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Failed deal breeder's good fortune

5 min read

Written by Paul Vettise

Joan Egan came across Bunyah (IRE) (Distant View {USA}) in somewhat fortuitous circumstances and she’s been happy to ride her luck ever since.

The Waikato breeder took an immediate liking to the mare when she was offered to her in 2005 and she hasn’t been let down by her first instincts.

Bunyah has subsequently produced five winners, including last season’s G1 Diamond S., hero Sword Of Osman (NZ) (Savabeel), who this week added the G2 James & Annie Sarten Memorial to his record.

His half-brother African Pulse (Johannesburg {USA}) won nine races while their half-sister Fortaleeza (NZ) (Darci Brahma {NZ}) was a black type performer.

Tattersalls purchase

Bunyah was initially purchased by bloodstock agent Paul Moroney at the Tattersalls Mares’ Sale for 20,000 guineas on behalf of a client, who subsequently decided against completing the deal.

She was then put on the market through other agents and came to the attention of Egan.

“I got a note from Rob McAnulty and I said to him to send me the details and I liked the pedigree,” Egan said.

“She was a lovely, strong and powerful-looking type and just the type of mare I liked.

“I had a share in Savabeel when he first went to stud and I sent her to him.” – Joan Egan.

“I had a share in Savabeel when he first went to stud and I sent her to him.”

The resulting foal Sazzana (NZ) won two races and left a winner and then followed African Pulse, six-time winner Big Surprise (NZ) (Lucky Unicorn), Arundel (NZ) (Duke Of Marmalade {IRE}), Fortaleeza and current star Sword Of Osman.

Savabeel

Egan’s quartet of mares are based at Trelawney Stud, who offered Sword Of Osman at New Zealand Bloodstock’s National Yearling Sale last year and he was secured by Te Akau principal David Ellis for NZ$165,000.

“He was a real athlete, even as a foal, and the whole Te Akau team have done a great job with him,” Egan said.

“The mare’s got an Ocean Park filly foal now and she’s back in foal to Savabeel.” – Joan Egan.

“The mare’s got an Ocean Park filly foal now and she’s back in foal to Savabeel.”

Sword Of Osman as a yearling

Bunyah is a daughter of Miss Mistletoes (IRE) (The Minstrel {CAN}) and is a half-sister to the European stakes winners Governor Brown (USA) (Kingmambo {USA}) and Hataab (USA) (Woodman {USA}).

The family has previously made an impression in Australia through the G1 Queensland Oaks winner Zagalia (Zabeel {NZ}).

Now it is the turn of Sword Of Osman, whose Sarten Memorial success put his G1 Al Basti Equiworld Dubai New Zealand 2000 Guineas campaign back on track after a couple of indifferent displays in his opening 3-year-old appearances for trainer Jamie Richards.

Visitor celebrates

He is raced by the Te Akau Sword Syndicate, managed by Ellis’ wife Karyn Fenton-Ellis, and an overseas member of the group was fortunate enough to have been at Te Rapa on Monday to see Sword Of Osman return to winning ways.

“To have a good horse winning is never simple, so I’m very happy and it was not an easy race. He began from a wide barrier and had a very strong opponent, so it’s a big thrill,” said Dr Phillip Mak, of Hong Kong.

“I know David (Ellis) very well and have had horses with Te Akau for about two years. They are good friends and they have had consistent results for 40 years.

“I can tell that he is very much on the ball and keeps us informed.” – Dr Phillip Mak.

“The communication is very quick and efficient, especially with Jamie training on his own for the first time. I can tell that he is very much on the ball and keeps us informed.

“The cup is always half-full with horse reports, but with Te Akau they always give a balanced report.”

The team will now head to Christchurch for next month’s Guineas full of confidence.

“A big thanks to the team at home who look after him and have done a good job to get him back on track,” Richards said.

“He took a while to come out of the winter, but we haven’t been able to fault him at home.” – Jamie Richards.

“He took a while to come out of the winter, but we haven’t been able to fault him at home.

“It was a lovely ride by Opie (Bosson), who rides him in all his gallops. He is such an important part of our team so I’m really thrilled for him.

“We’ll sit down now and make some plans as we will have three or four in the Guineas. It’s been a good race to us so why not.”

Te Akau have previously won the Guineas with King’s Chapel (King Of Kings {IRE}), Darci Brahma (NZ) (Danehill {USA}), Tell A Tale (Tale Of The Cat {USA}), Rock ‘n’ Pop (Fastnet Rock), Xtravagant (NZ) (Pentire {GB}) and with Embellish (NZ) (Savabeel) last year.