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2005 Mercedes Breeder Award finalists announced

The finalists for the 2005 Mercedes Breeder of the Year award were announced by New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing on Tuesday. They are:

BARLOW THOROUGHBRED LTD

Businessman Jim Barlow's private thoroughbred breeding company has enjoyed a particularly successful season thanks to two mares: Vedodara, dam of Group winners Bhandara and Shastri; and Amanpour, dam of Tickle, a Group 3 winner in Australia and New Zealand this season.

Shastri and Bhandara, who won three New Zealand Group 3 races between them, were also raced by Barlow Thoroughbred Ltd after failing to sell as yearlings. Highlights of the pair's season were Bhandara's four-length defeat of dual Group 1 winner The Jewel in the ARC King's Plate G3, and Shastri's hard-fought defeat of subsequent Group 1 winner Keeninsky in the HBRI Hawke's Bay Guineas G3.

GARRY CHITTICK, Waikato Stud

Garry's 2004-05 roll of honour is headed by three Group One winners: Starcraft in the spring, Glamour Puss in the autumn and Lachlan River at the Queensland winter carnival. They're been well-supported by stakes-winning two-year-old filly Crepe de Chine, Flemington stakeswinner Salsa, Starcraft's Group One-placed half-sister Forum Floozie and ten other stakes performers.

Eleven of Garry's stakes performers this season are by stallions that stand or have stood at Waikato Stud: champion sire Centaine, Danasinga, O'Reilly, Pins and Defensive Play.

Garry was named New Zealand Breeder of the Year in 1993; and was a finalist in 2002, 2003 and 2004.

SIR PATRICK & LADY HOGAN, Cambridge Stud

Three Group One winners, weight-for-age star St Reims, Cup winner Zabeat and two-year-old Kindacross, head the Hogans' list of high achievers in 2004-05. The list continues with another six stakeswinners in New Zealand, Australia and Malaysia, six stakes-placed horses and Flemington Premier Jumping Race placegetter Merlos.

Cambridge Stud's champion sire Zabeel has enjoyed a tremendous year, producing five winners of eight Group One races and amassing prizemoney of almost $NZ19 million in Australia, New Zealand and Hong Kong.

Sir Patrick and Lady Hogan have won the New Zealand Breeder of the Year title four times, in 1995, 1996, 1997 and 2004.

DON & ROCHELLE McLAREN

The 2004-05 season has produced no fewer than seven black-type victories by McLaren-bred horses.

Millennium recorded victories at Group 3 and Listed level, while Calveen's five Group wins included a decisive Easter Handicap G1 victory in March. At her final start this season she and fellow McLaren-bred Prize Lady produced a notable Group race quinella in the Dulcie Stakes G2 at Te Rapa.

Prize Lady had previously run second, beaten less than a length by Justa Tad, in the New Zealand Oaks. Millennium's three-year-old half-brother Kamsky closed out the McLarens' season with a third placing in the South Australian Derby G1 in May.

Don & Rochelle were finalists for this award in 2003.

Nominations for the Mercedes Breeder of the Year are made by the NZTBA council and branches. The NZTBA councillors vote by way of a secret ballot to produce four finalists including the winner(s) who will be announced at the Mercedes Thoroughbred Racing Awards dinner in Christchurch on Friday 12 August.

- Susan Archer