Rich Hill looking for feast of success to continue at Karaka 2022

By Dennis Ryan

23 Feb 2022

Rich Hill looking for feast of success to continue at Karaka 2022Lot 7 Ace High x Tellmeaboutit Filly

“On top of our stallions’ previous successes, virtually every weekend there’s been a result to savour.”
Off the back of an extraordinary run of success by progeny of the Rich Hill Stud stallion roster, farm principal John Thompson is buoyed for a successful National Yearling Sale.
Hardly a week has gone by in recent months when there has not been at least one major win by a horse sired at the Walton nursery. Heading the charge has been dual Group One winner Levante, a daughter of former classy Australian galloper Proisir, along with other progeny such as dual Group-winning three-year-old Dark Destroyer and unbeaten Victorian galloper Yonce.
Making further headline contributions are associate sires Vadamos and Shocking, the former a dual-hemisphere performer with the new star in three-year-old ranks, La Crique, and the latter enjoying a landmark season through the likes of Australian Group One winner I’m Thunderstruck, cult hero Elephant plus recent Wellington Cup winner Lincoln King.
And not be forgotten are the first crop progeny of high profile Japanese shuttle Satono Aladdin, who against early expectations has already been represented by a double-figure list of winners in his homeland and a successful debutant as well as a stakes-placed juvenile in New Zealand.
“It’s been an incredible few months,” Thompson told RaceForm in the countdown to Karaka 2022. “On top of our stallions’ previous successes, virtually every weekend there’s been a result to savour.
“Levante and La Crique are two extraordinary talents that have really stepped up on the local scene for Proisir and Vadamos, and it’s been so good to see Shocking have such a fantastic season with horses like I’m Thunderstruck in Australia and Lincoln King back here.
“We could hardly have expected a better start for Satono Aladdin. As a son of Deep Impact they’re bound to get better with time, but the bonus has been what his first crops have done in Japan and New Zealand. He’s a horse with a real vibe about and ahead of his second crop going to the sales, it’s very heartening to hear respected judges like Paul Moroney talking them up.”
Completing Thompson’s anticipation ahead of the National Sale is the debut of progeny by the Australian classic winner Ace High, who took up duties at Rich Hill in 2019. Thompson is particularly excited at what the future holds for the VRC Derby winner given the raft of success by fellow sons of High Chaparral such as Dundeel, So You Think, Tivaci and Toronado.
“The belief we had in Ace High when we secured has only grown,” Thompson added. “First with what High Chaparral is doing as a sire of sires – we paid good money for him at the time but you wouldn’t want to buying a horse like him now – plus what Ace High has brought to the table with the types he’s leaving.
“The yearlings by him here on the farm are an impressive line, and the feedback we’re hearing from other vendors and agents is also very positive. Ace High himself was a well above average two-year-old and he took that form through to his spring campaign as well as racing on very well into his four-year-old season.”
The Rich Hill draft across Books 1 and 2 comprises some 40 lots, with an even spread in both stallion variety and balance throughout the catalogue. Thompson points to the success of Karaka graduates across all levels and refers to previous success stories that underline the value to be had from the New Zealand sale-ring.
“Take Proisir for instance,” he says. “His yearlings being presented this year are from the last book before his fee increased significantly, but you can guarantee there will be value to be had there, and every likelihood of performance.
“There’s perhaps no better example than a yearling we sold through K2 that became King Mufhasa. He went on to win 10 Group One races across New Zealand and Australia and is now in our Hall of Fame – that level of success really is possible.”