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Seachange surges home at Hastings

Seachange is a wonderfully appropriate name for the first Group One winner of a new

SEACHANGE wins the 2006 HBRI Hawke's Bay Challenge S. G1, sponsored by Mudgway PartsWorld
on 2 September
PHOTO: NZ Thoroughbred Marketing
era in New Zealand racing, after the legislative reforms earlier this year, and the tide of fresh energy and professionalism surging through the industry.

Dick Karreman's homebred four-year-old mare simply ran away from last season's champion three-year-old Darci Brahma (Danehill) and a gallant Kristov (Slavic) over the final hundred metres of last Saturday's $200,000 HBRI Hawke's Bay Challenge S. 1400m G1, in the cracking time of 1:21.13. It's one of racing's many delicious twists that while Darci Brahma was being knocked down for $1.1 million at Karaka in 2004, Seachange (Cape Cross-Just Cruising by Broad Reach) was in the paddock, with legs not straight enough to warrant an entry at the yearling sales.
The top side of her pedigree is well-known internationally, as Group One winner Cape Cross achieved champion sire status in Europe with his first crop, which included the magnificent filly Ouija Board, European Horse of the Year and US Champion Turf Female of 2004, and second in Saturday's Irish Champion S. G1.

According to Darley, which stands him at Kildangan Stud, Ireland at a 2006 fee of £50,000, Cape Cross has left 17 SW (6% of foals aged three and up) in the northern hemisphere. Arion Pedigrees' statistics show that the first three of his four seasons at Cambridge Stud, 2000-2003, produced 239 foals, nine (3.8%) of which are now stakeswinners.

Cape Cross' three Group One winners to date have come from his first NH crop (Ouija Board), and his second New Zealand crop (Seachange and leading two-year-old Kindacross, now in Hong Kong). His final New Zealand crop numbers ninety-one current two-year-olds. Seachange and five other winners have propelled him to a handy early lead on the 2006-07 New Zealand general sires' premiership, with earnings of $215,115.
Cape Cross stands at Darley Australia at a fee of $A40,000.
Seachange's female family is rather less well-known, but has played a prominent role at The Oaks, Cambridge for almost a decade, firstly in the ownership of Terry Jarvis, and now of Queensland businessman Dick Karreman, with Rick Williams as general manager and key adviser to both men.
Let's pick up the story of Seachange's distaff line a little over twenty years ago. Timeform's Racehorses of 1985 included the following listing:
“…big, strong, rangy filly; in frame in minor events at Brighton (twice) and £7,000 event at York, on latter course in September possibly not keen to pass neck winner Raabihah in last 100 yds; stays 1¼m, and should get further; probably acts on any going; wore a visor at York and when running below her best each outing afterwards (sweated badly and ran far too freely final start)."

It was a modest rap for a modest three-year-old filly, though she was given a rating of 89, well above Eight Carat's miserable 54 in 1978, but a long way below the 131 rating achieved by Oh So Sharp, the champion English filly of 1985.

Like Eight Carat (and many other human and equine predecessors), the chestnut filly, named Glide By, found success only after she arrived in the antipodes. She was purchased by Widden Stud which bred her first foal, a colt by Local Suitor, in England, and then imported the mare to Australia in 1987, at the height of the bloodstock investment boom.
Glide By's first foal won in Italy, and her second, a colt by Vain named Cornerman won and was stakes-placed at Flemington. Her 1989 colt did much better. By Zephyr Bay's son Broad Reach and cleverly named Yachtie, he proved to be a very good juvenile, winning the STC Pago Pago S. G2 and VATC Blue Diamond Prelude G3, and placing three times at Group One level in Sydney, Melbourne and Perth. He was given 55.5 kg on the ANZ Two-Year-Old Classifications, in the company of Burst, Clan O'Sullivan, Roy's Boy, Kaaptive Edition, Slight Chance, Hulastrike and Our Tristalight.

Yachtie was purchased for stud duties in New Zealand by John and Anne Corcoran of Grangewilliam Stud, Waitotara, where he stood from 1993 to 1997. He was then bought by The Oaks, Cambridge, which was sold by Des & Janet Hawkins to Terry Jarvis in 1998.
A stallion with notable presence and character, Yachtie has left only six stakeswinners (1.7%) from 345 foals (three-year-olds and up), but they include a pair of outstanding fillies, the New Zealand and US Group One winner Happyanunoit, and leading two-year-old of 1996-97 Kilmore Quay, as well as the very talented but unsound Natalie Wood, winner of the 2002 ARC Eight Carat Classic G2. Yachtie now stands at Sentry Hill Stud, New Plymouth.

The Broad Reach-Glide By mating that produced Yachtie was repeated only once before Broad Reach was exported to South Africa in 1993. The result was a filly named Just Cruising, bred by the Widden Heroic Joint Venture and raced five times for one second placing.

Widden bred a winning filly named Another Syn (by Mukaddamah) from Just Cruising before selling her to Terry Jarvis for $A47,000 at the 1998 Australian Easter Broodmare Sale. She then became part of The Oaks property and bloodstock deal concluded between Messrs Jarvis and Karreman later that year.

Seachange has now won seven of her eight starts, including last season's CJC New Zealand 1000 Guineas G1. Not every classic-winning filly manages the transition to weight-for-age success in the spring of her four-year-old season, so it's no surprise that Seachange's next appearance, in the HBRI Horlicks Challenge S. 1600m G1 on 23 September is eagerly awaited.

- Susan Archer