Timaru-based Clearview Park Stud will offer four lots at the New Zealand Bloodstock South Island Sale, which is being conducted online for the first time in its history due to COVID-19 disruptions. The sale, which concludes on Sunday, is hosted on gavelhouse.com’s new online platform, Gavelhouse Plus and Clearview Park’s Aaron Tapper said he was pleased with his all colt draft, while he also has an eye to the spring, where the first foals of resident sire Jon Snow are eagerly awaited.
“I’ve had a few enquiries thus far on our draft and I am pleased with what we have got to offer,” Tapper said. “We’ve got four colts including two by Highly Recommend and two by Tobique, who is a Redoute’s Choice stallion we stood here a few years ago. “The Highly Recommended colts we are co-sharing with Sue Walker up at Park Hill Stables. “They are at Sue and Noel’s place. We met them at the South Island Sale last year and we have become friends. We have helped them with the handling and preparation of their colts too.”
With the South Island Sale postponed from its original April date due to the COVID-19 lockdown and travel restrictions, Tapper said his draft had benefitted from the additional time, including a Highly Recommended colt from the family of Melody Belle. “He is out of Vannista Belle, the half-sister to Meleka Belle, the dam of Melody Belle,” Tapper said. “He was a late November foal and in that extra couple of months he has done exceptionally well and he just looks outstanding.” Tapper’s draft also includes a half-brother to progressive stayer Tigre Royale, a recent winner at Geelong for Archie Alexander.
Clearview Park Stud, which Tapper runs with his partner Lacy Stewart, covers 90ha and, besides horses, also has dairy grazing and runs some cattle. Tapper, who worked in hospitality in Australia for a number of years, has been around horses all his life. He is the grandson of successful Matamata trainer Hec Tapper, while his father Bruce also trains after leaving dairying.
Group 1 winning Iffraaj stallion Jon Snow retired to Clearview Park Stud last season, where he covered 38 mares at a fee of $6000 plus GST and the fee for the Group 1 Australian Derby (2400m) winner for the forthcoming season will be reduced significantly given current economic conditions. “In light of what has happened with COVID-19, I think it will be a tough year for breeding, especially down here,” Tapper said. “We are mindful of that so we have reduced the service fee substantially. “For New Zealand Thoroughbred Breeders’ Association members, the price will be $3500 plus GST and for non-members it is $3750 plus GST.”
The multiple stakes winner was supported by mares from both the North and South Island, including a number from the Zame family, who raced the popular Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman-trained galloper. “We’ve got a lot of early foals due,” Tapper said. “We had a very mild winter last year, so we were serving mares right on September 1. “I am really looking forward to seeing his progeny on the ground and hopefully they look as good as he does. Everyone who has seen him talks so highly.”
New Zealand Bloodstock’s Danny Rolston and independent bloodstock agent Phill Cataldo recently ventured to the South Island to inspect the sale yearlings and visited the Timaru property. “Phill said, if the foals are anything like Jon Snow, with his looks and temperament, they will be fantastic,” Tapper said.