New Zealander Dean Hawthorne was one of the key purchasers at this year’s star-studded digital Easter Yearling Sale. His purchases included a Zoustar colt and fillies by Lord Kanaloa (JPN), Fastnet Rock, Not a Single Doubt, I Am Invincible, Exceed and Excel with excellent pedigree and form.
Hawthorne is one of the Southern Hemisphere's most respected bloodstock agents. His journey through the equine world began as a youngster when he began helping his father at Paramount Stud. He then freelanced at the New Zealand Bloodstock sales at Trentham leading yearlings around the ring before competing on the international scene as a three-day eventer. Eventually, returned to his roots as a full-time stud proprietor in partnership with his brother.
Later Hawthorne once again reinvented himself, focusing on breaking-in horses, sales preparation operation and pin hooking which led to the establishment of a bloodstock agency.
The Cambridge based agent who has clients at home in New Zealand as well as in Australia spoke to The Impact about his business and his plans.
Q: What were your thoughts when you started your preparation for the 2020 Easter Yearling Sales? A: After completing fourteen days of self-isolation in Scone, I am proceeded to make on-farm inspections of Sydney’s Easter yearlings with the revised sale format.
With the cut to prize money and uncertain near future for racing, my focus was predominantly on fillies that offered long term residual value.
Q: Last year you bought some top-quality horses as a top buyer at the Easter Yearling Sale. Where those horses now are and what are your plans for them? A: Last year, we purchased a number of fillies with a focus on good residual value post racing. To date, only two of these fillies have raced - Supreme Idea of winning the listed Lohnro Plate at her 3rd start and Art Glass running some nice races from back in the field gearing towards a nice campaign over the ground as a 3YO. More of these fillies have trialled very well, COVID-19 restrictions permitting -will race soon. The Redoute's Choice filly Charm School is looking well above average. All have shown good ability and are gearing up towards a good 3YO season.
From the year before Caulfield Guineas winner Super Seth has been a star having been syndicated into NZ for future stud duties at Waikato stud, Southbank also from Easter 2018 was Group One placed in the 1000 Guineas.
Q: Normally, what is your process of identifying horses after you receive the sale catalogue? Do you visit the farms to view the yearlings before the sale? A: Usually, I prefer to inspect on sale grounds, however, these were different circumstances. At this time, we will go through our selection process normally as possible - identifying type before pedigree research is done.
Q: Please tell us a bit more about yourself and your business as well as your customers. How did you get involved in bloodstock sales?
A: Having grown up on a thoroughbred stud farm Paramount Stud in the 70s and 80s and operating large breaking in and Agistment farms in NZ, it was a natural progression to branch out into Bloodstock work. Along with my partner Ingrid we manage a large schedule of Broodmares in both Australia and New Zealand as well as running an agistment farm in Cambridge. Under the Anzac Lodge banner we, until recently, successfully prepared Breeze up horses in NZ. The Anzac brand running some 20 odd years since 2yold sales started to take hold in the Southern Hemisphere. My clients operate at all levels in the industry, from weanling sale, broodmare purchases right through to the tried racehorse market.
Q: Please tell us about your most successful graduates. A: The last few years have been really progressive for DHB, despite only buying a small number of colts compared to fillies. We have signed for 4 yearling colts that were good enough to go to Stud in Australasia being the ill-fatedFerlax to recently Derryn, Showtime and the exciting Super Seth. Co-purchasing The Broken Shore (dam of recent filly of the year Shoals and Group One placed colt and Easter sale topper Groundswell) was a great result for GSA Bloodstock, who are the major client for our business.
We have purchased or advised buy in current stakes performers Super Seth, Top of the Range, Southbank, Zoutori, Supreme Idea, Vanuatu, Kings Legacy, Arctic Ice, Shoko and the promising unbeaten DERBY prospects. Playoffs and Carpool karaoke, all over the past 2 seasons. With the industry and economies about to change, the same strict guidelines need to be followed, so the ones we’ve got in place will be pivotal to consolidate our client's investments in difficult times to come I’m sure we are on the right track.