Day At The Track

Flying fillies the domain of the Yeomans

02:38 PM 16 Sep 2020 NZST
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John and Christine Yeomans with their Group 1 winning mare Im Smouldering,Harness racing
John and Christine Yeomans with their Group 1 winning mare Im Smouldering

Doreen (Victoria) couple John and Christine Yeomans have established a solid reputation over four decades for breeding and racing quality standardbred stock, particularly pacing fillies and mares.

The list of top performers bred at their Homestead Farm reads like a classics’ date book and includes Life Inthefastlane (Queen of the Pacific and Vic. Youthful Stakes), Im Smouldering (Vicbred 3YO Final and Tatlow Memorial), Racy Rita (Victoria Oaks), Vansumic (NSW Ladyship Mile) and Yes I Can (Vic. Youthful Stakes).

“Racy Rita probably put us on the map,” John said. “But Life Inthefastlane gave us our biggest thrill when she won the Queen of the Pacific after almost dying from a colic attack 12 months earlier.”

Other smart types raced and trained by John and Christine have been the Vicbred champion and Oceania El Dorado winner Gigi, Indigenous (Tasmanian Oaks and Vic. Gold Chalice), Gold Cygnet (Galaxy Grand Slam 2YO), the Moonee Valley Cup winner Relentless Pursuit, Etoile (APG 2YO Final), Jaydare (Tatlow Memorial) and Makeyourownluck (winner of $221,952).

John estimates that he has trained more than 350 winners.

“We’ve been lucky to have bred or raced 12 Group 1 winners,” he said.

In recognition for sustained excellence and achievement in the Breeding industry, the Yeomans were presented with the Ian Daff Memorial Award for Victorian Breeders of the Year in 2012 by Harness Breeders Victoria.

The husband-and-wife team are also proud sponsors of Victorian trotting their company Yeomans Slate and Stone.

John admits that his success has been largely due to a team effort.

“Christine does most of the pedigree matching and we have great staff in Shane Gallagher and his wife Rachael Benns, who assist with the breeding, training and yearling preparation.

Regular vendors at the Victorian yearling sales since the early 1980’s, John and Christine have sold colts such as Red Hot Major (WA Western Crown), Solid As A Rock ($163,530), Lanista ($107,415) and Badge Of Honour ($105,469) – all classics material – and fillies in the same class such as Vansumic ($268,649), one of the few mares to ever defeat Adore Me, and others.

“We normally race the fillies that we breed and don’t keep many colts,” John stated.

In a parting from tradition, the Yeomans have nominated two superbly bred fillies for the inaugural Nutrien Equine Standardbred Yearling Sale to be held at Oaklands Junction in April 2021.

The draft comprises A Rocknroll Dance filly out of Im Smouldering, a multiple Group winning Bettor’s Delight mare from the grand producer Red Hot Rita, and a Rock With Joe filly from the Art Major mare Koori Art, a daughter of the Oaks winner Indigenous.

“Indigenous’s offspring have earned more than $518,000, while Red Hot Rita’s progeny have banked $512,000,” John said.

And, judging on their pedigrees and the Yeomans’ track record, the two youngsters are a realistic chance of adding their names to the Homestead Farm honour roll.

by Peter Wharton
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