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Colour change for The Opera House

2 min read

The colour chain has been broken, for the time being, at Windsor Park Stud with the arrival of the latest foal for The Opera House (NZ) (Zabeel {NZ}).

The pure white mare recently delivered a colt of the most common shade at the Cambridge nursery.

“She’s had a dark bay colt by Rageese,” the farm’s General Manager Steve Till said. “He’s a good size and attractive colt.”

The Opera House x Rageese colt

Dearest purchase

The Opera House’s first three New Zealand-born foals were all mirror images of herself, colour-wise, with the first being Casta Diva (High Chaparral {IRE}).

She was sold by Windsor Park at Karaka in 2016 for NZ$450,000 to the Dearest Club and has won once in Japan over 2600 metres.

The next foal was Grand Bernini (Shamexpress {NZ}), a NZ$510,000 buy for the China Horse Club and Ciaron Maher Bloodstock.

He is as yet unraced while The Opera House’s 2-year-old filly Utzon (Charm Spirit {IRE}) was unplaced on debut last month in the Listed Debutant S., at Caulfield for Maher and training partner David Eustace.

Utzon with trainer, Ciaron Maher

There is no infallible process for producing a white foal and Windsor Park certainly didn’t set out with any specific breeding plan to achieve it.

A dominant bay stallion, one that doesn’t throw horses of any other colour, is a requirement with a mare of The Opera House’s shade.

“From the Rageese foals we’ve seen they are all bay, no chestnuts,” Till said.

Should that trend continue, another meeting with The Opera House has the potential to produce a white foal, although a decision has yet to be made on the mare’s consort this year.

Rageese, standing this year at Windsor Park

High profile foal

Another notable recent foaling at the Cambridge nursery has been a colt produced by Bayrock (Fastnet Rock).

The dam is a sister to the G1 Diamond Jubilee S., and G1 Coolmore Stud S., winner Merchant Navy.

Bayrock was bought by the stud for $140,000 at the Inglis Sydney Broodmare Sale in 2015,

At Segenhoe Stud, Merchant Navy’s siblings Jolie Bay, who won the G2 Roman Consul S., and Zara Bay are in foal to I Am Invincible (Invincible Spirit {IRE}).

Their dam Legally Bay (Snippets), who won the G3 Sweet Embrace S., and a dual Group 1 placegetter, is back in foal to Fastnet Rock.

Merchant Navy