New Epaulette SW Adds to Monovale Farm success

Media Release - Tuesday April 16

Epee Beel’s victory in Saturday’s Listed NZB Insurance Stakes (1400m) at Riccarton was a welcome result for breeder Monovale Farm.

The three-year-old daughter of Epaulette became the first stakes winner out of Group Two performer Pipi Beel, who was bred by the late Paul Smithies, father of farm principals Joe and Max.

Epee Beel winning the Listed NZB Insurance Stakes (1400m) at Riccarton last Saturday.   Photo: Race Images South

Smithies senior sold Pipi Beel as a yearling for $75,000 to Murray Baker at Karaka 2013, for whom she went on to win three and place in three of her seven starts, including runner-up in the Gr.2 Cal Isuzu Stakes (1600m) and third in the Gr.3 Lowland Stakes (2100m).

She was later bought back by Monovale Farm as a broodmare, and she is starting to leave her mark in that space, with Joe and Max believing the best is yet to come from the mare.

“My father bred Pipi Beel out of a mare called Pierian – we sold her and then bought her back,” Max Smithies said. “She had serious ability herself and was trained by Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman.

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“In our opinion, we think she is one of the best mares on the farm that didn’t get to reach her full potential.

“She leaves quite a strong, forward type. She is dry this year so we are unsure whether she is going to go back to Australia, but now that our New Zealand stallion ranks are quite strong, we could find her something here, but we are still working on that.”

Epee Beel is the third foal out of Pipi Beel and was purchased by trainer Andrew Forsman at Karaka 2022 for $80,000.

“We always thought a lot of her as a yearling,” Smithies said. “She went through Dave Duley’s draft (Landsdowne Park), who does some yearlings for us, and he does a really good job. Andrew really liked her.”

She was subsequently offered a year later on gavelhouse.com where she was purchased by clients of Michael and Matthew Pitman for $5,250, and she has gone onto win two and place in five of her 12 starts to date for the father-and-son training partnership, including Saturday’s maiden stakes success and placings in the Listed Gore Guineas (1335m) and Listed NZB Airfreight Stakes (1400m).

“She was quite a forward type that we thought that we might have seen a bit earlier as a three-year-old. As it turns out, they have been patient with her and got the results,” Smithies said.

Monovale Farm sold an Almanzor yearling half-sister to Epee Beel at Karaka earlier this year for $75,000, and Smithies said Saturday’s result will go a long way to promoting her Proisir weanling half-brother, who is set to go through the sale ring next year.

“We have got a weanling colt by Proisir out of the mare who we are really happy with. He will be heading to the sales, so it was a really pleasing result for him too,” Smithies said.

While they have been pleased with the racetrack success of their farm graduates, the Smithies have also been rapt with the results of their racing team of late.

“Our racing team has been going very well,” he said. “Hat Trick, who is with Tony Pike, he won three in a row and was narrowly beaten at Pukekohe last start. He has just come home for a spell. We have got a couple with Terri Rae that have been going really well.” – LOVERACING.NZ News Desk

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