Tavistock and newcomers shine in another top season for Cambridge Stud

7 Sep 2017


By Richard Edmunds, The Informant

With Tavistock once again leading the way, ably supported by the rookie sires Power and Burgundy, Cambridge Stud enjoyed another memorable season in 2016-17.

Derby winners Tarzino, Tavago and Werther had already combined to establish Tavistock’s reputation as a remarkable sire for the staying Classics, with the multiple Group One winner Volkstok’n’barrell also placing in two Derbys for good measure.

This season yet another name was added to that list as Infantry took out the Singapore Derby at Kranji, further cementing Tavistock’s place as a worthy successor to the Cambridge Stud legends Sir Tristram and Zabeel.

Infantry was one of eight stakes winners in the 2016-17 season for Tavistock, with the others including Tavago, Werther, Volkstok’n’barrell and the highly talented three-year-old Tavidream, winner of five of his seven starts including the Gr.2 Championship Stakes before his sale to Hong Kong.

Arion Pedigrees statistics reveal that Tavistock’s overall tallies, with four crops of racing age, stand at 104 winners from 159 runners, including 13 stakes winners. Four of those have been at Group One level, along with Group One placegetters such as Hasselhoof, Harlow Gold and Imperial Lass.

Cambridge Stud principal Sir Patrick Hogan continues to marvel at his still-young Montjeu stallion, who instils in his progeny a staying prowess far beyond his own Group One sprinting exploits.

“He had another great season,” Sir Patrick said. 

“It’s especially amazing when you consider where he’s at with his crops now. The horses that have just turned three are from his 2013 breeding season, when he stood for a fee of $7000. So everything he’s done has been with progeny of lesser mares when he stood at that lower fee.

“In 2015, his fee went up to $15,000, and then of course it was $65,000 a year later. That’s when he started to get the better mares, and there will be yearlings and foals this season from those books. So anybody that breeds to him this year or next will hopefully benefit from the results of some good crops that are still to come.

“His results have proven that he’s dominant and prepotent. Werther has carried on very well in Hong Kong, Tavidream was very exciting, Tavago and Harlow Gold performed well in Australia and Infantry and Titanium in Singapore. Then there are other promising horses on the scene like Hiflyer and Longchamp.

“He seems to have a good number of runners almost every week and he keeps producing winners. He’s got a very good strike rate.”

Tavistock has served large books of mares in recent years, including more than 190 in each of the last three seasons but Sir Patrick has moved to restrict his workload in 2017.

“He should have another good book this year,” Sir Patrick said.

“We’ve limited him to 160 and he quickly got that many applications, so we’re happy with that. Technically his book is closed now, but I haven’t put the flag up and put it in black print. You never know, there could always be a Group One-winning mare or a really top-class producer that comes along - and no studmaster would turn that down.”

Shuttle stallion Power, a dual Group One winner in Ireland, made a strong start at stud in the northern hemisphere with 29 winners in his first crop of two-year-olds.

The son of Oasis Dream has continued in the same vein in this part of the world, topping the first season sire standings with his first crop of two-year-olds. His five winners included the Gr. 2 Wakefield Challenge Stakes and Listed Wellesley Stakes winner Gift Of Power, bred and part-owned by Sir Patrick and Justine, Lady Hogan, while Nuclear Fusion, Satin Belt and Ohceedee were all Listed-placed.

Power’s fee has increased from $9000 to $12,500 for the new season.

“His progeny proved themselves as two-year-olds and it will be interesting to see how he goes with his three-year-olds this season,” Sir Patrick said. 

“He’s had some nice horses trialling recently and they’re almost ready to step out. I’m looking forward to seeing Gift Of Power, who I understand the Rogersons are aiming at the 1000 Guineas.”

Darci Brahma’s stakes-winning half-brother Burgundy also made a promising start with four winners in his first two-year-old crop, headed by the Listed Castletown Stakes winner Hard Merchandize. 

Bringer Of War placed in the Gr.2 Golden Horseshoe in Singapore. Burgundy’s fee has also risen from $6000 to $7000.

“He’s another very interesting young stallion,” Sir Patrick said. 

“He’s got a great pedigree and he’s only had a handful step out so far but they’ve done a marvellous job. He’s a non-expensive horse and has competed very well against multi-million-dollar stallions. 

"He couldn’t have done much better with the numbers he’s had so far. I think breeders should take a close look. His fee is very good value for this season, and by the time this year’s coverings reach the yearling stage he may be a $15,000 stallion or more.”

Cambridge Stud’s roster is rounded out by the proven performer Keeper, who will stand for a fee of $5000.

Sir Patrick has also taken great satisfaction from seeing the Cambridge Stud-bred Group One winners Tarzino and Preferment, by Tavistock and Zabeel respectively, embark on their own stud careers at Westbury Stud and Brighthill Farm. He gave particular praise to Tarzino.

“I’ve said that if I was 10 years younger he wouldn’t be standing at Westbury Stud – he’d be at Cambridge,” Sir Patrick said.

“He’s a lovely horse with a lot of attributes of Zabeel himself. He’s got the wow factor, he’s got that look and he’s got a great pedigree with Tavistock, Sadler’s Wells, Zabeel, Star Way and Le Filou. It’s a powerful line-up of successful, champion stallions.”

However, while he rates Tarzino good value at $15,000, Sir Patrick favours a cautious approach with new introductions to the stallion market.

“The money is in a stallion once he’s proven himself. The art is to make them accessible to as many breeders as possible, those who perhaps can’t afford the $20,000-plus fees.

“It’s an approach that’s worked very well for me,because you find that there’s always a mare somewhere who clicks very well with the stallion. It’s especially important now with a number of stallions competing for a very limited population of broodmares.” - The Informant