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 New Zealand Gallops News 
Friday, May 05 2017

The owners and breeders of last Saturday's impressive Gr.3 Cambridge Breeders' Stakes (1200m) winner Sweet Leader have lofty ambitions.

Apollo Ng - Tara Hughes

The Hong Kong-based quartet of Silas Yang, Alan Ho, Alvin Wong and Y T Cheung bred and race the O'Reilly colt and have their sights set firmly on international glory.

Partners at PriceWaterhouseCoopers in Hong Kong, the quartet's goal is to breed and race an international topliner.

The Lance O'Sullivan and Andrew Scott-trained colt has won three of his five career starts and returned from a throat operation with a scintillating last-to-first victory last weekend.

His Hong Kong owners have enjoyed previous international success with the trailblazing Rich Tapestry, purchased for them by Apollo Ng, who acts as their breeding and racing consultant. The Hong Kong-trained son of Holy Roman Emperor was the first Hong Kong horse to win at the highest level in the US – on dirt, no less – in the Santa Anita Sprint Championship.

"But now, instead of running up against the big guns at yearling sales, they are trying breeding instead," Ng said.

"They have already bred some stakes and metropolitan performers in Australia, namely Smart As You Think (So You Think), Satirical Boy (Fusaichi Pegasus) and Satirical Lass (Flying Spur).

As for their latest hope, Sweet Leader, his story began with Ng purchasing his dam, the Encosta de Lago mare Sweet Lady as a yearling.

"The mare raced fairly in Melbourne for Danny O'Brien. When she retired from the track she was sent to New Zealand to be served by O'Reilly and Pins in recent years," Ng said.

Sweet Lady was a modest winner at Seymour over 1400m, but the daughter of the Group Three winner of nine races, Swiftsynd, boasts a number of well-credentialed close relatives.

She is a half-sister to the hardy Le Zagaletta, who won every season from the age of two to nine and won 14 races, including nine at stakes level and $1.3 million in prizemoney.

Sweet Leader's grand-dam is the good producer Candysynd, who also produced Gr.2 Villiers winner Spot The Rock and Listed winner Candy Rock. In all, Candysynd left nine winners and they won an astonishing 59 races between them.

In addition to Sweet Leader, Sweet Lady is shaping as another good producer. Her first foal by O'Reilly was Swift Lady who, from John Sargent's stable has amassed stake earnings of $103,125 from four wins up to 2000m.

Her second foal, also by O'Reilly, named Sweet Shamrock has won three of 11 starts for Toby Edmonds.

Sweet Lady also has daughters by fellow Waikato Stud stallions Pins and Ocean Park which are yet to race.

Ng said the appeal of the Waikato Stud domiciled stallions was simple to explain.

"It's the toughness and good temperament of the Last Tycoon-sired O'Reilly and the Snippets sired- Pins," he said.

"These two sire lines are renowned to produce champions in Hong Kong and Asia. Last Tycoon is one of the most successful grandsires in recent Hong Kong racing history."

However, the partners have decided to go a little further afield with Sweet Lady for her next mating.

"We decided to send her to Japan to be served by Lord Kanaloa, a champion Japanese sprinter of recent years and she is in foal," Ng said. "One of the partners is visiting her at Hokkaido at the moment."

Posted by: NZTBA AT 03:25 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email