Hogan Dynasty Still Burns Bright

By Kelsey Riley 
Developing a stallion prospect into a world-class sire is without doubt one of the most difficult tasks in the Thoroughbred industry. To turn out two is nothing short of remarkable. As such, what Sir Patrick Hogan accomplished with the father-son pair of Sir Tristram (Ire) and Zabeel (NZ) is simply extraordinary. 
Hogan, of Cambridge Stud in New Zealand, in December announced the retirement of the farm's flagship stallion, Zabeel (NZ), from stud duty. The 27-year-old had met with declining fertility, siring just five foals last year, and none of the mares he covered in 2013 got in foal. Hogan's announcement marked not only the end of a long and successful stud career, but the end of an era, for before Zabeel–four times Champion Sire in New Zealand, two times Champion Sire in Australia, twice Champion Broodmare Sire in both New Zealand and Australia, and a record 15-time recipient of the Dewer Stallion Award for progeny earnings in New Zealand and Australia combined–Hogan discovered and developed his sire, Sir Tristram. 
Hogan and his wife, Lady Justine Hogan, established Cambridge Stud in 1975, and that year began the search for their foundation stallion. Hogan traveled to Europe to inspect prospects in England, Ireland and France, but left empty handed, failing to find anything to fit his budget of around NZ$200,000. After returning home Hogan received a pedigree in the mail, and knew he was looking at his stallion. The horse in question, Sir Tristram (Ire) (Sir Ivor–Isolt, by Round Table) was an unheralded racehorse, having won just two of 19 starts for trainer Clive Brittain and owner Raymond Guest, but his pedigree spoke to Hogan. In addition to carrying the blood of such influential sires as Princequillo and Round Table, Sir Tristram's dam's third dam was Selene, who produced breeding shaping sire Hyperion. 
“I picked him out on his pedigree alone moreso than his race performance,” Hogan explained. “He wasn't the greatest racehorse, but his pedigree was as good as you could get. In the eight generations of his pedigree he was full of very well-bred horses, so that appealed to me, and I could see within his pedigree a link that would suit a lot of the mares that were going to be available to him in New Zealand.” 
Actually purchasing Sir Tristram, as it turned out, was the easy part. Hogan was faced with a slew of challenges thereafter, the first coming when his new stallion was caught in a barn fire at a quarantine station in England. 
“After I purchased him he ended up in quarantine in England, and he got caught up in a fire in a stable one morning at about 2 a.m.,” Hogan explained. “A number of the horses perished in the fire. He was fortunate enough to be saved. He sustained some serious burns, and from the experience of being in a fire, he arrived in New Zealand in very poor condition.” 
When Hogan's partners who had invested in Sir Tristram with him saw the condition of the horse, a number of them backed out of the deal. 
“Some of them pulled out and said that I'd made a huge mistake and bought the wrong kind of horse,” Hogan said. “They pulled out of the arrangement, so I had to get over that hurdle.” 
Despite the unease of his partners, Hogan remained unwavering in his support of Sir Tristram, supplying him with some of his best mares in his first season at stud. The stallion's first crop in 1977 numbered 37 foals, and resulted in 11 winners from 16 runners, including five stakes winners of 13 stakes races, headed by the Hogan-bred Sovereign Red (NZ), a six-time Group 1 winner who took Australia's G1 Victoria Derby. That first crop also included Tasman (NZ), winner of the G1 South Australian Derby. In another words, Sir Tristram was off to a flying start. 
“I gave him what I considered to be my very best mares to give him an opportunity,” Hogan said. “That paid dividends, and he was on the way to success. There were a few setbacks, but we overcome them.” 
In a career that spanned 21 crops, Sir Tristram sired 440 winners of 1,232 races, including 82 graded stakes winners that accounted for 195 graded wins–this from much smaller books than are the norm today. His average book size was 60 mares. Adding to the tally of 45 Group 1 winners were the likes of fellow Hogan-breds Tristarc (NZ), a five-time Group 1 winner, and dual Group 1 winner Dalmacia (NZ), as well as Dr Grace (NZ), Riverina Charm (NZ), Trissaro (NZ), Grosvenor (NZ), and Zabeel himself. He was responsible for three G1 Melbourne Cup winners: Gurner's Lane (Aus), Empire Rose (NZ) and Brew (NZ). Sir Tristram was Australia's Champion Sire on five occasions, and he earned that title once in New Zealand. 
As prolific as he was as a sire of racehorses, Sir Tristram's mark as a broodmare sire runs deeper still. He was five-times Champion Broodmare Sire in Australia and three times in New Zealand. His influence through his daughters was immediate, as his first Group 1 winner as a broodmare sire was 1987 G1 Blue Diamond S. winner Midnight Fever (Aus), out of one of his first daughters to go to stud. Sir Tristram twice set records for broodmare sire earnings in Australia, and his mark of A$9.4 million in 1996/97 stands today. In total, progeny of his daughters have won more than 200 stakes races and earned more than NZ$50 million. Sir Tristram's starting fee back in 1976 was just NZ$1,200, and by the end of his career he commanded NZ$200,000. 
On May 21, 1997, Sir Tristram, affectionately known as “Paddy”, died after suffering an irreparable shoulder injury in his paddock at Cambridge Stud, and was buried on the farm. He was inducted into the New Zealand Racing Hall of Fame in 2008. 
By the time of his sire's passing, Zabeel had more than taken up the mantle. Bred by Hogan and raced by Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Zabeel was trained by Colin Hayes his first two seasons, and David Hayes as a 4-year-old. He won seven of 19 starts, including the G1 Australian Guineas, before retiring to his birthplace at Cambridge Stud. 
As with Sir Tristram, Hogan supported Zabeel with his best mares from the outset. Hogan noted that Zabeel's first crop were well received at the sales, but trainers were less receptive in the beginning. 
“Trainers found they were difficult to handle, and they were a bit light-fleshed and a bit soft in the brain,” Hogan noted. “So the next year when they came back to the sales at Karaka, a number of trainers said, 'look, we want to see your yearlings, but we don't want to see any more Zabeels. We don't think they're going to be any good.' But the following year, the third time back at the sales with the third crop, they changed their tune and said, 'we want to see all the Zabeels you've got available.' It took a bit of time for Zabeel to get up and running with his progeny, but once he did, it's history now. They've never stopped and they're still going.” 
Like Sir Tristram, Zabeel experienced resounding success with his first crop, which included Group 1 winners Octagonal (NZ), Jezabeel (NZ) and Cronus (NZ). Octagonal, who was bred by Hogan from his outstanding producer Eight Carat (GB), was perhaps Zabeel's best son on the racetrack, having won 10 Group 1s, including the Australian Derby, Cox Plate, Australian Cup and Sires' Produce S. Octagonal is continuing the sireline in his own right through his son Lonhro (Aus), Australia's Champion Sire in 2010/11 and the sire of Denman (Aus), a highly promising first season sire Down Under. 
Zabeel was also responsible for Might and Power (NZ), who recorded a rare G1 Caulfield Cup, G1 Melbourne Cup and G1 Cox Plate triple; four-time Group 1 winner Sky Heights (NZ); Hong Kong superstar and G1 Dubai Sheema Classic winner Vengeance of Rain (NZ); and G1 Melbourne Cup winner Efficient (NZ). His current Group 1 tally sits at 43–more than any other living stallion in the world. To date, he is responsible for 148 stakes winners and 100 graded stakes winners that have collected 354 stakes races, and earnings of more than A$155 million. 
Hogan noted there were physical similarities between his two stallions from the beginning. 
“They were very much in the same mold, except Zabeel was probably, conformation-wise, a much tidier and a much more presentable type of horse,” he explained. “But they both had a lot of characteristics [similar] to each other. There was a likeness, and Zabeel threw his progeny very much in the mold of the Sir Tristram progeny. I often said to myself, you'd think Sir Tristram's and Zabeel's progeny were cloned–that Zabeel had been cloned from Sir Tristram.” 
Also like his sire, Zabeel has had a profound impact as a broodmare sire. His daughters have produced 116 black-type winners and 22 Group 1 winners, headed by the likes of G1 Cox Plate winner Ocean Park (NZ) (Thorn Park {Aus}), five-time Group 1 winner It's A Dundeel (NZ) (High Chaparral {Ire}), four-time Group 1 winner Atlantic Jewel (Aus) (Fastnet Rock {Aus}) and G1 Crown Oaks winner Samantha Miss (Aus) (Redoute's Choice {Aus}). His emergence as a true leader as a broodmare sire was underscored last season when It's A Dundeel, Atlantic Jewel and Dear Demi (Aus) (Dehere)–all out of his daughters–swept the top three places in the G1 Underwood S. 
While there doesn't appear to be a son of Zabeel ready to smash the record books the way he and his sire did, the legacy will continue through the likes of Lonhro, as well as Reset (Aus), sire of such Group 1 winners as Rebel Raider (Aus), Pinker Pinker (Aus) and Fawkner (Aus); and Savabeel (Aus), who has produced the likes of Group 1 winners Sangster (NZ), Scarlett Lady (NZ) and Brambles (NZ). 
As for Zabeel himself, he will now live out his days in the paddock he has occupied since retiring to Cambridge Stud. Member of his last major crop were offered at the Karaka Sales over the past week, realizing as much as NZ$320,000, and yesterday's NZ$160,000 Select Sale session topper is being tabbed as potentially his last progeny to be offered at public auction. His final crop includes four fillies and a colt, with just one a possibility to see a sales ring. 
For Hogan, the thrills provided by his two prized horses will burn as bright in the memory as they will in the pedigrees of many of the world's best runners for years to come. 
“I'm enormously proud,” Hogan said. “It's very, very rare, and may not have happened before, that one champion sire of Australasia has followed another one on the same stud farm. Not only that, but for a son to follow the father and end up emulating him with his progeny. That's a pretty unique performance, and as long as I'm around I'll be very proud of the fact that I was the man that was given the opportunity to have two such great horses.”

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