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Bluebloods : Karaka 2010 Yearling Sale Preview
82 DARCI BRAHMA. Danehill's five-time group one winning son, represented by 48 Karaka Premier yearlings ot content with standing Bachelor Duke, the latest star among New Zealand sires, The Oaks is about to present the first crop yearlings by a horse widely predicted to be the next one. Bachelor Duke's 2008-09 New Zealand first season sires' title was all the more impressive because he won it with a crop of only 49 foals. Even better, three of his five best two-year- old performers have already won at three: Bail Out and Prince of Wales, and the outstanding colt Keyora. Their earnings have given Bachelor Duke a comfortable early lead on the 2009-10 New Zealand second season sires' table. Bred at The Oaks by Karreman Bloodstock and sold for $200,000 at Karaka Premier 2008 to trainer John Wheeler, Keyora turned in two authoritative performances to win the Wellington and Hawke's Bay Guineas, both Group 2 events. Prince of Wales (3rd Foxton RC Castletown S. LR) and the very precocious filly Bewitch, who ran third in the 2009 ARC Karaka Million LR, were also bought from The Oaks' draft at Karaka 2008. The Oaks' general manager Rick Williams emphasises the depth of Bachelor Duke's first crop. "From just 15 to race, he's produced Keyora and two stakes performers, with the Chris Wood-trained three-year- old Single Currency looking every inch a stakes horse in the making." Bachelor Duke packs a powerful genetic punch as a Group One classic-winning member of a family that has already produced champion sires Sadler's Wells, Nureyev and Fairy King. With a total of around 300 mares visiting him in 2008 and 2009, he's getting every opportunity to add further premierships to his family's record. The Oaks could hardly have found a more exciting act to follow Bachelor Duke than Darci Brahma. Rick says, "He's a rare individual. Not many horses, let alone entires, can hold their best form over three seasons. Darci Brahma won five Group Ones at two, three and four years from his 19 starts, and he also placed second five times at Group One level. His talent was matched by his great temperament, and he retired sound. "There has been plenty of interest from Australian agents in Darci's progeny and with the talk about for them from other vendors and buyers, I'm confident they're going to find some very nice homes. "They look ready-made racehorses. As a whole, I'd describe them as lovely, balanced individuals, with great walks and wonderful temperaments." The Oaks has taken a particularly rigorous approach to its 2010 Karaka yearling draft, and has more than usual confidence in its quality. Rick says, "It's the best draft on pedigree and type that I've taken to Karaka." KARAKA 2010 STANDOUTS: Darci Brahma- Fairy Lights colt -- "A half-brother to this season's dual Group 2 winner Keyora, New Zealand Derby runner-up Roman Chariot and top Japanese performer Roc de Cambes (Red Ransom). N THE OAKS The family is firing and this colt is a quality type, with a lovely shoulder, deep girth and great walk." Darci Brahma -- Southern Sunset colt -- "Big and strong, he's a super individual with a beautifully relaxed temperament. He's from the family of champion two-year-old and leading sire Storm Bird." Darci Brahma -- Colourship filly -- "She has a nice shoulder, a superb top line and looks like an early runner. Her dam is a Rainbow Quest half-sister to European Group winners Red Sea and Sailing." Darci Brahma -- Merle Park filly -- "A classic type of filly, with a beautiful head and lovely kind eye. She's from a Machiavellian mare." UNDER THE RADAR PICKS: Bachelor Duke -- Jemima Jones colt (Premier) and Bachelor Duke -- Proud Run colt (Select). "Both perhaps not quite at the top end on pedigree, but great individual types." RACING HIGHLIGHT OF 2009: Rick says, "My season highlight so far has been to see Keyora emerge as a top class three-year-old. We bred Keyora at The Oaks, he was our pick from Bachelor Duke's first crop yearlings, and he's owned by a great group of people who now look to have themselves a genuine Derby horse. "His wins in the Hawke's Bay Guineas and the Wellington Guineas were outstanding and both races have historically proven themselves as great form guides."
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