South Australian breeder celebrates Cavallo Pazzo's success

Not A Single Doubt ‘s tenth stakeswinner Cavallo Pazzo, who races again this Saturday in the WATC Farnley S. LR at Belmont, is a very satisfying, if slightly bittersweet, success story for his South Australian breeder Warrick Duthy.

Warrick, part-owner and CEO of Kilikanoon Wines, and Chairman of Seppeltsfield, bred the 5YO gelding after deciding to continue his late father Bill’s fine work as a thoroughbred breeder.

Pictured: Cavallo Pazzo, trained by Ted Martinovich in Perth, gets the better of Werd (inside) to win the WATC Goodwood Sprint 1300m LR on 25 August. It was the gelding’s second consecutive stakes victory and his 8th win from 26 starts. (PHOTO: Hollands Photographics)

The Duthys’ role in Cavallo Pazzo’s story begins with his grand-dam Bay Willow (CAN), a daughter of Fappiano and the Northern Dancer mare Northern Willow. Described by Timeform as a “rangy, useful-looking filly: well bred, but only quite modest form: stays 1?m well”, Bay Willow was sold for ?54,000 at the 1988 Newmarket July Sales.

The buyer was Jill Lamb Bloodstock, acting for Bill Duthy, who was looking for mares of good size and confirmation bred on the Northern Dancer/Mr Prospector cross. Bay Willow also happened to be a half-sister to champion 2YO filly & Canadian Horse of the Year L’Alezane.

After foaling two colts by Bluebird, Bay Willow was sent to Rory’s Jester, producing the outstanding filly Aragen in 1991. Warrick shared the rest of the story with Arrowfield Stud this week:

“Aragen was the best horse Dad bred, after choosing to put Bay Willow to Rory’s Jester to mix with precocious Australian bloodlines. He sold Aragen as a yearling and she won the QTC Sires’ Produce G1 as a two-year-old. She was favourite in the Australasian Oaks when taken out in the straight where she was put down. My father was there and agreed to take her home to be buried at Sharondon Park Stud which he operated with his wife Sylvia.”

Bill Duthy was a former director of ABCOS, and part of the syndicate which purchased Euclase from Geoff & Beryl White and brought him to South Australia. Bay Willow’s 1993 mating with Euclase produced Annuity, described by Warrick as “a big, solid mare, not elegant, who won a few city races in Queensland. She was a tough welter type.”

Annuity was not a great producer, missing every second year, and her early foals were modest performers, yet even after he wound down his breeding activities and sold most of his bloodstock, Bill Duthy was reluctant to part with her.

Warrick explains, “He offered to give Annuity to me, while warning that if I was smart I would refuse the offer. Breeding was not great for cash flow!

“I had raced horses in partnership with others, my first being Striking Gold (1993 Summer Cup), followed by Furacao (Kindergarten Stakes), Starbucks (Nitschke Stakes), Lawson’s Storm (2nd, Sandown Guineas) and Pencelaron (2nd, Yallambee Classic). Dad thought I was lucky enough, and I had been an avid student of breeding since my mid-teens.

“When looking for a mate for Annuity I was interested in two factors, firstly an athletic, speedy, precocious type who was not too big; and secondly, a breeding nick.

“From a pedigree perspective, my main desire was to introduce an influence from Rory’s Jester to bring the genetics closer to Aragen. I was also keen to introduce Danehill. Not a Single Doubt ticked all of the boxes.”

In September 2007 Annuity foaled a bay colt to Not A Single Doubt that immediately appealed to his breeder.

Warrick says, “Cavallo Pazzo was an intelligent, big, strong type. He had plenty of tricks, but an aversion to water, and turning on the hose was the best way to get him into a float. Interestingly, he loves the sting out of the ground.

“I was keen for Annuity to return to Not a Single Doubt, but that was the year of the equine flu and I could not physically get her to Arrowfield so I sent her instead to California Dane and she had a filly.”

Warrick then faced a classic breeder’s dilemma.

“Cavallo Pazzo was raised and prepared for the Magic Millions Adelaide Sale by Bev Manglesdorf whose neighbour Jake Stephens trained Alcopop.

“I was in two minds on whether to keep or sell the colt. I had been badly treated by the Global Financial Crisis and cash was short. I put a $30,000 reserve on him and when offered $22,000 I looked for advice from Jake who said to let him go.”

It was a decision that displeased Warrick’s father. Not long before he died in May 2011, he was still thinking about the descendants of the mare he’d bought in England 23 years earlier.

Warrick recalls, “One of the last things he said to me on his death bed was that I was a bloody idiot to sell the Annuity colt as he was an excellent type and looked good in Perth.”

Watching Cavallo Pazzo win eight of his 26 starts, including two stakes races and almost $400,000 prizemoney, hasn’t been entirely easy for Warrick, but the younger half-sister he kept is providing timely consolation. Named Get Up Stand Up and trained by Jake Stephens, she won at Morphettville last month and has been placed in all but one of her other four starts.

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