Sky Field winning the Gr.1 Hong Kong Sprint (1200m) at Sha Tin on Sunday.  Photo: HKJC

Stunning weekend for Cambridge nursery

NZ Racing Desk
13 December 2021

A stellar weekend for Trelawney Stud was crowned on foreign shores when farm graduate Sky Field triumphed in the Gr.1 Hong Kong Sprint (1200m) at Sha Tin on Sunday evening.

It was a race with tragic outcomes with an horrific fall at the top of the straight, which claimed the lives of Amazing Star and Naboo Attack and jockeys Lyle Hewitson, Zac Purton and Yuichi Fukunaga were reported by the Hong Kong Jockey Club to be in stable conditions in hospital.

The Caspar Fownes-trained Sky Field was able to escape the melee under rider Blake Shinn to claim top honours and complete a memorable 48 hours for the Taylor family’s Trelawney Stud.

At Te Rapa on Saturday, the Cambridge nursery’s colours were carried to victory by Two Illicit in the Gr.1 Captain Cook Stakes (1600m) and by Cheaperthandivorce in the Gr.3 Waikato Cup (2400m).

A son of Deep Field, Sky Field was part of Trelawney’s 2018 draft to New Zealand Bloodstock’s National Yearling Sale at Karaka where he was purchased by Magus Equine’s Willie Leung on behalf of the Kwan family.

“It was great for the breeder Mike Ryan, who is based in Europe, and Segenhoe Stud, who foaled and reared him and sent him across to be sold,” Brent Taylor said.

“He was a very good-quartered horse, lovely length, strength and well-balanced. They sent the colt out to us to finish off for the sale.

“He was a big chestnut with plenty of white and looked like a bit of a Pippi Longstocking and that may have put a few people off, but he was a good quality horse and I thought he was a lovely colt.”

Trelawney homebreds Two Illicit and Cheaperthandivorce, both trained by Roger James and Robert Wellwood, provided a dream double at Te Rapa and, in time, will add further quality to the broodmare band.

“It was fantastic and those mares are hard to beat when they want to win. They can turn it off and on pretty quickly, but when they are on they are really on,” Taylor said.

While Savabeel’s daughter Cheaperthandivorce, who is out of Trelawney’s Gr.1 New Zealand Oaks winner Boundless, was retained for her future broodmare value, Two Illicit was kept for a very different reason.

“She was an outstanding type and if we had put her through the sales we would have got bugger all for her. I said we may as well keep her and race her and treat her like a gelding until proven otherwise,” Taylor said.

“She was a very nice horse, but we would have got nothing for her so we kept her to hopefully have a bit of fun so we are very fortunate.

“We do have the odd horse from time to time that we like and do keep if they’re not going to be commercially desirable.”

Trelawney bred 38 mares this season and while the majority were mated with proven sires, a sprinkling of newcomers were also used.

“It’s all about risk assessment this whole business and reducing risk by utilising proven stallions. We do buy shares in stallions and support them, the likes of Hello Youmzain and Almanzor in recent times,” Taylor said.

“We’ve supported Belardo and Ribchester with Haunui and Tivaci, Sacred Falls, Ocean Park and Savabeel at Waikato Stud.

“If the stallions do become available we will buy shares and we will support unproven horses as well, but certainly in Australia we do tend to go down that proven route with the mares we have bred over there.

“We don’t have big numbers, but we are developing quite an elite line-up and some really nice young mares to come into the breeding barn in the future and some nice fillies in behind them.”

Among them is Savabeel’s Gr.2 Matriarch Stakes (2000m) winner Zayydani with Lindsay Park and the Jamie Richards-trained Vamos Bebe, a multiple-winning daughter of I Am Invincible.

High summer hopes are also held for a rising male star of the racing team in the Tony Pike-prepared Pareanui Bay. The son of Lonhro is unbeaten in three appearances, including success in the Gr.2 Sarten Memorial (1400m) and the Listed Trevor & Coralie Eagle Memorial (1500m).

“We actually tried to sell him a couple of times and it didn’t work out. He’ll run on Boxing Day Shaw’s Wire Ropes Uncle Remus Stakes (Listed, 1400m),” Taylor said.

“Tony is very confident he will run better than last time, when he showed a wayward tendency and floated in front and wasn’t concentrating. He’ll have the blinkers on to focus him and we expect him to run very well again.”

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