A stirring victory by Juan Diva in the Group 3 WJ Healy Stakes (1200m) at Eagle Farm on Saturday provided Trelawney Stud's Taylor family with a remarkable 10th stakes win as owners for the season.
Three of those wins have come in Australia with royally-bred mare Zayydani contributing twice with her wins in the Group 2 Matriarch Stakes (2000m) and Listed Ballarat Cup (2000m) while their seven New Zealand black-type victories were shared between Pareanui Bay (two), Cheaperthandivorce (two) and the recently retired Two Illicit, who bagged three including the Group 1 Captain Cook Stakes (1600m) and the Group 2 Travis Stakes to round out an illustrious career.
Trelawney Stud managing director Brent Taylor was thrilled by the performance of Juan Diva, who overcame a wide barrier (12) in the hands of expat Kiwi rider Jason Collett to dash home late for victory, just a week after they had taken the calculated gamble to scratch the Richard and Will Freedman-trained Snitzel mare just an hour before a similar race at Ipswich.
"That was a wonderful performance and thankfully it vindicated the decision we made the week before at Ipswich," Taylor said.
"She was all set to run there but during the meeting they got a heap of rain and the track began to really deteriorate.
"We know she is at her best on a good surface so we spoke with Richard and Will and when the opportunity came to scratch, we took it and rolled the dice that she would be up to winning at Eagle Farm instead.
"She is a mare we bought privately from her breeder and she started off with Michael Freedman and then he and Richard before she stayed with Richard and Will when Michael went out on his own again.
"Brian Smith has been looking after her up in Brisbane and she has just thrived up there. She still has racing left in her so she will have another season before she heads to the broodmare barn."
Taylor appreciates the good fortune they have had with their racing stock this year as they look to further refine an elite band of mares that the stud will breed from in the coming years.
"We've been very lucky with the results we have achieved and those stakes wins are invaluable for the breeding prospects of our mares in the future," he said.
"We took the decision a few years ago that we would attempt to get our replacement mares off the racetrack from stock we have bred or selected ourselves and that has been working well.
"To have mares of the quality of Two Illicit, Zayydani and Loire available to breed from this season is very satisfying given what they have achieved for us during their racing careers.
"We also know we have a racing team that has a lot of strength in it across the board with quite a few fillies coming through including six or eight rising 2-year-olds and another half a dozen rising 3-year-olds to complement our older mares like Juan Diva, Cheaperthandivorce and Samiam Seussie."
Taylor advised that Group 3 Waikato Cup winner Cheaperthandivorce was making good progress in the early stages of a preparation to have her back racing again in the spring.
"She is at the beach at Waiuku with Moira Murdoch at the moment and is loving it out there," he said.
- NZ Racing Desk