Mapperley Stud had plenty to celebrate on Wednesday after Llanacord (Contributer – L’Accord) scored a brave victory in the Gr.2 Little Avondale Stud Lowland Stakes (2100m) at Hastings.
Not only did Llanacord provide the Matamata farm’s resident stallion Contributer with his first Group winner, but the three-year-old filly was bred and sold by owner-operator Simms Davison and Judy Hewitt.
Davison met Hewitt in 2011 when Llanacord’s dam L’Accord (Golan - Distant Heights) was offered at the New Zealand Bloodstock May Sale in foal to Thorn Park.
“Judy was the underbidder on the mare when she went through the sales ring,” Davison said. “We started chatting and had similar views on what we wanted to do with the mare so we entered into a partnership.
“It's fantastic to share this great result with her, she is over the moon.”
L’Accord caught Davison’s eye being from a strong New Zealand family that tracks back to Gr.1 New Zealand One Thousand Guineas (1600m) winner Noble Heights (Sir Tristram – Gold Heights) and Gr.1 South Australian Derby (2500m) winner Mapperley Heights (Sir Tristram – Claudine).
“L’Accord had a lot going for her at the time,” Davison said. “She was a young and attractive mare from a good New Zealand family, a half-sister to the Group One 1000 Guineas winner Ad Alta and Posing.
“She was also in foal to Thorn Park who I really liked at the time, he was performing well as a sire and we ended up selling that foal for $130,000 to Michael Freedman.”
That foal was named Ninetysevenemperor and went on to win twice in Singapore.
L’Accord is fashioning quite the produce record, with her first four foals all winners, and looks to have several likely chances to add to that tally.
Her two-year-old is a Contributer filly and was sold to an Australian client last year while the yearling filly by Shamexpress has been purchased by Stephen Nickalls, trainer of Llanacord.
“The yearling filly was sold to Stephen Nickalls and he obviously had a big opinion of the filly (Llanacord),”Davison said.
L’Accord’s weanling is a Time Test colt who will head to the New Zealand Bloodstock Yearling Sales in 2022.
When making his mating decisions in 2016 Davison felt L’Accord was a good match for Contributer, both physically and on paper.
“She is a strong and powerful mare, so on type she suited Contributer,” Davison said. “He is a son of the legendary High Chaparral and her sire Golan had only featured in a pedigree with High Chaparral five or six times and it had already produced the dual Group One winner Sir Andrew.
“It's now two stakes winners from eight runners, so if you have a Golan Mare, Contributer is a great mating.”
As a young horse Llanacord did not immediately standout as a future Group race winner, though she made an impression on Kevin Hopson who outlaid $15,000 at the 2019 New Zealand Bloodstock yearling Sales to secure her.
“She was a big but slightly weak filly that needed a bit of time,” Davison recalled. “Her confirmation wasn’t the best.
“I'm thrilled for Kevin, he really liked the her from the start, he saw something in her and picked her up at a great price.
“Buying a horse is a personal thing, they don't need to tick every box as a yearling but you have to back your judgement on the ones you do like.”
Following her Group Two win Llanacord is now a $14 chance in the Gr.1 Al Basti Equiworld Dubai New Zealand Oaks (2400m) later this month and looks a live chance to give her sire a Group One performer.
“It’s extremely satisfying to see her performing so well,” Davison said. “She's come a long way in the last couple of months and she looks like she is going to enjoy getting out to the 2400m trip.
“Contributer has left some quality fillies in his first crop so it's very rewarding to see one right in the market for the Group One classic at Trentham.”
While Llanacord is flying the flag for Contributer in New Zealand, he has several promising three-year-old across the ditch who look to be Group winners in waiting.
“Lion's Roar has stood out from the beginning, Davison said. “He was Contributer’s first winner and it was very fitting John O'Shea (who trained Contributer) trained him.
“He's developed into a wonderful three-year-old and will be very competitive in the Randwick and Rosehill Guineas, and possibly press onto a Derby.
“Donatrice is another filly to watch out for, she is trained by Archie Alexander and is being aimed at the South Australian Oaks. She is a half-sister to the Group Two winner Mime, her last win was quite brilliant so we look forward to seeing her back at the races.”
A Group One update could come Contributer’s way sooner than later with Lion’s Roar set to line up in Saturday’s Gr.1 Randwick Guineas (1600m).
“We always knew being a son of High Chaparral, Contributer’s offspring would really come into their own as three-year-olds and he has been on roll recently with impressive winners in New Zealand and Australia.
“We hope the momentum continues into the weekend where he has Lion's Roar in the Randwick Guineas and a couple of fillies in the Gr.2 Sunline Vase.” -Amie Best, NZTBA