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First Stakes Winner for the New Generation "Chequers Stud"

Shenzhou Steeds (Ishiguru (USA)-Suncity) pictured above. (Picture by Trish Dunell)

The win by Shenzhou Steeds (Ishiguru (USA)-Suncity) in the listed Sunshine Coast Guineas recently represented the first stakes winner for Chequers Stud since it was purchased by Mark Fraser Campin and his brother Chris Campin. The three-year-old gelding joins a whole host of stakes winners that were produced at Chequers Stud when it was owned by the boys father Jim Campin and mother Ngaire Fraser; horses of the calibre of Vice Regal, Rosyn, Hades, Domino, Hero, Westminster, Tapildo and Phillipa Rush. "It's been an interesting two years since we bought the stud," said Mark Fraser-Campin. "At the time the stud was home to the elder statesman stallion Deputy Governor and the young and up and coming sire Ishiguru (USA). Shortly after, disaster struck when Ishiguru (USA) had to be put down in England after failing to recover from a leg injury. "When we purchased the stud we were quietly excited about the prospects of Ishiguru (USA) as he was the back bone of the stud. He had started to leave winners from his early crops when he was only getting around 50 mares, and in his last two seasons he was serving around 100 so we knew there was going to be some good horses coming through. He has developed into a good bread and butter stallion but unfortunately is no longer with us. Shenzhou Steeds is his sixth stakes winner. The dam of Shenzhou Steeds, Sun City (Spectacular Love – Stravaganza) was among the package of mares that came with Chequers Stud and she visited Ishiguru three times. The first mating produced Hot Shot a smart performer in Hong Kong where he has won five races and won over $HK4 million and has hardly ever been out of the money in the year he has been racing up there. The second mating produced Shenzou Steeds. "We always rated Shenzhou Steeds, he was the pick of our yearlings in 2009 a lovely colt, very athletic, but he failed to make his $50,000 reserve. Shortly after the sales he was bought by clients of Tony Pike and they raced him here until he was purchased by clients of Mike Moroney's stable. "Her next foal was a filly, a full sister to Shenzou Steeds and she is a rising two-year-old that we have retained to race. She has a lovely colt by Keeper for Karaka next summer and is one of the 70 or so mares safely in foal to our new stallion Battle Paint (USA) (Tale of the Cat – Black Speck). Mark's father Jim bred Sun City and was responsible for her early matings, and he was equally excited about another stakes winner for the Chequers Stud roll of honour. "I was coming home from the races at Ruakaka and listening on the radio, with about 200 metres to run we went into the tunnel and by the time we got out of it the race was over, it seemed like an age before we knew the result," he said. "I'm delighted for the boys and very pleased as I still have a half sister racing in Sun Valley (Van Nistelrooy), she has won a couple of races and is in the stable of Michael Pitman down south. "I also raced Sun City, she won five races, but initially was a disaster in the broodmare paddock, she had a foal born dead, then a foal that died, you name it no luck at all, but once she had Sun Valley she got the hang of it she kept popping them out. She was a good mating with Ishiguru when he first came to stand at Chequers. Sun City is a half sister to Reganza (Vice Regal) the Australian Champion two-year-old of her year and winner of the Group One AJC Sires Produce Stakes, she in turn left the VRC Oaks winner Kensington Palace (Kingston Rule). She is a half sister to the European stakes winners Stone, Stouci and San Domenico. Her dam Stravaganza (Busted – Scala di Seta) was placed in Great Britain and imported to Australia by David Hain of Kingston Park fame. "David Hain sent Stravaganza over to visit Vice Regal in 1985 and she produced Reganza who was born in Australia. She returned to visit Nassipour in 1994 and was put up for sale at Karaka, she descended from a lovely Italian family so I purchased her and the next year sent her to Spectacular Love and got Sun City. She had one other foal four years later, a filly by Deputy Governor called Golden Shoe, who won four races in Australia. "I am pleased for the boys that Sun City has left a stakes winner they have a nice colt to sell this summer and the family is on the up again," Jim concluded.

- Michelle Saba