Etah James and Yearn retired

Stakes-winning mares poised to begin their career at stud

ETAH JAMES winning the Schweppes Sydney Cup
ETAH JAMES winning the Schweppes Sydney Cup

Group 2-winning Savabeel (Zabeel) mare Yearn has been retired and is likely to be sold as a broodmare prospect in the coming months.

Prepared by Karen Fursdon for the majority of her career, Yearn’s biggest win came when landing the Auckland Thoroughbred Breeders’ Stakes (Gr 2, 1400m) in late 2019, while she also finished third in the Thorndon Mile (Gr 1, 1600m) in 2020. The mare retires the winner of seven of her 45 starts, earning NZ$339,895 in career prize-money. 

“We retried her last week,” said part-owner Mark Lupton, who trained Yearn in the early part of her career. 

“She just had a little niggle. She is a bit averse to wet tracks, so there is not much point keeping her going. We could have spelled her and given her another go but she is a rising eight-year-old and I would rather retire her sound and in good health.”

Lupton indicated that the mare would most likely be auctioned via online platform Gavelhouse Plus.

“I’ve had a couple of bloodstock agents enquire about her but unless something comes up in the next week or ten days, she will most likely go on Gavelhouse Plus towards the end of the month.

“She deserves to go to a good stallion and I am not really into the commercial side of breeding. My passion is racing them and if we get a reasonable price we will sell her.

“She has been a great horse to us and we have had a lot of fun with her.”

Meanwhile, Lupton also reported that last year’s Sydney Cup (Gr 1, 3200m) winner Etah James (Raise The Flag) has also been retired.

A mare that he and wife Cath bred and part-owned, the daughter of Raise The Flag (Sadler’s Wells) landed last year’s Sydney Cup for trainers Ciaron Maher and David Eustace.

The mare had previously been trained to stakes success by Matt Cumani, while Lupton had also trained her during her time in New Zealand. 

“She was going to have another crack at the Sydney Cup and she was in work on a water walker in Melbourne but a sarcoid started growing and she had to go back to Sydney for an operation,” Lupton said.

“We decided she had been through enough and we have retired her. She looks a picture of health and the sarcoids have almost disappeared. She owes us nothing and has been a hell of a good mare to us.

“She looks amazing and is spelling with our trotting trainer James Ratray, south of Menangle and she will go to stud in Australia this year before coming back to New Zealand.”

Etah James won eight of her 34 career starts and amassed $1.25 million in prize-money.

Racing and Sports