Next chapter awaits Sword of State at Cambridge Stud

By Dennis Ryan

1 Jun 2022

Next chapter awaits Sword of State at Cambridge StudGroup One-winning Snitzel colt Sword Of State is set to take up duties at Cambridge Stud.

“It was frustrating to have to retire him on that note, but that’s life, we’ve got the ammunition to set him up for his stud career.”
Reflections on what might have been have transformed into what lies ahead following confirmation that last season’s champion two-year-old Sword of State will stand at Cambridge Stud this spring at a fee of $15,000.
Time was called on the Snitzel colt’s racing career last month after a significant temperature spike required aggressive medication. At the time he was stabled at the Gold Coast, having finished a nose second on an unsuitable heavy track in the Gold Coast Guineas and was being aimed at the Gr. 1 Kingsford-Smith Cup.
Given it had always been the plan to target the Kingsford-Smith in the hope of adding another Group One to Sword of State’s CV ahead of his pending stud career, that left trainer Mark Walker with no option but to pull stumps on his track career.
“It really was unfortunate the way things played out,” Cambridge Stud CEO Henry Plumptre told RaceForm. “Little had gone right with his three-year-old spring campaign, but he found form when he returned home and he was in great shape heading across to Queensland and we had every right to be confident about his prospects.
“He lived up to that with his Gold Coast Guineas effort on ground he hated, and it was only the bob of the head that he was beaten by a noted wet-tracker.
“So it was frustrating to have to retire him on that note, but that’s life, we’ve got the ammunition to set him up for his stud career.”
Sword Of State was purchased by Te Akau principal David Ellis for A$600,000 from the Gold Coast Magic Millions Yearling Sale and originally raced for a Te Akau syndicate in which Cambridge Stud was a member.
Being by champion sire Snitzel from a Group-placed daughter of Encosta De Lago, the foundation existed for stallion potential, and that was set in concrete when Sword Of State won the Gr. 1 Sistema Stakes as an autumn two-year-old.
Another big step in that direction was Cambridge Stud’s decision to secure a controlling interest in the classy colt, and now the serious planning has begun ahead of his stud debut.
“He’s a fairly typical Snitzel,” added Plumptre, “not a big horse but very athletic with a big walk and a lovely shoulder and hip. He’s very correct too, which is a bonus and as with every stallion that stands at Cambridge, he’ll get every chance.
“While we will own the bulk of him, he’ll also have up to maybe 10 shareholders who will have two service nominations for his first four years.
“We’re obviously looking forward to the next stage knowing what this horse has to offer. Snitzel is such an influence and hopefully Sword Of State can carry on the line as young stallions like Shamus Award and Russian Revolution are now.”
While Sword Of State’s abandoned campaign was disappointing, the Queensland winter carnival had one obvious highlight for the Cambridge Stud team when home-bred Pinarello claimed last Saturday’s Gr. 1 Queensland Derby.
The Roger James/Robert Wellwood-trained gelding is yet another classic-winning example of the potent Tavistock-Zabeel cross. His dam is one of the gems of the Cambridge Stud broodmare band, a Group Three winner in Melbourne and now a major producer.
“Zonza is becoming something of a blue hen,” said Plumptre. “She’s still going strong too, she has a two-year-old sister to Pinarello with Lance Noble, a yearling filly by Almanzor that we are retaining and is in foal to Bivouac. She’ll most likely go to Hello Youmzain in the spring.
“That was a marvellous result on Saturday, a great training feat by Roger and Robert to win a Derby after a five-week break and what a way for Leith (Innes) to sign off his career.
“It was a fitting end after getting landed with barrier 17, he really couldn’t have done a better job.”