Waikato Stud’s seven leading vendor titles at Karaka since 2014 have been underpinned by relentless demand for the progeny of Savabeel, and the all-conquering sire’s remarkable run of racetrack results this season has the respected nursery confident of another big sale in 2022.
A permanent fixture at the top of Karaka’s leading sires by aggregate since 2014, Savabeel continues to go from strength to strength and boasts statistics this season that tower over all others on both sides of the Tasman.
Savabeel is Australasia’s leading sire this season of stakes winners (16) and stakes wins (27), and no other stallion in our part of the world can match his six individual Group One winners since August 1 – Mo’unga, Savy Yong Blonk, Probabeel, Noverre, The Perfect Pink and The Chosen One. Waikato Stud this week took his legacy into the next generation, adding Noverre to their stallion roster for 2022.
“Savabeel’s statistics this season are incredible, and especially to have had that number of stakes winners and Group One winners on both sides of the Tasman already in what’s still quite an early stage of the season,” Mark Chittick said.
“The way his progeny have been performing in recent times has been phenomenal for us, and it’s something that the New Zealand industry as a whole can be very proud of.”
Savabeel boasts a career total of 27 individual Group One winners, almost half of them offered in Waikato Stud’s Karaka drafts over the last dozen years.
Karaka 2022 features a Waikato Stud draft numbering just under 50, 14 of which are sons or daughters of Savabeel.
“We’ve sold a few good ones by Savabeel over the years, and I think we’ve got another lovely group of them this week,” Chittick said.
“He’s got to the stage of his career now where a number of his top performers have been fillies, and he’s now off to an extremely good start as a broodmare sire as well. He’s had a couple of Group One winners already (Savatoxl and Never Been Kissed, among a total of 14 stakes winners).
“For those reasons, we’re not offering a huge number of fillies by Savabeel this year. But we’re delighted with the quality of the colts that we’ve got, and we’re excited to see how they’re going to be received following on from the remarkable success the stallion has been having.”
The likely headline act is Lot 161, out of the O’Reilly mare Chandelier. The colt is a full-brother to Mo’unga, who scored superb Group One victories in last year’s Rosehill Guineas (2000m) and Winx Stakes (1400m). He began a new campaign with a flying finish for second in last weekend’s Gr.1 Futurity Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield.
“There’s a bit of attention around him, for obvious reasons,” Chittick said. “He’s got the flash brother, who ran such a great race first-up in Melbourne the other day.
“I’d say this colt is actually more forward than his brother was at the same stage. A big factor in that is the additional time he’s had, with the change in the sale date this year. Those extra few weeks have seen this colt really come into his own.”
Waikato Stud will also offer a dozen yearlings by Tivaci, who has risen to prominence this season with his Gr.1 Flight Stakes (1600m) winner Never Been Kissed and multiple Group Two winner and Karaka Million (1200m) placegetter Wolverine.
“He’s had a great season for a sire who’s still at a very early stage of his career, and he’s left horses that I believe will go on with it,” Chittick said.
“We were tripped up by the wet track with our filly Never Been Kissed in the Surround Stakes (Gr.1, 1400m) last weekend, but I think she can bounce back over a longer distance and with better track conditions – if they ever get that through the rest of this Sydney carnival!
“I’m also very excited about the prospects of Wolverine as she heads towards the Manwatu Sires’ Produce Stakes (Gr.1, 1400m) in a few weeks’ time.
“The Tivaci yearlings in our draft really demonstrate the belief that we’ve always had in the stallion. These horses were bred before he had runners, let alone the success that he’s had. We’ve supported him with some quality mares right through.
“I’ve always been confident that the cross between Tivaci and Savabeel mares would be a no-brainer for success, and that’s proving to be the case. We’re offering a number of cracking types in our draft this year.
“Sadly we also have the final representation of Sacred Falls – it’s far too early to be selling his last yearlings. But we’ve been proud to see him leave some top-liners in the last couple of seasons, and we’re hoping for more from this final crop.”
At the other end of the scale, newcomer Ardrossan has his first yearlings about to go through the ring.
“We’re very excited about Ardrossan,” Chittick said. “He didn’t serve big numbers in his first season – we had to beg, borrow and steal every mare that we could to send to him, and we gave him some nice mares ourselves.
“I’m a big believer in his potential. He’s given us a massive amount of confidence with the types that he’s left so far, and there’s a bit of word around the place – not just from our farm.
“We’ve got some lovely Ardrossan yearlings, and particularly the colt out of Vanilla Essence (Lot 39). We’ve had some great success in the Karaka Million 2YO race in recent years, and I think he looks a terrific prospect to follow on in that tradition.”
Outside of their own stallions, Chittick also has a big opinion of the colt catalogued as Lot 636.
“One of my favourites is actually the very last lot in the whole of the Book 1 catalogue,” he said. “This is a colt that offers a bit of a different flavour.
“He’s by Deep Field, whose progeny all seem to run. I bought the mare in foal, and she comes from a very hot Trelawney family that’s produced the likes of Loire and A Touch Of Ruby.
“This is just a very strong, striking individual. We’ll have to wait until the very last lot to see him go through the ring, but I think he’ll give us the opportunity to finish off on a bit of a high.” – NZ Racing Desk