Small was king at one of the biggest days of Thoroughbred racing in Australia, as the Melbourne Cup carnival opened at Flemington Oct 30.
Sunline delivered her first foal, a bay filly by Rock Of Gibraltar, at Cambridge Stud in New Zealand's Waikato region early Oct 18.
Danehill produced two group III winners at Warwick Farm, where Unearthly surprisingly headed a 1-2 for the Dane's nemesis, Zabeel, in the Chelmsford Stakes (Aust-II). But the headline of Australian racing Sept. 4 was the stunning victory by Alinghi in the Ascot Vale Stakes (Aust-II) at Flemington.
One of New Zealand's most famous studs, Trelawney, brought off a classic coup when fillies bred at the historic Waikato establishment finished one-two in the Queensland Oaks (Aust-I) June 5.
It seems purchasing sprinting sensation Exceed And Excel (Danehill-Patrona) for A$22 million (U.S. $16.9 million) last month wasn't enough for the ever-expanding Darley in Australia. The big boys have just grown a tad more and in the interim again turned the screws on all Australian stud rivals by buying Australia's best 3-year-old Reset (Zabeel-Assertive Lass) for A$20 million (U.S.$15.3 million) overnight.
Into his final couple of races in his hometown of Sydney, Lonhro owns a strike rate of 75% and change. But the champion was mugged on the way to his 10th group I victory in his final Melbourne appearance Monday, his 22nd in a row as the betting favorite.
Fresh from his triumph against his own age in the Australian Guineas (Aust-I) earlier last month, Reset attempted new horizons in taking on older horses in the 106th Futurity Stakes (Aust-I) Feb. 28.
Reset is unique of Zabeel's 26 group I winners in that the Australian Guineas (Aust-I) winner was foaled in Australia, the others in their sire's native New Zealand.
The Premier yearling sale in New Zealand has posted very strong numbers for the first two days of the three-day auction, the gross already surpassing the entire sale of 2003.
Champion sire Zabeel will stand at New Zealand's Cambridge Stud at a reduced fee.
Turnover at the 77th New Zealand yearling sale series closed at $47,235,200 for 970 head and experienced a significant drop in the lower end of the market. Receipts for eight days of selling were down 14% on the previous year.
The three-day premier yearling sale conducted by New Zealand Bloodstock that ended today saw a decline in both gross and average from a year ago.
Things slowed a bit today, the second day of the New Zealand premier yearling sale at Karaka, but the gross and average were both still ahead of last year's figures.
The gross and average were up sharply at the opening session Monday of the New Zealand National Yearling sale at Karaka.
New Zealend-bred Zabenz, making his second start in the United States, took command of the $100,000 New York Turf Writers Cup Steeplechase Handicap (NSA-gr. I) in the final turn and pulled away for a 7 1/4-length victory in rainy conditions Thursday at Saratoga.
A Zabeel colt out of the group I winner Our Marquise brought the top price of $1,050,000 (approximately $444,140 in U.S. funds) during Tuesday's second session of the New Zealand premier yearling sale at Karaka. Consigned by Cambridge Stud, he was purchased by Emirates Park Stud, which is owned by Nasser Lootah of Dubai.
The postal system in New Zealand has issued stamps depicting two-time Australian Horse of the Year Sunline and five other horses. According to the New Zealand Post's Web site, issuance of the stamps and a silver coin is in conjunction with the Chinese Lunar Calendar's "Year of the Horse."
Living legend Bart Cummings won his eighth Victoria Oaks (Aust-I) when the Danehill filly Magical Miss strolled home a 4 1/2-length winner in the 141st edition at Flemington. Zabeel filly Manang nosed out Lil Lo Lill (by Umatilla) for second. The 2:34.7 time equalled the 28-year race record.
The 2001 Australian Easter yearling sale burst into overdrive at Newmarket Wednesday evening with a sizzling session that had both buyers and vendors breaking out the champagne.
Sensational New Zealand sire Zabeel dominated the first sessionof the National Yearling Sale conducted by New Zealand Bloodstock Tuesday at Karaka, near Auckland. Of the $14,822,500 gross (US$6,434,151), 16 filles and colts by Zabeel accounted for $4,985,000, roughly a third of the total receipts.
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