Nonda Southern Cross was the highest placed stallion in the 2023 Warwick Gold Cup placing 11th overall in a field of 645. This on the back of his 6th placing in the Condamine Bell (599 starters).
David & Heather Pascoe couldn’t be more pleased, Heather saying, “Like everyone else, the Warwick Gold Cup is special and meaningful to us because of the proud history and old tradition it represents.
In fact, Denzels ‘Aunt’ – Nonda Sweet Dreams, the half sister to his dam Nonda Happy Ever After – is the dam of Nonda Let’s Talk Later, who won the the 2000 Warwick Gold Cup for us.
“Denzel’s results came after a brief, nine week campaign with his new trainer Mark Buttsworth after he had spent 18 months home in his paddock.
“After putting him back in the paddock following his wins in the 2021 Warwick Stallion Draft and the 2022 Nutrien Open, it became obvious to everyone who watched him work birds every day of his life that a great horse was being wasted.
“We were also receiving encouraging reports that his progeny already under saddle were outstanding.
“We believed that our own horses we had bred by him were also exceptional.
“We decided to send two of his progeny – a colt and a filly – up to Mark Buttsworth before we made any decision on Denzels future. After a couple of weeks, Mark told us he thought both young horses showed great potential. We knew how much they were like their sire and we were impressed by the easy, relaxed relationship between Mark and the horses – and how naturally they worked cattle.
“We decided that Denzel deserved to have another chance to show the world exactly how good he is – and that Mark Buttsworth would be the perfect fit to ride him.
“Denzel arrived at Marks in mid-August with basic fitness after being worked off a bike on our farm roads. He then went to Mostly Hills and Juandah Plains to allow Mark to get to know him better. After that, he headed straight to Condamine for the start of the Triple Crown.
“It was obvious that the partnership between them has continued to refine and strengthen after every run and we believe we are seeing something very special.
“We are already looking forward to watching Mark and Denzel in competition in 2024.
“We would like to offer our deepest thanks and appreciation to Mark and his entire team for the meticulous and professional care they have always given Denzel. Nothing was too much trouble and no stone was left unturned in his preparation. Most importantly, Mark has always allowed Denzel to be Denzel – the unique, different and incredibly talented athlete who likes to do things his own way.
“He is now home for the breeding season where he is will cover a lovely book of mares.
“We are old-school, dedicated breeders and we still believe that the greatest gold or silver trophy of them all is to breed a champion horse.
“We believe Denzel is producing something very special – both in the arena and at stud – and it gives us great pleasure to be able to share him with so many people.”