DAVISON REFLECTS AND LOOKS TO THE FUTURE
In light of the Tarzino Trophy result at Hastings last weekend, Mapperley Stud principal Simms Davison has good reason to be left thinking what might have been. The first domestic Group One of the spring provided a knockout punch to punters as rank outsider Callsign Mav left his rivals in his wake.
In another context the home-track hero scored a stunning blow for his sire, former Mapperley Stud stallion Atlante. The New Zealand 2000 Guineaswinning son of Fastnet Rock retired to the Matamata nursery in 2015, two years after his Riccarton classic victory.
However after covering 110 mares in his debut season, he suffered fatal injuries the following December with 70 members of his second book covered. “It’s hard to look back at, one of those freak things that you learn nothing from,” Davison said as he reflected on Callsign Mav’s big weekend win and what went before.
“At the time I just figured it was my turn to have bad luck. “He was the first stallion I went out and syndicated and he was such an easy sell – when people saw him they just wanted to be in. Bruce Perry, who is recognised as such a good judge, had bought him for Lib Petagna and with so much going for him he ended up with a fantastic syndicate when he went to stud.”
Close Mapperley associate Windsor Park Stud was part of the Atlante syndicate and bred Callsign Mav from the three-race winner Raadisi. Appropriately she was by former champion sire Volksraad, who initially stood at Mapperley under a partnership arrangement with Windsor Park.
Arion Pedigree stats credit Atlante with 16 winners of 29 races, among them two other stakes winners besides Callsign Mav in Star Of Bombay (ARC Mufhasa Stakes) and Riva Capri (Wanganui Guineas).
Davison continues to reap residual rewards from Atlante’s brief time with him. “I realised that some of his progeny wouldn’t get their true value at the yearling sales, so I retained a few colts with the intention of developing them and tapping into the made horse market. “Given what Atlante has done, it has been rewarding in that respect. I’ve sold some really nice young horses by him out of the trials, another one just recently to Australia and I’ve got another couple left. “So I’ve been able to enjoy some of the spoils, it hasn’t all been down.”
The first day of the Hastings spring carnival was also the platform for another feature win by a former Mapperley stallion. He’s Remarkable gelding The Midnight Shift, bred by Davison’s uncle and aunt Kit and Genevieve, followed up a maiden hurdle win at his previous start by adding the Hawke’s Bay Hurdle for the Paul Mirabelli/Barry Donoghue combination.
Back on the Peria Hills property made famous as the nursery of star performers So You Think, Dundeel and Sangster, third generation family member Simms Davison is looking to the future with an exciting trio of young stallions.
High Chaparral’s dual Group Onewinning son Contributer heads the roster, along with fellow Godolphin home-bred Complacent and New Zealand Derby winner Puccini. Contributer expanded on a number of feature race results in the United Kingdom to win the Gr. 1 Chipping Norton and Ranvet Stakes in Sydney after being transferred by Godolphin to Australia.
With his first crop just turned three, he has already had three winners including Lion’s Roar, who is prepared in Sydney by Contributer’s Australian trainer John O’Shea. He won on debut as a two-year-old in April and in his first spring outing finished second to the highly rated Savabeel colt Mo’unga before adding another win over 1600m at Kembla Grange earlier this month.
The James Cummings-trained Jeronimos, a $250,000 Karaka yearling purchase by Godolphin, followed a debut third with a win over 1200m, and just this week a third winner was posted by Contributer threeyear-old Bondurant at Grafton.
Godolphin contemporary Complacent, by Montjeu’s Epsom Derby winner Authorised and the winner himself of the Gr. 1 ATC Spring Champion Stakes, has had just one first-crop starter in Queensland three-year old Calm Seeker, and from three starts he has already won twice.
Encosta de Lago stallion Puccini was recognised as both classy and tough during a career that netted eight wins. He was the country’s champion three-year-old when prior to his New Zealand Derby victory he won the Avondale, Great Northern and Waikato Guineas. He carried that form into his four-year-old season with a list that included the Gr. 1 Thorndon Mile and although unable to win when transferred to Australia, he continued to race genuinely with a string of feature placings.
It’s entirely appropriate that Puccini’s first juvenile starter is shaping up as Wolfgang at Ellerslie on Saturday. The dark bay colt, a close second in two leadup trials, is trained by Peter McKay, who prepared Puccini during his New Zealand career. “Peter and I are racing him in partnership and it’s pretty exciting to know Peter thinks so much of him, so a result would be great to get Puccini off on the right foot,” says Davison.
After last Saturday’s Hawke’s Bay action – and without wanting to get his hopes too high – Davison is looking forward to this weekend with expectations as well across the Tasman when Lion’s Roar takes on stakes company in the Gr. 3 Gloaming Stakes (1800m) at Rosehill
“Contributer is already the only New Zealand stallion after Ocean Park to have two winners in Australia from his first crop and it would be great to see this horse keep stepping up.”