A stakes result anywhere in the world is always good news for a breeder and so it was this week when well-known New Zealand bloodstock agent Robert Dawe learned he’d bred the runaway winner of last Saturday’s Macau Sand Mile LR.
The horse is the quirkily named The Drunk Bird, bred in Australia by Robert in partnership with John Murdoch. The Drunk Bird is a 5YO son of Starcraft and the well-bred American mare Shop Girl, by Summer Squall from Geraldines Store, winner of 13 races including the Saratoga Diana H. G2, which has been run at Grade 1 level since 2003.
Geraldines Store was a half-sister to the champion filly Al Bahathri, dam of champion 3YO Haafd, Group 2 winner Munir and stakeswinner Hasbah. The family has kicked on strongly in recent years, producing champion international stayer Red Cadeaux, Hong Kong Horse of the Year Military Attack and Group 1 winners Hearts of Fire, Gladiatorus, Spanish Fern, Lord Shanakill & Heatseeker, all descended from The Drunk Bird’s third dam Chain Store.
Robert, who bought Starcraft as a yearling in 2002 for his owner Paul Makin, explains, “I purchased Shop Girl via the Keeneland sale ring and then on-sold 50% to John Murdoch. He’s a beaut partner and deserves some success as he has spent “a quid” or three in breeding ventures in the past few years.
“Shop Girl was in foal to the unfashionable Jambalaya Jazz when I bought her. I foaled her down in Kentucky, gave the foal to ex-pat Kiwi Tony Holmes’ wife’s mother who reared and raced her under the name of A Wee Gift. So I became a winning US breeder and collected the very worthwhile breeder’s bonus.
Robert continues, “I chose Starcraft as a suitor on type, not to mention some bias along the way! John Murdoch and I, plus partners Greg Jones & Bryan Black have Shop Girl’s 2YO Thewayyouare colt in training with Stephen Marsh, and the mare is now in foal to Reliable Man under a lease arrangement.”
Shop Girl’s 2008 colt by Starcraft was purchased for $140,000 from the Westbury Stud draft at the 2010 New Zealand Premier Sale and was raced in Australia as Cesar’s Pride by Surace Bloodstock. He won and was placed twice from the Danny O’Brien stable before his 2012 sale to Macau where he has now won six races and the equivalent of more than $200,000.
Starcraft’s 2014 yearlings averaged more than $100,000 at the Magic Millions Gold Coast & Inglis Easter Sales, with a new record price of $650,000 paid by David Redvers for Mill Park’s filly from Dane Belltar.
The Drunk Bird is the 16th stakeswinner for Starcraft, also represented this season in Australia by talented 3YO Havana (BRC Fred Best Classic G3), stakeswinner Mr Vadim and the stakes performers Stella Lante, Starkiato & promising juvenile Dual Star.
Starcraft’s fee for the 2014 season is $11,000 inc. GST.