Un­tapped Bram­bles de­liv­ers thriller

Matamata Chronicle - - News -

From their van­tage point in the Ea­gle Farm grand­stand watch­ing Satur­day’s Queens­land Derby un­fold, Mark and Lisa Chittick couldn’t be­lieve what they were see­ing.

A week af­ter Waikato Stud stal­lions Fast ’ n’ Fa­mous and O’Reilly had been rep­re­sented by the first two fin­ish­ers, Quin­tes­sen­tial and El­iza Blues, in the Queens­land Oaks, the un­think­able was hap­pen­ing again.

On the home turn in the Derby Bram­bles, the son of yet an­other Waikato stal­lion, Sav­abeel, was in front and his only threat was the Oaks’ hero­ine Quin­tes­sen­tial.

‘‘I was think­ing this can’t be hap­pen­ing, it’s sim­ply not pos­si­ble but it was just in­cred­i­ble,’’ Mark Chittick said on his re­turn home.

‘‘As they headed up the straight I was ac­tu­ally ex­pect­ing Quin­tes­sen­tial to get past Bram­bles but he just kept go­ing, noth­ing was go­ing to beat him.

In fair­ness, the filly had to do a lot early from her (wide) draw and back­ing up from her Oaks win you have to say what a big job she still did.

‘‘Lisa and I headed straight down to the bird­cage and the thing that struck us most was to see the win­ner. ‘‘ He was just stand­ing there in his weigh-in stall dead still, not blow­ing, as if to say ‘that was pretty cool’. He’s ob­vi­ously a very good gal­loper and the most ex­cit­ing thing about him is that he’s still un­tapped.’’

Bram­bles went into the Queens­land Derby chas­ing a hat­trick af­ter wins in the Rough Habit Plate and Grand Prix Stakes across the Nudgee Road at Bris­bane’s other race­course, Doomben.

There was some spec­u­la­tion that his take-it-to-them style might prove less ef­fec­tive on the roomier Ea­gle Farm track but it made no dif­fer­ence as he pro­duced an­other re­lent­less per­for­mance.

Last year’s Queens­land win­ter car­ni­val pro­duced Sav­abeel’s first group one win­ner, Scar­lett Lady, in the Queens­land Oaks. Last spring his three-year-old son Sang­ster joined the list by win­ning the Vic­to­ria Derby and now with a third group one scalp, Sav­abeel is liv­ing right up to his billing as a Cox Plate-win­ning son of cham­pion stal­lion Zabeel.

At a fee of $20,000 for his ser­vices, brood­mare own­ers queued last breed­ing sea­son and he ended up cov­er­ing 190 mares.

An in­crease to $35,000 has any­thing but quelled the de­mand with his 2012 book of­fi­cially closed by the end of last month.

Quin­tes­sen­tial’s sire Fast ’n’ Fa­mous, who has done what the ma­jor­ity of stal­lions don’t man­age with a group one win­ner from his first crop, was at the other end of the pop­u­lar­ity scale last spring as breed­ers took a wait and see ap­proach and he served one-tenth of Sav­abeel’s book – that’s right, just 19 mares.

‘‘The num­bers are out there af­ter some solid books in his ear­lier sea­sons and apart from Quin­tes­sen­tial he’s got a good num­ber of other smart per­form­ers com­ing through,’’ said Mark.

‘‘The Oaks’ win has cer­tainly put him back in front of breed­ers and it was good to hear the phone ring­ing for him last week.’’

Af­ter stand­ing at a fee of $8000 last sea­son, the de­ci­sion was made to re­duce that to $6000 for 2012, which must make the young stal­lion an ob­vi­ous tar­get for the breeder seek­ing real value.

While Sav­abeel, Fast ’n’ Fa­mous and O’Reilly were all in­volved di­rectly in the Queens­land Oaks and Derby quinel­las, their high pro­file as­so­ciate Pins also had a part to play.

He is in fact the sire of the dam of Bram­bles, which is a big pointer to his con­tin­u­ing in the tra­di­tion of Waikato Stud stal­wart Cen­taine and more re­cently, O’Reilly as a ma­jor brood­mare sire in­flu­ence.

Not to be out­done through his first-gen­er­a­tion prog­eny, O’Reilly’s flag flew on the home front through an im­pres­sive win at Te Rapa on Satur­day by his two-year-old son Sa­cred Falls. The up­stand­ing brown had won his pre­vi­ous start de­but and has al­ready been ear­marked as one to watch in spring three-year-old fea­tures.

Sav­abeel: The sire of Satur­day’s Queens­land Derby win­ner Bram­bles.

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