Rich Hill Stud principal John Thompson has to check himself at times as he attempts to summarise the fantastic run of form by progeny of his stallion line-up.
The first half of the 2022-23 season has provided a veritable feast for Rich Hill’s current headline act, Proisir, complemented by associates Satono Aladdin, Vadamos and Shocking.
Proisir’s seven individual stakes winners in the past five months are headed by Group One winners Legarto, Levante, Pier and Dark Destroyer, and on Saturday evening the odds are that further accolades will be showered on members of that entourage competing at the Karaka Million race meeting.
A week after Levante collected her third Group One victory in the Telegraph (1200m), her New Zealand 1000 Guineas-winning stablemate Legarto will line up as the favourite in the Karaka Million 3YO Classic (1600m).
Legarto, who remains unbeaten after five starts, will clash with another quality Proisir filly, Prowess, who followed a third placing in the Gr.1 New Zealand 2000 Guineas (1600m) with victory in the Gr. 2 Auckland Guineas (1600m) on New Year’s Day.
Proisir gelding Pier makes his first public appearance since the Gr.1 New Zealand 2000 Guineas (1600m) in the Gr. 3 Almanzor Trophy (1200m) on the fast-action Karaka Million card, bidding to sign off plans for a Sydney autumn campaign.
Proisir won’t be the only Rich Hill stallion in the Karaka Million action, with associate sires Satono Aladdin and Vadamos also represented.
Unbeaten Tokyo Tycoon runs for Satono Aladdin in the Doubletree By Hilton Karaka Million 2YO (1200m), while in-form Sacred Satono is in the Karaka Million 3YO Classic.
Vadamos, best known as the sire of Group One-winning four-year-old La Crique, has Devastate running in the Karaka Million 3YO Classic off the back of a hat-trick he completed in the Gr. 3 Wellington Stakes (1600m), while El Vencedor will represent Shocking in the Gr. 3 Brighthill Farm Yearlings Concorde Handicap (1200m).
“The whole season we’ve had some great results, it’s been an exciting ride for Rich Hill and our clients,” Thompson said on the eve of the Karaka Million meeting.
“Seeing Levante add another Group One at Trentham last Saturday, and now with Proisir, Satono Aladdin and Vadamos having such a big hand in the Karaka Million races, we’re hoping the roll continues.
“Legarto is a class act and we would love her to remain unbeaten, but there’s no denying the quality of the field she’s up against, which is at it turns out includes another Proisir filly in Prowess.
“It’s been an incredible season for Proisir and we’re so proud to see him on top of the sires’ premiership with more than $2 million in progeny earnings.
“Tokyo Tycoon might have the job ahead of him from such a wide gate (14) in the Karaka Million 2YO, but we’re not writing him off.
“He was bred at Rich Hill and the thing that really struck us about him was how laid-back he is, which is something that is standing to him now as a racehorse.”
While his immediate attention is on Saturday’s Pukekohe Park race meeting, Thompson is also looking forward to the New Zealand Bloodstock National Yearling Sales Series, which kicks off at the Karaka sales complex on Sunday week, January 29.
“We’re very happy with our own draft, which amongst others includes a Vadamos half-sister to Tokyo Tycoon, and it’s going to be great to have a sale with full representation from overseas,” said Thompson, who is also president of the NZ Thoroughbred Breeders’ Association.
“With the borders open again it will be Karaka like it should be and having those international buyers back on the complex is vital to a successful sale.”