Day At The Track


01:32 AM 26 Sep 2006 NZST
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Aberfeldy - Original Art by Lynley A. Driver
Courtesy Of Lynley A. Driver

Aberfeldy is a household name in New Zealand harness racing circles, known as one of the most successful and cherished broodmares to ever look through a headstall in this country.

Furthermore, she has done so much to perpetuate the high standing of her celebrated dam Black Watch who has established the most potent and prolific branch of the Stud Book’s foremost Regina family.

It is fitting then that Sefton (Canterbury) equine artist Lynley Driver has captured the great mare Aberfeldy in oils after earlier painting her dam Black Watch.

The latter painting of Black Watch was posted on Harnesslink at the beginning of the year and attracted many favourable world-wide reactions.

Lynley Driver leaves no stone unturned when capturing the most minute details in her work.

In order to pursue perfection, she visited Sandy Yarndley’s property on two occasions to paint Aberfeldy.

Aberfeldy (Mark Lobell-Black Watch) was New Zealand’s 2000-2001 Broodmare Excellence Award winner and not surprisingly in view of her prodigious feats in the breeding barn.

Black Watch, winner of 14 races and 28 times placed, was 1989-90 New Zealand broodmare of the Year and Aberfeldy has followed in her footsteps.

Rosehaven was virtually gifted for a shilling to Sandy Yarndley’s father Alan by Invercargill owner-breeder Alex McKenzie when it was believed she would never conceive again.

In actual fact, however, she did breed again and Black Watch was one of her later foals.

Top pacer Spare Parts was another good winner she belatedly produced.

Black Watch was a half sister to Cabana (by Hal Tryax) who left the Southland-bred ace Comedy Lad, winner of an Auckland Cup for the late Max Harvey.

Aberfeldy produced 18 foals, 12 of whom raced for 10 winners, including five in 2.0

Some of Aberfeldy’s best winners included Reba Lord (15 wins, 1.56), ace filly Megaera (8 wins and 1:56.8) and Jayvee, the dam of big Australian winner Sovereign Hill (1:55.5 h).

Sandy Yarndley said most of his best mares “all had a mind of their own’’ and Aberfeldy and Black Watch were no exceptions.

“Aberfeldy and Black Watch were a little different…Aberfeldy was a bit bigger and roomier.’’

Yarndley added that they were independent types. Black Watch acted as minder for her distinguished half sister Tata Matapo (by Tudor Hanover) who was blind and was naturally unraced.

Tata Matapo later left five winners from six to race, including Victorian Pacing Derby winner Smooth Falcon.

Yarndley recalled that Black Watch and Tata Matapo always “cobbered up’’ with each other when they didn’t have foals with them.

Black Watch is buried on the Yarndley property which will also be Aberfeldy’s last resting place.

A dark bay in colour, Aberfeldy, aged 28, is in good health, Yarndley said.

Needless to say, she is a special resident on the famous farm that continues to exert an overwhelming influence on harness racing Down Under.

Clilck the link below for more information on Yarndley Farms.

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