A hundred not out for superstar Savabeel

Waikato Stud’s star resident Savabeel has cracked another significant milestone in his remarkable career with daughter Savacool providing the multiple champion sire’s 100th individual stakes winner.

Savabeel has achieved extraordinary dominance since his retirement to the premier Matamata nursery and Savacool’s victory in the Listed Rowley Mile at Hawkesbury adds to his list of extraordinary achievements.

He has won the Grosvenor Award (champion New Zealand sire) for five consecutive seasons, four Dewar Awards (combined New Zealand and Australian progeny earnings) and five Centaine Awards (combined world-wide progeny earnings) and has sired 20 individual Group 1 winners.

Savacool was bred by stud principal Mark Chittick with long-time family friend and client Gary Wallace and sold at New Zealand Bloodstock’s National Yearling Sale to trainer Chris Waller for NZ$220,000.

“Gary and his wife Vicky are great family friends and it’s a relationship goes right back to our days at Thornton Park when Gary became involved in Centaine,” Chittick said. “We’ve enjoyed a close relationship ever since then and he is very passionate about the game.”

Wallace is also a major player in another part of Waikato Stud’s history.

“I bred O’Reilly’s first stakes winner The Big Chill who won the Listed Red Roses S. at Flemington on Oaks day so to do that and now Savabeel’s 100th stakes winner is very special,” Wallace said.

“Many, many years ago my Dad raced the odd horse so I followed it and had a real interest. It wasn’t until later on that I met Garry Chittick when he was in Palmerston North and he had just bought Centaine.

“I went out to the farm with another friend to look at him and met Garry – he must be a good salesman because I bought two shares in Centaine and that was the start of an amazing friendship with the Chittick family. It’s been an amazing journey.”

Despite Savabeel’s outstanding success, it wasn’t all be plain sailing.

“Obviously, we are all extremely proud of what he has achieved. It’s never been a secret that he was the first NZ$10 million syndicated horse to come to New Zealand,” Chittick said.

“The support we had in purchasing him and getting him syndicated was incredible and all the way through. We’ve all had a great ride with him and continue to do so.

“Being by Zabeel, we knew they were going to be at their best and 3-year-olds and onwards and there was certainly a year when he served well under 100 mares. There was also a year around that stage that we didn’t get a lot of support from the sales company.

“Through that period it was really very tricky and his service went from NZ$30,000 to NZ$20,000, but we always had confidence in Savabeel. There were definitely difficult years, tough times, and I’m very proud that he came out of that.

“Interestingly enough, he’s now up 15 2-year-old stakes winners, which is incredible. He leaves a top 2-year-old and horses that train on with stakes winners over sprint distances up to a Group 1 winner over 3200 metres and leaves fillies and colts.”

O’Reilly (Photo Credit: Trish Dunell)

Savabeel won both the G1 Cox Plate and the G1 Spring Champion S. when trained by Graeme Rogerson for an ownership group that included Max Whitby and they both remained involved in the second stage of the horse’s career at stud.

“Of our locals, Sam Williams and Graham Bax have been great and a guy who came in a little later because he became involved in the game after we had syndicated the horse and has become a big part of it all is Tony Rider,” Chittick said.

“From the point of view of not being a shareholder, but a great supporter of Savabeel is Peter Moody. He trained (stakes winners) Pasadena Girl, Nurse Kitchen and Brambles, among others.

“He’s always said that when we do a brass sculpture of Savabeel he should be standing beside him, we always joke about that. He might not have always bought the biggest, shiniest ones, but he has had great success with them.

“Bruce Perry and Lib Petagna are two other great supporters of Savabeel. I don’t know how many stakes-winning daughters Lib is now breeding from, it might not be 10 but it would be close.

“In the latter years, David Ellis and Te Akau have been very successful with sons and daughters of Savabeel.”

The progeny of Savabeel have also been a major drawcard for overseas buyers at New Zealand Bloodstock’s National Yearling Sale for many years and spearheaded Waikato Stud to leading vendor vendor titles at Karaka from 2014 to 2020.

“He’s been incredibly important to us and more importantly to New Zealand. He’s given every reason, particularly Australian buyers, to be here to get their hands on them,” Chittick said. “He has been an absolute life-changer, absolutely no doubt about it.”

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