Its that time of the year again for harness racing breeders as the first foals from last seasons matings are starting to arrive all over New Zealand.
It is an exciting time for breeding enthusiasts as foals by a lot of the first season sires hit the ground for the first time.
One sire creating a bit of a buzz leading into the breeding season is Auckland Reactor who served a huge book of 394 mares in Australia and New Zealand in his first year at stud in 2013/2014.
It is therefore highly appropriate that the first foal by Auckland Reactor to be born in New Zealand has been bred by an Australian, Harvey Kaplan.
Harvey Kaplan has been on a fantastic ride in the last few years with Baby Bling 1:50.5, ($853,890) Bling It On 1:51.7 ($711,122) and Nike Franco 1:52.6 ($158,891) just three of his better performers and he has the honour of breeding the first live foal by Auckland Reactor.
The dam of the first foal is the unraced 5 year old Jereme's Jet mare in Jet Spirit who is the fifth foal from the talented racemare Holm's Spirit ($50,325)
The first four foals from Holm's Spirit are Jasper The Ghost 1:55.2 ($60,345) The White House 1:56 ($62,568) Western Spirit 1:59.1 ($61,535) and Springsteen 1:59.5 ($103,917) so she has done a fine job at stud.
Holm's Spirit is a half sister to Fake Spirit 1:59.8 ($184,368) That's The Spirit 1:54.9 ($134,334) Family Spirit 1:52.2 ($111,227) and Rum Ball 1:58.7 ($77,631) so the pedigree has plenty of talented horses up close to Jet Spirit.
This maternal family is the other branch of the brilliant Black Watch family made famous by Sandy and Jan Yardley.
It is a maternal family that continues to go from strength to strength and is highly prized on both sides of the Tasman.
The colt foal in the photo is only a day old and if that's the type of foal Auckland Reactor is going to throw at stud then there will be a lot of happy breeders in Australasia.