Article courtesy of RaceForm, Richard Edmunds (Author)
An outstanding Group One win by Mascarpone in Saturday’s WFA Classic at Otaki has added another feather to the cap of Westbury Stud’s 2018 and 2022 crops of Karaka yearlings.
The chestnut son of Shooting To Win was a member of Westbury’s Book 1 draft at Karaka 2018, where Team Rogerson secured him for $160,000. He has earned almost three times that amount on the racetrack, with his WFA Classic triumph now heading a CV that also features the Gr. 2 Foxbridge Plate and three previous Group One placings.
That class of 2018 has proven to be a particularly successful draft for Westbury, having also produced the Gr. 1 VRC Oaks winner Miami Bound, Group Two winner and Group One-placed The Inferno, Sydney Cup-bound Group Three winner Marroni, and Group One placegetters Aalaalune and Battenburg.
“It’s very rewarding any time a horse we’ve sold goes on to tick that box as a Group One winner,” Westbury’s general manager Russell Warwick said.
“When you’re rearing young horses, it’s all about preparing them as best you can for their racetrack careers. You then follow their progress with interest, and you get a big thrill out of seeing them perform up to that sort of level.
“It’s been well documented that Mascarpone has always had well above average ability. He’d previously had Group One placings behind the likes of Avantage, Levante and Entriviere. Saturday was his turn, and he really deserved it.
“My impression of him as a young horse was that he was always tough. He was a very masculine type of horse, very strong. He also had his own mindset. He wasn’t nasty in any way, but he was a tough horse to deal with. Graeme Rogerson has often spoken about that – describing him as not the easiest horse to train.
“But the advantage is that he takes that toughness to the racetrack as well. He travelled on the bridle for a big part of the race on Saturday, and then the others had their chance in the straight but weren’t able to run him down. He has that warhorse attitude, which is a big asset.”
Mascarpone was bred by Westbury owner Gerry Harvey, who has retained a share of the ownership under his NZ Thoroughbred Holdings banner.
“After we sold him for $160,000 at Karaka, Rogie came and offered us the chance to stay involved with a share of 25 or 30 per cent,” Warwick recalled. “We’d always had a good opinion of the horse, so we were happy to take him up on that.
“With a $160,000 purchase price and well over $400,000 in stakes, he’s more than paid his way and has been a fantastic performer for his connections.”
Even though born and raised at Westbury, Mascarpone has a very Australian pedigree. His sire is Shooting To Win, a Caulfield Guineas-winning son of Northern Meteor who stands at Darley Stud, while his dam Fromage is by Golden Slipper winner Flying Spur.
“It’s an Australian family, but one we’ve had success with previously with his close relative Sofia Rosa,” Warwick said. “She was the New Zealand Bloodstock Filly of the Year and Australian Oaks winner a few years ago.
“Fromage was in foal to Shooting To Win when Gerry sent her across to us in 2016, and that foal was Mascarpone.
“Shooting To Win has had a few handy horses in his early crops, but his progeny may not have quite reached the heights people might have hoped for. Mascarpone has really given him a major boost now, becoming his first Group One winner, and we’ve got three of his yearlings in our draft for Karaka 2022.”
Another notable member of the Westbury draft is Lot 261 – a half-sister to Mascarpone, by proven Westbury stallion Reliable Man.
“That’s a fantastic pedigree update just a few days out from the sale,” Warwick said. “This filly has a bit of a different build to her half-brother – she probably doesn’t have that natural muscle strength. But she’s a lovely athletic filly with great balance.
“In the right hands, she looks like the type of filly you’d expect to make a very good three-year-old. That would be consistent with Mascarpone as well, who didn’t race at two.
“I’d say this filly is very much in the mould of some of the other well-performed fillies and mares by Reliable Man that we’ve sold in previous years.”
Overall, Westbury has 55 yearlings catalogued for Book 1, with another 34 in Book 2. Resident stallions Reliable Man, Tarzino, El Roca, Redwood, Swiss Ace and Telperion are all well represented, along with many other quality sires from both sides of the Tasman.
“Our draft has been very well received at the farm, and the yearlings arrived at Karaka over the weekend,” Warwick reported.
“A particular feature of the draft this year is that there’s a fair bit of Australian flavour, with Gerry having sent over a number of mares who were in foal to Australian stallions.
“We’ve got an outstanding Exceed And Excel colt (Lot 228), as well as quality fillies by Zoustar (Lots 296 and 523) and Not A Single Doubt (Lot 486).
“Those sorts of yearlings often attract a bit of buyer attention at Karaka, because they’re bloodlines we don’t see all that much of in New Zealand. Hopefully they’ll be well received.”