Cambridge Stud retires Zabeel

Cambridge Stud owner Sir Patrick Hogan has announced Zabeel (NZ) has been pensioned after failing to get any of his 30 mares in foal this season.

Zabeel, 27, continued the legacy of his iconic sire Sir Tristram and their impact on the Australasian industry is the most famous ‘like father, like son’ double act in history.

“It’s the end of an era and what a ride it’s been for Cambridge Stud,” Hogan said on Monday morning.  “I could never have imagined what Sir Tristram was able to achieve and pretty well immediately afterwards came Zabeel to take over the mantle – it’s been an amazing 33-year run.”

Sir Tristram sired 45 individual Group 1 winners, including three Melbourne Cup winners (Gurner’s Lane, Empire Rose, Brew) during a decorated career that earned him Australasian sire and broodmare sire titles.  He was also inducted into the NZ Racing Hall of Fame in 2008.

“I’ve been fortunate and I’m very proud that the two horses have done so much for myself, my family, all concerned at Cambridge Stud and everybody that has had a Sir Tristram or Zabeel around them,” Hogan added.  “It’s been mind-boggling.”

The sire of 100 individual Group winners and 43 individual Group 1 winners, Zabeel will now live a life of luxury in the same paddock that he has occupied since his retirement to stud in 1991 after a successful racing career that earned him a Group 1 victory in the Australian Guineas.

“He is enormously fit, both physically and mentally and you wouldn’t pick there was anything wrong with him,” Hogan said.  “He’s a horse that’s not going to go away though and his progeny in New Zealand and Australia will continue to perform for many years to come.

“He’s been an extraordinary horse with three Melbourne Cup winners and four Cox Plate winners and as a sire of sires he’s left a horse like Reset, who has produced a VRC Derby winner (Rebel Raider), a Caulfield Cup winner (Fawkner) and a Cox Plate winner (Pinker Pinker).”

Zabeel has also left Savabeel, himself a Cox Plate winner, who has in turn produced top-flight successes Sangster (Auckland Cup, VRC Derby, International Stakes), Scarlett Lady (NZ Stakes, Queensland Oaks) and Brambles (Queensland Derby).

“Zabeel’s a great broodmare sire as well and his daughters produced the first (It’s A Dundeel), second (Atlantic Jewel) and third (Dear Demi) in the Underwood Stakes this season.

“I might be biased and the Australians may disagree but in my time, and I’m 74, I can’t identify a horse in the last 50 years that has been as successful as him.”

Sir Patrick rated Might And Power as the best horse Zabeel had produced, a short margin ahead of Octagonal.

“If I had to be on the panel of judges then I would put Might And Power on top, it was just the way he raced with that great cruising speed that won him a Caulfield Cup, Cox Plate and Melbourne Cup,” he said.  “I would put him in front with Octagonal a close second.”

Zabeel produced numerous six figure plus yearlings, the highest was Don Eduardo at $3.60 million in 2000, and stamped in the manner of his noble self.

“He’s got a great physique, a beautiful strong head and a very bold eye,” Sir Patrick said.  “They always talked about it in the ring.  Overall, he is a lovely horse and Robert Sangster once said,  “This horse could step out of any box anywhere in the world and you would have to take notice of him’.”

Zabeel also had his own way of doing things that lasted right up until his last visit to the breeding shed.  “He would have to go 50 yards and 25 of them he would be on his hind legs every time, even this season.  That was a quirk of his.”

“Zabeel’s last crop includes four fillies, and I shouldn’t imagine that they will be sold.  There’s also a colt that I own with a partner and he will be the last yearling ever sold at auction,” he said.  “He will be the last one presented in 2015 and, God willing, I will lead him through the ring.”

The colt is a half-brother to the G1 Easter Handicap winner Time Keeper who topped the NZ 3YO Free Handicap of his year.