Best On Breeding

Mark Smith - Thursday August 29

A winner of five Group 1’s and a trio of Group II’s now rated as Group 1 in Europe, a daughter of a top-class broodmare sire, from a family that has rewritten the record books, and a regular consort to the best stallions on offer – all the ingredients for a top broodmare, right? Well in the case of this mare it was an emphatic no.

There have been few better sprinters in Europe than the Habitat mare Habibti.

Among her 9 wins were the Prix de l'Abbaye de Longchamp, July Cup (twice), Nunthorpe Stakes, King's Stand Stakes, Moyglare Stud Stakes, Sprint Cup, William Hill Sprint Championship and Lowther Stakes.

Despite multiple foals by Sadler’s Wells and Green Desert, the two dominant sirelines in Europe, Habibti closed out her broodmare career with 11 foals, 10 of which made the track for just two minor winners.

Her stakes-winning three-quarter sister Loralane produced three-stakes-winners headed by the Group 1 Coronation Cup winner Rebecca Sharp (Machiavellian) while another of her daughters Young Vic (Old Vic) found her way to Australia where she left the stakes-winners Walking And Dancing and Irongail and is the granddam of Group 1 South Australia Derby winner Kidnapped and the Group 1 performers Academus and Hauraki.

In fact it is in the Antipodes that the family has enjoyed its greatest success.

Habibti’s stakes-placed half-sister Great Klaire (GB) is the granddam of Group 1 winners Bonanova, Telesto and Fraternity.

But even these pale into insignificance when comparing the deeds of Habibti’s half-sister Eight Carat the dam of Octagonal, Mouawad, Diamond Lover, Marquis and Kaapstad.

So it comes as no surprise that the majority of Habibti’s daughter found their way to Australasia.

They include Reem Albaraari who left the Group 1 Italian Derby winner Morshdi (Slip Anchor) in Europe and the South African Group III winner Ilitshe (Fastnet Rock) from her time in Australia.

One of Habibti’s two winners, Desert Lily (Green Desert) is the dam of Group II ARC royal Stakes winner Lafleur (Zabel) while Desert Lily’s sister Desert Darling produced Heart Of the Desert (Show a Heart) a multiple stakes-winner in Macau, and Lafleur’s sister-in-blood Zalika who was bred by Jonathon Munz.

Purchased by bloodstock agent Bruce Perry for $400,000 on behalf of the brother’s John and Mark Carter at the 2002 NZB Premier Yearling Sale at Karaka, Zalika looked to be a future stakes winner when reeling off three wins in succession but tore a tendon and was retired.

She had five named foals before being sent to Australia to be covered by Darley Stud’s dual Group 1 winning Galileo stallion Teofilo (IRE) who was covering his third book of mares at a fee of $22,000.

She subsequently foaled a colt, which was earmarked for sale but he proved more than a handful.

He was catalogued for the 2yo Horses In Training Sale at Karaka in 2014 but his wayward ways resulted in his withdrawal and was sent for some intensive education.

Named Humidor he made his debut as a three-year-old in January 2016 finishing second then broke his maiden at his next start. Two starts later he finished down the track in the NZ Derby but rounded out his classic year with a win in the Group III Manawatu Classic,

After winning a couple of races at Hastings at four, Humidor earned a trip to Australia for the Group 1 Cantala Stakes following a second in the Group 1 Livamol Classic.

In the Cantala, Humidor ran home strongly to be beaten four lengths when ninth behind the winner Le Romain, sparking interest from clients of Darren Weir.

The Carter brothers sold a 50% interest in the son of Teofilo (IRE) and three months later he flashed home to finish fourth in the John Dillon Stakes at Caulfield. Three starts later he won the Group 1 Australian Cup.

He has proved to be one of the most reliable top level horses in training adding the Memsie Stakes and Makybe Diva Stakes at top level while running the champion Winx to a heart-stopping neck in the Cox Plate.

Off the scene due to a tendon injury when third behind Winx and Benbatl in last year’s Cox Plate, Humidor defends his Memsie Stakes title at Caulfield on Saturday in his first start for Ciaron Maher & David Eustace.

With the exception of his Memsie win, Humidor’s record at Caulfield is not great but it will be wonderful to see the 7yo gelding back on the track in an effort to advance his record of 8 wins, 7 seconds and 5 thirds from 32 starts with earnings of over $4 million.

Now aged 19, Zalika has a yearling filly by Shooting To Win and was covered by American Pharoah (USA) last spring.

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