Proud Record to Uphold at Highden Park

Media Release - Tuesday January 14

Libby and Sam Bleakley’s Highden Park has built up an impressive roll of honour in a relatively short space of time, and they are hoping to add to it with their draft of yearlings at Karaka 2020.

Hong Kong Derby winner Ping Hai StarTheir sale graduates include two-time Hong Kong Horse of the Year Beauty Generation, Hong Kong Derby (2000m) winner Ping Hai Star, and other stakes performers such as She’s Poppy, Monster Kaka, Orbity, Milseain, Harlow Gold and Glorious Beijing.

They also raised another Hong Kong Horse of the Year, Werther.

“For a farm that’s still pretty young, we’ve had some great results,” Libby Bleakley said. “Our winners-to-runners strike rate is about 75 percent, which we’re really proud of. Getting horses to the races is one thing, but to then get those results as well is another step beyond that. We keep adding to our stream of stakes horses as well, which is fantastic.

“When people see those sorts of results, they know that they can buy from us with a little bit of confidence.”

At the same time as they prepare the latest batch of budding stars to send through the sale ring, the Bleakleys have also welcomed back an old favourite.

“Ping Hai Star is retired and he’s back on the farm now,” Libby Bleakley said. “He arrived in the middle of December, and he’s currently nannying our daughter’s foal. They’re a bit of an odd couple.

“It’s lovely to have him home, sound, well and happy. It makes our day seeing him out the kitchen window every day. It’s a big part of why we do what we do, and why we love it.”

Highden Park will showcase their Karaka 2020 yearlings in an open day at their Rongotea farm on Friday.

“We’re going with a bit of a different formula this year,” Bleakley said. “Parades are usually quite structured, and you have to be at a certain place at a certain time. That can be a bit difficult, and we’ve had dwindling numbers at parades in the central districts in recent years. A lot of your prospective audience, like trainers, are often very busy and have other places they need to be.

“So we thought it might work better to have an open day, where people can drop by any time that suits them during the day.

“We also did it with Trentham in mind. It’s a very big raceday there the following day, and we thought a lot of people might be travelling down from Waikato. This could be a great chance for them to stop off for some lunch or morning tea, have a break from the drive, take a look at our yearlings and then get back on the road whenever they like.

“It’s also good for the horses, because it’ll be great practice for Karaka, where you don’t have structured parades and you’re just bringing horses out at various times during the day.

“I also find that, when you’re just having a parade in front of a bigger group of people, you can only make very broad comments about each horse.

“This way, people can spend a bit of time with each horse, and we can provide some information on a one-on-one basis – things like the horse’s nickname, the quirks they might have, and the attributes they may have that we particularly like.”

While Highden Park will present two yearlings in Book 1, Bleakley was keen to emphasise the quality of their seven-strong draft in Book 2.

“If you look at what’s happened on the Gold Coast this week, an Iffraaj topped the Book 2 sale over there,” she said.

Highden Park will offer a colt by American Pharoah, who led the first season sire averages at Magic Millions “I think there’s something to be said for being a big fish in a small pond. There are some horses that could qualify for Book 1, but are better being held back for Book 2.

“The catalogue for Book 1 is quite large, and some horses could get a bit lost in it. We’re very happy with the draft we’re offering in Book 2, and it should be fantastic buying. A lot of the stallions have sold particularly well on the Gold Coast, like Real Impact and Brazen Beau.”

Highden’s Book 1 draft includes Lot 448 – a son of American Pharoah.

The Coolmore shuttler was a sensation on the Gold Coast, selling 20 yearlings for a total of $7 million, including three who fetched $750,000 or more.

A very close relation to Highden Park’s colt, by American Pharoah out of the colt’s granddam Azumi, sold to Hawkes Racing for $750,000.

“Seeing what happened with the American Pharoah yearlings on the Gold Coast, we’re hugely excited to be selling one at Karaka,” Bleakley said. “He’s a lovely, big colt and a great cross with Fastnet Rock.

“We did a side-by-side comparison the other day, and he’s the spitting image of his father.

“We also have a beautiful little Tavistock filly (Lot 608). The owners of Tavistock have been very loyal clients of ours over a number of years, and we reckon the only ones who have seen more Tavistocks than us are Cambridge Stud themselves.

“So we’ve got a pretty good eye for a Tavistock, and we think this is a particularly nice one with a bit of speed and precociousness.” – NZ Racing Desk

More Reading...
UK G3 Winner for Pride of Dubai
The reigning Champion Australian First Season Sire, Pride of Dubai posted his first Northern Hemisphere stakes-winner overnight in the UK with a strong finishing victory in the Group III Sweet Solera Stakes (7f)  at Newmarket for Star of Emaraaty.
Shrewd Shopping for Clothing by Boomer at the Magic Millions
Scheduled to go under the hammer at the 2017 Magic Millions national Broodmare Sale, the Commands mare Clothing was offered a last minute reprieve by Godolphin when her daughter Raiment (Street Cry) won the Group III Birthday Card Stakes followed by a defeat of  Invincibella in the Group III James Carr Stakes.
Sires With Winners - Sunday August 9
Here is the full list of 48 stallions which had winners throughout Australasia today with winners and result details.
Sires With Winners - Friday August 7
Here is the full list of 37 stallions which had winners throughout Australasia today with winners and result details.
Why the Aussie Bred Rules the Roost
Australian bred sires filled the first ten places on the Australian General Sires List this year giving rise to a pride filled Tweet from Aushorse highlighting this fact, but before you go all anti- shuttle, do have a thought on how those Australian stallions were made and consider a few facts on how tough it is for a shuttle stallion to succeed.
Dam of Stakes-Winner a Former Foal Gallery Star
The Breednet Foal Gallery has been going for a long time and when exciting colt Anders won the Listed ATC Rosebud Stakes at Rosehill on Saturday there was something in his pedigree that immediately made a few bells ring in my head.
Irish Oaks Winner for Camelot
The Group I Irish Oaks (1m4f) at The Curragh on Saturday delivered another classic winner for Montjeu’s Epsom Derby winning son Camelot with victory going to progressive filly Even So, whose dam started her stud career in Australasia.
Flemington Winner for Rubick
Progressive Rubick filly Café Rizu relished a step up in distance at Flemington on Saturday to score a determined victory.
One to Watch – Ballarat
A lightly raced filly by European sire sensation Kingman that wins in the Yulong colours was always going to be our ‘One to Watch’ on Friday.
Daily Roundup For Friday August 7
A quick overview of today's results covering maiden winners, first season sire placegetters, second season sire winners and highest priced winners.