Balmerino (horse)

Balmerino (11 November 1972 – 30 May 1996) was a bay Thoroughbred stallion that was foaled at Cambridge in the Waikato region of New Zealand. He later became a champion racehorse with many international successes.

SireTrictrac (FR)
GrandsireLe Haar
Foaled11 November 1972
CountryNew Zealand
BreederRalph K. Stuart
OwnerRalph K. Stuart
Colours: emerald green, red stars, red sleeves and cap.
TrainerBrian Smith
John Dunlop
Record46: 22-11-2
Major wins
New Zealand Derby (1975)
New Zealand 2000 Guineas (1975)
P J O'Shea Stakes (1976)
Brisbane Cup (1976))
Rawson Stakes (1976)
Tulloch Stakes (1976)
Air New Zealand Stakes (1977)
Awapuni Gold Cup (1977)
Kelt Capital Stakes (1977)
Valdoe Stakes (1977)
New Zealand Horse of the Year (1976)
Australian Champion Three Year Old (1976)
New Zealand Racing Hall of Fame (2008)
Australian Racing Hall of Fame (2019)
Last updated on 14 May 2019


Balmerino was by Trictrac (FR), his dam was the unraced, Dulcie, who was by Duccio (ITL). Trictrac (FR), sired seven stakes winners that won 33 stakes races.[1] Before Balmerino was foaled Dulcie had already produced Fulmen, Fileur, Gay Philou, Micheline and Mia Bella, all good gallopers by Le Filou (FR). After her death Dulcie was posthumously awarded the 1975-6 New Zealand "Broodmare of the Year".[2]

Racing career

Balmerino was the champion three-year-old of his year, winning both the New Zealand 2000 Guineas and New Zealand Derby. Those wins and his subsequent success against older horses in both the Air New Zealand Stakes and in races in Australia confirmed that he would be a landslide winner of the Horse of the Year award in New Zealand. He also won the Australian Three Year-Old of the Year award for the 1975-76 season.

Later in his career he travelled to the Northern Hemisphere and performed very well in some of the best races in Europe. He won the Group one (G1) Gran Premio del Jockey Club e Coppa d'Ora in Italy before being relegated to second place, and also ran second in the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe, Coronation Cup and the Eclipse Stakes.

Balmerino's best performance was in the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe, a race many consider him unlucky not to have won. He was second in a star-studded field to champion racehorse Alleged (Timeform rating 138).

During 1977 Balmerino had 39 starts in New Zealand, Australia, the United States, England, Italy and France for 21 wins, 9 seconds, 1 third and stakes winnings for the equivalent of (AUD)$400,000.[2] He was joint Champion Older Horse in both England and France for the 1977 seasons, and was awarded a Timeform rating of 133 in 1977 and 124 in 1978.

Stud career

He was retired to stud in 1979 and stood with moderate success in New Zealand, where he sired 29 stakes winners of 80 stakes races.

His group one winners were:

Balmerino died at Cambridge on 30 May 1996.[4] He was inducted into the New Zealand Racing Hall of Fame in 2008.


  1. ASB Retrieved on 2 May 2009
  2. de Bourg, Ross, “The Australian and New Zealand Thoroughbred”, Nelson, West Melbourne, 1980, ISBN 0-17-005860-3
  3. ASB - Balmerino Retrieved on 2 May 2009
  4. Potter, Tony (16 June 1996). "A globetrotting great". Sunday Star Times. p. 11.
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