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Gray breeds a belter in Sheraco star Entriviere

4 min read
Veteran breeder, owner and trainer Kevin Gray’s association with iconic New Zealand farm Cambridge Stud goes back 50 years and he continues to support the stallion roster with his handful of broodmares.

Cover image courtesy of Ashlea Brennan

The latest star of the lengthy association between Gray and Cambridge Stud is the G2 Sheraco S. winner Entriviere (NZ), a daughter of the nursery’s late stallion Tavistock (NZ), who was bred by Gray.

The Jamie Richards-trained Entriviere is out of Marcey’s Belt (NZ) (Golan {Ire}), who will this year visit new shuttle stallion and multiple European Group 1 winner Hello Youmzain (Fr).

G2 Sheraco S. winner, Entriviere (NZ) | Image courtesy of Ashlea Brennan

Marcey’s Belt was purchased by Copper Belt Lodge’s Gray at New Zealand Bloodstock’s Carnival Sale in 2007 for NZ$35,000 and he trained her to win three races.

“I was at the Sale and picked her out and she was a pretty handy filly and now a good broodmare for us,” he said.

A major pedigree update was provided for Gray and wife Kathleen in 2008 when Maldivian (NZ) (Zabeel {NZ}) won the G1 Cox Plate – he is a half-brother to Marcey’s Belt’s dam Stray (NZ) (Tale Of The Cat {USA}).

Kevin Gray

He decided to send Marcey’s Belt to Tavistock, with Entriviere the result, due to his past association with Cambridge Stud founder Sir Patrick Hogan, which began with Gray’s purchase in 1971 of the horse his stable is named after.

“I bought Copper Belt as a weanling. Patrick was leading him around the ring at a sale at Claudelands and I think I paid a thousand pounds for him,” he said.

"Patrick was leading him (Copper Belt) around the ring at a sale at Claudelands and I think I paid a thousand pounds for him.” – Kevin Gray

At that time, Gray was working as a stock agent and Copper Belt (NZ) (Gold Sovereign {GB}) was placed with the late trainer Brian Deacon and proved a top-class sprinter-miler and the winner of 23.5 races.

“That’s how it all started and over the years I’ve always sent a few mares to Cambridge Stud,” he said.

Following the sale of the nursery in 2017 to Brendan and Jo Lindsay, Gray has continued to support the farm’s stallion roster and Marcey’s Belt has also had two fillies by the late Burgundy (NZ). One of those, Gucci Belt (NZ), may debut at Otaki on Thursday.

“She has had a couple of trials and goes very well, I quite like the Burgundys and they show a bit of speed. The yearling filly is a boomer and likely to be sold at Karaka next year, she may make a bit of money with Entriviere doing so well,” Gray said.

Sold privately by Gray to the Te Akau operation in a deal brokered by New Zealand Bloodstock, Entriviere has won six of her eight starts and is likely to run next in the G2 Golden Pendant ahead of the $2 million The Invitation.

Stakes performer

Marcey’s Belt also visited Power (GB) during his time at Cambridge Stud and the resulting filly Satin Belt (NZ) won three races for Gray and was stakes placed. Satin Belt was subsequently purchased by the Lindsays and is also booked to Hello Youmzain after she foals to Per Incanto (USA).

“I took Marcey’s Belt up to the stud on Saturday and she’ll visit Hello Youmzain. He’s a lovely horse and will give the mare another good opportunity,” he said. “I’ve had a few inquiries about buying the mare, but we’ll keep her for ourselves.”

“I took Marcey’s Belt up to the stud on Saturday and she’ll visit Hello Youmzain, he’s a lovely horse and will give the mare another good opportunity.” - Kevin Gray

Now his early eighties, Gray has been training in his own right for more than 40 years, firstly at Waverley and for a period in partnership there with his now Singapore-based son Stephen, before moving to a 130-acre property on the outskirts of Palmerston North.

Gray has trained more than 1000 winners with Group 1 winners Daffodil, (NZ) (No Excuse Needed {GB}), Legs (NZ) (Pins) and Master Belt (NZ) (Masterclass {USA}) among his leading performers.

“I’m still pretty fit and working about 30 horses and enjoy breeding on a small scale,” he said.

Successful jockeys Lisa Allpress, Kim Clapperton, Bruce Herd, Damon Smith, Hayden Tinsley, Eddie Lamb, Paul Worthington and Holly Andrew also all served their apprenticeships with Gray.

Kevin Gray
Cambridge Stud
Marcey's Belt
Copper Belt