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Locharburn to stand at stud

By Garrick Knight

Former New Zealand Derby winner Locharburn will stand at stud in Canterbury this coming breeding season.

His co-owner and trainer, Kevin Chapman, confirmed this week that the son of Christian Cullen would stand at Phoebe Stud in Broadfield.

Locharburn recently returned from a short-lived Australian campaign, where he was once again injured, this time leading to his retirement.

“I had a look to see if there was anybody in Australia that wanted to stand him, but I hadn’t been able to find anyone,” said Chapman.

“So, I decided to look closer to home and ended up just ringing Grant Beckett out of the blue.

“I said I have a proposition for you from left field.”

Beckett was amenable and a deal was reached.

Chapman will do his part to get some numbers on the ground, though says his age is slowing him down.

“I’ve got five or six mares, including Twilight Rascal and a half to Franco Hat Trick that I will put to him.

“My intention is to breed those mares, take them through to the yearling stage and then give them away to trainers.

“Benny Hill, John Dickie and a few others. That will be my bit to try and get him off the ground.

“By the time they are two-year-olds, I’ll be 69 and I don’t really want to be training horses in to my 70s.

“I’m already trying to cut back and am down to one racehorse.”

Locharburn was a star youngster, winning his first six starts before clashing with Tiger Tara, among others, in the three-year-old classics.

“That was an exceptional crop that year; he beat Isaiah, Tiger Tara, Sky Major, Maxim and Messini in the Derby.

“I don’t care what anyone says, you won’t see a better run to win the New Zealand Derby against such a good field.

“It was a phenomenal effort after sitting three-wide.”

Locharburn would go on to win an Easter Cup and Maurice Holmes Vase as an older horse, and contest two New Zealand Cups, but multiple injury setbacks ultimately stymied his career.

“We had lots of really good moments with him, but it was just one of those things.

“What might have been if he had stayed sound?”

In a last-ditch effort to get Locharburn back firing, her was sent to Sydney where it was hoped the water walker utilised by trainers Shane and Lauren Tritton would resurrect him.

“He trialed in 1.52 but broke down again soon after.

“That was him though; he always tried so hard and gave his all.

“He did us proud. We think the world of him and he’ll always have a home here with us.”

Locharburn will stand for $2,000 plus GST alongside Phoebe Stud’s other stallions, Imperial Count and Royal Aspirations.

There is also an ‘early bird’ special of $1,500 plus GST, which expires at the end of September, as well as a multiple mare discount of 20%.

Original article here: https://www.hrnz.co.nz/news/locharburn-to-stand-at-stud/

Quite A Moment’s Moment

By Duane Ranger

Even with Monbet currently be spelled Greg and Nina Hope can still boast one of New Zealand’s best trotters.

That was endorsed at Alexandra Park this evening when the Ricky May driven Quite A Moment won the Group One Campin Bloodstock $80,000 National Trot in New Zealand record time.

The 7-year-old brown Quite Easy mare trotted the 2700m stand in 3:19.90 – 3.7 seconds quicker than I Can Doosit’s national record set in the Group Three City of Sails Trot in March 2012.

“Marcoola did all the hard yards in front while we sat back and bided our time. She’s no Monbet but she’s a very good trotter. I couldn’t believe that was a New Zealand record because she was travelling so well,” May said.

Quite A Moment came from back in the field to win by three quarters of a length and one-and-three-quarter lengths from Bordeaux (Dexter Dunn) and Great Things Happen (Gavin Smith).

She trotted a 1:59.1 mile rate and came home in 58.2 and 29.2. She was the $10.70 third favourite.

May said Quite A Moment was now likely to travel to Melton’s Tabcorp Park to take part in the Great Southern on March 11 – a race she finished third in last year.

“She’s a lovely trotter who went real nice second behind his stablemate (Monbet) in the Dominion. Greg and Nina had him spot on today. She’s a real credit to their training,” May said.

Quite A Moment has now won 16 of his 101 starts and placed 41 times for just on $385,000 in stakes.

He is owned by Mrs C L Stewart, W R Stewart, A R Pullar, and Mrs B E Pullar, and was bred by G D Beckett.

Mare with a Great Sense of Timing

With the yearling sales just ten days away now, all the vendors at this years sales have long ago finalized all their advertising and promotion of their stock.

The photos and videos are up and all the vendors can hope for is that the prospective buyers are as taken with their yearlings as they are.

One way that the odd vendor can get a lift in the last ten days or so before a sale is if close relatives to their offerings make a bit of a splash on the racing scene.

Last weekend the very successful broodmare Juverna had stock winning races all over Australasia which can only bode well for the sale prospects of her Majestic Son filly on the first day of this years New Zealand Premier Yearling Sale in Christchurch.

Selling as Lot 250, The Best Moment Yet had three siblings salute the judge on both sides of the Tasman in the space of 24 hours.

First up was Quite A Moment who was ultra impressive winning a $20,000 trot at Melton where she easily accounted for the very smart Maori Time and One Over Da Moon.

The daughter of Quite Easy simply bolted in and it was a run that really impressed driver Ricky May.

” She won that so easily the other night I think she would be more than competitive against the best trotters going around and I think Greg is considering that option,” Ricky told Harnesslink earlier in the week.

It was her 14th career victory and took her earnings over the $258,000 mark.

Two hours later at Albion Park, Duke Of The Moment kept the momentum going when he took out the trotters handicap.

The son of Monarchy was recording his 18th career victory which took his lifetime earnings to just shy of $158,000.

Come Sunday in New Zealand and the icing on the cake for Juverna was the performance of her Love You daughter Moment Of Love, who brained them by eight and a half lengths at the Wairarapa meeting at the Manawatu Raceway.

Grant Beckett, the vendor of The Best Moment Yet at this years sales is still shaking his head over the three progeny winning last weekend.

” With the sales just around the corner, to have three winners from the mare in just one weekend was a huge thrill.

” The best advertising you can ever get is the progeny winning races and to have three do it together is a great achievement.”

” I already thought that The Best Moment Yet would sell well because I think she is best yearling on type that Juverna has produced so the three winners is really a bonus,” Grant told Harnesslink earlier today.

Grant has a second yearling from the family that he is selling on the second day of the New Zealand Premier Sale at Christchurch as Lot 432

A daughter of Lucky Chucky 1:50.8 ($2,099,973) who sired a Hambletonian Oaks elimination winner from his first crop, the filly is named Luck Of The Moment and is from a Sundon daughter of Juverna.

” She has just been a bit behind the other filly all the way through but has closed the gap just lately and has a lot of the family traits of Juverna so I have a bit of time for her,” was Grant’s opinion of her when talking to us today.

Juverna has since produced a colt by Peak but it has already been sold.

” Tim Butt was very keen to buy him so he has changed hands already and I put her back in foal to Peak.”

“Sunny Moment didn’t have a foal this year but she is safely in foal to Andover Hall now,” Grant said.

Juverna is from as good a trotting family results wise over the last twenty years as there is in the New Zealand stud book.

The three winners last weekend is just a timely reminder to yearling buyers of how good this family is.

Harnesslink Media

Grant Beckett

Grant and Di Beckett had a weekend to remember and are probably lucky it was a long weekend all things considered. Three winners is a great feat for a breeder in any week, but three in fifteen hours is almost unheard of!! Juverna, the Beckett’s super broodmare had three of her progeny win races on both sides of the Tasman.

First it was Quite a Moment winning a Group 3 trot at Melton in a searing time. Next up was Duke Of The Moment won at Albion Park before Moment of Love went on a North

Island raid and got the chocolates at Manawatu. We caught with Grant who is also the president of the Cheviot Trotting Club to bring you another instalment of Breeder Profiles.

WHAT GOT YOU INTERESTED IN HARNESS RACING?

My father and grandfather always seemed to have a horse or two around. I can remember spending time in the paddock with mares and foals as a 9 or 10 year old. Not many got much of a crack but I can remember going down to the TAB with a school teacher at lunchtime to back Phoebe Gee in the late eighties, he won 2 or 3. Dad’s last mare kept having colts and the family lost the breed. Upon leaving school I used to love going to Addington to watch on a Friday night probably should have been studying. Bellam was a horse I loved to follow then, ironically a recent shift from Cheviot sees me living just around the corner from Bellam Road. My first holiday from my first job was a 2 week trip to the 1991 Interdoms in Auckland, I backed Mark Hanover in the final and will always remember backing Russley Lord in the last paying $35, the trip was payed for!!!

HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN BREEDING STANDARDBREDS?

In 2003 I rung about a mare for sale in the Harness Weekly. She was advertised as a Sundon mare from Life Line. I knew she traced back to my late father and grandfathers breed so went to buy her. Frank Murfitt was really stoked to see her go back “home” to Phoebe.

Other purchases followed, Juverna, Kazzle Dazzle, Away Away and Kamwood Smarty, our first pacer, all on a limited budget but knowing that they fitted in well with the rest of our farming operation and that if you were careful with sire selection you could make a wee bit of income. Some would say I have never been careful with sires as I love trying the new ones, particularly if they have a northern hemisphere crop or two before we get them. A risk sometimes, yes, but as our racing changes to being more like NA racing(shorter and faster) I don’t think we will see sires come down under and fail after being successful in NA.

It amazes me how slow our trainers and buyers are at times to realise just how good these new horses are. Mach Three, Bettor’s Delight, Art Major and Somebeachsomewhere have all been slow to be accepted at first, but we are now getting the best of the best as opposed to the next tier down!!!

FIRST HORSE YOU BRED?

Continentalman had just arrived in NZ and to get that sort of a pedigree, by Malabar Man out of a Champion in Continentalvictory, down here was unheard of at the time. This first mating left us with Phoebe Sunset and the “Phoebe” name that was lost in the eighties was back!!

FIRST RACE WINNER YOU BRED?

We decided to race the first one and Phoebe Sunset went on to be our first winner, we have since bred many winners including a Group 1 winner in Quite A Moment but nothing will ever beat the thrill we got the day he won his first race at our local Cheviot meeting, the “Locals” nearly shook the Presidents room down when we were in the birdcage!!

WHY DO YOU BREED STANDARDBREDS?

We breed as part of our farming business, so ultimately to make a profit but also for enjoyment, it’s almost a hobby away from work, that has become an absolute passion. Having the top French sires available now along with sires like Muscle Hill and Andover Hall leaves all sorts of exciting possibilities in the future. I can’t wait to start breeding from Love You and Sam Bourbon mares!!

WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE HORSE (OR) THE BEST ONE YOU HAVE BRED (AND WHY)?

My favourite mare is Sunny Moment, she did a tendon at three and never raced but has a wonderful nature. We bought her mum Juverna with a 10 day old Sunny Moment at foot. At the time Juverna (1/2 sister to Take A Moment) had two qualifiers but none to the races, she has since left eight winners including Quite A Moment. A few years ago Juverna had 3 race on Victoria Derby day for a !st,2nd and third. She managed to top that feat over the weekend with Quite A Moment winning a Group 3 at Melton, Duke Of The Moment winning at Albion Park and Moment Of Love Winning at Manawatu, all within 14 hours!!

Quite A Moment is the best we have bred. She was sold on earthquake day to Wayne Stewart, he grew up just down the road from me and it has been great to see him having so much success with her.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE STALLION OF ALL TIME?

I don’t really have a favourite sire but have had good results with Monarchy, he is often underrated and has a lovely pedigree. I also love Sam Bourbon, his pedigree and looks are amazing. We have bred to him most years but only have the two live foals, the exciting Twice As Much part owned now by JP Dubois the legendary French trainer and owner of Sam Bourbon and Love You and a 2yr old full sister in work with Coaster Howe.

HAVE YOU BRED ANYTHING THIS SEASON?

Have bred two of the old mares to Peak after liking and selling one of his foals this year(out of Juverna), Andover Hall, He’s Watching, Sam Bourbon(2) and Love You have been used. Unfortunately the 3 bred to the French horses are negative, gutted about that!!

SOMETHING YOU WOULD LIKE TO SEE CHANGE FOR BREEDERS?

I would love to see all clubs take up the Breeders Bonus scheme as a way of getting something back to the breeder that breeds quality (winners). I think it should be compulsory for all clubs to print breeder’s names in the racebook.

They won’t get much of my money unless they do, I don’t often bet but if I can see a breeders name in the book I will often back them!!

We need more foals on the ground, our age group racing is already suffering from a lack of numbers and this will only get worse. Racing more often is not an option for the babies, if more are bred on shear statistics more will race and we won’t see Derby fields with 7 runners and only 3 or 4 winning chances!!!

Courtesy of: Breeder weekly

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
AUGUST 28,2013 I NEW ZEALAND HARNESS RACING

Sam Bourbon First Yearling Sale Results

In France the three day sale at Deauville concluded on a high note – not unexpected, because the yearlings on the last day were all sired by young sires, whose eldest crop was 2 years-old.

The two time winner of the Prix d’Amerique. Ready Cash, is in that category and, as expected, his yearlings sold very well, with 16 selling for an average price of $66.865.

However a debutant sire, Sam Bourbon, did better, as his 14 yearlings sold for an average price of $68,430.

Sam Bourbon is out of the same dam, Etta Extra, as two of the top mares in French harness racing within the last I5 years. Mara Bourbon and Qualita Bourbon, who both won more than $2 million.

Sam Bourbon took a mark of 1.55.1 as 3-year-old and has lifetime earnings of $475.000.

Ile is sired by Goetmals Wood who for many years has been one of the leading sires in France.

In fact Goetmals Wood topped the sires list for the Deauville sale as seven of his yearlings were sold for an average price of $77,500. He was followed by Coktail Jet, who had 20 yearlings sell for an average of $74.330.

A total of 517 yearlings went through the ring – 349 were sold for an average price of $32.000.

As this was a new sale it’s not fair to make a comparison with earlier years, where there were two select sales in France – one at Vincennes and one at Deauville.

by Karsten Bφnsdorf
Courtesy of The United States Trotting Association Web Newsroom
09/09/2012

Phoebe Revival Creates a Little Bit of History

Harnesslink

Phoebe Rivals creates little bit of history: Last week at the Jewels workouts in Ashburton we reckon Phoebe Revival ran the quickest 400m ever recorded by a trotter in New Zealand. We don’t have any records of any trotter running 400m quicker than 26.3 seconds. Phoebe Revival lines up on Sunday in the CRT McMillans Protein Plus 5Y0 Ruby.

On Jewels day it should be noted ,she had no luck in running, 3 wide with no cover for entire trip and still timed in 1.57.1, only .1 of a second outside One Over Kennys still current national record for mares over the mile!!

Pheobe and Beckett Make Premier Debut

Frank Marrion
NZ Harness Racing Weekly – March 3, 2010

Cheviot has never exactly been a hotbed of Standardbred breeding, but Grant Beckett has been doing his bit to get the locals enthused.

Beckett is breeding from five trotting mares these days, and made his debut as a vendor at the Premier this year with two colts and two fillies from them after another was withdrawn.

He did relatively well in that respect with collective sales of $48,000 from three yearlings by Monarchy and one by Sundon, having raised and prepared them himself, but Beckett is still building towards offering at least half a dozen trotting colts a year and better quality again.

His colts for next year include a Quite Easy from the good race mare Kazzle Dazzle, while Take A Moment’s half-sister Juvena, whose first five foals are winners, and is in foal to Love You, so he is heading in the right direction.

Just escaping from this year’s Premier with the shirt on his back was no mean feat.

“There is obviously a much bigger and better buying bench for pacers, but they are a dime a dozen too and the trotters seem much more interesting to me,” said Beckett.

“Still it seems you also have to think a little outside the square to come up with a trotter that is going to sell well, just like the pacers.

“But I think there are more opportunities for progress with the trotters when you look at the sort of sire we can access now.

“It is getting quite exciting actually, and there is obviously enough money around for a good trotter,” he added.

Beckett and his wife Di are fourth generation sheep farmers at Phoebe just out of Cheviot, and this degree of involvement really only began a few years ago when they acquired four of those mares.

We breed sheep on three hundred acres after selling off a block of two hundred about eighteen months ago and in some ways there’s not a lot of difference between breeding sheep and horses.

“We cross Suffolk and Texels and cull heavily before breeding from about thirty percent of the rams, and much of it is about type.

“We also have a special needs daughter confined to a wheelchair who has just turned seven, and while you wouldn’t change anything there, it’s still a lot of work as well.

“So the trotters are my interest and hobby now – an out from the usual grind if you like.”

Beckett’s grandfather Jim also bred horses on the farm as a hobby, and among those was Sure Phoebe, a daughter of Quite Sure who won five races while on lease to George Murfitt, later producing the top mare Harbour Light (14 wins, two Canterbury Park Trotting Cups) and useful sorts in Phoebe Brigade and Phoebe Martial.

But Grant only got involved about seven years ago when leasing and then racing the good pacing mare Sue Dreamer, as part of the 13 member Cheviot Magpies Syndicate along with Mallen Streak (@ wins) also from Dean Taylor’s stable.

Beckett, the Vice President of the Cheviot TC, says that syndicate of locals was put together to promote interest in the game around town, and nowadays some of those people are also into breeding and working horses up.

Sue Dreamer won four races for Taylor including two at Addington before going north to Dave and Clare McGowan, for whom she has had two good wins in Auckland.

The first for a premier stake where she had a two-length romp over Maheer Dream and Western Dream at odds of 27-to-one in a mile rate of 1.59 for 2200m, while a month later she won the Group 3 NI Breeders Stakes, downing Waitfornoone by over two lengths.

The daughter of Dream Away and top filly Adios Trick then went to stud for the syndicate, which now numbers 5, and they have a colt foal by Bettor’s Delight.

“I’m not sure if he will go to the Sales – some of the syndicate members are getting on now, and won’t get the chance again to race such a good prospect.”

Sue Dreamer was the ninth and last foal from Adios Trick, an Australian bred daughter of Overtrick whose first four foals had been winners including Hanover Trick (5 NZ wins, US1.54.6)

Sue Dreamer has now gone back into the ownership of Delvin Dickerby’s estate.

While this was going on with Sue Dreamer and Mallen Streak, who won twice at Forbury Park a bit earlier, Beckett ventured into the breeding side of the game by acquiring Ashley Sunset, a first crop daughter of Sundon and Harbour Light’s daughter Life Line (4 NZ wins) who had won a race for Frank Murfitt at Forbury Park.

Life Line, a daughter of Tuft, also recorded 26 placing’s and produced Dominion and Inter-Dominion winner William Dee along with useful sorts in Great Life and Ashley Blossom.

The latter is the dam of Don King (15 Aus. wins $120,100), the sun of Sundon who won the Group 1 Dullard Cup beating Acacia Ridge in January before competing in the Iner-Doms.

“When I saw her advertised in the Harness Racing Weekly, I jumped at the chance because of the link to my grandfather’s old mare.

Frank (Murfitt) was thrilled about it too, because she was going to a good home.

Bringing in his uncle John Honeybone, Ashley Sunset was bred to Continentalman initially for two colts and they raced the first in Phoebe Sunset for five wins, three from Dave Anderson’s stable and two for Nicky Chilcott before he was sold to Australia last year and won twice at Harold Park.

Like pretty much anyone in the game, the highlight of Beckett’s involvement to date has been Phoebe Sunset’s first win, particularly when it came at a Cheviot meeting as a 3-year-old, before then lining up in the Trotting Derby.

“We had a lot of fun with Sue Dreamer, but your first win as a breeder is something else again, and we made the most of it with family and friends.

“He later went north because he was proving hopeless from stands down here, but he turned into a great standing start horse for Nicky and only had one mobile from twenty-six races for her.

“The second colt was Phoebe Gladiator, who was bought for $15,000 ‘on spec’ by Tony Herlihy at the Premier.

The 5-year-old had a win at Alexandra Park and several placing’s before being transferred to Dane Alexander just recently.

Ashley Sunset then had a dead foal however and she has proved difficult since, only producing fillies by Wrestle and Monarchy.

The Wrestle filly Phoebe Revival started in a non-tote 2-year-old trot at Addington a few weeks ago but has been turned out to strengthen up, while the Monarchy filly was the withdrawal from the Premier Sale “as we already had some money in that kitty from the sale of Sunset”.

Beckett and Honeybone take turns choosing the sires for Ashley Sunset and she is now in foal to the latter’s choice in Thanksgiving.

Honeybone has a yearling colt by Thanksgiving from his own mare in Neroli Rush.

It was in the spring of 2007 that Beckett went looking for more trotting broodmare prospects and started with Juverna, who had a 10-day-old Sundon filly on her when she was offered at a dispersal sale of Bill Cameron and bought for $6200.

“That season there was a two-for-one deal going with Monarchy so I then leased French Connection.

“The Sundon filly is now the 2-year-old Sunny Moment, who is spelling after a nasty kick, while to Monarchy, Juverna produced the colt which sold for $20,000 at the Premier last month.

She left a filly by Quite Easy this season and is back in foal to Love You, and Beckett is now pretty keen to ‘protect’ this family now.

Her fifth foal and fifth winner is the Sundon gelding Cameo’s Moment, a promising 3-year-old in Victoria.

He won his 2-year-old debut at Bendigo in June, and won at Cranbourne and Maryborough when resuming late last year.

Juverna’s first two foals have been handy trotters in Kevies Moment (2 wins to date) and Bankers Moment (4 wins to date), while the fourth in Eight Double Eight is going much further than his two recent wins over Vulcan and The Tower.

When he came from behind the latter to score at Ashburton on Boxing Day, Eight Double Eight trotted his last quarter in about 26.5 to beat him and close relation The Moment.

The Love You foal from Juverna, who is also from a half-sister to the dam of Stig, will have two lines of French blood in her pedigree, as her dam Nakura is by Jet d’Emeraude.

French Connection would leave a filly by Monarchy which as Ms Sarkozy, sold for $4000 late in the piece on the third day at the Premier, but she now has a Monarchy colt and is in foal to Continentalman for a foal which will be a three-quarter to Chocolate Brownie.

Away Away, a half-sister to Locofoco (US1.53.8, 6 NZ & 2 Aus wins, Breeders Crown 3yo) and Lockerup, the dam of Sovereignty, La Femme D’Argent and The Tower from her first three foals by Monarchy, was then purchased at the 2008 Mixed Sale in foal to Monarchy for $4500.

That resulted in the filly Zara Philips, who was also sold on the third day in Christchurch for $7000, while she is back in foal on a free return to Monarchy.

Away Away first left four straight foals for Keith Gibson, where the last of them in Prince Harry won his ninth race last Saturday, but she has been slipping every second year for Beckett.

“Gael Murray led her into the ring at the Sale and later warned me she was proving a bit difficult.

“I went to school with Gael’s sister, and she was a few years behind us.

“She looks after my mares at stud now and from having thirteen in total there this season, thirteen are in foal, so mine won’t be going anywhere soon.

“Kazzle Dazzle came later that year after being advertised in the Weekly as well, and she dropped a Sundon colt a month later which sold for $17,000 late in the day at the Premier.

A winner of five races and a half-sister to good sorts in Avatar and What Ever You Are, Kazzle Dazzle has left just the one winner from four foals of racing age, but the other three are fillies which haven’t had much luck.

Beckett has her back in foal to Muscle Mass, who shares the same third dam in Keystone Profile as Quite Easy.

“The trotters have been more affordable, but I now see a need to be involved in the better end of the market.

“I think we’ve bought into reasonably commercial families, so now it’s just a matter of breeding them right and hopefully keeping the right fillies to go on with one day.”