Brilliant for Breeders
19 Jun 2017
Westbury Stud and their connections realize as breeders the importance of racing horses in Singapore, and the win on 16 June by Champagne Rein (5 g Captain Rio – Golden Sparkle, by Gold Brose) was another welcome success.
The two premiership leaders, trainer Mark Walker and jockey Vlad Duric, combined and Champagne Rein carried the blue Westbury Stud colours to a convincing win in the $60,000 Class 4 1000 metres on the poly track.
“It’s my first horse for Westbury’s Eric Watson,” Walker said. “It’s a fantastic result and hopefully he can win some more races”.
Race favourite after solid recent form, Champagne Rein took his earnings to NZ$134,000 following wins in New Zealand, Australia (2), and Singapore, for owners Eric Watson, Tim Connell, Wayne Scurrah, and Nigel Morrison.
“Mark (Walker) has done a great job with him. He looks fantastic and he’s paying his way, which is important,” said Westbury Stud general manager Russell Warwick, where both Captain Rio (Pivotal) and Gold Brose (Huntingdale) stood at stud.
“We’ve always had horses, at different times, racing in Singapore, and he’s a horse that prefers decent tracks. Mark has done extremely well training in Singapore, and the communications and videos within the Te Akau model is fantastic.
“DC (Te Akau principal David Ellis) was in touch to congratulate us and Mark rung to discuss things, so it’s very good in that way.”
Warwick respects the benefits for breeders of racing horses in Singapore, having previously campaigned Zirna (Deputy Governor) who won the Singapore Gold Cup (Gr. 1, 2200m) and became Singapore Horse of the Year.
“She went up as a Group One winner that had won $150,000 in New Zealand, and she came back having added another two Group Ones to her record and $1.5 million in prize money,” Warwick said.
“We’ve had a number of other horses race successfully in Singapore. They have consistency of track surfaces and good trainers can work the grades very well up there. You can go up in grade and also come down in grades quite readily and still be racing for competitive levels of prize money, which can be harder to do in other racing jurisdictions.
“Champagne Rein arrived up there as a Class 3 horse. He’s now running around in Class 4, where he’s competitive, and still racing for $60,000 which as an attraction in itself.
“Our first preference is to sell horses, but if we can’t sell them and feel that the horse has a bit of merit we’re happy to put them on a plane and send them to Singapore.”
With regards exposure of stallions, Warwick said: “Besides Australia and Hong Kong, Singapore is one of our bigger markets. Particularly at Ready to Run Sale time, the Singapore market are big players and also in the tried horse market. So, if your stallion can fire up there it certainly is a drawcard and means a lot.
“Our stallion Swiss Ace is a prime example and his progeny have really found their mojo up there. He’s hardly had a horse go there that hasn’t won and he’s had a couple of serious horses there too. If his horses win trials or races here (NZ), he appeals to their market very quickly.”
Swiss Ace (Secret Savings) features amongst the leading sires list in Singapore, along with other New Zealand stallions: Darci Brahma (Danehill), Showcasing (Oasis Dream), Tavistock (Montjeu), and Savabeel (Zabeel).
Champagne Rein hails from the family of Champion Two-Year-Old Il Quello Veloce (Captain Rio) and 2015 New Zealand Broodmare of the Year Parfore (Gold Brose).
Parfore (Gold Brose) is a breeding phenomenon. Her progeny have won an unbelievable total of 73 races, and include Group One winners Super Easy (Darci Brahma), Terravista (Captain Rio), Tiger Tees (Dubawi), Group Two winner Ball of Muscle (Dubawi) and stakes winner Our Lukas (Generous). Her ninth foal, Balestrand (Zabeel), kept a one-hundred percent winning record intact when successful in January at Kembla Grange (New South Wales, Australia).
Also trained by Mark Walker, Jimmy Rea (Thewayyouare) provided Valachi Downs owner and breeder Kevin Hickman with considerable success in Singapore.
Stephen Autridge & Jamie Richards prepared Jimmy Rea to win his first two trials in New Zealand, transferring to Walker for his three year old season. He won six of his thirteen starts in Singapore, including a hat-trick, and $430,000 in prize money.
Jimmy Rea returned home following an injury, but showed to have lost none of his zest when trialling in April at Taupo. Joining the Autridge/Richards contingent that campaigned recently during the Queensland Winter Carnival, Jimmy Rea produced a big effort for third last Saturday in the $100,000 Hinkler Handicap (Listed, 1200m) on 10 June at Doomben, and stayed on to contest the $175,000 Healy Stakes (Gr. 3, 1200m) this Saturday (24 June) on the same course.