Zabeel edges ahead of Sir Tristram

Champion Cambridge Stud stallion Zabeel claimed another New Zealand record when Lizzie L’Amour won the G1 New Zealand Stakes (2000m) at Ellerslie on Thursday.

The Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman-trained mare is the 46th individual Group 1 winner by Zabeel.

Zabeel is now one ahead of his own sire Sir Tristram who also stood at Cambridge Stud and with whom he had been tied on 45 Group 1 winners since Provocative’s Queensland Oaks triumph last year.

“It’s quite amazing really,” Cambridge Stud owner Sir Patrick said.  “It was always on the cards that he might get that extra Group 1 winner to go one up on Sir Tristram.

“He’s got some three-year-olds still racing and his four-year-old crop is starting to hit its straps, so there was always a good chance that he would pick up more Group 1 winners.

“If he was alive today, Zabeel would be 30 and to still be leaving Group 1 winners is remarkable.  Some older stallions don’t seem to have the same strike rate later in their careers – certainly Sir Tristram didn’t, though he did leave Brew in his final crop.”

Sir Patrick admitted the Group 1 win to put Zabeel ahead of Sir Tristram was emotional.  “It made me recall the day he died and took me back to burying him beside Sir Tristram.

“I always said I would be quite happy if they finished their careers on level pegging, but in fairness to Zabeel, he did deserve to get his nose in front, simply because a lot of Sir Tristram’s Group 1 winners won solitary Group 1 races, whereas Zabeel has produced a lot more multiple Group 1 winners.

“Certainly when he finished his career, Sir Tristram was the greatest but I would say even before yesterday, Zabeel had eclipsed him.

“I doubt very much if there will ever be two stallions, a father and son standing at the same farm, that can leave 45 and 46 Group 1 winners in New Zealand.  It’s a tremendous achievement.”

Lizzie L’Amour is a homebred for Lorna and Gary Moore and they had enjoyed previous Group 1 success with Zabeel mare Bazelle in the 2005 Auckland Cup and Zabeel Classic.

Zabeel mare (outer) ranges up to defeat Benzini at Ellerslie