NZ-Breds' Success in Australia: updated Season Review

Danehill aside, a cost-benefit analysis of shuttle stallions' contribution to the Australasian thoroughbred industry would probably still be inconclusive.

Nevertheless, without striking a Danehill, the New Zealand breeding industry has unquestionably felt the impact of the 250-odd stallions that have shuttled to Australasia since 1990. For example, fifteen of them are responsible for twenty-one of the 40 New Zealand-bred Group & Listed winners in Australia this season, including six of the nine horses that have won at Group One level:

Australian Group 1 Winners bred in New Zealand,
by Shuttle Sires, 2005-06
Shuttle Sire
DE BEERS Quest For Fame
GLAMOUR PUSS Tale of the Cat
MR CELEBRITY Peintre Celebre
PERLIN Carnegie

The other three New Zealand-bred Group One winners are: GEE I JANE (Jahafil),
EL SEGUNDO (Pins), and LAD OF THE MANOR (Zabeel).

Eleven of the fifteen shuttlers represented by Kiwi-bred stakeswinners in Australia this season have stood here, but only three will stand the 2006 season in New Zealand: Pentire at Rich Hill Stud, Stravinsky at Cambridge Stud and Bahhare, returning to Rich Hill after a four-year-break.

This is one of several trends that, with only eleven Group & Listed races remaining on Australia's 2005-06 racing calendar, are evident from a review of New Zealand-bred Group & Listed Stakes winners this season. The NZTBA's online record of New Zealand-bred stakeswinners in Australia is a useful basis for that end-of-season review.

Nine Australian Group One wins in 2005-06

Forty individual New Zealand-bred horses have won 48 Australian Group & Listed Races this season (to 1 July 2006). This compares with 51 winners of 58 races in 2004-05, and 52 winners of 69 races in 2003-04. They have been distributed as follows:

Race Status NZ-Bred Wins in 2005-06 NZ-Bred Wins in 2004-05 NZ-Bred Wins in 2003-04
Group One 9 7 6
Group Two 9 9 14
Group Three 13 13 18
Listed Stakes 17 29 31
TOTALS 48 58 69

Leading sires of NZ-bred stakeswinners in Australia

David Thomas' homebred star LAD OF THE MANOR (Zabeel-Matrona by Woodman)
PHOTO: NZ Thoroughbred Marketing

New Zealand's champion sire Zabeel heads the list of sires by individual New Zealand-bred Group & Listed Stakes winners in Australia with nine winners, most notably LAD OF THE MANOR who triumphed in the VRC MacKinnon S. G1 and two Group 2 events at Moonee Valley, the Liston and Feehan Stakes. Bred and raced by David Thomas, he's been the leading New Zealand-bred stakeswinner across the Tasman this season.

Marju, Tale of the Cat, Pentire, Pins, Stravinsky, Cape Cross & Bahhare have each had two Australian stakeswinners.

Zabeel and Stravinsky have also been represented by Australian-bred stakeswinners across the Tasman: G1 RAILINGS, G3 DIZELLE and G3 STEFLARA for Zabeel; G1 SERENADE ROSE & G2 PLAGIARIZE for Stravinsky. These two and Pentire are the only New Zealand-based sires among the top fifty on the Australian general sires' table, holding 3rd, 11th and 42nd places respectively (to early July).
Australasian female families

This year, for the first time, we've recorded the Australasian taproot mare for each Kiwi-bred Group or Listed Stakes winner in Australia. The most successful family this season is that of Manto, foaled in England in 1822 and one of the earliest thoroughbred mares imported to Australia. She's the ancestress of G1 MARJU SNIP, G1 PERLIN, SW SPHENOPHYTA and SW MEN AT WORK.

Two other taproot mares each claim a pair of Kiwi-bred stakeswinners: G1 EL SEGUNDO and G2 NEVIS belong to the tribe of Moth (AUS) (1847) ; and G2 winners GAZE and LA SIZERANNE descend from Locket (GB) (1872).

Garry Chittick & the Hogans head diverse breeders' list

New Zealand's Australian black type winners have been produced by a wider group of breeders than recent years, although there are no prizes for guessing the two leading breeders of individual stakeswinners, on the table below.

Leading New Zealand breeders in Australia this season, GARRY & MARY CHITTICK of Waikato Stud (2nd & 3rd from right) collect a trophy after their outstanding homebred mare GLAMOUR PUSS wins at Flemington.
PHOTO: NZ Thoroughbred Marketing

Breeder Australian Group & Listed Winners
(incl. horses bred in partnership or by associated companies)
Garry Chittick
Waikato Stud
Sir Patrick & Lady Hogan
Cambridge Stud
Jim Campin
Chequers Stud

Regions represented on the breeders' list are:

Breeder Region No. of G & L Winners in Australia
Waikato 11
Overseas 8
Auckland 6
Hawke's Bay 2
Wairarapa 2
Wellington 2
1 each

Sale origins & prices

Of the 21 stakeswinners for whom sale details are known, fourteen were sold in New Zealand (10 at the NZ Premier Sale, four at NZ Select), five were sold in Australia and two were sold privately. Another ten are raced solely or in partnership by their breeders.

The top-priced stakeswinner is G1 DE BEERS, sold by Pencarrow Stud to Rob McAnulty for $750,000 at the 2004 NZ Premier Sale. The least expensive is G3 COG HILL, sold by M.G. & R.J. Wallace to Richard Collett for $24,000 at the 2002 NZ Select Sale.

New Zealand trainers' success

Last year five NZ-bred stakeswinners in Australia were also prepared by solely New Zealand-based trainers. They've done better this year, producing nine stakeswinners, three of them from one stable, and all but one of the wins coming at the Queensland Winter Carnival:

New Zealand-based Trainer Australian G & L Winners
Neville Couchman, Cambridge G1 GEE I JANE
Richard Collett, Pukekohe G3 COG HILL
Donna Logan, Ruakaka G3 RING OF FIRE
Peter McKenzie, Levin SW EMPYREAL
Richard Otto, Te Awamutu SW SPHENOPHYTA
Chris Wood, Cambridge SW COMMAND 'N CONQUER

New Zealand-bred Group & Listed wins by Australian state

remains a happy hunting ground for New Zealand-bred horses, providing
19 wins, four at Group One level, this season. The complete distribution by state is:

State No. of G & L Wins No. of G1 Wins
Victoria 19 4
NSW 12 2
Queensland 12 2
South Australia 4 1
Western Australia 1 0

Sprinter-milers dominate

More than 50% of Kiwi-breds' 48 black-type wins in Australia this season have been at distances below 2000 metres. However, when allowance is made for the distribution of Australian black-type races in each distance category, New Zealand-breds' continuing strength at 2000 metres and beyond is clear:

Distance No. of G/L Wins % of NZ-breds'
season total
% of Australian
G/L races in this distance category
won by
No. of G1 Wins
by NZ-breds
1000-1599m 14 29.1% 4.5% 2
1600-1999m 11 23.0% 9.8% 1
2000-2399m 16 33.3% 24.2% 4
2400-3200m 7 14.6% 15.2% 1

For the sixth year in the past decade Kiwi-breds have won only one of the five Australian Cup handicaps at Group One level (Melbourne, Caulfield, Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide). In each of the previous 25 years New Zealand-bred horses claimed at least two of these races, and in 17 seasons between 1971-72 and 1995-96 won three, four or five of them. New Zealand has now gone four seasons without producing the Melbourne Cup winner, the longest gap since 1947, when Hiraji kicked off the long sequence of stunning post-war Kiwi success in Australia's most famous race.

However, 2001-02 was a very good year for New Zealand-bred stayers who won all five major Australian Cup handicaps that season: Melbourne (Ethereal), Caulfield (Ethereal), Sydney (Henderson Bay), Brisbane (Prized Gem) & Adelaide (The A Train).

This review has been updated to 1 July 2006.

- Susan Archer


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