The season that was: a first for ‘Vinnie’, Savabeel does it again

8 min read
With the 2021/22 season now behind us, we take a look at the Premiership winners, both equine and human, across the various categories in both Australia and New Zealand.

After a lengthy and highly entertaining battle with Coolmore Stud’s headline stallion So You Think (NZ), Yarraman Park resident I Am Invincible officially claimed a maiden Champion Australian Sire title, on Sunday, after the final race of the season was run and won.

Meanwhile, across the ditch, Waikato Stud’s Savabeel was crowned New Zealand’s Champion Sire for an eighth consecutive season.

Savabeel, 2021/22 season New Zealand Champion Sire | Standing at Waikato

Not only was it a first for ‘Vinnie’, it was new ground for Yarraman Park’s Mitchell family and a richly deserved reward after five decades in the industry.

Having finished second the previous four seasons (behind Snitzel in 2017/18, 2018/19 and 2019/2020, then Written Tycoon in 2020/21), I Am Invincible finally went one better.

In 2021/22, from 359 runners, he had 185 individual winners (the most by any sire) combine for 314 wins (also the most of all sires). His progeny amassed $19,860,096 in prizemoney, which is $546,341 more than second-placed So You Think, with his star performer being Home Affairs, who took out the G1 Black Caviar Lightning H. and G1 Coolmore Stud S. He finished with 17 stakes winners and 25 stakes wins, and Lombardo and Marabi joined Home Affairs as elite-level winners in Australia.

I Am Invincible, 2021/22 season Australian Champion Sire | Standing at Yarraman Park

By comparison, in 2020/21, I Am Invincible had 358 runners, with 208 winners tallying 335 wins. He had 12 stakes winners and 17 stakes wins (the same as Premiership winner Written Tycoon), with Libertini his best-performed progeny; she amassed $944,000 of Vinnie’s season’s earnings, which was $15,741,201.

So You Think had 298 runners in Australia, with his 250 wins coming from 149 individual winners. He had 12 stakes winners and 18 stakes wins. Think It Over was his best performer, with the Queen Elizabeth S. winner bringing in $5,615,000 of the stallion’s $19,313,755.

Arrowfield Stud’s multiple Champion Sire Snitzel had another outstanding season, finishing with 324 runners, 163 winners, 237 wins, 18 stakes winners and 26 stakes wins (both season-high marks), and $17,898,452 in earnings. G1 Moir S. hero Wild Ruler contributed $1,083,400.

Snitzel | Standing at Arrowfield

If there was any doubt Savabeel was an all-time great of the breeding industry, surely that argument has been put to bed. Savabeel enjoyed another phenomenal season. In addition to his eighth-straight New Zealand crown, the now 21-year-old finished 10th in the Australian Sires’ Premiership.

In New Zealand, Savabeel had 118 runners, 48 winners, 74 wins, eight stakes winners and 12 stakes wins, for earnings of NZ$3,392,269. Noverre (NZ) was his star performer, with the 2000 Guineas winner earning NZ$347,500.

Savabeel also had the most Group 1 winners in Australasia last season, with Mo’unga (NZ), Probabeel (NZ), The Perfect Pink (NZ), Noverre (NZ), The Chosen One (NZ) and Savy Yong Blonk (NZ) all scoring in top company.

Gallery: Savabeel's Group 1 winners for the 2021/22 season

The ill-fated Tavistock (NZ) finished second, NZ$549,109 behind Savabeel, while third-placed Burgundy (NZ) was NZ$1,386,169 adrift of the champion.

Redoute’s and O’Reilly deliver yet again

The legendary Redoute’s Choice claimed another Champion Broodmare Sire gong, his third from the past four seasons. The superstar tallied $29,491,158, knocking off his arch-rival Encosta De Lago by $2,880,989. Incredibly, that duo has run the quinella in this category the past five seasons.

The great Zabeel (NZ) ($21,440,697) rounded out the top three.

In New Zealand, O’Reilly (NZ) captured the title for a third time, having won it in 2016/17 and 2018/19. He finished with NZ$4,029,761 in prizemoney, with Volksraad (GB) second with $2,476,393 and Pins third with NZ$2,186,806.

Another crown for Vinnie, Tavistock comes from the clouds

I Am Invincible was also crowned Champion 3-Year-Old Sire in Australia, after his progeny, led by crack colt Home Affairs who amassed $7,601,947. That proved too good for Snitzel, whose offspring tallied $7,171,054, which was just $29,969 superior to third-placed Maurice (Jpn).

Interestingly, I Am Invincible becomes the fifth different sire to win this category over the past five seasons. The Premiership winner in 2017/18 was Snitzel, followed by Zoustar, Rubick and Written Tycoon.

Gallery: Previous winners of the Champion Three-Year-Old Sires’ Premiership in Australia

New Zealand’s Champion 3-Year-Old Sire is Tavistock, which is fascinating, given the most recent year he had finished in the top 10 in that category was 2014/15. Furthermore, Tavistock finished 18th in 2020/21 and was 17th the season prior.

Tavistock has New Zealand Derby hero Asterix (NZ) to thank, with the Lance O’Sullivan and Andrew Scott-trained gelding netting NZ$607,200 this past season.

Burgundy finished second on the table and Savabeel third, with both topping the NZ$1 million mark.

Rebel Dane and Almanzor capture juvenile honours

On the back of Fireburn’s stellar season, Rebel Dane was a surprise winner of Australia’s Champion 2-Year-Old Sire category. Golden Slipper heroine Fireburn is in the conversation at the country’s premier juvenile, having also taken out the G1 Sires’ Produce S. she amassed $3,870,250 of Rebel Dane’s $3,912,250 earnings.

Rebel Dane’s breakout season has seen him move to Widden Stud in New South Wales, where he will stand for $27,500 (inc GST).

Rebel Dane | Standing at Widden

Snitzel finished a close second on $3,615,720, thanks largely to dual stakes winner Best Of Bordeaux, while Written Tycoon was third with $2,544,525; his star performer was Magic Millions 2YO Classic heroine Coolangatta ($1,794,000).

The New Zealand winner was also somewhat of a surprise, with Cambridge Stud’s first-season sire Almanzor (Fr) upstaging the usual suspects. Almanzor’s progeny accrued NZ$701,935, with Karaka Million victor Dynastic (NZ) (NZ$612,125) leading the charge.

Tivaci (NZ$386,655) came home in second, while the ever-reliable Burgundy (NZ$280,275) was third. Cambridge Stud’s Turn Me Loose (NZ) also had a strong season, finishing fourth, with two stakes winners (the most of any sire) and two stakes wins

Russian Revolution, Almanzor the freshman kings

Newgate Farm’s Russian Revolution kept churning out the winners in 2021/22, and his consistency was rewarded with the Leading Australia First Season Sire title.

Russian Revolution, 2021/22 Leading Australia First Season Sire | Standing at Newgate Farm

From 47 runners, Russian Revolution had 15 winners and 18 wins, with earnings of $1,840,685. Two-time winner Russian Conquest contributed $582,850 to that figure.

Gold Standard, who will call Widden Stud in Victoria home, finished runner-up to Russian Revolution, predominantly due to the exploits of star filly Sheeza Belter. She won the lion’s share of her sire’s earnings of $1,539,565.

Aquis Farm resident The Mission rounded out the top three with $887,645 in prizemoney.

In New Zealand, Almanzor made it a seasonal double, claiming the title with NZ$701,935. He held a comfortable edge over runner-up, Little Avondale Stud’s Time Test (GB) and Derryn, who resides at Grangewilliam Stud.

An international flavour amongst Champion Second Season Sires

Arrowfield Stud resident Maurice capped his fine season by being crowned Australia’s Champion Second Season Sire. His 41 winners tallied 70 wins and it was star colt Hitotsu that flew the flag for his old man. The three-time Group 1 winner banked $3,171,250 of Maurice’s $7,444,575.

Maurice (Jpn), 2021/22 Champion Second Season Sire | Standing at Arrowfield

Capitalist had another strong year and he finished second with $5,784,580, while Rebel Dane ($4,405,745) was third. Capitalist had four stakes winners, two more than Maurice.

Rich Hill Stud’s Vadamos (Fr) got the job done in the same category in New Zealand. His progeny, headed by G2 Avondale Guineas victress La Crique (NZ), collected NZ$652,560.

Belardo (Ire), who stands at Haunui Farm, claimed second, with Turn Me Loose third.

Pike, Waller reign supreme

Western Australian hoop William Pike, who relocated to the eastern seaboard during the season, won the Australian Jockeys’ title with 189 wins. Clint Johnston-Porter (184) was second and Chris Parnham (162) third. Two jockeys surpassed 100 metro wins - James McDonald (131) and Chris Parnham (108).

Chris Waller was once again the pre-eminent trainer in the land, his 352 winners earning him another National Trainers’ Premiership. Ciaron Maher and Dave Eustace ran second with 321 wins, while Kris Lees placed third with 172.5.

Waller’s 270 metro victories earned him honours in that category, with Maher/Eustace (129) once again having to settle for second.

McNab notches maiden title, Richards signs off in style

Michael McNab secured his first New Zealand Jockeys’ Premiership, ending the season with 144 wins. Lisa Allpress tallied 112 to finish second, while Craig Grylls had 91 to finish third.

In the trainers’ ranks, Jamie Richards’ 117 wins earned him another title, quite the achievement considering he missed the last four months of the season. Richards has been granted a license in Hong Kong with effect from start of the 2022/23 season. Stephen Marsh (104) finished second, with Tony Pike (63) third.

I Am Invincible
Yarraman Park Stud
So You Think
Coolmore Stud
Arrowfield Stud
Waikato Stud
Redoute's Choice
Widden Stud
Cambridge Stud
Encosta De Lago
Turn Me Loose
Russian Revolution
Newgate Farm
Rebel Dane