Dibaba and Terry Chmiel cost to victory in the Southland Oaks. Photo: Wild Range Photography.
A chance meeting at a school swimming day just over two years ago is paying dividends for Christchurch’s Ray Seebeck.
Seebeck, a co-owner of Sunday's Nevele R Stud/Macca Lodge Group 2 $45,000 Southland Oaks winner Dibaba, reckons the 2016 Southbridge school swimming sports were their best ever.
They were on during the premier yearling sale at Christchurch and Seebeck was at the sports supporting his grand-daughter.
Glenys Chmiel was also there, watching her and husband Terry’s daughter compete.
During a conversation between the two, Seebeck asked her if the Chmiels had bought anything at the sales.
“She said they'd bought a couple and were going to look at another one on Saturday,” explained Seebeck who races Dibaba with Colin Tennant.
“I said that if they thought it was okay we'd be interested.”
Dibaba, by Shadow Play from Imprint, had been offered at the sales by Legends Bloodstock and was passed in at $15,000.
When the Chmiels inspected her after the sales, they were impressed enough to recommend her to Seebeck and Tennant and business was transacted.
Dibaba is a half-sister to the winners Carbon Zero, Opulent (18 wins and approx. $300,000), Idolise, Idealindiamonds and Imola.
A two-year-old Well Said filly, a yearling A Rocknroll Dance colt and a full brother to Dibaba at foot were her subsequent offerings. Tennant and Seebeck have owned the dam since October.
For the Chmiels, the win was a repeat of their Oaks win two years ago with Nek Time although Dexter Dunn was in the sulky that day while Terry himself was in charge today.
Drawn 12 in the 2700-metre contest, Chmiel won the race when he took the favourite to the front two laps out and dictated terms from then on.
In the meantime, Dunn on the second favourite Betterthanbrie, was locked up on the poles until too late in the race and managed to sneak home for third behind the trailer, Tres Vite.
Glenys Chmiel is a daughter of the late Bryce Buchanan, who trained the 1995 Oaks winner Lover's Wish and Glenys noted after the race how proud she was to win the race her father won more than two decades earlier.
Dibaba will now be aimed for the Nevele R Final, New Zealand Oaks and Jewels.