Zabeel Still Winning The Stallion Race

1 Jul 2007

Champion Cambridge Stud sire Zabeel has once again shown his supremacy by coming out on top in the three most important statistical areas of the recently published 2007 New Zealand Thoroughbred Breeders' Association Stallion Register.

His stock are the soundest (75% of his foals make it to the races), win more often (55% of his foals win a race) and have the highest ratio of stakes winners to winners (8.38%). 

The real measure of a stallion's worth is his ratio of stakes winners to foals.  The true champions of the world get a SW/foals ratio of at least 10%. Zabeel comes in close to real champion status at 8.38% and is only marginally behind
Australasia's winner Redoute's Choice at 8.72%.  At only one third the fee of Redoute's Choice, Zabeel has to be exceptional value for breeders and buyers.

Not only is Zabeel the best stallion on offer in New Zealand for SW/foals ratio and a close second in Australasia, he is one of only three stallions in New Zealand who get over the 5-10% SW/foals bracket for excellence.  The others are fellow Cambridge Stud sire Stravinsky (6.2%) and Volksraad who comes in at 5.3%. 

A truth about racing horses is that you can't win if you don't turn up.  Zabeel gives you the best chance of winning primarily because he gives his foals the best chance of starting.  Even including his current crop of 2YOs, 75% of his foals make it to the starting gates.  When you consider that anecdotal evidence suggests that around 10% of all foals born die before they are yearlings, then this is a phenomenal achievement.  If you take out his current crop of 2YOs (75 foals of which only 2 have raced), his soundness figure rises to nearly 80% and over 58% of his foals win at least one race. 

Using Zabeel gives breeders the greatest chances for success in

New Zealand
.  And for breeders who really want to increase their odds of getting that brilliant racehorse, they can repeat matings that have already worked well for Zabeel. 

Zabeel has crossed particularly well with mares by Sadler's Wells (3 SW from 11 foals), Success Express (5 SW from 20 foals), Vice Regal (8 SW from 37 foals) and Bluebird mares (3 SW from 20 foals).  Other damsires who have more than 9% SW/foals from at least 10 foals include Bold Venture, Artaius, Noble Bijou, Last Tycoon, Straight Strike, Sound Reason, McGinty, Prince Echo and Balmerino.

Expanding these sires out into sirelines of the dams sent to Zabeel gives extra clues as to what has worked well with him.  Mares from the Princequillo line feature prominently with 9 SW from 43 foals, the Relic line with 10 SW from 48 foals, and the Hyperion line with 7 SW from 49 foals.  The Tom Fool line features well on percentage terms with 3 SW from 17 foals, and with the same figures are the non-Northern Dancer and non-Nasrullah lines of Nearco.  Ribot line mares as well as Bold Ruler line mares have each produced 3 SW at 10% SW/foals with Zabeel, which is above his average. 

line mares as well as Native Dancer line mares have produced stakes winners at around 9% SW/foals.

Breeders who own a mare that descends from Northern Dancer should look to Zabeel as a serious option.  Duplicating Northern Dancer by utilising a Northern Dancer line mare is currently running at 9% SW/foals, and there are many cases where this method has worked well such as the aforementioned Sadler's Wells.  Eleven of Zabeel's 37 Gr.1 winners are in bred to Northern Dancer (

, St Reims, Might and Power, Fiumicino, Savabeel, Unearthly, Vengeance of Rain, Dizelle, Railings, Reset and Hill of Grace), so this cross obviously works well.