Westbury firing on all cylinders in Karaka countdown

By Richard Edmunds

26 Jan 2023

Westbury firing on all cylinders in Karaka countdownZoustar x Latin Salsa C Lot 298 Westbury

“You’d like to think that there’ll be some quite strong demand for Tarzino’s progeny.”

After breeding three Group One winners in the last 12 months and making a splash with their yearlings on the Gold Coast earlier this month, Westbury Stud are hoping to keep that momentum going into an eagerly anticipated Karaka 2023 yearling sale.
Westbury graduates starred at the elite level on both sides of the Tasman in 2022, with Jungle Magnate capturing the South Australian Derby for young Westbury stallion Tarzino, Sharp ’N’ Smart (by Redwood) triumphing in Sydney’s Spring Champion Stakes, and Mascarpone (Shooting To Win) taking out the WFA Classic at Otaki.
“To have bred three Group One winners in the one year is extremely rewarding for all of us,” Westbury Stud’s general manager Russell Warwick said. “That’s what you’re always aiming to do as breeders, and it’s nice when it comes off.
“But you never rest on your laurels in this game. Now it’s all about trying to find the next ones.”
Westbury unveiled their 2023 class of yearlings on the Gold Coast earlier this month, offering 17 under their name at the Magic Millions Sale. They sold 13 of those yearlings for a total of A$3.38 million, with an average of A$260,000 and a top price of A$650,000 for a Snitzel colt that was bought by Te Akau’s David Ellis.
“We had some very pleasing results on the Gold Coast,” Warwick told RaceForm. “There were only three yearlings that we took over there from New Zealand – three Tarzinos – and they averaged A$227,000, which is a great result for a sale that’s probably not ideally suited to staying types like his progeny.
“Now we’re looking ahead to Karaka, where we have some lovely horses going through the ring. It’s a very broad cross section – we have some progeny of Australian sires, plus our own stallions, along with a colt by Proisir who is obviously the flavour of the moment.
“There’s also a couple of nice Zoustar colts (Lots 298 & 458) and a Savabeel colt (Lot 330) we like. We’re hoping the draft will have something for everyone.”
Westbury will offer 39 yearlings in Book 1 of Karaka 2023 between Sunday and Tuesday, with another 30 to go through the ring during Book 1 later next week.
A key feature of their draft is the progeny of Tarzino, who made such an impact last year with first-crop three-year-olds Jungle Magnate and Gypsy Goddess winning the South Australian Derby and Queensland Oaks respectively.
Westbury Stud will offer nine Tarzino yearlings in their Book 1 draft and one in Book 2.
Lot 105 is a half-sister to Gr. 1 Doomben 10,000 winner Music Magnate, while Lot 515 is a half-sister to Group Three winner and multiple Group Two placegetter Showbeel.
“You’d like to think that there’ll be some quite strong demand for Tarzino’s progeny,” Warwick added. “You never want to get too far ahead of yourself, but having two Group One winners in his first crop of three-year-olds – an Oaks winner and a Derby winner – really cements that he could be on the way to becoming one of the next group of good New Zealand stallions.
“Hopefully he can do a bit more of the same over the next 12 months or so, and then we’ll know that we’re really on the way. A horse like Bitcoin looks like he could be a lovely prospect for a Derby later this season.
“Tarzino served a book in the mid-180s last spring, which is a significant book and more than we intended. We had set a benchmark of 150 for him, but two deciders that allowed us to cover more with him was the demand with quality mares and the second was his fertility. He has something like 165 mares or more in foal, so he’s got a very high fertility rate.
“The filly out of Showileo (half-sister to Showbeel) is very well bred, with the dam being a Galileo mare. You could just imagine her being a lovely Oaks filly down the track, and she’s got the presence to go with it.
“The colt out of Willamette (Lot 639) is a three-quarter-brother to a colt who was bought by Mick Price for A$170,000 at the Magic Millions last year. This one is a nice horse, a first foal who is very athletic and very much in the Jungle Magnate mould. We’re optimistic that buyers will be drawn to him.”