Posts Tagged ‘Scotland sire’

Destination Moon racehorse

Take off – Destination Moon at 2012 yearling sales with Kym Kearns

He’s named after a book about flying to the moon. And from the photo, you can see he was keen to take off long before race day!

It was great to see Destination Moon get his first win last Friday at Alexander Park. The field was not nearly as strong as his first race a couple of weeks earlier, which was a Sires Stakes heat with the speed on, but the way he won was impressive.

He reached the front early and ran confidently in the lead, not switching off, keeping a good margin to the others and pulling away to win by over 2 lengths with little encouragement needed from Joshua Dickie in the bike.

Destination Moon is the half brother to Tintin In America and full brother to The Blue Lotus (3rd in Sires Stakes Fillies 3yo final), from my wonderful mare Zenterfold. His sire Grinfromeartoear is not highly commercial but if you get the right match he adds a lot of value and leaves some tough horses with speed.  “Duncan” (as we nicknamed Destination Moon) was a lovely type as a yearling and sold for $68,000 to Rosslands Stud Ltd (Kerry Hoggard) at the 2012 yearing sales.

He has shown up in his workouts and qualifying trial just prior to racing, but pleasing to see there wasn’t a rush to get him into the 2yo Sires Stakes if he wasn’t ready.

Recently I spoke to trainer Steven Reid about Destination Moon’s next steps, and he says he will be racing till the end of June then have a spell before being aimed at the 3yo Sires Stakes heats, which come up early in the new season and culminate around NZ Cup time.

Destination Moon pacer

Destination Moon wins on 24 May 2013 at Alexandra Park

Steven says he was “rapt” with the win – “He just cruised that, and it is how he’s been working at home.”

He describes Destination Moon as having the potential to step up and be quite a good horse.

Tintin In America and The Blue Lotus now have a Real Desire half brother weanling who is hanging out in our paddock with a full brother to Flying Isa, great mates.

More about him and an update on other branches of the family coming in a blog soon.

Destination Moon’s pedigree is one I wanted because Grin offers some physical and genetic influences that really complement his dam Zenterfold.  I have always taken on board Aria Small’s advice that the family love the old blood – the Spinster/Old Maid/Scotland connections, which it has on its bottom line through Bachelor Hanover. And that has been a touchstone for me in getting a good nick for the mare. Grin hauls that old blood up through his remarkably close-up Storm Damage damsire, and also in his maternal line through Shifting Scene and Race Time (a son of Breath O Spring and half brother of Storm Damage). Shifting Scene is part of the lovely Golden Miss maternal line that you see in many classy families (Rich N Elegant, Real Desire’s maternal line etc) and of course the overlooked element in that line is my dear old Shadow Wave.  In Zenterfold’s pedigree, Shadow Wave pops up promptly as the damsire of New York Motoring, who I believe is a key figure in what have developed into the two best branches of the Zenover family – Interchange and Zenola Star, both sired by New York Motoring. Finally you have the Direct Scooter and Tar Heel influences of In The Pocket, the sire of Zenterfold and so grandamsire of Destination Moon. These are again classy old bloodlines and with a fairly up close dose of trotting blood and both are descending from Volomite and maternally tracing to the wonderful Roya McKinney and Scotland/Rose Scott. Zenterfold’s grandam Now And Zen is also chokka with trotting blood via her sire Chiola Hanover. Chiola Hanover goes back to Volomite and the Scotland influences as well. But none of that is an issue for Grin, thanks to his breeding, especially Storm Damage who is described by John Bradley as having “some of the oldest bloodlines still available for pacers” – his dam was 24 years old when she foaled him, and he is a remarkable “sleeper” in the pedigree of a modern day sire.

Phew! that’s a little peep into some deep old echos in a 2yo pacer just launching his career.

Of course what I also liked about Grin was his ability to leave guts, character and grittiness, which The Blue Lotus showed in her races too. That gave the Zenterfold speed-at-all-cost attitude something to hang its hat on.

Cover Destination Moon book

Cover of Tintin book

It’s what might work for a particular family that counts. And that’s what I think about, more than what is the most fashionable option at the time.

Destination Moon has a long, long way to go. The rocket is just launched, yet to fire the booster engines and go into the statosphere.

I hope he ends up amongst the stars.

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There are many horses in modern day pedigrees that have become familiar names to us, and yet we’ve lost a connection with them as real racehorses who were stars in their day and who you could see perform live at your local racetrack.

In past blogs I’ve dug up newspaper reports from the 1920s and 1930s on the amazing mother and daughter trotters Nedda and Nedda Guy, who appear in the maternal line of many great sires.

I’d like to do the same with two great racetrack colts who were rivals in that the same era – Scotland and Spencer, who both went on to be very good sires and superb broodmare sires – a pivotal part of many maternal lines of top horses and sires of the modern era.

Scotland over Spencer mares became a popular cross, so these two horses turn up in many of the best trotting and pacing pedigrees including Direct Scooter, Albatross and Cambest (see footnote to this blog).

But hang on, I’m making them into “names in the pedigree” again!

Let’s find them as “heroes on the racetrack”. And to do that I want to take you back to the Hambletonian trot of 1928 as reported by Tom Gahagan in The Trotter and Pacer magazine 6 September 1928. Remember that this is time in pacing and trotting where horses raced in heats on the same day – usually two but often three and sometimes even four to find an overall winner.

In the first heat of the Hambletonian for 3yo trotters (described below), Spencer wins, Scotland is second. In the second heat, Spencer wins again, and Scotland seventh, tiring after a slow start and an amazing recovery. This was only the third Hambletonian raced, and it endures today as one of the highest staked prestigious races for 3yo trotters in America. (I strongly recommend the website of the Hambletonian Society, particularly the wonderful collection of photos in their gallery: http://www.hambletonian.org/gallery.php).

“Another Hambletonian stake, the third to be raced, has passed into history and the honors go to Spencer, owned and bred at Castleton by David M. Look and driven by the eastern reinsman William H. Leese. In a spectacular battle, the son of Lee Tide and Petrex vanquished a field of nine of the very best three year olds in the classic event at the New York State Fairgrounds track today (27 August) where nearly 30,000 people had assembled to witness the battle for a fortune and the racing honors of the season…..

“They fussed a lot in the scoring for the first heat…When the word was finally given Billy Leese shot Spencer across and took the pole in the turn, right in front of Scotland, while Otzinachson placed alongside the black, Gaylworthy and Guy Abbe next, Coburn with them while Red Aubrey had been shuffled well back. The clip was terrific, the quarter in 291/2 seconds, Scotland right in behind the leader for the first time in his race career, the black having heretofore refused to stand the flying dirt. The order was maintained up the back stretch, the half passed in 1:001/2 with Spencer leading, Scotland trailing him and Otzinachson pounding along on the outside. Around the upper turn they went and at the three-quarters the timers flashed 1:313/4. Otzinachson was by this time flying distress signals while Gaylworthy and Guy Abbe were moving up. Leese gave Spencer his head and he moved away, followed by Scotland. Midway of the homestretch it was seen that Spencer was trotting strong with a two-length lead and the question was only who would finish second. Spencer came breezing to the wire in 2:021/2 with Scotland under a drive beating Gaylworthy for the place, Coburn fourth, while Guy Abbe, breaking at the distance stand when trotting very fast, was fifth.”

Spencer after winning Hambletonian in 1928

Spencer after winning Hambletonian in 1928

For his efforts over the two heats, Spencer’s share of the stake was $40,549.71. Not a bad pay day.

Tom Gahagan describes Spencer as “..at least one of the greatest three-year-olds of which the turf has ever boasted.”

Although Scotland didn’t win the Hambletonian, in future five of his progeny would achieve that prize – including the wonderful Rosalind.

Two years later (1930) the same writer in the same magazine reported on Scotland’s attempt on the Syracause track record when he went under 2 minutes for the first time in his career, going on his own against the clock. It was a perfect day weather-wise and the course in record-breaking condition.

“Scotland, driven by Ben White, and paced by a runner with Gibson White as the pilot, trotted a beautiful mile. He was away from the wire fast, the quarter in 291/2 seconds, the half in :59, both quarters alike, then trotted the third in :293/4, making the three quarters in 1:283/4. The Pittsburgh stallion then had steam enough to come home in 301/2 seconds. The mile in 1:591/4 and he had joined his brother and sister, Highland Scott 1:591/4 and Rose Scott 1:593/4, in the two-minute list.”

The dam of all three was Roya McKinney (one of three wonderful sisters, but more on them another time). On the pedigree side, because I can’t resist, it’s also of interest to see Spencer’s dam is Petrex, who was a grand-daughter of Ethelwyn and so traces back to the x factor heart gene of Eclipse. See my blog on Nedda, who also traced back to this great Ethelwyn/Kathleen family).

Scotland as a 2yo

Scotland as a 2 year old in Tom Murphy’s stable. He took his 1:591/4 mark in Septemeber 1930 as a 5 year old, driven by Ben White. He was bred and owned by Henry Oliver.

Three of the runners in that 1928 Hambletonian (Spencer, Scotland and Guy Abbey) became highly regarded sires, and they can often be found combined as sires and damsires and grandsires in the pedigrees of  many top pedigrees. Hoot Mon, for example, has Scotland as his sire, and is from a Guy Abbey mare who has Spencer as her grandsire! Which goes to show the extended and successful siring careers these talented three year olds went on to achieve.

Footnote:  Just to jog your memory, Spencer was the sire of Spinster and therefore the damsire of half-sisters Lady Scotland (by Scotland) and The Old Maid (by Guy Abbey).  Lady Scotland was the dam of Harold J (damsire of Cambest) and Breath Of Spring (dam of Race Time and many subsequent credits). And Old Maid was the dam of Dancer Hanover, Thorpe Hanover and Bachelor Hanover (who stars in so many New Zealand pedigrees) – and what wonderful broodmare sires they all turned out to be!  Another excellent Scotland over a Spencer mare cross produced Emily Scott (dam of the very good trotting mare Emily’s Pride and grandam of the great trotting sire Noble Victory) and her full brother Spencer Scott (sire of Hoot Mon and Rodney) .
In New Zealand of course we had U Scott (with Scotland as his sire) and Light Brigade (with Spencer as his damsire) and what a contribution they made.

Photos in this blog are from the front covers of The Trotter and Pacer magazine of September 1928 and September 1930.


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