The son of legendary Sir Tristram, Zabeel, passed away peacefully overnight. The broodmare sire of our young stallion prospect Curved Ball, the Gr2 Dingaans winner by one of Australia's sire sensations Fastnet Rock, bears a remarkable facial resemblance to that of his famous New Zealand-bred broodmare sire.
His first progeny are two year olds and we look forward to seeing them make their first track appearances.
Zabeel's legacy is the great racehorses he sired and the trend will continue beyond his passing.
A remarkable era in New Zealand thoroughbred breeding history ended with the death of the champion stallion Zabeel on Friday night. The son of another great sire in Sir Tristram, Zabeel passed away peacefully overnight in the paddock he has occupied at Cambridge Stud since 1991.
An emotional Sir Patrick Hogan announced Zabeel's passing and made a press statement.
"Cambridge Stud is sad to report that during the night Zabeel passed away peacefully in his paddock. The sire already of 44 Gr1 champions, Zabeel was 29 years old.
Curved Ball, a grandson of Zabeel, at Bush Hill Stud. Image: Candiese Marnewick
"He was a sire who excelled at the very highest level and was able to carry on where his own great sire Sir Tristram had left off.
"Zabeel contributed to the thoroughbred industry and excelled above all expectations and having enjoyed his retirement for the past few years he will be sadly missed by all here at Cambridge Stud.
"He will be buried alongside his sire Sir Tristram in the very same tradition, with his tail facing the sunrise and his head facing the sunset.
"Zabeel gave so many people through his progeny the greatest thrill of winning so many races at the highest level. He surpassed all stallions that have come before him, past and present in New Zealand. Four Cox Plates and three Melbourne Cups – what more can you say?
"So a big thankyou from us all and God bless, rest in peace."
Zabeel has more to offer, already established as an outstanding broodmare sire, he still has a number of high quality individuals competing at the elite level.
Last Saturday his VRC Derby winning son, Preferment, won the Gr2 Hill Stakes and is being touted as a leading Melbourne Cup contender in November.
Zabeel's massive contribution to the thoroughbred breed will continue well into the future.
Curved Ball, the first son of Fastnet Rock to go to stud in South Africa, had a yearling colt sell earlier this year in January at the CTS Cape Premier Yearling Sale for R350 000, whilst a big handsome colt at the Suncoast KZN Yearling Sale sold for R230 000.
Charles Laird hailed Curved Ball as the most talented horse he had ever trained. Curved Ball stands for a fee of R8000 this season.
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