Champions of the colonial bred, Waikato Stud have added another beautifully bred Southern Hemisphere stallion Banquo (AUS) (Written Tycoon[AUS]-Noondie[AUS]) to their ranks.
By Written Tycoon, out of the winning Flying Spur (AUS) mare Noondie, Banquo was the winner of two races and had five placings from 16 starts.
From the stable of Danny O’Brien, he started twice as a two-year-old, and at three ran second first-up in a maiden race at Sale. He followed that placing up with his maiden win and then a victory in the Listed VRC Springtime Handicap (1400m) before finishing fourth in the Gr.2 Sandown Guineas (1600m).
A spell followed and he resumed in January and ran third in an 1100m event at Flemington. At his next start he finished a very game second in the Gr.2 Autumn Stakes (1400m) behind Microphone, before running fifth in the Gr.1 Newmarket Handicap behind the top sprinters Bivouac, Loving Gaby, Gytrash and Zoutori.
As a four-year-old Banquo was unplaced at his first start in the Gr.3 The Heath Handicap, before running second in the Gr.2 Bobbie Lewis Quality at Flemington. In a further two starts in group company he finished seventh on both occasions before an extensive spell.
He returned in June and ran fifth in an open 1100m race and followed that up with a second in the Listed Furphy All Victoria Sprint Stars Final behind The Astrologist.
Early this season he raced in the Gr.3 Aurie’s Star Handicap where he finished fourth, after which the decision was made to retire him to stud.
Waikato Stud’s Mark Chittick has been a fan of Banquo right from the start.
“I actually loved him at the Gold Coast yearling sales when I first laid eyes on him,” he said.
“He was a bloody nice horse and he has a beautiful pedigree. He then went on to show he had a good turn of foot, which is what we look for in a stallion.
“When he won that Listed race as an early three-year-old, the hard track did a bit of damage to his knees and we didn’t see the best of him. He had to be well managed throughout his racing career. Even so he was all around them and pretty close up in those Group One races.
“He is by a champion Australian sire and a full brother to a Group One winning mare and we owned a chunk of him with a good group of owners. They all have the same beliefs as me, and they will support him heavily, so it was an easy decision to stand him at stud.”
That line up of owners includes some astute names in the thoroughbred industry; Bruce Perry, Lib Petagna, Garry Chittick, Sam Williams, James Chapman, Dame Lowell Goddard and the Carters of Jomara Bloodstock Limited.
Written Tycoon is undoubtedly one of Australasia’s leading sires. He is the first sire since Redoute’s Choice (AUS) and Danehill (USA) in the last 25 years to sire two colts to win the two richest Group One two-year-old features in Australia. Capitalist took out the 2016 Golden Slipper Stakes, while Written By claimed victory in the 2018 Blue Diamond Stakes.
He is the sire of 11 of Group One winners including the aforementioned Capitalist who is himself a leading first season sire, Written By, Tyzone, Music Magnate and Winning Rupert. He is also the sire of the leading three-year-olds Ole Kirk (Gr.1 Caulfield Guineas) and Odeum (Gr.1 1000 Guineas).
Banquo’s female family is also full of black type. His dam Noondie is also the dam of Booker, a full sister to Banquo, whose four wins include the Gr.1 MRC Oakleigh Plate, Gr.2 MRC 1000 Guineas Prelude and Gr.3 MRC Kevin Hayes Stakes.
Noondie is a half-sister to the Listed winner Tranquility and the stakes placed Impassioned, both of whom have gone on to produce winners. They are out of the Listed WATC Belmont Guineas winner Creatrix who in turn is a three-quarter sister to the dual Group One winning mare Umrum.
“We will always give a horse we have a belief in a good chance,” Chittick said.
“We are sending a few of our young Savabeel mares to him and he has already made a good start. He should suit most mares, his pedigree is all about speed and speed.
“He is a very strong, lovely horse who is a touch over 16 hands and is letting down into a lovely stallion.” -Michelle Saba, NZTBA