Variety the spice of Wentwood Grange draft

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

Photo: Trish Dunell

Wentwood Grange will head to Karaka next month with one of the more diverse drafts at New Zealand Bloodstock’s National Yearling Sales.

The Cambridge farm will offer 34 yearlings in the Book One session by 27 different sires.

Sean Hawkins, who part-owns the highly-respected family farm, established by his parents Des and Jan, with his brothers Dean and Leigh, said not standing a stallion of their own has given Wentwood Grange the freedom to select from a variety of stallions the length and breadth of Australasia.

“We are very fortunate to be offering yearlings from 27 different stallions, including from first season sires such as Written By, Justify, Eminent and Embellish,” Hawkins said.

“We can pick and choose which stallions suit which mares. We have got the luxury of being able to choose from every stallion in New Zealand and Australia.

“We send all of our dry mares over to Australia, so that gives us a little bit of a range with some Australian stallions as well, it gives the buyers some diversity.”

Hawkins is particularly looking forward to watching lot 489, the Pierro filly out of Pica Pica, go through the sales ring.

She is a half-sister to Gr.1 Telegraph (1200m) winner Signify and Gr.1 Manawatu Sires’ Produce Stakes (1400m) runner-up El Sicario.

“Pica Pica has had three foals to the races and two of them are Group One performed,” Hawkins said.

“She is a lovely, free-moving filly. She has got a great nature with a beautiful head on her. She is well-balanced with a lovely walk.”

Another standout of their draft for Hawkins is lot 629, the Vadamos colt out of five-time winner Super Trouper.

“The Vadamos out of Super Trouper is a cracking type of colt,” Hawkins said

“The full-brother (With Your Blessing) performed as a two-year-old. He ran fourth in the Pago Pago Stakes (Gr.3, 1200m) and was only 0.8 lengths off the winner.

“He won last week at Randwick and is currently nominated for the Arrowfield Sprint (Gr.2, 1200m). There is a bit happening there.”

Lot 489, the Pierro filly out of Pica Pica. Photo: Supplied
Lot 489, the Pierro filly out of Pica Pica. Photo: Supplied

Hawkins is also looking forward to offering the farm’s seven-strong Book 2 draft.

“Both of the Charm Spirits (lot 810 and 998) are lovely individuals and the Satono Aladdin (lot 909) is a real Classic type of horse,” he said.

Hawkins is going into the sale with an optimistic view, particularly off the strong sale results across the Tasman and the success of the Kiwi-breds.

“The sales across Australia have been very strong,” he said. “New Zealand-breds have once again performed over there, the strike-rate of New Zealand horses has been outstanding.

“As Vendors we have all improved our photos and videos. I can’t see any reason why it won’t be a strong enough sale.

“I think moving it to March has been great, they are stronger and more developed horses.” – NZ Racing Desk