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NZ-breds attack Australian black type

Strong victories at the weekend by Lad Of The Manor and Estelle Collection took this season's tally of New Zealand-bred Group & Listed wins in Australia to eight. This is one more than our tally at the same stage of 2005-06. A total of 55 black type races have been run in Australia to 16 September. (The NZTBA maintains a complete list of the season's NZ-bred stakeswinners in Australia here.)

David Thomas' and Lorraine Smith's home-bred star LAD OF THE MANOR, winning his second
MVRC John F. Feehan S. G2 on Saturday.

PHOTO: Gary Wild, courtesy of NZ Thoroughbred Marketing
In fact, Kiwi-breds won four of the nine races at Moonee Valley on Saturday. Glamour Puss' three-year-old brother Escadaire (O'Reilly), and Black Panther (Kaapstad), raced by Auckland RC director Peter Walker, also made the winner's circle in $A45,000 non-stakes events.

By this time last year, New Zealand-bred horses had won one Group One race (Perlin's Underwood Stakes), two Group 2 events (the Liston and Feehan Stakes, both won by Lad Of The Manor, and Nevis' Chelmsford Stakes), two Group 3 races (Pendragon's Gloaming Stakes, and High Cee's Newcastle Cup) and a pair of Listed events taken out by Jadescent and Diamond Hailey. Lad Of The Manor (Zabeel) impressively repeated his success in the Feehan Stakes G2 on Saturday, two weeks after the Memsie Stakes G2 was won by El Segundo (Pins). Both these horses were among the nine Kiwi-bred Group One winners in Australia last season, and are strong contenders for that honour again this year.

Three-year-old filly Estelle Collection (Stravinsky) added the MVRC Champagne S. G3 on Saturday, a week after Rewaaya (Singspiel) had won the VRC Let's Elope S. G3. (Rewaaya makes the list of New Zealand-bred stakeswinners because she was foaled here, although her dam is Australian-owned and she's by an Australian shuttle sire.)

Lad Of The Manor was bred by Australian-based David Thomas, who races him with Lorraine Smith. Both are NZTBA members, as are Estelle Collection's breeders, Sir Patrick & Lady Hogan and Arthur Kelly.

Four Listed Stakes winners complete the record: the five-year-olds Temple Hills (Marju) & Activation (Zabeel), four-year-old Growl (Montjeu) and, from the Dennis brothers' famous "The" family, The One (O'Reilly), explosive winner of the VRC Danehill S. G3 on 9 September. Five of these horses were sold as yearlings and none of them was cheap, ranging from $110,000 (Temple Hills) to $360,000 (Growl).
Zabeel has taken an early lead on the sires' list with two New Zealand-bred stakeswinners across the Tasman, Activation and Lad Of The Manor.

The old female families continue to make a significant contribution to New Zealand-breds' performance in Australia. Five of the eight winners descend from taproot mares imported in the 19 th century, and two of them, Actvation and Temple Hills trace back to the celebrated Miss Kate (GB)(foaled 1872), ancestress of Phar Lap, Kindergarten and Sunline.

Although trans-Tasman trainers Mike Moroney and Graeme Rogerson prepare The One and Activation respectively, we're yet to see a wholly New Zealand-owned and –trained stakeswinner in Australia this season. That milestone shouldn't be too long in coming with familiar headlines such as Kiwi stayers set for spring plunder beginning to appear in the Australian racing media!

- Susan Archer


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