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Local families bring global success for Waikato Stud

For about a decade now, New Zealand breeders have been exhorted to upgrade their bloodstock with mares imported from Europe and North America.

Yet the stream of good, and better than good horses produced by local female families has defied fashion and kept flowing.

One breeder who has resolutely backed not only locally bred mares, but also Australasian-bred stallions, is 2005 New Zealand Breeder of the Year Garry Chittick of Waikato Stud. All four of the stud's resident sires were bred in New Zealand or Australia: Savabeel (AUS), Pins (AUS) and homebreds Scaredee Cat and O'Reilly. The exception is shuttler No Excuse Needed (GB).

The rewards for staunch, but discerning investment in Australian and New Zealand bloodstock have flowed towards the Stud from all parts of the racing world.

Take, for example, the three-year-old filly Be Delicious, who took her record to three wins from five starts with a good win over 1400 metres at Flemington today. Trained by Danny O'Brien for Garry Chittick, she's also won almost $A100,000, without going near a black type race. Be Delicious is by Australian-bred Danasinga, who stood at Waikato Stud until his sale to Australia last autumn, from O'Really, a Centaine half-sister to 1997 New Zealand Horse of the Year O'Reilly. Their dam Courtza is one of only two New Zealand-bred winners of the Golden Slipper and you have to go back to her seventh dam, Hebrew Maid (GB) (1904) to find an imported mare. O'Really has a 2005 colt by Pins.

Another example is dual Australian Group One-winning sprinter Glamour Puss (Tale of the Cat) and her Group 2-winning half-sister Rare Insight (O'Reilly). Their dam Escada is descended from 1897 VRC Oaks winner El(e)usive, and Garry Chittick has had the family for 25 years. Escada has a 2005 colt by Pins.

Then there's Starcraft, the outstanding five-time Group One winner in Australia, New Zealand France and England, and his half-siblings Group One-placed Forum Floozie, Hong Kong winner Wise Choice and Melbourne stakes-placed mare Pin Up. Waikato Stud proudly describes this as "one of the best families in the New Zealand Stud Book". It's also a well-established local family, descended from Differential (1924), a great-grand-daughter of Peradventure, imported from Great Britain to Australia in the 1870s.

Developing and supporting strong New Zealand families doesn't exclude investment in selected international bloodlines. That's illustrated by recent Waikato Stud-bred winners Dansolde (in Hong Kong) and Stickpin (in Victoria).

Four-year-old Dansolde is by Danasinga from the Tights mare Tisolde, whose third dam Acrimony (GB) was imported from Australia to New Zealand in 1974 by the Hogan family. Tisolde has already produced New Zealand Derby G1 winner Great Command; it's also the family of G1 Millward and G3 Sunray. Tisolde foaled a colt by No Excuse Needed in 2005.

Stickpin is a three-year-old son of Pins and Reputedly, an Australian-bred daughter of You Dreamer (USA). It's a family best-known in this part of the world for producing the good sire Western Symphony, and somewhat earlier, the champion European racehorse and sire Mill Reef. Reputedly has a 2005 filly by Pins.

Waikato Stud will present 75 yearlings at six Australasian sales in 2006: Magic Millions (2), New Zealand Premier (31), New Zealand Select (25), Sydney Classic (4), Melbourne Premier (6), Sydney Easter (7).


- Susan Archer