What’s The Story will be the first son of champion sire Savabeel to go to stud when he takes up duties this spring at Norwegian Park.
Peter and Sue Westend have added another element to their growing Norwegian Park business with What’s The Story to take up stud duties in the spring of 2018.
The first Group One-performed son of Savabeel to go to stud in New Zealand, the New Zealand Derby runner-up will stand for an introductory fee of $4000 plus GST.
The Westends have built Norwegian Park into a large-scale agistment operation, accommodating around 200 mares on their two Cambridge properties and one in nearby Ohaupo. The couple have significant industry experience – Peter as a former manager of Chequers Farm and Sue as an employee at several establishments including a long tenure at Windsor Park Stud.
They have had success as breeders, including this season’s talented two-year-olds Thomas Aquinas and Xpressmymind, while they also have previous experience standing stallions.
“We’ve been working together in partnership since 1995, when we started up in Gisborne and stood the stallions Cocky Golfer and Crested Wave,” Peter Westend told The Informant.
“Over the last few years we’ve been doing a lot of agistment, especially for Luigi Muollo (Novara Park owner). We foal down all of his mares and his clients’ mares. Luigi approached us about standing a stallion for him and we thought it was a really good opportunity.”
What’s The Story is out of the Carnegie mare Tall Story, a half-sister to the multiple Group One-winning mare Tall Poppy.
Trained by Stephen McKee for the Go Racing Tall Story Syndicate, the $80,000 yearling won two of his 10 starts and earned more than $170,000 in prize-money.
The defining race of his career was the $1 million New Zealand Derby at Ellerslie in March 2016, when a flying finish along the inside carried him to within a short head of the winner Rangipo.
“He showed a huge amount of talent as a racehorse but unfortunately got hurt,” Westend said. “I think the best of him was still to come on the racetrack.
“He’s got a very strong pedigree, and he’s a very, very nice type – a big, strong individual who looks a lot like his sire.
“He also strikes me as a lovely-natured horse. We don’t have him with us on the farm yet – he’s still at Novara Park. But I’ve been over there to see him and he’s like a big puppy dog. We’re really looking forward to having him here.”
McKee was another big believer in What’s The Story’s potential.
“What’s The Story is an outstanding type, balanced, athletic, deep, rich colour, strong hindquarter, lovely sloping shoulder,” the Ardmore trainer said. “He is very much in the mould of his sire Savabeel.
“He showed he was a top-class racehorse with real ability at Group One level. His turn of foot was exceptional and up with the very best.”