Windsor Park in high spirits ahead of Karaka

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  • January 26, 2024
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Windsor Park in high spirits ahead of Karaka

By Paul Vettise, LOVERACING.NZ News Desk

Excitement is mounting at Windsor Park Stud, not only for the imminent fall of the hammer to open New Zealand Bloodstock’s National Yearling Sale at Karaka, but also for the future of the breeding and racing industries.

Major developments including increases in stakes money have been warmly welcomed by all participants and most recently the announcement from the TAB, Entain and New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing of The NZB Kiwi (1500m).

The New Zealand Bloodstock-sponsored three-year-old feature will offer a purse of at least $3.5 million in 2025, increasing to $4.5 million by 2027 with $1 million in bonuses.

“In all my time, and I’ve been doing it for a while, I haven’t experienced the injection of enthusiasm and hope for a better future in this industry,” Windsor Park General Manager Steve Till said.

“At our level in the breeding industry, the timing is very good and it’s set Karaka up really nicely and we’ve got a very strong draft by a variety of stallions.

“We’ve got 21 stallions represented, proven Australasian sires and freshman sires of course with the first crop of Circus Maximus going forward.”

Windsor Park has high hopes for Lot 272, a son of Galileo’s triple Group One winner.

“The colt by Circus Maximus out of Oh Lovely is a stand-out, he’s from the Eight Carat family out of a young mare and he’s a beautiful animal,” Till said.

“There’s any number of others and the colt out of Monteferrante (Lot 245) and the colt out of Qiji Vision (Lot 333) are exceptionally well made, well-balanced Classic types as you would expect.”

Monteferrante is a half-sister by Pierro to the Listed Hybrid Plate (1400m) winner Jennifer Lynn while Qiji Vision is by Iffraaj and an unraced sister to the Gr.3 Canterbury Gold Cup (2000m) winner Who Dares Wins.

Among the daughters of Circus Maximus, Lot 349 out of Risque Business is a firm favourite.

“She is up there with the best and she’s typical of the family, a beautiful, medium-sized quality article and very well-balanced and correct,” Till said.

“I can remember taking (Group One winner) Star Satire through the ring many years ago from this family and it’s a branch that’s kicked on really well.

“We bred a filly called (Group Three winner, Group One placed) Soubrettes and she could fly, and Risque Business has left It’s Business Time for us, who won five in a row and ran second in the Coupland’s Bakeries Mile (Gr.3, 1600m).”

Lot 190 is another quality Circus Maximus filly out of Lisitsa, a daughter of Medaglia d’Oro from the family of the Gr.1 VRC Derby (2500m) winner Benicio and the Gr.2 Moonee Valley Fillies’ Classic (1500m) Romneya.

Windsor Park residents Turn Me Loose and Vanbrugh are represented in the draft, which also features sons and daughters of Russian Camelot, Maurice, Sweynesse, Exceedance, Darci Brahma, Contributer, Bivouac, Savabeel, Capitalist, Proisir, Almanzor, Yes Yes Yes, Tivaci, The Autumn Sun, Ocean Park, Ribchester, Churchill and Hello Youmzain.

“There are any number of quality horses at the top end that will be popular and sell accordingly, including a lovely half-sister (Lot 679) to (dual Group One winner) Mustang Valley by Hello Youmzain,” Till said.

Windsor Park will also be hoping for success on the track ahead of Karaka with its colours to be carried by Imwonderfultonight in Saturday’s Gr.3 Brighthill Farm Concorde Handicap (1200m) at Ellerslie.

The I Am Invincible mare has two wins and three placings from her eight appearances and was a close last-start fourth in the Gr.1 Telegraph (1200m).

“She’s very smart and she started off her career in Australia and John Hawkes said she was a Group winner all day long,” Till said.

“She was initially with Team Hawkes before she struck a couple of problems and we decided to bring her home.

“She is a great type, very robust and Sam Mynott has done an outstanding job training her. She’s in good form and we know she’s competitive at that level and just need a little bit of luck in the running.” – LOVERACING.NZ News Desk


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