A purchase made while on a stint working overseas over twenty-five years ago paid off in spades for Windsor Park Stud’s Rodney Schick, when stylish colt Dynastic took out the NZD$1 million Doubletree by Hilton Karaka Million 2YO (1200m) at Ellerslie on Saturday night.
The Jamie Richards-trained son of Cambridge Stud stallion Almanzor is out of Volksraad mare Meir, a grand-daughter of Irish mare Guinevere, who Schick purchased for 32,000 guineas out of a Tattersalls sale while working in England in the mid 1990s.
Bought for long-time clients John and Margaret Thompson, Guinevere is a half sister to Group 1 Hong Kong Cup (2000m) winner Eagle Mountain and Group One winners Sulk and Dank.
After doing her early racing in France, Guinevere was brought back to New Zealand for her breeding career, where her first foal was Zabeel mare Mia Le Fay, the granddam of Dynastic.
“I was in England getting some work experience over there when we decided to try and buy a filly at the Tattersalls sale,” Schick said.
“I had Lady Tavistock helping me out as she was just starting to invest in bloodstock back here and she helped me pick out this filly.
“I bought her for John and Margaret Thompson and she initially raced in training in France, before we brought her back to New Zealand.
“She was by Fairy King and from a good Aga Khan family that had produced some top gallopers, so she was a real addition to our broodmare ranks back here.
“Her first foal was a Zabeel filly, Mia Le Fay, who left some very nice horses including the stakes winner Lady Le Fay and her half-sister The Tidy Express who was stakes placed a number of times, as well as Thewayweare, who won seven races in Australia.
“Mia Le Fay’s second foal was Meir, the dam of Dynastic, who we raced in partnership with the Thompsons.
“She won a race from a handful of starts before we retired her to the broodmare barn.”
Meir’s first foal was four-race winner Miss Ricky Bobby, but it is her colt from the first crop of exciting stallion Almanzor, a European champion three-year-old, that hit the headlines after being purchased by David Ellis for NZD$360,000 during the 2021 National Yearling sale at Karaka.
Subsequently named Dynastic, his Restricted Listed success marks the first southern hemisphere winner for his sire, let-alone black-type winner, with Almanzor, a triple Group One winning son of Wootton Bassett, also the sire of the Group Two-placed Andalus, who is prepared by Stephen Marsh.
“I know all studmasters tell you this, but he really was an exceptionally good-looking colt who just oozed class,” Schick said.
“He was a standout as a foal, but his breeding suggested he was going to be a three-year-old rather than a colt who would come out and win the Karaka Million at just his second start.
“I’m absolutely thrilled for John and Margaret, David Ellis and Jamie and especially for Brendan and Jo Lindsay at Cambridge Stud.
“We wanted to support Almanzor when he got here as he is one of those stallions that we all want to see succeed for the good of our whole industry.
“It takes substantial investment to get a stallion like Almanzor here and to have him win one of our biggest two-year-old races with a colt from his first crop is outstanding.”
While Schick admitted to nursing a fairly sore head after celebrating late into Saturday night, he was in good company as co-breeder John Thompson was in a similar position.
“That was quite some thrill and was a little unexpected as we truly thought you wouldn’t see the best of him until he turned three,” Thompson said.
“I can’t remember whose idea it was to go to Almanzor with Meir, but it looks like a pretty smart decision now.
“We really thought he was a Derby type horse, so to win the Karaka Million is a little unreal.”
Thompson is now looking forward to the National Yearling sale at Karaka in March with the half-brother by Mongolian Khan to go under the hammer as Lot 929 from the Windsor Park Book 2 draft.
“We mainly breed to sell and the half brother is going to Karaka this year,” Thompson said.
“We still own Meir’s first filly foal that was named Golda, who is now a broodmare, while we are racing her second filly who is named Black Queen.
“She is a very promising staying mare by Mongolian Khan, who has won three races out of the Chris Waller stable.
“Meir foaled a colt by Rageese last year and she is now in foal to Circus Maximus, so there are lots of exciting things happening in the family.”