Lots of news from Australia and New Zealand today. Winx is becoming an icon for her late sire Street Cry — a Southern Hemisphere bookend for Street Cry’s legendary Northern Hemisphere daughter Zenyatta. Written Tycoon, fresh off the G1 mark with the Golden Slipper winner Capitalist a few weeks ago, struck again at the highest level with Luna Rossa. But the big antipodean story is the rise of Cambridge Stud’s Montjeu stallion Tavistock, whose son Tavago captured the G1 Australian Derby at Randwick over 2400 meters to become his third G1 winner of the season. Tavistock is also represented in 2016 by the Hong Kong Derby winner Werther, who won the local G1 race at Sha Tin on March 20 but was a G2 winner in Australia in 2015.
Tavistock (Lord Tavistock in Australia) won six of 18 starts starts and was the atypical top-level sprinter for his celebrated classic sire Montjeu — the sire of 120 black type winners worldwide, including a plethora of Derby and St. Leger winners despite dying early at age 16; four of his 31 G1 winners, astoundingly, were first in the Epsom Derby. Coolmore shuttled Montjeu to New Zealand’s Windsor Park Stud, where the Irish farm’s High Chaparral was also a successful visitor, and Montjeu, true to type, sired mostly the classic 2400-meter horses he’s associated with, including Australian Derby winners Nom de Jeu and Roman Emperor. But Tavistock was a notable exception.
Tavistock was bred by the now-defunct New Zealand division of the Bloomsbury Stud of Woburn Abbey in Bedfordshire, England, where Henrietta Tiarks and her late husband, Robin, the Duke of Bedford and the Marquess of Tavistock, bred horses initially as the Marquess and Marchioness of Tavistock and later as Bloomsbury Stud. The New Zealand farm was sold in 2007, along with the yearling Tavistock, and the Bedfordshire property dispersed its stock in 2010. Tavistock descends from the inexpensively purchased foundation mare Mrs. Moss, his 3rd dam and the source of many of the stud’s best runners and the font for many outstanding runners worldwide.
By Reform, Mrs. Moss was an exceptional producer who seemed to bring out the best qualities of the sires to which she was bred. For example, she produced the homebred 2400-meter G1 Japan Cup winner Jupiter Island for the Tavistocks when bred to Epsom Derby and St. Leger winner St. Paddy; the 2-year-old 5F G2 Queen Mary Stakes winner Pushy when bred to sprinter Sharpen Up; the undefeated 2-year-old G2 winner Precocious when bred to the sprinter and sire of precocious stock, Mummy’s Pet; and Listed winner and G1-placed 2-year-old Krayyan when bred to sprinter Tower Walk.
Mrs. Moss was bred to multiple 16F Jockey Club Stakes winner High Line and produced Tavistock’s 2nd dam, Pedestal, who was unplaced. Pedestal, in turn, was bred to Epsom Derby winner Quest for Fame and got Tavistock’s dam.
This branch of Mrs. Moss was bred to a string of sires with plenty of stamina but Tavistock was a come-from-behind sprinter who accounted for two G1 races at 1400 meters, the Waikato Draught Sprint and the Mudgway Partsworld Stakes, and was named the champion New Zealand sprinter of 2009-2010.
Tavistock was purchased for NZ$3.25 million by Sir Patrick Hogan of Cambridge Stud — the famed home of legendary New Zealand sires Sir Tristram and his son, Zabeel — in 2010 and began his career for NZ$12,500 + GST. He has been a success from the start, with first-crop colt Volkstok’n’barrell accounting for the G1 ATC Rosehill Guineas and G2 winner Werther, the Hong Kong Derby winner this year, also second in the G1 South Australian Derby and G1 Queensland Derby. Tavistock’s second crop includes Tavago and G1 Rosehill Guineas winner Tarzino, who was actually expected to be the main threat for his sire in the Australian Derby.
Sir Patrick, it appears, has found the successor to his iconic sires at Cambridge Stud.