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Exuberant spring for NZ-breds in Australia

New Zealand-bred horses have won twenty-one Australian Group and Listed Races this season (to 20 November), compared with 12 at the same stage in 2004-05.

The overall quality of those performances is also better this year, with five Group One wins (Underwood, George Main, Caulfield, MacKinnon & Victoria Racing Club Stakes) compared with only one last spring (Econsul's Caulfield Guineas); six Group Two victories (four last season); six at Group Three level (two last year); and four Listed Races (four in the same period of 2004). It's notable that our five leading performers (El Segundo, Glamour Puss, Lad of the Manor, Mr Celebrity and Perlin) have won their Group One races from 1200 to 2000 metres.

The position of Cambridge Stud's Zabeel as our flagship sire in Australia is stronger than ever, despite the eighty-odd shuttle stallions that have made their way here at various times since 1993. Zabeel is responsible for four of the 15 Kiwi-bred stakeswinners across the Tasman this spring (Lad of the Manor, Matras, Activation and Diamond Hailey) in addition to dual G1 winner Railings, who was bred by New Zealanders, but foaled in Australia. A third of the way through the season, 19-year-old Zabeel is posting tremendous figures in Australia with 44 winners of 71 races and $A4.7 million in stakes (to 16 November), second only to Makybe Diva's sire Desert King, and ahead of Redoute's Choice, Danehill, Encosta de Lago, Commands and Flying Spur.

Of our remaining 12 stakes-winning horses in Australia, nine are by stallions who either no longer stand here (Jadescent's sire Green Perfume), no longer shuttle here (Cape Cross, Carnegie, Elnadim, Marju and Tale of the Cat) or have never shuttled here (Danehill and Peintre Celebre). The exceptions are El Segundo by Pins, Sutology by Straussbrook and Command 'N Conquer by The Commander.


- Susan Archer