Stud graduate takes top honours

Probabeel (Savabeel x Far Fetched)

The Waikato Stud-bred and sold Probabeel has been crowned New Zealand Thoroughbred Horse of the Year for the 2020-21 season.

The results were announced at a virtual event screened on Trackside on Monday night.

The Jamie Richards-trained Probabeel (Savabeel x Far Fetched) gained just over half over of the 57 votes cast when heading off her Matamata stablemates Avantage and Melody Belle for the top award. 

It is the fifth successive year that a mare has been named the NZ Horse of the Year, following doubles by Melody Belle and Bonneval. New Zealand-bred mare Verry Elleegant was recently named the 2021 Australian Horse of the Year and a mare has won the Australian title 14 times this century.

Probabeel, who also claimed the Champion Sprinter-Miler title, gained 29 votes for SENZ Horse of the Year.

A $380,000 Karaka yearling, Probabeel did all her racing in the 2020-21 season in Australia and measured up in top company in both her spring and autumn campaigns. The Savabeel mare was a Group 1 winner in Sydney and Melbourne and recorded four wins – all in the Group company – and two seconds from eight starts. No other New Zealand-trained horse won a Group 1 race in Australia during the season.

Probabeel won the Group 1 Epsom Handicap in Sydney and the Group 1 weight-for-age Futurity Stakes in Melbourne. She ended her four-year-old campaign when second, beaten a short-head, in the Group 1 Queen of the Turf Stakes. She has already franked that form in the new season, with two wins, including the Group 1 Caulfield Stakes, at the Melbourne spring carnival, taking her career earnings to $4.5 million.

The Waikato Stud graduate Aegon, by Sacred Falls, was also named the Champion Three-Year-Old and The Chosen One, another son of Savabeel, landed the Champion Stayer award.

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