19 September 2013 - Just 10 days ago, prolific Bendigo standardbred broodmare Classic Kate died peacefully at the grand old age of 32 years, surrounded by her 20 year-old son Sports Dancer and 10 year-old grandson Real Impact.
Classic Kate was a Batman mare out of Gay Debutante and was purchased as a yearling by Bendigo trainer and breederand long time friend, Eddie Jenkins. She won six races including the 3yo Sires Stakes Semi Final at Moonee Valley and in excess of $21,000 (30 years ago). In the breeding barn, Classic Kate superseded her racing performances.
She had her first foal in 1988, New York Dancer, and her last foal in 2005, Leica Dancer. In total, she had 14 foals (two of which died young), 9 of them were fillies, and she managed to outlive her two eldest daughters. The Graham's are still breeding out of four of her daughters and now also two of her granddaughters.
She is the only mare to have five of her descendants as finalists in the Group 1 Australian Pacing Gold Series including:
- 1993 - 4th place - Whata Dancer (out of Classic Kate)
- 1996 - 4th place - Sports Dancer (out of Classic Kate)
- 1998 - 3rd place - Sister Dancer (out of Classic Kate)
- 2009 - 2nd place - Modern Girl (out of Sister Dancer)
- 2010 - 1st place Colts & Gelding Champion - Royal Verdict (out of Sister Dancer)
Classic Kate is also the grandmother of top race horses Hexham Heartbeat, Whata Impact, Real Impact, Earls Court, Black Legacy, Otaktay, Sidney Shaw, as well as the top juveniles of 2009 and 2010, Modern Girl and 2010 Horse of the Year Royal Verdict, which won three Group 1, 2yo races that season.
The combined earnings of all named descendants from Classic Kate is in excess of $1.5million. This includes a $500,000 + earner in her grandson Royal Verdict ($531,187) and three $100,000 + earners including Classic Kate's son Sports Dancer ($162,018), granddaughter Modern Girl ($122,135) and her great grandson, West Australian, Sir Jasper ($100,101).
Another soon likely to join the $100,000 + club is granddaughter, Victorian mare Hexham Heartbeat, which is on the cusp of the $100,000 earnings. Classic Kate's descendants boast several Group winners between them including;
Royal Verdict (2yo APG Final, 2yo Sires Stakes Final and 2yo Australasian
Breeders Crown Final, each a Group 1 victory.
- Hexham Heartbeat (3yo Sires Stakes Final - Gr 1)
- Whata Impact (3yo Sires Stakes Semi Final - Gr 3)
Classic Kate's great grandson Kenandi Illusion won a 2yo race in the last week of the 2012/13 season and the mare had another of her progeny, a grandson born just four days after her death. The Grahams are expecting five more descendants of this broodmare gem to be born in Bendigo in the next couple of months, so the Classic Kate dynasty is set to continue for many years to come. -Researched by Kirsten Graham