A smart debut winner at Scone today has given a final flourish to the remarkable career of champion mare Tycoon Lil, and further embellishment seems likely.
Her 3YO son Garcia (by Hussonet) started favourite in the 1000-metre maiden and matched expectations with a comfortable 2.5 length win for owner-breeders Arrowfield & Northern Farm. He also helped trainer Paul Messara to maintain his excellent 26% winning strike rate at Scone.
Tycoon Lil (Last Tycoon-Imposing Bloom II, by Imposing) won eight of her 20 starts, most notably the STC Canterbury Guineas G1, CJC New Zealand One Thousand Guineas G1 & WRC New Zealand Oaks G1 during a superlative 3YO season. She was subsequently named 1998 New Zealand Horse of the Year.
However, her finest performance was probably a courageous third placing behind champion Might and Power in his track record-setting 1998 Cox Plate. Tycoon Lil is one of only six mares among 28 female runners in the past 15 years to finish among the first three in the Cox Plate. (The others are winners Sunline, Makybe Diva & Pinker Pinker, and placegetters Lotteria & Samantha Miss.)
Tycoon Lil was purchased in 2002 in foal to Zabeel from her New Zealand owner Peter Walker by Katsumi Yoshida and spent the rest of her life at Arrowfield, where she left Group 1-placed stakeswinner Estee (by Redoute’s Choice) and Group 1-placed Empress Lily (Zabeel) among her eight foals.
Arrowfield & Northern Farm retained three of Tycoon Lil’s four daughters, Empress Lily, Deputy Lil (French Deputy) who died earlier this year, and Rose Scent (Redoute’s Choice), now in Japan. Empress Lily has left two city winners and last month foaled a Redoute’s Choice filly. That filly is a three-quarter sister to Estee, who is owned by Darley and was sent to Great Britain in January 2013.
Tycoon Lil died soon after foaling Garcia in 2010 and is buried at Arrowfield.