Outstanding season for Westbury Stud Stallions.

Pictured \ Redwood

Photo Credit \ Lesley Warwick

Outstanding 2022/23 Season for Westbury Stud

Elite level performers Sharp ‘N’ Smart and Romancing The Moon headlined a stellar season for Westbury Stud graduates and the Karaka farm’s stallion roster.

The high-class three-year-olds were two of 11 individual stakes winners bred, raised or sold by the nursery in 2022/23 with the Graeme and Debbie Rogerson-trained Sharp ‘N’ Smart the stand-out representative.

Bred and part-owned by stud principal Gerry Harvey, the son of farm resident Redwood competed in three Classics, winning the Group 1 New Zealand Derby, finished runner-up in the G1 VRC Derby and was fourth in the G1 Australian Derby.

He also won the G1 Spring Champion Stakes, beat the older horses in the G1 Herbie Dyke Stakes and claimed the Group 3 Gloaming Stakes and was second in the G1 Thorndon Mile.

Redwood’s associate sire El Roca sired a second top-flight winner when his daughter Romancing The Moon was victorious in the G1 Levin Classic having earlier claimed the Listed Otago Breeders’ Stakes during a southern campaign.

Trained by Mark Walker, she was bred by Matamata couple Hamish and Karyn McQuade and was a $50,000 yearling purchase by Te Akau’s David Ellis and will be a valuable broodmare at the end of her racing days.

Romancing The Moon and Sharp ‘N’ Smart propelled El Roca and Redwood to top five finishes on the New Zealand Sires’ Premiership and each stallion surpassed $2 million in progeny earnings for the season.

Emphasising his versatility as a stallion, Redwood’s son Platinum Invador landed the country’s premier staying event when he won the Group 2 Auckland Cup for trainer Lisa Latta.

Her conditioning skills paved the way for the Neville McAlister and Lincoln Farms-owned stayer after he had gone amiss 12 months earlier.

Another son of Redwood is the Westbury-bred and sold Tuchel, who has enjoyed a lucrative year in Hong Kong for champion trainer John Size.

The four-year-old, a $130,000 Karaka purchase for Simple Bloodstock Services was narrowly beaten in the prestigious Hong Kong Derby at Sha Tin with crack international jockey Ryan Moore in the saddle.

Zac Purton subsequently took the reins and they won two of their next three starts, including the Group 3 Premier Plate.

Redwood also sired a Prestige jumps winner with six-time flat winner Suliman claiming the Wellington Hurdles from the Hastings stable of Paul Nelson and Corrina McDougal.

Dolphin Skin emphasised her talent at her third appearance when she claimed top honours in the Listed Taj Rossi Series Final over 1600 metres at Flemington.

The Harvey-bred daughter of Telperion was purchased out of Westbury’s draft at the New Zealand Bloodstock Ready to Run Sale by co-trainer Troy Corstens under his Flemington Bloodstock banner for $13,000.

Back in May, Westbury celebrated a red-letter day when Reliable Man’s daughter Renaissance Woman and Essone combined with Solidify and Illicit Dreams to credit the farm with a quartet of black type winners in one afternoon.

Bjorn Baker’s Renaissance Woman had won the Group 3 Ethereal Stakes the previous spring and returned for a barnstorming victory from the tail of the field in the Listed Gold Coast Bracelet.

She had been bought for $250,000 out of Westbury’s draft at New Zealand Bloodstock’s National Yearling Sale by Attunga Stud while Essonne, trained by Richard Litt for breeder Harvey, powered to victory in the Listed Silk Stocking.

On the home front, exciting Redwood colt Solidify claimed top honours in the Listed Waikato Equine Veterinary Centre Stakes and like his stablemate Sharp ‘N’ Smart was bred by Harvey and shares in the ownership group.

Westbury homebred Illicit Dreams was secured at Karaka for $30,000 and the daughter of Vancouver produced a gallant frontrunning performance to win the Listed Champagne Stakes at Riccarton for trainers Kenny Rae and Krystal Williams.

Honesty, a tough and durable homebred mare by Postponed, produced a career-high staying performance to win the Listed Dunedin Gold Cup during the summer for trainer Leda Beck.

Redwood gelding Black Thorn has proved his worth on the Malaysian circuit and in the spring he posted his 10th career success when he landed the Selangor Gold Cup at Listed level.