Career over for super sire Zabeel

The career of one of the most influential stallions in the southern hemisphere has ended, with New Zealand's Cambridge Stud announcing on Monday that super sire Zabeel has been retired.

But the impact of Zabeel is destined to continue for many years, with a number of his sons set to further the dominance of his bloodline.

Zabeel has been the leading broodmare sire in Australia and New Zealand and last spring was the broodmare sire of the placegetters of the Underwood Stakes - multiple group 1 winner It's A Dundeel, now retired superstar Atlantic Jewel and VRC Oaks winner Dear Demi.

''I might be biased and the Australians may disagree, but in my time, and I'm 74, I can't identify a horse in the last 50-odd years that has been as successful as him,'' Cambridge Stud owner Sir Patrick Hogan said.

Hogan's assessment is not far from the truth.

Along with Danehill, Zabeel has undoubtedly been the most important Australasian stallion of the past 20 years, siring an incredible 43 individual group 1 winners.

These include champions Might And Power and Octagonal, four Cox Plate winners, three Melbourne Cup winners, three Caulfield Cup winners, 148 stakes winners and 100 group winners, all from 1389 runners worldwide.

But it is the stallion's remarkable near-mirror performance of his late sire Sir Tristram, himself a sire of 45 individual group 1 winners, that has stunned Hogan. ''When Zabeel came through the gate, I was certainly rapt in him,'' he said.

''I believed he was the right son of Sir Tristram but I did say to myself, 'If he's a nice bread-and-butter commercial stallion, I'll be more than happy, because I can't get one again like the one I've just had', but as they say, lightning struck twice.

''I've been fortunate and I'm very proud that the two horses have done so much for myself, my family, all concerned at Cambridge Stud and everybody that has had a Sir Tristram or Zabeel around them, it's been mind-boggling.''

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