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Melbourne Riches Beckon Zacada Partnership
A long-standing friendship with Sir Patrick Hogan is providing two Rotorua thoroughbred enthusiasts with special reason to look forward to the spring, reports NZ Racing Desk. Dairy farmers Andrew Bryant and Dave Armstrong bred and race the highly-regarded Zacada with the Cambridge Stud principal. The Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman-trained son of Zabeel was an impressive winner at his juvenile debut at Arawa Park earlier this month and he has been set for the Melbourne spring carnival. The $1.5 million Gr1 Victorian at Flemington on 31 October is the ultimate goal for the rising 3YO. "We've had a few horses with Murray and we're all quite excited about this one," Bryant said. "He won't race here again before he goes to Australia." He added: "We're mainly a breeding operation and race a few that we can't sell, which is where Zacada fits in and we've been told the racing gods were on our shoulders when he didn't go." Bryant and Armstrong, who operate under the Andari banner, have enjoyed a strong association with Cambridge Stud for many years. "We started out share milking next to Patrick way back in the seventies and he initially helped us with our horse selections," Bryant said. Andari are currently breeding from a broodmare band of five, which includes Zacada's dam Lacada. Giant's Causeway Lacada, who is a daughter of dual Gr1-winning New Zealand mare Showella, is also the dam of Bruce Wallace's Gr2 Waikato Guineas runner-up Giant Turtle. "We're hunting around for a stallion for Lacada at the moment," Bryant said. "She's in foal to Declaration of War and we've got her Encosta de Lago filly, who is a rising yearling." Also in the band is Veronica Franco, a Gr3 winner for them from Roger James' stable, who unfortunately lost a Fastnet Rock foal. While Veronica Franco's defeat of Katie Lee in the Gr3 Eulogy Stakes has been their racing highlight so far, Andari's major breeding triumph was the Gr1 New Zealand Oaks success of Keeper's daughter Midnight Oil.