Group One triumph adds another chapter to Tavistock story

13 Feb 2017

Stocks in Cambridge Stud's gun young stallion Tavistock have again soared in the wake of Volkstok'n'barrell's fourth Group One win in Saturday's Herbie Dyke Stakes, New Zealand's richest weight-for-age contest.

Volkstok'n'barrell became Tavistock's first Group One winner when he claimed the blue-riband Rosehill Guineas in the autumn of his three-year-old season and his Herbie Dyke win over 2000m at Te Rapa was a timely reminder of the potency of Cambridge Stud's Montjeu stallion.

It proved that not only was Tavistock a proven source of a Classic winner but also a sire capable of leaving a hardy, older campaigner, one still far from a spent force past the halfway mark of his five-year-old season.

For Cambridge Stud boss Sir Patrick Hogan, Volkstok'n'barrell's win was bittersweet as his and wife Lady Hogan's super mare Abidewithme finished a desperately unlucky fourth, a bump soon after entering the home straight costing her a conservative length. She was beaten three-quarters of a length on the line.

"Yes, Abidewithme was very unlucky and we would have loved for her to have gone out with a Group One win," Sir Patrick said.

"But if she wasn't able to win it, then we would have wanted a son of Tavistock to get the spoils. Volkstok'n'barrell has helped fly the Tavistock flag over the past few seasons and we're delighted for Donna Logan and Chris Gibbs and their owners.

"He encompasses everything about a Tavistock racehorse - a good-looker with a great turn of foot and plenty of courage."

Prepared by Matamata's Stephen Autridge and Jamie Richards, Abidewithme will soon add to the Tavistock dynasty herslf as she retires to the broodmare's paddock in foal to the stallion, having been twice a Group Two winner and Group One-placed in the New Zealand Thoroughbred Breeders' Stakes (twice) and Thorndon Mile in a glittering career on the racetrack.

"She's been a terrific mare for Justine and myself. She's given us plenty of thrills and while she couldn't quite clinch that Group One win, she proved she was Group One quality and she'll be a valuable addition to our broodmare band," Sir Patrick said.

Tavistock's progeny enjoyed a successful past week, with the Leon and Troy Corstens-trained Crediton scoring at Moonee Valley on Friday night, the James Cummings-trained Plymouth Road winning at Warwick Farm last Wednesday and the Tina Egan-trained La Bella Rosa and the Janelle Millar-prepared Effectav providing the sire with a winning double at New Plymouth last Friday. In Hong Kong, My Blessing scored at Happy Valley last Wednesday for trainer Dennis Yip.

As well, progressive Tavistock mares Stylish Attack and Thatsforsure produced excellent runs for second at Te Rapa and both shape as potential future stakes performers for the stallion.

Despite the remarkable start Tavistock has made to his stud career, perhaps the best is yet to come, judging by the quality of the mares he served this season.

As well as Abidewithme, he served Group One winners Provocative, Elegant Fashion, Seachange, Pondarosa Miss, Guiseppina, Banchee, Soriano, Veloce Bella and Shez Sinsational, as well as others the quality of November Rain, La Sizeranne, Kind Return, Tarzino's dam Zarzino, Lovetrista, Diamond Like, Tavago's dam Sara Ann and Kawi's dam Magic Time.

Meanwhile, the Tavistock influence helped Cambridge Stud to a successful New Zealand Bloodstock Yearling Sales Series at Karaka too.

In the premier session, 39 Tavistock yearlings went under the hammer at an average of $148,589, with a top-price of $425,000 for the Cambridge Stud-sold colt out of On Arrival, knocked down to Yu Long Park Investment, while a Cambridge Stud-sold filly out of Ana Zeel fetched $400,000, the winning bid going to Melbourne trainer Ciaron Maher.

A remarkable aspect of Tavistock's impressive sales statistics was that his service fee for that season was just $7000 plus GST.

Overall, Cambridge Stud went within a whisker of landing the leading vendor by aggregate title, falling just $65,000 short of Waikato Stud's final tally.

Cambridge Stud sold 36 yearlings for $8.35 million at an average of $231,944. Its highest-priced lot was the High Chaparral-Diamond Like filly which made $800,000, knocked down to Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Maktoum, while a Savabeel-Love Diamonds filly sold to China Horse Club for $640,000 and an Exceed And Excel-Oasis Rose colt sold to David Ellis for $625,000 meant the studfarm was responsible for half of the top six priced lots at the sale.

"We had a terrific sale and we're delighted with our results," Sir Patrick said.

"We had the second top lot of the sale and were second leading vendor by aggregate. We would have liked to have topped both categories but that's testament to the competition at Karaka. Congratulations to Richard Rutherford for selling the top yearling of the sale and to Waikato Stud for topping the vendor list.

"It was an absolutely fantastic sale with new international buyers from far and wide giving our industry a huge profile boost. Most people should be very pleased with the results from the top to bottom. Of particular note from what I've seen is that there has been a kick up from the domestic market, which is great, with the likes of David Ellis, Albert Bosma and other syndicators bringing new people into racing and giving the industry a boost."