By Jack Werk
The two-day New Zealand Premier Yearling Sale at Karaka on Monday and Tuesday produced some huge figures, including a sale topper by Zabeel (Click here for more info on Zabeel) who was purchased for a whopping NZ$2 million (about $1.4 million in US dollars). Overall, the sale was up 26 percent by average and 35 percent by median – amazing results for that part of the world when you consider that the Gold Coast sale was uneven. I didn’t go to Karaka because I was down with the flu, but I had insider info because my good friend Andrew Reichard, the publisher of Blue Bloods, was accompanying WTC client Chuck Fipke, who, as readers of this space know, is determined to win the Melbourne Cup! To that end, he was buying at Karaka and was also there with the great Australian trainer Bart Cummings, who will train the yearlings at Lelani Lodge and knows a thing or two about Melbourne Cup winners!
More than a year ago, on Jan. 10, 2009, I wrote a post here that said this: “You heard it here, first! The Indiana Jones of the Thoroughbred industry, Canadian Chuck Fipke has set his sights on the Melbourne Cup!” Click here to read the post, where I also wrote this background on Chuck’s interest in the Melbourne Cup:
“In 2007 and 2008, Darby Dan owner John Philips began a tradition for Chuck’s November sale advisors to dine at Dudley’s on the Monday night of the Melbourne Cup in Australia. Chuck got hooked watching the endurance race from Dudley’s, and it didn’t hurt that a group of Aussies at the table next to us this past November got us – and especially Chuck – hyped with their slurred chants of ‘Aussie, Aussie, Aussie!!’ (Chuck was buying the rounds!)
“The winner in 2007 was Efficient, by the great Cambridge Stud sire Zabeel (sire of three Cup winners!), and the winner in 2008 was Viewed, trained by the legendary Bart Cummings.
“After the race last November, Chuck stood up and declared, ‘That’s it, I wanna win the Melbourne Cup.’ He was dead serious, and I knew better than to say, ‘You’ve got to be kidding!'”
In a Feb. 20, 2009, post, I wrote that on behalf of Chuck I had made the arrangements to send Chuck’s mare Perfect Secretary – a full sister to his G1 winner Perfect Soul – to New Zealand to be bred to Zabeel at Cambridge Stud. Click here to read that post, where I noted that Perfect Secretary would be permanently boarded at Cambridge Stud and bred to Zabeel every year in an attempt to get a potential Melbourne Cup runner (and winner!). The leading sire in NZ, Zabeel is a great source of stamina and is the sire of three Melbourne Cup winners to date!
Well, Perfect Secretary is in foal to Zabeel, but Chuck decided to increase his odds for the Melbourne Cup by buying a few more Zabeels, and that’s exactly what he accomplished this week, buying two. And both the Zabeels that he purchased were from the outstanding Eight Carat family – appropriately named for the Diamond Man himself!
Chuck’s first purchase, for NZ$575,000, was Lot #40, a Zabeel colt out of Markisa, by Danehill. (Click here to view pedigree). His second Zabeel, for NZ$220,000, was Lot #28, a Zabeel colt out of the appropriately named Love Diamonds, by Danehill! (Click here to view pedigree). For good measure, Chuck also bought a Montjeu colt, Lot #301, for NZ$440,000, and this one is out of a Danehill mare, too! (Click here to view pedigree).
So, Chuck’s pursuit of the Melbourne Cup, which happened by a chance viewing of the race on TV at Dudley’s, is now well on it’s way to becoming a reality!