Windsor Park Stud, for decades a well-established part of the thoroughbred breeding industry, has added another string to its bow with the unveiling this week of Windsor Race.
The development of a designated horses in training division is seen as a logical and natural progression for Windsor Park, given it is home to several stallions and the numbers produced does not allow for marketing solely through normal channels.
Windsor Race’s base will be the recently acquired training facility established some years ago by Alan and Linda Jones on a 60-acre block of land adjacent to Windsor Park’s main Kaipaki Road property. Respected trainer Chris McNab has for the past two years been the stud’s resident trainer and with a team that includes two polished younger horsemen in Aaron Kuru and David Murtagh, he’s well positioned to take that involvement to another level.
“With an operation of this size there’s always going to be a number of horses that don’t get to the yearling sales,” commented stud manager Rodney Schick. “Sometimes the timing doesn’t fit with a horse’s development and you need to hold them back, others can have setbacks, so with this we’re able to bring them along and market them in a more suitable way.
“We see it as being beneficial for us as well as for those owners and trainers who want to deal with us. They will find that we can provide a selection of developed horses, the readymade article, at affordable prices.
“It’s something that’s been done for a long time with colts and geldings, but our intention is to include fillies as well. We can’t keep every filly we breed on the farm and the way we see it, this will be a good opportunity for people to invest in fillies by decent stallions from solid families.”
The newly acquired facility is well established with well cambered grass and sand training tracks, starting gates and all other necessary components. “When Alan and Linda set it up, like everything else, they did it well, so we’ve got all we want to carry out our plan,” added Schick.
As a further illustration of the extension in its marketing arm, Windsor Park Stud will present a draft by resident stallions Rip Van Winkle, Pour Moi, Guillotine, Mastercraftsman and Falkirk at next month’s NZ Bloodstock Ready to Run Sale.
New technologies will play their part as well, mainly through a dedicated website and Facebook presence for sales listings and whereby the progress of individuals being marketed can be monitored by interested parties. “It’s all part of a modern, well-run business,” said Schick.
As the sponsor of this weekend’s rescheduled Gr. 1 Windsor Park Plate at Trentham, the Cambridge nursery will have a definite presence at Wellington Racing Club headquarters - with hopes of being on the receiving end as well.
One of the leading prospects for the 1600-metre weight-for-age feature is Guillotine gelding Allez Eagle, fresh from his impressive return to form in the Gr. 3 Spring Sprint on the final day of the Hawke’s Bay carnival.
The day’s other feature event, the Listed Linwood Park Wellesley Strakes, also has a Windsor Park flavour with Pour Moi colt Just You right in the mix. The first crop son of the English Derby winner is highly rated by trainer Lisa Latta and finished an unlucky second on debut over 800 metres at Otaki a month ago.
Everything about him suggests he will appreciate the step up to 1000 metres for the first two-year-old stakes race of the season.