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Underrated Zed making name the hard way

Grangewilliam stallion Zed. - Photo: Supplied
Grangewilliam stallion Zed.

Photo: Supplied

Zed may be one of New Zealand’s most solidly proven stallions, but there’s still plenty of room for broodmare owners that want their mares to visit him.

Grangewilliam Stud’s son of Zabeel has had another very good season domestically, finishing in the top 10 of the sires’ list for the third successive year, while across the Tasman he finished 28th on the General Sires’ list. 

Zed’s headline act for the last few seasons is his brilliant daughter Verry Elleegant, who has a strong chance of being named Australian Horse of the Year after winning five of her nine starts, all at Group One level. 

These included the Winx Stakes (1400m), Turnbull Stakes (2000m), Caulfield Cup (2400m), Chipping Norton and the Gr.1 Ranvet Stakes (2000m).

The Chris Waller-trained mare is out to make it back-to-back Winx Stakes when she contests the 1400m feature when resuming on Saturday at Randwick. 

But Zed is no one trick pony, with 14 individual stakes winners to his name, a slew of top end jumpers and a host of progressive stayers including Gr.3 Wellington Cup (3200m) winner Waisake and stakes performed five-year-old Beaudz Well.

Verry Elleegant will resume in the Gr.1 Winx Stakes (1400m) at Randwick on Saturday.  - Photo: bradleyphotos.co.au
Verry Elleegant will resume in the Gr.1 Winx Stakes (1400m) at Randwick on Saturday.

Photo: bradleyphotos.co.au

It is fair to say the stallion has done it the hard way and has endured the peaks and troughs associated with staying sires. 

As a winner of one race from four starts before injury curtailed his career, the son of Zabeel and Emerald Dream gained his start at stud based on pedigree, type and potential, as opposed to a race record littered with Group One wins. 

The success of his first two crops, which included Survived, Jimmy Mac, Ambitious Champion, Usainity, and Anniestar, saw his book leap to 168 in 2013 but since then he hasn’t seen more than 81 mares and his past two books were fewer than 65.

Part of the issue of commerciality for Zed is that his horses almost always need time and often distance.

Mark Corcoran of Grangewilliam Stud said Zed looked likely to serve about 70 mares this season.

“There’s probably really not going to be the demand for more, despite how well he’s going. It’s a funny game,” Corcoran said.

“He’s really done it the hard way, by himself. He keeps leaving good horses and there’s good ones popping up all the time. He’s not just a one-horse wonder by any means.”

Though his progeny often developed a little later than wanted for syndicators in search of quick return or for the Asian market which focusses on shorter-course racing, Corcoran said there were still opportunities to make good money from Zed’s progeny from the trials or raced market to Australia. 

“If they look like they’re going to make a stayer, particularly as a three-year-old, there’s a really good market to Australia,” he said.

Among the better mares set to visit Zed this season are Bellaroof, the dam of Tavi Mac, and Just Polite, the dam of Ladies First.

Grangewilliam has three other stallions on its books, all at the beginnings of their careers - The Bold One, Derryn, and Wyndspelle.

Derryn, whose progeny have just turned two, is potentially an opposite to Zed in that he might get quick horses that mature a little earlier. The Lindsay Park prepared juvenile winner who went on to win the Gr.2 Arrowfield 3-Year-Old Sprint (1200m) nd place in Group One company, his first crop sold up to $80,000 at Karaka in January.

 “I’m getting some fantastic feedback about them and I’m really looking forward to them getting to the trials. I think we might see some late two-year-olds and early three-year-olds by him,” Corcoran said.

Group One winner Wyndspelle, by top sire Iffraaj out of a High Chaparral mare from the family of whose descendants include Brutal, Sir Alberton, and Te Akau Rose, had a smaller book of 46 mares in his first season last year, but Corcoran said he should see more in 2021 as there has been more time to promote him this year.

Grangewilliam’s other stallion is The Bold One. A four-time winner out of The Jewel, his crop numbers have fallen since he began at stud in 2016 but he’s has had four winners from 15 runners to date, the oldest of which have just turned four.

“Numbers is the tough thing for him, but his strike rate is going really well and he’s also had a number of trial winners in the past few months that have been traded,” Corcoran said. – NZ Racing Desk



 

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