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Green Perfume's first Group One winner

Owner-breeder John Powell, left, leads in Baldessarini & jockey Lisa Cropp after the Railway H. G1

Owner-breeder John Powell, left, leads in Baldessarini & jockey Lisa Cropp after the Railway H. G1
One of the quirky patterns observed in thoroughbred racing and breeding is that a few stallions achieve their best results only after they die or leave the country. Most turn out to be no great loss to the New Zealand industry, but it's human nature to remember the exceptions and make a rule of it: "You know he'll leave a good horse now he's gone."

Green Perfume (Naevus-Pretty Is by Doonesbury) is a perfect example. His sale by Chequers Stud to Australia last year was noted with little regret at the time, but sure enough his first Group One winner emerged after his departure in July. That was five-year-old gelding Baldessarini who won the ARC Railway H. 1200m G1 at Ellerslie on New Year's Day, holding off a determined Gee I Jane with a powerfully sustained finish.

Bred by his owner, Taihape farmer John Powell in partnership with John Comber, Baldessarini won at his debut in June 2004, and again six months later. He then had a run of four seconds before a winter spell, and won his season debut last September. A fourth at Hastings has been followed by a sequence of four wins culminating in the Railway, which was Baldessarini's first start in black type company of any kind.

Before Baldessarini's Group One win, Green Perfume had three stakeswinners and five stakes-placed horses, all but one of them bred by Jim or Jen Campin from the excellent Chequers broodmare band. With the exception of Delvecchio (12 wins to 2400 metres and placed in the VRC Queen Elizabeth S. G2), they have all displayed short-course speed. Best of them was the filly Jadescent (ex China Girl by Danehill) who won the MVRC William Crockett S. LR at two, and has been twice Group-placed in Melbourne this season as a spring three-year-old.

Four stakeswinners (2.5%) from 159 foals of racing age (excluding his current two-year-olds, none of which has raced yet) doesn't quite turn Green Perfume into a stud success, at least in New Zealand. With only 23 two-year-olds, six yearlings and fewer than seven mares foaling to him in 2005 he has a diminished opportunity to improve his record. And buyers have only one chance to buy a Green Perfume yearling at the 2006 NZ National Yearling Sales: Lot 1192 in the Festival Sale, a colt from the family of Auckland Cup G1 winner Senator.

Baldessarini's dam, the American-bred In Margaritaville (by Northjet) has been a tremendous producer. Sent by Heytesbury Thoroughbreds in 1991 to its New Zealand base at Trelawney Stud, she was sold to Messrs Comber and Powell in 1993, and since 2001 has been owned solely by John Powell. Seven of her eight foals to race have won, including stakeswinners Venezuela (Success Express) and Camacho (Maroof), and now Baldessarini, who looks very likely to add further black type and dollars to his CV this season.


Thanks to Arion Pedigrees for pedigree, performance and statistical data.


- Susan Archer