Australian Sires: Raheeb
By Kristen Manning
“Very easy on the eye,” is how Oritah Park, Kerang’s Andrea Otto describes Raheeb, the former Queensland based stallion who makes Victoria his home this spring.
Arriving at the northern Victorian property on Wednesday morning, the handsome chestnut has the look of a male model… handsome with a confident swagger!
“He is just a gorgeous stallion,” Otto said, noting that everyone who saw Raheeb at the track said the same thing – “he was always a stand-out.”
A powerfully built chestnut, Raheeb has the classic good looks of his sire Royal Academy, a horse who was considered by many great judges to be equine perfection.
A US$3.5 million yearling, Royal Academy lived up to his appearance on the track, winning four of his seven starts including the July Cup and the Breeders’ Cup Mile with Lester Piggott aboard.
And what a great job the son of the legendary Nijinsky II did at stud in both hemispheres – represented by 170 stakes winners, 22 of whom are Group One winners including Bullish Luck, Oscar Schindler, Sleepytime and Bel Esprit who is, of course, sire of the mighty Black Caviar.
Raheeb is a son of the dual stakes winning, Group One placed (second to speedster Mookta in the Newmarket Handicap) Marauding mare Gatana, also dam of Blue Diamond Prelude winner Piccadilly Circus – in turn dam of two times Champion Sire Fastnet Rock,
A two times Group One winner of the Lightning Stakes and the Oakleigh Plate, Fastnet Rock has sired 120 stakes winners; 28 Group One winners including Atlantic Jewel, Mosheen and Sea Siren. Already seven of his sons including Foxwedge, Your Song, Smart Missile and Hinchinbrook have sired stakes winners.
A full brother to Piccadilly Circus, Raheeb – on the back of two impressive trial victories – was sent out a hot odds-on favourite at his Wyong debut in January 2007 and he could not have been more impressive racing away by 4 1/4 lengths.
Again odds-on at start number two Raheeb as smart again, saluting by just short of two lengths which so easily could’ve been more – Allan Robinson easing him down to the line.
Quickly progressing through the grades, Raheeb was slowly away in the Gr.2 Phar Lap Stakes at just his fifth start, only just missing out in trying conditions. Also placed in the Listed Carbine Club Stakes, the Listed Queensland Day Stakes and the Gr.3 Doomben Classic he was back all the bigger and better in the spring.
When it was his turn for stakes glory; the Gr.3 Cameron Stakes at Newcastle won in exciting style by 3 1/4 lengths.
“This horse has plenty of courage,” enthused jockey Danny Nikolic. “He peaked at the 100m but then got going again, he is a horse with a lot of ability and he is a joy to ride.”
So impressive was his win that he was sent out favourite in the Gr.1 Epsom Handicap, a race in which soft conditions hindered his turn of foot.
Not seeing out the 2040m of the W.S Cox Plate – but doing a great job to make the field – Raheeb had a brief autumn campaign but was back in winning form the following spring taking on some smart types in the Listed Paris Lane Stakes.
Always travelling well on pace, Raheeb sprinted clear late to salute by 2 3/4 lengths for the Mick Price stable with that trainer describing him as “a magnificent type.”
“I’ve had a good opinion of him for a fair while,” he said, “he has been going really well.”
Retiring to stud as the winner of four races and over $350,000 in stakes, Raheeb kicked off his breeding career at the now defunct Patinack Farm before moving to Wattle Brae Stud.
As is so often the case with stallions who have been moved around, his stud career has been disrupted with his mare numbers dropping off. He has however proven a source of winners with 38 winners and 20 placegetters from just 92 runners.
All That Is, Raheeba, Clair and Bambino Clementine are all metropolitan winners whilst Man Around Town and Ribands have been prolific performers on the provincial circuit. As has La La Loopsy who has looked good winning four of her seven starts to date – also a game second in the $150,000 Western Qualifier of the Country Championships at Dubbo.
Keen to give Raheeb every chance in Victoria, Oritah Park is offering discounts to mares who match up well on pedigree – keen for example to give granddaughters of Fastnet Rock a chance with him.
For further information on Raheeb who will stand at $2200 (incl gst) contact Andrea Otto on 0427804581.
Kristen Manning is a freelance racing writer and pedigree analyst based in Melbourne. A keen owner/breeder who loves every aspect of thoroughbred horse racing, she has written two books focusing on the deeds of Fields Of Omagh and Prince Of Penzance.