Lazarus confirmed for Nevele R in Canterbury
In what's seen as a coup for the industry here Lazarus, touted as New Zealand's greatest living standardbred, will stand at stud in Canterbury this breeding season.
The two-time New Zealand Cup winner, who won 37 races in Australasia and North America and more than $4m in stakes, will stand at Nevele R Stud in Christchurch after being based at Alabar Farm south of Auckland last year.
"We're expecting him to serve at least 100 mares - if not more," says Lazarus' part-owner and prominent bloodstock agent John Curtin.
"The decision to move him south has been made in the best interests of Lazarus and breeders as, with the bulk of the broodmare population being in Canterbury, he will now serve more of his mares either on farm or in close proximity to the farm," says Alabar boss Graeme Henley, "this will enable him to build on the excellent on-farm results he achieved last season."
And Nevele R is clearly delighted to get such a high profile and well-performing sire.
"While his semen will continue to be available to the main studs and broodmare locations around New Zealand, we believe sending mares to Nevele R will give breeders the best opportunity to secure progeny by an absolute champion," says Nevele R Stud's Ged Mooar.
The announcement comes at a time when Lazarus' progeny are excelling in North America. Based at Deo Volente Farms in New Jersey he served 133 mares in his first stud season with 106 in his second crop, and 107 last year.
"In the US there are 92 2019 foals that are two-year-olds now and of those 40 have started in qualifiers," says Curtin, "to have 40 two-year-olds racing from 92 foals in the first 10 days of racing this early is hard to believe."
And there have been some star performers like Voukefalas (Lazarus - Initowinafortune/Cams Fortune) who won a qualifier in New Jersey this week in 1:56.1, including a final quarter in 27.2. Then there is Lifes A Puzzle (Lazarus - L Dees Lioness/Somebeachsomewhere) winning in 1:55.3 and Fox Valley Adele (Lazarus - Put On A Display/Somebeachsomewhere) already winning twice in 1:57.
"In his first 40 starters (at qualifying races) there are nine winners," says Curtin.
One of Lazarus' progeny fetched $220,00 at this year's NZB yearling sales at Karaka but Lazarus' stud career has not been without its hiccups. He was highly successful in North America, only for his fertility rates to plummet when he stood in Australia. Just why that happened remains a mystery.
While Lazarus achieved a far stronger overall result in his first season in New Zealand, there was still a variation in his pregnancy results between on-farm mares and those receiving transported semen.
"Lazarus achieved a 90 % pregnancy rate with mares served on farm at Alabar last season," says Henley, "and this is certainly something we are determined to build on. You have to play to your strengths."
“Alabar have a great partnership with Nevele R through stallions like Always B Miki, Vincent and Captain Crunch and we’re now extending this relationship by standing Lazarus at Nevele R under our joint marketing and management.”
Lazarus' service fee will be unchanged at $7500 plus GST.