Kiwi-bred filly Gypsy Goddess became the first stakes winner for Westbury Stud stallion Tarzino when she cruised to victory in the Gr.3 Grand Prix Stakes (2100m) at Eagle Farm on Saturday.
The effortless performance kept her unbeaten record intact, with four wins from as many starts and stamped her as an exciting flag-bearer for her sire who has produced four winners and 10 placegetters from his eldest crop, which are just three.
For Westbury Stud General Manager Russell Warwick, the win held plenty of significance for Tarzino, a son of Tavistock from Zabeel mare Zarzino, as he tries to establish the former Gr.1 Victoria Derby (2400m) and Gr.1 Rosehill Guineas (2000m) winner in the top echelon of staying sires in Australasia.
“It is definitely very nice to have a filly like Gypsy Goddess emerge as such a promising stayer from his (Tarzino) first crop, as she represents just what the breed should be,” Warwick said.
“To do it in Australia is also very important as that is where our major commercial market is based for our stayers and you want your stallions to produce horses that can compete successfully in the best racing jurisdictions.
“If you look at our best staying sires like Zabeel, Tavistock and Savabeel, they have had their best horses perform on the Australian stage and we want the same for Tarzino.
“I think the timing of this win is not lost on the astute breeders and buyers as well, as to have a winner like this in December sets us up nicely for the yearling sale market over the next few months.
“What we need now is to have another Tarzino do the same and then another and for his progeny to get on winning roll, which I’m sure they can.”
Warwick has been delighted at the reception Tarzino has received from the yearling buying bench since the first Tarzino went through the auction ring in 2020, as well as the patient approach that most trainers have taken with them.
“I actually had someone say to me recently that they hadn’t seen too many Tarzinos out racing,” Warwick said.
“I think that is a good thing as he produces staying types and you don’t want to see them contesting the early two-year-old races.
“It was heartening from his first crop to see trainers not applying pressure to them to get up as a two-year-old, as they will reap the benefits now.
“Looking at the horses he has had to the track they are natural athletes that shine when they start to get over 1400m and further.
“Gypsy Goddess has looked better and better as she has increased her distances and another good example is Strongbow who won for Chris Waller at the Gold Coast over 1800m on Saturday.
“He was good in his first two starts without winning but he looked like he will eat up the distance events now after his win.
“He actually looks like a Queensland Derby (Gr.1, 2400m) contender, which would be amazing to have him contest that race and Gypsy Goddess go to the Queensland Oaks (Gr.1, 2200m), all from Tarzino’s first crop.”
Warwick is keen to see how several other three-year-olds from that first crop go over the next few months after making promising starts in both New Zealand and Australia.
“I know Mick Price, who trained Tarzino, has about five from him in his stable and he has told me he just loves them and they have all shown him plenty in their work so far,” he said.
“Mick Price and Michael Kent jnr have one named Mangani who they think is very smart while Michael Huglin has a couple that he rates, including Tarzi Calling who ran third first-up at Moonee Valley.
“Back here at home Te Toki won his first two for Katrina and Simon Alexander and went a very good race for third at Te Rapa on Saturday after a two-month break, while Lance O’Sullivan and Andrew Scott have Ozark who is a New Zealand Derby (Gr.1, 2400m) contender.”
The success of these horses will be vital to the sale performance of the latest crop of Tarzino yearlings who will head to the rescheduled New Zealand Bloodstock Yearling Sale series at Karaka in March, where the stallion will be represented by 20 Book 1 yearlings and 13 Book 2 yearlings.
“We have been delighted with the sale results for Tarzino and I think 2022 will be no exception,” Warwick said.
“Nice horses have always sold well and as a collection I definitely think our draft for Karaka is our best overall from Tarzino.
“He has been very well supported at stud since he first arrived and this season he served around 120 mares, with 50 of them coming from us.
“What we need now is another two or three like Gypsy Goddess and we will be pretty keen to see the sale roll around this year.”