Opulence has been named the 2020-21 Eight Carat New Zealand Broodmare of the Year, sponsored by Arion Pedigrees.
Owned by recently crowned New Zealand Small Breeder of the Year Don Goodwin, Opulence is the dam of Verry Elleegant (Zed) who won five Group One races during the 2020-21 season.
Goodwin could not have predicted the heights Opulence would take him to when he purchased her in foal to Towkay for $14,000 at the 2011 New Zealand Bloodstock May Sale.
He was looking for a mare to send to Zed, who he owned shares in at the time, and was attracted to Opulence’s bloodlines - specifically the double up of Eight Carat that would result from a mating to the Zabeel stallion.
Opulence is a great-granddaughter of Cotehele House, who herself is a daughter of champion producer Eight Carat for whom the Broodmare of the Year trophy is named after.
“I bought Opulence because of her breeding,” Goodwin said. “I went through them all in the catalogue because I wanted to find one to buy to put to Zed.
“Cotehele House has been the best horse out of Eight Carat production wise and I was very happy with that line.
“I went to the sale with one horse on my mind and I got her for what seems now like a ridiculously low price.”
A two-time winner herself, Opulence is the dam of six live foals. Her first foal, Black Lace won three, while her first mating to Zed produced a filly who unfortunately died after being born prematurely.
After missing to Nadeem Opulence returned to Zed with that mating producing Verry Flash who has won eight races to date and is also Group Three placed. He is currently with Kevin Myers pursuing a jumping career.
Opulence’s next foal, Verry Elleegant has been showered in superlatives and awards due to her 10 elite wins to date. Her five Group One wins in the 2020-21 season were the Winx Stakes (1400m), Turnbull Stakes (2000m), Caulfield Cup (2400m), Chipping Norton (1600m) and Ranvet Stakes (2000m).
The following foal was Grand Prospect who has placed on three occasions. After missing a season Opulence then produced Affluential (Zed) who is yet to race but will sport the colours of well-known Western Australian owner Bob Peters when he steps out on the track after he was purchased for $140,000 at the 2020 New Zealand Bloodstock Yearling Sales.
The following foal was also a Zed colt, though tragedy then struck when he had to be euthanised after an injury. Sixteen-year-old Opulence produced a Zed colt this season and is back in foal to the Grangewilliam stallion, with Goodwin crossing his fingers for a filly in 2022.
“Her colt his year is a lovely foal, though she has always thrown lovely horses,” Goodwin said. “Conformation wise they have all been nice.
“Think Zed is the best staying stallion by far in New Zealand. I did a double up and it worked. I haven’t changed and keep going back to Zed, if it ain’t broke don’t fix it.
“She is back in foal to Zed and I would love a filly.”
Goodwin’s breeding stock reside at Grangewilliam Stud and he is looking forward to being able to visit the Waitotara property now border restrictions have eased.
“My horses are very well looked after at Grangewilliam,” he said. “Mark (Corcoran) is a very good stud master and they have sent through photos of the horses but there is nothing like seeing them in the flesh.
“It is very gratifying to win this award. I thought Opulence would be a very good broodmare.
“She was only five and in foal when I bought her. I thought I’d get a few foals from her, she’d won two races at 2000m and above and liked her conformation wise so I bought her and it has turned out to be probably the best buy of my life.”