Garry’s Corner – 3 August

Garry Chittick

I am not sure if it’s good or bad but the one thing for sure is the years go real quick in this racing game. They go a lot quicker if you are lucky enough to be racing a good horse, you don’t want the run to end. Conversely, a year of slow horses can’t end soon enough. Waikato’s racing team has not lived up to our past good fortune, this coming season will be better, we hope!

Savabeel has once again performed at the highest level, it is a privilege to stand a sire constantly producing results shared by our shareholders, fellow breeders, and owners. To not produce quality racehorses ourselves with the opportunity we have would require soul searching, a serious look at our matings. Not so, the opportunity Savabeel offers our mares has over the years reflected in the upgrading of our mares, I doubt any breeder has had the good fortune to breed three of the four classics in any country in one season. Embellish 2000 Guineas, Hasahalo 1000 Guineas, Savvy Coup NZ Oaks – add Savapinski Group 2 MatriarchStakes, Splurge Group 2 Manawatu Stakes so you can see how important Savabeel is to us.

The foaling paddock is filling up, the night watch is in place, the lights are to be seen from Matamata reminding residents spring is in the air. Te Teko trials will attract over 200 starters, with the only money to be made by the float operators, jockeys and the sausage seller. This is the only place where trainers open their wallets to shout lunch to their owners. The tie-ups have been marginally improved, there have been times when horses spend the day on floats and to be honest if it wasn’t for the sand-based track, not a horse would go. Perhaps the first of Winston’s tracks may change this imposition on owners. The Lisa Chittick Foxbridge Plate is the time honoured racing kick off, this leads into the Hawke’s Bay Triple Crown. Last year the Spring was relentless rain, form meant nothing but someone wins, good luck to them. Cancelled days were costly, certainly to owners, I am not sure the industry cost is quite what it seems, after all, no stakes or race day costs is significant. Regretfully the increased Australian Stakes will inevitably attract suitable NZ runners, if lucky enough I’ll be among them.

The awaited report has been tabled, let’s hope there is light at the end of the tunnel, trundling along further in the dark will be familiar. For all that, I for one have always believed there is a better way, racing, like many other commercial sporting activities has paid the usual price of succumbing to the shortsightedness of smart people with no knowledge.

Enough, now is the time to breed, when the improvement we expect is in motion, the need for our product across the Tasman, expansion in Hong Kong, who knows, China may yet play a bigger role. No foal next year means no yearling to sell the year after. You might think it’s tough now but it will be a lot tougher with nothing to sell. And, what about the vision of runners you bred or race. Imagine the pleasure we would have missed out on without pushing on.

Three Classic Winners, we don’t race but bred, you know as do we, the owners of those winners banked the cheque but we banked the sale proceeds. I’d call it a win-win.

We await Tivaci’s first foals, Sacred Falls first runners, Ocean Park’s ongoing success, Savabeel walks the talk. Who wouldn’t look forward to the future? Cheers G

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