Sir Patrick proclaims himself 'breeder of the week'

29 Oct 2016

By Michelle Saba, courtesy of

Last year's breeder of the year Sir Patrick Hogan reckons that after a weekend where he bred three stakes winners that he could be breeder of the year again - well for this week anyway!

He has been breeding horses for around 70 years now and can't remember whether he has had such a successful weekend before, with three stakes winners Bel Sorisso (Keeper-Balbeel), Gr.3 Thompson Handicap, Nymph Monte (Tavistock-Grove Nymph) Listed Christchurch Casino Spring Classic and Gift of Power (Power-Capital Diamond), Listed Westbury Stud Wellesley Stakes.

"It was a good weekend. They were all great wins for all three horses - and in fact it probably started with the Tavistock gelding Firejet winning on Friday and continued with Werther's brother Gobstopper on Monday," Sir Patrick said.

"Besides the winners, Ronchi and Abidewithme ran second and third in the open sprint at Ellerslie, in my colours. I thought Abidewithme's run fresh up was amazing and she should really come into her own by Christmas time."

Gift Of Power started the ball rolling with her win in the Wellesley Stakes at Wellington. Having only her second race day start, she is trained by part-owner Graeme Rogerson and a large syndicate of owners which includes the Hogans - and she races in their famous green colours.

"She's such a lovely filly to look at and boy is she tough. That was a great win, to beat that colt. Young [Craig] Grylls had to pull out the big guns and she toughed out. It was a terrific effort for a two-year-old."

Gift Of Power is the first foal from the Lucky Unicorn mare Capital Diamond. She was the winner of three races and was third in the Gr.1 1000 Guineas and second in the Gr.2 Sir Tristram Fillies Classic and the Gr. 3 Lowland Stakes and Gr.3 Desert Gold Stakes.

Capital Diamond is out of the Zabeel mare Diamond Smile from the Group One-winning and producing mare Diamond Lover. Diamond Smile is a full sister to the AJC Derby winner and successful stallion Don Eduardo and the Group Two winner and successful producer Peruzzi. She is a three-quarter sister to Octagonal, Mouawad, Tristalove and Antwerp. Tristalove in turn is the dam of the Stakes winners Viking Ruler, Lovetrista, Kempinsky, Diamond Like - and the list of black-type descendants just keeps going on.

Capital Diamond has just produced a colt foal to Per Incanto and has been served by Power.

"It was a great weekend for Power and he also got a Group Three winner in Ireland. I will be faced with too many applications again next year. It's a great way to be, but despite the fact he has had the 'book full' sign up for a while, people are still calling and asking me if they can bring their mares for just one service," Sir Patrick said.

"I won't take the risk as he is at capacity. It's the same with Tavistock, they are still knocking on the door for him. Nymph Monte is his 10th stakes winner and I couldn't be happier with him. Now the tracks are improving, the Tavistocks will all come out now, and they will just keep winning."

Nymph Monte is now the winner of seven races and he also descends from a prolific stakes-winning family, as a descendant of Field Nymph. His dam Grove Nymph, by Grovesnor out of Field Nymph won two races and is the dam of seven foals, of which six have raced and are all winners.

She is the dam of the stakes-placed, winning Keeper mare Keep de Rose. Her last foal is a three-year-old colt by Keeper and is also in work with Nymph Grove's trainer and part-owner Grant Nicholson. Her 2010 Sahkee's Secret colt Terrific Master has won five races in Hong Kong.

Nymph Grove is a three-quarter sister to Kaapstad mare Blanchard, whose seven wins include the Gr.3 Trentham Stakes, and she in turn has left the Listed winner Zara Dancer. As well she is a half-sister to the multiple Group One winners Field Nymph and Just A Dancer, who was also a successful sire.

Coincidentally, Bel Sorriso also descends from another Windsor Park family, that of the Sir Tristram mare Eustaci. She left 11 winners including the Group One winners Sirstaci, Nimue and Smiling Like.

Smiling Like was the Champion Stayer in 2000-01 winning the Gr.1 Wellington Cup and Gr.2 New Zealand Cup and five other races - and she is the grandam of Bel Sorriso.

Bel Sorriso is the second foal of the Zabeel mare Balbeel and is herself a half-sister to a Listed placed winner in Cheshire (Cape Cross). Balbeel was sold at the 2014 National Broodmare sale in foal to Tavistock for $5000 to Murray Bloodstock and the resulting filly foal sold as a yearling last year for $140,000, helped no doubt by the form of Tavistock and the fact that at that stage Bel Sorriso had won five races and been placed in the Gr.3 Trentham Stakes.

That was a lot more than Bel Sorriso fetched and Nymph Monte, for that matter, fetched as yearlings. Both were sold for $5000 in 2013 and Bel Sorriso has now won eight races and nearly $180,000.

"Bel Sorriso went through the ring and on her X-rays, she was classified as high risk by the vets and she never got a bid. When she came out of the ring I was approached and offered $5000 and both on pedigree and type she was worth way more than that, but I took it, and it was the same with Nymph Monte. He was classified high risk," Sir Patrick said.

"They are only babies. They are only 18 months old at the most and as they mature they get over those issues. It has happened to me many times. Ronchi is another one that failed to get a bid, and came out of the ring not sold, and Bruce Wallace asked me what I wanted to do with him?

"I kept a 10 per cent ownership in him and look how he has turned out. He has won four races and six places from 16 starts. He is only four and has it all ahead of him. Most horses don't reach maturity until they are four or five. Nymph Monte and Bel Sorriso being a good case in point.

"I think I am in a good position to comment on this subject. I think x-rays are necessary and vets should report on what they see, but not necessarily have an opinion that simply says low risk, medium risk or high risk. Let the potential owners and trainers have the report and let them form their own opinions."