While many New Zealanders are stuck in their bubbles contemplating what next to watch on Netflix, things haven't changed as a result of Covid-19 alert level 4 lockdown for farmers, including Mark Corcoran of Grangewilliam Stud just north of Whanganui.
The South Taranaki horseman is enjoying the freedom of continuing to work on his property and ramping into foaling season.
"I have just been moving a mob of mares and I am sitting on the quad bike out in the sun, it is a beautiful day, the grass is growing - life goes on," Corcoran said.
"We are pretty lucky as farmers. We have got to look after the horses. It is a good place to be right at the moment.
"Farming is an essential service. With animal welfare, the mares have got to get to the stud farms to foal down for their wellbeing, so the [commercial] trucks are still allowed to move the horses.
"Hopefully, level 4 lifts on Friday night so we can see some exciting racing on Saturday."
Corcoran's family-run business is just starting to welcome its first foals of the season, and he was delighted to welcome resident stallion Wyndspelle's first foal overnight.
"She is out of a Testa Rossa mare called Silver Cloud, a two-time 1200m winner. She descends from Sir Patrick Hogan's fantastic broodmare Tristalove," Corcoran said.
"I am really happy with the filly. She has got a lot of Wyndspelle about her. She is a nice rich bay colour and she has got a really lovely head, a really good shoulder and neck.
"She looks a lot like him, which is a good sign. It is the type I was expecting him to leave, so I am really happy with her.
"We are only really winding into it [foaling]. That is his first foal, and I have only had another couple of foals, we are just getting going really."
Racing at the highest level from age 2 through 6, Wyndspelle was Gr. 1 placed on seven occasions, including a third placing in the Gr.1 Cantala Stakes (1600m) at Flemington behind fellow Kiwi-bred Shillelagh.
Runner-up in the Gr.1 Diamond Stakes (1200m) at 2, Wyndspelle won the Gr.2 Waikato Guineas (2000m) at 3 and proved most effective at a mile as an older horse.
The well-bred entire claimed a deserved Gr. 1 victory when winning the Captain Cook Stakes (1600m) at his second-to-last start, and he bowed out with a narrow second placing in the Gr.1 Thorndon Mile (1600m) in January last year.
Wyndspelle will stand at Grangewilliam Stud this breeding season for a fee of $5000+GST.
Corcoran is in a buoyant mood heading into the breeding season, especially with the great start progeny of resident stallion Zed have made, highlighted by pin-up mare Verry Elleegant's runner-up result in the Gr.1 Winx Stakes (1400m) behind fellow Kiwi-bred Mo'unga last Saturday.
"She is just so tough," Corcoran said.
"Over 1400m fresh up and on a good track, which everyone says Zeds don't go on good tracks but they do, it was a sensational run.
"She looks stronger, bigger, and relaxed really well. I can't wait, I think she has got a very exciting spring ahead of her."
Corcoran was also buoyed by her full brother Verry Flash's placing in the Gr.3 Winter Cup (1600m) this month.
"Zed has gone straight to the top of the sires list again this season. He loves this time of year," Corcoran said.
"He has already had two stakes performers. Verry Flash placed in the Winter Cup at Riccarton, and now Verry Elleegant. He has also had another winner in Australia already this season.
"He is not a one-horse wonder. His stakes winners ratio is fantastic. If anyone wants to breed to a cheap horse, who is proven, and leaves cup winner after cup winner, go to Zed."
Zed will stand at Grangewilliam Stud this season for a fee of $6000+GST.
– NZ Racing Desk