Dominant stallion Zabeel has been retired from stud duties after an amazing 22 year career in which he sired some of the greatest stayers in New Zealand and Australia.
Zabeel has stood at Cambridge Stud in New Zealand since 1991 and owner Sir Patrick Hogan was forced to make the tough decision to retire the 27-year-old after none of the mares he served this season were found to be in foal.
Cambridge Stud General Manager Marcus Corban told Racing Ahead this morning that the decision was made so that Zabeel could finish his career with dignity and is delighted that the stallion is getting the recognition that he deserves.
“It was a big day for the stud and we are very proud of his achievements,” Corban said.
“It was just fitting to give him a nice farewell.
“He failed to get the presence in the last 42 days and at the end of the day it was a commercial decision.
“We want to look after him and keep him in good health so Patrick (Hogan) talked to a few stakeholders and made the decision yesterday.
“The most important thing is to give him the send-off that he deserves because it is sad how you lose some of these great stallions, like Danehill, and to do it nicely and give the horse the dignity that he deserves is great.”
The son of Sir Tristram finished his stud career with a remarkable 1007 individual winners, 148 of which were at stakes level, and was named champion sire in New Zealand on four occasions as well as claiming the title in Australia twice.
His progeny won the Melbourne Cup on three occasions (Might And Power, Jezabeel and Efficient) and took out the Cox Plate four times (Octagonal, Might And Power, Savabeel and Maldivian) but Corban believes that his biggest contribution to racing may be his incredible record as a broodmare sire.
“This horse came along and he has done a lot of things,” Corban said.
“He has had to compete against some of the best shuttling stallions in the world and he has really down a big job and kept Cambridge in the limelight.
“You don’t really appreciate what he is doing with his daughters and he has got two or three very nice colts in New Zealand for the Derby and he is still churning out winners.
“When you look at what happens now with the race all over the world, to see a sire actually do that is remarkable.
“Even some of the sons now, like Savabeel, are stepping up to the grand and it is a dynasty that will be very hard to compare in the future.”
Zabeel has produced some of the best horses in Australia in the modern era, with Corban making special mention of Efficient and Octagonal, but believes that Might And Power will be the champion that Zabeel is remembered by.
“Might And Power is without a doubt for me,” Corban said.
“His Caulfield Cup win and his Cox Plate win, to me that was just unbelievable.”
Zabeel will remain at Cambridge Stud and continue to follow his usual daily routine.