One of the primary goals for Brendan and Jo Lindsay when they purchased the Cambridge Stud from Sir Patrick Hogan in 2018 was to continue the legacy of the historic establishment. At the conclusion of Book 1 at last week's Karaka yearling sales, the torch seems to have passed without a flicker.
The leading breeder in New Zealand for decades as a direct sequel to importing the great sire Sir Tristam (by Sir Ivor) and then breeding and standing his best son Zabeel, Hogan was also known as both a great character, raconteur, and salesman.
Not surprisingly, Hogan's consignments to the Karaka sales produced both some exciting prospects and some big prices, and one of the questions among horsemen was how the transition from one owner to the next would impact the sales consignment.
At New Zealand Bloodstock's 2019 Karaka yearling sale, 489 horses sold in the four days of Book 1 produced gross revenue of $67,206,500, an average price of $137,437 and median of $100,000. The sale's clearance rate was 77 percent, but for the Cambridge Stud consignment, the percentage sold was 100.
That is quite an accomplishment at any sale, perhaps more so at one when the offerings are toward the elite end of the spectrum and consignors may be tempted to retain one if it doesn't bring perceived value.
The Lindsays, however, perceived the elite consignment as an opportunity to show that they brought horses to the sale with a purpose, and there is no doubt the results will stand the farm in good stead as advertisement for quality and value.
When the Lindsays purchased Cambridge Stud, the transaction included the bloodstock owned by the stud (stallions, mares, and foals), while Hogan retained mares owned in partnership and fillies in training. So there were some familiar names among the dams of the Cambridge Stud yearlings offered at Karaka.
Scott Calder, head of sales for Cambridge Stud, said that “we were able to bring a sizable consignment of yearlings, primarily bred by Cambridge, to the marketplace. We believed they represented quality bloodstock and possessed prospects that would recommend them to buyers. As a result, we were pleased with their reception at the sales and look forward to the future.”
The first Cambridge consignment under the new ownership was surely and simply a success. Among the highlights of the results for the Karaka sale were a Redoute's Choice colt sold for NZ$800,000, a Zoustar filly who brought NZ$600,000, and a Snitzel filly sold for NZ$500,000. To add greater satisfaction to the accomplishment, the Redoute's Choice colt and the Zoustar filly are out of mares owned by the Lindsays before they acquired Cambridge Stud.
Shortly after the acquisition of Cambridge Stud, Brendan Lindsay announced a significant “refurbishment of the stud” planned over several years because the new owners want to “continue to operate Cambridge as a premier stallion and broodmare operation, doing what the stud has done best for 40 years, while our Karaka farm will be integrated with the stud.”
The most obvious element of integration into the Lindsays' existing operation are the stallions.
Standing a leading New Zealand stallion in Tavistock (Montjeu), plus the good horses Burgundy (Redoute's Choice) and Highly Recommended (Fastnet Rock), Cambridge Stud also added European champion Almanzor (Wooton Bassett) to its roster in 2018.
Almanzor was the top French-trained 3-year-old colt in Europe in 2017, when he won the Champion Stakes at Ascot, the Irish Champion, the French Derby, all G1 races. With the advice of farm CEO Henry Plumptre and general manager Marcus Corban, Cambridge made Almanzor its first stallion acquisition under the new ownership.
Clearly, with the forwarding thinking and cash resources of the Lindsays, more premium stallion prospects will be on the horizon.
And from these indicators, the New Zealand sun will be shining brightly on Cambridge Stud well into the future.
Frank Mitchell is author of Racehorse Breeding Theories, as well as the book Great Breeders and Their Methods: The Hancocks. In addition to writing the column “Sires and Dams” in Daily Racing Form for nearly 15 years, he has contributed articles to Thoroughbred Daily News, Thoroughbred Times, Thoroughbred Record, International Thoroughbred, and other major publications. In addition, Frank is chief of biomechanics for DataTrack International and is a hands-on caretaker of his own broodmares and foals in Central Kentucky. Check out Frank's lively Bloodstock in the Bluegrass blog.
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