If Westbury Stud needs a highlight reel for its stallions ahead of the 2021 yearling sales, it won’t need to look far beyond Saturday’s racing.
The day began well when Stormy, the first runner for Westbury stallion Telperion, became his sire’s first Group winner when taking out the Gr.2 Wakefield Challenge Stakes (1100m) at Trentham.
A couple of hours later, Rock On Wood became the first elite level winner for another Westbury stallion, Redwood, when he took out the Gr.1 Captain Cook Stakes (1600m) at the same venue.
Fourth behind Rock On Wood was Hypnos, a son of Westbury’s leading sire Reliable Man, whose name was to the fore again later in the day when his hugely-talented daughter Inspirational Girl, winner of the Gr.1 Railway (1600m) at Ascot in Western Australia two weeks ago, was a fast-finishing second in the Gr.1 Kingston Town Stakes (1800m).
The collective performances were good news for Westbury Stud, though it may be the victory of Stormy that has the most immediate impact given that he’s the first runner for Telperion.
Given that Telperion’s track performances included a second placing in the Gr.1 AJC Sires’ Produce Stakes (1400m) and a fourth-place finish in the Gr.1 Golden Slipper (1200m), those whose broodmares visited the son of Street Cry would have hoped his progeny might perform as two-year-olds and Stormy’s Wakefield Challenge Stakes success will be encouraging.
“Rightly or wrongly, perception plays a big part in a stallion’s career, and if we get off the mark on the right foot it’s a big advantage for them,” Westbury Stud general manager Russell Warwick said.
“It’s a good springboard to go from. We are obviously delighted about it.”
So far Telperion has been popular with breeders, serving 118, 122, and 128 mares in his first three seasons, and Warwick said he was on track to serve north of 110 mares this season.
He will have two colts in Book 1 at New Zealand Bloodstock’s National Yearling Sale at Karaka, both from the Westbury Stud draft: one out of the multiple Graded Stakes-winning mare Chinchilla Rose and the other out of Megara, making the colt a half-brother to the Listed winner Red Striker. Telperion also has six colts and five fillies catalogued for Book 2.
As exciting as Saturday’s victory was for Telperion, Warwick was equally happy to see one of Redwood’s progeny finally register a Group One after Rock On Wood, Rising Red, Night’s Watch and Platinum Invador had registered Group One placings – sometimes a little unluckily.
“He’s been knocking at the door in those Group One races but hasn’t been able to put one away, so it was fantastic to get it at the weekend, and fantastic for (trainer) Leanne Elliot and the breeders,” Warwick said.
A top-quality racehorse who performed at Group One level on multiple continents, Redwood continues to serve between 80 and 100 mares most seasons, and he will also be well represented at Karaka.
There are six yearlings by Redwood catalogued in Book 1, including a sister to Rock On Wood offered through the draft of Cambria Park, and 13 in Book 2.
“He’s in the top seven or eight in the New Zealand sires’ list, and they’re horses that get better once they get to four or five, so it’s still relatively early days for him,” Warwick said.
Inspirational Girl once again highlighted Reliable Man’s prepotency. The multiple Group One winner continues to be a great source of quality horses and he is in the top 10 sires list for the Centaine Award, Dewar Award, and the New Zealand premiership.
“He’s had a wonderful season once again,” Warwick said. “We’re very, very pleased at his performances.”
Reliable Man has 28 yearlings catalogued in Book 1 at Karaka and another seven in Book 2. Westbury’s other stallions will also have a solid representation at Karaka, with 31 by Tarzino, 14 by El Roca, and three by Swiss Ace.