NZTBA Auckland branch member David Paykel has been embedded in the thoroughbred racing and breeding industry as long as he can remember.
Paykel is the son and nephew respectively of Fisher & Paykel whiteware manufacturing founders Maurice Paykel and Sir Woolf Fisher, who both celebrated great success with their bloodstock portfolios.
Paykel Senior bred and owned several top-class horses in partnership with his good friend Bob Morris of Cambridge, while Sir Woolf and Lady Fisher (nee Joyce Paykel) established the iconic Ra Ora Stud.
“My passion developed when I was farming at East Tamaki across from Ra Ora Stud,” David Paykel said. “My interest has always been on the fringes with my father being a keen racing man and having had a small property at Pakuranga in those days.
“I was greatly attracted to the industry and the love of horses.
“I have met some great people and developed some wonderful friendships over the years too. It has also taken me overseas, I was there when Woolf Fischer got the South Africans interested in buying our horses and that was particularly interesting.”
Like many involved with thoroughbreds, Paykel has had to cop the highs with the lows over the years and highlights Zarzuela (Zabeel x Serious Satire) as one of his standout horses.
Zarzuela is a product of his investment in 1999 when he outlaid $130,000 to secure her dam Serious Satire (Volksraad x Satirical) as a yearling out of Windsor Park’s New Zealand Bloodstock draft.
“One of my most memorable achievements was breeding Zarzuela,” Paykel said. “I purchased Star Satire a long time ago off Windsor Park Stud, she had won a Group One for me and a few other races.
“You couldn’t help but get very fond of Star Satire, she was such an individual in her own right. There was only one thing she wanted to do and that was beat the others.
“Zarzuela was totally endeared to us as well with her attitude and what she did for us.”
Gr.1 Otaki-Maori WFA Stakes winner Star Satire produced eight foals, all winners including Zarzuela whose four wins included the Gr.2 Great Northern Guineas, Gr.2 Championship Stakes and Gr.3 Waikato Guineas. She is also the dam of Satin Shoes (Flying Spur), a six-time winner who won the Gr.2 ATC Silver Slipper and a further three times at Listed level.
On retirement Zarzuela was added to Paykel’s broodmare band and went on to produce four winners including Group Three winner Serious Satire (More Than Ready) and Group Two performer Star Tsar (Fastnet Rock) who both raced in Paykel’s familiar canary and pink colours.
“I have some granddaughters and great-granddaughters of Star Satire still,” Paykel said. “Since I bought her I have retained some of the family and they have gone on and done well for us.”
Another family that has done well for Paykel stems from his purchase of Spinning World mare Pristine Kristine who was sourced from the United States by Paykel’s bloodstock adviser Michael Otto.
She went on to produce Gr.2 SAJC Queen of the South winner So Pristine (Zabeel), who in turn is the dam of So Wicked (Street Cry) who was recognised last week by the Australian Turf Club as the horse who won the most races at their tracks during the 2020/2021 racing season.
“I’d never heard of that award and apparently a number of racing commentators had never heard of it either,” Paykel said from his Takapuna home. “But there it was and I will take it. Five wins in the greater Sydney area is pretty impressive.”
So Wicked was born and raised at Trelawney Stud for Paykel and wife Angela, the Cambridge-based farm the residence of their bloodstock interests till Trelawney Stud’s recent scale back on numbers. Paykel’s horses are now closer to home and reside at Haunui Farm in Karaka.
“We were with Trelawney for a long time,” Paykel said. “I was getting a few mares around me and they were with David Benjamin but he was going to move on so I was looking for somewhere else and settled on Trelawney Stud. They’re now at Haunui Farm
“I’m down to one broodmare now which I am quite happy about at my stage of life.
“She’s an Iffraaj mare, Humoresque (x Les Miserables). She had one win and then had an unfortunate accident so we had to retire her. She has a Belardo colt and is due to foal down to him again. She will be going to Contributer this year.
“I have a couple of yearlings for the sales this year too.”
Paykel, in his 80s, has plenty to look forward to this season. So Wicked will be targeted at black-type races during her final preparation before being retired to stud, while a granddaughter of Star Satire in Finepoint (Pins) is nearing her raceday debut.
“She will be coming into Chris Waller’s stable any day now. She is a lovely filly and has shown quite a bit. She could be racing before Christmas all going well.
“So Wicked will be an 1800m or plus horse so any black-type around that distance will be greatly accepted.” -Amie Best, NZTBA