Cambridge Stud, New Zealand’s most iconic stud, is about to change hands and, very importantly for the New Zealand thoroughbred industry, it will re-main proudly Kiwi-owned.
Sir Patrick Hogan has today confirmed that his and Justine, Lady Hogan’s historic thoroughbred nursery has been sold to Auckland couple Brendan and Jo Lindsay, ensuring that New Zealand’s internationally renowned stud farm stays in local hands.
“It is no secret that there has been huge international interest in Cambridge Stud for some time now,” Sir Patrick Hogan said.
“Many different parties have made approaches to us, however Justine and I were determined to wait for both the right time and the right people - that was non-negotiable for us.
“That right time has now come and the right people have arrived. A new chapter begins for Cambridge Stud and is one that we firmly believe was worth waiting for.
“Cambridge Stud has been our lives for over four decades. We have nurtured it, been its guardians and have proudly seen it evolve into the globally respected operation it is today.
“As we pass the ownership baton on, we know that Cambridge Stud could not be in better hands. Everyone knows that Brendan and Jo Lindsay are deeply passionate about both our industry and our country, and Cambridge Stud certainly holds a unique place in both.
“For Justine and I, this is a dream come true - we can look ahead with great confidence to the future that Cambridge Stud is assured through its new ownership.”
Despite the sale of the famed thoroughbred nursery, Hogan has no desire to step away from the industry that has been his life-long passion.
“In answer to the undoubted question of my retirement - the answer is a firm no, that is not on my agenda,” Hogan said.
“We will have our 2018 Karaka draft, the final one under our auspices, to prepare. After that I have plenty of racing and breeding interests to keep me firmly involved in the industry - an industry I will be fully immersed in until the day I die.”
Nearly 12 months ago, Brendan Lindsay sold Sistema, the plastic container maker firm he started and majority owned, for $660 million to US Fortune 500 company Newell Brands.
For the Auckland-based couple, it is a case of diving further into thoroughbreds, an industry for which they have long had significant interests in.
The seeds for Brendan Lindsay’s passion for racing were sown from childhood, where he would regularly accompany his father to race meetings.
Lindsay's first horse was Maintain who won three races as a two-year-old, in the 1990-91 season from the McKee stable.
The Lindsays have since enjoyed success with the likes of Group One winning juvenile Marky Mark and Gr.1 Galaxy Handicap winner Griante, in addition to Group One performers J'Adane and Zonza.
Sporting their yellow and black checked racing silks, Marky Mark was also bred by the Lindsays from their 200 acre property at Karaka which was developed in 2009, where they now have a small private training operation.
Brendan and Jo Lindsay will assume control of Cambridge Stud in April 2018.
“We are very aware of the huge responsibility that comes with assuming the ownership of such a treasured and revered operation as Cambridge Stud,” Brendan Lindsay said.
“Sir Patrick, a member of both the Australian and New Zealand Halls of Fame, is the undisputed king of the New Zealand thoroughbred industry.
“There are no parallels to what he and Lady Hogan have achieved including 31 years as the national sale’s leading vendor. They have been an inspiration to owners and breeders across the world and have cemented the New Zealand thoroughbred as a force to be reckoned with on the world stage.
“Cambridge Stud is more than a stud farm - it is a unique Kiwi legend. No matter where you travel in the world, the Cambridge Stud name is synonymous not only with New Zealand but with unequalled Group 1 excellence. Eight Melbourne Cups, four Cox Plates, three Caulfield Cups and the Golden Slipper have been associated with the stud.
“We will honour the legacy that Sir Patrick and Lady Hogan have entrusted us with. We feel both proud and privileged to have the opportunity of helping to write exciting new chapters to the Cambridge Stud success story.”
Story: NZ Racing Desk
A poignant moment when this week's Ontrack New Zealand Horse and Wine Tour ended a remark
able association with the incomparable breeder Sir Patrick Hogan and his Cambridge Stud.
The Ontrack tour made its 11th visit to New Zealand and two days after the Cambridge Stud visit came the news that Sir Patrick and Lady Justine Hogan had reached agreement to sell the farm.
Sir Patrick started Cambridge Stud 41 years ago and with sheer hard work, great judgement and a fair "rub of the green" he developed the stud into a thoroughbred breeding powerhouse known around the world.
"The Ontrack tour has been going for 11 years and every year we have been at Cambridge Stud we have received some acknowledgement from Sir Patrick," said Ontrack Managing Director Grant Morgan.
"For many years he hosted the group and showed them around but sometimes pressure of work or travel requirements mean he has welcomed the party and handed them over to a staff member for the tour.
The fantastic thing is that he has always found a few minutes to come over and say welcome.
"This year he greeted our party but then had to leave and oversee a yearling parade for an Australian client and when I went to thank Sir Patrick for the visit he was disappointed that the yearling parade clashed with the visit and he wasn't able to spend more time with the Ontrack party.
"He is a tremendous ambassador for Cambridge Stud and the whole New Zealand breeding industry, but most importantly he is a tremendous person and he will be sorely missed around the Cambridge Stud operation from next April.
"The personal touch Sir Patrick displayed to every one of our tour members over the last 11 years is much appreciated and I'm certain all of those people feel blessed that such a great man always found time in a very busy life to come over and spend time with them.
"It won't be the same heading to Cambridge and not getting a stir-up from Sir Patrick on arrival," said Grant Morgan.
Ontrack’s 2017 New Zealand Racing Tour will have a moment of sadness with the loss of one of the most successful and versatile stallions with the death on Monday of Rich Hill Stud's Pentire.
The Ontrack horse racing tour leaves Australia on Thursday and visits Rich Hill as part of the tour’s stud visits.
The English-bred Pentire was the Walton farm's foundation sire and subsequently made his mark from his base near Matamata at the elite level throughout Australasia and further afield.
"He was 25, but I thought he was going to live forever - he was still serving and so healthy and well," Rich Hill studmaster John Thompson said.
"We noticed after lunch on Monday he looked a bit uncomfortable and I got a bad feeling about it, in 20 years we'd only had the vet to him twice.
"We got him to the clinic and he went into surgery, but sadly he didn't wake up."
Ontrack Managing Director Grant Morgan said Pentire looked in magnificent order during the Ontrack Racing Tour last year.
“He really looked magnificent and belied his years. It was always a pleasure to visit Rich Hill and see Pentire and this year will certainly be tinged with a bit of sadness at the loss of a great horse,” said Grant Morgan.
“Rich Hill is a highlight of our annual racing tour and Pentire was certainly a great ambassador for the stud when paraded for our annual racing tour members.”
Pentire has left 16 individual Group One winners, nine of them in Australia. His progeny won 33 Group One's, 13 across the Tasman, from 1200 to 3200m with his son Mufhasa a 10-time winner at the highest level, and Xcellent was another outstanding representative with multiple Group One victories and a Melbourne Cup placing while Prince Of Penzance sparked Rich Hill celebrations three years ago when he won the Flemington feature.
Pentire's Group One roll of honour also features Xtravagant, Zarita, Rangirangdoo, Pantani, Art Success, Penny Gem, Pentane, Recurring, Markus Maximus, Say No More, Chenille, Volatile Mix and Ferlax.
Pentire shuttled between Japan and New Zealand in the early years and, following two shuttle seasons to Germany, he was permanently repatriated to Rich Hill in 2005. He was represented by stakes winners in both Japan and Germany and winners in 24 other countries.
Pentire was laid to rest at Rich Hill on Tuesday.
Champion New Zealand stallion Tavistock enjoyed another fabulous weekend with major race successes in New Zealand and Hong Kong.
Tavistock, Cambridge Stud’s headline stallion was represented by Gobstopper in the Group 3 New Zealand Cup at Riccarton on Saturday while the next day his full-brother Werther won the Group 2 Jockey Club Cup at Sha Tin.
Ontrack Thoroughbreds is Queensland largest racehorse syndication firm and at the 2017 Karaka Yearling Sales purchased a Tavistock colt to be trained by Mick Price in Melbourne and a Tavistock filly for Sydney trainer Bjorn Baker.
Ontrack Thoroughbred Managing Director Grant Morgan said both Tavistock horses have been popular and the continuing success of Tavistock on the world racing stage meant only limited horse shares were available in the Tavistock filly.
“I thought the Tavistock horses were great value as they are lovely types with great pedigrees and could prove to be a sound investment for the horse racing syndicate that races them with Ontrack.
“Tavistock was a talented racehorse who won major races on both sides of the Tasman but as a stallion he has been an even greater success and he’s sired Derby winners in four countries.
“We paid good money for the Tavistock yearlings because they were great types and we are firm believers is that cheap horses don’t generally get to the level where we want our horses to get to. Cheap horses usually have faults or pedigree issues so we aim higher and these young horses are great examples of Tavistock’s progeny.
“His latest winners Gobstopper and Werther are from the same Zabeel mare Bagalollies and participants on Ontrack Racing’s New Zealand Horse and Wine Tour will next week visit Cambridge Stud well and will get the chance to see the mare and her latest Tavistock foal.
“Cambridge Stud supremo Sir Patrick Hogan is a great ambassador for our racing tours and Tavistock is yet another champion stallion for his stud and it will be great to catch up with the great man and his latest superstar stallion,” said Grant Morgan.
Daniel Meagher did not quite grasp the enormity of the moment when Kim Angel won the Singapore Gold Cup back in 2000.
The big Perth mare was trained by his Melbourne Cup-winning father John while the 18-year-old and elder brother Chris helped out at the Kranji stables. A much leaner Meagher rode work for the yard then.
The unbridled screams of delight and the high-fives were there at the winner’s circle, don’t be mistaken. But the young Meagher – the youngest of the three brothers (Paul is the third one) – was just caught up in the euphoria, probably looking forward to the big night ahead.
To land Singapore’s biggest race after the now-defunct Singapore Airlines International Cup – and to saddle a 1-2 with Le Rhone the runner-up for good measure - at only Meagher Snr’s first full season since relocating from Melbourne was not something he could wrap his head around then.
If anything, Meagher felt a slight twinge that the horse he rode every day, Le Rhone, was beaten into second place.
Seventeen years on, the Meagher name is in the running for another Gold Cup title with a last-minute “gatecrasher”, Secret Win, an unheralded five-year-old by Haradasun.
And this time it’s Daniel and not John – the latter is now retired after he pulled up stumps in 2011 to return to Brisbane to train with Chris and Daniel.
After the family brand name made a Singapore comeback last year when Meagher was granted a trainer’s licence, he will this Sunday watch with the same excitement as 17 years ago when Secret Win canters down to the starting gates for the running of the $1.35 million Group 1 Dester Singapore Gold Cup (2200m) – but with a greater sense of pride.
“I was young and unaware of the occasion when Kim Angel won. I actually rode Le Rhone, the second horse, while Kim Angel was always Andrew Kermond’s; they were both difficult to ride,” said Meagher as he rolled back the years.
“We were accustomed to such big races, and then Dad made it 1-2 in the Gold Cup at only his first full one year. To me, it was great but I can only fully appreciate it now.
“After I went to Dubai with Lim’s Classic and Lim’s Grand, it’s only then that I realised how hard it was hard to win these big races. Dad was good at letting me do my own thing, and Dubai was a turning point, I really enjoyed the training side of things.
“Then I went back to Singapore and had success with Recast in 2007. That’s when I wanted to concentrate on the training side and think about the future, especially after I met my future wife Sabrina in 2012 and settled down.
“I have to say I’ve had a great start to my training career. I’ve learned a lot in the first 12 months and I’m lucky to have staff who wants to share the same success.
“Now, just like Dad, at only my first full season, I have my first Singapore Gold Cup runner in Secret Win.
“To be honest, it wasn’t my intent to set him for the Gold Cup this year. He won the mile, but I knew he wasn’t a miler.
“I discussed with the stable and we know he is a dead-set 2200m plus horse. We decided to have a crack at the El Dorado Classic and he won with authority and got an automatic entry into the Gold Cup with only 50kgs on his back.
“It’s a great buzz to get a horse into the race, but at the same time, when I saw the people who were at the barrier draw, like Hideyuki Takaoka who won the Gold Cup three times, Pat Shaw, Stephen Gray, Mick Dittman (Kim Angel’s jockey and now a racing manager for the Lim’s Stable), I feel humbled to be among such an international stage when I’m only 34.”
Meagher may be a little starry-eyed but the handler, who has already trained 49 winners since his introduction in April 2016, has left no stone unturned as he bids to follow into the footsteps of his father, who will actually be at the races on Sunday.
“It’s great to see Dan with a runner in the Gold Cup. It’s a special race where you need to find the right horse who can settle where he is comfortable, and Kim Angel was just like that,” said Meagher senior, winner of 577 races at Kranji, including 29 at Group level (seven Group 1s).
Dittman, whose Lim’s Stable has no runner in the Singapore Gold Cup, was also in a nostalgic mood at the barrier trials on Thursday.
“She was a very good mare with a brilliant turn of foot. I remember I asked Johnny to put me on her as she had only 52kgs,” recalled the Australian many still call The Enforcer.
“In the running, she was in fourth-fifth spot and she just levelled up on the outside and she won rather easily. She was pretty special.”
If Meagher was feeling any added pressure from having his father around, he was certainly not showing it.
“Mum and Dad had already planned to come over to visit the family, but with Secret Win running in the Gold Cup, it’s worked out well,” said Meagher.
“It’s quite exciting to be in the Gold Cup with a horse who just won a Group 3 race, but two runs ago, won a Class 4 race.
“I’m lucky to have good people behind me, it’s not just about me, it’s people who want the same success and have structured that into the system. In the last three weeks since he won the El Dorado, we have kept to a system with the horse.
“He hasn’t had a holiday since he arrived, but at the same time, he doesn’t need a lot of work. He’s a natural stayer who goes well with nice fresh legs, and that’s a huge bonus.
“He will get a long way back, but is he good enough against the Infantry, Gilt Complex and Elite Excalibur, I don’t know. On ratings, he should be on 41kgs!
“I’m glad I also have a jockey who knows him well in my very good friend Benny Woodworth. I hope Benny can win that race.
“He knows he is a horse you just have to switch off and leave him alone in the early stages. If he can finish in the first six, I will be rapt."
Thanks to Michael Lee and Singapore Turf Club.