The worst thing you could have said to Sir Patrick Hogan before he led the last Zabeel yearling through the sale ring was “good luck”.
But as the time to sell lot 102 approached, the veteran horseman’s instincts kicked in.
The Organdy colt was playing up a little as he walked around just prior to being led into the sale ring by one of his staff.
But Hogan, now 75, took control and settled the colt down.
It took a couple of minutes before they entered the sale ring, adding to the drama, in front of a packed crowd who’d been asked not to applaud for fear of spooking the colt.
Zabeel has brought huge success to Hogan in the Karaka sale ring ever since the first crop, including champion Octagonal, were sold at Karaka in 1994.
He was retired from stud duties last year, and Hogan was determined to lead the final yearling through the ring, despite rarely doing so in recent years.
“I got a little stirred up before, when a couple of people came up to me and said ‘how are you feeling’ and I thought ‘I’ve got to get out there because this is going to get to me’,” he said.
“I’d have been devastated if I’d have to turn around and say I couldn’t do it. When I entered to the ring, it all came naturally. I didn’t have to think about it.”
Auctioneer Joe Walls deliberately kept his voice down as the horse was auctioned, eventually being knocked down to Gene Tsoi for $NZ160,000. ($A151,165)
Hogan, however, didn’t quite see it as the curtain closing for Zabeel, the sire of 44 group one winners to date who already has left a huge legacy.
“They’ll be racing probably the next eight or nine years. The broodmares and the stallions are all coming through,” he said.
“I think the nicest thing for me is that Zabeel is still alive. He’s rising 29 and it’s nice he’s in the paddock when his last yearling has gone through. It was his day today too.”
Zabeel has won sire premierships in New Zealand and Australia and the Dewar Award for Australasian earnings by a New Zealand-based sire 15 times, and produced several outstanding broodmares and sire sons.
But Hogan said his favourite Zabeel moment was the sale of a colt out of Diamond Lover in 2000 for a then-Australasian record $3.6 million. That colt, Don Eduardo, went on to win the Australian Derby.