Wildwood Junior, having his first and only race of the season, gave the other contenders a pacing lesson in the 1909 New Zealand Cup. By the time the post was reached, Bill Kerr's brilliant but unsound pacer was 40 yards ahead, winning in 4:39. The margin remains the most decisive in the history of the race.
In 1895 Kerr bought the three-year-old colt Wildwood for £500 on one of his trips to the United States. Two years later he bought the mare Thelma from her breeder, J Todd, of Lincoln, for £50. She turned out to be a great New Zealand-bred foundation mare. Wildwood Junior was the second foal of their mating. A five-year-old black stallion, Wildwood Junior was the eigth favourite of the 10 starters, mainly because he had not raced that season.
On the same day, Willowood, Wildwood Junior's full-brother and the result of the first mating of Wildwood and Thelma, won the Au Revoir Handicap after losing several lengths at the start. Unlike the Cup winner, whose victory was unexpected, Willowood went out favourite. He was retired unbeaten in three starts, recording a win in each of the 1907-08, 1908-09 and 1909-10 seasons.
The 1909 Cup was raced at a time when the country was divided on the gambling issue. The 1908 Gambling Act, passed by Sir Joseph Ward's Government still had bitter opponents. A day or so before the Cup, more than 100 people waited on the Prime Minister in Wellington, protesting at the increase "almost beyond belief" of the gambling evil. Sir Joseph Ward, from all accounts, gave them a sympathetic hearing, but it did not prevent him attending the Show Day racing. Certainly, as the momentum of Cup week gathered in Chrischurch , the country had its agitators seeking a change in the legislation to reduce racing permits.
That enormous strides had been made in harness racing in Canterbury was evidenced by the opening day of the meeting. The Metropolitan Club offered stakes of 5502 sovereigns. The Cup stake, increased to 700 sovereigns, was the richest offered for a harness race in New Zealand or Australia. The Cup card was regarded as the best offered by a harness club with the qualifying time of the race tightened to 4:45. For the first time the race carried a restricted handicap, which was set at 10 seconds and designed to give the backmarkers a better chance of victory. The Cup was raced on the first day, Tuesday, setting a pattern that existed for many years.
An exciting newcomer, King Cole, a son of Ribbonwood from the Rothschild mare Kola Nut, was the favourite, but, along with Durbar, he boke at the start and was out of the race. Albertorious, bracketed with Revenue (driven by Manny Edwards), was the next-best supported, but for the third time he let down his backers, finishing well back.
For a lap John M, Verax, Imperial Polly and Master Poole formed the leading group. Further on, Wildwood Junior got within striking distance of the leaders and, with a mile behind him, burst into the lead. From that point the outcome was never in doubt. The further they went the greater the lead became for Wildwood's speedy five-year-old son. There was a great contest for second, with Terra Nova finishing half-a-length ahead of Lord Elmo, a duplication of their 1908 placings. Then followed Revenue, Imperial Polly and Master Poole. Imperial Polly, unsuccessful in the Cup on three occasions - 1909,1910 and 1911 - was by Prince Imperial. Later, at stud, when mated with Logan Pointer, she produced Imperial Pointer, who to Rey de Oro produced Imperial Gold, dam of tha amazing Gold Bar. Lord Module, the star of the 1979-80 season, traces back to Imperial Polly.
Bill Kerr's association with harness racing stretched back into the previous century. In 1887 he bought a block of 50 acres on Wainoni Road, halfway to New Brighton, and established his stud, later appropriately named Wildwood, and private training establishment. He and his brother Charles trained numerous horses there. Later, the brothers dissolved their partnership, Charles setting up as a public trainer and Bill concentrating on breeding and training his own horses.
Wildwood Junior first raced as a three-year-old in the 1907-08 season and soon worked his way into the best circles. As a green colt he won the Progressive Handicap at Addington in 4:50.8 and later, as a four-year-old, the Courtenay Handicap in 4:41. He eclipsed those times in his first Cup victory, clocking 4:39.
Wildwood Junior, standing an impressive 16.1 hands, was described as a commanding and perfectly-shaped stallion. However, his racing days were restricted because he had unsound legs. His only races in the 1909-10 and 1910-11 seasons were the New Zealand Cups, an both times he was successful. In the latter season he was the top money-winner, solely from his 700-sovereign share of the 1000-sovereign Cup prize. As a two-year-old, Wildwood Junior served two mares, and the matings produced two good performers in Calm and Goldie, both of whom won their first three races. Calm was favourite for the 1913 Cup, but finished third.
With earnings of £1656, Wildwood Junior was retired to Kerr's stud as a seven-year-old, but not before he had become the first double-winner or the New Zealand Cup.
Prince Albert won the main race on the Thursday, the Christchurch Handicap, from King Cole and Lord Elmo. On the Friday, Al Franz, a speedy four-year-old, won the Courtenay Handicap from Albertorious and Aberfeldy.
A total of 27 bookmakers operated each day, yet despite that opposition the totalisator took a record £45,018. The £3072 invested on the New Zealand Cup was only £86 short of the 1907 record.
Credit: Bernie Wood writing in The Cup
Early in 1915 Riccarton horseman Freeman Holmes took delivery of three horses which he had selected in the United States with the assistance of Mr W Lang. The shipment was horses but as far as the struggling standardbred industry was concerned it might have been fine gold.
The three horses which were to leave an indelible mark in their adopted country were a yearling filly Trix Pointer, the 3 year old filly Bonilene and the Star Pointer horse Logan Pointer, then six years old. Trix Pointer and Bonilene founded two of the most sought after families in the stud book while Logan Pointer was to become a sire of legendary achievements in a tragically brief career. Indeed surveying his success and comparing it with others whose careers at stud were much longer it can be argued that he was the most successful stallion ever to stand in this country.
Whether his triumphs year after year surprised even those responsible for bringing him to NZ it is not known but it can be safely assumed that it would have been a shock to his American owners. At the time of his sale to Freeman Holmes, Logan Pointer was an unfashionably-bred horse who had never got to the races. It is not known how much was paid for him but Maurice Holmes relates that the price would have been very small and it is even possible that Logan Pointer was 'thrown in' with the two fillies. Racing in those days was at a fairly low ebb in America and an unraced six year old such as Logan Pointer would not have been a stud proposition there. Freeman Holmes saw something in him though and his almost unerring judgement at selecting bloodstock was to prove right again.
Logan Pointer didn't take long to establish himself. Appearing first on the sires' list in 1918 he was fifth the following year, then second and top (with Wildwood Jnr) in 1921. For the next six years he reigned supreme against some very good sires before Nelson Bingen forced him into second place by the barest of margins in the 1928-29 season. He never regained the top spot because of his untimely death but he was well up in the list through the middle thirties by which time he was also top broodmare sire. During his years as leading sire Logan Pointer produced the winners of 493 races and altogether he sired 187 individual winners - a ratio to foals which would take a lot of beating. As a sire of broodmares he was even more famous producing in all the dams of 318 winners including 65 in the 2:10 list.
To include here every top winner with Logan Pointer blood in their veins would fill pages but we can take a look at some of his greatest performers.
Undoubtedly his finest son was Harold Logan who will need no introduction to older readers. The winner of 27 races from 66 starts including two Cups, Harold Logan was the idol of his day and still perhaps as popular a horse as has ever been led into the Addington birdcage. Harold Logan was immensely popular because of his speed, his courage, his almost uncanny intelligence and because of the rags to riches success he was. He didn't race until he was five and was very ordinary until coming into the hands of Dick Humphries as a seven year old. From then until his retirement at the ripe old age of 15 he held crowds in the palm of his hand, setting several records including an amazing 2:36.8 over 1¼ miles on a soft grass track at New Brighton.
Then there was Logan Chief who was a top pacer of his day and the winner of over $24,000 over a long career, which was really big money then. Cardinal Logan won 17 races in all including the Speedway Handicap when it was a Cup meeting feature and he ran second to Kohara in the NZ Cup. Acron won nine and two of them were NZ Free-For-Alls. Acron was the fastest pacer of his day holding the mile record of 2:03.6 for a number of years. Unfortunately he was a wayward type and never developed his full potential. Native Chief was another in the same category. Widely regarded as our 'most likely to succeed' two minute horse (he worked 2:02 at Addington), Native Chief proved untrainable most of the time. Every leading trainer had a go at him at one time or another but his great speed could never be successfully harnessed though he won a NZ Derby when caught in the mood.
Onyx was a mare also not easy to train but she won $22,000 (a record for a mare at that time) and held a 1½ mile record of 3:13. Apart from Onyx and Bonny Logan, Logan Pointer had most racetrack success through his sons. Others to be leaders of their time were Jewel Pointer, Logan Wood (Dunedin Cup), Prince Pointer, Logan Park, Logan Lou (two National Handicaps), Great Logan, King Pointer (National & NZFFA, the one eyed trotter Trampfast (Dominion Handicap and very successful among the pacers) and Colene Pointer.
Logan Pointer did not as a rule leave many trotters, Trampfast being the only one who reached the top. His stock were noted for their hardiness, many of them competing over many seasons, and also for their temperaments, the sire himself being a very sensible stallion, easy to manage. The occasional wayward one appeared but they do in most sire lines. Altogether Logan Pointer's offspring won nearly $500,000 which in the depressed stakes era of the twenties was a marvellous feat.
As a sire of broodmares Logan Pointer was even more successful. Statistics were not officially kept in those days but there is no doubt he was the leading sire of mares for many seasons. To give you some idea of his influence take a look at these names who had Logan Pointer mares as their dams: Springfield Globe, Logan Derby, Free Advice, Silver De Oro, Grand Mogul (24 wins including an Interdominion Final), Royal Silk, Regal Voyage (dam of Haughty), Royal Empress (grandam of Highland Fling and Highland Kilt), Imperial Pointer (dam of Gold Bar), Smile Again and Kingcraft.
When toting up the list of early two minute performers in NZ, Gold Bar, Haughty, Highland Fling, Johnny Globe, Tactician and Caduceus all had Logan Pointer blood running freely in their veins. In the late twenties Logan Pointer's offspring held nearly 70%of NZ time records. Logan Pointer's sire line didn't survive long here, Logan Fraser probably being the most successful, siring over 30 winners including Ronald Logan. Jewel Pointer was a moderate success here and in Australia. It was unfortunate that most of his best sons were geldings.
Where Logan Pointer got his extraordinary siring potential from is difficult to determine. His sire Star Pointer, the first two minute pacer, was, giving him the best of it, a disappointment at stud, and Logan Pointer's distaff lines were rather obscure. The tragedy of his stud career was that he was cut down when at the height of it. In January 1924 when only fifteen years old, the stallion was let out of his box as usual for a stroll around the paddock while his groom Joe Washington returned for some more shuteye. But unknown to Washington there was a pony also in the paddock and the groom was awakened by a noise from the paddock rail. The noise was made by the escaping pony who had savaged Logan Pointer and kicked him in the leg, splitting it right up to the thigh. There was no chance of saving the great sire and he was accordingly put down.
During his nine seasons he had served about 100 mares a season, his fee never rising above 12 guineas. The mares were by no means all trotting bred and his feat of producing nearly 200 winners from about 900 matings was a tremendous one. What he might have achieved if he had lived another five years is anybody's guest. Is it any wonder that breeders still like mares with Logan Pointer blood in their veins? As a racehorse he may not have been much but as a stallion he was one in a thousand.
Credit: David McCarthy writing in NZ Trotguide 7Oct76
Nothing looks quite so pathetic as to-day's Form at a Glance the night following the races: unless it is last week's Cup story. As a rule, caution and sporting writers are first cousins. A sort of animal cunning comes to the aid of most people who follow horses with a pair of binoculars and a pencil, but for once in a while it deserted the press gallery at Addington on Saturday.
Free Holmes, sage of the light-harness world, once delivered a homily from a sulky seat to the effect that "it is time enough to count any horse out of any race when it is dead." Free was dead right. Just how many times he has been right since he became trotting's philosopher No.1 we have lost count of. How the old general must have chuckled to himself when Gold Bar's Cup victory on Saturday came home as a crushing rebuke to all scribes and form experts(?) who rushed into print with such high-sounding phrases as "his stamina must be on the wane," "he is not likely at this late stage of his career to finish any closer than fourth," "his function is not to win Cups but to carry the field along at break neck speed"; and so on.
Free, by the way, is "next of kin," to the owner, the trainer, the driver and the winner of this year's Cup. He is, as everyone knows, Allan Holmes's father; and Gold Bar's sire, grandsire and great-grandsire were all imported from America by Free. Gold Bar is by Grattan Loyal, who came from Ontario, Canada, in 1930. Gold Bar's dam Imperial Gold, is by Rey de Oro, who left Los Angeles, USA, for this country in 1922; and Imperial Gold's dam was Imperial Pointer, who came from California to the Dominion in 1915.
What a trotting saga! Nat Gould would have revelled in it. But Nat Gould is dead, so you will just have to put up with the vapourings of the scribe who told you in all seriousness last week that Gold Bar had about as much chance of winning the Cup as Hirohito has of becoming President of the United States. The influence of Free Holmes's importations on the Cup field did not end with Gold Bar, because Integrity, the second horse, is by Trevor de Oro (by Rey de Oro-Logan Maid, by Logan Pointer) and Integrity's dam, Cheetah, is by Grattan Loyal. Furthermore, the fourth horse, Countless, is out of Purple Patch, by Rey de Oro.
The unrestrained enthusiasm that greeted Gold Bar and Allan Holmes when they returned to the birdcage was a richly earned tribute to a horse and a driver who have been leading actors in the principal events of the Dominion for five years or more. Most people will agree that Gold Bar has 'made' the Cup race ever since he joined the select circle. It would be difficult to name his parallel in light-harness history. Vesuvius is the nearest approach to him most can remember; horses that stand out as individualists, pacemakers whose acceleration to top speed from barrier rise led to the survival of only the fittest in each and every race they made, or disorganised, whichever you will.
It was in an atmosphere charged with enthusiasm, and pervaded with a glamour Addington has never known before, that the official party, led by the president, Mr C S Thomas, foregathered in the birdcage after the race for the presentation to A Holmes of the Gold Cup. Thousands of wildly-excited people literally broke all barriers and crowded round the enclosure. Mr Thomas paid a richly earned tribute to Holmes and Gold Bar for the part they played in the Cup race for the last five years. He referred to Saturday's race as "probably the greatest light-harness contest ever staged in the Dominion" and to Gold Bar and Holmes as a champion combination that had consistently provided thrills for the trotting public. Mrs Thomas decorated Gold Bar with a garland of flowers and deafening cheers attended the ceremony.
Gold Bar, who is nine years old, has now won 21 races and £12,078/10/- in stakes and trophies, which places him second to Great Bingen as a money-winner. Of Great Bingen's total of £14,120, £13,320 was earned in the Dominion, and £800 in Australia. If Gold Bar should win Friday's Free-For-All he will have topped Great Bingen's Dominion total, and he now looks likely to become the biggest light-harness stake-winner of the Dominion and Australia. A bloodstock agent made an offer of £5000 for Gold Bar towards the close of last season. The offer came ostensibly with a view to Gold Bar's stud value, but, as Holmes remarked at the time, Gold Bar, apart altogether from his racing career, was worth "a thousand a year at the stud." The thousand a year is now safe as long as Gold Bar lives, and since the offer was made he has earned an additional £5525 in stakes. So it would have been a bad sale, after all.
Gold Bar, after fighting off his only serious challenger, Integrity, won the 1945 NZ Cup by three lengths from Integrity, with Shadow Maid ten lengths away third and Countless a poor fourth. At the start Integrity broke and lost about 30yds, and Indian Clipper would not settle down, being soon out of the contest. Gold Bar went to the front practically from barrier rise and at the end of half a mile had opened up a break of ten lengths on Double Peter, who was followed by Dusky Sound, Shadow Maid and War Guard. Gold Bar increased his lead to 15 lengths with six furlongs covered, and reached the mile in 2:07 and the mile and a half in 3:10. There was still no sign of his weakening. Integrity went after Gold Bar with three furlongs to go, and he reduced the gap to five lengths by the time the home turn was reached, but from that stage Gold Bar fought on too well, and Integrity was not gaining on him at the finish. Happy Man, who led the attack on Gold Bar in the middle stages, tired and came back on Haughty three and a half furlongs from home. Haughty made several futile attempts to get through on the inside of Happy Man, but he eventually came over on her and she put a foot through his sulky wheel. This eliminated both horses just before they reached the quarter post. The mishap probably robbed the race of a good deal of interest, as Haughty appeared to be full of running at the time. Bronze Eagle and all the others had every chance. Bronze Eagle reached third place just after entering upon the final quarter, but he broke in the straight. The fifth horse was Dusky Sound, followed by War Guard, Loyal Friend, Double Peter and Bronze Eagle. The last mile occupied 2:09 1-5, and the last half-mile 1:06 1-5, indicating that Gold Bar's speed again became progressively slower.
Investments on the race were £34,955 and on the day £182,086/10/-
1st: A Holmes's GOLD BAR. Trained and driven by the owner at Riccarton, started off scratch.
2nd: V Leeming's INTEGRITY. Driven by M Holmes, started off scratch.
3rd: G Chemar's SHADOW MAID. Driven by C C Devine, started off scratch.
4th: P A Watson's COUNTLESS. Driven by J McLennan Tnr, started off 24yds.
The winner won by three lengths, with 10 lengths to third and 10 lengths to fourth.
Times: 4:16 1-5, 4:16 3-5, 4:19 1-5, 4:19 3-5.
Also started: Double Peter scr, Dusky Sound scr, Happy Man scr, Indian Clipper scr, War Guard scr, Loyal Friend 12, Bronze Eagle 36, Haughty 48.
Credit: 'Ribbonwood' writing in NZ Trotting Calendar 7Nov45
World class for a Dominion 2-year-old was entered when Brahman paced a mile against time at Addington on Saturday 13 June in 2.02 1/5. Incredulity was plainly written on the faces of seasoned racegoers all over the course when they stopped their watches at this sensational figure. Before the trial Brahman's connections were quietly confident the colt would go between 2.04 and 2.05 and even the owner, Mr B Grice, and the driver, F G Holmes, must have been astonished and elated at the big slice Brahman carved off Convivial's previous Australasian record of 2.08 4/5, put up at Harold Park, Sydney, in 1951.
Brahman's performance was epoch-making not only because he completely annihilated all previous NZ and Australian 2-year-old records, but also because his figures compare favourably with anything done in the acknowledged leading light-harness country in the world, the United States.
Brahman made his record on a six-furlong track - certainly one of the fastest and best conditioned in the world - but cognisance must be taken of the fact that the American authorities compute that the mile track is the perfect sized track and by far the fastest for record-breaking purposes. They say emphatically - and their overwhelming number of world's records fully substantiates their conclusions - that their leading mile tracks are between four and five seconds to the mile faster than their best half-mile tracks. For example: Greyhound trotted his world's record mile of 1.55¼ on a mile track and the best he could do on a half-mile track was 1.59¾; Billy Direct's 1.55 was done on a mile track, and the best pacing performance on a half-mile track is Sampson Hanover's 1.59 3/5.
It does not strictly follow that the difference in speed between a six-furlong track like Addington and a mile track of similar composition would be, say, two seconds by the American way of reckoning, but it would not be far off the mark, and that brings Brahman's potential speed on a mile track - with its wider and more gradual bends - down to the two-minute mark. It may sound fantastic, it may be dismissed by many people as a rather dubiuos method of working things out; but that is the extent the Americans have found, by long years of experience, speed is reduced or increased according to the sizes of tracks, and they ought to know.
Brahman is also entitled to this: although the track was in perfect order and only a slight breeze was blowing, the atmosphere was a bit damp and certainly cold when he made his attempt, and winter can scarcely be the most favourable time of year for record-making. On the contra account, of course, Brahman had gained valuable months in age and seasoned condition by delaying his trial until June instead of taking it on in the height of summer - or the autumn.
Notwithstanding all this supposition, it was a world run by any standards and puts Brahman in the same champion mould as Titan Hanover, 2.00, a trotter, and Knight Dream, 2.00 2/5, a pacer. Titan Hanover is the only harness horse, trotter or pacer, to enter the 2.00 list at two years, and Knight Dream, a pacer, is the fastest 2-year-old of that gait.
Brahman, driven by F G Holmes in the familar colours - cardinal, cream sash, cardinal cap - of his breeder-owner-trainer, Mr B Grice, and with Morano, driven by A Holmes in his well known jacket - purple, red band and cap - as galloping companion (pacemaker has become a misnomer because the rules long since required the accompanying horse never to head the one making the attempt at any part of the trial), Brahman was not long about warming up and at the first time of asking he hit the mile starting peg at top speed. Pacing like a machine - he is smooth and effortless in style - he reached the quarter in a tick better than 31secs and the half-mile in 60 2/5secs.
Experienced trotting trainers and others in the stands this looked at each other in consternation. "He can't keep this up," said one. "He'll stop to a walk in the straight," declared another. A third registered blank astonishment by shaking his watch in his ear to make sure it hadn't seized up! And Brahman sizzled on towards the three-quarter mark. There was still no sign of a slackening of speed - six furlongs in 1.31 1/5! "He must feel the strain soon," muttered a bewildered newspaper reporter, who was still dazed by the performance a couple of hours after Brahman had felt no such thing. At the furlong Brahman certainly had nothing in reserve, but when F G shook the whip at him he showed he had grit as well as all this phenomenal speed by finishing without a flicker and tramping the final quarter in 31secs flat, only a fifth slower than his opening quarter and making his full time 2.02 1/5.
"It should stand for some time." This was the triumph of understatment drawn out of Ben Grice when this notoriously 'mike-shy' sportsman was coaxed to say something about his champion during one of those extremely friendly gatherings in the birdcage which have become a pleasant aftermath of special events at Metropolitan meetings. The president, Mr C E Hoy, drew applause when he disclosed that Mr Grice had needed no inducement to send Brahman against the record. He assured the crowd, however, that the club would present Mr Grice with a momento to commemorate the occasion. Brahman had brought lustre to Dominion trotting by his superb performance. It was hard to credit what he had done, and he was confident it was only the forerunner of many more records on the part of Brahman. In his reply Mr Grice said he thought before the attempt that Brahman would go 2.04 or 2.05. He was naturally thrilled with the outcome. "He had a good driver and a good track," he said.
F G Holmes, who has always been on the top deck among NZ reinsmen, had Brahman under perfect control throughout the trial. He had worked him many times and got to know Brahman right down to the nails in his shoes! A few days before the official trial he had driven the colt a "pretty stiff mile." In a telephone conversation with the editor of the Calendar, A Holmes, who was naturally a keenly interested party in the trial, said: "He went the last half in a tick better than a minute. We think he'll go at least 2.06 on Saturday."
F G Holmes gave Mr Grice and A Holmes all the help and encouragement he possibly could. He made Morano available as galloping aid to Brahman and told his brother to "make his own arrangements" about the details of the attack on the record. These side issues may seem of small moment to some of our readers, but they are mentioned to stress the fine sportmanship that inspired the whole show, one of the most exhilarating things that has happened to our sport in all it's existence. In fact, the writer must confess that no previous light-harness performance in the last 30 years has stirred him to the same depths as did Brahman's prodigious run on Saturday morning.
Special significance attaches to Brahman's figures because they are only 1 4/5secs slower than the world's 2-year-old pacing record of Knight Dream, and 2 1/5 behind the world's 2-year-old record of the trotter Titan Hanover (the only 2-year-old of either gait in the two-minute list). Compare this with the difference between the times of our older champions: Highland Fling's 1.57 4/5 is 2 4/5secs slower than Billy Direct's world's pacing record of 1.55 and about 2 3/5secs slower than Greyhound's trotting record of 1.55¼. This is not meant as any disparagement of the peerless 'Fling'; it is mentioned merely to emphasise that Brahman would probably prove at least the equal of the best 2-year-olds in America today.
A Holmes drove the galloping companion, Morano, with discernment - the mission had obviously been thoroughly planned and rehearsed, and Morano was kept a 'daylight' margin behind Brahman (the fact that Brahman could hear his hoof-beats was sufficient) until the final quarter, when Morano was moved up to finish with his head on the record-breakers quarters, as our picture shows.
There was another member of the Holmes family at Addington on Saturday who must hav derived great pleasure and satisfaction from the performances of all the participants. That was 82-year-old Freeman Holmes, father of F (Freeman) G and Allan Holmes. Freeman Holmes, an importer of numerous sires and mares, brought from Canada the pacing stallion Grattan Loyal, a big stud success and sire of Gold Bar, the sire of Brahman. Freeman Holmes also imported, from America, Rey de Oro, sire of Gold Bar's dam, Imperial Gold, and Logan Pointer, sire of Gold Bar's grandam, Imperial Pointer. Rey de Oro and Logan Pointer were both outstanding stud successes, and Logan Pointer also figures as the sire of Logan Princess, the grandam of Haughty, who produced Brahman. It is a chain of breeding events, culminating in a phenomenon like Brahman, any breeder would be mighty proud to own.
Gold Bar was bred by A Holmes and developed into a champion by him. He held a number of records on his retirement in 1946, and one of these, his mile and a quarter in 2.35, still stands. Of interest, too, is that Haughty's 3.35 2/5 for the same distance has also stood as the mare's record for a similar period to Gold Bar's and that both sire and dam of Brahman have identical mile records, 1.59 3/5.
Mr B Grice's son, Mr D P Grice, who owns Wayfarer, a full-brother to Haughty and sire of Buccaneer, told the writer recently that Nelson Derby, sire of Haughty and many other good ones, had never done a big stud season. A dozen mares was about the limit of the patronage he received each season, yet he sired a remarkable percentage of winners and must rank as one of the most successful Colonial-bred sires of all time - he got over 100 individual winners and lived to the ripe old age of 31.
Regal Voyage, dam of Haughty, was bought at auction by Mr B Grice for stud purposes. She was a beautiful looking mare, in contrast to most of her progeny, who were on the plain side - neither Haughty or her son Brahman would get a prize for looks but they were certainly fashioned to go fast. That Prince Imperial strain again: Gold Bar has it through his third dam, Imperial Polly, and Haughty gets it through her third dam, an unnamed Prince Imperial mare, so Brahman has a double dose of this prepotent strain, a strain that courses through the veins of some of the greatest horses of both gaits over nearly half a century.
Credit: 'Ribbonwood' writing in NZ Trotting Calendar 17Jun53