New wave of Cambridge Stud investment bearing early fruit

By Dennis Ryan

20 Jan 2022

New wave of Cambridge Stud investment bearing early fruitGrace ’N’ Grey and Dynastic, first and second at Ellerslie on Boxing Day, will carry big hopes f

“It’s great to be getting such good early results from our new wave of broodmares.”
Concrete evidence of the ongoing investment that has followed Brendan and Jo Lindsay’s initial purchase of Cambridge Stud four years ago will be on display at one of the glamour events on the New Zealand racing calendar this weekend.
Not only will the famous nursery’s gold and black chequered racing colours be out in force at the Karaka Million meeting, but just as significantly the progeny of major stallion and broodmare investments are right to the fore in the headline event on the twilight card, the DoubleTree By Hilton Karaka Million 2YO.
High profile shuttle stallion Almanzor, who made a sensational start to his Southern Hemisphere career when his first yearlings went through New Zealand and Australian sale-rings last summer, will have two colts running for him in the $1 million two-year-old feature. Also in the field will be two fillies out of broodmares bought in Australia to complement the band that was part of the package secured by the Lindsays in their deal with Cambridge Stud founders Sir Patrick and Justine Lady Hogan.
“New blood is important for any stud and breeding operation, whether it be the Aga Khan, Coolmore, Darley or whoever,” says Cambridge Stud CEO Henry Plumptre. “Brendan and Jo decided that they needed to keep investing for the future, and that’s exactly what they’ve done.”
Plumptre was still in Australia when RaceForm touched base with him earlier this week, having just engaged in the red-hot Gold Coast Magic Million Sale and feeling satisfied to have secured Book 1 fillies by Not A Single Doubt, Fastnet Rock, Snitzel and Dundeel.
At the same venue in mid-2019 he signed for several broodmares, including the dams of Karaka Million 2YO starters Grace ’N’ Grey and Diss Is Dramatic. The winning Redoute’s Choice mare Gracious Grey was carrying a service to leading young Queensland sire Spirit Of Boom, while Darci Brahma mare Our Drahma Queen, a half-sister to dual Australian Group One winner Suavito, was in-foal to former Australian Horse of the Year Dissident.
The resulting fillies were part of Cambridge Stud’s 2021 Karaka yearling draft, with the Spirit Of Boom-Gracious Grey knocked down for $240,000 to Te Akau principal David Ellis, and the Dissident-Our Drahma Queen selling for $60,000 to New Zealand’s other major syndicator, Albert Bosma of Go Racing.
Both fillies are now winners, the Jamie Richards-trained Grace ’N’ Grey having followed a debut second with a win at Ellerslie on Boxing Day, and Diss Is Dramatic scoring a week later for Lisa Latta on debut at Tauherenikau.
“It’s great to be getting such good early results from our new wave of broodmares and just as exciting to see the progeny that mares like these are consistently leaving,” added Plumptre. “We have a lovely Written Tycoon filly out of Gracious Grey and she has an Almanzor colt at foot, while Our Drahma Queen’s next foal is a Per Incanto filly that will go to Karaka and she has also followed up with a decent sort of Almanzor colt.”
After Almanzor made headlines through the 2021 sale series, expectations are understandably high around the former champion European middle-distance performer. Plumptre puts it succinctly when he describes his view of the young stallion’s progeny record midway through his first Down Under performance season as “cautiously optimistic”.
On top of his 10 first crop Northern Hemisphere winners through 2021, Almanzor’s five New Zealand starters have still to come up with a win from a collective total of eight starts, but his three placegetters include Andalus, who finished third on debut to Karaka Million 2YO favourite Wolverine in the Gr. 2 Wakefield Challenge Stakes at Te Rapa last month.
His other two local placegetters, Dynastic and Gibraltar Rising, will fly their sires’ flag when they take on Wolverine in Saturday’s twilight showpiece.
“Having talked to a lot of good judges and observed the Gold Coast Sale over the past week, probably the best sign is that the Australian buying bench is still stepping up to buy them. That tells me that even though he has yet to have a runner over here, they like them.
“We sold three ourselves with a top price of $440,000 for a colt to Chris Waller and Guy Mulcaster, and all eight Almanzors in the catalogue sold at an average of around $250,000.”
Dynastic and Grace ’N’ Grey are among a possible five-strong contingent for champion trainer Jamie Richards in his quest for a sixth consecutive Karaka Million 2YO victory.
“Nobody knows better than Jamie Richards how to set these young horses for the important two-year-old races,” Plumptre said. “Peter Snowden was the best I knew in Australia and Jamie is every bit as good, so we’ll see if he can play his magic again.”