Update on NZ-breds’ performance in Australia

Several aspects about the performance of New Zealand-breds in Australia this season are striking – at least to those who track such things from year to year, as the NZTBA does.

Firstly, up to the end of Cox Plate day, New Zealand-bred horses have won fifteen Australian Group and Listed Races this season, compared with eleven at the same stage in 2004-05.

Secondly, the overall quality of those performances is somewhat better this year, with three Group One wins (Underwood, George Main and Caulfield Stakes) compared with just one last spring (Econsul's Caulfield Guineas); three Group Two victories (four last season); six at Group Three level (two last year) and three Listed Races (four in the same period of 2004).

Thirdly, Cambridge Stud's Zabeel position 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 12 Kiwi-bred stakeswinners in Sydney, Adelaide and Melbourne this spring (Lad of the Manor, Matras, Activation and Diamond Hailey) in addition to dual G1 winner Railings and G2-placed Dizelle and Empress Lily, who were foaled in Australia. Less than three months into the new season, and at the age of 19, Zabeel is posting tremendous figures in Australia with 37 winners of 61 races and $A3.7 million in stakes (to 19 October), ahead of young guns Redoute's Choice and Commands and their deceased sire Danehill.

Finally, of our remaining eight stakes-winning horses in Australia, seven are by stallions who either no longer stand here (Jadescent's sire Green Perfume), no longer shuttle here (Carnegie, Elnadim, Marju and Tale of the Cat) or have never shuttled here (Danehill and Peintre Celebre). The exception is El Segundo by Waikato Stud's Pins, sire also of 2004 Group One winner Econsul.

- Susan Archer