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2014 Broodmare of the Year and the 2014 Breeder of the Year nominations announced

The nominations for 2014 Broodmare of the Year and the 2014 Breeder of the Year were announced recently with the winners to be presented at the New Zealand Thoroughbred Awards in Hamilton on August 14.

After the phenomenal success of the New Zealand bred horses in Sydney over the autumn it is understandable that the dams of Dundeel - Stareel, Sacred Falls – Iguazu's Girl and Silent Achiever – Winning Spree, all group one winners in Sydney, have received nominations for the broodmare title, and their breeders Joanne and Murray Andersen, Garry Chittick and Kevin Hickman have been nominated for the breeder title.

Little Avondale Stud have also received a nomination based on the merits of the group one winning mares Viadana and Xanadu.

Last year's champion three-year-old Dundeel (by High Chaparral[IRE]) returned to the race track in the spring with a fourth placing in the Memsie Stakes, before winning the group one Underwood Stakes at Caulfield defeating the previously unbeaten Atlantic Jewel. He was put aside after an unplaced run in the WS Cox Plate and returned in the autumn with a second in the group two Chipping Norton Stakes behind Boban, followed by a third placing behind Silent Achiever and Carlton House.

In the pen-ultimate start in his career he finished second behind Silent Achiever in the group one BMW Stakes over 2400. A fortnight later and back to 2000 metres and he blitzed a quality field in the group one Queen Elizabeth by a comfortable three-quarters of a length.

Dundeel is the fifth foal of the Zabeel mare Stareel and her fifth winner. She has also left the stakes placed winner Twoeezy. Stareel is an unraced daughter of the champion sire Zabeel and the Champion Three-Year-Old of her year Staring who was bred and raced by the Hawkes Bay based Andersens as well. Not surprisingly Stareel who was a nominee for the broodmare of the Year Award last year, is currently in foal to High Chaparral (IRE).

Dundeel has now been retired to stand at Arrowfield Stud in New South Wales.

Through the three-year-old deeds of Sacred Falls Iguazu's Girl was also a nominee for the broodmare title last year, but lost out to Ocean Park's dam Sayyida. This year the O'Reilly colt destined to stand at Waikato Stud has achieved enough to warrant another nomination.

In the season under review Sacred Falls had five runs in the spring the best being a fourth in the group two Schweppes Crystal Mile. In the autumn he resumed with a fourth in the 1300 metre group one Canterbury Stakes, and backed that up with another fourth in the 1500 metre group one George Ryder Stakes. At his next start he was back to his best distance of 1600 metres in the group one Doncaster Handicap the race he had so brilliantly won as a three-year-old, and once again this year he owned it with a spectacular half length win over Royal Descent.

Sacred Falls completed his season with a second to Dundeel in the Queen Elizabeth. He is the third foal of the winning Redoute's Choice (AUS) mare Iguazu's Girl. She in turn is the first foal of the multiple group winner Iguazu who is by Carolingian (AUS) out of an unraced Centaine (AUS) daughter of Bourbon Lass, Clermont Lass. Bourbon Lass is the dam of the stakes winners Centie Lass (Centaine), Zamazaan Lass and Prince Bourbon, and is also the dam of Bourbon Lassie, the dam of Omnicorp, Crimson, Pharostan and Bourbon Boy.

In more recent times the family has produced Grand Dancer (No Excuse Needed [USA]) and Aspinal (Pins [AUS]).

Sacred Falls however is just one of the group one winners bred by Garry Chittick, Waikato Stud and their various partners in the season under review. Chittick is no stranger to this award having won it on five occasions and this year he is a strong contender having bred 19 stakes performers in Australia, New Zealand and Singapore.

The Savabeel (AUS) mare Costume from the O'Reilly mare Liffey and raced by him was his second group one winner this season winning the Herbie Dyke Stakes at Waikato in February. Hera (O'Reilly – Corsica) was a dual group two winner and Diademe (Savabeel – Bling) also won at group two level taking out the Cal Isuzu Stakes.

At group three level Whistling Dixie (Pins[AUS]-Zephyr Song) took out the Eulogy Stakes, and I Do (No Excuse Needed (USA)- Freequence) won the Manawatu Challenge Stakes, as well as the listed Rotorua Stakes and Tauranga Classic. In Australia Epingle (Pins [AUS]- Etoile du Nord) won the group three Launceston and Hobart Cups.

His listed winners include the Savabeel geldings Savour The Moment (ex Dancing Mistress) and Classique Ivory (ex Senorita Ivory).
In the late 1970's Chittick and his wife Mary established Thornton Park Stud in Masterton, and from there they relocated that stud to Palmerston North, before purchasing Waikato Stud in Matamata in 1993.

These days Waikato Stud comprises 1200 acres, stands seven stallions and is home to over 100 broodmares, and is run by Chittick's son Mark. Their evergreen stallion O'Reilly will for the second year in a row make a clean sweep of the three stallion awards the Dewar (Australia and New Zealand) the Grosvenor (New Zealand) and the Centaine (Rest of the World).

O'Reilly produced 15 individual stakes winners in the past season including three group one winners Sacred Falls, O'Marilyn and Silent Achiever who is the catalyst for Winning Spree gaining a nomination for broodmare of the year and her breeder Kevin Hickman being in the running for Breeder of the Year and Owner of the Year.

Silent Achiever raced solely in Melbourne in the spring without success, but she certainly made up for that in the autumn. She won fresh up in an open handicap 1500 metre event at Ellerslie in February, then returned to that track three weeks later to take out the first of her three group one victories the Lindauer New Zealand Stakes.

Sent to Sydney she dished out a galloping lesson to the best weight-for-age performers around including Her Majesty the Queen's Carlton House in the 2000 metre Ranvet Stakes at Rosehill. Two weeks later on the same track over 2400 metres she did the same again only this time with a commanding performance and an extended winning margin of nearly two lengths. Her last run for the season was in the group one 2000 metre Queen Elizabeth Stakes where she finished fourth behind Dundeel, Sacred Falls and Carlton House.

Silent Achiever is the sixth foal from Winning Spree, a Zabeel mare Hickman purchased from a Highview Stud dispersal sale for $10,000. She had left a couple of winners at that stage before Hickman sent her to No Excuse Needed and produced the stakes performer Anotherchancetaken, and the following year O'Reilly where she produced Silent Achiever.

She has an unnamed two-year-old by Sahkee's Secret(GB) and is in foal to Fastnet Rock (AUS). Winning Spree is out of the American bred mare Quietly Lucky (USA) by Fortunate Dancer(USA), and is one of about 40 beautifully bred mares owned by Kevin Hickman and his wife Joanne.
A relative new investor to the thoroughbred industry Hickman and his wife Joanne established Valachi Downs a boutique stud on the outskirts of Matamata about eight years ago. It started out as 50 acres, but as the Hickmans enthusiasm for the thoroughbred industry grew, along with the number of mares they had, they decided they needed to buy the adjoining dairy farm and the property now consists of 215 acres.

A bit of a pedigree aficionado he has shares in a number of stallions including Zabeel, No Excuse Needed(GB), Sahkee's Secret(GB), Lucky Unicorn(AUS), Tavistock, Zacinto(GB) and Showcasing(GB). He also sends around half a dozen mares to Australia to be mated each season.

This is Hickman's first nomination for Breeder of the Year and besides the achievements of Silent Achiever is supported with the group one winner Vespa (Elusive City[USA]- Miss Avalon[IRE]), who won the Diamond Stakes and the listed Karaka Million at Ellerslie, and the listed winners Emerald Queen (O'Reilly-Scarlet Queen[AUS]) and Merion (O'Reilly- Sapphire Belle).

Vespa is the second foal of Miss Avalon. Her first foal is a Zabeel (NZ) colt named Hazzabeel who is trial placed, her third foal is a filly by Mastercraftsman(IRE) and she has a stunning colt by Zacinto(GB) and is in foal to that stallion again.

Miss Avalon (Fantastic Light[USA]-Mythical Girl[USA]) was purchased by Hickman at the breeding sale in Newmarket in 2008. She was unplaced in France and unsound. Once in New Zealand she was tried again and won a trial before running fourth in a maiden, but unfortunately proved to be unsound again and was retired to stud.

Her mother the Gone West(USA) mare Mythical Girl(USA) won the Group Three Princess Margaret Stakes at Ascot, and she also left a two-year-old stakes winner in Toruk Macto. The third dam is Yousefia (Danzig [USA]) and she is a sister to Green Desert (USA) and a three-quarter sister to Bertolini (USA).

Naturally a fan of O'Reilly it is no surprise that Hickman's two listed winners are also by that sire. Emerald Queen raced by Hickman won the listed South Island Breeders Stakes at Riccarton a race he and Valachi Downs have sponsored for a number of years. Emerald Queen is out of the Fasliyev(USA) mare Scarlet Queen (AUS) and has now won five races.

Merion was sold at Karaka in 2013 for $200,000 and was purchased by Paul Moroney, he races out of Mike Moroney's Melbourne Stable and at his second start won his second race the listed Anzac Stakes. He is out of the stakes winning Danske mare Sapphire Belle, a descendant of South Island's famous Flight family.

Hickman also bred and races the listed Timaru Stakes place getter Paraketo.

The final nominee for breeder of the year is Wairarapa based Little Avondale Stud, the property owned now by Sam and Catriona Williams, after taking over from Sam's parents Buzz and Susie Williams in 2005.

Sam's grandparents Nancy and Alister Williams established the wonderful thoroughbred nursery Te Parae Stud nearby in Masterton.
In the season under review Little Avondale was represented by three stakes winners, the group one winning mares Viadana (Towkay [AUS]- Yeah Nah) and Xanadu (Elusive City(USA)-Forest Dream [AUS]) and the group two and three winner Savvy Nature (Savabeel[AUS]- General Nature).

After winning the group one Easter Handicap as a five-year-old Viadana came back last spring and won the listed 1200 metre Lion Red Sprint fresh up. In her next two outings she was second in the group three Stella Artois Stakes and the group one Captain Cook Stakes, before running fourth in the group one Zabeel Classic on Boxing Day.

Freshened after that run she lined up in group one 1400 metre NRM Waikato Sprint where she triumphed by a head over Sacred Star. In her next outing the group one 1600 metre Haunui Farm Classic at Otaki she ran fourth before winning the group two 1600 metre Japan NZ International Trophy at Tauranga.

Two weeks later she took out the group one 1600 metre Thoroughbred Breeders Stakes giving her breeders Little Avondale Stud the honour of breeding the winner of that race two years in a row as Xanadu had won it in 2013.

Viadana is by Little Avondale's resident sire Towkay, out of the Kinjite(AUS) mare Yeah Nah. Yeah Nah an unsociable mare at best, is a half-sister to the stakes winners Singing Star and Brave Ali both by Danasinga. When that sire relocated to Australia her owner Nicole Smyth sent Yeah Nah to Little Avondale to visit his half-brother Towkay on a foal share basis, with Little Avondale taking the first foal which turned out to be Viadana. Galleta her second foal has been placed, she has two-year-old gelding also by Towkay in Australia and has since produced a Per Incanto filly and is in foal to Nadeem.

Xanadu's group one victory came in the Windsor Park Plate at Hastings in the spring over 1600 metres. She then went to Melbourne for an unsuccessful campaign where it was discovered she had a minor wind infliction. Surgery followed and she didn't race again until she ran fourth in Viadana's NRM Waikato Sprint. In her next start she ran second to Nashville in the group one Haunui Farm Classic at Otaki.

Xanadu is the last foal of Forest Glow (USA) mare Forest Dream herself a winner, and the dam of five winners from seven foals the best being Xanadu. Forest Dream's mother was the group one West Australian Oaks winner India's Dream (Western Symphony [USA]).

Three-year-old Savvy Nature opened his winning account in spring with a win in the group three Newcastle Coca Cola Stakes before heading to Victoria for the Spring Carnival. There he ran second in the group three Gloaming Stakes, third in the group one Spring Champion Stakes, before winning the group two 2040 metre Mitchelson Wines Vase at Moonee Valley. He failed in the VRC Derby and in the autumn he ran third in the group two Hobartville Stakes fresh up and went on to run fourth in both the group one Rosehill Guineas and Australian Derby.

Savvy Nature is the third foal of the Carnegie(IRE) mare Generous Nature who was purchased by Sam from the Sangster dispersal sale in Sydney six years ago. Her first foal Hostwin Challenge (formerly Sir Ferrari), she has a Pins(AUS) two-year-old filly, a rising yearling by Nadeem(AUS) and is back in foal to Savabeel.

They may be an eclectic group of breeders from a major stud owner with a extensive broodmare band to a couple with a two mares from a family they have breed from for the last 30 years or so, but they epitomise breeders in New Zealand and due to the outstanding achievements on the race track of the progeny they have bred they are all worthy nominees for these titles.

- Michelle Saba


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