Omens are good for Fooram in Sydney Cup

Fooram's victory in last Saturday's $A200,000 AJC Chairman's H. 2600m G2 was noteworthy for several reasons.

FOORAM (NZ) winning the AJC Chairman's H. G2
on 15 April
PHOTO: Australian Jockey Club

Firstly, he led home a New Zealand-bred trifecta in an Australian Group race, which used to be more common than it is at present. Even better, he and the runner-up Three Chimneys (Generous-Star On Ice) are both owned by New Zealanders. Three Chimneys is also trained here, by David Haworth. In third place was Cross Bar (Cape Cross-Lady Leica).

Secondly, both Fooram (Maroof-Sinjani) and Cross Bar were bred by Sir Patrick & Lady Hogan, continuing their good season in Australia. They also bred Pure Harmony (by Stravinsky; MVRC Woodstock Classic G2) and Respect (by Zabeel; AJC Australia Day Cup LR) and, of course, Maroof, Cape Cross, Stravinsky and Zabeel are all past or present residents of the Hogans' Cambridge Stud.

Fooram was sold on behalf of the Hogans by Janine Dunlop's Phoenix Park and purchased by agent Paul Willetts for $64,000 at the 2002 NZ Select Sale. He's raced by New Zealanders John Thompson, former Auckland Racing Club directorsBrian Stevenson and Clyde Buckingham, and the Chatsworth Trust. Originally trained at Takanini by Frank & Craig Ritchie, the gelding was transferred to John O'Shea in Sydney last year after winning three races at Ellerslie, Trentham and Te Rapa.

Thirdly, Cross Bar and Fooram are both out of mares by Sir Tristram, extending his outstanding record as a sire of broodmares. He's already won nine Australasian broodmare sire premierships, and is damsire of 160 stakeswinners, 4.5% of his daughters' foals of racing age.

Like two other now-deceased sons of Danzig, Danehill and Honor Grades, Maroof did well with Sir Tristram's daughters in his five seasons at stud. The cross produced 22 foals for 16 winners including two stakeswinners, Fooram and Beat The Fade (AJC Emancipation S. G2).

Fourthly, Fooram is descended from the first of two broodmares that have won special recognition for the Hogans. That was Taiona, dam of G1 winners Sovereign Red, Gurner's Lane and Trichelle, and New Zealand Broodmare of the Year in 1981 (jointly with The Pixie), and 1983. Fooram's chestnut colour, not shared by his sire or dam, and white markings are reminiscent of his famous relatives.

Finally, Fooram's form has made him favourite for tomorrow's $A800,000 AJC Sydney Cup G1. And the omens are looking good for him. In the past twenty years only four horses have won the Chairman's-Sydney Cup double, and all were bred on this side of the Tasman: Major Drive (1987),King Aussie (1990), Linesman (1997 and Henderson Bay (2002).

Fooram will be joined in the 145th running of the Sydney Cup by the Chairman's Handicap placegetters and three other Kiwi-breds, this season's Wellington Cup winner Envoy, Auckland Cup runner-up Zabeat (both owned and trained in New Zealand), and last year's Queensland Derby winner Lachlan River.

Visit the updated list of this season's New Zealand-bred Group & Listed Stakeswinners in Australia for more information.

- Susan Archer


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