Rich Hill Stud principal John Thompson has a spring in his step after two members of his exciting stallion roster posted Group victories at Matamata on Saturday.
Resident stallion Proisir added another Group victor to his resume when his son Pier took out the Gr.2 Hawkes’ Bay Guineas (1400m), while Vadamos recorded his first Group One win as a sire courtesy of La Crique’s dominant performance in the Arrowfield Stud Plate (1600m).
“It was a great weekend, particularly getting those results on your home track,” Thompson said.
La Crique had a standout three-year-old season, winning five of her eight starts and never finishing out of the placings. The Simon and Katrina Alexander-trained filly was a luckless runner-up in the Gr.1 New Zealand Derby (2400m) and also recorded victories in the Gr.2 Avondale Guineas (2100m) and Gr.3 Desert Gold Stakes (1600m).
She resumed with a third placing in the Gr.1 Tarzino Trophy (1400m) last month on a very heavy track before winning by 3-3/4 lengths in Saturday’s postponed Group One.
“We all know what she (La Crique) did last year and she was unlucky in the Derby. You don’t see them demolish Group One fields like that (on Saturday) very often,” Thompson said.
She gave her sire Vadamos a valuable maiden Group One victory as a sire and Thompson is looking forward to her showcasing her talents in Australia over the coming month.
“It is crucial to get Group One winners. He (Vadamos) was a Group One winner himself and now he has got a Group One winner. Those sort of results are great,” Thompson said.
“On those runs you would imagine she (La Crique) would be competitive in Australia. She seems to handle firm and soft tracks, which is a big advantage going over there.”
The Gr.1 Empire Rose Stakes (1600m) and Gr.1 Mackinnon Stakes (2000m) at Flemington have been earmarked for La Crique, who is the best performer to date for Vadamos, a Group One winning miler by the great German sire Monsun.
Earlier on the card Pier was also impressive when winning the Hawke’s Bay Guineas by 2-1/4 lengths for trainers Darryn and Briar Weatherley.
He added to his sire Proisir’s burgeoning record at stud, with the Rich Hill Stud stallion already boasting elite level victories with Levante and Dark Destroyer, with Pier looking to add to that tally when he contests the Gr.1 Al Basti Equiworld Dubai New Zealand 2000 Guineas (1600m) at Riccarton next month.
“We always believed Proisir was only going to go from strength-to-strength from the mares and books he has covered,” Thompson said.
“He has got a lot of other good horses going around as well, like Prowess and Legarto.
“To my mind, going forward he is a horse that could end a champion sire in the future with his better bred and bigger crops over the next few years.”
Thompson was particularly pleased for the owner-breeders of both horses.
“It is really exciting for the Weatherley family (who bred and part-own Pier) and John and Jan Cassin, the owner-breeders of La Crique,” he said.
“It is great for the people that support the stallions and go on and race the horses to have success like they had on the weekend.”