Dundeel added the final diamond to his champion’s crown when he was named the 2013/14 New Zealand Horse of the Year at the NZ Thoroughbred Racing Awards dinner in Hamilton on Thursday evening.
Dundeel, also named Champion Middle Distance Horse, was the world’s highest-rated New Zealand-bred horse last season, with an international figure of 122 and a Timeform rating of 129, both figures surpassed in Australia only by world champion sprinter Lankan Rupee.
The voting panel’s verdict was decisive in Dundeel’s favour, with 28 votes cast for him and 18 votes for the outstanding mare Silent Achiever, who was recognised as New Zealand’s Champion Stayer.
Dundeel’s dam Stareel (Zabeel-Staring by Fiesta Star) was named Broodmare of the Year and that award was accepted by Murray and Jo Andersen who bred the sensational son of High Chaparral and raced him as part of the TransTasman Syndicate. Stareel visits champion sire Redoute’s Choice this Spring.
Murray described the award as a “dream come true. He has been a sensational horse, great for New Zealand and this is the pinnacle,”
Dundeel delivered two of Australia’s very best performances last season, beating the previously unbeaten champion mare Atlantic Jewel in the MRC Underwood S. G1 in the Spring, and returning in the Autumn to defeat Sacred Falls, Carlton House and Silent Achiever in the ATC Queen Elizabeth S. G1.
He retired to Arrowfield Stud with a record of 10 wins (six at Group 1 level), five placings (four in Group 1 company) & $5.3 million from 19 starts at two, three and four.
Dundeel will parade for the first time since his retirement at the Arrowfield Stallion Open House, 21-24 August – click here for more information.