With one stallion at the top of his game, another with his oldest progeny now yearlings, and a well-credentialled newcomer joining the roster this spring, there is plenty for the team at Wanganui’s Grangewilliam Stud to be excited about.
The story of Zed has been covered many times – the well-bred son of Zabeel and Group One winner Emerald Dream whose racing career was cut short by injury, then drifted into relative obscurity and served Clydesdale mares in the South Island.
A flurry of winners headed by the Group One galloper Survived quickly changed that, and Zed never looked back. Arion Pedigrees statistics now credit him with a total of 89 winners from 174 runners, eight of them at stakes level.
His progeny have won at a wide range of ages and distances, from a Group Three-winning two-year-old (Irish Flame) right through to top-level jumpers such as Zed Em and Wee Biskit.
Zed has enjoyed extraordinary success in recent months. Since the beginning of June he has sired 24 winners, who between them have notched up 37 wins.
During that time Dez has won three races and placed in the Gr. 3 Winter Cup, while Trisha Lea has won three and Verry Flash has recorded four wins. Verry Flash’s full-sister, the three-year-old filly Verry Elleegant, was a spectacular winner at Ruakaka earlier this month.
“Zed has had an amazing few months,” Grangewilliam’s Mark Corcoran said. “His progeny are incredibly versatile. They win over 1200 metres, they win over staying trips. They win on the flat and over jumps. They win on top of the ground and they win in the mud.
“They’re good, tough horses and they’ve got plenty of ticker. They’re just really good racehorses.”
Zed now commands a fee of $4,000 plus GST – a significant rise on his introductory fee of $500, but still good value given his remarkable results.
Joining the roster this year is the Hinchinbrook stallion Derryn, who won three races including the Gr. 2 Arrowfield 3YO Sprint during the Championships at Randwick, where he beat the Group One horses Global Glamour and Impending.
He was also third in the Gr. 1 Doomben 10,000, sixth in the Gr. 1 Kingsford Smith Cup and within three lengths of the winner in the Gr. 1 Coolmore Stud Stakes (seventh) and Stradbroke Handicap (eighth).
“It’s exciting to be bringing in a stallion like him,” Corcoran said. “We’ve had a lot of interest.
“We actually paraded him at the races at Waverley this month, with a good bunch of people coming to look at him.
“We offered some lifetime breeding rights in the horse, and we had very good uptake of that.
“He should get a nice first book of mares, which will set him on his way and give him a really good chance.
“He was a really good racehorse – unlucky not to win a Group One, and he raced against some of the best sprinters in Australia and performed really admirably.”
Another stallion whose racetrack potential was perhaps not entirely fulfilled was the well-bred The Bold One, by Fastnet Rock out of the multiple Group One-winning mare The Jewel.
The Bold One won four of his 14 starts and was third in the Listed Levin Stakes and fourth in the Gr. 3 Cambridge Breeders’ Stakes.
“His first crop are now yearlings, and they’re a nice group of horses,” Corcoran said. “He served two good books of mares in his first two years, and it’s shaping up well again this year.
“He’s got it all ahead of him. His progeny look really good, and hopefully they can run.”
The Grangewilliam roster also features the well-performed racehorse and sire Haradasun (for a fee of $2,500 plus GST) and the unraced Pins stallion Dial A Prayer ($500 plus GST).