Sacred Star named Champion NZ Sprinter

Flying Spur’s son Sacred Star was named Champion Sprinter at the 2014/15 New Zealand Thoroughbred Horse of the Year Awards presented on Thursday evening in Hamilton.

The award was accepted by Dato Yap Kim San, the owner of New Zealand-based Raffles Thoroughbred Racing, who was accompanied by his son Kyan, manager Bruce Sherwin and trainer Tony Pike.

It was a “starry” season for Raffles Racing, which also entered the Group 1 winner’s circle as owner-breeder of First Seal (Flight S. G1), and owner of Sacred Falls (George Main S. G1) & Rock Diva (Auckland Cup G1).

Sacred Star won two Group 1 races in 2014/15, the 1200-metre WRC Telegraph Handicap and the Waikato Sprint at 1400 metres, taking his record to eight wins and more than $600,000 prizemoney.

He was bred by Victorian businessman Mark Ruff from the Group 2-placed O’Reilly mare Irish Nova, whose relatives include another Group 1 winner last season Diademe (NZ Thoroughbred Breeders’ S. G1) and the excellent broodmare Professionelle, dam of Group winners Sportsman, Prisoner of Love & Hoystar.

Read: Victorian breeder celebrates first Group 1 Star

Flying Spur, Australian Champion Sire of 2007, retired from stud duties in 2012, but remains a powerful influence on Australian breeding & racing. His 99 worldwide winners last season included seven stakeswinners, headed by Sacred Star, Godolphin’s Group 2-winning mare Hazard, 3YO filly Okahu Bay, winner of the South Australia Fillies Classic G3, and Singapore sprinter Zac Spirit.

Flying Spur’s lifetime record as a sire now stands at 97 stakeswinners, 12 of them successful at Group 1 level, and an impressive Earnings per Runner figure of more than $84,000.

His broodmare daughters had an even better year, putting nine stakeswinners on the board, among them 3YOs Preferment (Victoria Derby G1) & Moonovermanhattan (Moonee Valley Vase G2), 2YO Speak Fondly (Magic Night S. G2). Flying Spur ended 2014/15 holding 4th spot on the Australian Broodmare Sires’ list, behind Danehill, Zabeel & Encosta de Lago.

Magnus did best of his Australian sire sons, finishing 19th on the General Sires’ Premiership with earnings of $5.1 million and three stakeswinners, notably the Perth Group 1 winner Magnifisio.

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