Breeders Corner \ Foxbridge

4 September

With this week's Foxbridge Plate Gr.2 being run at Te Rapa Racing, it seemed appropriate that we revisit the great stallion Foxbridge for whom the race is named and the legendary status he achieved.

Born in 1930, Foxbridge was foaled in Great Britain, being by Foxlaw out of the Bridge of Earn mare Bridgemount. Foxbridge was bred by Colonel Giles Loder.

Foxbridge was only a fair racehorse and his race record of 18 starts for 1 win, 3 seconds and 4 thirds would confirm this appraisal. His only win came in the Liverpool Spring Cup when beating weak opposition as a three-year-old, while he finished third to Loaningdale and Firdaussi in the Eclipse Stakes also.

In 1935 Foxbridge was purchased by Mr Seton Otway of the now famed Trelawney Stud for 2,500 guineas and imported into New Zealand. The progeny of Foxbridge won over all distances, and although he sired some speedy two-year-olds, his stock generally did best when given a little time to mature.

Without any doubt Foxbridge has been one of the largest influences on the thoroughbred breed in New Zealand, and this is highlighted by the fact that he headed the sire's list for 11 consecutive years from 1941. His dominance as a sire during his realm is best evidenced from the 1944 Boxing Day races at Ellerslie where he sired 6 of the 8 winners on the card - including the Auckland Cup and Railway Handicap.

The majority of New Zealand's best races fell to the progeny of Foxbridge and in most cases, on multiple occasions. Among his elite progeny were the amazing Sleepy Fox who won four successive Easter Handicaps, while among his daughters Zenith was at the top of the pile having won the NZ Oaks, Great Northern Oaks, and Desert Gold Stakes, while Tatua was another great performer for the son of Foxlaw, winning the Great Northern Derby, NZ St Leger, Awapuni Gold Cup, Trentham Stakes, Clifford Plate, and Founder's Plate at Te Rapa twice.

While Foxbridge sired horses were very successful in Australia, he failed to sire a Melbourne Cup winner in his own right, however his daughters soon made up for lost time as they went on to produce five Melbourne Cup winners, namely Hiraji, Foxzami, Macdougal, Hi Jinx, and Silver Knight.

Foxbridge headed the sire's list on 11 successive occasions and went on to head the broodmare sires list for a similar period. Other than his five Melbourne Cup winners, the number of high class horses produced by his daughters seemed endless and includes Peterman, Taras Pride, Cicada, Serena, Gentle Lu, Foxbay, Royal Estate, Merry Legs, Dyak, Poetical, and The Wash.

Foxbridge also had a number of successful sire sons of which Fox Myth was the most notable. The winner of the Great Northern Derby, NZ St Leger, and Wellington Cup, Fox Myth sired Elkayel, winner of the Hawkes Bay Gold Cup & Cornwall Handicap, and finished second in the 1964 Melbourne Cup.

Foxbridge died in 1957 and was buried at Trelawney Stud and was later inducted into the New Zealand Racing Hall of Fame.

So at 3:50pm tomorrow, spare a thought for the great Foxbridge.

Good luck to Travelling Light (by El Roca), Julius (by Swiss Ace), and Pop Star Princess (by Makfi).

To see Foxbridge's Hall of Fame Induction video, click on the link below.

Credit: Notable NZ Thoroughbreds

Pictured / Foxbridge