Regally-bred Echoes Of Heaven, pictured, is to stand at stud this spring in Cambridge, New Zealand.
Newmarket Stud is the new home of regally-bred stallion Echoes Of Heaven, a stakes-winning Encosta de Lago half-brother to champion Australian sire Redoute’s Choice.
Bruce Pamatatau, owner of Newmarket Stud and a passionate racing enthusiast, said the operation is thrilled to secure the promising sire, whose stud fee has been set at $5000 plus GST. Stallions with his bloodlines don’t come along very often and we are delighted to be able to stand Echoes of Heaven this season under new ownership Mr Pamatatau said.
“His bloodlines come from what is arguably the best family in the world and he is a half-brother to an immortal champion – Redoute’s Choice and full brother to the successful and popular sire Manhattan Rain,” he said.
Echoes Of Heaven was a two-year-old winner for trainer Mick Price in Victoria, going on the next season to win the Listed Port Adelaide Guineas (1800m) at Morphettville, coming from near last, and then placing in the Gr III Chairman Stakes (2020m) and the Gr I South Australian Derby (2500m), when he was beaten less than a length.An attempt on the Queensland Derby had to be abandoned after the colt developed colitis (unknown how long this had affected him) which brought his career to a premature end. Echoes Of Heaven is by the twice Australian champion sire Encosta de Lago.
Encosta De Lago was retired from stallion duties only last year. The 21-year-old son of Fairy King has been a staple of the Australian breeding scene since his maiden season at stud in 1997, following an outstanding eight-start career for trainer Lee Freedman. The impressive Group 1 Vic Health Cup (1400m) winner stood his first season inVictoria at Blue Gun Farm, Euroa, for a fee of just $8,500.
That sum was increased to$38,500 by 2003 on the back of a number of early winners. In 2004 the stallion was purchased by Coolmore Stud and relocated to their New South Wales base at Jerry Plains. It was here that Encosta De Lago stood for the rest of his days with great success, commanding a service fee of up to $302,500 in 2008.Encosta De Lago was crowned Australia’s leading sire in 2007-08 and 2008-09 having finished second in the 2005-06 and 2006-07 seasons.
He was also crowned Champion sire in Hong Kong in the 2011/12 season thanks to the efforts of perhaps his best performed son, Sacred Kingdom. “His stud career was nothing short of phenomenal,” Coolmore Australia General Manager, Michael Kirwan said. “His progeny have earned just short of $140m in prizemoney around the world and to that end, he is entitled to be regarded as the most successful Australia-bred sire of all time.
“While he was a classy racehorse in his own right, the manner in which he rose from relative obscurity as a sire has been something of a fairy-tale. His figures to date are astonishing and the success of Northern Meteor has served to demonstrate his prowess as a sire of sires, while his daughters have firmly established him as a wonderful broodmare sire.” Encosta De Lago will be remembered as the sire of no less than 23 individual Group 1 winners and 22 million-dollar earners including four-time Group 1 star Alinghi, Hong Kong-hero Sacred Kingdom and Racing To Win; as well as other successful stallions Northern Meteor and Manhattan Rain.
Echoes Of Heaven’s dam, Shantha’s Choice, died a couple of seasons back but her legacy will be felt for decades to come having produced seven stakes performers, including five stakes winners. Three of these were the accomplished Gr I winners, Redoute’s Choice, Manhattan Rain and Platinum Scissors. Had Echoes of Heaven race career not been interrupted by Colitis he could have been Shantha’s Choices’s fourth Grp 1 winner. We will never know how much the colitis affected his racing career, but one thing is for sure – he wouldn’t have been available to stand at stud in New Zealand, and this certainly looks to benefit New Zealand breeders. Echoes of Heaven hails from the same family as Gr I-producing stallions Umatilla and Hurricane Sky, while he is also related to Al Maher, Spinning World and El GranSenor.
The genetic and progeny performance analysis provided for Echoes of Heaven finds in favour of mares with the presence of:
Last Tycoon: O’Reilly, Towkay, Monde Bleu (Redoutes Choice has 10 Stakes-winners, incl. 3 Grp 1 winners from Last Tycoonmares, Encosta de Lago’s multiple Grp 1 winner Alinghi is out of a Monde Bleu mare).Last Tycoon gives the opportunity to in breed to the wonderful mare Best in Show (Echoes of Heaven’s Countofmontecristo – Grp2 winner of 7 races and the undefeated three-year-old, Siam Vanda Blue, are in bred to Best in Show).
Danehill: 22 per cent of Encosta de Lago’s black type performers are out of Danehillmares, and given the fact that Redoutes Choice is by Danehill should see that thisbreeding pattern continues to excel.
Sir Tristram: all sons and grandsons of Sir Tristram give the opportunity to create a sex balanced (male and female) mating to Sir Ivor-Echoes of Heaven has a tail female lineof Sir Ivor in the fourth remove.
Per Incanto: sex balanced mating to Mr Prospector, the combination of half-brothers Never Bend and Bold Reason (High Chaparral, Racing to Win, Carnegie, In the WingsRoman Emperor, Ortensia), both Per Incanto and Echoes of Heaven have a tail female line of Sir Ivor in the fourth remove, Per Incanto gives the opportunity to in breed to the wonderful mare Best in Show (Echoes of Heaven’s Countofmontecristo – Grp2 winner of 7 races, and the undefeated 3 year old Siam Vanda Blue are in bred to Best in Show), and Indian Ridge affords the opportunity to in breed to the Dalmary family (same breeding pattern as Dundeel, Ocean Park and Pierro to name a few).
Snippets: the combinations of Bull Dog, Menow and Teddy present in Snippets and Echoes of Heaven should continue to work well. The best example of this breeding pattern is super sire Snitzel – who is out of a Snippets’ mare.
Nureyev: Gives the opportunity to in breed to the amazing mare Special (descendant ofDalmary), this breeding pattern has produced Dundeel, Ocean Park, Pierro, Rip VanWinkle, Rhododendron, Hydrangea, and the United States to name some of the Grp 1 winners. Mares with Stravinsky, Zabeel, Thorn Park and St Petersburg in their bloodlines and any other presence of Nureyev will also suit well.
Nijinsky: Any male lines of Nijinsky will give a sex balanced mating to Nijinsky, two Grp 1 winners that come to mind and represent this breeding pattern are Cheeky Choice and Anamato – both by Redoute’s Choice.
Never Bend: the combination of half-brothers Never Bend and Bold Reason is a breeding pattern present in High Chaparral, Racing to Win, Carnegie, In the Wings Roman Emperor and Ortensia. Straight Strike is a good example and also gives a sex balance mating to Mr Prospector.
Grandsons/Great Grandsons of Sadlers Wells: the inbreeding of Fairy King to Sadlers Wells hasproduced the smart performers Red Rocks, High Heeled, Saint Encosta and Von Costa de Hero to name some.
Echoes of Heaven is already the sire of a number of very promising horses, and this is despite small foal crops and only a few good mares. It is fast becoming apparent that Echoes of Heaven is upgrading his mares and the fact that he is getting two year old winners is indicative of their natural ability. In the sale ring Echoes of Heaven’s progeny have sold up to N.Z. $140,000.00 and he has a very healthy “all sale average” of approximately N.Z $28,800.00 (still has a little to find on his half-brother Redoute’s Choice who has had 76 million dollar+ yearlings through the sale ring) . Privately Echoes of Heaven’s progeny have sold up to N.Z. $400,000.00
– Countofmontecristo: Gr2 winner and Grp 1 placed twice, winner of 7 races, out of a Towkay (by Last Tycoon) mare.
– Impulsive Habit: Stakes-placed 2yo, winner of 3 races, out of a Mellifont mare and in bred to Nijinsky.
– Duelicious: Winner of two races and placed four time from 8 starts, trainer considered her good enough to consider the Queensland Oaks – although decision made to adopt a more patient approach, a definite black type contender, out of a Duelled (by Redoute’s Choice) mare.
– Bold Success: Winner of three races in Australia, out of a Last Tycoon mare, in bred to blue hen mare Best in Show through Last Tycoon. Multiple Grp1 winner Alinghi by Encosta de Lago was out of a Monde Blue (by Last Tycoon) mare, other black type performers by Encosta de lago with this breeding pattern are Slice of Paradise, Perfect Persuasion, Sovereign Nation and Targus.
– Angelic Spirit: winner of three races in New Zealand and Australia, out of a Centaine mare and in bred and sex balnced to Sir Ivor through Sir Tristram.
– Star Echo: winner of two races in Australia, out of a Danewin (by Danehill) mare, Star Echo’s full brother is the promising Bellagio, racing in Hon Kong and placed third at his first race day start.
– Gregorian Chant: Australian winning 2yo, out of a Viking Ruler (by Danehill) mare – 22% of Encosta de Lago’s black type progeny are out of Danehill mares. Gregorian Chant is being set for the Grp1 VRC Oaks and is trained by Mitch Freedman, another black type prospect in the making.
– Tipla: Two starts for a third and win, very promising and out of a Chianti (by Danehill) mare.
– Siam Blue Vanda: astonishing winner of his only two starts in Singapore recently, out of a Lahib mare and Grand dam is by El Gran Senor and Like Last Tycoon gives the in bred mating of the blue hen mare Best in Show.
– Heavenly Echo: Placed second at only race day start, out of a St Petersburg (by Nureyev) mare. In bred to Special, through Fairy king and Nureyev – a breeding pattern present in Dundeel, Pierro, Rip Van Winkle and too many Grp 1 winners to mention here. Heavenly Echo is held in very high regard by his connections and holds nominations for the Hawkes Bay Guineas, 2000 Guineas and all going well will head for the New Zealand Derby.
Bruce Sherwin, manager of Raffles Farm, has been big fan of Echoes Of Heaven since day one.“Every horse we have bred by him has done well,” Sherwin said.“ We never saw the best of him on the racetrack and he is a very strong type,” Sherwin said. “We rate Heavenly Echo a Derby horse in the making this season,” he said.
Renowned international thoroughbred consultant Kevin Dagg said of Echoes Of Heaven: “He is a smart looking horse, good-sized and a well-conformed horse with good balance. He displayed an excellent temperament and has an air of self-confidence about him and on this basis I believe breeders will like him as much as I did.”