Zabeel stallion Zed has undertaken a dramatic turnaround in the last five years, going from serving Clydesdales in the South Island of New Zealand to Group One sire and prolific staying influence.
The Grangewilliam Stud stallion looks to have sired another promising horse in Zedinator who stormed home from the rear of the field to win the Le Pine Funerals Handicap (2400m) at Caulfield last Saturday.
“The way he finished, to come from the back the way he did, he’s obviously a pretty talented stayer,” Grangewilliam Stud principal Mark Corcoran said.
“The most pleasing thing for me was that it was a full-capacity field and he came from second-last and it was on a good track.
“Zed’s are constantly getting knocked that they are wet-trackers, but they actually perform on top of the ground too.”
The sire of eight Stakes winners, including Gr.1 Makfi Challenge Stakes (1400m) winner Survived, Zed boasts a strike-rate of 4.6 per cent stakes winners to runners and looks like he could extend that number in the near future.
“He’s going absolutely huge at the moment,” Corcoran said. “He’s got Dez in the [Group Three] Winter Cup this weekend and he’s going in as one of the favourites.
“The Poormanzabeel, he’s won three of his last four now and it was a pretty tough and determined win on Saturday. Horses like Verry Flash and his sibling Verry Elleegant are progressive as well.
“They are pretty versatile horses. Zed Em has won more than A$600,000 and is a high-class jumper, along with the likes of Wee Biskit and Zedeedudadeeko.”
Originally standing at Little Avondale Stud in Masterton, Zed served his biggest book of mares (168) in 2013 after missing the 2012 season through a hiatus in the South Island.
“Sam Williams had him at Little Avondale initially and then he went down to the South Island and was at Erewhon Station where they were using him to breed Clydesdales,” Corcoran said.
“He got that good crop with Survived, Usanity and Ambitious Champion, and those ones really started shaping up. That’s when I started noticing them and thought he would be worth standing.
“By the time we had signed him up he was absolutely flying, and he ended up serving the most mares of any stallion that season. He got a really good book of mares that year and it’s all starting to come to fruition now.
“That big crop of foals are now four-year-olds. I think he has got good numbers coming through now, they are just slow-maturing horses that take a bit of developing, but when you give them the time they are good horses.”
Meanwhile, Corcoran is excited to be welcoming new sire Derryn to Grangewilliam Stud’s stallion ranks.
The Hinchinbrook five-year-old won three races for Lindsay Park, including the Gr.2 Arrowfield 3YO Sprint (1200m) and Listed Darby Munro Stakes (1200m), and he also ran third in the Gr.1 Doomben 10,000 (1200m).
“I approached New Zealand Bloodstock and told them I wanted a speed horse, a sprinter. They came up with him and as soon as I watched his race videos I was sold,” Corcoran said.
“He was pretty impressive and probably unlucky not to win a Group One. He was obviously a Group Two winner and Group One placed, he had plenty of ticker and he always put in and fought to the finish.
“He defeated Global Glamour and Impending when winning his Group Two and wasn’t beaten far by Redzel in the 10,000, with Russian Revolution and In Her Time behind him, so his form was pretty strong.
“He’s arrived and is a lovely horse. He’s a great looker and has a brilliant temperament, so we couldn’t be any happier with him.”
Derryn will stand for a service fee of $5,000+GST this season and the stud have offered 30 lifetime breeding rights, which have been well received by breeders.
“They are pretty well tidied up now, we have had a really good response to that, which has been good,” Corcoran said.
“It just guarantees the horse those numbers early on in his career, just to give him the best chance.
“We have got some of New Zealand’s bigger studs onboard with him and some good breeders, so it’s great.” – NZ Racing Desk