Savabeel mare claims premier award again


Waikato Stud graduate Probabeel has joined the best of company by retaining her New Zealand Thoroughbred Horse of the Year title.

The star mare, who is now preparing for life as a broodmare, gained more than half of the 57 votes cast for the 2021-22 Horse of the Year.

The award was introduced in 1971 and Probabeel is the 10th horse to win the title more than once. Sunline took the title four times with Show Gate, Rough Habit, Xcellent, Seachange, Mufhasa, Mongolian Khan, Bonneval and Melody Belle the other dual winners.

Probabeel was prepared at Matamata by former Te Akau Racing trainer Jamie Richards, but did all her racing in the 2021-22 season in Australia, as she had the previous year. She had three wins and a second from her six starts, all in group company.

The daughter of Savabeel won the G1 Caulfield S. during the Melbourne spring carnival and beat subsequent G1 Caulfield Cup runner-up Nonconformist, with glamour galloper Zaaki third.

At her previous start, she had split Zaaki and G1 Cantala S. winner Superstorm in the G1 Underwood S.

Probabeel had begun her campaign by winning the G1 Cockram S. with 60kg and had claimed the G3 Belmaine S. with 60kg when resuming in Melbourne in February, but suffered a ligament injury soon after and was retired from racing.

The mare was also an overwhelming winner of the Champion Middle Distance Award. Probabeel was a $380,000 buy for Te Akau’s David Ellis as a yearling and Cambridge Stud principals Brendan and Jo Lindsay had been the underbidders at Karaka and subsequently bought her outright.

Savabeel’s son The Chosen One, a Group 1 winner of the Thorndon Mile at Trentham, also measured up to the leading Australian stayers and was named Champion Stayer for the third successive year.

He ran third in the weight-for-age G1 Tancred S., was runner-up in the G2 Herbert Power and fifth in the G1 Melbourne Cup.

The Chosen One, who earned $2.6 million in stakes, will begin his stud career this year, at Highview Stud.

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