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Laurence Redshaw makes it to the short list for Mercedes Breeder of the Year

First time nominee for the Mercedes Breeder of the Year Award, Hawkes
Bay-based Laurence Redshaw, is another boutique breeder to be recognised this year.

With seven mares at present along with horses in training, Laurence gained his first Group One winner as a breeder ten years ago when Vegas took out the Group One Telegraph Stakes.

While the first taste of Group One victory is always sweet, the result of this season's VRC Derby provided Laurence with another memorable moment and catapulted him into calculations for the Breeders' Award.

Kibbutz became his sire Golan's first Group One winner and confirmed the high opinion his former trainer, Murray Baker had of the horse following his first start.

"When Kibbutz ran third in a 1600 metre listed race at his first start as a two year old, Murray said we might as well sell because there would be no more opportunities for him until November," explains Laurence.

Given the Eclipse Stakes, the race in which Kibbutz ran third, was in April that would have meant seven months between racing opportunities. That lack of opportunities for the staying type of horse, on which New Zealand's reputation has been built, is something which has irked Laurence for some time.

Shortly after Kibbutz's Derby success, Laurence told the NZTBA website that he had put forward his concerns to NZTR's racing programmers. Unfortunately it was not warmly received.

"It was a waste of time," he says. "You just can't get through to these experts, they know the lot. At one stage we tried to run a distance race for two-year-olds at Hawkes Bay and the Auckland Racing Club moved the Eclipse Stakes. It is frustrating," says Laurence.

"New Zealand is famous for its stayers and we should be encouraging people to breed them and race them," he says.

Kibbutz, who was purchased by Australian syndicators Terry Henderson and Simon O'Donnell, headed to David Hayes' South Australian stable.

A fast-finishing second in the Group Two AAMI Vase over 2400 metres at Moonee Valley, which followed a win in the Listed Hill Smith Stakes over 1800 metres meant he was well in Derby contention. His Derby victory was authoritative and stamped him as a horse to watch in future staying contests.

Like most of Laurence Redshaw's horses, Kibbutz was not prepared for sale as a yearling.

"It's a major problem for small breeders when it comes to the sales, if you haven't got a mare with the bloodlines, you struggle to get recognition," he says.
"I had taken a number of horses to the sales and passed them and then they had gone on, been broken in and gone to trials and been sold, so why put money into a yearling preparation?" he asks.

Having said that, Laurence admits that he does hope to send a full sister to Kibbutz to the sales next year.

"It's a business decision," he says.

There is little doubt that a sister to a VRC Derby winner would command a certain amount of buyer interest at the annual yearling sales! However, Laurence has been somewhat bemused at the response from the selling company.

"For the first time they have actually rung to ask if they could come and look at my yearlings here in Hastings – the yearlings are actually in Cambridge! They are all over you like a rash," he says.

Kibbutz's dam, Misskap is due to foal to Golan again in early August, while Laurence also has a King's Chapel rising two-year-old out of the mare with Murray Baker.
"We go back a long way," he says of the long-time relationship with the master Cambridge trainer.

While Laurence has had shares in stallions previously, he will be even more involved with a horse which Baker prepared until bone chips ended its career.

"We will be standing Castelli at Phil Hobb's Little Creek stud in Levin at $1000," says Laurence.

"He's got a great temperament and is by Galileo out of a Danhill mare Danasia."
Wanting to give the horse the best possible star, Laurence will be sending three mares to him.

- Mary McCarty


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