Nearco-bred horse progressive in Singapore

Distinctive Darci - back to back wins in Singapore this season at three













The Mark Waker-trained Distinctive Darci is putting together a pleasing record in Singapore; yesterday he won his second race at Kranji from just four outings.

The three-year-0ld is by Darci Brahma from Distinctive Lass (Orientate), making him a half-brother to Kuro (Denman), a multiple Listed Race winner and twice Group One-placed.

Kuro was the first foal from Distinctive Lass and Distinctive Darci is her second live foal.  Both horses were born and raised at Gordon Cunningham’s Curraghmore Stud and sold at the New Zealand Bloodstock Karaka Premier Sale.

Distinctive Lass has an Ocean Park two-year-old coming through which was purchased by Champion Thoroughbreds at this year’s William Inglis Sydney Easter Yearling Sale.

The mare has a yearling filly by All Too Hard which was born and is being raised at Mike & Kate Fleming’s Bhima in New South Wales.

Distinctive Lass has returned to New Zealand and will visit Darci Brahma in the coming weeks.

Proisir filly for Sarajay

My dual Group Two-winning mare Sarajay produced her ninth baby on Friday, foaling down a first-crop filly by Rich Hill Stud’s young stallion Proisir.

Sarajay has been a remarkable producer, never missing in nine years of being mated.  What’s more she still looks in wonderful order despite ticking over to 16 years of age at the start of the month.

Sarajay will be mated with Showcasing in the coming weeks.

Sarajay's latest baby, by Proisir, photographed today (21.08.16) at two days old. Their home is Gordon Cunningham's Curraghmore, situated on the main road between Cambridge and Te Awamutu.

Challenge wins first 2YO Trial in Central Districts

It was very pleasing to learn this morning that Swiss Precision (Swiss Ace ex With Ice, by Snowland) had won her debut trial at Foxton this morning.

John Bary trains the filly for the recently-formed Challenge No.7 Syndicate and she looks like a natural two-year-old having recently won a Jump Out at the Hastings track.

Apparently the filly won by two lengths after showing good speed and railing well enough.

She is not screwed down yet so the experience will stand to her going forward.

Swiss Precision is likely to race in the first new season juvenile event at Wanganui, 03 September, though it will be weather dependent.

The Challenge No.7 Syndicate also race Chiquitita (Swiss Ace ex Floramour, by More Than Ready), a half-sister to Manolo Blahniq who joins the stable of Shaune Ritchie today after 5 weeks of pre-training.

Swiss Precision in the birdcage at Foxton this morning - photo courtesy of Mike Sanders of John Bary Racing

Nearco Stud’s 9 Stakes Performers this season to date

For a young breeding entity Nearco Stud feels proud to have bred 5 Stakes Winners and a further 4 Stakes-placed horses this season.
The headline act has been Provocative who provided Nearco with its’ first Group One winner with her authoritative display in the Queensland Oaks.
Amongst the list which follows is two other Group One performers, namely Montaigne (placed in Rosehill Guineas) and Strada Cavallo (placed in both NZ 1000 Guineas and NZ Oaks).
Here is the complete list.  Nearco Stud acknowledges Arion Pedigrees for supplying this information.

PROVOCATIVE (Zabeel ex Betwixt, by O’Reilly)
o    Ist Queensland Oaks-Gr.1

SECRET SPIRIT (Swiss Ace ex Spirit of Sandford, by Kilimanjaro)
o    Ist Bonecrusher Stakes-Gr.3
o    Ist O’Leary Stakes-LR
o    3rd Soliloquy Stakes-LR

MANOLO BLAHNIQ (Jimmy Choux ex Floramour, by More Than Ready)
o    Ist Eclipse Stakes-Gr.3
o    2nd Murdoch Newell Stakes-LR

CELTIC TIGER (O’Reilly ex Miraculous Miss, by Exceed and Excel)
o    Ist Morphettville Guineas-LR

STRADA CAVALLO (Alamosa ex Abenroad, by Danroad)
o    Ist John Grigg Stakes-LR
o    2nd NZ 1000 Guineas-Gr.1
o    2nd Lowland Stakes-Gr.3
o    3rd NZ Oaks-Gr.1
o    3rd Desert Gold Stakes-Gr.3

Montaigne (Road to Rock ex Stylish Bel, by Bel Esprit)
o    2nd Rosehill Guineas-Gr.1
o    3rd Hobartville Stakes-Gr.2

What Choux Want (Jimmy Choux ex Bankside Belle, by Volksraad)
o    3rd Matamata Breeders’ Stakes-Gr.2
o    2nd Welcome Stakes-LR

High Class (Shocking ex Mill Duckie, by Magic Ring)
o    2nd Soliloquy Stakes-LR

Electric Aura (Shocking ex Sentura, by Volksraad)
o    3rd Tasmanian Oaks-LR

Group One performer Montaigne as a yearling. He was bred by Nearco Stud and born, raised and sold by Highden Park


Fascination Street retired

The black type-winning and Group-placed five-year-old mare Fascination Street has been retired after her unplaced effort in today’s Listed Tauranga Classic at Gate Pa.

The daughter of Elusive City won 5 races including the 2015 Rotorua Stakes-LR.  Her most recent win was at Te Rapa in April where she stopped the clock at 1.08.57 for 1200m, just a tick outside the 1200m Track Record.

Fascination Street is owned by the Challenge No.1 Syndicate.  According to the syndicate structure, the mare will now be sold for breeding purposes.

This now concludes the Challenge No.1 Syndicate which was formed in 2012 and also included another black type -winning mare, Dancer’s Tale.

For an overview of the Challenge No.1 record – which numbered 9 wins – CLICK HERE.

Fascination Street - a valuable mare now going to stud

Biggest moment for Nearco Stud – a Queensland Oaks winner!

Today’s runnaway victory by Provocative (Zabeel ex Betwixt, by O’Reilly) in the Treasury Casino Queensland Oaks-Gr.1 (2400m) today is very special on so many levels.

It is Nearco Stud’s first Group One winner and it’s come in a short span of time with Greg Tomlinson’s breeding operation only in its’ sixth year of operation.

It’s special too because of the close connection Nearco has with Gordon Cunningham’s Curraghmore Stud, the farm where Provocative was born and raised and later sold through their consignment at the Karaka Premier Sale.

And I can’t overlook the special milestone of the Group One victory for Zabeel who now draws level with his own Super Sire dad, Sir Tristram on the score of individual elite level winners.

I purchased Provocative’s mum Betwixt at the 2010 Gold Coast National Broodmare Sale for Nearco Stud.  She was carrying a positive test to Fastnet Rock at the time and she cost A$240,000.

We sold the Fastnet Rock colt (‘Longbeach’) at Karaka and the second foal by Red Giant (‘Realta’) there as well.

Provocative was the third foal and a magnificent filly by Zabeel.  A fabulous judge in Paul Moroney found her & went to $250,000.  We were delighted with the price and knew that the filly would be given an outstanding opportunity when news came through that she would be trained by Tony Pike.

The downside is that we lost Betwixt and, sadly, she was carrying a Makfi foal at the time.

The Queensland Oaks will forever hold special meaning for Nearco Stud.  Quintessential won the race when carrying the colours of Nearco Stud in 2012 and it was our first Group One racetrack winner.  Now the historic Eagle Farm race has provided Nearco with it’s first Group One winner as a breeder.

Provocative as a yearling, part of Curraghmore Stud's 2014 NZB Karaka Premier Sale consignment

Challenge No.3 enjoy sixth win – 4 this season alone

Like all the 8 individual Challenge Racehorse Syndicates, the Challenge No.3 team who race today’s Riccarton Park winner STARLIGHT ANGEL, is a big group numbering around 50 participants from all around New Zealand.

Many were on course today to see Starlight Angel win her third race from just ten starts.  It was a tough slog and despite a three-length winning margin, I’m anything but convinced that the daughter of Swiss Ace liked the Slow8 going.

The No.3 Syndicate also race LAUBERHORN, another daughter of Swiss Ace who has won three races as well – all this season.

Starlight Angel’s three wins have all been at Riccarton Park.  She won her debut there in March 2015, then took out a Rating 75 on the track in May 2015.  In between times she was second in a Listed Race at Ashburton behind the talented Miss Seton Sands.

I need to talk to trainers Kevin & Pam Hughes, but I’m keen for Starlight Angel to have one more run before we put her away till the Spring.  That race could be at Riccarton Park, 25 June, but much will depend on the mare’s progress and the weather around Christchurch that weekend.

Starlight Angel winning one of her three runs at Riccarton Park. The four-year-old daughter of Swiss Ace was bred by Nearco Stud Ltd and is raced by the Challenge No.3 Syndicate

Secret Spirit is back

Secret Spirit (green colours) returning to scale with Michael Coleman up after running a lovely trial for second today at Cambridge















I was delighted in Secret Spirit’s effort for second today at the Cambridge Trials.

The four time Black Type-winning daughter of Swiss Ace hasn’t been seen out since running last in the New Zealand 1000 Guineas-Gr.1 at Riccarton Park last November.

The filly chipped both front fetlocks in the race and has slowly been nursed back to full health through the joint efforts of Ronan Costello (vet, Marks & Ewen), Paul Pertab (breaker & agistment) and her trainers Lance O’Sullivan and Andrew Scott.

Today was important as it represented her first serious test since surgery.  Rider Michael Coleman told me post-trial that the filly gave him a good feel and it was a nice trial.

Secret Spirit (Swiss Ace ex Spirit of Sandford, by Kilimanjaro) won the Great Northern Foal Stakes-LR and Ryder Stakes-LR at two.  She continued on at three to take out both the Wanganui O’Leary Stakes-LR and Bonecrusher Stakes-Gr.3 at three.  It was a campaign which saw her win four Stakes Races on the trot, a rare feat by any standards.

Safely through today the filly will make a return to racing in the Rating 85 1200m at Gate Pa on Saturday, 25 June.

Secret Spirit is raced by the Challenge No.2 Syndicate who I’m sure will delight in the news of today’s performance.

Challenge Syndications Blog

Belle Amore (Per Incanto) - at the Cambridge Jump Outs this morning

As the numbers grow under the Challenge Racehorse Syndications’ umbrella, there is constantly something happening.

Syndicate members, of course, like things happening but it’s also interesting for the wider Challenge Team – they might not be in the syndicate of the horse racing, trialling or jumping out – but they enjoy the action all the same.  At the end of the day Challenge was established as a fun activity, so it’s panning out the way I had hoped when I set up this arm of my Bloodstock Consultancy business four years ago.

Here is a quick up date of where the Challenge horses are at.

Challenge/1 – Fascination Street – runs next at Ellerslie, 04 June

Challenge/2 – Secret Spirit – in full work & probably a month from a Jump Out or trial

Challenge/3 – Starlight Angel races next week at Trentham and Lauberhorn back in pre-training

Challenge/4 – Vitesse scratched from Te Rapa and off for a 2 month spell

Challenge/5 – Bonnie Grey back in full work with Roger James

Challenge/6 – Belle Amore (see photo) had her first Jump Out today while Avid is spelling

Challenge/7 – Yearling filly ex Floramour in full work & yearling filly ex With Ice spellng

Challenge/8 – Yearling filly by Jimmy Choux being broken in by Paul Pertab

Challenge No.8 launched

This Jimmy Choux filly from Purpose (Falkirk) will be owned & raced by the now being formed Challenge No.8 Syndicate

I purchased this Jimmy Choux yearling filly at Karaka on Tuesday and there was a touch of deja vu about the process.

I remember buying her dam as a yearling from Windsor Park Stud.  She was later named Purpose and race initially from the stable of Richard Collett before later joining Shane Kennedy.

The Jimmy Choux filly is more athletic than her mum at the same stage, though both have the same no-nonsense attitude about them.

If you’d like to view Challenge Syndications’ latest TV commercial, CLICK HERE.