Savabeel heads Waikato Stud’s roster at NZ$100,000

This article was written by Oswald Wedmore for TDN Aus NZ.

After an autumn to remember for New Zealand’s pre-eminent stud farm, Waikato Stud have released their 2023 stallion fees, headed by their eight-time Champion Sire Savabeel.

New Zealand-breds have enjoyed a particularly rosy patch of late, accounting for some of Australia’s biggest autumn events this season. As the home of New Zealand’s most successful (and most expensive) sire of recent years, it’s only natural that Waikato Stud was at the heart of the action.

The undoubted highlight, according to studmaster Mark Chittick, was watching his homebred and retained I Wish I Win (NZ) (Savabeel) capture the G1 TJ Smith S. in brilliant fashion at Randwick on April 1, with the afternoon capped by Major Beel (NZ) (Savabeel) winning the G1 Australian Derby.

“Savabeel provided the highlight for another very special year for Waikato Stud,” studmaster Mark Chittick told TDN AusNZ. “Standing top-notch, proven stallions gives you the opportunity to get great results.

“That’s what Savabeel has given us, his loyal shareholders and those that have bred to him – the chance to make history.”

That pair of victories handed Savabeel an unforgettable Group 1 double for the afternoon, doubling his tally for the season and bringing his total of elite-level victors to 31.

Priced for 2023 at NZ$100,000 (plus GST) and currently sitting second in the Australian Sires’ Premiership, are Waikato underselling their champion?

“At the end of the day, it’s not a big money-making venture for him now,” Chittick said of the 21-year-old, before explaining: “The shareholders will have the first opportunity for the limited number of outside mares he’ll receive this year.”

The legacy continues

Whilst Savabeel is reportedly in good health ahead of the 2023 breeding season and showing no signs of slowing down on that front, this year will be the second for his potential heir.

Joining the Waikato roster last year was Savabeel’s Group 1-winning son Noverre (NZ). Bred by Waikato and sold to Te Akau Racing’s David Ellis for NZ$800,000 at the 2020 New Zealand Bloodstock National Yearling Sale, Noverre is described by Chittick as, “A real standout type and testament to our stud.”

Breaking his maiden on his second start as a 2-year-old, Noverre’s 3-year-old campaign climaxed in his winning the G1 New Zealand 2000 Guineas with a dominant, last-to-first performance.

After he covered 127 mares in his first season, Noverre will stand again this season for NZ$10,000 (plus GST).

Super starts for Seth and Ardrossan

Aside from the headlines claimed by Savabeel, Waikato were given more reason to celebrate this season after their first-season sire Ardrossan made a promising start. Retiring to stud a Group 3 winner by Redoute’s Choice who never fully had his chance due to injury, Ardrossan covered 68 mares in his maiden season of 2019.

After his son Codigo (NZ) emerged last August to win his first trial convincingly, he fulfilled his early promise following a break to win his first two starts this January, the latter being the Listed Wellesley S. – giving Ardrossan that all-important first stakes winner.

Ardrossan then recently gained his second stakes winner when the tough Loch Katrine (NZ) dominated in the Listed Champagne S., capping a very promising start for the young sire.

The yearling market responded well to his next crop, which averaged over 33 times his NZ$3000 (plus GST) 2020 service fee, topped by a $260,000 colt at the Inglis Classic Yearling Sale. Ardrossan will stand in 2023 for NZ$10,000 (plus GST).

“He’s one of the most talked about horses in Australasia,” said Chittick. “He started off with a small crop and what he’s done, the impression that he’s created, at this stage is unbelievably exciting.

“He’s got a great syndicate supporting him, giving him the opportunity for success. Certainly, they’re going to be taking up a lot of nominations that could be sold because they’re that excited about the future for him.”

A year behind him in the run of things is Super Seth. The son of Dundeel (NZ), who has himself enjoyed a good season, saw his first yearlings hit the sales this year and they were certainly well-received.

Kicking off at Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale in January, they averaged $230,000 there, some 6.6 times his initial service fee. After a filly from Haunui Farm fetched NZ$625,000 not long afterwards at the New Zealand Bloodstock National Yearling Sale, the momentum was confirmed.

A winner of the G1 Caulfield Guineas in 2019, Super Seth also won his first two starts as a juvenile, and Chittick is expecting a bold showing when they hit the track later this year.

“Those that have had a bit to do with them since the sales have all said: ‘Great brains, great movers’,” reported Chittick.

“His own sire has had a phenomenal season. They’re about to turn two and get stuck into what they’ve been bred for, and we can’t wait.”

Super Seth’s service fee in 2023 is unchanged from 2022 at $35,000 (plus GST).

Proven at the elite level

Now entering his seventh season at Waikato, Tivaci produced a Group 1 winner from his very first crop in Never Been Kissed (NZ), who won the G1 Flight S. in October 2021. Later in the same season, a 2-year-old Wolverine (NZ) emerged from his second crop to claim back-to-back Group 2 victories in the Wakefield Challenge and Eclipse S. before placing at Group 1 level.

In the 2021 and 2022 seasons Tivaci covered 124 and 100 mares respectively, and with Chittick excited about the quality to emerge from those two seasons, he said now is a great opportunity to offer Tivaci at a value price to breeders, who can capitalise on the strength of his last two seasons, as his price drops from NZ$20,000 (plus GST) to NZ$12,500 (plus GST).

“We just thought it was a good opportunity to offer people good value in him,” he explained.

Chittick also draws confidence as he’s observed trainers and breeders alike learn more about the type of horse Tivaci produces.

“He’s a horse that won over six furlongs down the Flemington straight and won his Group 1 over 1400 metres,” said Chittick. “He’s injecting that speed into his progeny and breeders are really paying attention.”

“We know the genetic makeup of him, we’ve tested it,” he added. “I know he’s by High Chaparral, but he’ll predominantly get horses up to a mile.”

Whilst Chittick noted that Tivaci hasn’t produced a Group 1 winner since Never Been Kissed, he pointed out several examples of his progeny excelling over sprint trips this season, including 3-year-old filly One Kiss (NZ), who took out the Listed Canterbury Belle S. (1200 metres), and 2-year-old Lowe Flying (NZ), who was runner-up in the G2 Matamata Breeders’ S. (1200 metres).

After 10 seasons at Waikato, former New Zealand Champion Sire Ocean Park (NZ) will stand his 11th at an unchanged fee of NZ$30,000 (plus GST), off the back of another solid season which has seen him sire three stakes winners, all at Group 2 level, taking his total to 19.

Reliable in the sales ring, with his yearlings averaging over $90,000 for the third year in a row, Ocean Park achieved a lifetime best this year with a $460,000 colt at the Inglis Classic Yearling Sale.

“Obviously, he’s won a New Zealand sire title in the past,” said Chittick. “He’s had fantastic Group 1 horses and they sold well as yearlings this year.

“He’s got his best books on both numbers and quality coming through for him and stallions that have left horses of the class he has don’t just stop.”

Something new

Entering his third season at Waikato, Banquo is the first son of former Australian Champion Sire Written Tycoon to stand in New Zealand, with Chittick eager to show off the types he is producing by sending a batch to the upcoming weanlings sales.

“We’re hotly anticipating the arrival of his foals at the weanling sales this year,” said Chittick. “He was a $600,000 yearling and the mare sold a million-dollar yearling this year at Easter – the family produce lovely types and I’d be surprised if his progeny don’t attract plenty of attention.”

A Listed winner, Banquo mixed it with some of Australia’s best sprinters of recent years, beaten 0.2l in the G2 Autumn S. won by Microphone, and heading Tofane (NZ) (Ocean Park {NZ}) in the G2 Bobbie Lewis Quality.

Banquo’s fee will drop marginally to NZ$3000 (plus GST) for 2023.

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