The history-making racemare Makybe Diva is a big enough reason for the Australian racing industry to mourn the death of her mother Tugela on Friday morning.
However, Arrowfield has a few extra reasons to remember her, not least the fact that it was Tugela’s first home in Australia, after she arrived in September 1999, six months before her Desert King yearling filly also came to Arrowfield. That filly was, of course, Makybe Diva, winner of 15 races, seven at Group 1 level including three Melbourne Cups and more than $14 million.
Tugela returned to Arrowfield several times during her Australian breeding career, conceiving four times to champion sire Redoute’s Choice in 2O02, 2005, 2006 and 2008. The results of those matings, two colts and two fillies, significantly boosted her record and made it clear that Tugela was no “one-hit wonder.”
Her four yearlings offered at the Inglis Easter Sale all made well over $1 million, and three of them were by Redoute’s Choice: the colts Musket (sold by Arrowfield for $2.5 million, 2005) and Shadowofexcellence ($1.2 million, 2009), and the filly Bakarje Diva ($1.2 million, 2008). Tugela’s fourth million-dollar yearling was the Street Cry colt Rodway, sold for $1.2 million in 2012 and a two-time winner still in training with Peter Moody.
Musket won four races including the STC Shannon S. G2 for the Inghams; Shadowofexcellence is a multiple winner and was stakes-placed in Melbourne as a 3YO; and Bakarje Diva did not win but is now breeding for Baramul Stud.
The last result of Tugela’s visits to Arrowfield is La Amistad who became her sire’s 115th stakeswinner last May. Although she doesn’t possess Makybe Diva’s rare talent, the 5YO mare has won five races up to 2400 metres and goes to next Saturday’s VRC Lexus S. G3 in the hope of securing her own Melbourne Cup start. Given her pedigree and the early success of Redoute’s Choice as a damsire, she also has great prospects as a broodmare.
Tugela leaves her owners with the consolation of two valuable fillies, a 2YO full sister to Makybe Diva and her final foal, an All Too Hard filly she delivered this Spring.