Graham and Helen-Gaye Bax added another Group winner to their honour board on Monday after Amazing Star (Darci Brahma x Bright Abyss) won the Gr.2 Sprint Cup (1200m) at Sha Tin.
Their home-bred gelding is the third foal out of Bright Abyss (Royal Academy x Reine des Neiges), a nine-time winner in America who earned more than US$355,000 in stakes.
“I bought Bright Abyss off the track out of America a few years ago now,” Graham Bax said. “She was a stakes-placed Royal Academy mare and I wanted to get some new bloodlines in my broodmare band.
“She could run and her pedigree was probably a bit off the top but she was related to a very good horse down the page and I thought I would give the American bloodline a bit of a try.”
Bax’s punt on Bright Abyss has been rewarded, if not in the sale ring then on the racetrack.
Amazing Star, who became Darci Brahma’s 53rd stakes winner on Monday, was knocked down to Sam Lennox for $30,000 at the New Zealand Bloodstock Yearling Sales. Lennox prepared him out of his Waverley base as a two-year-old when he won his only trial start before heading offshore.
Bright Abyss has also produced Cheerfuljet (Darci Brahma), a $30,000 yearling who went on to win four times in Hong Kong, as well as promising filly Devotioninmotion (Proisir) who was purchased by B.A.X Bloodstock Achieving Xcellence for $46,000 and has officially been placed in three of her five starts.
“She is a medium sized mare, quite strong and very athletic,” Bax said of Bright Abyss.
“I had a share in Darci Brahma and since she was a stakes placed mare that could run a bit so I thought I would give her a go with Darci.
“Unfortunately those two (Cheerfuljet and Amazing Star) didn’t sell too well but in the meantime she has had Devotioninmotion who is quite an athlete that has won two races but been disqualified both times. She is probably not too far away from starting again.
“Last year I sold her Turn Me Loose colt at the Classic Sale for $80,000 and she has a Harry Angel colt at foot which is very nice. He will go to a sale, I’m not sure which one, and physically he is probably one of the best colts on the farm.”
Bright Abyss hails from the family of Snow Chief (Reflected Glory x Miss Snowflake) who was Champion 3YO colt in the USA in 1986 and retired with a tally of 13 wins, including six at Group One level.
She is currently in foal to Street Boss and has returned to Blandford Lodge to foal down at the Matamata farm this year.
“She has bit going for her and she leaves runners which is what I was after,” Bax said.
“She will stay here now, she has done a stint in Australia so I usually give them a break as it is quite hard work for them travelling all the time.”
The Baxs have also been celebrating success in Australia over the past few weeks with both Le Gai Soleil (Tavistock x Night Danza) and Lost and Running (Per Incanto x Dreamlife) winning during the past fortnight.
Both in the stable of Randwick trainer John O’Shea, Le Gai Soleil is a mare they bred and retained a share in while the JML Bloodstock-bred Lost and Running was sold through Blandford Lodge’s 2018 Melbourne Premier Sale.
“Le Gai Soleil is a half to Danzdanzdance and it is a family that has just kept producing for me,” Bax said. “It is great family and I am pretty lucky to be in that.
“Polly Soleil was probably one of my first broodmares and that branch of the family has been very good to me.” - Amie Best, NZTBA