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Magic Cape: a tale of two NZ studs

Two New Zealand studs can take pleasure in Magic Cape (Magic Albert-Cape City by Kaapstad), winner of Saturday's CJC NZ 2000 Guineas 1600m G1.

Windsor Park's Nelson Schick (left)
& Steve Till (below), and Haunui Farm's Mark Chitty (lower left)
Although he's by an exciting young Australian sire, who stands at Yarraman Park Stud, Magic Cape is from a female family closely associated with Haunui Farm, Auckland, and was bred by the Mapperley Stud Partnership Syndicate, comprising the Schick & Davison families of Windsor Park and Mapperley Studs, and Windsor Park general manager Steve Till.

Furthermore, the stallions on the distaff side of his pedigree include some of New Zealand's best: his damsire Kaapstad (by Sir Tristram), Imposing, Sea Anchor and Zamazaan.

Travel further back and the imported mare Drax (GB) can be found. She was imported to New Zealand in 1926 by George Currie of Koatanui Stud, home of champion sires Absurd & Limond, and the great broodmare Eulogy. The Drax family is not a large one, but it has produced some memorable and high-class performers, mainly through two mares, Clynder (1952 by Balloch from Sona) and Rosehill (1964 by Test Case from Clynder's half-sister Foxona, one of Haunui Farm's foundation mares).

Clynder's daughters included four very successful broodmares of the 1970-1990 period: Kia U (dam of G1 Kia Marea & G1 Kia Maia), Clochemerle (dam of G1 Herminia & grand-dam of G1 Abaridy), Salima (dam of G1 Gelsomino) and Patronia (dam of G1 Drought).

Rosehill won the 1968 ARC Royal Stakes for her breeders Geoff & Peg Chitty of Haunui Farm and was a wonderful broodmare for them and their son Ron, leaving three Group winners (G1 Prince Ruling, G2 Rosie's Girl and G3 Lavender Hill) among her ten foals. As quite often happens, it was the lesser race performer that proved most effective at stud, and Lavender Hill is the first, second or third dam of nine stakeswinners, including Sir Clive, Regent Street and Dopff.

Rosie's Girl, rated New Zealand's top three-year-old filly of 1974-75, did leave five winners and one of them, Lord Westminster (by Grosvenor) was a Listed Race winner in Australia. Her daughters and grand-daughters are responsible for two or three other stakes-winning and Group-placed horses, but Magic Cape is the very first Group winner descended from Rosie's Girl, via her daughter Brooklyn.

The Chittys and Haunui Farm can justifiably feel proud of breeding Magic Cape's first five dams, and of broadening the family's opportunities by selling his dam as yearling in 1998 to Graeme Rogerson for $A37,500. After winning two races in Australia she was purchased by Rowlane Investments for $A12,000 and sent to Filante. The resulting foal unfortunately died, and the mare was then offered, in foal to Magic Albert, at the 2000 Australian Broodmare Sale.

The Mapperley Partnership's purchase of Cape City for a mere $A10,000 shows that it is still possible, with skill, luck and patience, to buy at the cheap end of the bloodstock market and end up with a valuable asset.

In fact, Cape City had produced a fair return on that investment before Saturday, with the $42,500 sale of her Volksraad yearling colt at the 2006 NZ Select Sale. His buyers, Alan & Galene Tait of Woodridge Farm, Matamata are now in the exciting position of offering the half-brother to the 2000 Guineas winner for auction tomorrow, on the first day of the NZ Ready To Run Sale at Karaka. He's Lot 55 and can be inspected at Box C70.

Cape City had a Volksraad filly last year, and is due to foal again soon to the five-time champion New Zealand sire.

At Haunui Farm, Ron & Carolyn Chitty, their son Mark and his wife Sarah continue to breed from several members of the Foxona/Rosehill tribe.

Of course, the NZTBA is especially pleased to note that the Taits, like the Chittys, the Schicks, Davisons and Steve Till, are all members of the Association!

- Susan Archer