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Zabeel's triumph in Hong Kong

New Zealand-bred star of Hong Kong, Vengeance of Rain

New Zealand-bred star of Hong Kong, Vengeance of Rain
Champion New Zealand sire Zabeel added a new highlight to his already wonderful season when his sons Vengeance of Rain (NZ) and Greys Inn (USA) quinella-ed the Audemars Piguet Queen Elizabeth II Cup 2000m G1 in Hong Kong this evening.
Russian Pearl (NZ)(Soviet Star) completed a great result for the New Zealand breeding industry by running home resolutely for third.

Vengeance of Rain (ex Danelagh by Danehill) was bred by K Biggs Enterprises Pty Ltd, Porter St Investments Pty Ltd, R N Russell & Dr J M Ticknell and raced as Subscribe in Australia where he won the MRC Veuve Clicquot S. LR and was fifth in the VRC Sires' Produce S. G1 as an autumn two-year-old. He's now had eight starts for his Hong Kong owners Raymond Gianco Chow Hon Man & the Executors of the Estate of the late Chow Namand, and he has won the last four of them. Vengeance of Rain's performances and those of his year-younger, Australian-bred full-sister Dizelle (AJC Australian Oaks G1, MVRC Woodstock Mile G2) must put Danelagh in the frame for Australian Broodmare of the Year honours.

Russian Pearl (ex Velinda by Veloso) was bred by Peter Setchell and Courtney and Miranda Howells, who sold him to agent Stuart Hale for $37,500 at the 2002 New Zealand Premier Sale. He won five races in Australia and New Zealand, notably the Bayer Classic G1, before being transferred to Hong Kong for his owners Mr & Mr Kam Shing Kan. Since then he's won twice and placed twice in five starts.

Vengeance of Rain and Russian Pearl had previously quinella-ed the Hong Kong Derby, while Greys Inn continues a remarkable international odyssey. Conceived in New Zealand, he was foaled in Kentucky for his owner-breeder Mrs Bridget Oppenheimer and began his career in South Africa where he was champion three-year-old male in 2004. Since then he's raced and won in Dubai before heading to Hong Kong.

Zabeel has had a tremendous international season with seven winners of 12 races and more than $HK17 million in Hong Kong, and 86 winners of 136 races and $A8.5 million in Australia. He chases Danehill in both those countries and Volksraad in New Zealand where his 26 winners are headed by St Reims. Zabeel is now the sire of 88 stakeswinners, among them 32 Group One winners. His 2005 service fee has recently been set at $95,000 (plus GST).

- Susan Archer