For quality breaking in, pre-training and agistment













From time to time we will add news about the graduates of Kilgravin Lodge and others with whom we have a connection.

The Fastnet Rock x Oceanfast colt who will be presented by Kilgravin Lodge at the New Zealand Bloodstock Ready To Run Sales at Karaka next month.

By Phillip Quay
Matamata-based Kilgravin Lodge will present the largest draft of any vendor at the New Zealand Bloodstock Ready To Run Sales at Karaka next month with its 34 entries including a half-brother to champion Australian galloper Alinghi.

The sales, being held at Karaka on November 19 and 20, have become a happy hunting ground for Kilgravin Lodge in recent years with a number of its graduates going on to become very successful on the racetrack.

Success stories from their recent line-ups have included the multiple Group One winner Sangster (VRC Derby, Darci Brahma International Stakes, Auckland Cup) along with Sunshine Kingdom who was secured for $24,000 from the 2011 line-up and has been the stakes winner of three races from a light career in Macau and from the same sale came the Gr.2 Avondale Guineas winner Valbuena, who was passed in at $45,000.

Other  graduates from last year’s draft have included Rite Of Spring (4 wins in Singapore), Invincible Gold (a winner in Singapore from 3 starts) and Catamac who was an impressive winner on debut at Riccarton in August.

"The Ready to Run has always been a good sale for us and good horses, as we know, can come from anywhere in the market,” Eion Kemp said. “We have had a lot of success and in many ways it’s down to not putting these young horses under a huge amount of pressure and we take them along quietly and that can then produce sound older horses that perform on the track.”

This year’s draft is not only the largest put forward to the sale by Kilgravin Lodge but also rates as its best-ever in terms of quality.

“It is an outstanding draft not only by quantity but also by quality,” says Eion.

Sires represented in the draft include: Fastnet Rock, Savabeel, Bel Esprit, Bernadini, Testa Rossa, Excellent Art, Shocking, Makfi, Thorn Park, Mastercraftsman, Guillotine, Sebring, New Appoach and Thewayyourare.
The stand-out of the draft is Lot 80 which a Fastnet Rock x Oceanfast colt who is a half-brother to the champion filly Alinghi. “His bloodlines are impeccable and he is going to attract plenty of attention from buyers. He is a good mover and gets over the ground well.”

Alinghi was the champion Australian three-year-old filly of 2004/05 and won 11 races during her incredible career. Her Group 1 wins comprised the Newmarket Handicap, One Thousand Guineas, Blue Diamond Stakes and Swettenham Stud Stakes.

Other highlights of the draft include:
Lot 34 – Bernadini x Luellen colt: big strong athletic horse and a great mover
Lot 88 – Seabring x Our Miss Vitality colt: dam is half-sister to Gr. 1 New Zealand Derby winner Hades. 
Lot 93 – Savabeel  x Parisienne Eyes colt: well muscled and outstanding type of horse, will turn plenty of heads.
Lot 251 – Darci Brahma x Battocchi gelding: a striking half-brother to Group 1 Telegraph Handicap winner  Guiseppini and looks an ideal 1400m/1600m horse.
Lot 267 – Bel Esprit x Blue Quail colt:  nice type of horse who needs some time but very professional in the way he works.
Lot 314 – Tavistock x Dantessa  colt: his sire is firing on all cylinders at present and is going to command attention for this reason, a lovely athletic type of horse.

Cups’ Hope Continues Winning Habit                                                              13/10/2014

Atacama a0885s
The good times look set to roll through the spring and summer for the talented Kilgravin Lodge graduate Atacama, who has already ticked off one goal of her current preparation.
Trained at Cambridge by Shaune Ritchie for Sir Peter Vela, the Pentire mare was a stylish winner when resuming at Hastings and she continued that admirable habit on Saturday with a follow up success in the Listed Team Wealleans Matamata Cup.
Atacama had showed her potential last season with a placing in the Gr.3 Counties Cup and with a stakes success on her CV she will, in time, be a valuable addition to the Pencarrow Stud broodmare band.
“She’s best when she’s ridden cold and she hits the line well,” Ritchie said. “She’s a talented mare and very exciting for us.
“She’s always been effective when fresh and she’s carrying some weight now and racing well. We’ll be looking at the Counties Cup again and those sort of cups races.”
Atacama settled back in the field and, as she did at Hastings, proved superior in the run home for the home track hope Chambord.
“I thought the way to beat Chambord was to sit on his tail and it worked out perfectly,” rider Mark Du Plessis said.
“Shaune has got her feet right now, last season she had a lot of problems.”
Atacama won by a length and a-quarter from Jason Bridgman’s Chambord and Secret’s Only, who was placed in the Gr.2 Japan NZ International Trophy last term, rounded off well for third after enjoying a good run.
As anticipated, Joey Massino made the play out in front and he fought on creditably to take fourth. – NZ Racing Desk.

Atacama ready to put her best foot forward

Cambridge trainer Shaune Ritchie hopes he has solved the foot problems that plagued promising Kilgravin Lodge graduate Atacama last season after his charge built on her imposing fresh record with a victory in good company at Hastings on the weekend.

The five-year-old daughter of Pentire produced a flashing home straight sprint to narrowly down last year’s Gr. 1 2000 Guineas runner-up Chambord over 1400 metres in rating 75 company  to make it two wins from three fresh-up starts.

Ritchie believes the grand-daughter of New Zealand and Australian Oaks runner-up Pavan has what it takes to win at stakes level over a middle distance provided he can keep her healthy during this campaign.

“I think this could be her year as she is a very good staying prospect as she showed with her placing in the Counties Cup last year and she is currently in a great place in the handicaps so we need to take advantage of that,” he said.

“She had a problem with bruised soles in her last preparation however she seems to be well over that now so we can concentrate on getting her ready for some of the better races that are coming up.”

Like most trainers at this time of the year, Ritchie has his eye firmly on the weather as he plots a path for the mare.
“She doesn’t cope with wet tracks so we have to take that into consideration when working out where to go with her next,” he noted.

“If the weather plays ball then I think she will go to the Matamata Cup next which is over a mile and then we will look to step her over further after that.

“Of course if it keeps raining she won’t go to Matamata and we will have to look at Plan B with her. While she doesn’t like wet tracks she also doesn’t want it flint hard so her best options are likely to be in the lead-up to Christmas before the tracks get baked hard over the summer.”

Ritchie is also looking forward to having two of last season’s three-year-old stars back in the stable over the next few weeks with both Glorious Lad and Chop Chop preparing to return after an extended winter break.
“They both did a great job for us last season and they have had some extra time in the paddock as they raced right through to the Brisbane winter carnival,” he said.

“They look to have strengthened up nicely and I would expect to have them back around Christmas time and ready for some of those nice races at Ellerslie then and during Auckland Cup Week in March.”


Emirates Hope Thrills Tiley

Trainer Nigel Tiley was pleasantly surprised by Albany Reunion’s open class sprint win at Ruakaka, which augurs well for his future Group One prospects in Melbourne.

The Pukekohe trainer had expected course specialist Antonio Lombardo, with the benefit of a maximum apprentice claim, to prove a little too sharp for his charge.

However, it was Albany Reunion who held the aces in the Spire Sprint and he was too good for the Peter and Jacob McKay runner.

“He’s not a genuine 1200 metre horse,” Tiley said. “He had absolutely thrived since his last race and I may give him one more run before he goes – we’ll see how he comes through this first.”

Albany Reunion is likely to make his Australian debut in the $A125,000 Gr.3 Moonga Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on October 18 with the $1 million Gr.1 Emirates Stakes (1600m) at Flemington on November 8 his ultimate aim.

Last season’s Gr.1 Easter Handicap winner, the Fastnet Rock five-year-old had finished runner-up to Antonio Lombardo at Ruakaka when resuming and he went one better in style on Saturday in Mark Du Plessis’ hands.

They enjoyed a dream run in the trail before angling into the clear and led over the closing 150 metres to score by a short neck over Antonio Lombardo, who was in receipt of two and a-half kilos.

The runner-up settled off a good speed set up by D’Cash Man before rider Shaun McKay improved four wide near the turn and the gelding chased gamely from that point.

He’s Rock ’N’ Roll raced on the leader’s quarters to the bend and was a respectable third in his open class debut and Jubilate, second in the Gr.2 Rich Hill Mile during his summer campaign, also made a pleasing return with his fourth placing.



viadana te aroha(copy)

Kilgravin Lodge graduate Viadana will head to Australia next week after trialling to trainer Lance Noble’s satisfaction at Avondale on Tuesday.

The triple Group One winner finished runner-up in her 1200 metre heat to confirm plans for her to make her next appearance in the $A200,000 Gr.3 Let’s Elope Stakes (1400m) at Flemington on September 13.

“The track was a bit wetter than I would have liked, but she trialled well and I was happy with what I saw,” Noble said. “Craig Grylls rode her and he was happy too and she pulled up well afterwards.

“She ran second to Fast Dragon who led and she raced second and they stayed that way. They ran 1.15 so it was very, very heavy.

“She’s booked to fly to Melbourne next Wednesday and the Gr.1 Myer Classic at Flemington on Derby Day is the ultimate race for her -  there’s a couple of options as a lead-up to that after her first run.”

Viadana was unplaced on a rain-affected track at Te Rapa when she resumed in last month’s Gr.3 Foxbridge Plate. 


Kilgravin Lodge graduate Caramac trounced her rivals when clearing maiden ranks at the Canterbury Jockey Club's meeting at Riccarton on Wednesday
Caramac, a three-year-old filly by Iffraaj, is trained by Kevin Myers at Wanganui and her winning margin at the completion of the 1200m event was two and a quarter lengths. 

Her successful rider was Rosie Myers.

Another Bumper Season For Kilgravin Lodge Graduates
viadana te aroha(copy)

Brave Ali's win in the Listed A175,000 Ipswich Cup in Australia earlier this month capped another bumper season for Kilgravin Lodge graduates on the racetrack in black type races.


Tony Gollan-trained Brave Ali capped some consistent form to win the time-honoured Ipswich Cup in which he started among the favourites.
The star Kilgravin Lodge performer this season was undoutedly the Lance Noble-trained mare, Viadana.
She won two Group One races in New Zealand this season and produced a string of performances which stamped her as among the best racemares in the country.
The Group One wins for Viadana came in the New Zealand Thoroughbred Breeders Stakes and the Waikato Draught Sprint. On both occasions she eclipsed high-class opposition with an exhilirating turn of foot.
Other Group or Listed race winners from Kilgravin Lodge this season have included Albany Reunion, Rhythm To Spare, Lady Cumquat, Intimate Moment and Marianne.
Albany Reunion scored a magnificent victory in the Group 1 Easter Handicap at Ellerslie during the autumn. He had also finished a gallant fourth in the Gr. 1 Telegraph Handicap at Trentham in January.
There was also a tremendous weekend for Kilgravin Lodge late March when 14 wins were recorded by its graduates in four different countries.
In Singapore Kilgravin Lodge graduate Cavallo has again had a fantastic season and re-affirmed his status as one of the best gallopers at Kranji.

Successful Season On The Sales Front For Kilgravin Lodge

It was a solid year on the sales front for Kilgravin Lodge.
"Overall we were very happy with our results and are appreciative of the clients who supported us," said Eion Kemp, of Kilgravin Lodge.
The Ready To Run Sales last November again provided with some strong results. "Our horses sold reasonably in what was a difficult market to be trading in.”
Kilgravin Lodge celebrated one of its most notable pinhooking results at the Ready To Run Sale when it sold a Guillotine x Flood colt for $60,000 to Te Akau Stud principal David Ellis. Kilgravin Lodge had purchased the colt for only $3000 at the NZ Bloodstock Weanling Sales.
"We also made our first appearance  at the Select Sale at Karaka in January and it gave us plenty of encouragement with the prices achieved," Kemp said.
"Our clients were very happy and this is a market which we hope to expand in the future," Kemp said.
Kilgravin Lodge prides itself on the way it turns out its sales horses and received a large amount of positive feedback.
"We always have room for more horses in our draft so feel free to call us if you are interested in discussing this further," Kemp said.

Staff Play Vital Role In Kilgravin Successs

We are very fortunate at Kilgravin to have an excellent hard working line-up of staff.
Taui Johnson and Sarah Thompson are recent additions and are fitting into the team environment exceptionally well. We welcome them.
"They say you are only as good as your team and that's certainly been the case with Kilgravin Lodge," says Eion Kemp, part-owner of Kilgravin Lodge.
"We have a wonderful team of staff who are dedicated to making us a successful operation. Their attention to detail is second to none and we are very lucky to have them on board," Eion says.

Quality Draft For Ready To Run Sales In November

 Kilgravin Lodge in Matamata has a quality  draft of rising two-year-olds in the early stages of their preparation  for the New Zealand Bloodstock Ready To Run Sales at Karaka in November.
"We are extremely excited about our 2014 draft for the Ready To Run Sales at Karaka in terms of the quality that we are presenting" says Eion Kemp.
The draft line-up will include progeny by such top sires as Bernardini, Sebring, Darci Brahma, Testa Rossa, Hinchinbrook and Alamosa. Some of these yearlings were bought at sales across the Tasman and they have settled in well into their new environment.
"KIlgravin Lodge drafts are always exceptionally well turned out and are consistently prepared to a high standard for their day in the sale ring," says auctioneer Steve Davis.
"They have had their first preparation followed by a spell and are now commencing their second preparation and have all gone through their paces in good style," he said.
Kilgravin Lodge still has some places for entrants in its draft. Give Eion a call.


Steffi's Secret flew the flag for Kilgravin Lodge at Saturday's Tauranga meeting. 
The three-year-old filly scored an upset half-length win in the Bayleys 1400.
The Kilgravin Lodge graduate is trained at Cambridge by Barry Cook and was ridden by Ulrika Holmquist who was able to claim a valuable 4kg allowance. 

She was at odds of better than 52 to one
Kilgravin Lodge Graduate Brave Ali Wins 2014 Ipswich Cup 16/06/2014

ipswich cup(copy)

A big-race win during the Queensland winter carnival finally came the way of Brisbane apprentice Tegan Harrison when she scored an all-the-way win on Kilgravin Lodge graduate Brave Ali in the A$175,000 Ipswich Cup.


The 25-year-old, who has taken Brisbane by storm over the past 18 months, had narrowly missed group1 wins in the Doomben 10,000 and Stradbroke Handicap on Temple Of Boom. However, Saturday’s win in the listed race was extremely satisfying for the Grafton-born lass. ‘‘This is a great thrill to win this race. It’s very exciting,’’ she said.


Harrison’s judgment of pace and kind hands have been the hallmarks of her career to date. Horses run for Harrison, and when it comes to toughing it out at the business end, she is no shrinking violet.


It was a perfectly judged race by Harrison to win on the $7.50 chance, which is prepared by Tony Gollan at Eagle Farm. Gollan praised Harrison’s association with Brave Ali.


Harrison had Brave Ali quickly out of the barriers and the seven-year-old gelding held the lead when the big field turned out of the home straight on the first occasion.

The pair were able to dictate terms until the pressure was applied by Grey Assignment from the 800m mark. The two battled thereafter with Brave Ali lifting generously when challenged in earnest to score by a length.

By Phillip Quay, MediaPA
The exhilarating Group 1 Easter Handicap win by Albany Reunion at Ellerslie on April 12 is further evidence that Kilgravin Lodge in Matamata has become a haven for producing high-class racehorses.
This season Kilgravin Lodge has also been represented on the Group 1 winners’ podium by Viadana who won the Group 1 New Zealand Thoroughbred Breeders Stakes at Te Aroha at her most recent outing.
And last month Kilgravin Lodge had a golden weekend of success where it produced no fewer than 14 individual winners in four different countries.
These performances in the current season have followed on from previous outstanding graduates of Kilgravin Lodge such as multiple Group 1 winning Sangster and other Group 1 winners Artistic and Jessicabeel.
Such results are testimony to the amount of hard work that Matamata couple Eion and Megan Kemp put into their quest for major race success on the international racing stage.
These days a successful hands-on horseman, Eion spent three years at Massey University where he gained a Bachelor Of Science Degree before changing tact. That meant winning a scholarship to the world-renowned Marcus Oldham Equine College in Victoria, Australia, a one-year all-encompassing course aligned to the thoroughbred industry.
Megan also trained at Massey as an early childhood teacher and the disciplines of higher education the couple have carried through to the thoroughbred workforce sees them as business and rural land owners.
The Kemps founded Kilgravin Lodge in 2002  and they have added several significant improvements to the property over the years.
Eion, a former amateur jockey who won the Duke Of Gloucester Cup, is the farm manager while Megan juggles working in the office with her other role as a teacher. They have two children, Reuben (11) and Elijah (9).
“It’s a very busy lifestyle for both of us but we love it and wouldn’t swap it for anything,” says Eion.
Not long after its establishment Kilgravin Lodge found its niche in the following areas of the thoroughbred industry: breaking-in, pre-training, agistment for thoroughbred racehorses and it prepares horses for the New Zealand Bloodstock Ready To Run and Yearling Sales at Karaka.
In fact it is the New Zealand Bloodstock Ready To Run Sales where Kilgravin Lodge has got its sights set on becoming even more prominent in the top echelon in the near future.
“We hope to enhance the quality of our draft at the New Zealand Bloodstock Ready To Run Sales so that we move towards the top bracket of vendors,” says Eion Kemp.
“We now have had a Select Sale draft at the Karaka Yearling Sales and also aim to improve the quality of that,” he says.
Kilgravin Lodge prides itself on its professionalism and a high standard of horse education.
Megan Kemp is also an important part the Kilgravin Lodge operation with her management role in the office. “Eion and I are great mates and our decisions are made as a team.”
Their efforts are complimented by a dedicated group of eight staff who also share their passion to elevate Kilgravin Lodge to the top level.
In the seasons to come many more highlights look in store for the operation.
Contact details for Kilgravin Lodge:
670 Tauranga Road
RD 3
MATAMATA    3417
Eion Kemp
Telephone 64 7 888 2773
Mobile 64 27 455 777 6


Welcome Easter present for Kilgravin Lodge                                                      14/04/2014

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Eric Watson savoured a satisfying distraction from the woes at the Auckland Warriors when Albany Reunion claimed the final Group One prize of the racing season.

The high-flying businessman has endured a testing time as a co-owner of the beleaguered rugby league club so a winning goal kicked at Ellerslie in the Manco Easter Handicap came as a welcome relief.

Watson bred Albany Reunion, who is a graduate of Kilgravin Lodge in Matamata, and races the son of Fastnet Rock with Tim Connell and Saturday’s success was the fourth of the gelding’s eight-start career under the guiding hand of trainer Nigel Tiley.

“I said after he won here last time that he was a serious Group One horse,” Tiley said.

“After he trialled strongly the other day I knew he was there and that easy trial was the key to success.”

Fourth in the Gr.1 Telegraph Handicap Trentham in the summer, Albany Reunion then won a Rating 85 sprint at Ellerslie in March and a trial win at Avondale on April Fools’ Day topped off his Easter preparation.

The gelding drew a wide gate on Saturday and raced three wide without cover to the turn and he responded gallantly to Mark Du Plessis’ urgings in the straight to earn a half-head winning margin.

“No matter how many times I went through the race I couldn’t see myself anywhere else but three wide without cover,” Du Plessis said.

“He was on the ball today, the penny has dropped with him, but the best is yet to come and I never hit him behind the saddle.”

It was Du Plessis’ fifth Group one success of the season following wins aboard Bounding (Railway Stakes), Irish Fling (Telegraph Handicap), Recite (Levin Classic) and Vespa (Diamond Stakes).

Chintz again had to settle for second on Saturday after finishing runner-up seven days previously in the Gr.1 NZ Thoroughbred Breeders’ Stakes at Te Aroha.

“She’s had a great season and done a super job and she’s only going to get better next season,” co-trainer Tony Pike said.

Rollout The Carpet stuck to her task grimly in the straight for a close third with Pussy O’Reilly, Shuka, Little Wonder and Benzini next home and within a length of the winner. 

Phillip Quay

Viadana ready for Australia’s best                                                                          07/04/2014

viadana te aroha(copy)

Crack mare Viadana will head to Sydney at the height of her powers to do battle with the best fillies and mares in Australia.

The top-class daughter of Towkay, a graduate of Kilgravin Lodge in Matamata, added a third top-flight title to her record at Te Aroha on Saturday when she posted a clear-cut win in the Gr.1 Fiber Fresh NZ Thoroughbred Breeders’ Stakes to confirm plans for an overseas test of her talent.

Trainer Lance Noble has had the $A1 million Gr.1 Queen of the Turf Stakes (1600m) at Randwick on Viadana’s programme for some time.

“She’s right at the top of her game and she hasn’t done anything wrong all season – every race has been a black type one so all going well it’s off to Australia,” he said.

“She has won on slow tracks so we’ll just take our chances.”

The winner of last season’s Gr.1 Easter Handicap, Viadana added the Gr.1 NRM Sprint to her record in the summer before she finished a luckless fourth in the Gr.1 Haunui Farm Classic and then claimed the Gr.2 Japan NZ Trophy under 59kg.

“I thought that last start was special and I’m a bit speechless now,” Noble said. “Craig (Grylls) rode her a treat and tracked Recite. He was pretty confident and that gave me more confidence.”

Viadana followed the three-year-old wide on the home turn and drew clear of her in the closing 100 metres to score by two lengths with the pacemaker Chintz a brave third ahead of Costume, who made ground well from the tail-end.

“It’s hard to describe how good she is and every time she steps up and seems to improve,” Grylls said.
“I had one three deep outside me and that dropped away and Recite kicked really well, but my mare really flattened out and she did it pretty easily in the end.

“I can’t thank the owners and Lance Noble enough for giving me the opportunity to ride her.” 


Amazing Run Of Success For Kilgravin Lodge                                                            01/04/2014

A Group 3 double highlighted a hugely successful weekend for Matamata-based Kilgravin Lodge.
In the past weekend Kilgravin Lodge graduates produced the winners of 14 races.
The Gr. 3 race winners were Lady Cumquat and Intimate Moment who won their assignments at Awapuni and in Sydney respectively.
Lady Cumquat’s Gr. 3 success came in the Manawatu Classic while Intimate Moment scored in the Percy Sykes Tribute Stakes.
Incredibly Kilgravin Lodge graduates won five races in Macau where those first home were Great Idea, Top Vegetable, Pak Lok Angel, Scandicmaster and Classical Music.
In Singapore Kilgravin Lodge was to the fore with Deauville registering his first race-day success.
In Australia, the Kilgravin Lodge flag was flown by Silver Lotus, Brave Ali, Saint Or Sinner and Correio.
Meanwhile, at Ellerslie there was a double success with Dufellforte and Rose Of Virginia.

HUTCHINGS GUIDES LADY CUMQUAT TO BIG WIN                                              31/03/2014

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The country’s leading apprentice Rory Hutchings doubled his black type tally at Awapuni with a perfect ride aboard Kilgravin Lodge graduate Lady Cumquat.
The 18-year-old gave an outstanding performance aboard a more than willing filly to land Saturday’s Gr.3 Higgins Manawatu Classic.
Hutchings, whose previous best victory was aboard Sacred Park in the Gr.2 Wellington Guineas, settled Lady Cumquat midfield on the fence before saving ground while improving across the top.
He came around one horse to drive the favourite to the front 200 metres from home and they raced clear to win with authority. 
“I got travelling at the half-mile and then got stuck behind a couple of slow ones, but she grabbed the bridle and got the run,” Hutchings said. “She was strong on the line.”
He had partnered the daughter of Duke Of Marmalade in her previous three appearances for trainer Roger James, who prepared her recently-retired half-sister Full Of Spirit to win the Gr.3 Adrian Knox Stakes and finish runner-up in the Gr.1 Makfi Challenge Stakes.
Lady Cumquat, who may also head to Sydney for the Adrian Knox, accounted for Mountain Jack, who is now likely to head for a spell.

Viadana Presses Claims For Sydney Trip                                                               23/03/2014

A continuation of Viadana’s current form will see the top Kiwi mare in Sydney next month to take on the best fillies and mares in Australia.
The six-year-old Kilgravin Lodge graduate was sublime in winning Saturday’s Gr.2 Windsor Park Stud Japan NZ International Trophy at Tauranga and a similar performance in the Gr.1 Fiber Fresh NZ Thoroughbred Breeders’ Stakes in a fortnight’s time will book her an away ticket.
“She’s got to be at the top of her game to consider it and she’s entered in the Queen of the Turf and if she continues to race well then we’ll probably have a crack at it,” trainer Lance Noble said.
The $A1 million Group One will be run at Randwick on April 19 and, like the upcoming Breeders’ Stakes at Te Aroha, will be contested at weight-for-age.
Viadana was at a disadvantage under the handicap conditions at Tauranga, but Towkay’s outstanding daughter made light of her topweight to post the 10th win of her 28-start career.
“That shows how good she is,” trainer Lance Noble said. “With 59kg that’s top-line stuff and I’m really proud of her.
“It’s a lot of weight and she just keeps surprising me. She’ll be back to weight-for-age at Te Aroha and that obviously suits her a lot better.
“Craig (Grylls) is riding great as well and he’s good to work with – he’s always positive and happy,” Noble said.
Viadana settled beyond midfield on Saturday and when Grylls asked her to let down in the straight she produced a lethal finishing burst.
“We got back and I was a little bit worried when the swoopers came around, but I was able to pick a path and she’s got a great turn of foot,” Grylls said. “That shows her class.”
Viadana defeated the last-start Gr.3 Westbury Classic winner Chintz, who was in receipt of three and a-half kilos, by a head with a long neck back to the longshot Secrets Only.
Zonza was a close fourth while the well-supported Xanadu was unable to make an impression from well back and beat only three home. – NZ Racing Desk.


GREAT WEEKEND FOR KILGRAVIN LODGE                                                                                                      24/03/2014

Matamata-based Kilgravin Lodge had a memorable weekend of black-type success on both sides of the Tasman. In New Zealand, two of Kilgravin Lodge's graduates were seen in the winners' circle at the Bay Of Plenty Racing Club's meeting at Tauranga including the Gr. 2 feature, the Japan/NZ Bay Of Plenty Trophy, where Viadana added to her outstanding record. The other Tauranga victory for Kilgravin came from She's Samashing who won the final race on the card for traienrs Mike Moroney and Chad Ormsby. In Australia, Kilgravin Lodge's success came in the Listed A$121,000 Alexandra Stakes at Moonee Valley in which well-performed Marianne was successful.

Viadana  Wins Te Rapa Sprint                                                                        8/2/14

By Phillip Quay

viadanaterapaMatamata-trained mare Viadana joined an elite list of horses to have won the $200,000 NRM Sprint at Te Rapa on Saturday.

The Group 1 feature has previously been won by the likes of Mop, Soliloquy, Poetic Prince and Courier Bay as well as Snap, Sunline and Veandercross.

Viadana, a graduate of Matamata’s Kilgravin Lodge operation, is trained at Matamata by Lance Noble and was ridden by in-form jockey Gary Grylls.

Noble said Viadana’s win could result in her going to Sydney to contest a fillies and mares feature during the autumn.

“She’s a high-class mare and all going well she’ll go to Otaki and possibly Australia after that,” said Noble, who had previously enjoyed Group One success in partnership with Jim and Chris Gibbs and with Roger James. “I’m really chuffed with the mare and it’s been another great team effort.”

Viadana will take in the Haunui Farm WFA Classic on February 22 with a likely trip to Sydney to follow.

“We’d love to get some Australian black type and a race like the Emancipation Stakes might be ideal for her,” Noble said.

Viadana came into the Te Rapa feature with fresh legs after a let-up following her fourth placing in the Gr.1 Zabeel Classic at Ellerslie on Boxing Day and the style of her win was against the day’s trend.

Grylls elected to stay closer to the inside than his rival jockeys and they burst to the front 200 metres from home and had enough in reserve to see off the late runs of Sacred Star, Diademe and Xanadu.

“Down the back they all stayed off the fence and I would have had to push around a lot of traffic,” Grylls said. “She kicked really strongly and it’s a great thrill – success breeds confidence.”

The 23-year-old was referring to his hot run of recent form that earned the rare Gr.1 Thorndon Mile and Gr.2 Wellington Cup double last month aboard A Touch Of Ruby and Graphic respectively in the Trentham features.

By Phillip Quay

Kilgravin Lodge in Matamata will have a small but select draft for the Karaka Yearling Sales this year.
In fact its four-strong draft will go through the Select Sale at Karaka which takes place on January 29, 30 and 31.
The first lot from Kilgravin to go through the ring at the Select Sale will be Lot 724, a colt by Nom du Jeu from Pluck. This family is well known in Singapore through the deeds of Kings Honor, a Group 2 winner of the Patron's Bowl.
Further back in the pedigree appears the Australian Gr. 1 winner, Danelagh.
Lot 912 is a bay filly by Magic Albert from Zigalong who is the dam of the 10 races winner Inferno. It is a family chock full of black type winners and she should attract strong interest from potential buyers.
Lot 921 is a colt by Dane Shadow from Affilier. This colt has a double cross of Northern Dancer in his bloodlines.
Lot 1009 is a bay filly by Iffraaj from Colourfast and she is closely related to Covered N Grey, who won 24 races, and President Lincoln. 
It has been another outstanding 12 months for Kilgravin Lodge graduates on the racetracks of Asia, Australia and New Zealand.


Cavallo proves giant killer again                                                                     09/01/14

Singapore trainer Sam Chua has found the secret with Kilgravin Lodge graduate Cavallo after the gelding landed the $125,000 Peace And Joy 2014 Stakes over 1400m  on New Year's Day

Ridden by John Sundradas, Cavallo stormed home to record a half-length victory over El Milagro (Danny Beasley) with Flying Fulton (Shafiq Rizuan) a length-and-a-quarter away in third place.

Since joining Chua’s stable from those of Michael Freedman, Cavallo has notched four wins from seven starts with a third placing thrown in for good measure.
In total Cavallo has now won seven of his 18 starts and has proven a good money spinner for owners, collecting more than $400,000 in prizemoney.

Cavallo came from the second-half of the field on Wednesday. El Milagro set a solid tempo with Speedy Cat (Lisa Allpress) and Keep Away (Mohd Zaki) is close attendance.

Turning for home El Milagro gave a strong kick but the field fanned with Cavallo hooked to the extreme outside to unwind a powerful finish.

Cavallo hit the front with 200m to run and looked all set to score a comfortable victory, but El Milagro refused to concede and fought on strongly to the line while Flying Fulton ran home strongly in the final stages back towards the fence.

Chua said Cavallo was a funny horse to train and didn’t need a lot of work to be at his top and long term hopes the son of Testa Rossa may develop into an Emirates Singapore Derby (2000m) contender in July.

“He is a bit of a funny horse,” said Chua. “You can’t train him too hard.

“We found that out very early on after he came across from Michael Freedman. He won his first start for us and right from then we knew he didn’t need a lot of work.

“What we want from him is to relax as much as possible and we are happy for him to find his own feet in a race and let him be where he wants.

“We were hoping for a bit of rain today as we think he likes a bit of give, but the track has been re-laid in the straight and the new track today gave him a bit of cushion.

“We’ll just see how he keeps progressing and see where he gets to in the coming months, but the way he is relaxing in his races at this stage he could end up being a Derby horse.

“A million dollars is a lot of money and you don’t often get the chance to run in those sorts of races.”

John said he knew Cavallo had a strong finish on him and was hopeful of him running out a strong 1400m on Wednesday after flopping at two previous attempts at the trip for Chua.

“I sat behind and let him be happy,” said John. “He has a good finish and I was hoping he would run out the 1400m trip.

“When I got him to the outside he really finished hard. At the 300m I could see those horses to the inside were not going anywhere and I was confident that I could win the race.”  


Great Run continues for  Kilgravin graduates                                  5/1/14

By Phillip Quay, MediaPA


Graduates of Matamata-based Kilgravin Lodge had a brace of wins during the month of December.


Studmaster Eion Kemp said the success once again highlighted the level of performance of horses sold by Kilgravin Lodge on the racetracks of Australasia and Asia.


"Our (Kilgravin Lodge) run of winners in December did us very proud and bodes well for the upcoming yearling sales series at Karaka," said Kemp.


CavalloThe month got off to a brilliant start for Kilgravin Lodge when top quality performer Cavallo was once again triumphant in Singapore in the S$125,000 RDA Cup (1200m).


On the same day (December 1) Ghostinthemachine (by Postponed) was victorious at the Otago Racing Club's meeting at Wingatui.


On December 3 there was a double success for Kilgravin Lodge graduates with Shades Of Gold scoring at Ruakaka while Motorboat Mike was first home at the Central Otago meeting.


On December 6 the very promising galloper, Habitual Offender, won in excellent style at the Auckland Raicng Club's meeting at Ellerslie.


Ellerslie was the scene on December 11 of an outstanding maiden win by the regally-bred Encosta de Lago filly ex Ethereal, Duquesa.


On December 12 Kilgravin Lodge graduates landed another double with wins by Biddable at Hastings and Micken at the Gold Coast.


On December 13 there was no stopping Valdivia from gracing the winners' circle at the Tauranga meeting.


On December 14 the Holy Roman gelding, Passing Parade, greeted the judge at the Manawatu meeting.


On December 15 it was the turn of the Pentire gelding, Air Striker,  at the Benalla meeting across the Tasman to post a fine win. On the same day the Fastnet Rock gelding, Albany Reunion, was first past the post at Ellerslie.


On Boxing Day, in Australia the flag was flown for Kilgravin Lodge by That's The Way.


On December 28 the focus was on Macau where the Falkirk gelding, Easy Money, was responsible for a solid winning performance.


The Taupo meeting on December 30 netted two winners for Kilgravin Lodge. These were Biddable and Suspcious Minds.


To finish off the year on a high note North Of Sunset greeted the winners' circle at the Stratford Racing Club meeting at Stratford on New Year's Eve.



Matamata-based Kilgravin Lodge posted a trans-tasman winning double last week.
In Australia, Air Striker (by Pentire) was successful at the Benalla meeting over 1406 metres.
Meanwhile, in New Zealand Albany Reunion (by Fastnet Rock) was in the winners' circle at the Auckland Racing Club's meeting at Ellerslie.



david ellis
Matamata-based Kilgravin Lodge was celebrating one of the most notabe pinhooking results at today's first session of the New Zealand Bloodstock Ready To Run Sales at Karaka. Kilgravin Lodge sold a Guillotine x Flood colt for $60,000 to Te AKau Stud principal David Ellis, pictured. Kilgravin Lodge had purchased the colt for only $3000 at the NZB Weanling Sales. "He had really developed into a very nice individual and it was a very pleasing pinhooking result," said Eion Kemp, of Kilgravin Lodge.

Pedigree Updates For Ready To Run Sale 

48 Starcraft - Irish Belle Half-Brother to IRISH FLING (2008.f. by Darci Brahma-Irish Belle, by O''Reilly-Society Bay).
1st CJC Pegasus S. L
1st Taupo RC Annie Higgins H.
4th Hawke's Bay Tumu ITM Spring Sprint H. Gr.3
Closely related to Stay Positive (2010.f. by Snitzel-Rezidencia, by Carnegie-Society Bay).
1st Krambach Hotel Maiden H.
66 Keeper - Kirin Belle Half-Brother to Aspen (2010.c. by Alamosa-Kirin Belle, by McGinty-Heidi Belle).
1st Whangarei RC Maiden S.
Closely related to PLUCKY BELLE (2008.f. by Mossman-Winning Belle, by Zabeel-Kirin Belle).
1st VRC (Flemington) Lavazza Short Black P. Gr.3
2nd ATC (Randwick) Nivison S. Gr.3
Closely related to Circumstances (2010.c. by Street Cry-Winning Belle, by Zabeel-Kirin Belle).
1st Ballarat TC Tanya Daniels The Good Guys Maiden P.
Closely related to Can Get Thirsty (2006.g. by Kilimanjaro-Kirtling, by Gaius-Latour Belle).
1st TRC (Hobart) St Virgil's College H.
Closely related to Silver Eclipse (2010.f. by Darci Brahma-Zino Belle, by Success Express-Christiania Belle).
1st BOP RC Gilmours Tauranga H.
1st Taupo RC Lance Noble Racing Maiden S.
Closely related to Pendarie (2009.g. by Pendragon-Devali, by Desert Prince-Lakshimi).
1st South Burnett RC Candice's 30th Birthday Maiden P.
From the same family as Belgrade Nights (2008.g. by Elusive City-Party Belle, by Oregon-Garden Party).
1st Macau Ashburton H.
109 Henrythenavigator - Mariana Out of a sibling to Speed Star (2009.g. by Al Maher-Azzurro, by Bluebird-Amhara).
1st Selangor TC Carlsberg Mile
Closely related to GENERAL RIPPA (2009.g. by General Nediym-Nazzuca, by Canny Lad-Azzurro).
1st Townsville TC Maccas Synthetic Grasses H.
From the same family as Peal of Bells (2007.g. by Clangalang-Pearl Quest, by Jeune-Amaranda).
2nd Wyong Gold Cup L
3rd Newcastle Gold Cup Gr.3
168 Darci Brahma - Pavan Brother to Bogart (2010.g. by Darci Brahma-Pavan, by Centaine-Marmalitre).
2nd Singapore TC Always Fast S.
3rd Singapore TC Class 4 H.
Closely related to Atacama (2009.f. by Pentire-Almaviva, by Catbird-Pavan).
1st Waikato RC Ray Eriksen's 70th Birthday H.
1st Whangarei RC H.
Closely related to Bordeaux (2010.g. by Sir Percy-Almaviva, by Catbird-Pavan).
1st Singapore TC Restricted Maiden S.
297 Dane Shadow - Whispering Queen Closely related to Whipper Snapper (2010.c. by Whipper-Margot Mine, by Choisir-Delisha).
1st Tours Prix du Bois du Breuil
Closely related to Solo des Brieres (2009.g. by Ski Chief-Solador, by Solicitor-Arandora Star).
1st Sable-sur-Sarthe Prix de l'Erve Hurdle
1st Meslay-du-Maine Prix d'Antalcidas S/chase
From the same family as BIT OF HELL (2009.c. by Hurricane Run-Imco Imagination, by Darshaan-Maria Flying).
3rd MRC (Caulfield) Naturalism S. Gr.3
310 Darci Brahma - Ajfan Closely related to BOAT TRIP (2009.c. by Harlan''s Holiday-Turning Wheel, by Seeking the Gold-Misinskie).
2nd Santa Anita Eddie D S. Gr.3
From the same family as INDIAN POWER (2005.c. by Mutakddim-Islandia, by Rubiano-Ice the Champagne).
1st San Luis Premio Dique la Florida
354 Mastercraftsman - Boito Belle Half-Brother to Tom (2008.g. by Darci Brahma-Boito Belle, by Centaine-Kirin Belle).
2nd Singapore TC Racing Guide Classic Open H.
3rd Singapore TC Benchmark 89 H.
Out of a sibling to Aspen (2010.c. by Alamosa-Kirin Belle, by McGinty-Heidi Belle).
1st Whangarei RC Maiden S.
Closely related to PLUCKY BELLE (2008.f. by Mossman-Winning Belle, by Zabeel-Kirin Belle).
1st VRC (Flemington) Lavazza Short Black P. Gr.3
2nd ATC (Randwick) Nivison S. Gr.3
Closely related to Circumstances (2010.c. by Street Cry-Winning Belle, by Zabeel-Kirin Belle).
1st Ballarat TC Tanya Daniels The Good Guys Maiden P.
388 Iffraaj - Colourfast Half-Sister to Grey Power (2006.g. by Jungle Pocket-Colourfast, by Pentire-Covered n'' Grey).
1st BOP RC JL Mills Builders H.
Half-Sister to Covered ''n Bay (2010.f. by Lucky Unicorn-Colourfast, by Pentire-Covered n'' Grey).
2nd Taupo RC Patience C Izard Maiden S.
3rd Rotorua RC Ngongotaha Landscape Supplies Maiden S.
403 Shinko King - Demerara Half-Brother to Black Sheep (2010.g. by Savabeel-Demerara, by Danasinga-Black Sugar).
3rd Poverty Bay TC Leaderbrand Maiden P.
Out of a sibling to (Black) Warrior (2007.g. by O''Reilly-Black Sugar, by Sound Reason-Arctic Supreme).
1st Singapore TC Class 5 H.
Closely related to Avow (2010.f. by No Excuse Needed-Mayday Jones, by O''Reilly-Black Sugar).
1st Gore RC Davis Shearing Maiden S.
433 Keeper - Ever Revie Closely related to Ciro Vincenti (2008.c. by Clodovil-Lucy Liu, by Grand Lodge-Lucy Limelight).
1st Milan Premio Martesana Hurdle
Closely related to Liliom (2007.c. by Muhtathir-Leggera Follia, by Slip Anchor-Nord''s Lucy).
1st Milan Premio Tremalzo
From the same family as Hay Dude (2010.c. by Dubawi-Inaminute, by Spectrum-Phantom Ring).
2nd Haydock Superior Mile Gr.3
3rd Maisons-Laffitte Prix Le Fabuleux L
Kilgravin Lodge graduate Viadana will concentrate on weight-for-age racing including the Gr. 3 Tauranga Stakes (1600m) on November 16 and the Gr. 1 Captain Cook Stakes at Trentham on December 7.
Trainer Lance Noble said thoughts of taking Viadana, winner of Saturday's Listed Lion Red Stakes (1200m) at Rotorua in her return to racing.
 Viadana has now won eight of her 22 starts and was the winner of the Gr. 1 Easter Handicap at Ellerslie last season.

Atacama Heads Towards Couplands Mile

Kilgravin Lodge graduate Atacama is being aimed toward the Gr.2 Coupland's Bakeries Mile at Riccarton on November 13 following an easy victory at Te Rapa today. The Shaune Ritchie-trained daughter of Pentire defeated Secret Whisper and Beguile in the Ray Eriksen's 70th Birthday (1600m) under the ride of Hong Kong apprentice Ming Cheung. 
"Well done to Ming he followed the instructions to a tee and reaped the rewards," said stable representative Roger O'Neill.
"She is developing all the time and is turning into a lovely filly that will go on to better things. She holds a nomination for the Coupland's Mile and that will be her main target.”



By Phillip Quay

Melbourne Cup hopeful Sangster will have his next lead-up race in the A$567,000 Turnbull Stakes (2000m) at Flemington next Saturday.

The Kiwi galloper will run into Melbourne Cup favourites Puissance de Lune and Fiorente in next Saturday’s encounter in what will be his third run this preparation.

Co-trainer Trent Busuttin said Sangster has come through his last race, in which he finished a close sixth, in good order.
“He has taken another step up with each race and next Saturday’s race should provide a good guide as to where he is now at,” Busuttin said.

Last season’s Auckland Cup winner is a graduate of Matamata’s Kilgravin Lodge and has been targeted for some months for a tilt at the A$6 million Melbourne Cup on the first Tuesday of November.

Sangster is one of the leading New Zealand hopefuls for the Melbourne Cup but certainly not the only one.
The most favourite of the Kiwi contingent is the Murray Baker-trained Dundeal who returned to winning form with a vengeance in Melbourne at his last season.

Dundeal was in outstanding form in Sydney last autumn when winning the Triple Crown of major three-year-old events.

Silent Achiever and Quintessential are the other major New Zealand contenders at this stage.

Kilgravin Lodge continue to produce quality New Zealand Bloodstock
The happy knack of continually producing winners has made Kilgravin Lodge’s consignment of young talent to New Zealand Bloodstock’s Ready to Run Sale a must see draft for buyers. The Matamata farm of Eion and Megan Kemp has an enviable selling record and not just at the higher end of the market.
Success stories from their recent line-ups have included the multiple Group One winner Sangster (VRC Derby, Darci Brahma International Stakes, Auckland Cup), who was a $19,000 purchase for trainer Trent Busuttin in 2009, while recent debut winner and Gr.1 New Zealand 2000 Guineas prospect The Right Answer was a $20,000 buy for Canterbury owner-trainer Ross Beckett last year. Another Kilgravin graduate from the class of 2012 at Karaka has been Rite Of Spring, an $80,000 purchase who, to date, is unbeaten in two appearances from Michael Freedman’s Singapore stable.
Sunshine Kingdom was secured for $24,000 from the 2011 line-up and has been the stakes winner of three races from a light career in Macau and from the same sale has come the Gr.2 Avondale Guineas winner Valbuena, who was passed in at $45,000. “The Ready to Run has always been a good sale for us and good horses, as we know, can come from anywhere in the market,” Eion Kemp said. “We have had a lot of success and in many ways it’s down to not putting these young horses under a huge amount of pressure and we take them along quietly and that can then produce sound older horses that perform on the track.”
Kilgravin will present another 20-strong draft to the upcoming Ready to Run Sale at Karaka with a strong collection of youngsters by proven stallions and first season sires. “We’ve got them by Starcraft, Keeper, Darci Brahma, Dane Shadow, Iffraaj, Henrythenavigator, Authorized, Shinko King, Fast ‘N’ Famous as well as a Nadeem,” Kemp said. First season sires represented in the consignment include the Group One winners Swiss Ace, Mastercraftsman and TheWayYouAre and I Am Invincible. He is already on the board in New Zealand following the Ruakaka debut success of two-year-old Vinnie Eagle.
The son of Dane Shadow (Lot 297) is out of a half-sister to multiple Hong Kong Group One winner Olympic Express while a Nadeem colt (Lot 402) is out of a grand-daughter of the former crack Australian filly Princess Talaria. “The colt by Guillotine (Lot 5) is also a good type and Guillotine is an up and coming stallion and both the Darci Brahmas are good sorts as well,” Kemp said. “It’s a solid draft and another nice line of horses, there really is something for everyone.”


Kiwi stayer to kick-off Victorian campaign in Dato’ Tan Chin Nam Stakes                    13/09/2013

Victoria Derby winner Sangster will reintroduce himself to Melbourne racing this Saturday at Moonee Valley.

The Kiwi stayer, who is trained in partnership by Trent Busuttin and Natalie Young, will have his first Victorian start since the Alister Clarke Stakes in March last year when he contests the $300,000 Group 2 Dato’ Tan Chin Nam Stakes (1600m).

Busuttin said the original plan was for Sangster to have his first Australian start this campaign in the Group 1 Underwood Stakes (1800m) at Caulfield on Saturday week, but the Dato emerged as a better option following his second-last placing in the Makfi Challenge on 31 August.

“Originally we were looking at the Underwood, three weeks after that 1400-metre race (Makfi), but he wasn’t as fit as I initially thought (judging by) the way he pulled up after the run,” Busuttin said.

“I just thought a mile at this stage would suit him well.”

Sangster announced himself one of Australasia’s most promising stayers with his victory in the Group 1 AAMI Victoria Derby (2500m) two years ago.

The Alister Clarke third, behind Highly Recommended and Ethiopia, was his only top-three finish in five starts during the second half of his three-year-old season, but he rediscovered top form as a four-year-old.

 After winning the Group 1 Darci Brahma International Stakes (2000m) at weight-for-age, he followed up with victory in the Group 2 Avondale Cup (2400m) before another Group 1 success in the Group 1 Auckland Cup (3200m).

Sangster continued his campaign in Sydney and although he finished down the track in the Group 1 Ranvet Stakes (200m) he was a close-up third behind Fiveandahalfstar and Silent Achiever in the Group 1 The BMW (2400m).

The Dato’ Tan Chin Nam Stakes will be the Savabeel gelding’s third run this time in, having finished midfield over 1200m first up before failing to handle the heavy track in the Makfi Challenge.

“That was an average run, but it was second-up after a pretty good first-up run and stayers can put in a bit of a slow one second-up,” Busuttin said on RSN’s Racing Ahead.

“The track was dead-set bottomless. He enjoys the cut out of the track, but the jockey come in and said he couldn’t pick his feet up.”

Sangster arrived in Melbourne on Saturday and a solid hit-out with quality Kiwi three-year-old Orion this morning at Flemington has Busuttin confident of a solid showing this weekend.

“While I wouldn’t go in there expecting a winning run, he’s got to put his hand up if he’s any sort of chance in those races later on,” the young trainer said.

“He’s still got a heap of improvement and a long way to go in the coat, but I’d expect him to be weighing in (on Saturday) going forward to those big races.”

Sangster will be ridden by Steven Arnold in the Dato’ Tan Chin Nam Stakes with the full list of nominations for that race and the support events on the Moonee Valley card accessible via the link

By Brad Bishop

Golden Run Of Success For Kilgravin Lodge


The win by Snippechee at Ruakaka on Saturday has enhanced an amazing run of success for Matamata-based Kilgravin Lodge.

In the past 12 months Kilgravin Lodge has been represented by key winners on the racetracks of New Zealand, Australia and in Asia.

New Zealand Group 1 winners last season for Kilgravin Lodge were Sangster and Viadana.
Sangster won twice at Group 1 level last season in the Auckland Cup and Darci Brahma International Stakes.
Viadana provided her connections with a memorable Group 1 victory in the time-honoured Easter Handicap (1600m) at Ellerslie last season.

“Group 1 races are the pinnacle of racing and to be represented by two Group 1 winners last season was a great highlight for us,” said Eion Kemp of Kilgravin Lodge.

Also flying the flag for Kilgravin Lodge at the highest level of racing in Singapore was Ronnie Brown who has stamped himself as one of the finest gallopers in Singapore in recent seasons. In May he was successful in the Kranji Stakes.

Other well-performed gallopers in Singapore who are graduates of the Kilgravin Lodge operation include Perfect Plan, Oriental Peral, Cavallo and Little Bit Fierce.

In Macau, the Kilgravin brand has been highlighted by the likes of Wealthy Fortune, Classical Music, Top Vegetable and Sunshine Kingdom.

Other New Zealand winners in recent times have included Natsinga, Mister Ip, Seed Of Speed, Cangowest, Sharakti and Grand National Hurdles winner Mahanadi.


Three cheers for Chua on National Day
Michael Lee 09/08/2013

​Singaporean trainer Sam Chua enjoyed a red-letter National Day when he brought home a hat-trick of wins on Friday.
Proudly wearing a red shirt befitting of Singapore’s 48th birthday, Chua fired the first salvo with Winning Success in a Class 4 race, following up with Ninth Avenue in a Class 5 race before sealing the treble with new stable transfer Cavallo in the $75,000 Kranji Stakes C race over 1000m.
Previously trained by Michael Freedman, Cavallo arrived in Chua’s yard on the back of two consecutive seconds recorded within two months (April and June) and duly obliged at his very first outing for his new handler.
Cavallo and apprentice Pregasam Dellorto score a first-up victory for new trainer Sam Chua on Friday.

Ridden by Chua’s apprentice jockey Pregasam Dellorto, the Testa Rossa four-year-old did not begin all that smartly from his inside gate, but quickly mustered speed to settle into a midfield spot on the fence with Soul Commander (Manoel Nunes) and $16 favourite Bionic Boy (Jose Verenzuela) at the head of affairs.
Down the back, Benji’s Empire (Matthew Kellady) whipped around three wide to inject more speed into the race while Eatons Gold (Barend Vorster) was also showing keen interest into the early state of play, travelling in fourth place between runners.
Soul Commander showed his usual combative side by holding sway even after using plenty of petrol in the early stages, while stablemate Eatons Gold was also pouncing onto the scene, not far behind. But it was Cavallo ($23) who was looming as the biggest threat when he brushed off a slight check at the top of the straight before being peeled off across heels to set sail for the winning post.
Well ridden by Dellorto, Cavallo had the race shot to pieces once he drew level with Soul Commander before pulling away for a 1 ¼-length win from Eatons Gold with Hot Gold (Alan Munro) running on for third another half-a-length away. The winning time was 59.01 seconds.
Chua said Cavallo was acquired by the Beverly Hill Stable from the Freedman yard through a private deal.
“Some of the owners in Beverly Hill Stable also have shares in Nandowra. The deal was to leave Nandowra with Michael and I got Cavallo,” said Chua.
“He came to us in good form and all I did was to just take over and maintain his form. Today, I told Dellorto to just take a sit if they go crazy in front and he listened to instructions.
“I’m still learning about the horse myself, but he’s obviously got ability and I hope we can have more fun with him.
“It’s been a good day at the office with three wins. I decided to wear red to celebrate National Day and it looks like it’s brought me luck as well!”
Dellorto said Cavallo, his only ride for the day, was always travelling on the bit, and when asked the question, answered with a decisive turn of foot.
“It was my first time riding this horse, but he’s definitely one of the better horses I’ve ridden here,” said the Kuala Lumpur-born apprentice jockey.
“He was a bit slow out of the gates, but once he settled into his strides, he travelled handy.
“Coming to the corner, he was checked, but luckily he recovered and once I pulled him out for a clear run, he quickened very well. I only rode him hands and heels in the last bit as he was hanging in a little towards the end, but he did a good job to win the race.”
A model of consistency, Cavallo, who even contested the first Leg of the Singapore Three-Year-Old Challenge, the Group 3 Singapore Three-Year-Old Sprint (1200m) for the Mummify Stable but finished unplaced last March, has now brought his overall statistics to four wins and six placings from 12 runs for prizemoney edging close to the $220,000 mark.

Mahanadi springs surprise at Grand National                                            08/08/2013


He's shown almost every ace up his sleeve during his illustrious training career, but Kevin Myers produced the card to trump all others yesterday at Riccarton.

And as he sat back in Whanganui and watched Mahanadi dish out a hiding in the Grand National Hurdles, the reserved horseman must have even allowed himself a wee fist pump to celebrate one of the most incredible training efforts of his career.

No matter which way you went about it, Mahanadi couldn't win the time-honoured jumping feature based on his performance just four days earlier on the same track, with the same conditions in the Sydenham Hurdles.

Mahanadi finished a lacklustre fifth, more than 10 lengths behind impressive stablemate Sea King.

It was hardly the most convincing of lead-ups to a $70,000 jumping event.

Had he come from any stable other than that of Myers, Mahanadi would have been given almost no chance.

But the Myers factor kept some interested. And those who stuck with the ship were well rewarded when he showed up and smashed a good field of gallopers.

With Myers back home, the explanation of such a remarkable improvement in four days was left to his right-hand man, and brother-in-law, Ken Harrison, who was as perplexed as anyone else.

"It has to be the step up in distance," Harrison said.

"We have done nothing different with him.

"He was pretty average on Saturday so we just let him be and waited to see what would happen.

"I don't even think Sea King would have beaten him on the way he won that."

Sea King, who won in the Sydenham race, had been entered to start in the Grand National but was withdrawn yesterday morning. The preferred plan for him is to win the Great Northern Hurdles next month.

His defection left the door wide open for something else to claim gold and Mahanadi was the horse for the job.

While a lot of the credit will be directed toward Myers, who trained five winners at yesterday's meeting, plenty should also be pointed toward jockey Kayla Veenendaal.

A relative unknown in the riding ranks, the 27-year-old showed the steel of an old-timer with her front-running effort on the six-year-old gelding.

"He just travelled so well within himself," Veenendaal said.

"I honestly thought he was going to be very hard to beat a long way from home, my only concern was that we might have gone a bit too fast out in front.

"It's a huge training effort to get him back from Saturday and turn him around to do this. "Kevin is truly a fantastic trainer and I'm very lucky to have been given the chance to ride for him."

It was Veenendaal's first ride in a Grand National Hurdles, and she made the most of it, winning by a comfortable six lengths with Yamanaura picking up yet another placing in a feature jumping race with Waitaha Toa finishing third.

Stellar Month For Kilgravin Lodge Graduates                                                        29/07/2013

July has been a stellar month for graduates of Matamata-based Kilgravin Lodge.

The win by the Baker/Forsman-trained 3yo filly, Sharakti, at Te Rapa on Saturday was the icing on the cake for Eion and Megan Kemp’s sales preparation operation.

“It has been a great month for us and in fact I has capped a wonderful season for our sales graduates in Australasia and Asian,” Eion Kemp said.

“One of the top performers has obviously been Sangster with his Group 1 successes including the Auckland Cup and he is among the finalists for the New Zealand Horse Of The Year,” Kemp said.

“We pride ourselves on the way we not only prepare an owner’s horse for sale but also on the communications they receive leading up to the sales,” Kemp said.

“This year our level of on line promotion to overseas buyers will be higher than it has ever been before and we have great contacts in Australia, Hong Kong and Singapore which we be utilising for marketing purposes,” he said.

During July the flurry of winners for Kilgravin Lodge has also featured the Singapore winners, Perfect Plan and Little Bit Fierce, Macau winners Wealthy Man and Sunshine Kingdom as well as the New Zealand winners Seed Of Speed and Mahanadi.

Kilgravan Lodge still has limited spaces remaining for horses for its Ready To Run Sale and 2014 Yearling Sale consignments.

Sangster to kick off Melbourne Cup bid at Te Rapa                                                22/07/2013


Kilgravin Lodge graduate Sangster will begin his Melbourne Cup preparation with a first-up run at Te Rapa on August 17.
Sangster won the Group I Victoria Derby as a three-year-old before regaining his best form in the autumn with wins in the Group I Makfi International and Auckland Cup before the gelding ran third in The BMW in Sydney.
Sangster has pleased his co-trainer Trent Busuttin with his progress since resuming work last month but he and training partner Natalie Young needed to decide whether to trial the son of Savabeel before his return.
"He's been back in since the second week of June and he's about to start galloping," Busuttin told The Informant.
"He's come back a bit heavier and is looking good. Maybe he'll have a run at the Te Teko trials for a day out, but that's not certain."
Busuttin said Sangster is likely to have two starts in New Zealand before travelling to Melbourne. His preference is to run the rising five-year-old second-up in the Group I Makfi Challenge Stakes (1400m) on August 31.
Sangster is set to make his first Melbourne spring appearance in the Group IUnderwood Stakes(1800m) in September but Busuttin said he had not set a plan beyond the Caulfield event.
"He'll then go over for the Underwood Stakes and will run in either theTurnbull Stakesor the Caulfield Stakes," Busuttin said.
"The Turnbull is set weights and penalties so is probably the better option, but the Caulfield Stakes is a week before the Caulfield Cup and it's similar timing to when he went from the Darci Brahma into the Avondale Cup.
"The Auckland Cup was 17 days after the Avondale Cup so the timing between the Caulfield and Melbourne Cups is also much the same. It worked last time so I'd like to replicate it."

Great Week For Kilgravin Lodge                                                                         15/07/2013

Mahanadi capped a great week for Kilgravin Lodge graduates with his win at Trentham on Saturday. The Kevin Myers-trained galloper showed a clean pair of heels to his rivals in the Martin's Restaurant Hurdles (3000m). Mahanadi had also won at Awapuni the week before. Other Kilgravin Lodge graduates Perfect Plan and Little Bit Fierce were also successful the previous weekend in Singapore.

Kilgravin Lodge graduate Perfect Plan made light of his wide draw, greenness and a history of shinsoreness to score his maiden win at his second start in Singapore on Sunday.


Perfect Plan 070713

Well ridden by jockey Corey Brown, the New Zealand-bred gelding by Captain Rio jumped smartly from his outermost alley in the 10-horse field of the $65,000 Initiation race over 1100m on Polytrack before taking a sit outside Gangnam Style (Troy See) with the rest of the field fairly well strung out.

Though still very gangly in his action, Perfect Plan ($20) kept up a solid gallop before taking up the lead upon straightening up, but started to drift out wide under pressure. Better-fancied (second favourite at $17) stablemate Dr Octopus (Manoel Nunes) looked like he could capitalise on that waywardness as he ran on strongly through the wide-open passage on the inside, but Perfect Plan had saved enough petrol in the reserve tank to hold on by one length.
Naomi (Mohd Suhaimi) ran third another 1 ¾ lengths away while Simpang (Oscar Chavez) who tailed off badly at the start, stormed home late to just miss third place by a nose. The winning time was 1min 5.93secs.

Winning trainer Mark Walker was certainly heartened by the way the Warplan Racing (who also races his top juvenile War Affair) owned gelding has opened his account after being beset by his leg issues.

“He’s been shinsore a few times and that’s why we’ve just been hanging out a bit with him,” said the Kiwi handler.

“He’s still green, but he certainly has got some potential. He still needs more time as he’s a big strong sort of a horse, which can be a problem for his shinsoreness.

“He was drawn on the outside and still did a bit wrong, but he’s got potential and won well in the end.”

Brown agreed that Perfect Plan has plenty of upsides going forward.

“I was told he was heavy on his shins. The more I tried to steer him in a straight line, the more he rolled out,” said Brown.

“In the home straight, he just kept drifting out wide. My arms were dead, I couldn’t keep him straight anymore.

“But he’s got lots of upsides to him. He’s only lightly-raced and once he puts it together, he’ll be a much better horse.”

Prior to his maiden success, Perfect Plan had only one start under the belt, in a 1000m Initiation race last April when he ran fifth to Smart Samurai.
Favourite ($11) I-Scream Now (Soo Khoon Beng) had every chance, but faded badly in the home straight to finish last.


By Phillip Quay

sarah twentyman
One of New Zealand’s leading horse women, Sarah Twentyman, says her role at Matamata-based Kilgravin Lodge is a dream job.
Sarah (26), a top eventing and showjumping rider in her own right, is the stable manager at Kilgravin Lodge where she has worked for three years.
She runs the day-to-day side of the operation. She assists with breaking-in and provides guidance to the riders when required at Kilgravin Lodge.
“Being around horses is my dream job and Kilgravin Lodge provides that opportunity for me,” she says.
“I have learned a lot from Eion Kemp (co owner) who is always willing to share his knowledge of horsemanship skills,” Twentyman says.
“I have watched Eion closely and based what I do around him so that the horses are in no doubt of what to expect from both of us,” she says. “It is a very natural way of educating young horses and you have to look at the results on the racetrack of the horses we have had go through the sales to see it is working.”
Group One winners Sangster, Zurella and Artistic are shining examples of the level of success that Kilgravin Lodge has been achieving in recent times.
“Eion is always thinking ahead of what is going to work best for the operation and its clients,” Sarah says. “He always has the welfare of the horses at heart and treats them all as individuals and caters for their needs accordingly”
Eion Kemp of Kilgravin Lodge says: “Sarah Twentyman has a sound practical knowledge of horses and what we are wanting to achieve at Kilgravin Lodge.”

Sarah has been an equestrian competitor since a very young age and at 17 was the youngest-ever rider to compete at three star level in eventing at the three-day event at Taupo.

In the past couple of years she has been plagued by injury setbacks but she is keen to resurrect her riding.



Kilgravin Lodge had a role to play in the success of Viadana who provided Matamata trainer Lance Noble with his first Group 1 winner at Ellerslie on Saturday.

Viadana captured the winners' prize in the $200,000 Easter Handicap and the win brought back plenty of memories for Eion Kemp, who operates Kilgravin Lodge.

"She was broken in, agisted and pre-trained at Kilgravin Lodge," says Eion.

"She was a weak and later maturing type and was tough to handle. She didn't enter the stable until she was in her  third preparation. I've got to say she was strong willed and had attitude," he said.

Eion Kemp said he was thrilled for Lance Noble that he gained his first Group 1 training success with Viadana.

"Lance has been a client of Kilgravin Lodge from the outset and we are rapt for him," says Eion Kemp.

Kilgravin Lodge was also represented by Brave Centaur in the Easter Handicap as well as by Zurella.



Kilgravin Lodge principal Eion Kemp took immense satisfaction out of yesterday’s feature races at Ellerslie yesterday with both Group Two winners graduates of the Matamata preparation farm.
Upset Falls Restaurant Avondale Guineas winner Valbuena and Sangster, whose victory in the Cardinal Logistics Avondale Cup served to shorten his Gr. 1 Barfoot & Thompson Auckland Cup odds, gained their early education at Kemp’s establishment.
Ironically, both horses were unwanted as yearlings at Karaka where they failed to meet their reserves and the Peter and Philip Vela-bred and owned Valbuena also failed to sell when put through Kilgravin’s 2011 Ready to Run Sale draft.
“I’m fortunate enough to do all Pencarrow Stud’s ready to runners and he came back to us after the sale and then went on to Bruce Wallace,” Kemp said. “He was a nice type and a good moving horse with an excellent attitude, but he was a bit weak and needed time.”
Valbuena was making just his sixth raceday appearance at Ellerslie and his 34-1 win in the hands of James McDonald saw his Gr. 1 TV3 New Zealand Derby odds tumble from $31 to $6. Holding $3.50 favouritism is Habibi, who suffered her first defeat yesterday when third.
Sangster was passed in as a yearling when offered by Windsor Park Stud and was subsequently purchased by co-trainer Trent Busuttin for a meagre $19,000 out of Kilgravin’s 2010 Ready to Run Sale consignment. The Savabeel four-year-old has now won more than $1.5 million and is a commanding $2.20 Auckland Cup favourite.
“He also had time written all over him,” Kemp said. “He was a big, tall and weak horse and was definitely a staying type.”

MELBOURNE RAID FOR SYDNEY SPRINTER                                          28/09/12

The attraction of a feature race at the ideal distance has prompted Sydney trainer David Payne to make a one-off Melbourne raid with the reliable but ageing Centennial Park (NZ) (Thorn Park).

Payne will run the gelding, who has battled incessant leg injuries his whole life, in the Group One Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on Sunday. Read More


ELEGANCE IMPRESSES IN GOLD TRAIL                                                           22/09/12

Richly-bred filly Pure Elegance (NZ) (Redoute’s Choice) added a quality performance to her potent pedigree when she claimed the Gr.3 Hawke’s Bay Breeders Gold Trail Stakes at her three-year-old debut at Hastings on Saturday. The winner of her sole two-year-old outing at Waipukurau, the aptly named filly got home impressively at the expense of the Group One-performed Rollout The Carpet (Holy Roman Emperor)."We’ve always had a lot of time for her and Jason gave her the gun run," said Steven Ramsay, who prepares Pure Elegance with his partner Julia Ritchie for New Zealand Bloodstock principals Peter and Philip Vela. "Once she gets up to a mile she’ll be really smart". Read More


PURE ELEGANCE HEADS QUALITY GOLD TRAIL STAKES                          21/09/12

A high-class field of three-year-old fillies has been assembled for Saturday’s Group Three Hawke’s Bay Breeders’ Gold Trail Stakes (1200m) at Hastings with the Steven Ramsay & Julia Ritchie-trained Pure Elegance (NZ) (Redoute’s Choice) likely start favourite in the first leg of the New Zealand Bloodstock Filly of the Year series.
A winner of her only start to date when trouncing her rivals at Waipukurau back in March, the regally bred Pure
Elegance has prepared for her racetrack reappearance with a trials victory at Paeroa. Read More


ZURELLA IN CUP BID                                                                                          21/09/12           

New Zealand trainer Shaune Ritchie admits he has to tread a fine line dealing with his capricious mare Zurella (NZ) (Zabeel). The talented four-year-old is the favourite for the Group Three Naturalism Stakes (2000m) at Caulfield on Saturday with a win giving her direct entry into the Caulfield Cup.While Zurella has improved “remarkably” since her winter spell and first-up win at Flemington in the Group Two Let’s Elope Stakes (1400m) earlier this month, she always gives Ritchie nervous moments. Zurella is consistently unruly before the start of every race, and Ritchie says he needs to find a mix between calming her down and preserving her precocious nature. Read More


JAMES UNVEILS CLASSY TOUCH TO WIN                                                   21/09/12

Roger James unveiled promising three-year-old Touch Win (NZ) (Excellent Art) at Poverty Bay on Thursday, with the highly-touted gelding living up to the wraps when winning the Roseland Tavern 1200. Starting a well supported favourite, Touch Win found the line two lengths in advance of talented fellow debutant Biddable (NZ) (Exceed And Excel) under a hand ride from Vinnie Colgan. “He looked like he would learn a lot from the experience,” said a delighted Roger James post-race. “He’s come here a boy and might hopefully go home a man. “He’s got a lot of raw ability but he just needs a few miles on the clock probably. “  Read More


TRIP IDEAL FOR TOM                                                                                         21/09/12

A well-judged ride from apprentice Koh Teck Huat paved the way for Tom (Darci Brahma) getting back into the winner’s list in the $75,000 Class 3 Stakes over 1400m on Friday night, writes Craig Brennan. And the victory brought up a winning double for trainer Laurie Laxon, who had previous success with To Be Remembered (Pins) in the $65,000 Restricted Maiden. Returning a dividend of $85, Tom sailed down the outside to record a one-and-a-half length victory from City Lad (Elusive City) with Totality (Danroad) a head away in third place. Read More


SILVERON WARRIOR WINS AGAIN IN SINGAPORE                                          16/09/12

Warrior wins again Kiwi-bred three-year-old Silveron Warrior (NZ) (Spartacus), a debut winner two runs back and third at his next start, both over 1200 metres, took the step up to 1600 metres in his stride to score an easy two-length win at Kranji on Sunday night.“He’s been a cheap and good buy. He cost me only $21,000 at the Ready to Run sales last year and he’s already won twice and placed once,” said trainer Leslie Khoo. “He will probably get even further later on.”


GRAYSON SQUARE WON'T BE RUSHED                                                            14/09/12

Brisbane trainer Brian Wakefield will resist the temptation to rush talented three-year-old Grayson Square (NZ) (Savabeel) interstate for a spring carnival campaign, even though the gelding’s narrow but impressive win on debut at Doomben last month immediately floated the idea of lofty goals.
“I was toying with taking him interstate but the timing wasn’t right and I would prefer to keep him up here for his immediate future,” Wakefield said. “The plan is to run him in a 1200 metre three-year-old QTIS race at Doomben on Saturday then a 1400 metre race at Eagle Farm a fortnight after that.  Read More

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CRAFTY IRNA TOO GOOD FOR RIVALS                                                                  07/09/12

2011 Group 3 Adrian Knox Stakes winner, Crafty Irna. has kicked of this season's campaign in grand style having won the A$100,000 La Gioconda Stakes over 1600m last night, recording her third career victory.
Only two weeks before hand Crafty Irna produced a very bold performance fresh up when running Dystopia to half a nose in the Listed Toy Show Handicap over 1300m at Warwick Farm, a distance not preferred by the daughter of Starcraft.
The daughter from Singapore Horse of the Year Zirna, Crafty Irna is the third foal and is doing the job on track for her family and of course when she eventually retires to stud. Read More

CRAFTY IRNA IMPRESSES IN FRESH STATE                                                         28/08/12

Kilgravin Lodge graduate, Crafty Irna, produced an outstanding performance over the weekend when running second by the smallest of margins in the Listed Toy Show Handicap over 1300m at Warwick Farm on Saturday.Going down to the Chris Waller trained mare Dystopia, the 1300m trip was well short of the Starcraft filly's ideal distance and could be one of the mares to following over the coming months.Trained by R J Quinton, Crafty Irna was offered at the 2009 Karaka Premier Yearling Sales where she was sold on account of Westbury Stud and managed to fetch a tidy $125,000 sum. Read More


FREEDMAN ON FIRE WITH KILGRAVIN GRADUATES                                           24/08/12

Singapore trainer Michael Freedman could have another Darci Brahma superstar to go alongside his eleven-from-eleven champ Super Easy (NZ). The latest version, Super Junior (NZ),(Pictured) established his own, more modest, two-from-two record when overcoming difficulties to score at Kranji in the $65,000 Novice Stakes on Friday night. Ridden by Joao Moreira, Super Junior scored a fighting neck victory over Hot Gold (Danny Beasley) with Flag Of Command (Ivaldo Santana) three-quarters-of-a-length away third. Freedman said the gelding did a good job in landing the prize as he had raced tight over the last 300m . Read More

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CAVALLO SUPER IMPRESSIVE IN WIN                                                                  24/08/12


The Michael Freedman trained Cavallo (pictured) was super impressive last Sunday night when winning on his second race day appearance in a $65,000 restricted maiden stakes over 1100m at Kranji last night. By Vinery Stud's Testa Rossa, Cavallo was bred at Westbury Stud by Principal Gerry Harvey and was sold at the 2011 Ready to Run Sale for $130,000 on account of Lyndhurst Farm, Cavallo was broken in by Kilgravin Lodge before heading to Lyndhurst. Ridden by Stephen Baster, Cavallo provided the Singapore based jockey his fourth win for the night and also rode him in his first start when running third. "I gave him a pretty ordinary ride on that day. He was very green and was slow out of the gates," said Baster. "But he had no luck as we couldn't get out when I wanted, but he still ran on strongly. "We were expecting a good run today, but again, he missed the kick. I was able to get him in a good position this time, and the horse did the rest in the end."  Read More




Owners dream of finding that good horse and when it’s their first it is even more special.

First time owners, as a part of the Mummify Stable, landed their first success with their first runner in the $65,000 Restricted Maiden over 1000m on the Polytrack on Friday night.

Ridden by Stephen Baster, first starter Ronnie Brown (NZ) (Darci Brahma), the $9 favourite, scored a four-and-a-half length victory over Pure Tactics (Strategic) with Idealistic Moment (Barley A Moment) a length-and-a-half away third. Read more

VASIL HOPING BIRDIE HAS CHANGE OF LUCK                                                  09/08/12

A wide barrier proved detrimental when Green Birdie (NZ) (Catbird) had his first start in Melbourne since returning from Hong Kong and an inside gate turned out to be almost as bad at his second.

So, for his third run this time in, trainer Tony Vasil has chosen a race in which the barrier draw is almost irrelevant.

A Group One winner in Singapore, Green Birdie runs in Saturday's Group Three Aurie's Star Handicap (1200m) down the Flemington straight course.

"We had no choice but to go right back to last in his first-up run," Vasil said. Read more




Silveron Warrior (NZ) (Spartacus) scored an upset victory in the $65,000 Restricted Maiden (2 & 3YO) race over 1200m at Kranji on Friday night when swooping to defeat Code Red (Came Home) by a length.

After enjoying a soft lead, Code Red looked home when he pinched a two-length break with 200m to run, but he had no answer when the Leslie Khoo-trained debutant Silveron Wings came from midfield with a powerful turn of foot.

Khoo said he had expected a forward run from Silveron Warrior, who is raced by the same connections as handy middle-distance performer Silveron Wings (NZ) (Black Minnaloushe), but was a little taken by surprise by the win. Read more


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SUPER JUNIOR HANDLES THE PRESSURE ON DEBUT                                  30/07/2012


Newcomer Super Junior (NZ) (Darci Brahma) lived up to the pre-race hype when he scored a debut win in the $65,000 Restricted Maiden over 1000m on the Polytrack on Friday night.

Sent out the favourite on the strength of three trial victories, Super Junior provided jockey Joao Moreira with his fourth winner for the evening in scoring a one-and-a-half length victory over Oasis Spur (NZ) (Rusty Spur) with Mr Know It All (Sequalo) three-and-a-quarter lengths away third. Read more


ENTRIES ARE CLOSING SOON FOR THE 2013 YEARLING SALES                        7/06/12

Spaces are filling fast. To secure your yearling a place in the Kilgravin Lodge Yearling draft ring Eion today.

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STAKES SUCCESS FOR WEALTHY MAN                                                                6/06/2012

courtesy of NZB

Six-year-old New Zealander Wealthy Man (NZ) (Danzighill x Tatts M' Name) claimed his first stakes success in Macau on Saturday, beating top racehorse Luen Yat Forever (Honours List) to win the M$700,000 M-2 Macau Directors' Cup (1500m).
French apprentice jockey Charles Perkins gave Wealthy Man the perfect ride in the feature race of the meeting, jumping on the speed before settling in the box seat just off the leaders and powering away in the straight. The race winning time of 1 minute 25.5 seconds was a new track record, over half a second quicker than the old record of 1 minute 26.1 seconds.  Read more


OAK PARK WINS ROTORUA STAKES                                                                  12/05/12

Cambridge trainer Murray Baker pulled the right rein with Oak Park (More Than Ready) at Rotorua on Saturday.
But his assistant trainer Andrew Forsman was afraid that getting into the Listed weight-for-age Rotorua Stakes (1400m) might have been like feeding her to the lions.

As it worked out, the tiny filly produced a giant-killing act in the hands of Lisa Cropp to claim the 1400 metre fillies and mares feature.
"I thought she was a certainty in the three-year-old race and that was the race I wanted her to go in,'' Forsman said.
"It's nice when it all works out like that. It doesn't always.''  Read More


KILGRAVIN ENTERS YEARLING MARKET                                                              04/05/12


Kilgravin Lodge has extended its range of thoroughbred services with the establishment of a yearling division on their Matamata complex.

It will run alongside Eion and Megan Kemp’s successful agistment, breaking-in and pre-training operations as well as specialist Ready to Run Sale preparations. “For the last 12 months we have been looking at our business as a whole and ways to expand and as we already successfully do the Ready to Run Sale made sense to utilise our skills and facilities further to do yearlings,” Eion Kemp said.

“This year we’ll be looking to prepare a draft of between 10 and 12 and aimed predominantly at the Select Sale and Festival yearlings.”  Read More

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KILGRAVIN GRADUATES QUINELLA NEW ZEALAND OAKS                            19/03/12

A formidable partnership all the way round no matter which way you look at it. With Kilgravin, The Oaks Stud and Shaun Richie taking the quinella in the New Zealand Oaks on Saturday with Artistic and Zurella. Artistic  was also the fist Group one winner for her sire Darci Brahma. Read more


BLACK TYPE FOR EIGHT SCHILLINGS                                                              19/03/12


Kilgravin graduate claimed another stakes races at the feature meeting at Trentham on Saturday with Eight Schillings (NZ)  winning his first race at stakes level.

The inform sprinter Eight Schillings (O'Reilly x Landon) brought up a stakes winning double for trainer Stephen McKee in the $50,000 Listed Sakhee's Secret Melbourne Racing Club Lightning Handicap. Read more

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3 GROUP ONE RUNNERS FOR KILGRAVIN                                                         03/03/12

Kilgravin will have 3 group one runners today between Auckland and Flemington. Zurella  will kick things off on this side of the tasman in the New Zealand Derby and has a realist chance of picking up another Group one  for Team Oaks as well as increase the ever growing list of Kilgravin Graduates picking up Group sucess. Later in the day  Sangster  and Bombalatomba will go head to head in the Australian Guineas. We wish Trent , Chris Hyland and Rohan Hughes all the best with their charges.




Kilgravin graduate Zurella (NZ) raced into Oaks and Derby contention at Te Rapa on Saturday with an impressive win in the eighth leg of New Zealand Bloodstock's Filly of the Year Series, the $100,000 Group 2 Cambridge Stud Sir Tristram Fillies Classic (2000m). Read more


A BIG THANK YOU                                                                                                  06/02/2012


KILGRAVIN is off to a great start for the current year. We would like to thank our local owners, trainers and breeders as well as our international clients for entrusting us again with their valuable purchases at the recent 2012 NZB Yearling sales. 
All the horses have settled in well and are enjoying a well earned break before they come in to be broken in.

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KILGRAVIN ON BUYING SHEET                                                                             05/02/2012


Kilgravin Lodge once again had a presence on the buying sheet of the recently finished 2012 NZB yearling sale series, with three purchases over the select and festival sales. All three colts will head towards the 2012 Ready to Run sales in November.  They are by commercially sort after stallions and have been purchased with the Asian market in mind.
Kilgravin purchases include:

Towkay colt out of a half sister to the stakes winner and Hong Kong performed BYRON
Elusive City Colt half brother to the Hong Kong winner Fortune Together
Bachelor Duke Colt out of a half sister to ISTA KAREEM multiply stakes winner
Kilgravin Lodge is still in the market for other 1 or 2 quality colts suitable for the 2012 Ready to Run sales. If you have something that may be suitable either email us on or call me on 0274 55 7776.



ANOTHER MAJOR GROUP ONE FOR KILGRAVIN LODGE                          31/10/11

Sangster joins the growing list of Group One graduates of Kilgravin Lodge. Others include Keep the Peace, Green Birdie, Fully Fledged, Jessicabeel, My Scotsgrey, Guillotine and Vigor.

For a horse unwanted as a yearling, Sangster has given plenty of judges, good and bad, cause to think again since, writes Darryl Sherer. Originally passed in as yearling at the New Zealand Bloodstock Select Sale, he then went to NZB Ready-To-Run Sale where he was purchased for NZ$19,000 and yesterday at Flemington he ran out the winner of the AAMI-sponsored $1.5 million Victoria Derby (Gr 1, 2500m). Read More

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KILGRAVIN RTR GRADUATE SHOOTS FOR VRC DERBY                       27/10/11

The Ready to Run Sale has produced two Derby winners since 2010 and will be looking to take number three in one of Melbourne's spring features, the $1.5 million VRC Derby on Saturday.

With Military Move (NZ) (Volksraad) winning the Group 1 New Zealand Derby in 2010, and the Ready to Run Sale's newest Group 1 winner Shootoff (NZ) (Duelled) taking the Group 1 Queensland Derby in June, the inform Sangster (NZ) (Savabeel x Quinta Special) will be representing the Sale in the big race.

New Zealand bred horses have a strong record in the VRC Derby winning four of the last five runnings with Efficient (Zabeel), Kibbutz (Golan), Monaco Consul (High Chaparral) and Lion Tamer (Storming Home) and Sangster looks a leading chance for the kiwis.  Read More


2011 READY TO RUN DRAFT                                                              12/10/11


It's that time again and once again Kilgravin Lodge will present a quality draft of well educated and prepared two year olds at the up coming NZB Ready to Run Sale to be held at Karaka on the 15th and 16th of November 2011. The Breeze Up's will be held at Te Rapa Racecourse on the17th and 18th of October 2011. The two year olds have all progressed well over the last couple of month's to a stage where they are ready to go on Monday 17th. To view the Kilgravin Lodge draft .  Kilgravin Lodge Breeze up videos and times

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MR TIPSY WINS MARTON CUP                                                          17/01/11

The Bjorn and Murray Baker-trained galloper Mr Tipsy (NZ) (Montjeu) announced a sweet return to form with a bold win in the Listed Gallagher Group Marton Cup (2200m) on Saturday. After settling the dual Gr.1 placegetter in eighth, jockey Opie Bosson pulled the talented six-year-old gelding into the clear upon straightening, and with momentum gathered, put paid to all others 100m from home.

Well done to Scott and his team at Flemington Park as well as Murray and Bjorn . Kilgravin Lodge is pleased to be associated with Mr Tipsy  in his breaking in and more recently  with his rehabilation from his injury sustained in Australia. Congrats guys and may he continue on with this form to Australia. Read More

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Past graduates Obsession and Cool Storm claim 1st and 2nd place in the Group 2 at Pukekohe. Both fillies were broken in here at Kilgravin Lodge and we send our congratulations to their prespective owners and trainers.

Obsession (4 Br. M. Bachelor Duke – Mystery Creek, by Kaapstad) managed to overcome some adversity in a topsy-turvy run $100,000, Group II, NRM/Auckland Thoroughbred Breeders Stakes for Fillies and Mares over 1400-metres at Pukekohe on Saturday.

Scrubbed along in the early stages by rider Matthew Cameron before settling beyond midfield on the rail, Obsession sidestepped a concertina effect to a group of horses off the pace near the 600m before surging into the clear at the 300m.

From that point, she unwound a strong finish to collar the game pacemaker Cool Storm (One Cool Cat) in the shadows of the post. Read More


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ALL ROADS LEAD TO KARAKA                                                                          

All roads lead to Karaka next month for Kilgravin Lodge as their grand final looms with a quality consignment of young talent bound for the auction ring.
The NZB Ready To Run Sale on November 16 and 17 has become the most significant event on the Matamata operation’s calendar.
"Everything we do during the year is aimed at this sale and we've become even more focussed on it in recent times," principal Eion Kemp said. Read More

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Both Atom Cat & Show Up are graduates of Kilgravin Lodge. Atom Cat received early education before continuing with Richardson and Show Up was both broken in and pre - trained by us for her owners. Kilgravin Lodge congratulates the respective owners and the Richardson Stable for their double win with Atom Cat and Show Up.

From Maiden status to winning an eighth race within ten months is a monumental performance for any horse and trainer. A feat achieved by local horseman Graham Richardson and Atom Cat (5 B. G. Traditionally – Gatestopper, by Carnegie), winner of the $45,000, Listed, Team Wealleans Matamata Cup over 1600-metres at Matamata on Saturday. Read More

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We will be watching with interest the Sprinters Stakes in Japan, urging on Green Birdie. He is another graduate having been broken in and pre trained here before moving on to Casper Fownes.

The other slight worry about Ultra Fantasy is that he lost some weight on the journey to Nakayama, via the quarantine stable in Tokyo. “He lost about 25lbs in his travels,” says Yiu, “but he’s relaxed and put the weight back on. Japan’s bad weather has been a slight problem too as it’s made the track very deep. So we haven’t been able to work him quite as we’d wanted, and postponed the fast work he was going to do on Wednesday. But the plan now is to give him his final gallop tomorrow.”     Read More

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 Kilgravin Lodge offers congratulations to Lisa Anderson & Grant McLeod on their first Stakes Winner and wish them continued success.We also have a connection with the third place getter, Cool Storm, who we broke in.

  A tooth and nail finish to the $45,000, Listed, Soliloquy Lodge Stakes for three-year-old fillies over 1400-metres at Ellerslie on Saturday saw 12-1 Singapore Sling (3 Gr. F. Starcraft – Gin Sling, by Western Symphony) pip the odds on favourite Dating (O’Reilly) by a nose.

The other grey filly in the race, Cool Storm (One Cool Cat), finished three-quarters-of-a-length away in third. Read More

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The line-up for Karaka's 2010 Ready to Run Sale of 2YOs has been unveiled, with the 494-strong catalogue now online at    Read More

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Kilgravin Lodge broke in Sunsett for her owners.
Sunsett, the three-year-old daughter of Arrowfield Stud's sire Hussonet and world champion racemare Sunline, on Monday won her first trial at Ruakaka, Whangarei.
Sunsett is appropriately named, for she is the last foal of her superstar mother, who developed laminitis in 2008 and was euthanised on 1 May 2009.
The filly is trained by Stephen McKee, who also owns her in partnership with two of Sunline's racing owners, his father Trevor McKee and Thayne Green. Read More

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Green Birdie(NZ) (Catbird) advanced his case for Japan’s Gr.1 Sprinters Stakes (1200m) at Nakayama on October 3 with a bold second in last night’s Gr.2 Centaur Stakes at Hanshin Racecourse.On the instruction to ride him quiet, New Zealand jockey Mark Du Plessis had the top weight chance just rear of midfield on the rails coming into the straight, and when time came for the handbrake to be released, the pair flashed home three wide. Read More

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Fantastic Jaw was in our 2008 Ready to Run draft.

Trainer Stephen Gray and jockey Vlad Duric were right on the ball on Friday night scoring an early double.After winning the opening race with Surprise Surprise, they followed up in the third event when debutant Fantastic Jaw took out the $65,000 Restricted Maiden over 1200m. Read More

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The New Zealand-bred and Hong Kong trained, Green Birdie (NZ) won the S$1m, Group One, KrisFlyer International Sprint (1200m) at Kranji on Sunday night to make it back to back sprint wins in the race by Hong Kong horses after Scared Kingdom (AUS) won last year. Read More

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Trainer John O’Shea is glad of the day close friend Byron Rogers introduced him to Jason Abrahams. As O’Shea says himself, Abrahams helped fund his career so yesterday was a degree of payback as the Abrahams-owned Jessicabeel (NZ) swept down the outside to land the $600,000 Sydney Cup (Gr 1) and announce herself a future Melbourne Cup contender. Read More

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Mercury Mistress's only start in the Southern Filly of the Year series resulted in a dominant win in the Listed NZB Airfreight Stakes over 1600m on the 10th April.Read More

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It''s often said education is the key to success so it''s no surprise Kilgravin Lodge proprietors Eion and Megan Kemp are carving a name for them­selves in the local thoroughbred industry.

These days a successful hands-on horseman, Eion set out to be an equine veterinarian and spent three years at university gaining part of his qualifica­tions before changing tack. That meant winning a scholarship to the world-renowned Marcus Oldham Equine College in Victoria, Australia, a one-year all encompassing course aligned to the thoroughbred industry. Read More

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