Savabeel continuing to raise the bar

Savabeel
Waikato Stud stallion Savabeel has broken his own domestic stakes earnings record this past season. Photo credit: Trish Dunell

Savabeel has broken his own domestic stakes earnings record, narrowly missing becoming the first stallion to hit $4 million in New Zealand in a season, as he stretched his Grosvenor Award winning streak to five years running. The Waikato Stud stallion has enjoyed yet another banner season, becoming leading two- year-old sire for the first time, as well as sweeping the main New Zealand stallion awards for the fourth straight year.

Savabeel’s progeny earned $3,951,419 in New Zealand for the 2018-19 season, easily eclipsing his previous record mark of $3,396,125 set 12 months earlier. It is the third season in a row Savabeel has set a new benchmark, having narrowly eclipsed Thorn Park’s 2010-11 then record of $3,003,062 when his progeny banked $3,078,170 in the 2016-17 season.

Another Waikato Stud sire Pins, who died last year, finished second on the Grosvenor Award standings with $2,131,256, while Per Incanto was third with $2,117,843. Waikato Stud boss Mark Chittick said the most pleasing aspect of Savabeel’s record was that he continued to maintain high standards. “The thing we’re most proud of is his versatility. He’s just as capable of leaving two-year-old stakes winners as he is of leaving stakes winners at all ages over all distances and both sexes,” Chittick said. “His best season was 19 stakes winners and the season just gone he’s had 18, so he’s continuing to set the bar high.”

Savabeel’s winning margins were even greater in the other main stallion award categories. He earned $9,891,820 in Australasian earnings to win the Dewar Stallion Trophy for the fifth year running, heading a Waikato Stud domination of the standings with O’Reilly ($5,910,578), Pins ($4,449,698) and Ocean Park ($4,049,972) finishing second, third and fourth. World-wide, Savabeel’s progeny earned $17,456,908 to earn him a fourth straight Centaine Award title, heading off O’Reilly ($9,699,533) and Road To Rock ($9,481,894). “They are huge numbers,” Chittick said. “He’s so important to us and so important to New Zealand. He just keeps on doing a great job.”

Perhaps what makes Savabeel’s domestic record read even better is that most of his best progeny are sold offshore, international buyers securing a large number of the 47 Savabeel yearlings sold at Karaka this year which netted $13.96 million at an average of $297,021. “The results he created at Karaka this year were outstanding,” Chittick said, noting that Savabeel was responsible for six of the top 10 yearlings sold at Karaka in January. “And that was all off the back of Probabeel winning the Karaka Million. Not taking anything away from his own great sire Zabeel, but he’s achieving things even he didn’t do. He’s on 89 stakes winners now and we’ll have a big party when he gets to 100.”

Karaka Million 2YO (1200m) winner Probabeel was a big contributor to Savabeel’s domestic success and a crucial part in the stallion becoming leading two-year-old sire for the first time. However, Savabeel’s record of 14 stakes-winning two-year-olds shows that juvenile success has become common-place for the sire.

And Chittick said Savabeel was showing few signs of slowing down. “He’s fantastic. It’s been well documented the treadmill is in place to get him fit and that’s been a fantastic tool to get him up and going for the breeding season,” Chittick said. “He’s turning 18 and he’s still fit and healthy but we will be restricting his numbers again this year because it’s the sensible thing to do. “All our best mares will be going to him this season and the shareholders have been great. They know what they’ve got and they support him with the best of the best mares too.”