A New Zealand-bred lens on the Melbourne Cup

New Zealand-bred horses have enjoyed a long and fruitful association with the Gr.1 Melbourne Cup (3200m) with 46 winners of the great race including last year’s winner Verry Elleegant.

The Kiwi-breds represent six of the 23 runners in the field this year and below we take a look at their credentials and background.

9. Stockman (NZ)

6 year old bay gelding

Sire: Tavistock (NZ) Dam: Crimson (NZ) (Zabeel (NZ))

Breeder: Sir Patrick & Lady Hogan

Owners: Proven Thoroughbreds (Mgr: A J Walter), M C Racing No. 9 (Mgr: J J Martin), P R King, Mrs K Walsh, A Vercoe, M C Clucas, D C Clucas, M A Bartley, S M Vella, B C Walker, F W Cook, R K List, P A Karlsson, Miss L Karlsson, Mrs L Karlsson, B D Playford, D J Wilson, Mrs C M Cook, P B Newsom & G A Green

54kg — Barrier 12 — Odds: win $34, place $8 — T: Joe Pride — J: Sam Clipperton

Stockman finished eighth over 2000m at Rosehill on Saturday after winning the St Leger (2600m) a fortnight ago and is six runs into what is an old-fashioned Melbourne Cup campaign.

Fitness won’t be an issue and nor will a wet track, with Stockman boasting four wins and a couple of placings on heavy ground.

Bred by Sir Patrick & Lady Justine Hogan, Stockman is one of three runners by Tavistock in the Cup. He was purchased out of Cambridge Stud’s 2018 New Zealand Bloodstock Book 1 Yearling Sale draft by Jamie Walter’s Proven Thoroughbreds and John Thompson for $175,000.

The gelding is out of the Group Two winning Zabeel mare Crimson, dam of multiple Group Two winner Abidewithme and Gr.1 VRC Oaks (2500m) runner-up Miss Scarlatti.

Photo credits: Trish Dunell

11. Young Werther (NZ)

5 year old bay gelding

Sire: Tavistock (NZ) Dam: Romantic Time (NZ) (Fastnet Rock)

Breeder: Sir Patrick & Lady Hogan

Owners: D T O’Brien, Mrs J O’Brien, B A Ainsworth, T H Rourke, J F Hardwick, A C Lennen, S W Bruhn, C Kopacz & Salter Pastoral Company (Mgr: R C Salter)

54kg — Barrier 21 — Odds: win $34, place $8.50 — T: Danny O’Brien — J: Damian Lane

It is fair to say Young Werther doesn’t win out of turn, but Tuesday could be the day for this lightly raced son of Tavistock.

The five-year-old has won in excess of A$1.1 million from his 14 starts, despite his only win coming in a Geelong maiden.

A very consistent galloper, Young Werther has long been aimed at the Melbourne Cup and finished just on three lengths behind Anamoe in the Gr.1 Cox Plate (2040m). He also likes Flemington and has placed in the last two editions of the Gr.1 Turnbull Stakes (2000m) at the venue.

By noted sire of stayers Tavistock, Young Werther is out of the winning Fastnet Rock mare Romantic Time, who is also the dam of stakes performer Romantic Lady.

The majority of the family have excelled over shorter distances, with the dam a half-sister to the Gr.2 Silver Slipper Stakes (1100m) winner Amelia’s Dream.

Young Werther was purchased out of Cambridge Stud’s draft at Karaka in 2019 for $140,000 by Danny O’Brien and Aquis Farm.

Photo credits: Trish Dunell

14. Daqiansweet Junior (NZ)

5 year old bay or brown gelding

Sire: Sweet Orange (USA) Dam: Paulette (NZ) (Keeper)

Breeder: Gillovic Bloodstock Ltd

Owners: OTI Racing (Mgrs: T Henderson & S Driscoll), P Vawdrey, T Barrot, R Menchise, T & Mrs B Porter, W & Mrs V Pelchen, J Gurrieri, N McKissock, J & Mrs J Spence, Webbmck Racing (Mgr: L Webb), D Painter, G Lygoyris, J Danaher, A Goodfellow, Mrs P Goodfellow, Beartown No. 4 (Mgr: B Martin Oam) & P Goodwin

53kg — Barrier 13 — Odds: win $51, place $12 — T: Phillip Stokes — J: Daniel Moor

Takes the award for the hardest name to pronounce in this year’s Melbourne Cup, Daqiansweet Junior (pronounced Da – Chen- Sweet- Junior) was the winner of this year’s Gr.2 Adelaide Cup (3200m) and he also went a huge race in the Gr.1 Sydney Cup (3200m) when third.

While on paper, his recent form looks fair, trainer Phillip Stokes has known he was guaranteed a Cup start for a long time and most of his runs have been sneaky good.

Bred by Brent Gillovic at Highview Stud (breeder of 1991 Melbourne Cup winner Let’s Elope), Daqiansweet Junior was offered at the New Zealand Bloodstock Ready To Run Sale

By Regal Farm in 2019 where the son of Sweet Orange failed to meet his $50,000 reserve.

Initially raced by a famous Chinese actor called Yu Qian (whose nick-name is Da Qian), the gelding was bought by OTI Racing through bloodstock agent Phill Cataldo after winning two races and placing at Group Three level for Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman.

With A$621,142 in prizemoney, Daqiansweet Junior is the best of three winners out of the Keeper mare Paulette and is the best performer by Hong Kong Group One winner Sweet Orange, who has recently joined the stallion ranks in China.

Photo credits: Trish Dunell

19. Smokin’ Romans (NZ)

6 year old chestnut gelding

Sire: Ghibellines Dam: Inferno (NZ) (Yamanin Vital (NZ))

Breeder: B J Anderton ONZM & Mrs L E Anderton

Owners: A C Downing, S H Prenter, J N Ashby, Troyantish, N McFarlane, B P Kelly, T J Kelly, C Wattam, P Thomson, D R Frampton, M J Clements & H M Brown

51.5kg — Barrier 16 — Odds: win $26, place $7 — T: Ciaron Maher and Dave Eustace — J: Jamie Kah

Smokin’ Romans has been a revelation this spring, winning the Gr.3 Naturalism Stakes (2000m) before landing the Gr.1 Turnbull Stakes (2000m) for the Maher-Eustace team, who know how to train a stayer.

‘Smokey’ spends most of his time at the stable’s Fingal base and was sent out favourite in the Gr.1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) where he finished seventh in what was a trot and canter race.

While the Gr.1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) wasn’t Jamie Kah’s finest ride, the champion hoop has stuck with the Mosgiel-bred gelding as she tries to emulate Michelle Payne and win a Melbourne Cup.

A truly White Robe Lodge product, Smokin’ Romans is a tough stayer typical of the southern nursery. By talented sire Ghibellines, Smokin’ Romans is out of White Robe Lodge’s highly talented mare Inferno, whose 10 wins included two victories in the Gr.3 Canterbury Gold Cup (2000m). She is the dam of three foals, all winners.

Kiwi owner Don Frampton, who has raced Group One winners such as Booming and Trounce secured a share in the gelding following his sale to currently disqualified trainer Darren Weir for $52,500 during the Book 1 sale at Karaka in 2018 and he was subsequently sent to Maher and Eustace, with New Zealanders making up the bulk of the ownership.

Smokin’ Romans handles all surfaces and is a three-time winner over 2500m.

Photo credits: Trish Dunell

20. Tralee Rose (NZ)

6 year old bay mare

Sire: Tavistock (NZ) Dam: Star of Tralee (NZ) (Zabeel (NZ))

Breeder: Sir Patrick & Lady Hogan

Owners: S W Wilde, R W Gamble, Mrs S J Gamble, B W Casanelia, C J Cooke, P A Fitzgerald, P P R C Racing (Mgr: P M Perez), J R Parish, D Costa, M A Schirmer, J M Maclean, D J M Maclean, Mrs A J Maclean, M Sheahan, I C Mckinnon, T G Casanelia, J Fitzgerald & Power Strike (Mgr: D Arnel)

51.5kg — Barrier 22 — Odds: win $67, place $15 — T: Symon Wilde — J: Dean Yendall

Round of applause for legendry breeders Sir Patrick and Lady Hogan – three Melbourne Cup runners with Stockman, Young Werther and Tralee Rose is no mean feat.

This Tavistock mare is lightly raced and likes Flemington, with her only unplaced run in five starts at the track coming in last year’s Melbourne Cup when galloped on.

She ran quite well when hampered in the Caulfield Cup when 13th and Warrnambool trainer Symon Wilde knows how to peak a stayer.

Purchased by Cameron Cooke Bloodstock/Symon Wilde Racing for $50,000 out of the Cambridge Stud draft at the Karaka 2018 – Book 1 yearling Sale, Tralee Rose is one of two winners from two to race out of the stakes-placed Zabeel mare Star Of Tralee.

Third in the Listed New Zealand St Leger, Star Of Tralee is a half-sister to the multiple Oaks winner Serenade Rose.

Photo credits: Trish Dunell

22. High Emocean (NZ)

Sire: Ocean Park (NZ) Dam: High Joy (NZ) (High Chaparral)

Breeder: Llanhennock Trust

Owners: Mr D J Molloy, Mr M A Milano, Mr C L Brettschneider, Wilawl Go Racing, Mr A J Rosano, Mr A J Thompson, I F B S GROUP, Proline Thoroughbreds No.2, Mr G L Orr, Mr R B Grace, Mr M W Ridgway, Mr M J Hayward, Buangor Bunch, G T G Racing, Mr G Ingram, Mr C G Taylor, Mr B A Quinn, Mr R J Taylor, Mrs D M Molloy, Mr B J Molloy

50kg — Barrier 8 — Odds: win $51, place $10, T: Ciaron Maher and Dave Eustace — J: Teo Nugent

A lightly-weighted mare who relishes wet tracks, what more could you want of an outsider in a Melbourne Cup that is set to be run on a slow or heavy track.

The daughter of Ocean Park was a last-start winner of the Gr.3 Bendigo Cup (2400m) and she has finished an impressive top-two in 12 of her 22 career starts.

Bred by the Hawkins family under the banner of the Llanhenock Trust, High Emocean was an $80,000 purchase by bloodstock agent John Foote and Darren Weir out of Wentwood Grange’s 2018 New Zealand Bloodstock Book 1 Sale.

A half-sister to Listed winner Elate, High Emocean is one of five winners from as many to race out of the unraced High Chaparral mare High Joy.

A half-sister to dual Listed winner Emperor Bonaparte, High Joy is out of the Group One-placed dam Endless Joy, a half-sister to the 9-time Group One winning champion Bonecrusher.

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