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Laurence Redshaw Breeds VRC Derby Winner

Laurence Redshaw's search for a mare with form and, more importantly, size in 1993 bore fruit when the grandson of the mare he found that fit his criteria won last Saturday's Victoria Derby.

Redshaw had his biggest moment as a racehorse breeder when Kibbutz strode away in the rich 2500m group one classic, becoming the first group one winner for his sire Golan and stamping himself as a strong staying prospect down the line.

That Kibbutz would be a stayer is no real surprise given that the mare Redshaw bought, Forn Vell, was a stout stayer herself. British-bred but trained in Denmark, Forn Vell won 15 races from 1300m to 2800m, mostly in her home country, including three listed races.

She was brought to New Zealand in the early 1990s, producing her first foal for Trelawney Stud, before she was put up for sale at a Trelawney dispersal sale. It was there that Redshaw bought her for $25,000, in foal to Citidancer.

"She was a big roomy mare that had won a lot of races," Redshaw, 64, recalls. "I think you have got to have a decent-sized mare. I think they produce better foals and bigger foals, which the market likes."

The Citidancer foal turned out to be City Tycoon, a black type placegetter at two in New Zealand before being sold to Hong Kong. From there Redshaw got another two foals – Fornaes, by Masterclass, and Hammarskjold, by Classic Fame, both winners, before sending Forn Vell to Kaapstad in 1996. The result was Misskap.
"I was a shareholder in Kaapstad and I thought he would be a very good sire and broodmare sire," Redshaw said. "I prepared her for the races but she developed a problem and she didn't race, so I decided she would go to the broodmare paddock."

Based nearly all her career at Windsor Park Stud in Cambridge, Misskap went twice to Danske, producing the winners Svaneke and Torben, and once to Volksraad, producing the placegetter Kapraad, before Redshaw decided to send her to Golan, the King George and Queen Elizabeth Stakes (G1-2400m) winner in Britain, in his first New Zealand season.

"He was a very good racehorse and after talking to Steve Till of Windsor Park we decided we would give him a go," Redshaw said.

The resulting foal, Kibbutz, was one everybody was happy with. "He was always a big, raw-boned individual with a great temperament. She throws a fantastic temperament to all her foals, and she's very easy to get in foal. Kibbutz was the latest foal and he was born in late September – all the others have been in August."
As has been Redshaw's way in recent years, he didn't even consider a yearling sales preparation. "I passed in the last five horses I had at the sales. It's quite hard for smaller breeders and I don't think these horses get the attention they deserve," he said. "I've found that rather than having a yearling sales preparation, it's better to have a racehorse preparation as a two-year-old and three-year-old and sell them like that."

Kibbutz was sent to Cambridge trainer Murray Baker. He made an instant impact as an autumn two-year-old, running third at his first start, the Champagne Stakes (Listed-1600m) at Ellerslie, before being sold for a sum believed to be about $300,000 to Australian syndicators Terry Henderson and Simon O'Donnell.

"Murray said we had a very good offer for the horse and that though he would be a good staying three-year-old, there was nothing in New Zealand for him in spring," Redshaw said.

"With the money offered I think I would have sold him anyway – I am a seller if the price is right – but it's a tragedy for our racing scene that there's nothing for staying three-year-olds in spring and early summer other than racing against older horses.

"It's just as bad at two. There should be more than just the Champagne Stakes for staying two-year-olds, and I've put something to NZTR through my position on the Hawkes Bay Racing committee to the programmers.

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

Transferred to the South Australian stable of David Hayes, Kibbutz immediately shone. He won the Hill Smith Stakes (Listed-1800m) at Cheltenham Park on October 13, and put himself in Derby contention with a fast-finishing second in the AAMI Vase (G2-2040m) at Moonee Valley on October 27.

In the Derby itself he was supreme, settling well back but kindly on a slow pace and clearly outsprinting his rivals.

Kibbutz became the second group one winner Redshaw has bred – the first being Vegas, winner of the Telegraph Handicap (G1-1200m) at Trentham in the 1990s – but by far the most important.

"It was quite emotional really. There's nothing like breeding a Derby winner."
Misskap foaled a King's Chapel filly in 2006, and a filly this year to Golan – which, not surprisingly, he's planning to keep. The mare is back in foal to Golan this year.
All the foals are now much more worthwhile, and the Derby victory also vindicated Redshaw's efforts to keep Misskap, who he nearly lost a little while after she foaled Kibbutz. "She got laminitis in her hoof and Rodney Schick (of Windsor Park) said Kibbutz might be the last foal we got from her, but he did a marvelous job," he said.
"I'm always of the view that the horse comes first, and whatever needs to be done should be done. Looking at her now you wouldn't believe there was ever anything wrong with her."

- Alastair Bull