TEAMWORK PAYING OFF IN 'KIWI KORNER"
New Zealand breeders, high in quality but small in number, are renowned for helping each other out. But in the case of Mapperley and Little Avondale studs, and one broodmare in particular, it’s getting ridiculous.
In 2013, Mapperley bought Bella Carolina (O’Reilly) from Little Avondale, in foal. She threw the filly Tennessee, who became the first stakes winner from the first crop of Little Avondale’s stallion Per Incanto (Street Cry), scoring in Listed class at Trentham at her second start.
Six years later, Bella Carolina threw the colt Leedox, who last May brought up the first stakes winner for Little Avondale’s new shuttler Time Test (Dubawi), taking a Listed event at Pukekohe.
Little wonder Little Avondale’s Sam Williams feels indebted to his good mate Simms Davison from Mapperley Stud, or at least regards him as a good luck charm.
“Sam owes me a beer or two,” Davison said. “I remind him every day.”
That should be easily achievable this week at the Inglis Easter sale. For one thing, the pair are located next door to each other in what a Kardashian might refer to as ‘Kiwi Korner’ at the Riverside stalls. And secondly, while Williams has just five yearlings to offload, Davison has just one.
He’s one of three vendors with a lone lot, but the only one from New Zealand to do so. It’s a long way to go, from Matamata to Warwick Farm with just one yearling, but Davison is confident the economics will work out more than satisfactorily.
That’s because the colt is once again by the now hotter-than-ever Per Incanto and out of Bella Carolina. So he’s a brother to Tennessee, a half to Leedox, and a half to another female who’s outdone them both in Campionessa, by resident Mapperley stallion Contributer (High Chaparral). She’s won a Group 2 and a Listed to give Bella Carolina a stunning three stakes winners from six foals to race, as well as coming second in two New Zealand Group 1s and sixth in last month’s Australian Cup (Gr 1, 2000m).
Aside from those credentials, Davison said Mapperley’s Lot 41 is a stunning individual he knew would make the Easter grade from early on, a factor which also explains the decision to bring him alone.
“Normally, we put horses into other people’s drafts, especially if we’ve only got the one,” Davison said.
“But for my yearling manager Kat Malcolm, this colt was her favourite from day one. Early on, she said there was no chance we were going to put him in someone else’s draft. If we were going to take him to Sydney, she was going to take it over and sell it herself.
“So I had zero chance of anyone else getting that horse. He was her pet from day one. When your staff work with horses all the time, they’ll have their favourites, and the mare, Bella Carolina, has been one of Kat’s favourites for a long time as far as temperament and what she’s achieved, and the colt just flowed on from there.
“He’s a lovely, well-bred horse and hopefully it’s going to be very rewarding for Kat to take him through the ring and make a lot of money. Whatever happens, it’ll be quite a relaxing sale for me – certainly more so than Karaka.”
Little more than a year ago, Per Incanto wasn’t that well known in Australia. His profile started growing when the likes of Lost And Running and Belluci Babe started posting results, and it rocketed when Roch ’N’ Horse claimed the Newmarket Handicap (Gr 1, 1200m) at 100-1 last autumn.
And since Davison locked in his 2021 colt for this Easter sale last August, Per Incanto has continued his upward trajectory, with Roch ’N’ Horse taking a second Group 1 up the Flemington Straight in November’s Sprint Classic (Gr 1, 1200m), and with Little Brose becoming the sire’s first Australia two-year-old elite-level winner in February’s Blue Diamond Stakes (Gr 1, 1200m).
Per Incanto is currently 19th on the Australian general sires list – with 30 winners from 59 runners including three stakes winners – after leaping from 133rd in 2020-21 to 29th last term. His popularity has also grown in Hong Kong, with 37 winners from 50 runners, and Singapore (24 from 30).
“I never had any doubt this colt would make it into Easter. He’s always been a very striking individual,” Davison said.
“And we always wanted Easter, too. There’s a huge international bench there, and Per Incanto’s gone very well in Hong Kong. And the timing has been great, with Per Incanto getting those big race winners in Australia lately.”
Mapperley, established by Simms’s grandparents more than half a century ago and run by Simms and wife Margaux since 2010, is a stud on the go. It has four stallions on its roster in Contributer, Armory (Galileo), Puccini (Encosa De Lago) and, as of two weeks ago, Profondo (Deep Impact).
The last one was secured under Mapperley’s partnership with nearby Waikato neighbour Windsor Park Stud, where he’ll stand. Armory, bought the same way last year, stands at Mapperley, which Davison believes fits in neatly with the cooperative approach New Zealand’s breeders have, partly by necessity.
“We’re pretty lucky in New Zealand. We all get on very well. We need to, because we help each other out when it comes to stallions, buying shares in each other’s horses,” Davison said.
“We work well together and you need to in New Zealand because it’s pretty hard to do it on your own.
“There’s plenty of room for everyone to do well if they get it right. Whether it’s Little Avondale or Windsor or Waikato Stud, we need farms to be performing, because that helps us all out. It’s very much a collective as far as trying to promote New Zealand horses in the Australian market. We all benefit if the breed’s performing well over here.”
Davison reports “an amazing response” to Profondo even before a service fee has been announced. The rising five-year-old was a spring sensation at three, winning Randwick’s Spring Champion Stakes (Gr 1, 2000m) at his third start. He only managed one placing in his last eight races, but for Davison that didn’t diminish the reasons for buying him.
“There’s the Deep Impact line, and Profondo is just a stunning individual, who was a very high-priced yearling,” he said of the $1.9 million Gold Coast 2020 sale of the Arrowfield-bred colt.
“What he did as a spring three-year-old really ticked all the boxes for us. He obviously trained off, but if he’d carried on winning Group 1s, we wouldn’t have been able to afford him.
“First of all in New Zealand, it’s important to have stallions who are good and strong types. Second, it’s important that he showed that ability to mix it with the best, even if it was for a short time. He was the talk of the town as a spring three-year-old, and we’re rapt to have a horse like that in New Zealand.”
By Trevor Marshallsea