World renowned Cambridge Stud is always one of the special venues on the Ontrack New Zealand Horse and Wine Tour but this year it offered some truly mouth-watering prospects.
Cambridge Stud was founded by Sir Patrick Hogan and through the deeds of Sir Tristram and Zabeel it became one of the world’s great thoroughbred nurseries.
For a year it’s been in the new ownership of Brendan and Jo Lindsay and when Ontrack heads there in November there will be some major changes to take in.
“The Lindsay’s have undertaken a massive redevelopment of the farm and when we arrive this year virtually all the buildings on the property will have been replaced,” said Ontrack Thoroughbreds Grant Morgan.
“It’s an exciting development and one which was undertaken with the blessing and involvement of Sir Patrick.
“There’s a new office and hospitality centre while all the stallion barns, yearling barns and serving barn have been replaced. It was a timely development but one that’s been careful to respect the fantastic history that Sir Patrick and Lady Justine built up during their time at Cambridge.
“When Ontrack was there last year the work had just started so it’s going to be very interesting to turn up this November and witness the changes.
“Knowing how passionate and meticulous the Lindsay’s are with anything they take on, the result is sure to be breath-taking.”
Another interesting development will be the addition to the stallion roster at Cambridge of champion European three-year-old Roaring Lion.
“Brendan and Jo are determined to continue Cambridge Stud’s role as a leading thoroughbred nursery and they know that requires the addition of more firepower to the stallion roster.
“Roaring Lion sure does that as he won four Group One races as a three-year-old, starting with the Eclipse Stakes at Sandown and culminating with the Queen Elizabeth Stakes on Champions Day at Ascot.
“A striking grey stallion, Roaring Lion received a Timeform rating of 130 and that places him in the top echelon of horses anywhere in the world.
“Brendan and Jo already have a very good French horse in Almanzor standing his second season at Cambridge and Tavistock, so it’s going to be great having a close up look at these sorts of stallions in November,” said Grant Morgan.
Triple Crown winners are rare in racing but tour members on the 2019 Ontrack Hunter Valley Horse and Wine Tour will be able to get up close with two stallions with America’s most prized trophy on their CVs.
American Pharoah was the first Triple Crown in 37 years when winning the 2015 Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes, and Belmont Stakes and he has stood at Coolmore Stud in the Hunter Valley for the past two seasons.
This spring he will be joined in the palatial Coolmore stallion barn by the 2018 Triple Crown Champion in Justify.
“American Pharoah was the first Triple Crown winner to stand at stud in Australia and it’s hard to believe that our Hunter Valley Horse Tour will be at Coolmore in November and will get the chance to inspect two Triple Crown champions,” said Ontrack Thoroughbreds Managing Director Grant Morgan.
“American Pharoah always creates a fantastic impression while Justify is a special horse as he’s the only Triple Crown winner to retire undefeated, having won all of his six races.
“He’s a son of stallion sensation Scat Daddy, who also has another son at Coolmore in the Hunter in the brilliant sprinter Caravaggio.
“Of interest to Australians was that Justify raced in the China Horse Club colours which have become so familiar on our racetracks.”
A chestnut colt Justify went from winning his first race, a 1400 metres maiden at Santa Anita in February to winning the Group One Belmont Stakes over 2400 metres in June.
Unfortunately he suffered a slight injury soon after and the decision was made to retire the colt.
In September last year, majority owner WinStar Farm announced that Justify would stand at Ashford Stud, the North America branch of Coolmore Stud at a fee for 2019 of $(US)150,000.
“It’s always great to see these mighty horses in the flesh and I can’t wait to get to Coolmore in October and see Justify.
“We’ve had a fantastic response to the Hunter Valley Tour this year and we are not far from being sold out, so it seems a lot of our clients are also looking forward to seeing the Triple Crown champions as well,” said Grant Morgan.