Derryn yearlings add new element for high-flying Grangewilliam

Grangewilliam Stud stallion Derryn. Photo:

While remarkable stallion Zed continues to put Grangewilliam Stud’s name in lights on both sides of the Tasman, the next generation gets its time to shine with Derryn’s first yearlings going under the hammer at Karaka 2021.

Grangewilliam can lay claim to New Zealand’s highest-ranked sire in Australia this season, with Zed currently sitting in 14th place on the Australian premiership. His progeny have amassed more than A$4.6 million across the Tasman in 2020-21, headed by Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m), Turnbull Stakes (2000m) and Winx Stakes (1400m) winner Verry Elleegant, Listed Ballarat Cup (2000m) winner Irish Flame and A$300,000 Jericho Cup (4600m) star Count Zero.

Zed has also sired 21 winners on home soil this season, including the Listed Metropolitan Trophy (2500m) winner and Group 3 City of Auckland Cup (2400m) placegetter Robusto.

A selection of Zed yearlings will be offered at Karaka 2021, with two in Book 1 and 10 in Book 2. “Zed’s done a fantastic job this season and just keeps chipping away and producing these great results,” Grangewilliam’s Mark Corcoran said.

“He had really strong support at the sales last year, and I’m expecting that to continue this time around. All but one of his yearlings last year sold to Australia, and I think those buyers will be very interested in his progeny again this year. They know what he can do now, and his horses just tend to need that little bit of time.”

But the countdown to Karaka holds extra excitement this year for Corcoran, with two colts by first season sire Derryn in Book 1 and another 10 yearlings in the catalogue for Book 2. By classy Australian sire Hinchinbrook out of a Lonhro mare, Derryn beat a star-studded field to win the Group 2 Arrowfield 3YO Sprint (1200m) at Randwick as a three-year-old. He also won the Listed Darby Munro Stakes (1200m), while his four black-type placings included a third behind Redzel in the Group 1 Doomben 10,000 (1200m).

Derryn has proven to be a popular addition to the stallion roster at Grangewilliam, where he stands for a service fee of $5,000. “He’s been really well supported by breeders,” Corcoran said. “He served 105 mares in his first season, then 120 in his second. This spring he served just under 90. “So he’s going to have every chance, with some good numbers and some nice-quality mares in his books as well.

“It’s really exciting to have his first yearlings about to go through the ring. He’s a lovely horse himself, and he’s passing that quality on to his progeny. He’s really stamped them with his strength and athleticism.

“Everyone who’s seen his progeny has given really positive feedback about them. They’re real Hinchinbrook types of horses, which is what we were really hoping to see, and there’s also a lot of really nice dark-coloured horses – that’s that Lonhro influence coming through.

“He’s putting a lot of strength into them and they look like racehorses. He was a very good sprinter himself, and he’s leaving horses in a similar mould to himself. I wouldn’t be surprised if one or two of his first crop get up and run as two-year-olds. He himself wasn’t really tried early, but was able to win as a late two-year-old. There’s a bit of precocity in his family, like the Golden Slipper winner Forensics, along with the quality sires Not a Single Doubt and Snippets. It’s a great sire-making family.”

There are a couple of yearlings in particular that Corcoran will be watching closely at Karaka later this month. “My pick of his fillies at Karaka is one that’s in Book 2 – Lot 894,” he said. “She’s out of a Bachelor Duke mare, Miss Isle, who’s a stakes-placed half-sister to Ken and Bev Kelso’s exciting horse Levante. I think she looks quite a lot like Levante, and she’s got a lovely temperament and a great walk. I think she’s an extremely nice filly.

“As far as his colts are concerned, I like Lot 500 in Book 1 – the colt out of La Petite. This colt’s a half-brother to Lightning Jack, who won a couple of nice Guineas races in the South Island and placed in the Group 2 Wellington Guineas (1400m). He’s an outstanding colt.”

The other members of Grangewilliam’s four-stallion roster are The Bold One, who has already sired the winner Bold Iris among his four runners to date, and new addition Wyndspelle.

The winner of the Group 1 Captain Cook Stakes (1600m) and a Group 1 placegetter on both sides of the Tasman, Wyndspelle stood his first year at stud this season at a service fee of $5,000. “He’s a lovely horse and I was really happy with his first season,” Corcoran said.

“He had very good fertility. He didn’t serve a huge number, but had a nice, quality book of just under 50 mares. “This probably wasn’t the easiest season to try to start a horse off, but if his progeny turn out to be anything like him, I’m sure he’ll be able to make his way.”

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