Brothers Peter and Philip Vela, two of New Zealand's leading owners, have decided to go separate ways - Peter will retain his huge racing operations while Philip concentrates on their privately owned fishing business.
The Velas had combined New Zealand racing and breeding interests for 30 years, building their Pencarrow Stud into one of the showpiece operations with a grand band of top-class broodmares.
The Velas' biggest wins in racing came through the bonny mare Ethereal, which was trained by Sheila Laxon to win the 2001 Caulfield and Melbourne cups double as well as The BMW in 2002, which was to be her last race start.
Other horses to carry their blue-and-white silks include Romanee Conti, Grand Echezeaux, Noble Heights and Riverina Charm.
Peter will take over the New Zealand Bloodstock business, which conducts all the main sales in the country at the Karaka complex. They acquired the company in 1997 and it has become one of the best-appointed sales rings in the world.
Pencarrow has been responsible for four of the top-priced lots to sell at Karaka since their takeover, including the Stravinsky x Grand Echezeaux colt which fetched $NZ$2.2 million ($1.93m) in 2006.
The fishing business is also one of the biggest in New Zealand and Philip will own and run the company outright. Their decision to go different ways was, sources say, an amicable one.
What am I bid?
A phenomenal Tattersalls October yearling sale beckons after officials said they could replicate the 2,500,000 guineas ($4.6m) paid for a stunning Galileo colt offered by Australian Paul Makin last year.
Scheduled for three days from October 8 to 10, the sale invariably attracts high-rollers - last year's sales-topper was bought by Sheikh Fahad Al-Thani of Dunaden fame.
The yearling colt has been named Hydrogen and his full-brother is one of 47 yearlings catalogued by Europe's leading sire, Galileo, which already has an unassailable lead in this year's stallions' premiership with earnings in excess of £3.2 million ($5.43m).
Invincible Spirit has 28 yearlings and the stallion is on the crest of a wave in group 1 races in Europe courtesy of Moonlight Cloud, the mare which Black Caviar narrowly defeated at Royal Ascot last year. Last Sunday, Moonlight Cloud beat a stellar field of sprinters in the group 1 Prix Jacques Le Marois at Deauville - claiming her fourth group 1 win at the French track and fifth at the highest level overall.
Australia's premier sire, Exceed And Excel, has 24 lots catalogued and Fastnet Rock is strongly represented with 17 lots - 11 colts and seven fillies. Other Australasian shuttle horses with multiple entries are Teofilo (19), Makfi (16), Iffraaj (14), Rip Van Winkle (13), Lope De Vega (10), Mastercraftsman (8) and High Chaparral (5). The last yearlings by Montjeu, the sire of last year's Melbourne Cup winner Green Moon, will be on offer with 17 lots catalogued.
Shoot Out's dam, Pentamerous, was named the Queensland broodmare of the year earlier this week after the galloper's two group 1 wins in the 2012-13 racing season clinched the gong.
Pentamerous is owned by Linda and Graham Huddy, who race Shoot Out, and they have sent the mare to Shoot Out's sire, High Chaparral, on three occasions since and she has foaled two colts and is ready to give birth again soon. Her partner this season will be the new leading stallion, Exceed And Excel.
Glenlogan Park took out all the stallion honours for Queensland-based sires with Show A Heart the champion sire and Real Saga the leading sire of two-year-olds and champion first-season stallion.
■ Helmet has become a "dad" for the first time after the flashy three-time group 1-winning son of Exceed And Excel had his first foal born, from the More Than Ready mare In Expectation, at Woodside Park in Victoria. Woodside's Murray Tillett said the Helmet colt was a lovely strong individual with an attractive head and powerful hindquarters.
■ Another first-season sire, Dream Ahead, also had his first foal born this week when Tobouggie Woogie dropped a chestnut filly for owner Harry Perks at Segenhoe Stud. She was described by staff as "a quality filly with plenty of leg and bone". Dream Ahead returns to Emirates Park for his second season and inspections can be arranged by phone to the stud.
■ NZ Oaks winner Artistic (by Darci Brahma) will be one of the first partners for Reliable Man, which begins his stud career at Gerry Harvey's Westbury Farm based at Karaka next month after his breakdown when beating It's A Dundeel in the Queen Elizabeth Stakes in April. Rick Williams, spokesman for The Oaks Stud, which bought a 10 per cent interest in Reliable Man, made the announcement earlier this week.
■ Darley's Exceed And Excel and Commands are running first and third in the stallions' premierships two weeks into the season after both were represented by group 3 winners last weekend. Exceed And Excel had Just Discreet in the Spring Stakes at Morphettville, while Commands' flyer Rain Affair scored his second win in the Missile Stakes. Exceed And Excel's winnings are $259,410 and Commands' progeny have won $232,810. Splitting the pair is Choisir with earnings of $239,585. Three sires - Flying Spur, Hussonet and Elvstroem - have all sired 11 individual winners since August 1.