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First Group winner for Highly Recommended

25 October 2017, 1:49 p.m.

Berkley Stud stallion Highly Recommended has scored his first Group victory as a sire after Sumstreetsumwhere won the Gr.2 James and Annie Sarten Memorial Stakes (1400m) at Te Rapa on Monday.

Highly Recommended now boasts a strike rate of 10 per cent stakes winners to runners and has some smart representatives on the track from his first crop.


Left to right: Ben Foote, Casey Lock (strapper), Andrew Stuart, Hana Weatherby, Stephen Marsh, Sam Beatson
Photo: Race Images Palmerston North

They include Hong Kong-bound dual stakes winner Waldorf, Gr.2 Matamata Breeders’ Stakes (1200m) and Gr.1 Manawatu Sires’ Produce Stakes (1400m) place getter Joyfilly and Listed Wanganui Guineas (1340m) runner-up Kirkland.

“It is good to get a new one because Waldorf has been sold to Hong Kong,” Berkley Stud co-owner Edwina Morris said.

“We were worried we were going to go out of the limelight, but it didn’t take long for him to get another star shining.”

Trained by Stephen Marsh, Sumstreetsumwhere is owned by some accomplished horsemen, including Cambridge trainer Ben Foote, breaker and Ready to Run Sale preparer Sam Beatson and Canterbury harness racing trainer Andrew Stuart.

The three-year-old gelding was bred by Stuart and Foote, who have established a breeding programme together.

“I got involved in the horse through a couple of good mates in Chris Allen and Ben Foote,” Stuart said.

“They sent the mare (Sumstreetsumwhere’s dam Street Siren) down to us and we ended up sending her to Highly Recommended because we had a relationship with Berkley Stud and it grew from there.”

Originally earmarked for last year’s New Zealand Ready to Run Sale, Sumstreetsumwhere has been continued with as a racing proposition after the sale entry was overlooked.

“He was forgotten and wasn’t nominated,” Stuart said. “But as it turned out it has worked out in our favour.”

The three-year-old gelding is now likely to head down to Riccarton next month to target the Gr.1 Al Basti Equiworld 2000 New Zealand Guineas (1600m), but could be the subject of international interest.

“We are likely to head to Christchurch, but there have been a few parties show interest in the horse so we will just see what happens.”

Highly Recommended has been well supported in his four seasons at stud and is well on the way to serving a full book of mares this season.

“He will serve over 100 mares, we have got a couple of new bookings today,” Morris said.

“He has averaged 112 mares per season at stud, so he’s been well supported right through, which is great and he will do about the same or a little more this season.

“We have been dropping off some of our lesser mares because he is getting such demand from outside mares.

“There are a lot more from the North Island this year, which is good to get that support.”

Highly Recommended stands at Berkley Stud in Canterbury for a service fee of $5,000 + GST. – NZ Racing Desk.