Countess Of Arden Wins Equine Stakes

Countess Of Arden Wins Equine Stakes

Bruce Stewart

Winning the Equine Stakes for fillies and mares is on the ‘must win’ list of most ardent Southern Breeder, and it was a race that Arden Lodge’s John Stiven enjoyed winning today with his mare Arden Countess.

The race has been run for thirty seven years and most of that time has been sponsored by AON Insurance.

From Barrier Six driver Jonny Cox took Arden Countess straight to the front and she proved too tough for Dachy who came down the outside, and for Calico Hill which ran up the passing lane.

The winning time was 1-58.8 on a slushy track.

Countess Of Arden winning the Equine Stakes – Photo Bruce Stewart

Jonny Cox, Countess Of Arden, Judy and John Stiven – Photo Bruce Stewart

The Net Ten EOM mare has had a number of trainers in her career,  starting with Barry Purdon, having a stint with Geoff Dunn and Brad Williamson, then returning home to Arden Lodge and the individual attention of her breeder John Stiven.

All through her career she has suffered from her muscles tying up but that now appears to be behind her.

“We’re using a Pride product called Easi Sport which we feed our yearlings with. It’s worked and we thought we had found the key to her. Then she got crook which affected her at her last start. We think there was too much spring grass which she couldn’t handle. We’ve had to be very patient to get her levels right. She had a good blood test last week. We thought she’d go alright but not that good,” said Stiven.

According to the Pride website Easi Sport is grain free and low in sugar and the mix is certainly appears to be agreeing with the mare.

Stiven trains at his Arden Lodge property at Tapanui and uses the Tapanui Racecourse for some fast work.

“I’ve been having the odd run with Matt (Saunders) which has been helpful. We had a run by ourselves mid-week and she just cruised it so I thought we were getting close. But not having a run-away (workout or trial) we thought we might need a run.”

Stiven says he’ll now target a heat of the Southern Belle Speed Series and The Robin Dundee Crown which Arden Lodge sponsors.

Arden Countess has now won three races for Stiven – two in the hands on Jonny Cox and the other for junior driver Ben Laughton.

Countess Of Arden is out of Young Tegan, a daughter of New Zealand Oaks winner Young Eden.

“We got her when Arden Choice was going so well. We got a lovely filly out of her but she died before she was weaned. Since then we’ve had three colts by A Rocknroll Dance, Sweet Lou and Always B Miki

The Always B Miki colt will be offered at next year’s yearling sale in Christchurch.

The win by Arden Countess was one of three for Cox.