Classy Fillies Draw Attention at Karaka

Champion Two Year Old Melody Belle (NZ) pictured as a yearling.
Champion Two Year Old Melody Belle (NZ) pictured as a yearling.

The fact that 19% of all Group 1 winners in Australia over the past five seasons have first and/or second dams that carry the NZ suffix comes as no surprise to breeders, trainers and owners alike wanting to tap into New Zealand’s matriarchal strength.

Well-bred New Zealand fillies proving their worth include $150,000 Karaka yearling Bonneval (NZ) (Makfi) who represented the fourth consecutive kiwi-bred winner in the world’s richest Oaks race – the A$1 million Group 1 Australian Oaks. Accolades came after her three-year-old campaign with Oaks wins on both sides of the Tasman and then picked up right where she left off this season with a win in the Group 1 Underwood Stakes.

Not surprisingly, the Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman-trained star was crowned Horse of the Year, NZB Filly of the Year, Champion Stayer and Champion Three Year Old at the 2017 Awards.

Champion Two Year Old and $57,500 Karaka yearling Melody Belle (NZ) (Commands) added a Group win in Australia to her big New Zealand wins in the Karaka Million and Group 1 Sire’s Produce Stakes last season, and the record was bolstered with other Group 1 winning Karaka fillies in the same season including Charmont (High Chaparral), Chenille (NZ) (Pentire), I Am a Star (NZ) (I Am Invincible) and Montoya’s Secret (High Chaparral). The success has been continued into 2018 with Group 1 Guineas winners Aloisia (NZ) (Azamour) and Hasahalo (NZ) (Savabeel), and top sprinter Volpe Veloce (Foxwedge) in the Railway Stakes.

Not only are they at the forefront on the racetrack, but they are also featuring in the sale ring as values soar and international buyers look to get their hands on the impeccable pedigrees.

At Karaka 2017 Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Maktoum secured the highest priced filly and a family he had long sought. The High Chaparral filly (Lot 130) out of stakes winner and producer of stakes winners Diamond Like was offered as part of Cambridge Stud’s draft with $800,000 being outlaid to secure her. The global powerhouse Godolphin were also active signing for the second highest priced filly. Drawn to Pencarrow Stud’s Savabeel filly (Lot 58) from Group 1-winning juvenile Banchee, they secured her for their Australian racing operation at $750,000.

Success on the track and in the sale ring is mirrored in the breeding barn where kiwi bred mares are playing a major role in elite races across Australasia.

In the last five seasons, New Zealand mares have produced more than 270 stakes winners and 39 Group 1 winners in Australia. An array of Group 1-winning sires have been the progeny of these quality mares with the likes of Stareel producing Dundeel, Centafit (Mongolian Kahn), Iguazu’s Girl (Sacred Falls), Zarzino (Tarzino), Breccia (Tivaci) and Indomitable (Turn Me Loose) to name a few.

Legendary Hall of Famer Winx (Street Cry) is a daughter of kiwi mare Vegas Showgirl who was a dual stakes winner in New Zealand. From the seven foals she has had, two have raced with both winning at Group level. Winx, her first foal to race, is trained by kiwi expat Chris Waller and has impressively won 22 consecutive races while her second foal to race, El Divino (Snitzel), won the Group 3 Kindergarten Stakes.

Group 1 winners Terravista (Captain Rio) and Tiger Tees (NZ) (Dubawi) are the progeny of Parfore, triple Group 1-winning Gingernuts (NZ) (Iffraaj) is a son of Double Elle, and stand-out three-year-old and current Group 1 winner Aloisia is out of Queen Boudicca. Staryn Glenn (NZ) produced Lucia Valentina (NZ) (Savabeel) to claim three Group 1 victories in Australia along with three other Group wins. The top filly who earned more than $4.7 million in prizemoney has joined the broodmare band carrying a positive test to boom Australian sire Snitzel.

In the role of sires, O’Reilly and Zabeel are quite possibly the most influential broodmare sires to have been bred in New Zealand.

A champion by every measure and the current leading New Zealand broodmare sire, O’Reilly mares have produced 545 individual winners around the world with 487 of those in Australasia. There have been 36 winners to date in Singapore and 22 in Hong Kong with figures continuing to expand. He is the sire-of-the-dam of 14 Group 1 winners including the 2000 Guineas-winning son of Bling and recently announced stallion prospect Embellish (NZ) (Savabeel) as well as top-class Australian Derby winner Jon Snow (NZ) (Iffraaj) who is out of Orinda.

Champion broodmare sire and son of another extraordinary sire in Sir Tristram, Zabeel’s record continues to build and latest figures reveal that his mares have produced 1860 individual winners to date resulting from 2732 runners around the globe. In nearly every case, the ratio of winners to runners is impressive and he is the sire-of-the-dams of 35 individual Group 1 winners including the likes of sire-producing mares Sayyida who is the dam of Ocean Park (NZ) (Thorn Park) and Grand Echezeaux the dam of Darci Brahma (NZ) (Danehill) as well as Bagalollies who is the dam of champion staying Hong Kong superstar Werther (NZ) (Tavistock). He is appropriately second on both New Zealand and Australia’s leading broodmare sire’s tables.

Leading the way in Australia is the versatile stallion Encosta de Lago whose daughters have firmly established him as the Australian Champion Broodmare Sire. He is the damsire of 1052 individual winners from 1783 runners across 17 different countries. With 12 of those being Group 1 winners, among the list is a daughter of Bislieri, Sofia Rosa (NZ) (Makfi), who is an Australian Oaks winner crowned NZB Filly of the Year, along with stylish Caulfield Guineas winner Mighty Boss (Not a Single Doubt) out of Bullion Mansion.

The quality of fillies that will go under the hammer at Karaka 2018 make the week-long Sale a not-to-be-missed opportunity for any buyer looking to add to their racing team and/or broodmare band.

The revamped format will see selling get underway at the new night session on Sunday 28 January with Book 1 continuing through until Wednesday, followed by Book 2 on the Thursday and Friday, and finally Book 3 on Sunday 4 February.

Catalogues can be viewed online or requested at

Daughters of Group 1-winning mares:

Arapaho Miss (Lot 34), Honor Babe (Lot 259), Keepa Cruisin (Lot 305), Lashed (Lot 329), Miss Raggedy Ann (Lot 397), Prize Lady (Lot 499), Seachange (Lot 561), Shez Sinsational (Lot 577) and Soriano (Lot 608).

Full sisters to Group 1 winners:

Werther (Lot 48), Recite (Lot 101) and Turn Me Loose (Lot 272).

Half-sisters to Group 1 winners:

Shamrocker and Rock Diva (Lot 77), Music Magnate (Lot 119), Maco'Reilly (Lot 169), Gingernuts (Lot 170), Sound Proposition (Lot 180), Miss Keepsake (Lot 285), Melody Belle (Lot 371), Nashville (Lot 533), I Am a Star (Lot 619), Veloce Bella (Lot 694), Shootoff (Lot 725) and Miss Mossman (Lot 786).

Granddaughters of Group 1-winning mares:

Tall Poppy (Lot 5), Dantelah (Lot 6), Giovana (Lot 8 and Lot 442), Honor Bound (Lot 33), Arlingtonboulevard (Lot 37), Smiling Like (Lot 53), Good Faith (Lot 57 and Lot 69), Bright Sky (Lot 64), Il Quello Veloce (Lot 66), Piavonic (Lot 70), Bonanova (Lot 78), Sixty Seconds (Lot 79), Daffodil (Lot 137), Tis Juliet (Lot 139), Tristalove (Lot 159 and Lot 348), Plume (Lot 169), Zirna (Lot 175), Pernod (Lot 177 and Lot 364), Tartan Tights (Lot 178, Lot 1052 and Lot 1137), Pen Bal Lady (Lot 182 and Lot 499), Insouciant (Lot 198), Larrocha (Lot 236), Zagalia (Lot 247), Miss Josh (Lot 254), Let’s Elope (Lot 297), Our Tristalight (Lot 306), Key Change (Lot 310), Marquise (Lot 315 and Lot 363), Foxwood (Lot 326, Lot 582 and Lot 918), Gouache (Lot 327), Lashed (Lot 333 and Lot 589), Legs (Lot 335), Seamist (Lot 425), Zacheline (Lot 484), Zirna (Lot 510 and Lot 603), Lycra (Lot 566), She’s a Meanie (Lot 574), Showella (Lot 581), Polar Success (Lot 600), Beaux Art (Lot 610), Diamond Lover (Lot 612), Stella Cadente (Lot 625), Sophisticat (Lot 634), La Bella Dama (Lot 650 and Lot 734), Ethereal (Lot 675), Lotteria (Lot 727), Sharvasti (Lot 730), Crystal Palace (Lot 783), Royal Tiara (Lot 797), Plume (Lot 805), Imananabaa (Lot 862), Smiling Like (Lot 874), Maurine (Lot 962), Danglissa (Lot 965) and Portland Singa (Lot 1008).

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