Breeding – The Moment a Bridesmaid Became the Bride

Broodmares usually show their cards early in leaving their best performers while young and healthy and then the production record will invariably fall away for one reason or another. However Juverna has gone the other way. The now 19-year-old Gee Whiz II mare, who managed a second in a $2000 Novice in a six-start race career, had been fashioning a consistent and solid record over the years with her first five foals being winners although none went much beyond normality. But things began to change with her seventh foal in Duke Of The Moment, who was one of the better juvenile trotters going around a couple of years ago. That son of Monarchy chased Flying Ise home in the Trotting Stakes and then finished third to him in the Sales race and at the Jewels, where Escapee was second. Juverna then followed that up with the really nice filly Quite A Moment, herself second in the Sales race at two behind Royal Aspirations. But these two have really taken things to another level in recent months. Duke Of The Moment has won six races since he began racing in Australia in February, and last month his two wins from two races included the John Ashby Memorial at Maryborough on Redwood Day where he easily put away Aldebaran Shades. Quite A Moment resumed in February and chased Habibti and Paramount Queen home in the Trotting Oaks and since she’s pretty much either been winning against lesser company or chasing the top trotters home in features. That all changed at the Breeders Crown of course with her upset of Blitzthemcalder in the G1 $95,000 feature in a sub-2.00 mile rate over 2240m. After being patiently handled in midfield by Greg Sugars after Blitzthemcalder had worked overtime for the lead, Quite A Moment always had him covered in the run home. When she ranged up to go by in mid-stretch, we’re not sure who was more surprised – Blitzthemcalder or Chris Alford. This upswing in fortunes has coincided with Juverna being acquired by fledgling trotting breeder Grant Beckett, who reluctantly sold Quite A Moment at the 2011 Premier Sale for $19,000 in the hours which followed the devastating earthquake. However, Beckett is now sitting on a Sundon daughter of Juverna in Sunny Moment as a broodmare and the 3-year-old filly Moment Of Love, who had two early juvenile races for two thirds before being put aside. She’s been back in work for a month and will almost certainly contribute to what is fast becoming a pretty impressive record from Juverna. Beckett, the president of the Cheviot HRC, says he would have “dearly loved” to have been at the Breeders Crown “but being right in the middle of lambing it couldn’t have come at a worse time”. Beckett and his wife Di first got involved in the game about 10 years ago when he acquired the Sundon-Life Line mare Ashley Sunset as a broodmare along with Christchurch’s John Honeybone after she’d won a race at Forbury Park for Frank Murfitt. Ashley Sunset had been advertised in the Marketplace and traced to a Quite Sure mare called Sure Phoebe, who Beckett’s grandfather Jim had “mucked around with”. Her first three foals have been Phoebe Sunset (5 NZ & 7 Aus wins, $75,000), Phoebe Gladiator (7 NZ wins, $60,000) and Phoebe Revival (8 NZ wins, $50,000 to date), the latter providing more highlights during the season with four wins during a northern campaign which culminated with a race in Auckland where she downed Madisonz Luck, Flying Ise and Commander Galleon. A winner at last year’s Cheviot meeting, Phoebe Revival was also a creditable sixth in this year’s 5yo Ruby after starting from post 12. It was in 2007 when Beckett went to Bill Cameron’s dispersal sale with a mind to buy Juverna with Sunny Moment a week old foal at foot. At this point Juverna hadn’t left a winner, with her first two foals in Kevies Moment and Bankers Moment qualified but as yet unraced. That would soon change with Kevies Moment winning at Ashburton early the next year and he would wind up with seven wins and $58,000, although he wound out his career with four wins on the Manawatu circuit. The Wall Street Banker filly Bankers Moment would win five races for Craig Buchan, four of them at Forbury Park. Take N Time (1 NZ win) and Eight Double Eight (3 NZ wins) followed before Juverna left the Sundon colt Cameo’s Moment, a $30,000 sale for Cameron at the Premier. He went directly to Australia and has been a quite useful performer in Victoria, winning nine races and $51,000 so far with his last success at the Coolamon meeting last year. After Duke Of The Moment had won and Quite A Moment was a brave third in the Derby on Redwood Day this year, Cameo’s Moment later finished second in the John Slack Memorial that day. Cameo’s Moment was third in the Victoria Trotting Derby three years ago and Quite A Moment replicated that placing this year behind Blitzthemcalder and Dreamlover. Of course Beckett knew none of this when he paid $6200 for Juverna and her filly foal at Cameron’s sale. “It was the overall strength of the family which attracted me and I went there thinking anything under $10,000 was going to be good value,” said Beckett. “She was my second broodmare, but the first one I’d sorted out for myself,” he added. Juverna was the second foal from the Jet d’Emeraude mare Nakura (5 NZ wins) and either side of her were Take A Moment and Now’s The Moment, a winner of five and now the dam of Dr Hook and Moment Of Truth along with The Moment (4 NZ wins) and The Truth (2 NZ & 2 Vic wins to date). Not far away in the pedigree either was Stig and all this has emanated from the Crockett mare Nakaia (3 NZ wins), who came from a previously undistinguished source, although half a century earlier this was the Authoress branch of the famed Thelma family. Beckett first put Juverna to Monarchy to get Duke Of The Moment, a $20,000 sale at the Premier, and then he tried frozen semen for the first time to get Quite A Moment. Quite Easy was a brilliantly-bred horse and a smart young performer who could easily be categorized as ‘one that got away’. There were only nine foals in his first crop and his four winners also includes promising sorts in Russell Galleon and the filly Zimple. Beckett actually bred a second Quite Easy foal that year in KD Hall, a colt which also showed up well at trials as a juvenile. Quite Easy’s fourth winner was Quite Easy Damit, who scored at last week’s Waikato meeting. But only eight foals by Quite Easy followed before the semen stocks dried up.

Beckett recalls Quite A Moment as “another beautiful paddock trotter” and she really only went forward to the Premier Sale because Beckett already knew he had Moment Of Love by then. “She was always going to be a future broodmare and I got a few mates together to race her. “She’s a heavier, raw boned type and was not a natural 2yo, although she was competitive in the early juvenile trials. “She just lacked the speed to go with the good ones so we gave her six months out, knowing she would come into her own as a 3-year-old and beyond.” Beckett then bred Juverna to the Credit Winner horse Crazed and got the colt Crazed Moment, who was Juverna’s 10 consecutive foal. A lovely type with a very minor conformation issue, Crazed Moment sold to Jim Dalgety at this year’s Premier for a “disappointing” $20,000. He would have almost certainly added more lustre to Juverna’s record but for misfortune. “I heard they had trouble breaking him in but that’s not unusual for Juverna’s foals. “At one stage he apparently kicked a cart to bits. “Then I heard when Barry Purdon was down here for the Jewels – Barry stays with Dalgety – that he said the colt was going to win everything over the next year or two and he would love to have him in his stable. “But not long after a plastic bag blew into his face and he panicked and took off, finishing up on a fence post.” Juverna then missed in three attempts with Majestic Son’s frozen semen, so he switched to Great Success to get a now yearling filly. “I’d paid the stud fee in advance to get a discount, and was sort of backed into a corner if I wanted to stay with Alabar. “In hindsight that (changing to Great Success) was a mistake and I can see the episode costing me a lot of money. “But having said that, the filly trots around the paddock as good as anything.” Moment Of Success is in the Premier Sale at this stage, but since the success of Quite A Moment, Beckett has been fielding enquiries from Australia and that is where she is likely to be ‘best sold’. Now in foal with the fresh semen of Muscle Mass, who is not shuttling this year, Juverna is booked to have another crack with Majestic Son this season. Beckett is looking at sending six mares to stud this season, which now includes a pacing mare in Kamwood Smarty. Acquired a couple of years ago, the now 13-year-old daughter of In The Pocket was useful in her one campaign as a 3-year-old, winning four times from 14 races for David Butt. Her first four foals were fillies but three have won and they include good performers in Kamwood Laughter (Aus1.53.8, 3 NZ & 13 Aus wins, $164,000) and Kamwood Holmes (Aus1.57.5, 2 NZ & 11 Aus wins, $91,000). Kamwood Laughter was in fine form in WA last year, winning 11 of her first 17 races there including the Golden Girls Mile at Pinjarra in 1.53.8 and the Italian Sprint at Gloucester Park. She was also second five times, which included the G2 Empress Stakes. There has always been strength in this family and Beckett has a yearling colt by Santanna Blue Chip to offer next year, while Kamwood Smarty is in foal to a top prospect in Well Said. Sunny Moment has produced a yearling colt by Pegasus Spur and is in foal to Monarchy, while Ashley Sunset has a yearling filly by Monarchy and is in foal to Muscle Mass. Five-win mare Kazzle Dazzle was acquired not long after Juverna and she has since proved the dam of KD Commando (9 NZ wins, $68,000). The first foal he bred was KD Star, a son of Sundon who was looking good when he downed Triumphant Monarch and JD Spur in a 3-year-old trot at Addington in January last year. However, he died not long after and Kazzle Dazzle’s next foal was KD Hall, who had just the one start in the Sales 3yo race last season. The third foal however is last season’s promising juvenile filly KD Muscles, who was third on debut at Washdyke behind Trouble Rieu and Hot Pants before finishing a sound fourth in the Sales race at Addington behind Dieu De L’Amour. Kazzle Dazzle’s yearling colt made a fine impression on the second day of this year’s Premier when selling for one of the top prices of $25,000. It is Quite A Moment who is the toast of the Cheviot town for the moment though. She was bought by Greg and Nina Hope stable clients in Masterton’s Wayne Stewart and Christchurch’s Alan Pullar at the Premier and the Breeders Crown was also their biggest result so far. Pullar has another good prospect at present in the Christian Cullen mare Beni Rai, while Stewart raced the fine mare Cullini a few years ago and was co-owner with the Hopes in the big sale of Northview Punter last year. Cullini’s first foal is a 2-year-old colt by Bettor’s Delight called Usain Colt. Stewart, who grew up just down the road from Beckett, has probably been patting himself on the back for a while. After Quite A Moment had downed Sheemon in a Breeders Crown heat at Addington last month, Hope was all for turning her out, but Stewart reasoned `you’re only three once so let’s have a crack’. That’s how Quite A Moment went from being a bridesmaid to the bride.

By: Frank Marrion