YEAR: 1968



A $70 outlay by the Ngaruawahia Goodyer family was richly rewarded when Leroy won a hard tussle for the first prize of $3250 in the NZ Derby Stakes.

The Goodyers paid $70 to buy Leroy's dam Lezayre, from a friend, Mr H Gates, of Nelson. E J Goodyer qualified Lezayre, but she started only three times. "She showed a lot of ability, but was inclined to run out of her gear, so we retired her to stud," he said. Leroy is raced in partnership by E J Goodyer and his wife.

The breeder of Leroy was Mrs W J Goodyer, Rotorua. Lezayre was mated with Protector, producing Murchison Lad, who raced only once and her next foal was Leroy (by Local Light). The Goodyers also have a yearling Richochet filly out of Lezayre. Lezayre has returned to Local Light, who is having a very successful season. Lezayre is by the South Australian-bred horse Paraider from Evora, by the very successful sire Grattan Loyal(imp) from Lady Trafalgar, by Nelson Bingen (imp), leading sire in the 1928-29 and 1929-30 seasons. Evora also produced Croydon and Honeysuckle, the dam of Vantage.

The Derby was a triumph for the Light Brigade horse, Local Light, as he also sired the runner up, Local Lie.

A K Holmes gave Leroy every chance and he was the early leader only to give way to Western Ridge. Passing the six furlongs, Radiant Globe took over and led Clandeboye and Intrepid into the straight. Taken wide out on the track for his final effort, Leroy answered every call on him and he got in the deciding stride just on the post, to head off Local Lie by a neck. Half a neck further back was Clandeboye, followed by Friendly Forbes, Prince Forbes and Garcon Roux. Both Friendly Forbes and Garcon Roux lost ground at the start and were too far back at the home turn to be a real danger. Local Lie paced an excellent race for second and her effort would ensure her of further support in the New Zealand Oaks. Clandeboye received a good run all the way, and his performance was in keeping with earlier efforts this season. The start was nothing short of a shambles, with Hakim, Friendly Forbes, Manaroa, Soldato, King's Size and True Averil making mistakes, and Garcon Roux ran into trouble.

Leroy is trained among thoroughbreds at Oak Park Stud, where Mr E Goodyer is farm manager. The stud is the home of former champion New Zealand galloper and now successful sire, Syntax, and the French-bred stallion, Pavot. The stud also runs 100 milking cows.

Goodyer, a professional trainer, had three years grounding with West Melton trainer, J D Ltten, and also spent 18 months with J S Hunter at Upper Hutt before taking his present position.

A K (for Kevin) Holmes, who handled Leroy, improved the good driving record of his family in the NZ Derby. His uncles Morrie and Free have between them won 14 Derbies.

Until Leroy's win, the last North Island winner of the race was Student Prince in 1960.

Credit: 'T S' writing in NZ Trotting Calendar

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