1000 Guineas winner adds to Cunningham’s upbeat outlook

It’s been a fantastic New Zealand Cup carnival for horses from Curraghmore sale drafts – from all ends of the market.

Kahma Lass, a daughter of Darci Brahma bred by Nearco Stud and raised at Gordon Cunningham’s Te Awamutu property, capped a great carnival when she won the Gr. 1 Barneswood Farm New Zealand 1000 Guineas (1600m).

At $290,000 she was one of the top 50-selling lots at Book 1 of the National Yearling Sales at Karaka, and the most expensive yearling by her sire to sell in Book 1 that year.

Her victory was preceded three days earlier by that of Aimee’s Jewel, a daughter of Proisir – a $10,000 buy at the 2018 Karaka May Sale – in the Gr.3 Valachi Downs Canterbury Breeders’ Stakes (1400m).

Aimee’s Jewel after winning the Gr.3 Canterbury Breeders’ Stakes (1400m).
Photo: Race Images South

“They’re all grown on the same grounds,” Cunningham said. “It doesn’t really matter what sale they’re offered at, they all have the same opportunity on our farm.

“They’re well raised, well developed, and they have every opportunity to become good racehorses.”

Kahma Lass is the latest outstanding product from Greg Tomlinson’s Nearco Stud.

Best-known for breeding the champion Hong Kong miler Beauty Generation, who was raised at Highden Park, Nearco Stud also bred Gr.1 Queensland Oaks (2400m) winner Provocative.

“Greg has been tremendously successful for the short time that he’s been in the game. Many of his mares are producing stakes horses, and some of them are multiple stakes producers,” Cunningham said. 

Kahma Lass winning the Gr.1 New Zealand 1000 Guineas (1600m).
Photo: Race Images South

Chief among those producers has been Kahma Lass’s dam Distinctive Lass. A Curraghmore resident, Distinctive Lass has produced six winners from as many runners, including Kahma Lass’s brother Distinctive Darci, a black-type winner in Singapore, and Kuro, a four-time stakes winner and multiple group one placegetter.

“Kahma Lass was a lovely filly. We always had a very good opinion of her,” Cunningham said.

“She was a quality filly, she was always progressive, and she was very athletic.”

Aimee’s Jewel is out of the stakes-winning Colombia mare Aimee’s Idol and she has proved to be her best foal to date.

“We sold her for what we felt was way below her value, but she’d been given a great opportunity and she’s been brilliantly developed by Trudy Keegan,” Cunningham said.

The Cup week results are a timely reminder of Curraghmore’s record heading into the Ready to Run Sale, where Cunningham is offering five two-year-olds – three by Tavistock and one each by Savabeel and Turn Me Loose.

Three of them, two of the Tavistocks and the Savabeel, were the last three foals born on the farm in the 2018-19, and were targeted at Ready to Run to allow them time to mature.

Curraghmore has had successes with its Ready to Run graduates, most notably with multiple Group One-placed Age of Chivalry, a son of He’s Remarkable, bought for $50,000 who has earned his owners nearly A$600,000.

“I’m feeling very positive about this sale and the direction the New Zealand industry is heading,” Cunningham said. “We have a great group of farms here that are producing great horses, and I’m just really proud that we’ve established Curraghmore among the great breeding farms in New Zealand.”

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