Having recently read Give A Man A Horse: The Remarkable Story of Patrick Hogan, by Dianne Haworth, I was struck by the somewhat parallel paths his professional ties to the Thoroughbred industry took with Alice Chandler’s, and that the link was even stronger for involving her stallion Sir Ivor.
Much has been written about Sir Ivor resulting from a breeding of Sir Gaylord to one of four mares Alice Chandler’s father left her, and how he went to become an Epsom Derby winner, marking a grand start for her taking the reins and adding to her father’s legacy admirably.
Patrick Hogan and his brother jointly managed the Thoroughbred farm their father had begun when the latter passed away, until their paths diverged and Patrick Hogan went on to start his own farm.
After securing his own farm where he took broodmares he owned, Hogan began looking for a stallion to syndicate. After a long search without finding a promising prospect, Sir Tristam, by Sir Ivor, came to his attention. The horse’s race record was modest but his pedigree caught Hogan’s attention.
Speaking of parallels to Alice Chandler and Sir Ivor, Sir Tristram left Europe to try to contest the 1974 Kentucky Derby, whereas his sire had been American-based and captured one of Europe’s most renowned Derbies. Rayond Guest, Sir Ivor’s owner, also owned Sir Tristram during his race career. Like many owners in a position to dream of top racing glory, having a Derby winner was a deep wish Guest had. Sir Tristram’s American race debut was not auspicious, as he ws not familiar with the layout of U.S. tracks, and he ran 11th in the Kentucky Derby.
Sir Tristram was a tough horse to handle, often attacking people, and when he arrived in New Zealand after quarantine, he had been through a barn fire that left marks on his coat. It didn’t sell him well to syndicate shareholders in his intriductory show to them. It was reflected in mares he covered being a smaller amount than was originally planned, and in the quality of mares sent being markedly insignificant.
Hogan’s faith in the horse did not waver, however, and he sent his best mares to his court. It didn’t take long to see that this faith would be rewarded as some of his first progeny to hit the track and do well amassed over 1 million Australian dollars in stakes earnings, though they had a combined price of $12,000. That success captured the eye of people who perhaps would not have given sir Tristram a second glance before, and he was a six-time champion Australian sire and four-time champion broodmare sire.
He sired Zabeel among his dozens of Group 1 winners, and Zabeel became his heir apparent at Hogan’s Cambridge Stud. Zabeel did not commence his stud career at Cambridge until it was clear Sir Tristram himself was nearing the end of his sire career, as Hogan held him in such esteem that he essentially wanted the stallion ranks of the farm to encompass only one horse, the horse he affectionally called “Paddy.” (As a side note, as Patrick Hogan began to look to the future beyond encompassing bringing in a new stallion, it seemed unusual to me, given the time frame was the late 1980s, that he noted he didn’t have heirs to pass the farm to, as his children are daughters and not sons).
Zabeel did indeed take up the mantle well of his own sire, producing such top horses as Octagonal and Might and Power, to name a few. Octagonal sired Lonhro, who became a champion Australian sire in his own right, carrying on the legacy of the mighty Sir Tristram, with his intriguing mix of European and American influences that marked the beginning of an incredible chapter for New Zealand’s Thoroughbred history.
I greatly enjoyed the well-written book by Haworth that recounted this story, and how it brought to life Sir Patrick Hogan, honored with a CBE in 1991 for services to racing, and Sir Tristram, stories I had never heard before and that I appreciated adding to my knowledge bank as one interested in racing history and how pedigrees weave their way through this and add to it. This is but a small glimpse of what Hogan did for the racing industry. He is a remarkable individual and I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in racing.