Archive for the ‘Horses’ Category

Kym Kearns describes this colt as probably the best type her mare Sun Isa has produced to date, and that’s a big call since the siblings have all been very good-looking horses.

Angus Hall x Sun Isa yearling colt.

Isa The Great

Isa The Great after his weekend wash.

“Hank” as we call him, is the 6th foal from Sundon mare Sun Isa and her 4th son. She leaves strikingly good-looking horses, big and bold, and with plenty of ability.

Kym retained the previous foal, a filly named Library Lady, who is now a very strong 2yo with a lovely trotting action.

Previous foals from Sun Isa are: Flying Isa (56 starts, 17 wins, $481,667), Isa Smiling (very talented, 3 wins, now dam of a 2yo colt), Angus Fogg (late developing but talented 5yo trained by Derek Balle), Isa Flyer (died recently in paddock accident),  Library Lady, and Isa The Great. The first four foals were all sold at the PGG Wrightson yearling sales, and that is where Isa The Great is heading to.

Sun Isa

Kym with Sun Isa at Isa Lodge, after her Spring wash and brush.

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The more I see this filly (out my window every day) the more I like what I see.

A Rocknroll Dance x The Blue Lotus yearling filly.

The Blue Beat

After her shower, looking gorgeous.

“Iris”, as we call her, moves easily, naturally and she has attitude but manners. She is starting to mature and understand things.

Last weekend, we brought the mums in from other paddocks for a wash, and then their yearling offspring at our home paddocks, also for a wash and brush. Lots of winter hair was shed, lots of enjoyment under the shower!

Below: The Blue Beat – finally got a registered name for this filly, and it is a cracker! The Blue Beat, the rock n roll song made famous in Australasia by our own wonderful Dinah Lee. “Come on and do the blue beat, the blue beat, and you’ll never be blue!” Hey, if you’re my age you will remember bopping around the living room to this song.

The Blue Beat

A Rocknroll Dance x The Blue Lotus

Below: The Blue Lotus, dam of The Blue Beat, Amazon Lily (3 wins, 6 placings from 13 starts) and Blackend (Shadow Play colt broken in well for Australian owner Domenic Martello) looking great and very much in foal with her next Shadow Play offspring.

The Blue Lotus

The Blue Lotus

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I want to tell you a very personal story about a gelding called Silk Singlet. His sire was Silk Legacy, a son of the great mare Silk Stockings, and  his dam was a New Zealand mare called Scenic Flight. He was bred in Wesport by A J Rogers and Mrs C E Rogers, and born in 1989.

Silk Singlet raced in New Zealand as a 4yo, 5yo and 6yo (from 1994-1996) for Peter Yeatman and was driven by Jim Curtin. He had some success – 6 wins – before being sold to North America. There he continued to be moderately successful until his 1998/99 seasons when, after moving to Canada, he had a great run of consistent performances in well-staked claiming races to notch up over $190,000 in each of those two consecutive years. He took his record of 1.52 in 1999 as a 10yo at Woodbine and last raced in 2003 as a 13yo. Crikey what a campaigner. In 2002 he had 26 starts for 8 wins and 7 places but obviously for much lower stakes, and even in his last year he had a 2nd from just 2 starts.

He ended up with total earnings of over $580,000 and 51 wins.

Silk Singlet

My connection with Silk Singlet is nothing to do with those statistics. It began with listening to harness racing commentaries on the radio and later on Trackside (although I can find no video record on Silk Singlet’s races). Whether it was a particular race I heard or and integral part of his racing style, I can’t recall, but what I associate Silk Singlet with was a flying run down the outside of the track. This is the association I transferred (along with moving Silk Singlet to Hutt Park, the Wellington track I frequented but he never raced on, and adding in a field of horses created by my own imagination) to a short story I wrote back in 1995. This was the era when I would often head out to the night trots with a friend or two and a flask of brandy or whiskey in the back pocket, and spend a frosty evening in the stand taking one dollar each ways and having a hot dog, or maybe a picnic in summer on the benches just around the first corner. Also an era when I wrote and shared short stories.

And that is how Silk Singlet ended up as the hero of this short story, and an emblem of love, loss and sexiness.

Silk Singlet by Bee Pears.


Pedigree notes:

Silk Singlet is by Silk Legacy (a son of the great mare Silk Stockings, and so a half brother to Temujin) and a Waratah mare called Scenic Flight. Her pedigree included the half siblings Light Brigade and The Old Maid. Scenic Flight had just two foals, both colts, and interestingly the other called Innocent Flight (by Clever Innocence) did most of his racing in Australia and ended up with 10 wins, 14 places and $48,377 from 41 starts. Of course Clever Innocence brought yet another dose of The Old Maid into the pedigree mix with Scenic Flight. 

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Some snapshots of yearlings on parade and sales days 2016 – a reflection on the commitment of breeders, preparers and assistants to develop and present an outstanding and often much loved product – as well as an acknowledgement of the tension of that moment in the parade and sales ring. Tip o’ the hat.


In the moment











Connection 4

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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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Went to see this filly foal last weekend and delighted with her, and lovely to see The Blue Lotus looking so good at Alabar. Thanks guys!

This is a lovely A Rocknroll Dance foal .

The Blue Lotus’s first foal is the Bettor’s Delight filly Amazon Lily – 3 starts, 2 wins. (Forget that last race. She was the only one willing to challenge the hot favourite leader until the last swoop, and paid the price.) Proud of her. The next foal is the Shadow Play yearling colt who is a stunning type with heaps of character, and off to the sales in February (Lot 100 at Karaka), and this filly is her 3rd foal.

Reminder – The Blue Lotus is a Grinfromeartoear mare – look what she is producing! There are some really nice Grin mares out there that deserve a chance with well matched sires.

Contact me on bee.raglan@xtra.co.nz if you want some ideas/advice/encouragement to breed from your mare.

Filly foal A Rocknroll Dance x The Blue Lotus

Filly foal A Rocknroll Dance x The Blue Lotus

The Blue Lotus

The Blue Lotus foal by A Rocknroll Dance – lovely type and he is leaving some very nice foals.

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It is late in the season now, and some of us (me included) are still waiting to see if/when some of our mares are positive.

Others still have a mare to breed (or not) and can’t decide.

So what do you do for that last minute fertile “go for it” low-cost service?

The Christmas shop window is full of enticing goods displayed. I’m talking here as a NZ breeder as the local low-cost scene in Australian states is completely different and wider but possible with less performed sires.

But when I look at options like Smiling Shard, Mr Feelgood, Highview Tommy, Tintin In America, Raging Bull, and Alta Christiano….just to name a few….my goodness, we are spoilt for choice (even if not spoilt for numbers of buyers later on!!)

The thing that attracts me with some of these cheaper options is that they are not a “discount” in terms of value.  Mr Feelgood and Smiling Shard are two quite different examples of that. You could not get better performers and good maternal lines to back them up. Forget about the Grinfromeartoear factor if you don’t hold that sire in high regard. These are matches that have clicked in a very fundamental way and given their chance will be good sires. Smiling Shard has foals on the ground and the ones I have seen look good. Mr Feelgood too, but foals are only in Australia where the reports sound very good in terms of  type. Big numbers over there for that sire last season, and NZ breeders can ride on the back of that as they show up as he will have only a few here in NZ.

Alta Christiano and Raging Bull are both by our best sire line downunder – In The Pocket and his son Christian Cullen, but importantly crossed with great mares or families. You’d add in Stunin Cullen to that list of course, and with his first yearlings going to the sales in 2016 you can do your homework locally and check out what the types are like.

Now I want to do a plug for the sire I bred, Tintin In America, because having put my money and breeding choices where my mouth is, I’ve got some really nice results to share. And it gives some of you, hopefully, more confidence about choosing him as a sire. If you mare is nicely bred, good size but needs speed – go for it. If your mare has speed but lacked stamina, remember he went on to win as a 4yo in the Messenger and was runner up to Monkey King in the Auckland Cup. Check back on my blog re things in pedigrees that I think click well with this family.

Bee’s Christmas Shop Window of a Tintin foal, a Tintin yearling and a Tintin 3yo filly:

  • Jack Tar (yearling) – Tintin In America x Sophie’s Choice currently spelling after breaking in with Brent and Sue Donnelly (great people to deal with, lovely with the young horses). They are really pleased with the way he broke in and his attitude.
  • Next is my latest Tintin – from the Rustler Hanover mare Nostalgic Franco. Look at this photo – doesn’t it remind you of the way Tintin just stood there, waiting, knowing, before his big races? He’s down south at Macca Lodge and Brent McIntyre describes him as a standout foal.
  • Finally we have 3yo filly Be A Legend, from a Safely Kept mare and a good family. She has that tough roman nose and the Tintin attitude – harness that and you have a winning racehorse. So far, so good and tip o’ the hat to Chris McDowell in Christchurch for the preps and getting her qualified. He has really understood how you can work with their keenness and energy rather than fighting it. “Harnessing” the qualities as well as the horse. Thanks Chris!


Jack Tar (yearling)

Jack Tar by Tintin In America

Jack Tar with Sue Donnelly – spunky, willing and lovely temperament

Tintin In America foal from Nostalgic Franco:

Tintin In America colt foal 2015

Tintin colt standing like Tintin In America used to before his races. This foal has a real presence about him.

The 3yo filly Be A Legend:

Be A Legend

Powerful back end and some real attitude – I like this filly!

Be A Legend by Tintin In America

Worth waiting for – she’s getting to be a strong, bold filly.


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Just back from my hugely enjoyable trip to the South Island, where I took in Show Day at Addington, and caught up with some of my youngsters at Studholme Bloodstock (thanks to Brian West and family for a lovely time and taxi service) and Macca Lodge (thanks to Brent and Sheree McIntyre for great southern hospitality).

Highlights were seeing Tintin In America looking in fine fettle at Nevele R – thanks so much to Nikki Reed for showing me around, not just Tintin but the other sires there, all in their paddocks, covers on, a bit muddy. That’s what I love seeing – some of the best horses in the world (A Rocknroll Dance, Gold Ace, McArdle, his son Tintin In America, and the great Christian Cullen) just hanging out and being normal horses!

The day before I had caught up with the 3yo Tintin In America filly co-owned by Brian and myself, recently qualified and now having a good break at Brian’s property. Her name is Be A Legend, and she has grown into a striking filly who will get better with another 6 months of growing and strengthening up. Worth the wait.

Another highlight was when Brent McIntyre took me over the backroads of Southland to meet John and Judy Stiven of Arden Lodge fame. They are passionate about breeding and harness racing, and really thoughtful in the way they have gone about developing their band of mares. It was great seeing some of those quality offspring and learning from John about his breeding decisions. Their mare Winter Rose won the NZSBA/PGG Wrightson Broodmare of Excellence 2015 presented on the Monday night function in Cup Week. Much deserved, as she has a fine record as a broodmare – she’s the dam of Bettor’s Strike, Southwind Arden, and the newcomer Arden’s Choice (more on her in another blog) amongst others.

Of course the other highlight for me was catching up with the two mares and foals I have at Macca Lodge, that I’ve never seen before in person: Dreamy Romance and her Big Jim filly, and Nostaglic Franco and her Tintin In America colt. (Those links will take you to my blogs where I look at the match resulting in these foals). All looking great! And so good to see those mares up close and get a real impression of them, which will help me make future decisions.


Be A Legend 3yo filly Tintin In America x A Legend

Be A Legend 3yo filly Tintin In America x A Legend (Safely Kept)

Breeder Bee Pears with sire Tintin In America (NZ)

Bee reconnecting with Tintin In America at Nevele R – and no, he didn’t try to nip me!

Tintin In America

Eye-to-eye with Tintin In America

Nostalgic Franco and her Tintin In America colt foal at Macca Lodge

Nostalgic Franco and her Tintin In America colt foal at Macca Lodge

Dreamy Romance and her Big Jim filly foal at Macca Lodge

Dreamy Romance and her Big Jim filly foal at Macca Lodge


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Update: How did I go? (See original blog below)

I kicked off the night with a Lis Mara quinella  which I actually missed in terms of putting my money where my mouth is, but for the purposes of this blog we’ll treat it as a 1ew bet on both Music (Lis Mara x Radio River) who paid $11.10 and $1.90, and Aveross Brachole (Lis Mara x Gth Aveross) who paid $4.80 for a place. Race 3, Romanite (Art Official x Roman Tear) came 2nd and paid $1.60. Race 4 Nek Time (Gotta Go Cullect x Braithwaite) hung on for 3rd and paid $2.20. I was bullish about Carrickmannon (Lis Mara x Harper Road) and Cullect A Guiness (Gotta Go Cullect x Charlotte Lea) in race 7 but 5th and 7th was there lot in a fast paced race.In race 9 my heart was with the winner (Ashton K, Grinfromeartoear x Spicey) but my 1ew bet went on Easy Rider (Art Official x Divine) and Chasing Shadows (Gotta Go Cullect x Impact’s Legacy) but they couldn’t get into the race and finished 9th and 10th.

At Alexandra Park I also started on a good note with Culinary Delight (Lis Mara x Culinary Affair) finished 3rd and paying $3.10, then in Race 2 Van Mara (Lis Mara x Van Sera) rattled home for 2nd and paid $2.60. In Race 6 Jaccka Mara (Lis Mara x Marianna Jaccka) and Tazzy’s Devil (Lis Mara x Tas’s Pocket) didn’t fire, and Wimbaliri (Gotta Go Cullect x Festina Lente) was scratched.

So all in all, I “invested” $24 and won $27.30.

Just for fun let’s compare how I would’ve gone if I had bet 1ew on all the Bettor’s Delights running at those two meetings. There were 23 starters, 9 of them paying a dividend. I would have invested $46 and collected $31.90.

So all in all, thank you to the lesser sires for taking care of me!

Original blog post:

Tonight I’m watching races in hindsight, and betting against the odds.

This breeding season in New Zealand three sires are no longer on offer, and in all cases their departure has been predictable, although in two cases it has been very low key.

Lis Mara, Gotta Go Cullect, Art Official.

All have different stories to tell. Lis Mara was initially promoted as speed, but the impression we have of the whole Cam Fella line in New Zealand is not that – and I’ve blogged on this before. So he had to make breakthrough early results that countered our intuition (like Bettor’s Delight has done was a descendant of Cam’s Card Shark) or we were always going to put him in a different category. LisMara progeny were almost always needing time, and not enough really delivered at the top end even if you did wait. For all our love with Most Happy Fella in Smooth Fella and New York Motoring etc, Cam Fella line has always struggled to get a foothold in these shaky isles.

Art Official, lovely looking and well bred, and our connection with Falcon Seelster in his maternal line should have rung happy bells – but he has struggled to get early performers (that so-high bar we set) and also he leaves a much more varied type of foal than his sire, they are not Art Major lookalikes and I think that is what everyone was hoping for – at a cheaper price.

Gotta Go Cullect, touted early on as the “heir apparent of Christian Cullen” and boy, did he look the part – athletic, proud, bred to be fast and tough. And he did get very decent books and has left some nice performers, but the clock ticked on and not enough really stood out, and suddenly he became more of a Live Or Die sire prospect i.e. genuine, but take time to strengthen, some have high speed but the actually percentages of top quality horses are not enough for a top sire. Take nothing away from what he will add to a mare’s pedigree. He will be one of those that shows up like an Adios Butler in pedigrees of good horses down the line. I also wonder if his early retirement (from injury) as a racehorse went against him. In the end we wanted him to duplicate his own type and early speed, so it is possible the type of mares he got were not adding much of that themselves. And maybe his own genes were more about toughness than genetically carried speed factors.

Cut to the chase, tonight I’m doing some sentimental betting but for a reason.

I like to show respect to all those sires who stand here – such a hard ask to survive and thrive in this competitive environment. These are three horses who were excellent on the racetrack and bred to be that way. They carry good genes but how that is expressed as sires (and in our broodmare pool) is another thing. Frankly the fact they have gone is not a mark against them, but just an acknowledgement of how hard it is for any sire to break into the longterm stallion market.

Tip o’ the hat to these three horses.

Both Art Official and Lis Mara will continue to stand back in North America, and I understand Gotta Go Cullect has been sold to Australia.

Tonight I am going “one each way” on all the progeny of these three sires racing at the good meetings at Addington (Christchurch Met) and Alexandra Park (Auckland).

Putting it out there now, and so far only two races done while I’ve been blogging, for a 2nd with Romanite, the Art Official 4yo gelding, and a 3rd from Culinary Delight, the 5yo Lis Mara mare.

What else is coming up? Not sure about scratchings but…

At Alex Park we have Race 2 Van Mara (Lis Mara), Race 6 Jaccka Mara and Tazzy’s Devil (both Lis Mara, although I must confess my bigger bet of 5ew will be on American Flyebye the Tintin In America filly), Race 8 Wimbaliri (Gotta Go Cullect). At Addington we have Race 4 Nek Time (Gotta Go Cullect), Race 7 Carrick Mannon (Lis Mara) and Cullect A Guiness (Gotta Co Cullect), Race 9 Easy Rider (Art Official) and Chasing Shadows (Gotta Go Cullect.


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Three Tintin In America fillies hit the South Island workout tracks last week, and another one at Cambridge today.

What A Curtainraiser (Tintin In America x Next Live Show – Live Or Die) is a 3yo filly who was at her third workout (North Canterbury, 14 October) and seems to be improving each time. What A Curtainraiser has always shown a quick turn of foot and a very competitive nature, but also a tendancy to pull or want to over-race. But patience and education is sorting that out now. The dam of What A Curtainraiser is the Live Or Die mare Next Live Show who had a twisted leg that prevented her from showing what she might have on the race track.  Trainer Kevin James says she did look good, however, and he thought enough of her to put her to Tintin In America, a horse he admired, aiming to add speed. It seems to be working.

Kevin James has four in training by Tintin In America and each one is quite different.  What A Curtainraiser is a smallish filly, but another of his Tintin youngsters is Go Ellmer Go (from a medium sized mare Ellmer Joy) who has turned out to be 16-plus hand, and he has one who has been teasing Kevin by changing preference to trot or to pace. Another of Kevin’s Tintin In America foals is the 2yo colt from Dazzle Bromac called Tuahiwi Express which he describes as  a”nice going pacer, and a chestnut colour”.

At the same North Canterbury Wednesday workouts Tintin In America 3yo filly American Vogue was having her first workout of the season, after qualifying as a 2yo in March. She sat at the back and when she looked to improve stylishly, she started to hang and pace a bit rough, losing ground before running on wide again at the back of the field. She is still a bit keen and green, but has plenty of ability once the penny drops and the manners are better. The breeding is nice, she’s from the family of Stylish Sweeheart and is from Presidential Ball mare Style By The Mile, who is the dam of MacIntosh, a Mach Three gelding who did a really nice job in Australia particularly as a 3yo and 4yo.

The other Tintin In America filly to hit the workouts last week (Motukarara, on 10 October) was Be A Legend. This is the 3yo from A Legend (a half sister to Bit Of A Legend) that I co-own with Brian West of Studholme Bloodstock. This preparation she’s been in the care of Chris McDowell, who has used patience and education to get her manners in better order. She can still be a bit keen, but is learning to settle and at the workouts he travelled her at the back in a Learners pace and let her run home nicely for second. She’s lining up at the workouts again today and the idea is the same – give her experience without a lot of pressure. Chris feels she has a bit of strength and speed.

And finally today (17 October) I was at Cambridge workouts to watch yet another Tintin In America filly go around – Love American Style – and the theme is a bit the same, with ability there but manners not. She hang badly most of the way in an easy run workout, but wasn’t pushed which is good. Again, patience is the key. The breeding of this filly is very David Phillips/Hambletonian, with the dam being the Road Machine mare Love To Travel who is also the dam of Selkie (the American Ideal mare who also raced well in Australia before retiring late last year.)

Being green and keen has more in common with speed than just having “ee“. It was the same with Tintin In America himself, and it took patience and education to channel that competitive nature and ability into manners and speed that turns on when the driver pushes the go button. My impression is that many of these trainers like what they feel in the Tintins – that there is clearly ability and speed worth being patient for.

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