This One Won’t Be Getting Away

Tara Madgwick - Tuesday January 23
The late great Thorn Park was often lamented as the one that got away by Australian breeders after his rise to champion sire status in New Zealand, but the same mistake will not be made twice.

A powerhouse chestnut with an electric turn of foot, Thorn Park capped a stellar career for astute Randwick trainer Bob Thomsen with a win in the Group I QTC Stradbroke Handicap earning himself a ticket across the Tasman and a stud career at renowned Kiwi nursery Windsor Park Stud.

Thorn ParkLike Australian bred sprinter miler Pins, who was also dispatched to New Zealand four years earlier, Thorn Park found immediate success before going on to be Champion New Zealand Sire in 2011.

He died prematurely in 2012 at the height of his fame leaving some impressive statistics that make us all wonder how good the son of Spinning World (USA) could have been given he only ever had eight full crops of foals.

Thorn Park had 435 runners for 307 winners (70.6% winners to runners) with 50 of those being stakes horses (11.4% stakes horses to runners).

His 29 stakes-winners are headed by seven exceptional Group I winners, three of them champions that won five Group I races each in Jimmy Choux, Ocean Park, Veyron, two more dual Group I winners in Suavito and Norzita as well as The Party Stand and Ryan Mark.

Very few stallions produce multiple Group I winners, so to have five of them suggests Thorn Park was a stallion of the highest quality.

Depth of female pedigree, given he came from the legendary Denise's Joy family, coupled with brilliant speed are often touted as the key ingredients for his overwhelming success and they are shared by his lookalike son Spieth.

Spieth - Grant CourtneyAcquired by Aquis Farm late last year, Spieth is getting ready for an autumn campaign with his new trainers David and Ben Hayes and Tom Dabernig at Lindsay Park.

Spieth will be raced by Aquis Farm and partners in the Aquis Farm silks and the partnership will feature several prominent industry figures who have a savvy eye for an opportunity to not only get in early on a talented future stallion, but also the chance to race with the Aquis Farm team.

Win, lose or draw in coming months Spieth already has the attributes for sire success.

A $200,000 NZB Premier purchase from Trelawney Stud, who also bred and sold Thorn Park's Cox Plate hero Ocean Park, Spieth won five of his first eight starts before being beaten a short head in the Group I VRC Darley Classic at Flemington to Malaguerra.

Spieth resumed after a short break over Christmas 2016 to go tantalizingly close to Group I success in the prestigious Group I VRC Lightning Stakes.

He went down by a short half head in a pulsating finish with Terravista the winner and Star Turn in third place.

Spieth - image Grant CourtneyThere is no denying his Group I ability and on the pedigree front, Spieth is every bit as well-bred as his illustrious sire.

Completely free of Danehill blood, Spieth traces in tail female line to internationally renowned matriarch Fanfreluche, whose descendants include champion Australian sires Encosta de Lago and Flying Spur as current Group I sprint star Russian Revolution.

His dam Stella Livia (GB) is a half-sister to Group I winner Ransom O'War and her branch of this super successful family has also produced Champion Miler Charm Spirit (IRE), tipped to be the star first season sire at Karaka next week after his progeny found favour at Magic Millions earlier this month.

Whatever the future holds for Spieth on the racetrack, his stud credentials will ensure a warm reception from astute breeders looking  for an outcross sire when he ultimately retires to Aquis Farm later this year.

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