Redwood delivers first Derby success for Westbury Stud

By Dennis Ryan

8 Mar 2023

Redwood delivers first Derby success for Westbury StudWestbury Stud stallion manager Anesh Kuni rewards Redwood for his part in Sharp ’N’ Smart’s Ne

The New Zealand Derby victory by Sharp 'N' Smart was a first at a number of levels for Westbury Stud.
The home-bred gelding, still part-owned by Westbury owner Gerry Harvey, is the first winner of the country’s premier classic for the major nursery that comprises properties at Karaka and Matamata and he is now holding pride and place amongst the progeny of resident stallion Redwood.
“We’re very proud of the horse himself and everyone involved with him, from the team here who were part of breeding and rearing him, to Graeme Rogerson and his team and for Redwood,” Westbury Stud general manager Russell Warwick told RaceForm.
“That’s another New Zealand classic for Westbury too. We’ve won three Oaks and the 2000 Guineas, but the best we’ve managed is second in the 1000 Guineas, so that’s the one we still need to knock off.”
Redwood is one of a number of worthy representatives of the Sadler’s Wells line through his champion son High Chaparral standing in this part of the world. And typical of the line boasting an abundance of stamina, he is anything but one-dimensional in the type of racehorse he leaves.
“It’s great to see Sharp 'N' Smart stamp his classic ability, not just the other day but in Australia last spring and again with his weight-for-age win in the Herbie Dyke,” Warwick said.
“Redwood’s first Group One winner was Rock On Wood, who did it in the Captain Cook at 1600 metres, and he’s also the sire of horses like Night’s Watch who has been Group One placed at a mile in Melbourne.
“There’s a horse by Redwood in Brisbane by the name of Antino who has won four of his five starts and his trainer Tony Gollan tells me is a serious prospect for the Stradbroke.”
Last spring Redwood covered his largest book since 2018, with 74 mares reflecting an upswing in interest in the 17-year-old.
“We’ve always supported him strongly and last year was no different,” Warwick said. “Sharp 'N' Smart’s spring form would have had something to do with his numbers, plus there were a few shares that changed hands and those new syndicate members made the most of the opportunity.”
It’s a bonus that Sharp 'N' Smart’s dam is by one of the stalwarts of the Westbury roster, Australian Group One-winning sprinter Swiss Ace.
“There’s no denying that Swiss Ace has been a very good sire in his own right,” added Warwick, “and now his daughters are doing a fantastic job. The last stats I saw had him at 10 per cent stakes winners to runners as a broodmare sire, which is pretty impressive.”
One of the most pleasing aspects of Redwood’s latest accolade is the pleasure it has brought to the staff at Westbury, most of all those directly involved with the stallions.
"All the stallion team at Westbury was really rapt to see Sharp 'N' Smart win the Derby,” says Anesh Kani, head of the Westbury Stud stallion team. “Redwood is such a dude, we all love him and are so happy to see him sire such a good horse."
Having established his position clearly at the top of New Zealand age-group staying ranks, Sharp 'N' Smart is now favourite for next month’s ATC Derby and beyond that major spring targets.
“You have to admire Rogie and the way he has managed the horse, especially over the past month,” Warwick said. “He’s a naturally bullish sort of bloke but at the same time he’s been relatively conservative taking it one race at a time, and it was great to see him also get his first New Zealand Derby.
“The future is pretty exciting, especially when you think how the horse still has a lot to learn and is nowhere near the finished product, so we’re all looking forward to what comes next.”