|In equine terms, Cambridge Stud
supremo Sir Patrick Hogan has always been lengths ahead of the field.
Horses carrying the famous CS brand are regular visitors to the
winners circle when the big racing carnivals in Australia and New Zealand roll
around, and the influence of the showplace stud on the Australasian thoroughbred grows
stronger every year.
This season for instance, three of the best colts in what
is regarded as the finest three-year-old crop in Australia for many years can trace their
existence to Cambridge Stud; Viking Ruler was bred there, Viscount is from the Cambridge
Stud mare Antwerp while Lonhro is a son of one of the greatest ever Cambridge Stud
Not satisfied with the rigors required to breed the cream
of the annual New Zealand foal crop, for almost two decades Sir Patrick has also led his
peers on both sides of the Tasman in the marketing stakes as well.
The result has been that
this lifelong horseman has created that most precious of marketing tools - a prestige
brand that serious buyers simply cannot afford to overlook.
In 2002 the marketing machine that is Cambridge Stud
returns to the Gold Coast Magic Millions for the first time in half a decade.
While fireworks may not exactly be on the agenda this
January, the 2002 exercise is set to herald a greater future involvement in the premier
Queensland sale from New Zealands premier breeding operation.
"This summer Cambridge Stud will have around 100
yearlings to market," Sir Patrick outlines, "and these numbers are almost
impossible for one stud to sell at one sale. We have to spread our product and the Magic
Millions sale provides an excellent opportunity to do that."
"Cambridge Stud is well established at both Karaka,
where we will continue to market the majority of our yearlings each year, and at Sydney
Easter, but this summer we will really just be putting our toe in the water on the Gold
"There are no sale toppers in the draft this year but
with five or six of our stronger, lower-set Zabeels plus yearlings by the likes of
Danehill and Tale Of The Cat, we hope to be able to establish Cambridge Stud among the
vendors ranks there once again. If we can average just over the overall 2002 Magic
Millions sale average, I would be happy."
The big spending power of Asian buyers, power which two
years ago saw a southern hemisphere record NZ$3.6 million paid for the Zabeel -Diamond
Lover colt from the Cambridge Stud draft at Karaka, has changed the landscape for high
priced racehorses in Australasia.
However in Hogans forward-focussed eyes it is the
Australian market, the market which established Sir Tristram and his equally gifted son
Zabeel, that remains paramount.
Continued and increased access to this market is another
reason the Cambridge Stud signage will be prominent at the 2002 Magic Millions sales
"In 2003 we will be marketing the first crops of two
new Cambridge Stud stallions, Stravinsky and Cape Cross," Sir Patrick observes.
"A few years after that the first crop by our new
Danehill horse Keeper will hit the market and now with his performances already this
season, it looks like Viking Ruler will be following him through the gates of Cambridge
"Australia has always been New Zealands biggest
and most important market and if we are to give these stallions every possible chance to
succeed, it is important to get them established there."
"Putting their yearlings before Australias two
most important markets, Sydney Easter and the Magic Millions on the Gold Coast, is the way
to do this. If the stallion succeeds, the market is already familiar with him as opposed
to the horse being relegated in Australian buyers eyes to the status of a New
Zealand stallion with occasional progeny who can travel to Australia and pick up a big
Another attraction the
Magic Millions sale holds for Sir Patrick comes in their "enormous marketing
effort" which has seen the premier end of this sale grow in aggregate by almost 215%
since it was taken over by its current owners in 1997.
"The sale has the backing and the marketing expertise
that will see it continue to perform. Cambridge Stud is a big re-investor in the
bloodstock industry and will continue to be so every year."
"The Magic Millions product is catching up fast to the
quality of product available at Karaka and at the Inglis Easter sale, and as such is going
to become increasingly difficult to get into as a vendor. If we are able to secure our
spot as a vendor now, we have to be in a stronger position when entries are taken in the
years to come."
The vision which has seen Sir Patrick Hogan reach and stay
at the top in his chosen vocation now sees Cambridge Stud enter the fold of
Australias fastest growing and most progressive yearling sale company.
While his exploratory foray in 2002 is not expected to
create the records and sales topping status with which Cambridge Stud is synonymous at
Karaka and to a lesser degree at Sydney, only the worst of punters would wager against
Cambridge Stud making a significant and successful impression at the Gold Coast Magic
Millions in the years to come.