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Close Finish In NZ Broodmare Title
A photo-finish is looming in the New Zealand broodmare sires' premiership with former Waikato Stud stalwarts Centaine and O'Reilly locked in a tight tussle, reports NZ Racing Desk. Centaine currently leads the standings with earnings of $2,264,172, chiefly through the feats of New Zealand Derby winner Mongolian Khan. But close behind on $2,238,762 is O'Reilly, whose dual Group One-winning son Sacred Star has been his best performer. Zabeel, who has won the title for the past three seasons, sits in third spot on $1,765,375. Centaine has won the title five times previously, while O'Reilly has yet to win it. The battle for broodmare sires' honours has been of great interest to Waikato Stud boss Mark Chittick, who has long regarded O'Reilly as Centaine's heir apparent in the broodmare sire role. "It's great to see O'Reilly continuing the dynasty that Centaine set up for us," he said. "With six Group One winners and 13 individual stakes winners as damsire this season alone, O'Reilly is cementing himself as a phenomenal damsire. Of his six Group One winners this season, three were bred by Waikato Stud, which just goes to show you the huge impact his daughters play for the stud." He added: "These two sires took Waikato Stud to a whole new level and it's largely thanks to their deeds, that we have been able to reinvest into such stallions as Pins and Savabeel, who likewise now dominate New Zealand's major sire awards." Centaine is currently 24th on the Australian broodmare sires' tally, five spots in front of O'Reilly, with Zabeel set to finish second to Danehill for the season. Waikato Stud sire Savabeel looks set to win his first Grosvenor Award for New Zealand stakes earnings with a commanding lead over Darci Brahma, while he is also poised to land the Dewar Stallion Trophy for Australian and New Zealand earnings. However, he is third on the Centaine Award standings for worldwide earnings, behind Pins and O'Reilly, with Pins poised to claim that crown for the third time.