Stunning Randwick double for stud

Major Beel wins the G1 Australian Derby (Ashlea Brennan Photography)

Major Beel capped a stellar day at Randwick for Waikato Stud and resident star Savabeel when he reigned supreme in the G1 Australian Derby on Saturday afternoon.

The Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott-trained three-year-old completed an elite level double for the Matamata nursery and their champion stallion following the earlier success of I Wish I Win in the G1 TJ Smith S.

Major Beel had finished runner-up in the G2 Tulloch S. the previous weekend and winning rider Tim Clark was understandably rapt to go one better.

“It’s really special to give Gai and Adrian their first Derby, there’s not many races Gai hasn’t won and to put this trophy on the mantlepiece means a great deal,” he said.

“They have been great supporters of mine and without them I wouldn’t be where I am so it’s very special.”

Major Beel sat in second spot before taking over on the turn and stayed on too strongly for his rivals after scooting clear 200 metres from home.

“I would have liked him to drop the bridle a bit more, but in saying that it probably helped him get through the ground and he showed a really good turn of foot.

“I was keen to stick to the fence because most of the track had been used and chewed up a fair bit and the inside looked alright so I thought I would give it a go.”

A remarkable 30th individual Group 1 winner for Savabeel, Major Beel is the first foal of the unraced O’Reilly mare Gram, who has an unraced juvenile sister named Rose Gold.

She also produced another Savabeel filly last season before a return visit to the Zabeel stallion.

Gram is a daughter of the G2 Karakatta Plate winner Gold Rocks, whose daughters Gold Fever and Gold Rocks both won editions of the G2 Matamata Breeders’ S. while Calaverite was successful at Listed level as a juvenile in the Gimcrack S. and St Albans S.

Major Beel was purchased out of Waikato Stud’s draft at the Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale for A$260,000 by Waterhouse, Bott and Kestrel Thoroughbreds with the Matamata farm remaining in the ownership.

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