Day At The Track
Search Results
1 to 10 of 10
1

In this series sponsored by Southern Bred Southern Reared, Bruce Stewart looks back on some of the great harness racing stock that’s come out of the Southern region. Whilst last year he profiled horses from the south that have become millionaires, this series is about other pacers and trotters that that were bred, reared and raced for part of career in Southland, and made an impact in the Harness Racing industry. Diamond Field Age: 1986 Bay Gelding by Yankee Jolter out of Robyn Evander Bred by: Nigel and Marianne Sim Raced by: Southland Standardbred Number Two Syndicate Trained by: Allan Beck, Roy and Barry Purdon, Mark Purdon, Neil Cavallaro and Patrick O’Reilly Race record: 150 starts, 33 wins, 29 seconds, 20 thirds for $536,607 in stakes. Best season: As a 7 year old 19 starts, 7 wins, 4 seconds and 2 thirds for $212,480 Successful trainers with wins: Roy and Barry Purdon (12), Allan Beck (8), Mark Purdon (6), Neil Cavallaro (5) and Patrick O’Reilly (2). (33) Successful driver with wins: Tony Herlihy (15), Allan Beck (7), Paul Cavallaro (4), Mark Purdon (3), Patrick O’Reilly (2), Al Chapman (1) and Kirk Larsen (1). (33) New Zealand Records: 11/05/1996 Auckland TC 2200 metre stand 2-48.8 04/05/1996 Auckland TC 2700 metre stand 3-26.6 18/03/1995 New Zealand Metropolitan TC 2000 metre mobile 2-29.3 NB: This record stood for 16 years before being bettered by I Can Doosit 2-25.0. Major wins: 1994 FAI Rowe Cup (Group One) $90,000 OC Handicap Trot 3200 metres. (To watch this race click on this link) 1994 Interdominion Trotting Championship at Harold Park 1996 FAI City of Sails FFA Trot (Group Two) M5 and faster 2200 metres. 1993 Air New Zealand New Zealand Trotting Free For All (Group Two) OC FFA Mobile 2600 metres 1993 Radio Pacific Challenge Stakes (Group Two) C5 and faster FFA Mobile 2700 metres 1995 Firestone Firehawk New Zealand Trotting Championship (Group Three) Major Placings: 2nd 1993 Dominion Trotting Handicap (Group One) 2nd 1993 Rowe Cup (Group One) 3rd 1997 V.L. Dullard Trotters Cup 1996 Waikato Times Flying Mile (Group Two) 1995 New Zealand Trotting FFA (Group Two) 1994 National Trotting FFA (Group Two) 1997 EB Cochran Trotters Cup 1993 New Zealand Trotting Championship (Group Three) 1993 Canterbury Park Trotting Cup (Group Three) Australian form: 28 starts, 9 wins, 7 seconds and 4 thirds for $153,178 in stakes. Note: Diamond Field started in five Interdominion Championship Finals finishing 4th (1993), 1st (1994), 3rd (1995), 6th (1996) and 6th (1997). Southland trainer Allan Beck developed Diamond Field and remembers him well. “He was quite flighty. He was more like a thoroughbred than a standardbred,” he said. As a yearling Diamond Field was destined for the Sales in Christchurch. And although he made it to the sales complex, he never made the sales ring. “They couldn’t plait his main so they got the vet to come round and tranquilise him. But after a tranquiliser they still couldn’t do it so he never went through the ring.” Beck was then given the task of training the Yankee Jolter gelding which owner Grant Sim syndicated. “When you were on the track he’d spot anything 200 metres away and he’d shy and get off gait. That’s why it took longer to get him moulded.  The only time he got a bit of a fright was the first day he went to the workouts. He drew the outside and the tape went from the inside to the outside. When the tape was released it hit the outside running rail and that woke him up a bit.” At one point Beck, who was training a large team at the time was starting to struggle with the flighty trotter. “I said to Grant ‘look he’s going to take a bit of time and he may be better with a trainer with a smaller team.’ But he said the syndicate wanted him to stay with me. We got him going and he won his first start as a three year old. As time went by he did relax. But even when he won the Interdominion he had a break in the run.” Diamond Field ended up winning eight races for the Winton trainer before he was transferred to Roy and Barry Purdon’s stable. “He had a great engine and that always stood to him.” Diamond Field in the birdcage at Ascot Park with Allan Beck in October 2016.   Bruce Stewart

In this series sponsored by Southern Bred Southern Reared, Bruce Stewart looks back on some of the great harness racing stock that’s come out of the Southern region. Whilst last year he profiled horses from the south that have become millionaires, this series is about other pacers and trotters that that were bred, reared and raced for part of career in Southland, and made an impact in the Harness Racing industry. David Moss Age: 1983 Bay Gelding Sire: Gekoj Dam: Proud Countess (Hickory Pride) Breeder: Captain Oddvar Andersen. Owner: Estate of Harry Cox and Captain Oddvar Andersen. Trainers: John Cox, Robert Cameron, Clive Herbert and Bob Mellsop. First win: Northern Southland Trotting Club at Ascot Park – February 1990. Biggest New Zealand wins: 1993 New Zealand Trotting Championship (G2) 1993 Anngow Motors Mazda Trot (G3) 1993 Rowe Cup (G1) (Southland owned trotters finished first, second and third in the 1993 Rowe Cup with David Moss winning, Diamond Field ran second and Night Allowance third). 1993 Dominion Handicap (G1) 1993 New Zealand National Mobile Trot (G2) 1994 New Zealand Trotting Championship (G3) 1994 Dominion Handicap (G1) in a track and New Zealand record of 4-06.6 Australia: David Moss had four starts in Australia winning three. His wins included the Australasian Trotters Championship Final and the V.L.Dullard Cup both at Moonee Valley. Awards: Southland Horse of the Year 1991 and 1993 New Zealand Trotter of the Year: 1992/1993 season and 1993/1994 season. Lifetime record: 89 starts 31 wins, nine seconds and 4 thirds for $490,275. David Moss and Maurice McKendry winning the Firestone Free For All at Addington By French sire Gekoj David Moss with his giant frame was always going to take time. David Moss was out of Hickory Pride mare Proud Countess and was bred by Captain Oddvar Andersen of Oslo who came to New Zealand in the 1960’s to supervise Scandinavian shipping. He met the Cox family while in Southland. “He was down in Bluff looking at the facilities and was with someone from Wrights Stevenson’s. He said he had horses back in Norway and he’d like to go and see a stable somewhere. The agent knew Dad. He ended up at our place and it went from there.” Cox says Andersen became Norwegian Console General in New Zealand and had always been keen on racing, particularly trotters. “He had mares and stallions and loved his racing. I haven’t been talking to him in the last 12 months. A friend of mine that lives in Norway said he’s starting to fail now but he’s in his mid-90s.” Early on Andersen brought French stallions to New Zealand including Beau Nonantais, Inter Du Pas and the sire of David Moss, Gekoj. Andersen and Harry Cox formed a common bond and Cox received a half share in David Moss. “He was broken in by Keith Norman I think and then he came to our place. He was just jogged for two or three years. He got a bit of fast work. We had him in the jog cart and tied a couple of horses on the side and another couple off him” said Cox. David Moss didn’t start racing until he was a 6-year-old. “I remember before Dad passed away. He’d had a few heart turns but always tried to get out and do the horses. He said he (David Moss) wouldn’t be much good until he was four or five as the French breed didn’t go early. He just kept pottering away with him and said ‘don’t worry about him boy, he’ll be okay one day.” And so it proved to be. Harry wasn’t around to see it but John Cox, who took over the training of the massive trotter knew he had a future star on his hands. David Moss qualified at Ascot Park as a six year old and was lightly raced in his first season, having just four starts for two wins. The following season as a seven year old he started to turn heads winning nine races including a forty one length victory at Ascot Park in September 1990 in a C2 and faster trot over 2700 metres. “Dad always said a good driver never looks back so I let him trot as he liked. It wasn’t until I was pulling up that I realized the rest weren’t there. When you set him alight you knew you had something in front of you that’s for sure,” said John Cox who drove him that day. Another impressive win that season was at Forbury Park in October. “My brother in-law Clarrie Woodward drove him that night. He was back a bit and in the last 400 he was out about five or six wide. It was just a phenomenal run. I was talking to Ray Jenkins afterwards. He said he could tell my horse was coming because he could hear the crowd starting to cheer. My horse just got up and beat Ray (The Expatriate) in the last few strides (neck).” Cox trained him for the majority of his career, winning twenty six races with him. He also had stints with Clive Herbert and Bob Mellsop who trained him to win three races including the 1993 National Trot and the 1994 New Zealand Trotting Championship. He was also with Robert Cameron for a short period and he trained him to win two races including the 1993 Dominion Handicap. “He had the speed of a pacer. I remember driving him at a trial at Ashburton getting ready for the Dominion. I was sitting three back and he came home and he was just jogged it running a quarter in 28 which you’re expect the pacers to do then. He was just a bloody good big plain horse,” said Cameron. This is race 6 from New Zealand's Addington Raceway. Here we see Maurice McKendry in the sulky behind David Moss, as they win the Dominion Trotting Handicap. The race-caller is Reon Mertha. Cox also trained him to win three from four starts in Australia including the 1994 Australasian Trotters’ Championship at Moonee Valley in Melbourne when driven by Maurice McKendry. This is race 7 above from Melbourne's Moonee Valley Paceway.Here we see Maurice McKendry in the sulky behind David Moss,as they win the Australasian Trotters Championship.The race-caller is Brian Markovic. “Maurice was three wide for a long time and just got up in the last few strides. It was a phenomenal run. Maurice said it was a great run and he could hear the Aussie drivers talking when he was going forward. He said they said ‘here he comes now’ and they just kept bumping him out one and they weren’t going anywhere.” Cox says the only thing missing on the horse’s CV is an Interdominion Finals win. “He won four heats and ran a second and a fourth. At Christchurch when he ran fourth (in the final) it was wet and he wasn’t as good in the wet as he was on the hard going.” There are plenty of great memories for the Cox family from a truly great Southern Bred Southern Reared Trotter David Moss. “It always helps to have a good horse to get you around the country, that’s for sure.” This is the story about the giant New Zealand trotter David Moss.   Bruce Stewart

Waimumu breeder Paul Pearce has been a stock agent for the last twelve years, and was a wool buyer prior to that.  But outside of work he’s always had a passion for harness racing horses and this year he’s prepared two nice colts for the National Sale in Christchurch. “When Brent (McIntyre) bought Jaccka Lodge (now Macca Lodge) I spent a lot of time up there. You just get the bug,” he said. However Paul Pearce’s connections to horses and the McIntyre family goes further back when his father managed the Southland Farmers Co-op farm which was next door to the McIntyre farm. Paul said his father Trevor raced gallopers, although without much success. He was also good friends with the late Kenny Milne from Balclutha and he went to Lincoln University with Milne’s son Johnny. Kenny Milne bred horses for many years and owned and raced New Zealand Oaks winner Young Eden. When he was young Pearson dabbled in ownership and the first horse he raced was Badland’s Hanover gelding Lets Go Frankie. He raced him in partnership with McIntyre and fellow PGG Wrightson’s stock agent Craig Milne. Lets Go Frankie won a race at Wyndham for the trio in November 2005 before he went to Australia where he won another five races. Pearce also bred from Young Jiggs a daughter of Young Eden sending her to Attorney General and the resulting colt Young Reggie had three starts for no rewards for trainer Lindsay Wilson. “We were breeding stuff we shouldn’t have been but you’ve got to start somewhere.” The trio also raced Washington VC mare Susie Blue (Washington VC – Ginny Dale) which they leased off Bill Keeler. She won three races before heading to Aussie. “Mandy and I got married young, we had our children young and we couldn’t afford horses. But I followed Brent’s horses like Bonnies Lass and Just Jazzan.” Paul and Mandy now farm 35 acres at Waimumu in Eastern Southland close to where Ken McRae trained horses for a good number of years, and just down the road from the site of the Waimumu Field Days. “Mandy plays a big part in the hands on stuff with the horses. When they come back from Macca Lodge as weanlings we do as much work as possible. We box them every night over winter just to get that one on one handling of them. When they’re small they’re easy to do things with. A lot of people leave it until spring to get the yearlings in. I have no problems taking them up to Macca Lodge in the float during the day to get their feet trimmed and getting them to just stand there.” Mandy is a school teacher at St Peters College in Gore but as her love for horses has grown she’s become more involved. “Mandy actually took a year off teaching and did the foaling night shift at Macca Lodge this season. I’m really lucky she likes her horses because many (partners) don’t especially when the bills start coming in.” But it’s not the first time the Pearces have taken stock to the sales. Paul bred and prepared Cozin Change (Changeover – Corzanello) for the 2016 Sale of the Stars after borrowing Corzanello off Jill Smolenski. Cozin Change was a half-brother to big Australian winner I’m Corzin Terror. His wins included the 2014 Ballarat Pacing Cup. Cozin Change was passed in on a reserve of $25,000 and he went to Australia where he won two races in a short career. The couple now own three broodmares Tipsy Too, Luminesce and Elegant As and the two colts they’re presenting at the sales are by Bettor’s Delight out of Luminesce and Art Major out of Tipsy Too. The Bettor’s Delight colt out of Luminesce – Photo supplied. The Art Major colt out of Tipsy Too – Photo supplied Tipsy Too is out of the In The Pocket mare Dontdrinkthendrive and is part of the Party Party family. She was bought at the Auckland Sales for $21,000. “We didn’t race her. She just needed a bit of time. At that point things weren’t looking that good in the racing world so we decided to breed from her. I was at Diamonds Day talking to Hazel van Opzeeland and she talked to me about going to Sweet Lou at Woodlands Stud, and that’s who we sent the mare too.” The resulting foal is Renegade Rose. Luminesce was purchased in 2012 after they’d started to think seriously about buying some quality stock. “We (had to) decide whether we were going to be in or out. It was in and we thought we’d give it a decent go and buy a good broodmare.” So after months of study Paul headed to the Christchurch Sale with Brent McIntyre. They had a number of fillies marked to view and possibly bid on, but the Mach Three filly Luminesce who was out of class mare One Dream, initially wasn’t one of them. “We had no intentions of buying her. Of course we saw her in the catalogue. Mac and I looked at a few others. Jill (breeder Jill Smolenski) had no photos on the website and the horse wasn’t at the parade. So on the day of the Sales I said to Mac that we’d better go and have a look at this filly out of One Dream. We walked round the corner and thought ‘shit.’ I couldn’t stop thinking about her.” On pedigree alone Pearce thought Luminesce would go for in excess of $50,000 and that was making him nervous so as any good man does, he rang Mandy to get final sign off on the budget. “I could ring her 100 times and never get hold of her. But I got hold of her this day and said I’d found a horse I really want to buy but it was going to be out of our league. I was hoping she would say no but she said she’d just go with what I said.” When Lot 123 entered the ring the nerves were starting to ramp up. “There was really only me and another person bidding on her. It was the most nerve racking thing I’ve even done in my life. I remember standing against some trellising and my heart was going and the trellising stopped it from jumping out.” Pearce was ultimately the last man standing and Luminesce was theirs for $45,000. She was broken in by Brent McIntyre and entrusted to Ascot Park trainer Wayne Adams. Paul’s father Trevor when to school with Adams, and they liked the way he turned his horses out. “She qualified by a second and there was nothing flash in that. We talked about whether we should turn her out and bring her back as a three year old. But Wayne said the speed was there so he worked her harder in the next week. She went to the Workouts and bolted in so we went to Forbury for a heat of the Sires Stakes which she won.” She beat Raksdeal by a neck running the 1700 metres in 2-04.6 – it’s still a track record. At the end of her first season she raced in the 2013 Two Year Old Diamond at the Harness Jewels finishing eleventh behind winner Venus Serena. As a three year old Luminesce won her first two starts before running a fifth and a third. She was then taken north to Addington. “We went to Christchurch for the Sales Series race and she got a virus. We thought she was going to die that night, it took her quite a while to get over that and she only had five starts as a three year old.” She came back at four and only had another four starts. “She ran on Invitation Drivers Day at Ascot Park and Kerryn Manning who drove her said she was a bit knobby in her prelim. In her next two starts she went terrible but we didn’t realise she’d split a bone in her knee.” Luminesce warming up at Ascot Park with Kerryn Manning – Photo Bruce Stewart Consequently Luminesce was retired and sent to Art Major. She lost that foal after he was born premature and only lasted a few days. Her second foal, a filly by Bettor’s Delight got to the stage of being weaned but developed septicemia and also died. So the Bettor’s Delight sales colt is actually her first foal beyond weaning. The Pearce’s also own six year old Rocknroll Hanover mare Elegant As which is out of Tuapeka Maddy. She was purchased from Dan Cummings at Tuapeka Lodge. Her first foal is an Art Major filly. Not one to stand still, Paul was also at the Christchurch Sale last year and bought another filly – Millwood Kelly (Bettor’s Delight – Idolise) for $27,500. Idolise is by American Ideal and won one race from thirteen starts. She’s a half-sister to Idealindiamonds (8 New Zealand wins and 5 Australian wins), Am Opulent (18 wins) and Dibaba (7 wins including the Sires Stakes Northern Mares Classic, Premier Mares Championship and Southland Oaks). Idolise is out of the Life Sign mare Imprint, was bred by Aidan Johnstone and is owned by Katie Carville. “When I bought Luminesce the one I had my eye on was a horse called Idolise which is Millwood Kelly’s mother but it was withdrawn.” They also have two horses in work with Gore trainer Tony Stratford – Renegade Rose and Braeview Kelly (formally Millwood Kelly). “We actually entered her (Renegade Rose) for the Sales and she didn’t make it. I was told it was because it was by a first season sire from an unproven family.” Paul still gives Bloodstock Agent Peter Lagan plenty of stick about that decision. Renegade Rose From just seven starts this season Renegade Rose has won once, run second twice and third four times. Her placings have been behind quality fillies Stylish Memphis, Sugar Loaf and Plutonium Lady. “She’s a big filly but she’s always been in proportion.” Paul and Mandy Pearce are a fine example of a couple with a shared passion, using resilience and optimism to make their way in the harness world. Bruce Stewart

In this series sponsored by Southern Bred Southern Reared, Bruce Stewart looks back on some of the great harness racing stock that’s come out of the Southern region. Whilst last year he profiled horses from the south that have become millionaires, this series is about other pacers and trotters that that were bred, reared and raced for part of career in Southland, and made an impact in the Harness Racing industry. Robin Dundee Age: 1957 bay mare Sire: Hal Tryax Dam: Cherry Blossom (Dillion Hall) Breeder: JW Hewitt Owner: JW Hewitt Trainer: Jack Walsh At just 14.2 hands Robin Dundee was a diminutive bay filly and was Southland owner/breeder Jack Hewitt’s first venture into harness racing. He borrowed Dillon Hall mare Cherry Blossom from his brother-in-law and mated her with the imported American sire Hal Tryax. Hal Tryax stood at stud in NZ for 8 seasons before becoming infertile in 1963 at the age of 16. Robin Dundee’s early education and training was entrusted to Jack Walsh who’d also raced and won with Fashion Queen. She is the third dam of Robin Dundee. Unraced at two, Robin Dundee began her racing career at Invercargill in October 1961, winning the Southern Stakes for non-win three year olds by sixteen lengths. She was driven by Charlie Franks who also drove her to victory in the 1961 New Zealand Oaks at New Brighton. Later that season she won at Roxburgh in the hands of Robert Cameron. Interestingly both Robin Dundee and Cardigan Bay won at that Roxburgh meeting in 1961. Cardigan Bay by four and a half lengths in the Roxburgh Handicap, and Robin Dundee in the Central Otago Stakes by a length and a half. The TAB double paid forty two pounds, eight shillings and six pence. As a four-year-old Robin Dundee recorded two wins, five seconds, a third and fourth from twenty one starts. She won two of her twenty four starts as a five year old, recording six seconds, a third and fourth. At six she won two races and had her first start in the New Zealand Cup finishing second behind the great Cardigan Bay. In her final New Zealand start at Addington, in the hands of Doody Townley she started off 12 yards to beat Tactile, Jay Ar and Cardigan Bay. In the 1964 Interdominion Grand Final Robin Dundee finished a gallant fifth, breaking down during the race and subsequent x-rays revealed a fractured pedal bone and crack in the navicular bone of her near foreleg. There were grave fears that Robin Dundee would never race again and she returned home to the Southland.  However she made a spectacular recovery from the injury to race 12 times in New Zealand during the 1964/65 season recording five wins, four seconds and a third. As a seven year old she was involved in the controversial dead heat with Jay Ar in the 1965 Inter Dominion Grand Final at Forbury Park where she stormed down the outside in the hands of Doody Townley. The judge announced Jay Ar as the winner and called for a photo shortly after. Club officials ignored Townley’s insistence that the presentation was premature. Jay Ar’s driver George Noble also thought he may have been pipped at the post. However the presentation went ahead and Jay Ar was decorated while a dejected Walsh took Robin Dundee back to the stables. Well into the presentation an announcement was made over the PA to the 15,000 crowd declaring a dead heat.  Officials hastily recalled Robin Dundee to the presentation, transferred the sash to the mare and both horses did a victory lap together. Jack Hewitt, Mrs Hewitt and Roy McKenzie with the Interdominion trophies they had to share As an eight year old, there was no stopping Robin Dundee. She raced 25 times in New Zealand during 1965-1966 season for eight wins, nine seconds, and one third for 14,855 pounds, making her New Zealand’s leading stakes earner for that season. As a nine year old she started in New Zealand nine times for two wins, one second and one third. She was then leased to an American syndicate which included famous New York trainer Eddie Cobb. She arrived in America with a New Zealand career record of 25 wins, 32 seconds and 10 thirds and New Zealand stakes earnings of $79,248. Her first American target was the 1967 International Series at Yonkers but she contracted a virus on the eve of the series, finished fifth and was then withdrawn. In January 1968 Robin Dundee went under the knife again to remove bothersome splint bones. The operation was successful and she was put back into light work. As an 11 year old she won her first race at Roosevelt Raceway, finishing the season with 5 wins, 8 seconds and 6 thirds for earnings $59,275 from 35 starts. As a twelve year old she raced 5 times for only one third and was retired after finishing last in May 1969. Her lifetime earnings were $292,272. Robin Dundee will be remembered as the first pacer to beat the two-minute mark in a race when she won the Craven Filer Miracle Mile at Harold Park in 1967 in a time of 1-59.0. “You can’t forget the Miracle Mile because she was the first mare in Australasia to break two minutes,” said driver Robert Cameron. Cameron ended up winning eight races in New Zealand driving Robin Dundee, so he knew her pretty well. “She got a bit crabby at times like a lot of those good fillies. But she was a terrific mare that would never stop trying. You had to be a bit careful from a stand because if you touched her mouth she was inclined to lose it. She got better as the years went on.” Robin Dundee also carried a bridesmaids tag throughout her career. She ran second in the 1966 Inter Dominion Grand Final at Harold Park to Chamfer’s Star, was runner up three times to Cardigan Bay, Garry Dillon and Lordship in the New Zealand Cup, and in Freehold New Jersey in 1968 she chased Cardigan Bay home when he became the first pacer to win a million dollars. Robin Dundee’s record New Zealand: At Three (1960-1961): 15-4-4-1 At Four (1961-1962): 21-2-5-3 At Five (1962-1963): 24-2-6-1 At Six (1963-1964): 13-2-3-2 At Seven (1964-1965): 12-5-4-1 At Eight (1965-1966): 25-8-8-1 At Nine (1966-1967): 9-2-1-1 New Zealand Total: 119-25-31-10 First New Zealand win: Southern Stakes at Ascot Park Invercargill Saturday 29th October 1960 Driven by Charlie Franks. Winning margin sixteen and a half lengths. Last New Zealand win: Saturday 19th November 1966 – Olliver Handicap at Addington when she beat Lordship off 54 year handicap – Driven by Robert Cameron. Notable New Zealand wins: Interdominion Final, dead heating with Jay Ar at Forbury Park. 1960 New Zealand Oaks Flying Mile at Addington running 1-59. Alan Matson Stakes 1965 Hannon Memorial 1965 New Zealand Free For All 1965 Auckland Cup Olliver Handicap GJ Barton Memorial at Forbury Park Successful drivers of Robin Dundee in New Zealand: Robert Cameron 8, Maurice Holmes 8, Doody Townley 5, Charlie Franks 2, Bob Young 1 and Kevin Murray 1 Other known facts: She won $229,270 in stakes by racing in New Zealand, Australia and America. Was the first horse to better two minutes in a race in Australia. Won 1967 Miracle Mile pacing the journey in 1-59. The winning stake was $12,500. Was runner up three times in the New Zealand Trotting Cup (Cardigan Bay 1963), (Garry Dillion 1965) and (Lordship 1966). Ran four times in the Interdominion Final. As a broodmare Robin Dundee had a lot of bad luck. Her best race horse was Genghis Khan which paced 1-51.8 in America. She also left Dundee Adios which stood at Roddy McFarlane’s stud near Winton. Truly one of the great race mares to represent Southland across three countries.   Bruce Stewart

The depth of quality in this year’s yearling draft is reflected in the record number of harness racing trainers and owners who have registered to attend Southern Bred Southern Reared’s Yearling Tour in February. Included in this year’s draft are some of the big names in the industry and in addition there’s going to be a sprinkling of new faces. Michael House and Ken Barron have been on all previous Tours and many other prominent potential buyers have been regulars, including Robert Dunn, Brent Mangos, Ray Green, John Dunn, Phil Kennard, Ken and Karen Breckon, Greg Payne, Trevor Casey, Ken Barron, Grant Payne, Tony Herlihy, Michael Purdon, Cran Dalgety, Bunty Hughes, Gavin Smith and Peter Blanchard. The Tour is into its seventeenth year and regular visitor Michael House says as a buyer/trainer it’s a great opportunity to see what’s available and replenish racing stock. “There’s often a good horse hiding amongst them and its wonderful comradery with the boys. It’s good to get it out of the way because there are some horses you don’t have to see later on and you can focus,” he said. The Tour, particularly in recent years has produced some high priced graduates. One of these is Chicago Cub, a full brother to millionaire pacer Chicago Blues. Chicago Cub topped the Christchurch Sales last year selling to Emilio and Mary Rosati for $190,000. The second highest yearling was another SBSR colt bred by Arden Lodge’s John and Judy Stiven - Arden Roanoke, which sold for $155,000. In 2016 The SBSR group produced the top two lots in Mach Shard ($200,000) and Honor And Glory ($170,000) whilst further back Bollinger sold for $200,000 in 2015. His half brother Titanium was the top lot in 2013 at $170,000, and Beaudiene Beaufighter was a sales topper in 2014.  When Michael House was on the Tour in 2007 he spotted a diminutive black Bettor’s Delight colt named Highview Tommy at Highview Stud in Riverton. “I’ll never forget that day. There was quite a bus load of us. He was a small horse but he was very strong in stature. At Dave Clarks he was standing in the middle of the courtyard and everyone was walking around him. He was so relaxed. I was taken by him and I had to have him after that. Smiling Shard was another horse I really loved. Every year there seems to be a good horse.” Highview Tommy House bought Highview Tommy for $40,000 before selling him at the Ready To Run Sales to Hazel van Opzeeland and Glenys and Phil Kennard for $200,000. He ultimately won seventeen races and $1,021,904. This year sees some of the younger trainers coming on the Tour with the likes of John Dunn, Mitchell Kerr, Michael Purdon, Bob Butt and Regan Todd all confirmed visitors. “The trick to yearling sales and my advice to anyone wanting to start out is that you’re buying the horse that is in front of you not its relative. That’s a quote from Michael House. The page (in the catalogue) is only a guide,” he advises. Ken Barron has also attended all seventeen Tours and has seen it develop in that time. “It’s a very well run tour and it’s had a bit of fine tuning over the years. To fly to Invercargill and out of Dunedin has streamlined it a bit,” he said. Barron says that because the three major yearling areas – Auckland, Canterbury and Southland/Otago all have to fit their yearling tours in post-Christmas the schedule has got tighter. “It used to be good to see them early on and then later, see how they’d developed. Now it’s so close to the sale it’s about eliminating the ones you don’t want or seeing the ones you like, to save you time on the day.” He says SBSR has tried to work through this issue but everyone has accepted that the tours are difficult to programme now. “You can’t do it pre-Christmas and there’s very little time between Auckland, Canterbury and Southern. John Stiven has worked very closely with the buyers and tried to appease us all. It’s the only thing we can’t do anything about.” One of the first time visitors on the tour in February is young Canterbury trainer Michael Purdon whose uncle Grant Payne recommended that he should come south. “He said it’s quite a good tour and worth checking out. As a young trainer I’m building up a bit of a client base so you can do these sorts of things. It’s a good chance to look at them while they’re still relaxed and they’re not worried about anything that’s going on around them. You can go up to them and have a good look at them,” Purdon said. He bought three yearlings from last year’s Sale of the Stars; Ringo’s A Star (Bettor’s Delight-Blackbird Fly) for $23,000, Willie Go West (Auckland Reactor – Bettor Go) for $20,000 and One Guz Hall (Angus Hall – Landora’s Pearl – passed in at $35,000. “They’ve turned out pretty good so far. The Angus Hall trotter is on a deal.”  One Guz Hall carries the ownership of breeders Heather and Lex Williams and Michael and his brother Nathan while Ringo’s A Star is owned by Michael Purdon. Willie Go West is also owned by Michael and his mother Vicky. The SBSR Tour will be held over two days - Monday 11th and Tuesday 12th February. On Day One the Tour will visit Price Bloodstock and Julie Baynes in Winton and then Dave and Dawn Kennedy at Bayswater. Day Two features yearlings at Shard Farm, Arden and Macca Lodge combined, Tuapeka Lodge and Wingatui. Southern Bred Southern Reared looks forward to presenting an excellent group of horses for perusal and sale. Bruce Stewart

Not many would argue with the fact the Southern region of the South Island is one of the best places to raise young stock, whether it be lambs, calves or harness racing young Standardbreds. At February’s NZB Standardbred National Standardbred Yearling Sales fifty two yearlings will be presented under the Southern Bred Southern Reared umbrella and buyers know these youngster have had a good start to life. Lawrence breeder Dan Cummings has produced yearlings for the National Sales for years and he says daylight hours play a big part in a young horse’s development. “The days are shorter and colder in winter, but as spring progresses into summer the days become two hours longer, one in the morning and one in the evening. I think the process of light affecting grass growth (photosynthesis) lets the grass grow for two hours longer at the height of summer in the south,” he says. Cummings says he’s spoken to a lot of local dairy farmers who bought cows down from Taranaki and Waikato in the late 1990s and early 2000s and they have noted an increase in production in their herds. “To their great surprise the same cows produced around 20% more milk in the south than they had in the north. The farmers attributed it to the longer days.  Apparently in the north milk production peaks just before Christmas then tapers off till May. In the south the peak is during January and the taper is far more gradual.” He says another significant influence of light for breeding in the south is the fact that an increase in daylight is what stimulates cycling in the mares and that increase occurs later in the south. So foals tend to be born a month to six weeks later than in the north.  “That’s a generalisation of course but it’s an influence that will still be apparent when the foals come to be sold as yearlings.  This factor definitely still has an influence at the yearling sales.  We live with it but will continue to try and counter its effect. But because of the way the seasons work the foals catch up quickly.”  The mighty Iraklis bred under southern skies at Tuapeka Lodge - Photo Supplied  Local vet Brendon Bell has worked in Southland for 22 years and he also says our climate is well suited to raising young stock. “Our temperate climate means there is plentiful grass over most of the critical phase of the foal’s development – from birth to yearling stage. This supply of grass means minimal hard feed is necessary to raise young horses.”  He adds that the summer climate gives the Southern region an advantage over the rest of the country. “Moderate temperatures – not too hot but not really cold. Adequate rainfall ensures grass growth over the summer. Somewhat cheaper land prices means more people can own and graze their own horses, keeping control in the hands of the horse owner.” He says the dairy boom has changed farm ownership but there’s still a groundswell of farmers who own or graze horses on their properties, in contrast to many horses in other provinces which are agisted at studs.  “Farm based horses exist with other stock which ensure minimal health issues, minimal parasite burdens from cross grazing, and normally plentiful feed.” He says Copper, Calcium, Phosphorus and Magnesium are important minerals for good animal development. So plenty of hard evidence to suggest southern foals get the best of starts to life. Bruce Stewart

Yesterday the Price family of Winton had one on those magical days that are rare in harness racing when Perfect Stride and Pearl Harbour each won their juvenile races at Alexandra Park in Auckland. Pearl Harbour won a heat of the Crombie Lockwood Bloodstock Young Guns Fillies Series while Perfect Stride, which they bred with John’s parents Roger and Helen Price, won its two year old race. “It’s lovely to see the babies stepping out. We’re pretty proud,” Katrina Price said. Pearl Harbour was broken in and developed by John and Katrina, qualifying the Somebeachsomewhere filly at Winton in mid December. She was then sent north to Barry Purdon’s stable with the aim of starting her in the Young Guns Fillies Series. This is not the first time they’ve sent a filly north to Purdon’s. Democrat Party as a two year old was sent north in 2013. She won at her first start and subsequently in March 2014 won the Young Guns Fillies Final. “John spoke to Barry during the week and he was pretty bullish heading into the race. He thinks she’s very strong and has plenty of speed. He was worried about the draw and he wasn’t sure what Scott (driver Scott Phelan) would do off the gate.” John and Katrina have been very patient with Pearl Harbour knowing the potential was always there but that it needed managing. “She was pretty hot when she was being broken in. Here at home we’ve done lots and lots of slow work. When we broke her in she did a couple of months of walking. We took her a few times to the Winton track and Nathan (Williamson) came and drove her. She had a workout and a trial and the first time he deliberately pulled her back just to educate her. In her trial there were only two runners so she when to the front. At that stage Nathan said she would have lots of gate speed but he didn’t want to pull that switch. From day one she knew how to race and had that real competitive streak.” Pearl Harbour The Prices have entered Captain Nemo (Lot 360) which is a three quarter brother to Pearl Harbour in next month’s NZB Standardbred Sale in Christchurch. He’s by first season sire Captaintreacherous. Price says that Captain Nemo was a late foal that’s going to appreciate time. “He’s at least at the same stage as Pearl Harbour was. He’s a big rangy horse with a completely different brain on him, laid back, relaxed - a big cruisy dude.” The win by Pearl Harbour was also a bonus for West Otago breeders John and Judy Stiven who bred her dam Arden Caviar. The Stivens have a Bettors Delight filly by Arden Caviar’s full-sister Rocknroll Arden in the sale and Southwind Arden which is also owned by them has a Captaintreacherous colt in the catalogue.     Arden's Delight and Captain Arden - Photos Supplied  The Prices bought Arden Caviar from the Stivens after she was withdrawn from the yearling sales in 2013 due to having a skin complaint. “She had speed but just didn’t have the racing brain. That family has so much depth to it. When you look at Winter Rose, the job she’s done and you go further back with horses like Bella’s Boy - It was a family that we really wanted to get into.” Arden Caviar has a Betting Line colt on the ground and she has been served again by Captaintreacherous. “In speaking to David James at Empire (Empire Stallions), the Captaintreacherous’s have a completely different attitude to the Somebeachsomewheres. We’ve had three Somebeachsomewhere’s and they’ve all been pretty hot. You’ve just had to be careful with how you develop them.” The Price’s other success last night, Perfect Stride, (formally named Chicago Cub) was bred by John, Katrina, Roger and Helen Price and was the top selling lot at last year’s National Yearling Sale in Christchurch. He was bought by Emilio and Mary Rosati for $190,000. Perfect Stride Added to the magical day was a workout win at Winton by Perfect Stride’s half-sister Rockabilly Blues. She’s won two of her three starts and will resume her racing career at the Invercargill Cup Meeting this Saturday where she’ll line up in the Arden Lodge Robin Dundee Crown. It’s great to see Southern Bred Southern Reared Two Year Olds having success on a premier track in Auckland. Bruce Stewart

In recent years the Australian export market has become a vital component of the New Zealand Standardbred industry, providing harness racing owners here with a chance to on-sell all grades of horses and to keep their finances in good shape. Good horses like Cardigan Bay, Stella Frost, Young Quinn and Robin Dundee lead the way in promoting the southern part of the South Island and over the years, thousands of horses have left the area to race in Australia. Some are purchased at the yearling sales but the majority are purchased in Southland by agents or privately through the trainers. In recent times the Southern Bred Southern Reared flag has been flown by horses like Themightyquinn, Smiling Shard, Field Marshal, Arden Rooney, Highview Tommy, Iraklis, Chicago Bull, Sokyola, Holmes D G, Washakie and Beaudiene Boaz all of whom won major races in both New Zealand or Australia, each winning over $1,000,000.00 in stakes. Records show that Themightyquinn was Australia’s leading stake earner in 2011 ($619,360), 2012 ($1,250,060) and 2013 ($941,360). In recent times horses such as Chicago Bull, Beaudiene Boaz and (My) Field Marshal have kept the SBSR name to the fore in Australia. My Field Marshal and another SBSR horse Galactic Star quinellaed last Friday’s Group One $300,000 Fremantle Cup at Gloucester Park. Horses from the southern region of New Zealand have dominated this race in the last few years with Chicago Bull winning in 2017 and Beaudiene Boaz in 2016. Let’s have a closer look at some the horses flying the SBSR flag in Australia. Chicago Bull has been a real revelation in Western Australia. He was bred by John, Katrina, Roger and Helen Price of Winton and won he two races as a two year old before he headed to Perth and took up residency at Gary Hall Senior’s stable. His size put a few buyers off but not Hall, who’s judgement that size doesn’t matter is proving to be a big windfall. He won thirteen of his first sixteen starts there and has started in twenty seven Group races in his sixty one start racing career. In total he has won $1,820,709, his biggest wins being the Group One $300,000 Fremantle Cup and the $450,000 West Australia Cup, within seven days of each other. Having won a total of three Group One races, he’s never finished further back than fourth in his 54 starts in Australia. The Bettor’s Delight six year old has a best mile time of 1-51.6 and no doubt there’s more to come. Chicago Bull’s impressive lifetime record is: 61-40-8-8 $1,820,709 Chicago Bull (My) Field Marshal is another Southern Bred Southern Reared racehorse flying the flag at the highest level in Australia. He was bred by Syd and Shona Brown of Mosgiel. By Art Major out the eighteen win Washington VC mare Foreal he’s also tasted Group One success in Australia winning the 2005 NSW Oaks and the Ladyship Mile, both at Harold Park. Field Marshal’s biggest win came in last season’s $750,000 Miracle Mile which he won in 1-46.9. This was the seventh fastest mile time in the world at that time and Field Marshal is still the fastest pacer in Australasia. In New Zealand he also won the 2016 Four Year Old Emerald worth $150,000, the New Zealand Messenger Championship ($100,000), The Taylor Mile in 2016 and the Superstar Championship. He continues to race well in well in Australia, recently winning the $300,000 Group One Fremantle Cup in Perth. Lifetime record for Field Marshal is: 61-26-15-6 $1,324,712 (15th January 2019) (My) Field Marshal Galactic Star was bred by Peter and Dan Cummings and their sister Julie Davie. By Bettor’s Delight out of their Christian Cullen mare Petra’s Star, he was purchased by Browns trainer Des Baynes for the Test Syndicate for $16,000. He raced in the south for one season as a three year old winning four of his thirteen starts. He was then sold and exported to Australia where he’s won another twenty races including a heat of the Interdominions at Gloucester Park last season. He’s won or has been placed in a number of Group races and his career earnings are $385,235.  He’s recorded a best lifetime mile rate of 1-52.0. He recently competed in the Interdominion Championships and finished 1st, 2nd and 3rd in his three heats before running 6th in the Grand Final. He has now won 25 races and banked $465,335 (15th January 2019). Galactic Star Bred by the late Bessie Dynes, Tact Tate had one season of racing in the south for Winton trainer Trevor Procter before heading across the ditch. He’s won twelve races in Australia including the $100,000 Group One Bohemia Crystal FFA at Menangle, the Group Two Treuer Memorial at Bankstown and the $100,000 Group One Four Year Old Bonanza at Melton. The seven year old by McArdle has won $348,138. He has high speed, and given the right run there could be more big races in this gelding. His lifetime record is: 46-15-3-5 $348,138. Tact Tate Aged gelding Maximan is a very good example of how SRSB stock have plenty of longevity. The Armbro Operative gelding was bred by Ian Bennett who raced him out of Craig Laurenson’s Edendale stable. From fourteen starts he won three races for Laurenson and was placed second five times before he was sold and transferred to Jim Curtin’s stable. He won the 2013 Westport Cup and two more wins earned him the West Coast $5,000 bonus. He was sold to Australia and this ninety start veteran has now collectively won twenty three races, paced a mile in 1-51.4, and banked $324,909. Maximan Back on this side of the Tasman the Southern Bred Southern Reared brand has also been winning races. The Tuapeka Lodge bred Bonnie Joan has kept the Cummings breed to the fore. She’s won ten races in a relatively light career; seven as a three year old, including the Southland Oaks. She ran second in both the Nevele R Fillies Final and New Zealand Oaks, both Group One races. Last season as a four year old she won the North Island Breeders Stakes and Premier Mares Championship. Bonnie Joan The emergence of quality filly Mossdale Art also highlights a breed that Northern Southland breeder Neil Timms developed and raced over the years. This side of the family continues to bring success to Cromwell breeder Archie Affleck who races Mossdale Art.  Mossdale Art won her last two starts and has cleared maiden company by running 1609 metres in 1-52.5 at Winton. Mossdale Art It’s clear there are plenty of flag flyers on both side of the Tasman keeping the Southern Bred Southern Reared brand in front of potential buyers and I suspect there are plenty more green and black flags to be hoisted yet. Bruce Stewart

Not many would argue with the fact the Southern region of the South Island is one of the best places to raise young stock, whether it be lambs, calves or young harness racing Standardbreds. At February’s NZB Standardbred National Standardbred Yearling Sales fifty two yearlings will be presented under the Southern Bred Southern Reared umbrella and buyers know these youngster have had a good start to life. Lawrence breeder Dan Cummings has produced yearlings for the National Sales for years and he says daylight hours play a big part in a young horse’s development. “The days are shorter and colder in winter, but as spring progresses into summer the days become two hours longer, one in the morning and one in the evening. I think the process of light affecting grass growth (photosynthesis) lets the grass grow for two hours longer at the height of summer in the south,” he says. Cummings says he’s spoken to a lot of local dairy farmers who bought cows down from Taranaki and Waikato in the late 1990s and early 2000s and they have noted an increase in production in their herds. “To their great surprise the same cows produced around 20% more milk in the south than they had in the north. The farmers attributed it to the longer days.  Apparently in the north milk production peaks just before Christmas then tapers off till May. In the south the peak is during January and the taper is far more gradual.” He says another significant influence of light for breeding in the south is the fact that an increase in daylight is what stimulates cycling in the mares and that increase occurs later in the south. So foals tend to be born a month to six weeks later than in the north.  “That’s a generalisation of course but it’s an influence that will still be apparent when the foals come to be sold as yearlings.  This factor definitely still has an influence at the yearling sales.  We live with it but will continue to try and counter its effect. But because of the way the seasons work the foals catch up quickly.”  Local vet Brendon Bell has worked in Southland for 22 years and he also says our climate is well suited to raising young stock. “Our temperate climate means there is plentiful grass over most of the critical phase of the foal’s development – from birth to yearling stage. This supply of grass means minimal hard feed is necessary to raise young horses.”  He adds that the summer climate gives the Southern region an advantage over the rest of the country. “Moderate temperatures – not too hot but not really cold. Adequate rainfall ensures grass growth over the summer. Somewhat cheaper land prices means more people can own and graze their own horses, keeping control in the hands of the horse owner.” He says the dairy boom has changed farm ownership but there’s still a groundswell of farmers who own or graze horses on their properties, in contrast to many horses in other provinces which are agisted at studs.  “Farm based horses exist with other stock which ensure minimal health issues, minimal parasite burdens from cross grazing, and normally plentiful feed.” He says Copper, Calcium, Phosphorus and Magnesium are important minerals for good animal development. So plenty of hard evidence to suggest southern foals get the best of starts to life. Bruce Stewart

In the last five years harness racing yearlings produced out of Southland, Otago or Central Otago under the Southern Bred Southern Reared banner, have been among the sale toppers at the annual Yearling Sales in Christchurch. Last year Chicago Cub, a full brother to millionaire pacer Chicago Blues topped the sales, selling to Emilo and Mary Rosati for $190,000. He was bred and prepared by Winton couple John and Katrina Price. In 2016 SBSR group produced the top two lots in Mach Shard ($200,000) and Honor And Glory ($170,000) while further back Bollinger sold for $200,000 in 2015. The honour board also includes Titanium in 2013 at $170,000 and Beaudiene Beaufighter which topped the Sales in 2014.  The highest amount paid for a Southern Bred Southern Reared yearling was in 2008 when Tuapeka Mariner sold for $250,000. This February the SBSR group will present fifty two yearlings at the NZB Standardbred Sale in Christchurch. SBSR was a concept initially talked about by the late Doug Stiven of Tapanui, and Dave Kennedy of Bayswater and it was in 2002 that Dave Kennedy, Mark O’Connor, Debbie Smith and John Stiven formed the inaugural committee. “The reason we got SBSR going was to get Southerners working together to raise the profile of the product at the Sales,” Stiven said. SBSR is open to all breeders in Otago and Southland and one of the highlights of the year is the annual bus tour and yearling parades.  Stiven says the tour for trainers and buyers is one of reasons SBSR has been successful. “We get about 22 to 25 buyers each year now and it’s very beneficial for those buyers to be able to come, and of all our vendors. Ken Barron and Michael House have never missed one.” Dave Kennedy agrees the tour has been a big part of the success story. “The SBSR tour is the best thing we’ve ever done there’s no doubt about that. You get the main buyers arriving on your doorstep. They see your place and see what you’ve done and what your horses look like.” This year the tour will be held on 11th and 12th February. SBSR also promotes substantially through a variety of magazines and websites and employs local TV personality Tom Conroy to film their stock. Stiven says the SBSR brand is being recognised in Australian with horses like I’m Themightyquinn, Beaudiene Boaz, I’m Victorious, Fight For Glory, Arden Rooney and Galactic Star flying the flag. I’m Themightyquinn Outside of the Yearling Sales SBSR is also the group behind The Diamond Creek Farm Classic at Ascot Park Invercargill on Diamonds Day. To date the race has been won by Kept Under Wraps, Lazarus, Mongolian Hero, Aloka and A Bettor Act. It’s sponsored by American heavyweight Diamond Creek Farm.  “We asked Adam Bowden if he thought Diamond Creek Farm was a good fit for Diamonds Day and We said that SBSR supported the two year old race. He was happy to make a five year commitment through service to A Rocknroll Dance and Sweet Lou with the right of renewal.” For decades SBSR horses have been proving the importance of the southern region to the Australian racing industry and beyond. It all started with trail blazers like Cardigan Bay, Robin Dundee, Stella Frost and Young Quinn. Cardigan Bay - 1963 New Zealand Cup - Addington, Christchurch Cardigan Bay - 1964 Yonkers Raceway - Stanley Dancer - 1st USA start Cardigan Bay Stiven said “Southland has long been regarded as the Kentucky of New Zealand. The SBSR group has managed to work together for the betterment of the Southern region as a platform to show unity in the sale of yearlings from this special part of the world. It also shows the group is (about) more than yearlings with the sponsorship of the Two Year Old Diamond Classic.” Continuing to put Southland on the map, from now until sale time I’ll write a number of stories about SBSR including what makes the south so good for breeding, the twelve millionaires the group has produced, the SBSR yearling tour in February and I’ll profile six of the well-bred youngsters that SBSR will be presenting at the Christchurch yearling sales. Bruce Stewart

1 to 10 of 10
1