Koru making a quality name for themselves

5 min read
Koru Thoroughbreds made an impressive debut at Karaka last year with the newcomers presenting a well sought after draft of seven that included one youngster who is already proving to be a great advertisement for them on the track.

Fledgling Waikato-based Koru Thoroughbreds is back for their second New Zealand Bloodstock National Yearling Sale, which opens on Sunday afternoon, with what they see as 12 of the very best.

The Taylor family-run business’ maiden consignment in 2018 averaged better than NZ$170,000 with a 100 per cent clearance rate.

Their top price of NZ$270,000 was realised by a Dundeel (NZ) {High Chaparral {IRE}) colt out of a half-sister to the Gr2 New Zealand Thoroughbred Breeders’ S. winner Viennetta (NZ ) (Pins), the dam of the Group winning Australian sprinter Golden Archer (Rock Of Gibraltar {IRE}).

Koru’s draft also included a son of Denman, who was knocked down to Waikato Bloodstock for NZ$220,000. Racing as Whiskey Neat, the Tony Pike-trained youngster has made a big impression in his short career.

Debut to savour

He romped home by 10 lengths first time out at Otaki and then handled a rise in class with aplomb at Ellerslie on New Year’s Day with victory in the G3 Eclipse S. He is the second favourite for Saturday’s Karaka Million after drawing an inside gate.

Whiskey Neat is a son of Ouija (Viscount), who won four times up to 1500 metres and has the perfect record at stud with all three of her foals to race having been successful.

He has displayed sparkling pace in his appearances to date, not surprising with the sprinting prowess in his pedigree. His dam is a half-sister to the G2 Sapphire S. winner Renaissance (Lonhro) and her brother Sessions won five races and finished third in the G1 Manikato S. and fourth in the G1 Gilgai S.

Whiskey Neat as a yearling

The G2 Shannon S. and G3 Tramway S. winner Gordo (Brief Truce {USA}) is another noted short-course perfomer in Whiskey Neat’s pedigree.

“We’re very proud and let’s hope he can get out there and get the job done again.” – Matthew Taylor.

“We’re really happy to get a horse like him from our first draft,” Matthew Taylor said. “We’re very proud and let’s hope he can get out there and get the job done again.”

Koru Thoroughbreds is based at the former Curraghmore property.

“We’ve taken the place on and got 40 acres there,” Taylor said. “My parents John and Julie have built up a broodmare band and that’s up to about 20 now.”

John and Julie Taylor with Melissa Speers and Matthew Taylor

Taylor and his partner Melissa Speers are an experienced pair and returned from Australia to help the establishment of Koru Thoroughbreds.

“Melissa has worked for Yarraman Park and Bhima and I’ve worked for Arrowfield and Vinery so we decided to come back for this venture.” – Matthew Taylor.

“Melissa has worked for Yarraman Park and Bhima and I’ve worked for Arrowfield and Vinery so we decided to come back for this venture,” he said.

“We’re in this for the long haul and improving the broodmares. We’ll continue pin-hooking and growing the property and the brand.

“At this stage we’re concentrating on yearlings. That’s our main game and we want to be the best we can at it.”

Koru’s 2019 offerings are a mix of home-breds, client horses and yearlings purchased as weanlings to on sell.

The Taylor family at the 2018 Magic Millions National Weanling Sale

Pin-hook hopes

Lot 74 is a son of Sebring bought for $200,000 at the Magic Millions Gold Coast Weanling Sale and is out of Hennessy Rock (Fastnet Rock). She is a daughter of the Listed Angst H. winner Hennessy Waltz (Hennessy {USA}) and this colt is a three-quarter brother to the Listed Sportingbet S. winner Bring A Ring.

Client horses include Lot 312, a More Than Ready colt who is a half-brother to the dual Hong Kong Horse of the Year and multiple Group 1 winner Able Friend (Shamardal {USA}) while Lot 678 is a son of Kermadec out of a sister to the two-time G3 Stewards S. winner Coup Align (NZ) (Align).

“All of the others are our own home-breds,” Taylor said.

They include Lot 524, a son of Ocean Park (NZ) out of the Street Sense (USA) mare Whatevs and she is a daughter of a three-quarter sister to the multiple South African Group 1 winner Laisserfaire (Danehill {USA}).

Whatevs is also a half-sister to the dual Group 3 Australian winner A Time For Julia (Redoute’s Choice) and her brother Time Thief, who finished runner-up in the G1 Caulfield Guineas.

Lot 524 Ocean Park (NZ) x Whatevs

Well-credentialled filly

Another quality offering from Koru is Dissident’s daughter, Lot 162, who is out of the Anabaa (USA) mare La Praline. She is a half-sister to the G3 McNeil S. winner Golden Archer (Rock Of Gibraltar {IRE}) while Lot 505 is a filly from the family of their 2018 sale-topper.

By Reset, she is a three-quarter sister to the G1 Epsom H. and multiple Group 2 winner Hauraki with their dam Vernal (Bernardini {USA}) also a half-sister to the G1 South Australia Derby winner Kidnapped (Viscount) and the G2 Western Australian Guineas winner Academus (Lonhro).

Lot 505 Reset x Vernal

A filly, Lot 674, is yet another filly with plenty going for her as a daughter of Rubick from a family that features the G2 Magic Night S. winner Downhill Racer (Danehill Dancer {IRE}) and the G2 Bill Stutt S. winner Schubert (Salieri {USA}).

“We are very happy with all of our horses and hopefully they will sell well,” Taylor said.

“It’s going to be an interesting sale and we just hope there will be a strong Australian buying bench.”