Waikato Stud’s outstanding season acknowledged

Waikato Stud

Another stellar season for Waikato Stud has them in leading contention for the Breeder of the Year Award.

The Matamata nursery is one of four finalists with the winner to be announced at the NZTR Racing Awards Dinner in Auckland on August 26.

Waikato Stud’s tally for the 2017-18 season boasted an impressive three Group One winners, eight Group winners and 15 stakes-placed graduates.

Among their top-flight graduates was the star colt Embellish, a regally-bred son of the nursery’s champion resident Savabeel.

The good-looking three-year-old won the Gr.1 New Zealand 2000 Guineas in a canter to post the third victory of his short career. Embellish was purchased out of Waikato Stud’s 2016 Premier Sale draft at Karaka by Te Akau principal David Ellis for $775,000.

The gifted colt is a brother to the Gr.1 New Zealand Thoroughbred Breeders’ Stakes winner Diademe. Their dam is the O’Reilly mare Bling, who hails from the family of the former champion sprinter Sacred Star.

Embellish’s victory at Riccarton set up a memorable spring week at Riccarton for Waikato Stud and Savabeel.

Their home-bred Hasahalo subsequently came out a week later to take top honours in the Gr.1 New Zealand 1000 Guineas.

Trained by Stephen McKee for Albert Bosma’s Go Racing, she came from the back of the field to rout her opposition.

The filly was bred by the stud with Isabel O’Shea, wife of leading Sydney trainer John. Hasahalo is a daughter of the Encosta de Lago mare Halloween, who was a cheap May Sale purchase at Karaka at the urging of the Group One-winning Australian conditioner.

“We bought her for $6000, at John’s insistence, and she had a foot like a cow to be honest,” stud principal Mark Chittick said.

Hasahalo was subsequently sold at Karaka in 2016 for $110,000.

The third member of Waikato Stud’s Group One-winning trio of the 2017-18 season was the New Zealand Oaks heroine Savvy Coup. She is trained by Michael and Matthew Pitman and also collected Group Three victories in the Lowland and Eulogy Stakes.

Savvy Coup is a daughter of the unraced Pins mare Eudora and was a $65,000 purchase for the Pitman, Coupland and Bruford families.

Eudora is a sister to Tootsie, whose son Ocean Emperor won last season’s Gr.2 Japan/NZ International Trophy and the Gr.2 Tauranga Stakes. The son of Zabeel was purchased out of Waikato Stud’s 2013 Karaka draft for $450,000  by part-owner and trainer Gary Hennessy.

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