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Marju Snip boosts (NZ) record in Australia

Marju Snip (Marju-Aulide by Snippets) became the seventh New Zealand-bred Group One winner in Australia this season when she claimed Saturday's $A250,000 SAJC Australasian Oaks G1.

The filly was bred by Garry & Mark Chittick's company, Waikato Stud 2001 Ltd and has strengthened Garry's claim as New Zealand's leading breeder of Australian stakeswinners in 2005-06. He is also the breeder of brilliant sprinter Glamour Puss (VRC Victoria Racing Club S. G1, Linlithgow S. G2), and Breezy (VRC Frances Tressady S. G3), both of whom are also raced by Waikato Stud Ltd.

Sir Patrick and Lady Hogan of Cambridge Stud have also bred three Australian stakeswinners this season: G2 Pure Harmony, SW Fooram and SW Respect.

Marju Snip was purchased for $52,500 at the 2004 NZ Premier Sale by Te Awamutu trainer Graeme Sanders, who then re-sold her at the 2004 NZ Ready To Run Sale for $110,000. (What a good day it will be when New Zealand trainers no longer have to sell nice horses to overseas buyers in order to fund their domestic businesses.) Descended from the great foundation mare Manto (GB) (*see below), imported to Australia in 1825, Marju Snip is the first winner from Aulide, a winning daughter of the high-class filly and excellent broodmare (It's) Candide.

Candide, bred by Tom and Buzz Williams (close friends of the Chittick family) was the best New Zealand classic filly of 1987-88, winning the Oaks and One Thousand Guineas, and placing third in the AJC Oaks G1. She died in Australia last year as the dam of five winners from seven foals to race, among them the fine Hong Kong sprinter-miler Billion Win (11 wins, $HK13.7 million). However, her record has improved since her death with the appearance of her four-year-old daughter by Canny Lad, Nena Candida and more importantly, her two-year-old son Nadeem (Redoute's Choice), winner of the MRC Blue Diamond S. G1 and VRC Maribyrnong Plate G3.

Other branches of the family have also kicked in with catalogue page enhancements. Candide's younger G3-winning sister Sound Lover, owned by Buzz & Susie Williams' Little Avondale Stud, is the dam of this season's Australian stakeswinner Men At Work (Zabeel), as well previous G2 winner Philosophe and, in Hong Kong, Trillion Win.

Already an internationally proven sire when he shuttled to Ra Ora Stud in 2000, Marju (Last Tycoon-Flame of Tara by Artaius) left a single New Zealand crop of 65 foals that includes three stakeswinners, G2 Magnetism, G3 Burning Sands & G3 High Cee. However, Marju Snip is the result of Aulide's mating in Australia before she was acquired by the Chitticks, who imported her in February 2002 to New Zealand where, thankfully, the Oaks winner was born.
As Waikato Stud's Jeremy Rogers says, "Aulide has gone from a nice Premier quality mare to a very, very valuable mare in the space of a few months." Her yearling colt by O'Reilly was sold for $80,000 to the Hong Kong Jockey Club at this year's New Zealand Premier Sale. She then missed to Danasinga and is now in foal to O'Reilly.

*Other major winners descended from Manto, principally via her grand-daughter Flora
, include the great 19th century sire Trenton, Melbourne Cup winners The Pearl,
Patrobas and Nightmarch, Australian Horses of the Year Maybe Mahal & Strawberry Road, New Zealand Horse of the Year Drum, champion filly Star Belle (and the entire Belle family), high-class sprinter-miler Vite Cheval, Cox Plate winner Solvit and champion stayer Tie The Knot.

- Susan Archer


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