Totara Park signs Pure Champion

Group 1 winner Pure Champion has been retired to Totara Park at Whangarei in New Zealand.

Pure Champion was bred in Ireland and was purchased by Coolmore partner Michael Tabor for 250,000gns (NZ 747,650 ) at the 2008 Tattersalls October yearling sale.

Initially racing under the name Steinbeck, he won a Naas juvenile on debut in May 2009 and was then put away for the G1 Dewhurst Stakes.  Starting a $5 popular elect among Aidan O’Brien’s four starters at Newmarket, he led and was collared late to finish fourth (beaten a neck, nose and neck) behind stablemate Beethoven.

Resuming at three, Steinbeck finished fourth to Canford Cliffs in the G1 Irish 2000 Guineas and then broke through at black-type level in the G3 Solonaway Stakes (1700m) at Killarney and LR Ruby Stakes (1600m) at the Curragh.

Sold to Hong Kong and renamed Pure Champion, he enjoyed a successful 29-start career winning at Group 3 level in the 2012 January Cup and 2013 Centenary Vase.  He defeated Dan Excel in the latter and then finished second to Military Attack in the G1 Hong Kong Gold Cup.

A further move resulted in Pure Champion racing for the O’Sullivan family in NZ.  “We basically got him after he had been retired,” trainer Lance O’Sullivan said.  “Who knows what he might have done if we had him two or three years earlier.”

Pure Champion (8h Footstepsinthesand – Castara Beach by Danehill) raced six times earlier this season winning the G1 Windsor Park Plate and G3 Manawatu Challenge Stakes.  “He still did an outstanding job,” O’Sullivan added.  “He’s a beautiful animal who deserves a chance at stud.”

Totara Park owner Les Donaldson, his daughter Nicci and son-in-law Dirk Oberholster, stand Pure Champion in an agreement with the O’Sullivans.  He has been priced at a $5,000 (plus gst) service fee alongside Buffalo Man (El Prado).