Saperavi To Stand At Willow Glen

Pencarrow Stud-bred Saperavi will join the stallion ranks at Willow Glen in South Canterbury this year.

The Stravinsky colt was sold for $2.2 million by Pencarrow Stud at the 2006 National Yearling Sale at Karaka two years ago after his half-brother, Darci Brahma, was sold for exactly half that price to Te Akau Stud's David Ellis.

Darci Brahma, also bred by Pencarrow Stud, won five races at Group 1 level and was champion 2 and 3 year old.

Dennis Ryan in The Informant newspaper reports: syndicate which owns Saperavi have committed support when his stud caree begins in the spring, with a number of well credentialed mares booked in. At a fee of $3,000 Willow Glen principals Mike and Barbara Cooney expect strong support from clients and newcomers as well as sending a good proportion of their own broodmare band to him.

“We were approached by New Zealand Bloodstock and when we looked more closely at him we couldn’t say no,” says Barbara Cooney. “He’s a lovely type, there’s so much to like about his pedigree and his race record tells you what you need to know.”

As a son of leading dual hemisphere stallion Stravinsky, Saperavi has an even closer connection to Darci Brahma than through his distaff line, with both Stravinsky and Darci Brahma great grandsons of Northern Dancer. Their dam, the Zabeel mare Grand Echezeaux, won the Gr. 1 Australasian Oaks and is a three-quarter-sister to Romanee Conti (Sir Tristram), the winner of the Hong Kong International Cup and subsequently the dam of the great staying mare Ethereal.

Willow Glenn, a large irrigated property 12km south of Waimate that doubles as a dairy grazing unit, is also home to Zabeel’s New Zealand St Leger-winning son Sunray, whose first crop two-year-olds include a trial winner and placegetters. A Willow Glen-bred filly by him was the top priced filly at the South Island Sale last August.

“Michael and I are very hands-on with the horses while our son Jason manages the cattle side of the farm,” says Barbara Cooney. “By doing the work ourselves we’re able to keep our costs down and that includes being able to offer our two stallions at a fee of $3,000.”