Tavistock dominance building steam

9 Mar 2017

An international rating of 118 has Tavistock's son Werther straight back inside the world's top 15 ranked racehorses.

After a long injury break, reigning Hong Kong Horse of the Year Werther bounced straight back into winning form with a gutsy performance to claim last month's Gr.1 Citi Hong Kong Gold Cup (2000m) at Sha Tin.

Werther was ranked equal third in the world after he won the Gr.1 Queen Elizabeth II Cup by 4½ lengths last year, following his Gr.1 Hong Kong Derby triumph.

Whether Werther can regain a ranking of that level in the wake of his suspensory injury last year is yet to be determined but his Hong Kong Gold Cup win has sparked a string of wins for Tavistock progeny.

Tavistock gelding Infantry resumed in emphatic fashion in Singapore last Sunday, claiming the Gr.2 $S$350,000 Merlion Trophy (1200m) for trainer Alvin Tan and jockey Manoel Nunes.

Bred at Cambridge Stud by Sir Patrick and Justine, Lady Hogan, Infantry started as a $32 outsider over a distance much shorter than his optimum but came home with a wet sail to score by a neck.

In 15 starts, Infantry has won six and placed in a further six, earning more than $S550,000 in stakes, among his previous best runs a second placing to Singapore Horse of the Year Debt Collector in the Gr.1 Singapore Guineas (1600m) and a third placing in the Gr.3 Colonel Chief Stakes (1700m).

In Australia, emerging Lee and Anthony Freedman-trained three-year-old Bedford kept Tavistock's run going with an effortless three-length win at Ballarat this week, while former Matamata galloper Margin Trader scored at Eagle Farm to register the fourth win of his career.

Closer to home, Deluxe Edition flew the Tavistock flag at Avondale on Wednesday, with Tavidream continuing his rise through the grades with a clinical Ellerslie win on the New Zealand Derby undercard.

Tavidream's trainers Donna Logan and Chris Gibbs, who have enjoyed success with four-time Group One-winning Tavistock five-year-old Volkstok'n'barrell, indicated a Brisbane campaign was on the cards for the promising three-year-old.

"He's still a work in progress but certainly is a promising type," Logan said.

"We've had some sale offers for him but at this stage he's still with us and we couldn't be happier with him. You might see him in Brisbane in the Derby after this."

Sir Patrick Hogan, who stands Tavistock at Cambridge Stud, was thrilled with stallion's run of success but hardly surprised.

"He just keeps raising the bar, whether that be through promising Classic-type horses like Tavidream and Bedford or through his proven weight-for-age performers like Werther and Volkstok'n'barrell," Sir Patrick said.

"Seldom a week goes by without a trainer somewhere revealing Group race plans for their winner by Tavistock. We are already seeing that overflow into interest for the upcoming breeding season. We're getting approached by breeders already asking about getting mares to him - and you can't blame them for registering their interest early."

Tavistock stood at $65,000 plus GST plus a life foal guarantee last season and was once of the first stallions in New Zealand fully booked.

Excellent sales results from Karaka and Melbourne indicate the demand for Tavistock yearlings is showing no signs of waning either.