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Rich Hill Stud resident Proisir continues to build on the success of past years and his ongoing progress and popularity is a source of great satisfaction to John Thompson and his team at Rich Hill Stud. The good times keep rolling for the Waikato operation with its son of Choisir, who has already boosted his tally of elite level-winning progeny this season.
Proisir’s flagship performer to date is the Ken and Bev Kelso-trained Levante, who has wins in the Telegraph Stakes-GR1 and Waikato Sprint-GR1 on her honour roll and has performed with distinction in the strongest of sprinting company in Melbourne. Dark Destroyer added to his resume for Lance O’Sullivan and Andrew Scott with a first-up spring victory in the Tarzino Trophy-GR1 before illness sidelined him.
Proisir has rapidly produced quality replacements and was the starring influence during the recent New Zealand Cup carnival at Riccarton. His daughter Legarto kept her unbeaten record when Levante’s stablemate romped home in the New Zealand 1000 Guineas-GR1 and son Pier struck for the third time in four outings when he overcame a difficult run to claim the New Zealand 2000 Guineas-GR1 and complete
a stunning Proisir double.
Pier is trained by the father and daughter duo of Darryn and Briar Weatherley with the family breeding and racing the three year-old with Barry Wright. They were joined in the ownership by high-profile Australian owner Ozzie Kheir, who bought into the gelding after his second outing.
Thompson is understandably proud of Proisir’s achievements and the stallion’s pulling power was again evident this year. “These results are what we’re in the breeding industry for, it’s been fantastic,” he said. “We shut him off this season at 180 mares and he’s a young stallion doing an outstanding job. He’s always had a lot of appeal to breeders with his looks, race record and pedigree.”
Now 13 after arriving at Rich as a five-year-old, Proisir has also endeared himself to Thompson and his staff with his gentle demeanour, which he has passed on to his stock. “We call him Ted because he’s got such a loveable character with a great nature and a lot of trainers talk about his good horses and how bombproof they are,” he said.
With stakes winners Belle Plaisir, Riodini, Aimee’s Jewel, Vitesse Bo, Waitak and Soldier Boy (at the time of writing) also on his CV, Proisir is a form stallion heading into New Zealand Bloodstock’s 2023 National Yearling Sale series at Karaka with 19 youngsters to be offered during the Book 1 session and 30 in Book 2.
“Without a doubt it’s the most he’s had in Book 1,” Thompson said. “The quality of his mares has increased over the last few seasons and he continues to go to another level. You have to be excited about what
he can do in the future with the better-quality mares.
“We’ve got some lovely Book 1 fillies and a really nice line of Book 2 colts. The likes of Legarto and Dark Destroyer came from Book 2 so the reality is that he’s showed that ability to upgrade his mares and when that happens the sky’s the limit.”
Rich Hill will offer three quality fillies by Proisir in Book 1 with the first to enter the ring, Lot 240, a daughter of the winning Ekraar mare Honour Princess, a half-sister to stakes winner True Valour. Lot 424 is closely related to Group winner and The Gong winner Riodini while Lot 581 is out of an unraced Tavistock mare who is a half-sister to multiple Group 2 winner Only Words.
Proisir, whose Group 1-winning brother Divine Prophet stands at Aquis, was a talented performer during his racing days when under the care of Gai Waterhouse and won his first two starts decisively before distancing his rivals in the Spring Stakes-GR3. He then finished a close second behind Dundeel in the Spring Champion Stakes-GR1 and later placed in the Hobartville Stakes-GR2 and was runner-up again to Dundeel in the Rosehill Guineas-GR2.
He was subsequently sidelined by injury and after a rehabilitation period he joined Peter and Paul Snowdon’s stable. He trialled brilliantly in late 2014, but a decision was made to retire him after a recurrence of the injury.
“We had a call from Michael Otto who informed us of the horse’s availability. He was raced by brothers Tony and Mario Falcone and they have remained in the ownership group and continue to send mares over from Australia,” Thompson said.
“The reason I followed the horse so closely was that he was running against Dundeel, who went over there representing New Zealand and they had a couple of good battles in the Spring Champion and Rosehill Guineas.
“If you looked behind them in Guineas there were horses of the calibre of Sacred Falls, Rebel Dane and Ferlax, it was a pretty strong year. The other attractions about Proisir are that he’s by Choisir out of an Encosta De Lago mare who traces back to that fantastic mare Bridesmaid, she really was the Eight Carat of her time.”
Proisir stands alongside fellow proven stallions Shocking and Vadamos and younger associates Satono Aladdin and Ace High. The emergence of dual Group 1 winner and Golden Eagle hero I’m Thunderstruck have further boosted Shocking’s stocks while Vadamos’ daughter and Arrowfield Stud Plate-GR1 winner La Crique has been his star performer.
This season’s Blue Sapphire Stakes-GR3 winner Grand Impact has done Satono Aladdin proud, who has also been represented early in his career by black type performers Sacred Satono and Pennyweka. His yearlings have sold for up to NZ$360,000 while it’s also early days for Ace High. His whose oldest progeny are now juveniles and sold up to NZ$160,000 as yearlings.
The future looks bright for the Rich Hill roster and it’s shining young star Proisir.
Stallions Weekly Bulletin
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