Zabeel retired from stud duties

15 Dec 2013


The curtain has come down on Australasian breeding’s most famous ‘like father, like

son’ double act with the announcement of outstanding sire Zabeel’s retirement.

His extraordinary success and remarkable influence on the thoroughbred industry has

continued the legacy of his iconic sire Sir Tristram.


“It’s the end of an era and what a ride it’s been for Cambridge Stud,” Sir Patrick

Hogan said. “I could never have imagined what Sir Tristram was able to achieve and

pretty well immediately afterwards came Zabeel to take over the mantle - it’s been an

amazing 33-year run.”


Sir Tristram sired 45 individual Group One winners, including three Melbourne Cup

winners (Gurner’s Lane, Empire Rose, Brew), during a decorated career that earned

him Australasian sire and broodmare sire titles. He was also inducted into the NZ

Racing Hall of Fame in 2008.


“I’ve been fortunate and I’m very proud that the two horses have done so much for

myself, my family, all concerned at Cambridge Stud and everybody that has had a Sir

Tristram or Zabeel around them, it’s been mind-boggling,” Sir Patrick said.


The sire of 100 individual Group winners and 43 individual Group One winners,

Zabeel will now live a life of luxury in the same paddock that he has occupied since

his retirement to stud in 1991 after a successful racing career that earned him a Group

One victory in the Australian Guineas.


“He is enormously fit, both physically and mentally and you wouldn’t pick there was

anything wrong with him,” Sir Patrick said. “He had 30 odd mares this season and

when he came to the end of serving he hadn’t got any in foal so he is officially retired.

“The fertility just hasn’t happened, but he’s a horse that’s not going to go away

though and his progeny in New Zealand and Australia will continue to perform for

many years to come.


“He’s been an extraordinary horse with three Melbourne Cup winners and four Cox

Plate winners and as a sire of sires he’s left a horse like Reset, who has produced a

VRC Derby winner (Rebel Raider), a Caulfield Cup winner (Fawkner) and a Cox

Plate winner (Pinker Pinker).”


The 27-year-old Zabeel has also left Savabeel, himself a Cox Plate winner, who

has in turn produced top-flight successes Sangster (Auckland Cup, VRC Derby,

International Stakes), Scarlett Lady (NZ Stakes, Queensland Oaks) and Brambles

(Queensland Derby).

“Zabeel’s a great broodmare sire as well and his daughters produced the first (It’s A

Dundeel), second (Atlantic Jewel) and third (Dear Demi) in the Underwood Stakes

this season.”


“I might be biased and the Australians may disagree but in my time, and I’m 74, I

can’t identify a horse in the last 50-odd years that has been as successful as him.”

Sir Patrick rated Might And Power as the best horse Zabeel had produced, a short

margin ahead of Octagonal.


“If I had to be on the panel of judges then I would put Might And Power on top, it

was just the way he raced with that great cruising speed that won him a Caulfield

Cup, the Cox Plate and the Melbourne Cup,” he said. “I’d put him in front with

Octagonal a close second.”


Zabeel produced numerous six figure plus yearlings, the highest was Don Eduardo at

$3.6 million in 2000, and stamped in the manner of his noble self.


“He’s got a great physique, a beautiful strong head and a very bold eye,” Sir Patrick

said. “They always talked about it in the ring. Overall he is a lovely horse and Robert

Sangster once said “this horse could step out of any box anywhere in the world and

you would have to take notice of him.”


Zabeel also had his own way of doing things that lasted right up until his last visit to

the breeding shed.


“He’d have to go 50 yards and 25 of them he would be on his hind legs every time,

even this season. That was a quirk of his.” - NZ Racing Desk.