that early education in his stride and that is what you need to be a good two-year-old.”
Cool Aza Beel was having only his fourth start when he took out the prestigious two-year-old event and gave Te Akau Stables their fourth Karaka 2YO Million in a row. That’s testament to the buying ability of David Ellis and the training ability of Jamie Richards.
He won on debut in the spring over 800 metres and was then put aside until November when he lined up in the Listed Fasttrack Insurance Bonus 2YO Stakes at Counties where he finished an unlucky fourth.
Eight days before the Karaka Million he won over 1200 metres at Tauranga in what looked like a training gallop and indeed turned out to be exactly that when he took out the Karaka Million by one and a half lengths.
Cool Aza Beel is the first foal of the Testa Rossa(AUS) mare Cool’ n’ Sassy(AUS), a winner of three races in Australia. She in turn is out of the Red Ransom(USA) mare Elle’s Decree, a half sister to the dual group one winner Malaguerra, and the listed winner Tennessee Midnight. More recently this family has produced the group one winner Seabrook and stakes winners Libertini and My Emotion.
Cool’ n’ Sassy went to Savabeel for her second mating but unfortunately that colt is a wobbler.
”You have to take the good with the bad,” added Fell philosophically,”but she has a cracking Iffraaj colt at foot, she wasn’t served this season and I daresay she will go back to Savabeel(AUS) next year.
“I bought the mare at the June sale in Melbourne, she was in late in the day. I was looking for a mare specifically to send to Savabeel(AUS). It was a good Australian pedigree that I liked, and she was by a good sire in Testa Rossa(AUS) who was having a little bit of a quiet patch. Luckily, I stayed around as she only went for $13000. I thought physically she suited Savabeel(AUS) and I liked the speed influence.
“He was a nice yearling and I was a little disappointed with the $150,000 on the day. But when I knew it was David Ellis bidding on him, I knew he would get every opportunity and you need that with a first foal. And it’s all fallen into place as the mare is now the dam of a Karaka Million winner.
“I had already passed a Savabeel(AUS) that day, so I had to sell one but ironically he was bought by David Ellis at the Ready To Run sale in November for $550,000, sometimes you have to wait. Actually, David also bought a Proisir(AUS) – Light Source, filly out of our draft last year so all three of my Book One yearlings ended up in Te Akau Stables.”
The other Fairdale offspring represented on Karaka Million night were Hasstobemaagic(Scissor Kick[AUS]-Shanina[AUS]), and Hasstobegood (Per Incanto[USA]-Don’t Dilly Dally) who finished third to Probabeel and Conqueror.
Fairdale Stud is one of New Zealand’s oldest family owned commercial studs. They have continuously sold horses at the national yearling sales since Fell’s grandfather Arthur Fell started selling in the 1950’s. In that time, they have produced numerous Australian Horses’ of the Year, a Melbourne Cup winner in Hyperno and a lot of good stayers in Australia and New Zealand.During the 1960’s they stood the Champion stallion Pakistan II(GB).
But now under the direction of a new generation they are now moving with the times and getting a bit of speed influence.
“We are out of stallions now, so we don’t need a big band of broodmares,” said Fell, “we now have an elite band of around 15 to 20 mares, and we will continue to upgrade them as we see fit.
“We only have our own yearlings to present and prepare and we have seen them since day one. It is really satisfying when you are a small farm. We only have six yearlings this year, five in Book One including a Savabeel(AUS) out of Saoirse and she is very popular, and one in Book Two.
“And we have something to really look forward to in Cool Aza Beel, he looks like a colt with a big future, could well get a group one and be a potential stallion.” - Michelle Saba