Archive for December, 2015

To be honest, I carry no expectations re the results, but this is a lovely story of 3 generations of the immediate family getting into the Silvers and Finals of 3yo filly Sires Stakes racing.

For those of us who have a passion for breeding, I just want to share this because I am super proud.

Zenterfold won the the Sires Stakes Fillies Silver 2003, for trainer Geoff Small and driver David Butcher. Her daughter The Blue Lotus got third in the Sires Stakes Fillies 3yo Final in 2010, albeit 8 lengths behind the wonderful quinella of Carabella and Bettor Cover Lover. With a good trip and tenacity, she held a clear third in front of others. David Butcher again the driver.

So it is stunning that the third generation Amazon Lily (Bettor’s Delight x The Blue Lotus), is in the same race final, this year. I am sure co-breeders Ken and Karen Breckon and Dom Zame will also be watching.

Whatever the results, I will be happy. Making finals at the high end of the game is an achievement.

Tip o’ the hat to trainer Ken Barron, co-trainer and driver Blair Orange, and those who are looking after her up north.

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Here’s an opportunity to own and breed from a lovely 3yo filly from a super family, by Tintin In America.

Her name is American Vogue and she is from the Presidential Ball mare Style By The Mile.  My Australian readers might recognise that name Style By The Mile, because she is also the dam of Macintosh (61 starts, 14 wins to date, $127,518), mainly at Gloucester Park, and is a half-sister to Gomeo Romeo (53 starts, 13 wins, 12 places, $340,193).

This filly is qualified/very lightly raced, but is not being sold as a racing proposition.

  • Lovely natured, good to handle
  • Attractive, 15h, dark bay
  • Family of Stylish Sweetheart, Sweet Talking Man, Gomeo Romeo, Wartime Sweetheart etc

The owners include Colin Harris, and he has asked me to put word out to see if anyone is interested in having her for breeding. He would love to breed from her himself, but can’t increase his numbers, and he most of all wants her to go to a good home and have the chance to breed on if possible. Talking to Colin, the reasons she didn’t race well seem to be around cross-firing (the usual gear and shoeing changes were tried) and she has totally switched off now as her last start shows when she broke hopelessly in the score up and clearly didn’t want to be there. Someone might want to put her out for a long spell and try again, or else start breeding her next season. She could even be broken in for riding in the meantime, as she is a good natured filly.

On the pedigree side of things, she is one of those really classic out-crosses, so you have a heap of options to play with in future. You could go to virtually any classy sire you want  -particularly from either Artsplace or Western Hanover lines, or link back to a Cam Fella or Warm Breeze or even Direct Scooter line. I think Tintin In America will add plenty of value in a broodmare’s pedigree.

American Vogue’s grandam is the very classy Stylish Sweetheart (74 starts, 12 wins, 20 places, $157,409) including a 3rd in the Sales Series 2yo Fillies Final, and an equal 2nd in the equivalent race for 3yos the next year. Stylish Sweetheart is a half-sister to Sweet Talking Man (68 starts, 12 wins, 13 places, $234,409), and another half-sister better know to my Australian readers will be the fantastic old campaigner Wartime Sweetheart (22 wins, 34 places, $284,936).


Colin Harris: 021 316 437 – please deal direct with Colin if you are interested, not with me.

You could check out her racing issues with Brad Mowbray (021-0273-1270)

The filly is based in Canterbury.

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In the famous speech of Shakepeare’s Hamlet, the speaker is tossing up the pros and cons of life and death. To be or not to be alive.

For me, alive and well, the pondering has been over the PGG Wrightson Sale of the Stars catalogue when it fell open at lots 340 and 341. On the left lot 340 Phoebe’s Delight, and on the right lot 341 Phoebe Royale.

They are both bay fillies, and both the first foal of their dams. Both dams are mature mares – Phoebe Lindenny is a 6yo, and Phoebe Revival is an 8yo.

And there the similarities end. As far as I can tell, the naming is just a coincidence.

Phoebe’s Delight is pacing bred, by Bettor’s Delight from an unraced Christian Cullen mare.  Phoebe Royale is trotting bred, by Monarchy out of a Wrestle (Game Pride x Tussle) mare.

While both pedigree pages show some nice black type in the family, on closer examination it’s hard to pick the yearling which will be getting looked at more often in her box.

The Bettor’s Delight filly is from the historically rich Sunburn/No Paba family which means the names of outstanding horses like Beach Towel, Northview Punter and more recently Nearea Franco and Nike Franco appear on the page without it being a stretch. It is a tricky family to read and is it reaching into the future?

The trotting filly’s credentials are less obvious but very consistent, and it is a family that seems to be strengthening again in this branch. It is not flashy but it is consistent. Could it step up the notch it needs to and produce something like William Dee again?

Phoebe’s Delight – Lot 340 – by Bettor’s Delight x Phoebe Lindenny

Owner: D J Bennett, Ms L A Joyce
Breeder: D J Bennett, Ms L A Joyce
Preparer: Dennis Bennett, Lindenny Lodge

The yearling’s dam, Phoebe Lindenny, is a Christian Cullen daughter of No Paba – one of 8 filly foals from the mare, who has produced 14 foals to date (8 to race for 7 winners).  Of those 8 female foals, understandably many of them are being tried as broodmares, regardless of whether they were ever performers on the track. At the 2014 Australasian Classic yearling sale at Karaka, Neat Franco’s colt (Boss Man) sold for $25,000, and in February this year her yearling colt (Veluti) sold to Australian interests for $20,000.  These are not outstanding prices for colts from a full sister to Nearea Franco. A lot more lucrative action has come from the progeny of Nearea Franco herself – Nike Franco was sold privately and has been a top performer in Australia earning well over $250,000, and her next foal, also a filly, is by Falcon Seelster and as yet untried as a 4yo mare with Spreydon Lodge, so maybe heading straight to the broodmare barn? There is a Bettor’s Delight 3yo filly also retained by Spredon Lodge, called Nyree Franco and she would be worth looking out for this season at the races. Neverland Franco and Nightshade Franco are two more Badlands mares from No Paba that are breeding on. There’s even a P-Forty-seven daughter called Ians Choice that is being given a go with some local sires. The next filly from No Paba after that was Phoebe Lindenny, the dam of Phoebe’s Delight.

At the 2016 Premier yearling sale in Christchurch a Mach Three daughter of Nearea Franco is up for sale from Spreydon Lodge, about 20 lots earlier than Phoebe’s Delight and that could serve the filly well as the wash over from unsuccessful bidders may send a wave in her direction. Of course in between those two lots is another yearling filly from No Paba herself, by Sir Lincoln, who of course has Beach Towel from the mare’s maternal line in his own maternal line. A nice bit of thinking about breeding. She’s called Barras Princess – owner: T Nicholas, preparer:  Stefanie Nicholas, breeder: Brisbane Pastoral Company Pty Ltd.

It is a funny family to work out, and like some other exceedingly well-related mares brought here from North America, it is not at all certain that they will outshine the home-grown mares in terms of producing winners and standouts. For this family, the record does favour the fillies.

For those who feel they can unlock the mystery on a more consistent basis – you have three very interesting, well bred fillies to check out at the yearling sales in Christchurch.

Phoebe Royale – Lot 341 by Monarchy x Phoebe Revival

Owner: J R Honeybone, G D Beckett, Mrs D R Beckett
Breeder: J R Honeybone, G D Beckett, Mrs D R Beckett
Preparer: Gael Murray

Check out the Phoebe Stud website here

There is some good black type in this yearling’s pedigree too – of the trotting kind. William Dee is the standout, from her great-grandam Life Line. He’s an Interdominion Champion as well as the winner of a cluster of Group 1 and 2 races and over $344,000 in stake earnings. Life Line also produced Great Life who raced well in America, and the nice trotting mare Ashley Blossom (4 wins, 18 places), who is the dam of 19 win Group 1 winning son Don King, raced in Victoria. Another daughter of Life Line is Ashley Sunset by Sundon, who has produced 3 good winning foals to date – Phoebe Sunset, Phoebe Gladiator, and Phoebe Revival, and the latter is the dam of Phoebe Royal, her first foal. You can see their wins and stake earnings in the catalogue entry for this filly.

A quick aside: another of Ashley Sunset’s foals was racing at Gore today, and I took a cheeky 1/2 bet on her after seeing the connection with this blog and also seeing her consistent formline to date (which is always reassuring in trotters). When I read the Trottech comments online that described her as “Nibbling at the crumbs. Main course appears off the menu today. First 4 fringe” my mind was made up – what a snarky way to describe a consistent form for a trotter who has only had 9 starts! And I enjoyed seeing her trot well all the way around on a fast pace and stick on strongly for third – a paying $6 for a place! Hohoho.

The last horse from this family to the yearling sales was a very nice looking Muscles Mass colt from Ashley Sunset, bought by Robbie Close for $12,000 earlier this year.

To be honest, I think this new branch is a cracker. Phoebe Revival has done a great job on the racetrack. She had a start as a 2yo, won as a 3yo and 4yo, had a super season as a 5yo and retired as a 6yo with 9 wins and 16 places and $62,014.  Her sire is Wrestle who did his siring in tiny numbers over many years and came up with a total of 76 live foals for 14 winners. Yet if you look at his pedigree you would be well excused for thinking you were looking at the pedigree of one of the best sires bred here in that era.  Tussle, his dam, was a freakishly good and very tough mare, small in stature but one of my favourites of all time. Her own sire was Tuft and she was the only one bred on that cross from her dam Kimmer. Tuft was a Star’s Pride horse from a Dean Hanover mare. Fantastic!

Note that this yearling filly Phoebe Royale has Tuft 4×4. He also comes in as the sire of Life Line, the filly’s great grandam. Tuft is a name that pops up in many topline New Zealand pedigrees, from Changeover and Chokin to Count Isa, Call Me Now and Above The Stars. And of course, William Dee.

Finally, never under-estimate the great breeding of Monarchy, the sire of this yearling filly. We have come to take it for granted but his dam and grandam were super performers and broodmares.

No photos yet on the website for either of these yearlings, but I am sure they will come.




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Christmas time

For many of us involved in harness racing or breeding, Christmas time is full on with races to get horses to, foals to keep an eye on, mares to get in foal, and yearlings to prepare for the sales – and sometimes a new foal on the ground. So I wish everyone a few moments or even a day or two of relaxation and time-out amongst all of that.

Seasons greetings from The Snow Leopard

Seasons greetings from The Snow Leopard and Bee

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As I said in my last post, this time of the year is the “sneaky peek at the presents”. In this case not Christmas presents but the yearlings that will be up for sale in February 2016

Last post I introduced Leo (aka The Snow Leopard, Lot 100 at the Australasian Classic yearling sale at Karaka).

This time it is Taffey (aka The Shooting Star, Lot 133) who is by Rock N Roll Heaven x Zenterfold.

She is smaller than than the colt, very different type, built like a brick shithouse and looks like an early type in the Killer Queen and Rocknroll Princess mould.  She has her mother’s attitude and natural independence mixed with a love of working with people.

You can see other photos on the PGG Sale of the Stars website, but here is a less formal “photo shoot” of her for my blog readers:

Rock N Roll Heaven x Zenterfold filly

Rock N Roll Heaven x Zenterfold filly

The Shooting Star

The Shooting Star Lot 133 Australasian Yearling Sale

The Shooting Star

Preparer Kym Kearns with The Shooting Star Lot 133

Over the next couple of months I will, as usual, cover some of the yearling sales entries that take my interest – not usually the top ones, or the obvious ones – but rather some of the ones that show breeders taking real care in their selections or thoughtfully going outside the square or are particularly interesting: “THINK b4 breeding”

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Introducing my yearlings grown up and almost ready to go.

This time of the year is the “sneaky peek at the presents”. In this case not Christmas presents but the yearlings that will be up for sale in February 2016 – and it is a very interesting catalogue, thank heavens, after a drought for a couple of years.

Introducing you to my two yearlings, whom I have blogged about before as they developed.

It seems such a long time since I saw “Leo” (Shadow Play x The Blue Lotus) and Taffey (Rock N Roll Heaven x Zenterfold) as shy foals alongside their much loved mums.

Here they are now with only weeks to go before the yearling sale in February at Karaka. They are teenagers with personality and bodies that are well enough developed to show off type and character.

Luckily I have two lovely ones to put up and heartfelt thanks to the mares Zenterfold and her daughter The Blue Lotus.

The Shadow Play colt is well grown, athletic and has personality plus, a guy with a sense of play but wanting to have something to do. He will come up as a 2yo but if someone has the patience, he will be so much better as a 3yo. I love this colt. He is so interested in life, loves being around people and even not fazed by standing right outside our house rather than in a paddock. He is curious, learns fast, he thinks.

Here are two more personal photos for my blog followers about The Snow Leopard (Shadow Play x The Blue Lotus).

Similar for my filly from Zenterfold, will follow.

Kym Kearns

Preparer Kym Kearns with The Snow Leopard

The Snow Leopard

Leo aka The Snow Leopard, getting to know where we live.

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Tomorrow Tuesday 22 December may see the first appearance of Angus Fogg, the big and bold trotter from Sun Isa by Angus Hall, bred by Kym Kearns and named after the NZ V8 Supertourer racing car driver Angus Fogg (his Facebook page here).

Update after 22 December race, when he broke: Ahh, another learning curve. Frustrating though, because he has a lot of ability. Keep with him, follow his journey. Great team behind him. Lovely horse.

The other weekend I was at Pukekohe watching Angus Fogg the horse go around the workouts track and in the background I could hear the roar of cars (including Angus Fogg the race car driver) going around the Pukekohe race car track! Great timing!

Angus Fogg

Owen Gillies driving Angus Fogg at the Franklin workouts, Pukekohe training track on 12 December 2015, for a good second.


Angus Fogg

Angus Fogg racing car driver (left) and Derek Balle trainer, with Angus Fogg the trotter in May 2015.

He’s been a work in progress, being such a big lad, and tip o’ the hat to Derek Balle and particularly Owen Gillies for having the patience and putting in the hard yards. He’s a handsome, good tempered horse and may need another year to really learn the trade, but his recent workouts with standing starts have been good, and he has the long stride and acceleration of his Group 1 winning half brother Flying Isa and very talented half sister Smiling Isa.

He was sold at the 2013 yearling sales to Lincoln Farms, and they are still the owners with client T A King.

So it will be interesting to see how this trotter copes with his first big occasion and I won’t be putting the house on him. But I will be putting a sneaky supporting bet and cheering him all the way. It’s all learning. He could well be going around a few of the grass tracks this season, just getting the hang of it all. But he certainly has ability.

Kym Kearns

Kym Kearns with her founding mare Isa Countessa and the NZSBA Breeders Recognition Plaque

This is a lovely family and it really stamps from the mare’s side, and beyond that the from grandam Isa Countessa, who is now 28 years old. Daughter Sun Isa (by Sundon) is a big, bold mare and her progeny by both Pegasus Spur and Angus Hall are, to date, very much in that mould.  Isa Countessa’s other daughter, Toggle (by Britewell), is completely different in type. She is like her sire – smaller, compact and full of speed and attitude. Chalk and cheese – although both half sisters had a very competitive attitude when it comes to racing and both mares did well (Sun Isa with 4 wins, 5 places, and Toggle with 3 wins, 3 places). And both are great mums.

The current yearlings from them: a very attractive filly by Majestic Son from Toggle, her first foal, called Out Of The Box, and well named as she is one of those young horses that you could swear has been here before, a ready-made package. Takes it all in stride. Photos coming for this blog and the catalogue site. She is going to be medium sized, bigger than her dam, but has that same quickness and assurance about her. A really delightful filly worth more than a look.

The other yearling filly is a Pegasus Spur from Sun Isa called Library Lady, which Kym is keeping at this stage. She is a big yearling but incredibly well proportioned and even in her growth, with strong but not heavy legs.

These are all from the Isa Countessa family – the Count Bay mare that Kym bought as a cheap filly with a crook knee many years ago. Read the story here

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