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Bluebloods : Karaka 2010 Yearling Sale Preview
46 here's been plenty of good news on and off the track this year for the Bax family, who have revived the magnificent stud farm established in the 1940s and developed by Sir Jack Butland. Businessman Owen Glenn has settled into the role of co-owner with Graham and Helen-Gaye Bax, after buying their daughter Kylie's share of the property. Graham says, "Owen brings new ideas to the stud from outside the industry, and helps us to see the breeding operation in a different light. "We've added to our broodmare band and aim to have around 50 mares, and then cull to keep lifting their quality." Supporting New Zealand's racing community is also a priority for Glenn and the Bax family, so Blandford Lodge is sponsoring a local raceday at Matamata in December, and the $200,000 Railway Handicap Gr. 1 at Ellerslie on New Year's Day. On the track, Blandford Lodge's 2008 Karaka Premier draft has been busy compiling excellent results during 2009. Better Than Ever (French Deputy- Songfest) is unbeaten in five starts from Laurie Laxon's Singapore stable, and Savsbelle (Savabeel- Polly's Pocket) followed up a good fifth in the VRC Wakeful S. Gr. 2 with a valuable third placing in the VRC Oaks Gr. 1. Thorn Dancer (Thorn Park-Katie O'Neill) has won three races in Western Australia and ran second in November's Western Australian Guineas Gr. 2, while Our Tigress (Tiger Hill-Trujillo) won on debut in September and is rated highly by the Moroney stable. Other winners from the farm's 2008 draft are Stopover (Savabeel-Logical Lady) and Turnstiles (Anabaa-Zabeels Angel). It seems only a matter of time before the "Class of 2008" adds to the list of Blandford-bred-and-sold Group and Listed stakeswinners including Six O'Clock News, She Will Be Loved, Silky Red Boxer, Just Polite, Anatomy, Alberto and Aeroforce One. There's no doubt about the direction Blandford Lodge is taking in the immediate future. As Graham Bax says, "We just want Blandford to be the best!" KARAKA 2010 STANDOUTS: Royal Academy- (Star of) Gretchen colt -- "A very athletic, nice, tidy colt." From a Group One-placed winner and half- sister to Gr. 2 Silky Red Boxer, this is also the family of Gr. 1 All Thrills Too, Gr. 2 Soleil Rouge, Gr. 2 She Will Be Loved, Gr. 3 Gotta Have Heart and two- year-old stakeswinner Crossyourheart. O'Reilly-High Ground colt -- "Very, very athletic and showy, a real runner with an international pedigree." High Ground is a half-sister to US Gr. 2 winner Rebellion from the family of Gr. 1 King's Chapel, and Group 2 winners College Chapel, Barrow Creek and Trans Island. Savabeel-Ballet Honours filly -- "She's all quality, a half-sister to stakeswinner Alberto, from a good Kiwi family." Her dam is a half-sister to Gr. 1 Lord Majestic , and other relatives include Gr. 2 Ugachaka, Gr. 2 High Cee, Gr. 3 Country Rose and Singapore Horse of the Year Bocelli UNDER THE RADAR PICKS: Pins-Trujillo filly -- "A real quality filly, and a nice filly for the future with plenty happening in her pedigree." She's a half- sister to the promising Our Tigress from the family of Moonstone (Irish Oaks Gr. 1) and Cerulean Sky (Longchamp Prix-Alary Gr. 1). Fast 'n' Famous-Shades of Red filly -- "An excellent walker and an athletic type from a good female family." Shades of Red is a half-sister to Gr. 3 Just Polite, Group One-placed Savsbelle and stakes- placed winner Taiters. This is the family of Canadian champion two-year-old colts Sky Classic, Regal Classic and Grey Classic, champion Canadian two-year-old filly Hello Seattle and Canadian Horse of the Year Dance Smartly. T BLANDFORD LODGE Dehere-Wizard Princess filly -- "Not big, but she has a bolshy attitude and just gets on with the job, a real runner." Her dam is a winning Rory's Jester half- sister to Cheeky Choice (AJC Flight S. Gr. 1, STC Tea Rose S. Gr. 2). RACING HIGHLIGHT OF 2009: Graham says, "Being in the mounting yard at Flemington on Derby Day with Owen Glenn and Monaco Consul, thinking 'I've got to do this myself someday!' There's no doubt New Zealand is good at breeding classic stayers." AT THE END OF SALE DAY: "A couple of my Australian friends come over for the Karaka sales and we enjoy catching up over a few beers, then having a quiet meal with friends and family."
Magic Millions Preview
Inglis Sydney Classic