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Tapp's Travels: NZ Oaks & Zabeel

TrueNicks co-creator Byron Rogers and myself are on a three-week tour of New Zealand and Australia. Since Byron so proudly coined “Tapp’s Travels,” I’ll be nice and keep the title for this blog.

Our first stop was Saturday’s New Zealand Oaks (gr. I) at Trentham Racecourse in the southern part of New Zealand’s north island. The winner was Midnight Oil (TrueNicks A++), a daughter of Danehill stallion Keeper out of a Gilded Time mare. From the family of New Zealand 2,000 Guineas (gr. I) winner Danske, Midnight Oil looked good on form and was very much on her toes in the paddock before outrunning a nice group of fillies.

Midnight Oil wins the New Zealand Oaks (gr. I).

At Trentham we met some of New Zealand’s top industry figures, including John Thompson of Rich Hill Stud, who kindly welcomed Byron and I to his sponsored box. We also met Rex and Will Fell of Goodwood Stud, Gerald Fell of Fairdale Stud, and Huw Taylor and Peter Didham of Wellfield Lodge, the sponsors of the New Zealand Oaks.

After meeting with a few farms on Sunday, we made the long but picturesque drive north to Matamata (current filming location of The Hobbit), where we met up with Waikato Stud’s Mark Chittick. That evening turned out to be a good one for Waikato Stud stallion Pins, as his son Ambitious Dragon took the Hong Kong Derby.

It's a beautiful drive from Wellington to Matamata.

Monday was full of farm visits in the Waikato region. Highlighting these was Rich Hill Stud, where we saw successful stallion Pentire and his imposing barn-mate Any Suggestion, a son of Lion Hunter whose first crop are yearlings.

Pentire is a neat, elegant, and very correct son of Be My Guest.

The day was completed with a tour at Cambridge Stud. Here we met Keeper (sire of Midnight Oil) and the most illustrious Cambridge resident, Zabeel.

25-year-old Zabeel has sired 43 group I winners.

Next we’ll travel to Auckland and then on to Australia.

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Did you plait his mane?

ckroger 23 Mar 2011 9:45 AM

Yeah, thanks for noticing, Chad. What you can't see are his sweet quarter marks that I made to spell his name. He was immediately voted 'best turned out'.

Ian Tapp 23 Mar 2011 11:20 AM

It's good to see that the 1996 King George winner Pentire is looking so well for his age and I hope he is enjoying life in New Zealand ''He Certainly Looks Like He Is''

John T 23 Mar 2011 10:41 PM

Internet withdrawal yet, Tapp???

JerseyTom 24 Mar 2011 4:07 PM

Hi Tom, must admit it's a little tough-- right now I'm traveling around in country Victoria and there's not great phone reception let alone internet. But I'll be back in Melbourne later today to see the great Black Caviar in action!!

Ian Tapp 24 Mar 2011 4:26 PM

Tell Black Caviar hi for me. And I'll eat a delicious piece of king cake for you!

Esther Marr 24 Mar 2011 4:42 PM

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