Southern Bred Southern Reared
In this series sponsored by Southern Bred Southern Reared, Bruce Stewart looks back on some of the great 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.
Age: 1956 black mare
Sire: Johnny Globe
Breeder: Jim McHugh
Dam: Marionette (Dillion Hall)
Owner: Jim McHugh
Trainer: Harry Cox
John Cox was only ten when Poupette trained by his father Harry won the 1965 Interdominion Trotters Final at Forbury Park.
“I was staying with Dad’s Mum and Dad. I woke in the morning and they said they’d heard the race on the radio and that she’d won,” he said.
In the heats prior to the Grand Final, Poupette had finished third, eleventh and sixth. But the eight year old mare had accumulated enough points to make the Final.
Poupette started the final at odds of 12 to 1 and was driven by her trainer beating Snow Globe by three quarters of a length.
The favourite was visiting Australian champion Gramel. Gramel like Poupette, was by Johnny Globe, and she’d won all three of her heats in sensational fashion. However the three nights of hard racing took its toll and Gramel weakened to finish fourth in the final.
Poupette won her first race as a four year old at Invercargill in February 1961, beating Donnybrook and Scorcola. She won again later that season at Wyndham.
“She was a small filly. I remember when Dad was breaking her in he said she could pace as good as she could trot. Every now and then when she trotted she’d go into a pace. He thought she’d be better trotting so he just stuck to that. She could be a wee bitch at times but thats what all good fillies are.”
As a five year old she recorded her best season winning five races, three at Invercargill and two at Forbury Park.
At six and seven she was raced sparingly, winning once in each season.
One of her wins as a seven year old was at the Dunedin Festival Championship Meeting at Forbury Park in January 1964. That night there were sixteen races with four qualifying heats of the Dunedin Festival Cup.
She raced for another two seasons winning twice as a nine year old, and she finished her career at the age of ten, winless from fifteen starts.
Her career record was 94 starts for 13 wins, 15 seconds and four thirds for 22,895 pounds.
Also of note, she was beaten twice in the New Zealand Trotting Final, by Mighty Chief in 1966 and Asia Minor in 1967.
“I was there (in 1967). The horses were across the track and Dad thought he had it won but a horse snuck up on the fence and beat her.”
Sadly Poupette was accidently shot in 1972 after leaving two foals at stud.
“The Rabbit Board were out shooting one night, from memory. It was accidental. They didn’t see the horses in the paddock when they were shooting rabbits. She had to get put down in the finish.”
A sad end to one of our early trotting stars that had been southern bred southern reared.