Variety and quality in Wentwood Grange draft

Dean and Sean Hawkins - Photo: Trish Dunell
Dean and Sean Hawkins

Photo: Trish Dunell

The Hawkins family’s Wentwood Grange has become a renowned source of quality thoroughbred talent, and their draft for the 2020 New Zealand Bloodstock National Yearling Sale has the credentials to continue that trend.

Graduates of Wentwood Grange’s yearling drafts at Karaka include this season’s Gr.1 Epsom Handicap (1600m) and A$7.5 million Golden Eagle (1500m) hero Kolding, along with fellow Group One winners Sacred Elixir, Kermadec and Gust of Wind.

Little Bridge, who was sold for just $9,000 as a weanling, won the Gr.1 King’s Stand Stakes (1000m) at Royal Ascot in 2012, making Wentwood Grange the first New Zealand breeders to have bred a Royal Ascot winner.

Valley Girl and Miss Raggedy Ann, who were both offered as yearlings at Karaka but passed in, later scored Group One victories in the Hawkins family’s racing colours.

Wentwood Grange will offer 35 yearlings at Karaka 2020, all in the Book 1 session. A notable feature of the draft is the diverse range of sires from either side of the Tasman.

“The wide range of stallions is certainly a key feature of our draft and something we’re very proud of,” Wentwood Grange co-owner Dean Hawkins said.

“We’re very fortunate to have a wide client base and the access to such a great selection of sires.”

Stallions featuring in the draft include proven stars such as Savabeel, Iffraaj, Teofilo, Dundeel, Tavistock, Per Incanto, Darci Brahma, Pierro and Pins, along with a host of up-and-comers.

Lot 658, the Teofilo colt out of Hy Fuji - a full-brother to Kermadec. - Photo: Trish Dunell
Lot 658, the Teofilo colt out of Hy Fuji - a full-brother to Kermadec.

Photo: Trish Dunell

One yearling who is sure to attract plenty of attention is Lot 658, by Teofilo out of Hy Fuji – a full-brother to the Gr.1 Doncaster Handicap (1600m) and George Main Stakes (1600m) winner Kermadec.

“This colt is from the last Australian crop of Teofilo, and he’s a colt we’re very excited to be selling,” Hawkins said. “He’s a very nice-moving colt and there’s a lot to like about him.

“It’s also great to offer yearlings from our Group One-winning mares Miss Raggedy Ann (Lot 108) and Valley Girl (Lot 379). We’re very proud to have those sorts of mares in our broodmare band and sell their offspring.

“The Valley Girl yearling is a filly by Savabeel, and she’s just absolutely lovely. She’s a striking dark-coloured filly, just like her mum and just like her grandmother (Group Three winner Leigh Valley). She really catches the eye and is very athletic.”

Other notable members of the draft include the progeny of stakes performers Ms Seneca Rock (Lot 119), Savanah Rush (Lot 257), Amazing Lady (Lot 426), Bel Sorriso (Lot 459), Choice (Lot 504) and Hannah Mary (Lot 637), with many others who are closely related to quality racetrack and stud performers.

“Across the board, I think it’s just a good-quality draft in general,” Hawkins said. “It’s hard to identify just one that stands out.

“There’s some great depth among the dams, with a number of Group performers. The Iffraaj colt out of Choice is a lovely, big strong colt, and the Savabeel out of Amazing Lady is another particularly nice yearling.

“We’ve been quite taken with the first crop of Vadamos and are very excited to be selling some of his yearlings – they’re really good-looking types. His colt out of Bel Sorriso is another lovely type.

“We believe we’re offering something for everyone. We have some sprinting types and some staying types, a number who will run early and some who will develop into very nice three-year-olds. It’s a really varied draft.”

There could be a notable pedigree update on the eve of the sale, with Lot 524 being a colt by Toronado out of the Savabeel mare Crazy Life – a three-quarter-sister to Group One winner Diademe, who is the dam of the Australian-trained Karaka Million 3YO Classic (1600m) contender Conqueror. - NZ Racing Desk