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Stoney Bridge Waikato to stand St Reims

Stoney Bridge has announced dual Group One winner St Reims (Zabeel-L'Quiz by L'Enjoleur) as the foundation sire for its new farm near Matamata, Stoney Bridge Waikato. He will stand his first season in 2006 at a fee of $8,000 (plus GST). A limited number of Lifetime Breeding Rights are also available.

Sir Patrick Hogan & Rob McAnulty lead ST REIMS back to scale after his 2002 New Zealand Derby G1 victory.
St Reims is one of those rare horses that has completely fulfilled the high expectations held of him as a yearling and a racehorse. By the time he was foaled at Cambridge Stud in 1999, his full sister Champagne had enhanced his pedigree by becoming Champion New Zealand WFA Performer, mainly on the strength of an outstanding win in the 1998 VRC L.K.S. MacKinnon S. G1. Also a top-class three-year-old, Champagne was retired after her courageous second to Jezabeel in the 1998 Melbourne Cup G1.

Champagne has already made her mark as a broodmare, leaving Australian stakeswinner Martique to Danehill. Sursum Corda, also a sister to St. Reims, was runner-up in the 2002 New Zealand Oaks and is the dam of the $380,000 Viking Ruler filly at this year's NZ Premier Sale.

The success of L'Quiz as a broodmare is hardly surprising. She is by champion Canadian 2yo and 3yo L'Enjoleur (a son of Northern Dancer's best racemare Fanfreluche) from an outstanding Claiborne Farm family descended from Delta (by Nasrullah), a former USA Broodmare of the Year and winner of 16 of her 33 races. There are now eleven Group One or Grade One winners descended from Delta, who also happens to be a half-sister to Levee, the fourth dam of another Group One-winning Stoney Bridge stallion in Ekraar.
Offered at the 2001 New Zealand Premier Sale by his breeders Sir Patrick & Lady Hogan, St Reims filled the eye of highly successful agent and syndicator Rob McAnulty, who returned from holiday especially to buy him for $1 million. At the time, Rob expressed confidence that he had secured the best colt at the sale.

And so it proved, although the high-powered syndicate assembled to race him had to wait a little for St Reims to display his talent. He began his racing career in Australia as a spring three-year-old, then returned to New Zealand where he broke his maiden at New Plymouth in November 2002. It was the first of five consecutive victories that culminated with a dominant front-running performance in the New Zealand Derby 2400m G1.

A sixth in the STC Tancred S. G1, behind Freemason, Northerly and Republic Lass, was his best effort in three subsequent Australian starts as a three-year-old. The following season St Reims was placed in Group 3 and Listed Stakes company at Ellerslie before undertaking a winter campaign designed to prepare him for a full-on five-year-old season.

It was a strategy that paid off quickly with consecutive wins at Hastings, followed by a good sixth in a high-class MRC Caulfield S. G1, behind Mummify, Grand Armee and Starcraft. Then came excellent wins in the ARC Alison S. 2000m G3 and CRC Counties Cup 2100m G2, and a hard-fought second, giving the winner Singing Star five kg, in the Waikato Gold Cup G2.

Less than a month later St Reims delivered the finest performance of his career in the ARC Galaxy S. 2000m G1, fittingly sponsored by Cambridge Stud in the name of his sire Zabeel. Denied his usual pacemaking role, he settled in the trail and went to the front at the top of the straight. In a fierce drive to the line he was headed, but flatly refused to surrender, and fought back to defeat Distinctly Secret and Lashed.

At his next start two months later, St Reims held off every competitor except the rising star, Xcellent, who received five kg under the wfa scale, in the ARC Second Century S. 2000m G1. These efforts by St Reims were recognised with the title of 2005 New Zealand joint Champion WFA Performer, the same title his brilliant sister had won six years earlier.

He returned this season to add a final win at Hastings in September to his record of eleven wins, six placings and $673,250 from 36 starts.

St Reims is the third Group One-winning son of champion sire Zabeel to take up stud duties in New Zealand after Don Eduardo (2003) and Savabeel (2005), and the only one of his three New Zealand Derby-winning sons to remain entire. (The other two are Zonda and Hades). Winner of 16 Australasian stallion premierships, Zabeel is the sire of 101 stakeswinners (8.3% of his foals) to date and, with earnings of $A7.3 million and $NZ799, 183 this season, shows no sign of relinquishing his supersire status as he approaches his 16th season at Cambridge Stud.


- Susan Archer


 

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