Sir Patrick’s Cup fancy an easy choice to make

By Dennis Ryan

28 Oct 2021

Sir Patrick’s Cup fancy an easy choice to makeCup influencers: Sir Patrick Hogan and super stallion Zabeel, the sire of three Melbourne Cup winner

Hall of Fame breeder Sir Patrick Hogan won’t have a starter in next Tuesday’s Melbourne Cup, but he’ll have the next best thing in one that he bred, form runner Tralee Rose.
A strong staying performance in last week’s 2400m Geelong Cup has put Tralee Rose – one of a flood of recent winners for her sire Tavistock – right in the frame for the big event. The significant factor about this particular daughter of Tavistock is that she’s out of a Zabeel mare, replicating the magic cross that has featured so often over recent years and underlining her chances of managing the Melbourne Cup’s 3200 metres.
Tavistock’s only feature 3200m winner, 2017 New Zealand Cup hero Gobstopper, is bred on the same cross, as is his brother, Hong Kong Horse of the Year Werther, and amongst others, VRC Derby winners Tarzino and Johnny Get Angry. Tavistock colt Gunstock gets the chance to add his name to that list when he lines up as one of the favourites for Saturday’s edition of the Flemington classic.
Tralee Rose is now the winner of six of her 15 starts, which also includes the Listed Bagot Handicap over 2800m at Flemington. Geelong Cup form stands up well in Melbourne Cup calculations, with previous winners over the past two decades Dunaden (2011), Americain (2010) and Media Puzzle (2002) going on to add the big one on the first Tuesday in November.
On her dam’s side Tralee Rose is out of a half-sister to VRC and AJC Oaks winner Serenade Rose, who was by the sprinting-oriented Stravinsky, and her pedigree grid boasts a 3 x 3 cross to one of the greatest stamina influences of the modern era in Sadler’s Wells. That’s all meat and veges to the man who, in partnership with his wife Justine, Lady Hogan, can take the credit for breeding Tralee Rose and selling her for $50,000 to Warrnambool trainer Symon Wilde at the 2018 NZ Bloodstock National Yearling Sale.
“The Geelong Cup was a good result, it sets her up well for the Melbourne Cup,” Sir Patrick told RaceForm earlier this week. “Justine and I bred her and we’ll certainly be cheering for her next Tuesday.
“I think she’s a big chance. She has hit her straps at the right time and in that respect she has a lot going for her compared to some of the other New Zealand horses that could perhaps be doing a bit better going into a Melbourne Cup.
“Put it this way, I’m happy to stick with one of my own.”
Cambridge Stud, founded in 1976 by Patrick and Justine Hogan, has a proud Melbourne Cup history, having stood the sires of no less than seven winners. Foundation stallion Sir Tristram and his son Zabeel have sired three winners apiece, while lesser known associate Rhythm can take the credit for the last New Zealand-trained winner, Ethereal (2001), whose dam was the Sir Tristram mare Romanee Conti.
Sir Tristram’s first Melbourne Cup winner was Cambridge Stud home-bred Gurner’s Lane in 1982, followed by Empire Rose in 1988 and Brew in 2000, while Zabeel’s trio are Might And Power (1997), Jezabeel (who narrowly defeated fellow Zabeel mare Champagne in 1998) and 2007 winner Efficient.
The Hogans’ two-tone green colours were carried in the 2014 Melbourne Cup by Precedence, a Bart Cummings-trained son of Zabeel bred in partnership by the Hogans and the Bedford family’s Bloomsbury Stud, then raced by them with Malaysian Dato Tan Chin Nam.
That was in fact the fourth time that Precedence had lined up in the race, having carried the black, white and yellow Dato Tan colours made famous by a string of horses trained by the Cups King that included Melbourne Cup winners Saintly and Viewed, as well as NZ Racing Hall of Famer So You Think. Dato Tan was also a part-owner of the Cummings-trained Think Big, the winner of back-to-back Melbourne Cups in the 1970s.
While Precedence never managed better than sixth in the Melbourne Cup, it’s little wonder that he was a favourite with his connections. When he retired sound as a 10-year-old in late 2015, he had won 10 of his 69 starts, including two editions of the Gr. 2 Moonee Valley Cup as well as black-type races in Sydney and Brisbane for stakes just short of A$2 million.
Even after turning 82 just days ago, Patrick Hogan still has his eye on the prize as well as what might be around the corner from the reduced broodmare band that, after including the bulk of them in the Cambridge Stud sale to Brendan and Jo Lindsay, is still a big part of his life.
“One of the mares that Justine and I are breeding from is Romantic Vision, a half-sister to Tralee Rose, who has a filly by U S Navy Flag going to Karaka in January,” he revealed. “All told we’ve got 14 yearlings being prepared for the sales, so it would be nice to think that at least one of them was a close relation to a Melbourne Cup winner.”