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Garry Chittick back in contention for the Breeders' award again

Two consecutive New Zealand breeder of the year titles clearly weren't enough to make Garry Chittick rest on his laurels. The head of Waikato Stud is back in contention for the award again this year, nominated along with Sir Patrick and Lady Hogan, Dick Karreman and Tom Jamison. And having had a part in breeding 12 stakeswinners in 2006-07, more than any of the other nominees, Chittick has every chance of joining the Hogans as winners of the title three years in a row.

"It's been another great year. It's good to be nominated, and I think I should go close," Chittick says.

Chittick's 12 black type winners he bred for the past season include six on his own account (Alamosa, Sarajay, Swick, Crepe De Chine, Ritzy Lady and Arenti), four through Waikato Stud 2001 Ltd, of which he is a director (Legs, Guyno, Stickpin and Irlanda), one by Waikato Stud (Splashing Out) and one in partnership with son Mark and Tom Lowry (Double Dare). For good measure, Chittick's wife Mary also bred a stakes winner last season – Cuddle Stakes winner Rhysees, which she bred with Chris Turner of Veandercross fame.

For the past season it's been a mare that Chittick had to buy back because one of his favourite broodmares had produced four colts in a row that brought him the most success. Chittick ignored advice to keep at least one early filly of a mare he liked when he sold all the fillies out of Riverlette, including the group two winner Arletty. But when Riverlette died and Chittick had none of her daughters, he sought to buy one and eventually bought River Century when she was in foal to Waikato Stud sire Pins. That foal proved to be Legs, winner of the NZ Oaks in 2005-06 and the Kelt Capital Stakes last season. Chittick then sent her to O'Reilly, and once again got a classic winner – Guyno, winner of the West Australian Derby earlier this year. "Now we keep the first two fillies out of mares we think have a good chance of making it – we don't want to have to buy back mares we bred for that reason again," Chittick said.

With two group one winners this season, River Century is a nominee for broodmare of the year, an award won for the previous three years by another Waikato Stud mare, Starcraft's dam Flying Floozie. Alamosa became Chittick's third group one winner for the season when he won the Ellerslie Sires' Produce Stakes (G1-1200m), while Sarajay and Irlanda were both group one placed in the NZ Thoroughbred Breeders' Stakes.

All Waikato Stud's stakeswinners last season were by Waikato Stud sires bar Ritzy Lady, and the stallions themselves had a top season, with Pins finishing second in the New Zealand sires' premiership, O'Reilly third and former sire Danasinga sixth.
Adding to the farm's accolades was a second broodmares sires title for Centaine, the sire that set Chittick toward the big league of New Zealand studmasters. Progeny of his daughters earned more than $2.5 million, more than double the second placegetter.

"Every successful stud needs a sire that gives you that kick along and he provided it for us," Chittick said. "Having him also upgraded the daughters of his that we had on the property. It's a great boost and much better than having to buy expensive mares."

Chittick himself played a very large part in Centaine's broodmare sire successes this past season – seven of his 12 stakeswinners are out of Centaine mares, including all three group one winners. With some 140 mares on the farm, and with most of the stallions fully booked, Waikato Stud is unlikely to be out of the news again this season either, so don't be surprised if Garry Chittick is among the breeder of the year nominees again next season.

- Alastair Bull