Trevor Delroy loves his stayers.  By Michelle Saba

"Zabeelionaire  takes out the South Australian Derby" 

West Australian breeder Trevor Delroy is passionate about staying pedigrees and that, combined with patience and good fortune, has attributed to him being the breeder of two derby winners this year.

Delroy, the owner of Wyadup Valley Farm near Yallingup in the Margaret River region south of Perth, is the breeder of the ATC Derby winner Ethiopia(Helenus [AUS]- Shona[AUS]) and the South Australian Derby winner Zabeelionaire (NZ) (Zabeel- Kisumu[AUS]).

He races Ethiopia out of Pat Carey’s stable on the Mornington Peninsula and sold Zabeelionaire at the 2010 Sydney Easter sale for $250,000. Before winning the South Australian Derby Zabeelionaire had notched up a maiden win at Geelong in March and a win at Caulfield over 2000 metres. During the spring he ran fourth in the VRC Derby.

Delroy, who describes himself as more of a breeding man than a racing man, has a select band of around 20 beautifully bred staying mares. He breeds around 12 or 14 foals each year, with about five or six of those being by Helenus (Helissio[FR]-Worldwide Elsie[USA]), of whom he is the majority shareholder.

“I have been interested in bloodlines since I was in high school. My grandparents were involved and bred a West Australian Derby winner in the early 60’s by the name of Chestillion. I actually use the racing colours of my grandfather Don Young, and I have been very fortunate as an owner but it’s bloodlines that have always fascinated me.

In acquiring mares over the years, Delroy has focused his attention on staying mares and has always tried to make sure the dam goes back to an elite taproot mare, and this was part of the attraction in buying Kisumu (Carnegie [IRE]-Shana [GB]) as yearling.

“I bought her from Dr Bill Riches who had a small band of quality mares. He was the veterinarian for the VRC. She is out of a Darshaan (GB) mare whose fourth dam is Vali, the dam of Val de Loir and Valoris, and having Vali as a taproot mare that was attractive to me. She was by Carnegie (Sadler’s Wells [USA] – Detroit [FR]) and I liked the Sadler’s Wells – Darshaan cross.”

Kisumu joined the stable of Carey and won over 1600 metres. She was third behind Miss Finland in the group two Angus Armanasco Stakes, and also third at listed level in the Alexandra Stakes at Moonee Valley. Unfortunately she bled and was retired to stud as a three-year-old, making the journey across the Tasman to reside at Bradbury Park in Matamata and visit Zabeel.

“When I bought her I always had it in my mind to send her to Zabeel. I loved the fact the mating would have a double up of Vali, a double of Derna and a treble of Special, all staying blood,” he enthused.

In fact he is so enthusiastic about the mating that the mare remained in New Zealand and is in foal again to Zabeel for the fifth time.

After Zabelionaire, Kisumu foaled two fillies. The first is in Pat Carey’s stable, while the second is a yearling, and she along with her weanling brother are resident at Sims Davison’s Mapperly Stud.

Zabeelionaire gets the double of Vali through Kisumu’s bottom line and the Val de Loir being the sire of Valderna the grandam of Zabeel. The double of Derna also comes from Zabeel’s grandam line as Valderna is a daughter of Derna who in turn is the grandam of Carnegie.

The triple dip of Special comes through Nureyev(USA) who features as the dam sire of Zabeel and the dam sire of Vivre En Paix the grandam of Kisumu. Special is also the grandam of Sadler’s Wells the sire of Carnegie who is the sire of Kisumu. For good measure Special and Vali both trace back to Goody Two Shoes – Vali, through the Carpet Slipper branch of the family, and Special, through the Dalmary branch.

Kisumu’s dam Shana was unraced. She is a half sister to Reve De Paix a stakes winner of six races in France and to Riveryev (the dam of the stakes performers Shigeru Summit, Okabango and Danever. She has produced four winners including the stakes placed Footstepsinthesand (GB) mare Sandie.

Another of Delroy’s mares Infrared also traces back to Goody Two Shoes through Carpet Slipper, and she is the dam of the ill-fated group one BMW winner Cederberg. She is a Spectrum (IRE) mare like Shona the dam of Ethiopia, and it’s a cross that obviously works with Helenus.

“I liked Helenus as a racehorse and that is why I bought into him as a stallion. He was a good racehorse – he won a guineas, as well as the Derby, he had a great turn of foot and you need that if you are going to breed stayers.

“Zabeel is like that. He won a guineas as well, and there are not that many staying stallions around that showed that turn of foot. Starcraft (Soviet Star[USA] – Flying Floozie) is another one – he won a derby but could still sprint.

“I am actually sending Ethiopia’s sister to Starcraft this season, with that mating I am breeding back to the English Oaks winner in Carozza through Battle Waggon the sire of the grandam Lucky Heiress. She traces through to the same taproot as Shona.

“I am only interested in breeding stayers. It seems paradoxically that most of the big money in Australia is in staying races but everyone wants to breed sprinters. It must be something to do with the average Australian not being very patient. At the end of the day patience is something you have to have in the breeding game, that and good fortune, and I have certainly had a lot of that.”

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