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Bluebloods : NZ Sires Preview June 2010
The initial property covered 110 acres and subsequent development has seen holdings increase to 320 acres. It is owned by a partnership of Thompson and his wife Colleen, his father Colin (a retired Matamata veterinarian) and mother Irene with Alan Galbraith QC. The name Rich Hill originates from the homeland of Thompson's grandfather Vic Troughton, who grew up in Richhill in Country Armagh, Northern Ireland. He immigrated in the early 1900s to the Waikato district where he became a successful and respected dairy farmer. From 1994 the farm underwent significant development until the arrival three years later of foundation stallion Pentire. "We were agisting mares and preparing yearlings and walking all those mares out. We thought why not get a stallion, but the stipulation was they were premier mares and we wanted a premier stallion. Alan (Galbraith) knew bloodstock agent Michael Otto and he then gave us an introduction to his owners Shadai," Thompson said. By the Northern Dancer horse Be My Guest, Pentire was a high-class performer and one of the top middle-distance colts of his year in Europe. Trained by Geoff Wragg, he was the dual Gr. 1 winner of the Ascot King George and Irish Champion Stakes and at Gr. 2 level in the King Edward and Great Voltigeur Stakes. He was subsequently sold to the Shadai Group and stood his first season at stud in Japan in 1997. His first New Zealand crop included the Gr. 1 South Australia Derby winner Pantani and from his second Rich Hill bred their first Gr. 1 winner by Pentire. Penny Gem carried their brand to victory in the Captain Cook Stakes while the Railway Handicap winner Recurring was also from the same crop. However, despite his early success and popularity it wasn't all plain sailing for Pentire. "You have to have the belief in what you are doing and our motivation is to be one of the leading studs in New Zealand." "A mistake we probably made was that we didn't have a partnership involved in the horse - we did it all ourselves and people had a wait and see attitude with him," Thompson said. "In his fifth season he only had 11 live foals in Australasia and that would have been the kiss of death for most stallions, but he came through it." The following season Pentire's numbers rose to 79 coverings and in three of the last four seasons he has served more than 100 mares. Group One success flowed for Pentire courtesy of his outstanding son Xcellent (NZ Derby, Kelt Capital Stakes, NZ Stakes, Mudgway Partsworld Stakes), Zarita (SA Derby-Oaks), Pentane (Auckland Cup), Art Success (Brisbane Cup) and Markus Maximus (WA Derby). His stock have displayed remarkable versatility with top-level victories from 1200 metres up to the maximum 3200 metres. This season has seen the immaculate Rangirangdoo win the Doncaster Handicap while reigning NZ Horse of the Year Mufhasa added the Otaki-Maori WFA title to his Telegraph Handicap and Waikato Draught Sprint crowns. "He (Pentire) is as fit as a fiddle and he'll serve around 120 mares again this year," Thompson said. Alongside Pentire at Rich Hill stands the proven Bahhare and the exciting newcomers Sir Percy and Any Suggestions. "Stallions are a big commitment and they must have a blend of pedigree and performance - all ours have done it at Gr. 1 level. The market isn't always right though and you've got to make your own mind up and have the courage of your convictions," Thompson said. June 2010 25 RANGIRANGDOO Gr. 1 Doncaster Handicap winner M.K.
Tyreel Easter Yearlings
NZ Sires Preview July 2010