February 2021

Riverton Club Celebrates 60 Years

Media Release

 The Riverton Trotting Club will celebrate 60 years of racing when they hold their annual Cup Day meeting at Ascot Park Raceway in Invercargill on Saturday 13 February.

The event will feature the 31st running of the $15,000 DT King’s Transport Ltd Riverton Cup, the continuation of the club’s $1000 Pick Five competition, the opportunity to own a horse for the day, dual sulky rides, an Under The Helmet competition reminiscent of It’s In The Bag, the Frisbee Fling and the  Tree Of Treats for the kids in a day befitting a tremendous milestone for the club.

Paddyproudfoot winning last years Riverton Cup

The club supports the Teal Pants Campaign and will run a “Teal on Wheels” prize draw selling 50 numbered teal ribbons on a bike wheel for $5 each on course after which Teal Pants Campaign Ambassador Ellie Barron, blindfolded in a teal blindfold, will draw three winners from the wheel in the birdcage.

The club’s inaugural meeting with equalisator betting was held on Saturday 14th January 1961 at the Riverton Racecourse with their first totalisator meeting at Central Southland Raceway in Winton on 2 December 1978, forty-three years ago.

The first winner that day was Hispaniola, owned by the Setarip Syndicate. He was 11/13 in the betting, paying $45.55 and $10.15. The trainer/driver was Arthur Thomas and the race was the IR Kincaid Memorial. Ian Kincaid part owned Fort Nelson, the first horse to be sold out of Southland for $100,000. Other winners that day were: Kilbank Rose – Peter Davis, Sly Belle – Dale Cameron, Halcro – Russell Malcolm, Eden Guy – John Cox, Be Sly – Jimmy Bond and Smoothover – Peter Davis.

The total stakes paid out for seven races in 1978 was $7,800 and the on-course turnover, $81,868. The club moved to Ascot Park in 1981 (40 years ago) and with four races turned over $92,860. In 1983 the turnover exceeded $100,000 for the first time recording $170,660. In 1986 the on-course turnover was $215,375 for nine races. In 1993 the Riverton Trotting Club received an on-course and off course license. The turnover reflected this. On-course was $82,310 down $60,780 from the previous season while the off-course turnover was $1,064,312.

The first Riverton Cup of modern times was held in 1989. The race was won by the Daryl McLellan trained Justaloco driven by Brendon McLellan. This year is the 31st running of this feature.

The first Aparima Trot was held in 1984 and was won by Cilla’s Pride trained by Samuel George Black. She was driven by Bryce Buchanan. This year is the 36th running of this trotting feature.

Julie Baynes-White. From Ponies to Standardbreds

Bruce Stewart

Winton horsewoman Julie Baynes-White has been around horses all her life and recently has joined the list of preparers for the National Standardbred Yearling Sales.

“I’ve always had dressage horses and bred my own ponies. I’ve been showing horses for about thirty years. All the Standardbred guys didn’t really know who I was,” she said.

Baynes-White has certainly made a name for herself in the pony and show horse world. Three of the ponies she’s bred have been champions in their sections at the Horse of the Year Show – Beechcroft Chablis, Beechcroft Socialite, and Beechcraft Playboy. Beechcraft Playboy was the Supreme Champion at the 2016 Canterbury A&P Show.

Her hack Villa Maria also won Supreme In-hand at Horse of the Year.

“Over the years I’ve bred some top hacks and ponies. Ponies that have gone over to Australia with the New Zealand Showing Team.”

Julie grew up on Stoney Creek Station near Mandeville. Her grandfather William McLeod raced gallopers in the 1960’s.

She first became involved with Standardbreds when she worked at Colin Baynes at Otama.

“I worked with John (Baynes) on the stud and did my apprenticeship there, and then I married Kenny (Baynes).”

One of the highlights in her early Standardbred days was seeing Clancy run second in the 1991 New Zealand Cup. The Haughty Romeo gelding was bred by Colin Baynes and owned by members of the Baynes family.

At this year’s Christchurch Sale to be held this month Julie has six yearlings on her books and she says she’ll be calling on some of her showing and pony friends to help present her horses.

“We’ve got a really good bunch coming up to give us a hand. They’re some of my showing friends and they’re experienced. They know how to walk horses out and how to stand them up which is a big thing when you’re showing them to prospective buyers. The showing game is like prepping young stock for the sales. You make them look good, you cover up faults if you can, make them behave well and feed them well.”

At the 2019 sales Julie prepared four colts, all of which have been winners. They were Outamyway (Love You – Do It Your Way), American Dealer (American Ideal – Maddison Delight), Brannigan (American Ideal – Paula’s On Fire) and Luke John (Mach Three – Zenardle).

“American Dealer was our favourite. He was such a nice guy to have around. A real tradesman.  Luke John has done such a good job and so has Outamyway.”

Since his sale Outamyway has started seven times, winning the Listed NZB Standardbred Harness Million 1 Trot. He was also second in the Group Two Sires Stakes Championship. American Dealer has won seven of his fifteen starts including the Group One Garrard’s Sires Stakes Final and the Group Two Alabar Three Year Old Classic.

Luke John has recorded three wins from his twelve starts and he ran third to American Dealer in the Group Two Alabar Three Year Old Classic. Whilst Brannigan (renamed Soho Bob) has won three races as a two year old in Australia.

Last year Julie took four yearlings to the sales and reports out of the Brent Mangos stable suggest Lets Fly Together (Art Major – Flying Miss Williams) has a bit of X factor.

Baynes-White operates from her property just out of Winton where she’s been for fifteen years, buying the property off Wayne and Lesley Deegan. She runs the property with husband Tim White.

“When we came here there was a basic stable block and not a lot of fencing. I’ve put in a few extra sheds, shelter belts, fences and an arena.”

The 30 acre property has a 900 metres all-weather track.

“It’s a good track to work on with a good camber. This area is also a good producing area. It’s dry because we’re on a river bed.”

Tim is a well- known farrier and has trained thirty seven winners in the twenty three seasons he’s held a licence including trotters Perfect Hold (8) and McArthur Park (6). His best two pacers were McBeths Boy (5) and Motu Crusader (4). Motu Crusader went on to win another twenty three races in Australia and ran second in the 2010 Queensland Derby.

“I do the horses and Tim looks after the PR.”

After the sales Julie will be packing up the float and heading north again for the Horse of the Year.

“As soon as I finish the sales we come back and I have a week or ten days off then I’m way back up to Hastings. I’ll take two of mine, (horses) and a couple of friends may come up with me.”

This year the stable is taking six standardbred yearlings to the Christchurch sale.

135- One Over Da Line (Majestic Son-One Over Kenny – colt)

A bay colt out of the twenty six race winning mare One Over Kenny. She’s been an excellent broodmare leaving seven winners from her seven foals of racing age. One Over Da Line is a full-brother to sixteen win trotter One Over Da Moon which won the Harness Jewels Two Year Old Ruby and the Ashburton Flying Mile. One Over Kenny has also left quality trotter Ultimate Stride the winner of five races and $84,801.

One Over The Line – Photo Kristel Mack Saunders

“He’s a really good type. We’ve had him since he was weaned. We get Lex’s (Williams) yearlings quite early which is great. They get used to our routine. He’s got a purposeful walk which I like. He takes you and you don’t have to drag him. He’s a good size and I think there’ll be quite a bit of interest in him.”

181 – Moment Of What (What The Hill – Moment Of Sun – colt)

The first foal out of the six win Love You mare Moment Of Sun. There’s plenty of depth to his pedigree with his third dam Naraya being the mother of Stig, the winner of twenty two races including the Dominion Handicap and Rowe Cup.

Moment Of What – Photo Kristel Mack Saunders

“He’s a very good natured horse. He’s well bodied, has a good walk and is very easy to deal with.”

221 – Sweet Woodbine (Sweet Lou – Shezcheaphy – filly)

This Sweet Lou filly is the second foal out the two win Royal Mattjesty mare Shezacheapy that Tim and Julie own. There’s plenty of stout staying blood in this family with Holmes Hanover and Plat Du Jour featuring on this filly’s dam side.

Sweet Woodbine – Photo Kristel Mack Saunders

“Right from when she was a foal she stood up and said ‘look at me.’ Clark Barron has her brother by Washington VC which he really likes.”

306 – Ubid Ubuy (Bettor’s Delight – Catalina Banner – filly)

This fillies pedigree features the ‘golden cross,’ being by Bettor’s Delight out of a Christian Cullen mare. Ubid UBuy’s third dam is Corporate Banner the dam of Mainland Banner – the New Zealand Cup winner plus winner of sixteen other races. It’s also the family of Rocker Band, Return To Sender and Titan Banner.

Ubi Ubuy – Photo Kristel Mack Saunders

“She’s got the sweetest nature. She’s easy to do anything with. She came in a bit later than the others and is a bit finer.”

342 – Mightyflyin Supastar (Art Major – Fleet’s Pocket – colt)

Out of the remarkable producer Fleet’s Pocket this colt is a brother to a host of winners including Flying Pocketlands (21 wins), Mighty Flying Thomas (24 wins) and Mighty Flying Mac (16 wins). This family seems to nick with Art Major and this colt is by that sire.

Mightyflyin Supastar – Photo Kristel Mack Saunders

“He’s super. I really like him. He’s got something about him. When he came here he was little but he’s really blossomed. He’s one of my picks after working with him. He moves really well round the paddock.”

363 – Always In Action (Always B Miki – Heart Stealer – colt)

Plenty to like in this colt’s pedigree. His dam is an unraced Bettor’s Delight mare whose mother Fight Fire With Fire (Artiscape) won seven races and $151,656. This family has also produced Mark Dennis (46 wins) and Elle Mac the winner of twelve races.

Always In Action – Photo Kristel Mack Saunders

“He’s quite an athletic type. He’s a bit smaller but zooms round the paddock. He’s got a nice way of going and he’ll fill out to be a nice colt.”

Buyers can view Julie’s yearlings on Monday 8th February between 6:30pm and 6:55pm at 41 Substation Road Winton.

Teal In The South

Press Release

Starting this weekend, Southland is cranking up its fund-raising efforts for Team Teal, with one generous donor giving up his wages during the six-week campaign.

Art Bloxham

Art Bloxham, the crash vehicle driver at most southern meetings, says it’s just an idea that popped into his head while he was reading an article on Teal Team ambassador Sam Ottley. Now in its fourth year in this country Teal Pants is all about raising awareness and funds for ovarian cancer research.

“I have three daughters and two grand-daughters, this is a great cause,” he said, adding “there will be six meetings – so it will be worth about $1000 – $1200.”

Bloxham is a well-known figure in harness racing. He has a long association with the sport after starting out in the 1960s (his grandfather owned and trained champion racemare Stella Frost in the 1960s and 70s).

Every Teal Pants win in Southland will be worth $200 to the cause. All the southern clubs racing over the next six weeks will donate $100 for every win by a female Teal pants driver, with Southern Harness contributing the same.

Mark Hurrell who drives at all Southern Meetings will also be wearing a teal cap and has pledged to donate from every winning drive he records over the campaign.

Winton is the first club off the rank this Sunday, followed by Riverton (Saturday Feb 13), Winton again on Saturday Feb 21, then Invercargill (Feb 24), Riverton (March 4) and finally Northern Southland on Saturday March 13, a day before the campaign concludes. The Robin Dundee Club will be focusing on raising funds for the campaign at the Northern Southland Meeting.

The Riverton Trotting Club will run a ‘Teal Wheel’ at their 60th anniversary meeting on February 13. This is a wheel full of prizes, with tickets available at $5 each. The prizes will be drawn on the day by Southern Teal Ambassador Ellie Barron.

The Teal on Wheels Prize wheel

At Riverton’s meeting on March 4 it will also be Art Bloxham’s 72nd birthday, where he’ll be donating his fee to Teal Pants.

“And I challenge all crash crews to follow suit.”

Boots wins Bonanza

Bruce Stewart

9th February 2021

Southland bred Boots Electric scored an upset win in the Group One $100,000 Four Year Bonanza at Melton in Australia on Saturday night and this is a major boost for Northern Southland breeder Paul Hailes just ahead of next week’s yearling sales.

Boots Electric

Formally trained by Hailes father in-law Brent McIntyre and owned by his son Cain and Hailes, the Somebeachsomewhere gelding qualified in spectacular fashion this time last year at Wyndham when he won by ten lengths, running the 2400 metre mobile in 2-58.1.

Striding out to qualify for Carl Hanna at Wyndham

Paul and Cain then sold the gelding to clients of Australian trainer Anthony Butt and he’s now won nine of his seventeen starts and banked $119,560.

“We were pretty lucky to get the deal done there. He went to Cran’s (Dalgety) for a wee bit. They were intending on giving him a couple of starts over here but Covid came and that never happened,” Paul said.

Boots Electric’s other major win this season was in the Group Three VHRC Caduceus Metropolitan Pace Final at Melton.

Some large bets were placed on the four year old leading into Saturday night’s feature and his odds which had opened at 101-1 were reduced to 31-1.

“I had a wee bet on him but I didn’t break the bank. It was pretty exciting.”

His winning time for the 1720 metres was 1-58.9 – a mile rate of 1-51.2. The win qualifies Boots Electric for the Chariots of Fire.

The win was a timely one for Hailes who has a Sweet Lou colt in next week’s NZB National Standardbred Sale in Christchurch. Zamperini is out of Glenburn Joy an American Ideal mare which won two races. Glenburn Joy is a half-sister to Boots Electric.

Zamperini is being prepared by Halies father in-law Brent McIntyre at Macca Lodge.

“He’s a nice wee guy. He’s not a big horse but he’s athletic and a racy type. They say the smaller Sweet Lous are the good ones.”

Zamperini in his box yesterday

Glenburn Jewel has two other colts of racing age –  Castledrum, a Captaintreacherous three year old and Redcastle a two year old by Sweet Lou.

“We actually haven’t done too much with them yet. Castledrum is quite a big horse so we thought we’d leave him. After the sales are out of the way we might start working on him. We’ll probably bring in the Sweet Lou as well.”

Saturday night was the first time Hailes has bred a group one winner.

Boots Electric was named by Cain after musician Jesse ‘Boots Electric’ Hughes.

Hailes says Glenburn Jewel slipped her Fear The Dragon foal, but is now in foal to Always B Miki while Glenburn Joy is in foal to Betting Line.

Tres Chic very stylish

Bruce Stewart

7th February 2021

Westwood Beach trainer Graeme Anderson has always had an opinion of Tres Chic and he’s just had to wait to prove his point.

Tres Chic (4) beating Pay Me Speedy (6) and Mach’s Back (1)

The Mach three mare qualified as a three year old but didn’t race at that age because she kicked a fence and injured the lower part of a leg. As a four year old she raced just twice.

“The time out hasn’t done her any harm,” said Anderson who trains the mare with Mike Love.

Neither Anderson or Love were on-course today with Anderson recuperating from a recent operation.

“I had a few bone chips removed from the knee about six weeks ago. It was a bit of a struggle at the start but I’m going right. It’s a long way to come south and Mikes having a few days off.”

Anderson hasn’t worked a horses since his operation and was unable to celebrate because of his medications.

“I’ll have to go and have a cup of tea. Mikes been driving her. We’ve changed a few things on her. She’s been going really well but she’s had a few breaks in her races so we had to get to the bottom of that.”

Today’s win was the five year olds third, and second on this track. She’s only had eleven career starts and was driven today by junior driver Ellie Barron.

“I talked to Ellie this morning and said to her that Tres Chic is a big strong mar. And when they eased the pace she got a lovely trail behind Pay Me Speedy. It was a very good drive and I was very happy with that. It was a very good field today and the horse had to be on her game.”

Tres Chic was bred by Lochiel Accountant Stu Gillian who races her in partnership with Anderson.

“I played cricket against him but he’s a lot older than me. You can put that in the story (laughter). He used to referee me in rugby. We had a horse called Match Point who did a good job. He’s also had a share in Titan Banner, Eamon Maguire and Spirit Of St Louis.”

Anderson says Spirit Of St Louis is now in the Joshua Dickie stable in Auckland and is due to go to the workouts.

“There’s nothing down here for him. We’re targeting the New Zealand Messenger and the Noel Taylor Mile.”

Leithen Burn Quality Three Year Old

Bruce Stewart

7th February 2021

Leithen Burn is one of a handful of quality three year olds racing in the province this season. And judging by his win today at Winton it won’t be his last.

Leithen Burn warming up for Blair Orange

Trained by Tony Stratford the Bettors Delight gelding was purchased for $18,000 at the 2018 Autumn Weanling Sale in Auckland when offered by Woodlands Stud.

“He took a long time to get gaited up. He never paced when we broke him in but he just gets better and better,” Stratford said.

Leithen Burn showed promise when he qualified at Winton in December and in both of his races this season prior to today’s win, he’s raced greenly.

“Blair told me we needed to change a few things. He’s a Bettor’s Delight so he’s willing.”

In today’s Goodman Plumbing Mobile Pace driver Blair Orange settled Leithen Burn fourth with White Lightning taking up the pacemaker’s role. With 1100 metres to run Orange hooked the three year old out from the running line and took him to the front. He was confident having a good look around inside the 400 metres. Orange just had to rein Leithen Burn up to win by a length and three quarters from Tommy Waterhouse with another three quarters of a length back to first starter Idealism. Early pacemaker White Lightning was thirteen and a quarter lengths back in fourth.

Out on his own – Leithen Burn

“Those Bettors Delights – the harder they go the better they go.”

The winning time was 2-56.8 or the 2400 metre mobile.

Leithen Burn is owned by the same owners as Pulp Fiction and Lilac Flash with Stratford’s uncle, Alan Steel, heading up the group.

Leithen Burn is out of the Mach Three mare Eyecatcher Three whose second dam Atomic Lass is the mother of champion pacer Auckland Reactor, the winner of twenty seven races and almost one and a half million dollars.

Also at Winton today Bettors’ Delight filly Bettastar looked like Southland Oaks material when she cleared maiden ranks for trainer driver Nathan Williamson.

Bred and raced by Tuapeka Lodge, Bettastar was taken to the lead and held out Endless Dreams by three quarters of a length.

The winning time was 1-54.5.

Bettastar is out of the three win Christian Cullen mare Petra’s Star who’s the dam of big Australian winner Galactic Star.

Tuapeka Lodge is offering a Sweet Lou filly out of Petra’s Star at the yearling sale next week so the win by Bettastar was perfect timing.

Bettastar beating Endless Dreams

Southern Harness Chairman Tom Kilkelly shared in the ownership of two winners today with Kase winning his maiden in the hands of co-trainer Kirstin Barclay and Smokin Bandar doing everything right for Kerryn Tomlinson in winning the Enfield Generics Mobile Trot by five and quarter lengths. He ran the mile in 1-57.5.

Kase and Kirstin Barclay winning at Winton

Smokin Bandar trained by Craig Ferguson wins in the Kilkelly colours

Ryal Bush trainer Brett Gray scored a double when Peregrine won her maiden trot and Cassius Bromac won his second race for the MCC Syndicate.

Peregrine winning for Brett Gray and Brent Barclay

Cassius Bromac winning for the same combination

Winning connections

Flight Crew was just .3 of the second outside Melina Lowe’s New Zealand and Southland record when she won the New World Winton Mobile Pace.

Flight Crew winning for Nathan Williamson

The Panspacificflight four year old owned by Katie Williamson and trained and driven by husband Nathan did battle with pacemaker Lynryd Skynryd inside the 400 metres and then had to fight off a late charge from Onesmartfella, to win by half a neck.

The winning time was 2-53.9.

Meanwhile trials were held at Winton on Friday and it was great to see the fresh faces of the two years olds.

Kirk Larsen produced Scarlet Ribbon to win his qualifier over 1609 metres.

Scarlett Ribbon winning at the Winton trials

The Captaintreacherous filly is out of the ten win Washington VC mare Askmenow. She ran second to Rozelski as a two year old in the 2012 Caduceus Club of Southland/Nevele R Fillies Classic at the Northern Southland meeting.

Scarlett Ribbon beat another well bred filly in Joyfuldolly by a neck. The winning time was 2-01.8.

Bertie Jones set tongues wagging when he won his qualifier in 3-00.8 running his last half in 56.0 seconds. The son of Prodigal Seelster had two and a half lengths to share over Stoneyroyd.

Bertie Jones is a member of the Black Watch family and is trained at Wyndham by Gordon and Colin Lee.

Bertie Jones

Quality three year old Ragazzo Mach won his workout beating another quality three year old American Lightning by a length.

Ragazzo Mach winning his Winton workout

His winning time was 3-00.7 with the last 800 metres run in an impressive 55.2 and 400 metres in 27.1.


Another Black Three Year Old Wins

Bruce Stewart

21st February 2021

Branxholme trainer Alister Black has a good bunch of quality three year olds this season and Idealism got his name on the winner’s board when he impressively won the John Kennan Memorial Mobile Pace at Winton today.

“He’s a pretty laidback character like most of the American Ideals. He just goes about his job and does it well,” said Black.

Idealism winning for Nathan Williamson

From a second line draw driver Nathan Williamson positioned the three year mid field before moving up to sit parked.

“It didn’t worry me at all. I was dumbfounded that he wasn’t a $1.80 favourite after his last race. That run was nothing short of superb.”

Idealism let down nicely in the straight to win by a length and three quarters from favourite Captain Pins.

“He’ll go to the Nuggets and then we’ll give him a wee let up. We’ll look at the Supremacy in May but he’ll have to win another race at least.”

The three year old is owned by Craig Milne, his father Ian, Pete and Lorraine Carnie, Lyn Philp, Paul McEntyre and Black’s wife Sheree.

Both Milne and McEntyre work for Black on a casual basis.

“Paul brings his own wages. He does the boxes and has a couple in work including Wai Key Wee so he’s having a good run. Most of these owners were in Dazzle Me.”

Black said winning the John Keenan Memorial bought make memories of when he drove as a junior driver.

“This win was special. I drove a couple of winners for John (Glen Atom 2002 and Cool Man Cam 2001). He was a real good guy.”

Another promising three year old Ohoka Agent, owned by Black’s key stable clients the Thomson brothers finished on for third after having no luck in the run home.

“I’m pretty lucky. Ian and Lindsay Thomson are massive supporters. They put a lot of money into the game.”

The next Nuggets Final will be run at the Riverton meeting at Winton on Thursday 4th March and it promises to be a cracker with the Thomson owned Keep On Dreaming set to clash with Idealism and a number of other promising three year olds.

Rory – Not To Be Missed

Bruce Stewart

21st February 2021

Rory Mcllwrick loves a bit of banter whether it be with the Williamson family, or the wider harness community.

Today he was at the top of his game, winning a double at the Winton meeting including the feature mare’s race the Southern Belle Speed Series, with the Owen Lawrence trained Miss Auckland.

Miss Auckland getting up on the inside

The Auckland Reactor mare is in peak form at the moment having won her last three starts which includes today’s mares feature in which she beat Pay Me Speedy trained by Chelsea Faithful.

“Chelsea and I have had a bit of banter going for a long time. I told her  I was coming for her and the banter started when Miss Auckland was dropping out and finishing last in a maiden. I really enjoyed that win. It was one of the better ones,” Mcllwrick said.

From a handy inside draw Mcllwrick positioned Miss Auckland back on the inside after beginning well and trailing pacemaker Silk. Silk was pressured by A Taste Of Honey but took Miss Auckland to the passing lane and McIlwrick drove her up the inside to beat a brave Pay Me Speedy by three quarters of a length.

“I was surprised we beat her to be fair but we’ll take it. She’s turned a corner. Speedy’s a pretty nice horse. Maybe if we reversed the draws it would have reversed the results but this girl she just hits the line real good. She’s now one of those horses that just keeps savaging the line. The harder they go the better. She’s got great gait speed and she can stay. She’s doing it all at the moment.”

This is the first time Ascot Park trainer Owen Lawrence has won three races in a row with any horse. In the early 2000s Armbro Invasion trotter The Jailer won three of his last five starts running second in the other two.

“I’ve always had faith in her. She’s improved as she’s got a wee bit older. When I first started her she ran last in her first three races. Hopefully there’s a wee bit of improvement yet,” Lawrence said.

The win qualifies Miss Auckland for the $20,000 Southern Belle Speed Series final at the Winton Meeting on the 20th March.

Earlier in the programme another mare continued her winning form for Mcllwrick.

The Craig Laurenson trained trotter Miss Bamboocha won her second race in three starts when she came from back in the field to run down favourite Afterburner.

The eight year old mare has now won five races and has recorded eleven seconds and eleven thirds in ninety three starts.

Ragazzo Mach SOLD

Bruce Stewart

23rd February 2021

Under pressure for a while, Southland owner Neville Cleaver has agreed to sell his very promising colt Ragazzo Mach.

Cleaver said the Mach Three youngster will remain in Nathan Williamson’s stable until the New Zealand Derby. He was bought by clients of Mike Reed with the deal been done by Peter Lagan.

Neville Cleaver, Ragazzo Mach and Nathan Williamson

“They were quite happy for Nathan to carry on training him and for me to collect the trophy if he wins. Nathan’s really rapt to be hanging onto him,” Cleaver said.

The sale process has been drawn out with more than six buyers looking at purchasing Ragazzo Mach.

“He was vetted this morning and it’s all done as far as that’s concerned. Peter Lagan has got my bank account number so that’s the next stage.”

The buyers began phoning Cleaver before Ragazzo Mach started racing.

“It started at $150,000 which I turned down. He won impressively at Invercargill, then the offer went up to $200,000. I turned down $330,000 for him and ended up getting well north of that. After his last run at Addington Peter said the run was super and you couldn’t expect a horse to go better than that. I had a few sleepless nights. They kept putting the vetting off on me three times and they (early buyers) didn’t come up with the money, that crew. That all happened over a week so I took him off the market.”

Ragazzo Mach winning at Winton

Not one to slow down, Cleaver was active on the buyers bench at today’s National Standardbred Yearling Sale in Christchurch, paying $140,000 for Flash Black – a Bettor’s Delight colt out of In The Pocket mare Simply Devine.

“He’s a powerful colt and he’s got two year old written all over him. I wanted to buy a Bettor’s Delight colt. I had quite a few marked down to buy on pedigree.”

Once Cleaver had the pedigree page sorted he inspected all of his choices.

“I like to see the hind leg overstepping the front leg which tells you a horse in going to have a good stride on it and he fitted the bill there.”

The colt attracted spirited bidding.

“I thought I might get him for under $100,000. I just kept chipping away but they kept putting my weights up.”

Today’s outlay was the biggest Cleaver has spent on one horse at a sale.

“It’s been creeping up each time I go back. I’ve loosened the purse strings.”

He paid $60,000 for Ragazzo Mach, $52,500 for Franco Santino, $50,000 for Hopes And Dreams and $20,000 for Onedin Mach.

“I’ve got a Bettor’s Delight out of Hopes And Dreams that will be going to the workouts and trials, hoping to qualify.”

Meanwhile, for the second day in a row a Southern Bred Southern Reared yearling topped the Sale.

Tuapeka Dan, a Bettor’s Delight colt out of 10 win race mare Bonnie Joan was sold to Australian buyers for $240,000. The colt was prepared for the Cummings family by Katrina Price at Winton.

And yesterday at the Trotters Sale, Southland breeder Dave Kennedy sold a Father Patrick colt out of Rae Galleon for $120,000 – the top price paid.

The Sale continues tomorrow with some high quality lots which include Chicago Bear, a full brother to millionaire pacer Chicago Bull.

Chicago Bear


Bruce Stewart

24th February 2021

Katrina Price was confident she had two high quality colts that were prepped and ready to sell at the National Standardbred Yearling Sales in Christchurch today, but to end up with the top two lots was an exceptional result.

“It was pretty amazing. One out of the box,” she said.

One place – two top lots relaxing

Both yearlings attracted lots of pre-sale interest and Katrina and husband John had high hopes of doing well.

They were hoping they’d get into six figures. “They were two beautiful colts and I said a few times that you don’t get two colts like this every year.”

Collectively the pair sold for a staggering $630,000 which must be a record for a vendor with just two yearlings in a sale.

“When you get into those figures everything becomes a bit of a blur.”

The stunning looking Chicago Bear was the first of their consignment to come into the ring and he was bought by Cran Dalgety for $310,000.

“Anything after that was just going to be a bonus.”

Forty six lots later Mandinka was sold to a phone bid for $320,000.

“They both had beautiful pedigrees that were up to date. They were just great colts in the flesh and in temperament.”

Mandinka is beautifully bred, being out of Hartofdixie an American Ideal mare. The family had left big winners including Maxim and Christian Me. Hartofdixie is a relatively recent purchase for the Prices, being bought during lockdown. They later bought her foal Mandinka.

“We bought her colt as a speculative buy. We took the risk and have been well and truly rewarded. We’re thrilled to have the mare and she’s in foal to Bettor’s Delight and we’re hoping that she’ll have a filly.”

The buyers were certainly chasing the better bred colts today, particularly those by leading sire Bettor’s Delight. Whereas yesterday a high number of yearlings were passed in.

“Yesterday was a bit of a battle but today it’s heated up. If you brought along a good article with a good page by Bettor’s Delight you were certainly well rewarded.”

In addition to taking out the top two lots Katrina and John prepared the highest selling trotter on the first day of the Sale. Concise, consigned by Dave Kennedy sold for $120,000. The Prices also prepared Tuapeka Dan for Tuapeka Lodge and he achieved the fourth highest pacer sold, going for $240,000.

A stunning few days at the Sales for Price’s Bloodstock.