The Oaks

Exciting Gr.1 New Zealand Two Thousand Guineas winner Catalyst was originally catalogued by The Oaks Stud, but they withdrew him because his x-rays showed a cyst in his pastern which is an issue that puts a lot of buyers off given the location. And Catalyst was a mid-November foal.

Darci Brahma

“He was quite backward as a yearling and is still quite an unfurnished three year-old. He would’ve been a bargain for someone, but we wouldn’t have made any money on him,” said Rick Williams.
“He still has the cyst. When we had overseas buyers interested in him, we had it checked out, and it’s luckily still benign. It’s largely irrelevant now as (owner) Dick Karreman doesn’t want to sell him.”
It would be easy to think that because The Oaks Stud have a strong team of homebred racehorses that they keep all their best ones, however, the evidence is that anyone who thinks that way is wrong. The winner of the Gr.1 New Zealand Oaks, Sentimental Miss, was sold by The Oaks Stud as a yearling for a bargain price of $40,000; while buyers had to go a little higher to grab Gr.1 Manawatu Sires’ Produce Stakes winner Avantage who sold for $210,000. Hong Kong Gr.1 winner D B Pin was sold by The Oaks for $200,000, and recent stakes winner Espresso Martini was sold for $150,000. The Oaks last two drafts have also included Gr.2 winner and Gr.1 placed Harlech ($100,000) who ran second to the withdrawn Catalyst – giving The Oaks Stud a quinella in the New Zealand Two Thousand Guineas. The most recent draft of yearlings to be sold by The Oaks have only recently turned two and include debut winner Preakness ($80,000) who is one to keep an eye on.
The Oaks Stud’s Rick Williams said, “So many people come up to congratulate me at the races for keeping the good horses, or saying that a horse like Harlech or Sentimental Miss slipped past me, but the reality is that I’m not clever enough to keep just the good ones. I wish I was. This year, we had a lot of fillies that ended up in book two, so we’ve kept them. Who knows how that will turn out in the long run? We’ve ended up with a nice even line of thirteen yearlings for sale.”
The Oaks Stud will present thirteen yearlings across book one and book two for the New Zealand Bloodstock Yearling Sale. An outstanding chance to buy a quality filly with residual value is Lot 19, a half-sister by Reliable Man to Listed winner Espresso Martini, this filly’s dam is Gr.1 winner Keepa Cruisin, who is herself a half-sister to dual New Zealand Horse of the Year Seachange (dam of Divan).
A colt who will steal the attention of many judges is Lot 439, a Tavistock colt out of Gr.1 New Zealand Oaks winner Artistic, whose first two foals are both winners including stakes placed winner Grinzinger Star. Artistic is a half-sister to Gr.1 Epsom Handicap winner Excellerator.
“The colt out of Artistic, the Oaks winner, is a lovely horse, who really lives up to his pedigree. Darci Brahma is going well in Hong Kong currently, and that will help our draft as it will focus buyers from that region on his stock. The yearlings on offer are a good bunch. The filly out of Mirth is a lovely moving type, and we lost the mare recently, so we will have a higher reserve on her, while the colt from Flying Firebird is a very typical early Darci Brahma type.”
There are eight yearlings in The Oaks draft by their resident top class sire Darci Brahma, who at the time of printing leads the 2019/20 New Zealand Stallions Premiership table. The Mirth filly mentioned by Williams is Lot 93 and is only the second foal for her ill-fated dam, who is an imported daughter of group winner Birthstone (Machiavellian), who is herself out of a group winning Nureyev mare Baya. This filly is linebred to the mighty Danehill 2mx4f.
The precocious Darci Brahma-Flying Firebird colt noted by Williams is Lot 603, and he is a half-brother to Gr.2 winner and Gr.1 New Zealand One Thousand Guineas placed Smoulder, out of Australian Listed winner at two Flying Firebird, so the precocity is right there on the page too.
“The Merle Park colt is an athletic type,” said Williams, and punters will note the auspicious Lot number, being 88, for the half-brother to Gr.2 winner Platinum Princess. This colt has a strong build up of damsires, being out of an unraced Machiavellian mare, who is out of a stakes winning Nureyev mare, who in turn is out of a stakes winning Mill Reef mare.
A full sister to Harlech is Lot 139, and gives buyers another chance to get one past The Oaks racing team, as many have noted with Harlech. This colt is out of Gr.2 winning mare Obsession, who has left four winners at stud, all by Darci Brahma, and they’ve collectively won eight races to date with two still in work.
Another chance to grab a full brother to a stakes winner is Lot 290, whose full brother is Listed Castletown Stakes winner Dugan, and is out of stakes placed winner of seven races Snipza Gold (Pins), herself a half-sister to Australian stakes winner, and Gr.1 WA Derby placed, Bridgestone.
Accessories (dam of Epaulette, Helmet, and Bullbars) is an emerging Blue Hen broodmare, and Lot 617 is a colt from the same family. This Darci Brahma colt is the first foal of Giant Hunter (Lope de Vega), whose dam is a half-sister to Accessories, as well as three stakes winners in Europe. Another first foal is Lot 917, a filly, out of winning mare Thewayweroll, a half-sister to Gr.3 winner Dancing Jess. The other Darci Brahma in The Oaks Stud draft for 2020 is Lot 1150, a colt who is a full brother to three city class winners from the family of Exultant, the Champion Middle Distance Horse in Hong Kong in 2018/19.
Rounding out the draft is a half-brother to Champion Stayer in New Zealand and Gr.2 winner Charles Road, Lot 618, a colt by Pentire. This is the family of Horse of the Year in Singapore War Affair. Also by Pentire, Lot 905, is a colt out of winning mare Super Saver. Exciting first season sire Turn Me Loose is represented here by Lot 445, a filly who is the third foal of Gr.1 placed winner Aurora Lights. ✦