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NZ Guineas winner Loire departs for Frankel

Loire winning the Gr.1 NZ 1000 Guineas. - Photo: Race Images South
Loire winning the Gr.1 NZ 1000 Guineas.

Photo: Race Images South

Four-year-old mare Loire (NZ) (Redoute’s Choice), who won the Gr.1 New Zealand 1000 Guineas in 2019, is on her way to Frankel (GB) this week. Retired from the track as recently as April, Loire is headed to England for two seasons to meet the Juddmonte sire on Southern Hemisphere time.

It will be her debut effort as a broodmare and, all being well, Loire will return to New Zealand with a Frankel foal at foot and another in utero.

She will board at the Hazelwood operation of Adrian and Philippa O’Brien in Newmarket.

“She’s a very special mare,” said Cherry Taylor, who runs Cambridge-based Trelawney Stud with her husband, Brent Taylor.

“We bred her and we love her to bits. We toyed with the idea of going up to Frankel, and we looked at how expensive it was, and we decided in the end that it was worth it. We’ll just keep our fingers crossed for a filly.”

The decision to go for two seasons was a logical one for the Taylors.

“From our point of view, if she’d only gone for one, and anything went wrong when she got back, yes, we would have had a live-foal guarantee,” said Taylor. “But we don’t actually want the money back, we want a Frankel foal, so at least if we go twice we’ve got a better chance.”

Demand for Southern Hemisphere coverings has skyrocketed this season for Frankel. Juddmonte has made the super-sire available to Southern Hemisphere time since he retired to stud, with the first yearlings of those covers selling in 2016.

However, the explosion of Frankel winners this year, including G1 Australian Oaks winner Hungry Heart and recent G1 JJ Atkins winner Converge, has encouraged breeders to heavily consider the stallion for Australasian mares, and plenty are set to make the trip.

That figure is expected to rise with the emergence of championship horses from the stallion.

His son Adayar (Ire) won the G1 Epsom Derby this month, while Anapurna (GB) claimed the G1 Epsom Oaks for her sire two years ago. As recently as last week, Frankel shared top-billing at Royal Ascot for leading sire honours with Dark Angel (Ire).

“Initially we were worried that it was going to cost so much money to go up to him,” Taylor said.

“And it’s a lot more expensive to bring them back than take them up. They’ve got to go through Australia before they can return to New Zealand, so there’s a bit more quarantine and an extra flight. And that’s why we thought it was worth sending Loire for two years, because if you’re going to spend all that money, you might as well have the opportunity of getting two foals.”

Loire retired from the track this year with a Group One and a sprinkling of Group-placed efforts behind her.

Outside of her Guineas win, she was second in the Gr.3 Desert Gold Stakes, second in the Gr.2 Hawke’s Bay Lowland Stakes and third in the Gr.2 Sir Tristram Fillies’ Classic.

“After that, she just decided she didn’t want to be a racehorse anymore,” Taylor said. “She’s got about six Group placings plus the Thousand Guineas, and she’d done enough.

"I said to Brent that we should retire her. There’s no point running around to win a class race somewhere that won’t add any value to her. She’s always going to be a Group One winner, she’s always going to be by Redoute’s, and she’s always going to be a half to another Group One winner.”

Loire was bred by Trelawney in 2016, a home foal from the Taylors’ good mare Syrah (NZ) (Traditionally {USA}).

Syrah is from Real Success (Success Express {USA}), a three-time Group winner through the mid 1990s, and a half-sister to a pair of stakes winners in Bolton (NZ) (Zabeel {NZ}) and Vouvray (NZ) (Zabeel {NZ}), the latter a winner of the Gr.1 Queensland Oaks.

Syrah herself has been a superb mare for Trelawney, getting Group One winner Loire and Group One winner A Touch Of Ruby (NZ) (Pins).

In fact, Loire is the third generation of Group One winners from this line.

“It’s a great family, and it almost looks like it’s getting better,” Taylor said. “We bought Real Success in partnership with Orchie Santos in the Philippines when she finished racing, and then each year we put the yearlings through the sales. Our agreement with Orchie was that if one of us wanted to buy the horse, we’d bid in the ring, and that was how we got Vouvray, the Oaks winner, and also Syrah.”

Syrah cost the Taylors NZ$280,000 at at New Zealand Bloodstock’s Karaka Sale in 2005. Her last yearling to sell was by Tivaci (NZ), which sold for NZ$300,000 to Loire’s Cambridge trainer, Tony Pike, at the 2020 New Zealand Bloodstock Premier Yearling Sale.

Syrah had a filly to Satono Aladdin (Jpn) in 2019, and was heavily in foal to Ocean Park (NZ) when she passed away from cancer last spring.

“We’re very lucky to have Loire for that reason,” Cherry Taylor said, with all fingers crossed for a Frankel filly next year. -TDN Australia New Zealand.