There is no better way to launch a new brand than with a two year-old group winner.
Koru Thoroughbred’s debut draft at New Zealand Bloodstock’s National Yearling Sale was in 2018, and that draft of eight yearlings quickly showed racetrack ability when Whiskey Neat won on debut as a two year-old only ten months after being purchased by Waikato Bloodstock for $220,000. Not content with that, Whiskey Neat won the Gr.3 Eclipse Stakes at his next start and has recently had his first start as a three year-old in Hong Kong. Watch this space.
Koru Thoroughbreds might be a new brand, with the Taylor family having moved to the old Curraghmore Farm property a few years ago, but they have a strong history as breeders of producing top quality racehorses. Kevin and Julie Taylor’s ‘KO’ brand has produced group winner and emerging Queensland sire Golden Archer, Gr.2 winner Viennetta, and the dam of Gr.2 winner Mackintosh.
Julie Taylor said, “We’ve been at the property for three years now, and have a great team of staff who work well in harmony with each other. It’s all ticking along nicely. We are very happy with our 2020 draft. They are a stunning line of horses with a nice mix of Australian and New Zealand stallions. They are all very well grown, and we are pleased with how they are developing.” When asked what she is looking forward to in the upcoming twelve months, Taylor said, “We had some lovely foals born this season, including an Astern colt and a Sebring colt. Most importantly, all our foals are safely on the ground and we are excited about how they’ll progress forward. We have two beautiful two year-old fillies in work, by Rubick and Ocean Park, from our own families that we continue to develop. In our mare selection, we purposefully buy into top broodmare families and our mares are often half-sisters to Gr.1 winners. From our sales horses, Beauty Seven Seven has trialed in Singapore recently. We bred Hong Kong city winner Confucius Day, and recent trial winner Garlic Hero with both going through other people’s drafts, and we are looking forward to seeing both Garlic Hero and Beauty Seven Seven race shortly.”
Koru Thoroughbreds will present their third draft of yearlings in 2020, and have a line up of thirteen young horses with nine colts and four fillies on offer. One of the most interesting pedigrees in the whole catalogue is Lot 73, a colt by young American sire Temple City (Dynaformer) who has three Gr.1 winners under his belt already, two of those in 2019. This colt is the result of an American covering to Temple City who doesn’t shuttle, and his American dam, Lucinda’s Moon, is a sister to group winner Moonwalk, and a half-sister to stakes winner ThatswhatImean, and group placed winner Atswhatimtalknbout, and to the dam of Gr.1 winner Stormy Lucy.
“He is a really lovely colt with a great brain, who could appeal more to international buyers who understand his pedigree.”
The only other yearling in this draft by a proven sire is Lot 216, a colt by Medaglia d’Oro, who is the second living foal of winning mare Razeena (Exceed and Excel), whose first foal Talaaqy won at just her second start only recently. This is the family of Gr.1 winner Dolphin Street. “We got a phone call after that win to say Talaaqy is a very exciting prospect, and the family is having a lot of international updates recently too. A stunning type of yearling who will turn heads.”
Six of the yearlings in the Koru Thoroughbreds draft are by young sires whose oldest crop are half-way through their three year-old season. A half-brother to Singapore Jumbo Jet Trophy winner Star Emperor, Lot 67, will garner plenty of attention, and this colt is by El Roca who has had an exciting start to his stud career with less than 40 runners and already his three year-olds include Gr.3 winner Travelling Light, Gr.1 placed Bella Mente, and group placed Moeraki. From the family of dual Singapore Horse of the Year Rocket Man, this colt has a quality pedigree.
“A well balanced good muscled athletic colt with good movement.”
Horse of the Year Dissident is off the mark with his first stakes winner Pancho winning the Listed VRC TCL TV Stakes in November 2019, and his progeny also include several stakes placed up and coming types such as Foxborough who was third in the Gr.1 Flight Stakes this spring. Koru Thoroughbreds will present two yearlings by Dissident at the
New Zealand Bloodstock National Yearling Sales, led by Lot 251, a colt out of Australian stakes winner Sara’s Choice, whose first four foals to race are all winners. “He is a big strong colt.” A filly, Lot 576, is the third foal of Enigmatic, a half-sister to dual Gr.1 winner Fiveandahalfstar, and group placed winner Wordplay (who is the dam of promising stakes placed winner Word for Word). “This is the well known Richard Moore family of Solveig, and she is a lovely athletic good moving filly.”
Recently deceased multiple Gr.1 winner Sacred Falls is represented in this draft by Lot 46, a colt out of city winning mare La Praline, a half-sister to Gr.3 winner and Gr.1 VRC Lightning Stakes placed Golden Archer. “He is the spitting image of his sire, a nice neat colt.”
Young sire Proisir looks promising and his filly, Lot 957, is the third foal of a winning Street Sense mare Whatevs from the incredibly prolific Procrastinate family. Tristarc Stakes winner Procrastinate left five stakes winners at stud, and the next generation are now starting to produce with the likes of Centennial Park, Kampala Campari, and the promising Blazing Miss who is a city winning three year-old, who was group placed at two. “A gorgeous, strong filly with a good brain.”
Three first season sires are represented by six yearlings in the Koru Thoroughbreds draft. One of the punter’s favourites in recent times is Gr.1 Epsom winner Hauraki, and buyers can get their own piece of that pedigree with Lot 385, a filly by Caulfield Guineas winner Divine Prophet (Choisir), out of Vernal, an unraced half-sister to Hauraki, as well as Gr.1 winner Kidnapped, and Gr.2 winner Academus, and stakes winner Deledio. “An absolutely outstanding family, closely related to Vow and Declare, and just a lovely type of filly.” The 2 year old half sister by Reset that was sold at the Karaka earlier this year is showing a lot of promise, winning her recent trial.
A sprinting son of quality sire High Chaparral, Tivaci is represented in the Koru Thoroughbreds draft by two yearlings from his first crop. Lot 573 is a nicely bred filly with residual value, who is the second foal of winning Commands mare Emira, herself a half-sister to group winning two year-old Mrs Kipling, from the family of Gr.1 winners Fairy King Prawn and Easy Rocking. “She has lots of presence, an athletic filly. Her half-brother by Pride of Dubai recently sold at the Ready to Run Sale for $300,000.” The other Tivaci is Lot 593,
a colt out of winning Thorn Park mare Fireside, making this colt a half-brother to seven race winner O’Driscoll, from the family of Gr.1 New Zealand Oaks winner Vapour Trail. “A nice very good moving colt, very typical of the sire, and is big and strong.”
Triple Gr.1 winner Turn Me Loose knocked around in some amazing company, beating the likes of Politeness, Stratum Star, and running second to the tough Black Heart Bart in the Gr.1 CF Orr Stakes. He wasn’t afraid to go up against Winx, running sixth in the Gr.1 George Ryder Stakes in one of the strongest fields in recent times.
His first crop of yearlings include three quality youngsters in the Koru Thoroughbreds draft, including Lot 1117, a half-brother to stakes winner Atenartin. This colt’s dam is a full sister to Australian two year-old stakes winner Eire Hostess, from the family of Tasman Dancer.
“He is a later foal but is nicely developed for his age. This is another branch from the Tasman Dancer family that we’ve been developing for a long time. It continues to produce stakes horses with every generation.” Lot 1069 is a colt out of winning mare Desert Fairy, whose first three foals to race are all winners, and she is also a half-sister to Gr.2 winner Downhill Racer, from the family of Recast, Gonski and Happy Giggle.
“We retained the sister who has impressed the pre-trainer. We tend to pick big strong broodmares on type, so all our horses are similar types. And our feeding regime benefits this too with all of our horses being big well-grown types, and this yearling is typical of the horses we breed, being a very strong type. Physically, he reminds of his sire Turn Me Loose.” Rounding out the draft is Lot 1101, a colt who is the third foal of Everlasting, a half-sister to group placed winner Triple Six from the family of Champion Sprinter Calveen. “He has lots of bone, and is a strong well muscled colt.” ✦