Trans-Tasman G1 double for Haunui graduates
If you’ve been in the thoroughbred industry long enough you’ll experience your fair share of ups and downs. That’s why the weekend’s results were so special for Mark Chitty and the team at Haunui Farm with a trans-Tasman Group One double for Haunui graduates and just as importantly, Iffraaj (GB) (Zafonic).
In fact it’s safe to say the past month has proven an exceptional one in the history of Haunui, due largely to the success of the progeny of Iffraaj with his three-year-olds securing a number of feature events. Wyndspelle won the Waikato Guineas, Gingernuts took out the Avondale Guineas, New Zealand Derby, and Rosehill Guineas whilst Jon Snow - pictured - arguably one of the most consistent performers of this preparation, finally broke through in the Tulloch Stakes only to back up a week later to land the crowning glory, the Australian Derby.
"It’s been a phenomenal few weeks to say the least but for Iffraaj, it’s been a long time coming,” said Haunui’s Managing Director, Mark Chitty. "It’s great to finally see Iffraaj getting the accolades that he deserves as a sire. His stats have always been very good but he has always suffered from the sale results of his first Southern Hemisphere crop. They sold off the back of a record-setting season in the North and with the prices paid, everyone expected him to be a Zabeel or a Redoute’s Choice right off the bat. It’s taken him six years to recover from that but, there’s not really a better way to do it than to leave a New Zealand and Australian Derby winner in the same season,” he said.
For good measure, this weekend also saw Iffraaj’s first success as a broodmare sire with Melody Belle – out of Meleka Belle (NZ) (Iffraaj) - asserting her class over her counterparts with a dominant performance in the Group One Manawatu Sires Produce Stakes to add to her Karaka Million victory in January stamping her as New Zealand’s leading two-year-old filly.
But the icing on the cake came toward the end of the day in front of a 20,000 plus crowd at Sydney’s racing headquarters, Royal Randwick, when Jon Snow gave New Zealand bred and trained horses yet another Group One Australian Derby victory.
"Melody Belle and Jon Snow are both graduates of the farm and both were bred by two of our longest standing clients – Marie Leicester and the Moore family respectively,” says Mark. "These two along with Perfect Fit and Bahana bring our Group One tally off our Karaka Farm to four since the first crop were born here in 2011."It’s been a great few weeks to savour and we will certainly make the most of it over the next little while,” said Mark.