The measure of a thoroughbred stud’s prowess is the year-by-year consistency in turning out high-quality winners over a long period. Matamata’s Mapperley Stud has achieved that level of excellence, and its reputation is well-earned, but it has also raised the bar for a medium-sized thoroughbred breeding operation by producing three champions in the past ten years.
So You Think, Dundeel and last year’s Doncaster Handicap winner in Brutal are testimony alone that these 600 acres of rolling Matamata hill country with large undulating paddocks have more than a little influence on Mapperley’s consistent churn of quality horses.
In the same year that Bart Cummings wrote in his book, ‘Bart, my life’ about New Zealand’s advantage with rich grasslands and the rolling horse country of Matamata, So You Think was entering this great trainer’s Randwick stable as a two-year-old having been raised at Mapperley. The next season So You Think would become Champion Australian Three-Year-old with wins that included a Cox Plate – a race he would win again at four years before heading north and dominating major races in the U.K. and Ireland as a five and six-year-old.
So You Think (High Chaparral) is now a Group One sire, as is the Mapperley reared Dundeel (High Chaparral) who was the Champion Three-year-old, six times a Group One winner and weight-for-age superstar of Australia. The latest Australian star to emerge from the Mapperley nursery is the four-year-old entire Brutal (O’Reilly) who this autumn will be out to enhance his great record before an almost certain retirement to stud next spring.
Mapperley’s rich history of producing top-class performers commenced in the mid-seventies when Simms Davison’s father Mark stood the highly successful Linacre sire Long Row which set Mapperley off on the path to success. Since that time, the Stud has reared, bred or sold no fewer than 18 Group One winners which have included another Group One producing stallion in Nom De Jeu (Montjeu) as well as names like Sangster, Sir Slick (six Group One wins), Descarado, Thee Auld Floozie, Gondokoro, Clint (Singapore Derby) and Triple Honour.
The honour roll at Mapperley also boasts a significant number of group and listed winners which include this season’s Gr.2 Auckland Thoroughbred Breeders’ Stakes winner, Yearn, and six times Hong Kong and Group Two winner in Rattan.
The Mapperley boss is the youthful hands-on studmaster Simms Davison who has been hard at work building up both the Stud’s broodmare and the stallion strength, and with the support of a loyal client base, the overall quality of Mapperley’s yearlings on offer at Karaka Book One, Book Two and Book Three in 2020 is very high.
One such home-bred yearling in Book One is Lot 352, the bay colt by second-crop sire Contributer (High Chaparral) from Mapperley’s Thunder Gulch mare, Thunderchine, and is thus a half-brother to VRC Wakeful Stakes winner Thunder Lady, and also to the dam of the seven times winner and Group Three victor Princess Kereru. This colt is well-grown, exhibits great presence and is shaping up as one of the stars of the Mapperley draft.
Contributer made his sales debut at Karaka 2019 which saw his yearlings sell for up to $250,000 and go into a good number of leading stables, especially in Australia, a more than pleasing start for the highly performed son of successful sire of sires, High Chaparral.
The deeds of Contributer are still fresh in the memory of Sydney racegoers who witnessed his superlative wins in both the Gr.1 ATC Ranvet Stakes and Gr.1 Chipping Norton Stakes in an eight-times winning career that saw him named Champion Miler of Australia in the 2014-15 season.
Feedback on the first two-year-old crop by Contributer received by Simms during a recent New Zealand Bloodstock excursion to Australia and also an Australian yearling tour, from both trainers and owners, was extremely encouraging with his youngsters impressing their connections immensely. Needless to say, the future is very bright for this exciting young stallion.
Amongst the five Mapperley yearlings by Contributer in Book One is Lot 562 which is a beautiful bay colt from the Group Two winning Danasinga mare Due Diligence, and Lot 131 which is a staying-type filly and the first foal of the four times winning Thorn Park mare Nomisma.
Simms couldn’t be happier with the quality of type within its 19 Mapperley yearlings catalogued in Book One, as well as having variety for buyers in the draft with 11 different sires represented. Two fillies on offer by Australian sires which are sure to attract attention are Lot 676, the bay Zoustar filly out of winning stakes-placed German-bred mare It’s All For You, and Lot 381 which is a daughter of Japanese Horse of the Year Maurice whose first yearlings at the recent Gold Coast Sale sold particularly well.
Mapperley’s newest addition to its stallion roster is the Champion NZ Three-Year-Old in Puccini, who is represented by Lot 126 – a bay colt from the twice winning Darci Brahma mare Navy Beach who herself is a half-sister to Gr.2 Matamata Breeders’ Stakes winner Te Akau Coup.
A son of the all-conquering Encosta de Lago, Puccini had everything as a racehorse, displaying a great turn of foot in winning the Gr.1 Thorndon Mile but also having the necessary stamina to record a classy win in the Gr.1 New Zealand Derby at Ellerslie. His oldest are only yearlings, but Mapperley will also offer two outstanding individuals by Puccini on the second day of Book Two – Lots 846, a filly, and 851, a colt, both from winning stakes-placed mares.
Mapperley’s close association with Victoria’s Rosemont Stud continues this year with five yearlings by Gr.1 VRC Derby winner Tarzino in the draft as agent for this highly successful Australian stud – four colts and a filly from mares purchased from all over the world especially for mating to the high-class son of Tavistock. Once again, Mapperley is delighted to be representing Rosemont again in 2020 and especially with five of such quality from Tarzino’s first crop of yearlings.
The Book Two Mapperley consignment of 18 includes some outstanding yearlings including six by their resident sire Complacent. The progeny of the Gr.1 Spring Champion Stakes and Gr.2 Chelmsford Stakes winning son of Authorized have been impressing trainers on both sides of the Tasman.
A colt from Granita was bought by Ben Kwok and Bevan Smith Bloodstock at the most recent Inglis R2R Sale for $80,000 and the demand for Complacent’s progeny was again evident at November’s Karaka RTR Sale when his two-year-old colt from Attention Seeker fetched $170,000 after previously selling for $52,500 as a yearling.
Stand-out colts by Complacent include Lot 788 from the Volksraad mare Pirie Piper, a half-sister to the Gr.1 NZ 2000 Guineas winner Clean Sweep; Lot 1037 – a magnificently conformed half-brother to six times winner and Gr.1 Auckland Cup placed Rose of Virginia - from the five-win Pins mare Centapin; and Lot 1065 – out of an Encosta de Lago half-sister to the Champion NZ Two-year-old in Maroofity – winner of the Gr.1 Ellerslie Sires’ Produce Stakes.
Others in Mapperley’s Book Two draft include a cracking half-sister to Gr.2 winner Yearn by Complacent from the Danehill mare Princess Uno, two fillies and two colts by Contributer, a pair of colts by Sacred Falls, and a filly and colt by Windsor Park’s first season sire Turn Me Loose.
The Book One, Book Two and Book Three yearlings on offer in 2020 may not be the largest draft Mapperley has ever offered, but on the quality of conformation and depth of pedigree it ranks with the best they have ever consigned, a factor that’s enhanced through the potential displayed by both Contributer and Complacent with Puccini backing them up in making his yearling debut at Karaka.