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HORSES

 

YEAR: 1952

SNOW JANE - Classic Winner Producing Mare

Snow Jane (1952 U Scott/Pleasure Bay), NZ family of Trilby; unraced; 12 foals, 9 winners. Breeder: Harold B Kay, Christchurch. All NZ foals bred by Harold Kay except Bay Johnny (R Croghan). Mare then exported to Australian breeders (Jane Flex, Toliver Bay, Toljane, Big Flex, Battle Flex, Johnny Toliver).

Her sire U Scott is arguably the greatest stallion in the history of the breed in NZ and among the most influential in the Southern Hemisphere. As with Light Brigade, he was imported to NZ by Sir John McKenzie in 1935, racing as a trotter in USA before converting to the pace in NZ. Eleven wins from 30 starts included a hear of the 1938 Addington Inter Dominions.

U Scott was a son of Scotland, a Peter Scott grandson of Peter The Great and the great Roya McKinney. U Scott led the sires list on nine occasions, topped the broodmare sires list 10 times and leading Australian broodmare sire six times. U Scott and Light Brigade were the golden cross (either way) of their era and one of all time great crosses. U Scott sired 506 winners from 878 foals (72 trotters) for winners to foals percentage of 58%. He sired top performers including Aerial Scott (Rowe Cup, ID Trotters Grand Final), Arania (NZ Oaks, US1:57.0TT), Caduceus (ID Pacing Grand Final, NZ Derby, AK Cup, 3 NZFFA's), Fantom (Dominion Hcp, 2 Rowe Cups), Highland Fling (2 NZ Cups, NZFFA), Scotleigh (Rowe Cup), Scottish Command (AK Cup), Van Dieman (NZ Cup) and numerous group race winners.

U Scott's daughters sealed his great siring career, damsire of Argent, Bay Johnny, Cal Brydon, Cardinal Garrison, Delightful Lady, Don't Retreat, Durban Chief, Jay Ar, Koala King, Lookaway, Lordship, Ordeal, Rippers Delight, Robalan, True Averil to name a few.

Trilby, matriarch of this NZ family was by King Quail, a thoroughbred imported from New South Wales as a yearling. He won the Auckland Cup and the Easter Handicap in 1881. Trilby's most notable foal was Gold Patch who, to Guy Parrish, left trotter Helen's Bay, winner of seven races. To Quite Sure, she produced Pleasure Bay, dam of Snow Jane. Pleasure Bay was bred to trot but injured a stifle and was sent to stud. A great producer of fillies, the most famous was Colwyn Bay who won three of six starts as a pacer before succumbing to injury. Bred to Hal Tryax, she produced the immortal Cardigan Bay. Pleasure Bay left seven winners from nine foals: Dorstan, Scotch Girl (four wins, dam of nine Australian winners including Scotch Goose, nineteen wins, VIC Oaks), Scotch Pleasure, Scotch Pigeon (dam of Bangaroo Flex, 26 NSW & Qld wins), Morris, Lowry Bay, Toucher. Her filly Baylight left NZ Cup winner Globe Bay, Australian filly All Arranged (WA Triple Crown-3f), 4th dam of Franco Nelson (NZSS, Jewels Emerald-4), 5th dam of Chancellor Cullen. Pleasure Bay was inaugural NZ Broodmare of Year in 1969.

Snow Jane was an unraced U Scott half sister to the dam of Cardigan Bay. Her NZ progeny included:
1 Kapuni, one placing from three starts before he was exported to Australia. Managed his best MR of 2:11.6 in final season of racing (1966/7) at Bulli.
2 Slick Chick, seven-win gelding winning at Kurow JC at three; five wins at four (Westport Cup) and RA Armstrong Memorial at Hutt Park at five. He was raced on lease to Omarama farmer Bill McAughtrie (one time President of Kurow TC), who with his wife Fay, owned Hands Down.
3 Ski Girl, unraced she was exported to Australia where she became dam of Apre Ski, 1:56.0US, winner of 18 races in Australia (NSW Carousel, VIC Marathon, Melbourne Pacing & Warragul Cups) plus a good winner in North America; Summer Holiday (18 wins).
4 Snow Globe, high class ten-win trotting mare in NZ exported to North America (T2:08.4NZ, T2:02.3US). A winner at Methven and Oamaru at three preceded a third in the CPTC Trotting Stakes. Three wins at four (Forbury Park-2, Hutt Park), one at five (Addington) before a stellar season at six. She only won three races (two at Addington - Winter Hcp, Ordeal Trotting FFA - Hutt Park), and produced grand placed performances. These included fourth in Worthy Queen Hcp and at the 1965 Forbury Inter Dominions, second (to Australian champion Gramel) and third in her heats preceding a second placing to Poupette in the Trotters Grand Final. A win at Addington and third in a qualifying heat of NZ Trotting Championship were Snow Globe's final return before departure to North America.
5 Snowline, Slick Chick's full sister purchased by Bill McAughtrie from Harold Kay for $1,000. She won 12 races during a six-season racing career spread over eight years. Three wins at three included NZ Pacing Stakes and third in the Cross Stakes. One placing (third Geraldine Cup) at four, unraced at five (badly injured in a fence; foaled Snow Chick), was followed by Snowline's best season at six - five wins with four of them at Addington (Addington, Pioneer, o. Hutchinson & peninsula Stakes). Snowline's one win at seven was in the CPTC New Year FFA (2:00.0, amoung first 100 2:00 NZ pacers/ NZ bred) with second placing in the Canterbury FFA on Cup Day. Unraced at eight, her final three wins at nine were at Hutt Park, Alexandra Park (Patrons Hcp) and Greymouth's Victoria Park Raceway FFA (her daughter Snow Chick won her maiden race the same evening). Placed at ten, Snowline became the dam of nine fillies from 10 foals:
. Snow Chick, dam of Hands Down (NZ CUP & FFA, 3 Easter Cups, Kaikoura Cup, 4 Louisson Hcps, 3 Allan Matson FFA's, ID Consolation, winningest horse ever at Addington - 23 victories); granddam of Jim Dandy (Gore & Riverton Cups).
. Snow Rose, 3rd dam of Pegasus Aurora (NZSS SI $7% m).
. Snow Schell, 3rd dam of Critical Judge (Waimate & Timaru Winter Cups).
. Snow Sure, granddam of Lavros Skipper (Yarra Valley Pacers Cup).

Snow Jane's Australian-bred progeny included:
1 Bay Johnny, bred in NZ but undertook his racing career in Australia apart from 1975 Inter Dominions in Auckland. A top level trotter who won 25 races (24 Australia, 1 NZ) including an ID Trot Heat, Consolation and Final, all in different years. He won on 13 occasions at Harold Park (Invitation Stakes, Champion Trotters Invitational and Stakes, various FFA's) and finished third in the 1973 Inter Dominion Trotters Final at Sydney. As a 10yo his Trans-Tasman trip to the 1975 Auckland ID's yielded Bay Johnny success in the Trotter's Consolation. The 1975/6 season produced two wins as an 11yo, a heat (second in another heat) and Grand Final of the ID Trotters Championship held for the first time at Adelaide's Globe Derby Park. Bay Johnny ran second in the Jack Roberts FFA on pacers Grand Final night a week later. He continued to race at twelve (fourth placing) and thirteen (one unplaced start) before retirement.
2 Jane Flex, won five races in NSW (qualifying division of Ladyship Championship at Harold Park, 3rd in the final). She was the dam of:
~ Agincourt, dam of Dustndiesil (Geelong 4T Classic)
~ Jonnell Low, dam of Jonnells Son (Nyah, Mildura, Echuca, Horsham, Hamilton, TAS Easter, Wangaratta Cups & TAS Easter Plate)
~ Joanie Toliver, Dullard Cup, Aust Trot Championship heat, Shepparton trotters Cup, dam of:
~1 Jaguar Franco, dam of trotters Jacanti Franco, Jags Invasion T1:56.5), Jumanji Franco.
~2 Jo Franco, dam of trotters Jack the Capricorn, Keepyaguardup
~3 Joanie Franco, dam of Franco Jonquill (QLD Derby); granddam of The Gigolo (Nelson & Marlborough Cups), Fly the Flag (Akaroa & Kawatiri Cups)
~4 Toliver Twist, NZ 4yo Trotter of the Year
3 Toliver Bay won twelve races over four seasons. A 2yo winner at Fairfield, his six wins at three included Penrith Derby, NSW Southern Cross-3c at Harold Park while his five 4yo successes included Penrith 4yo Championship together with four at Harold Park. Toliver Bay was sire of 40 winners (34 as broodmare sire).
4 Toljane, unraced mare, was dam of Preferred Bay (NSW Spring Gift).
5 Minor Australian winners included Battle Flex who won once at Menangle and Johnny Toliver, winner of two races (Penrith & Manangle).

Credit: Peter Craig writing in Harnessed July 2015

 

YEAR: 1980

Hands Down & Delightful Lady
Great Races: 1980 NEW ZEALAND TROTTING CUP.

If the 1979 New Zealand Cup had been a spectacular sight, the 1980 edition promised even more, and it didn't disappoint in going right to the wire - literally. On paper there had never been a better field of protagonists, or since for that matter, and in a full field of 15 for the first Cup to carry a stake of $100,000, a good case could have been made for at least 10 of them.

By the time the big day rolled around though, the class, form and champion status of Delightful Lady, Lord Module and Roydon Scott had been well established and it seemed the winner would come from that trio. But also in contention were such fine stayers as Greg Robinson, Sapling, Trevira, Trusty Scot and Wee Win, and then there were the Hannon winner Idolmite and Kaikoura Cup winner Sun Seeker, along with a 'young' upstart in the form of 5-year-old Hands Down.

Delightful Lady was a 7-year-old and in career best form. She had downed Lord Module in the previous Auckland Cup and been much too good for her northern rivals in five straight races in the spring, only going down in her last lead-up event when beaten two heads by frontmarkers Trio and Dictatorship fron 25m in the Rondel Handicap on October 29. Against her was the 15m backmark and the record book though - a mare had not won the Cup since Loyal Nurse in 1949, let alone from a handicap.

Lord Module looked and seemed in great shape for a second Cup win when resuming with a strong finishing second to Wee Win in the Ashburton Flying Stakes, but then things began to turn to custard when starting a hot favourite in two races at Forbury Park in mid-October. Kevin Williams, son-in-law of owner-trainer Ces Devine, had been employed to drive Lord Module at the start of the season, but on the first night in Dunedin the stallion had swung sideways at the start and taken no part in what was the first sign of things to come. Devine then engaged Jack Smolenski, but on the second night Lord Module refused to move at all, and when he repeated that performance in the Cup Trial he was made unruly.

Devine had been reluctant to race Lord Module after Forbury, as a repeat mulish display would have resulted in him being stood down from racing and starting in the Cup, and also compounding his problems was the fact that Lord Module was now also suffering from quarter cracks in his hind hooves as well as the front. Then the week of the Cup Trial, Smolenski had also been suspended for an indiscretion at Kaikoura and an appeal had failed at the 11th hour, forcing Devine to turn to the experience of John Noble. It was hardly an ideal build up, but the Cup still loomed as and promised to be an epic battle between 'The Lord' and 'The Lady.'

Roydon Scott would actually run the favourite though, on the strength of two brilliant wins at Addington in September and the Cup Trial, and the fact he was a normally smart beginner and off the front. He resumed by breaking his own NZ standing start 2000m record in the Laing Free-For-All and was no less impressive with a last to first performance in the Hutchison FFA a fortnight later. Not known at the time though was that the Cup would be the last race for the injury-troubled Scottish Hanover gelding, and that he would be humanely put down inside of a year when arthritis took its toll.

Sapling was a 7-year-old entire and coming to the end of his sterling career, but had shown with a runaway win at Forbury Park that he was still a big threat in any race. Greg Robinson was the same age and while overshadowed by Delightful Lady his staying credentials were never in question either. Another 7-year-old in Trevira, third in the Cup a year earlier, had streeted his rival in the Easter Cup that year in a track record 4:06.9, and downed Sapling at Ascot Park in the spring in NZ record time, while the 8-year-old Wee Win had shown at Ashburton that he was far from finished too. The 1978 Cup winner Trusty Scot, also now eight, had downed Trevira and Sapling at Gore in late September, also adding to the form puzzle.

Almost forgotten and neglected while all this was going on was Hands Down, who had qualified for the Cup with an outstanding double in the Louisson and National Handicaps in August. A one-time rogue who had improved to be just a very wayward customer in the early part of his racing career, Hands Down had finally turned the corner for trainer Derek Jones in breaking maiden ranks the previous December. The National was his sixth straight win and 11th in less than eight months, a sequence which had included the Canterbuy Park Winter Cup in 4:09.3 after a great tussle with Bonnie's Chance. But he had not shown up in two further races - at Forbury Park he had been tripped up by the shifty track and been stood down for a month and until trialling satisfactorily, and at Kaikoura he had been checked and galloped - nor was he placed in the Cup Trial.

But a then 25-year-old Peter Jones was still quietly confident in what would be his first Cup drive. "At that point he was still fragile and easily tripped up at the best of times (referring to his Dunedin and Kaikoura failures), but in the Cup Trial I just kept him 'in behind' and he had been travelling as easy as any of them," recalled Jones last week. "I think he fell from favour mostly because he had got there (to Cup class) so quickly, and had become overlooked particularly given the quality and experience of the others. When it might have seemed the bubble had burst, his career was actually still in the ascendency when most of the others were in the descent," he added.

The start of the 1980 NZ Cup was almost as sensational as the finish. Lord Module played up and eventually just stood there, figuring 200 metres was about his correct handicap, while Roydon Scott also missed away badly and lost all chance along with Canis Minor and Trio. Hands Down was also tardily away and settled down well behind Delightful Lady, who had started from more like a 20m handicap with on tape behind the 10m line, and had been slow starting because of it. Delightful Lady was normally a very smart starter, but a flying tape was her signal to get into gear.

Mack Dougall took up the early running from Trevira in the open, but it wasn't long before the fireworks began - Wee Win and Bob Cameron were soon off and around them when the pace eased and led a mile from home. They had been tracked forward by Hands Down, and Delightful Lady had attempted to follow him, but was shoved four-wide a lap out by Lordable and Denis Nyhan.

Jones pressed on to join Wee Win at the 1100m and Delightful Lady camped three-wide outside them, until the 700m mark when Mike Stromont tuned up the wick and Hands Down and Delightful Lady went clear and set sail for the judge, going at it hammer and tongs. The great mare seemed to have the measure of Hands Down on the home turn and Stormont glanced to his right to see no other threats were coming. Half a length up at the furlong, Delightful Lady looked certain to have the Cup in the bag, but Jones was just foxing and when he finally went for Hands Down, the rugged gelding responded and gradually pegged the mare back, in the end drawing away by a neck right on the line.

The race had been a true test of stamina - Hands Down's 4:07.2 off the front broke Johnny Globe's equivalent race record and was the fastest 3200m recorded at Addington since the introduction of metrics - and the stretch duel was a truly stirring, strength sapping and memorable one. Delightful Lady was gallant in defeat, not giving an inch until the final strides after such a tough run, while Sapling finished on gamely for third four lengths away after being held up at a crucial time by the tiring Wee Win. Greg Robinson was fourth another three lengths as the rest of the field filed in at intervals, with a last ironic and sarcastic cheer being saved for Lord Module as he actually finished the race, a very long last, only to suffer the ignominy of being barred from standing starts.

Delightful Lady, who was credited with a placed time of 4:06.1 in the Cup, underlined her greatness when she trekked back to Auckland and won the Franklin Cup three days later in 4:05.8 from 55 metres. This gave her the record 'no ifs or buts' over Young Quinn's 4:06.7 recorded at the Auckland Inter-Dominions five years earlier - Young Quinn having bowed out from the spotlight by parading at Addington on Cup Day. Delightful Lady would win 12 races that season, careering away with a second Auckland Cup in another all-comers' national record and claiming the Horse of the Year title, and was no worse than third in 18 races that year.

But Hands Down's triumph from seemingly certain defeat in the NZ Cup was certainly no less a performance that day. "I would have been quite happy to sit outside Wee Win, but when Mike (Stormont) made his move down the back, he forced me to go. Hands Down never got tired and even when Delightful Lady got half a length on us, I knew we weren't going away - it was just a matter of whether she would come back to us and in the end she did. Hands Down couldn't go the Auckland way, but on his day at Addington, he was pretty much unbeatable." He had the last say over Lord Module in an equally exciting NZ Free-For-All after trotting speedster Scotch Tar had taken them through the first mile in 1:57.4, and the Allan Matson proved a mere formality.

Hands Down would start in five more Cups without success, being third a year later behind Armalight and fourth in 1983, and only Roi l'Or, Tactician and Master Musician would start in more Cups with seven unsuccessful bids. When retired with 31 wins, 23 had come at Addington to break Lordship's record of 21, and also included three Easter Cups and four Louissons.

For Derek Jones, his son had provided him with his first Cup winner after 21 drives himself, which included the likes of Auckland Cup winners Soangetaha ( for his solitary third place behind Adorian almost 30 years earlier) and Leading Light. When informed that Hands Down was his 13th individual starter in the race during his famous quick wit - "bugger, if I had known that - I would have backed him."

For breeder/owner Bill McAughtrie, a humble and semi-retired farmer from Omarama, Hands Down's overnight success was a reminder just how fickle the game can be. As he accepted the gleaming trophy from the Duchess of Kent, McAughtrie reflected that year earlier "I knew I had a horse with a tonne of ability, but I never thought he would ever win a race."

Hands Down, by the successful Tar Heel horse Armbro Del, belonged to the maternal line of previous Cup winners Cardigan Bay and Globe Bay and a host of other top performers. McAughtrie had been involved with the family for 20 years, when he leased the first foal in Slick Chick from Snow Jane, an unraced U Scott half-sister to the dam of Cardigan Bay. Slick Chick won a race with Jack Fraser jnr as the trainer, but when he gave the game away, McAughtrie gave the Brahman gelding to Jones and he won another six. McAughtrie then bought from Christchurch breeder Harry Kay his sister Snowline for $1000. She won three as a 3-year-old, but was then so badly injured in a fence that it seemed she was finished, and McAughtrie bred he to Fallacy to get the dam of Hands Down - Snow Chick.

Put back into work, Snowline won another nine races, including a 2:00 mile in the New Year FFA at Addington. In March 1971, Snowline won her last race at Greymouth, the same night that Snow Chick won a maiden race for Jones and then training partner Jack Grant, and both were soon retired.

Snowline's dam, Snow Jane was also the dam of 1976 Inter-Dominion Trotting Grand Final winner Bay Johnny, Snow Globe (10 NZ wins trotting), good Australian pacer Toliver Bay and the dam of a brilliant one in Apre Ski (Vic Marathon, US1:56).

Snowline had 10 in all with nine of them being fillies that amounted to little on the track, but the first colt from the first of them, Snow Chick, was Hands Down.

Credit: Frank Marrion writing in HRWeekly 12Jul06

 

YEAR: 1961

1961 NZ FREE-FOR-ALL

Making his first appearance in free-for-all company, Cardigan Bay won his ninth consecutive race when he led practically throughout to win the NZ Free-For-All at Addington on Friday.

His performance was all the more meritorious as he paced a little roughly for the first two furlongs and then was challenged for the lead by Smokeaway, whom he quickly shook off. When tackled by Scottish Command in the run home it momentarily appeared as though Cardigan Bay was going to be hard pressed to win but 30 yards from the post trainer-driver, P T Wolfenden put his whip away and Cardigan Bay won comfortably.

Cardigan Bay's nine wins on end equals the winning sequence of Rupee, and the Hal Tryax pacer requires one more win at his next appearance to equal the winning run of War Bouy who won 10 races in a row before tasting defeat. Just how good Cardigan Bay might be is difficult to assess. He beat the best pacers in commission on Friday pointlessly, and he appears to be a foolproof pacer. He is already being discussed as a racecourse 'certainty' for the Auckland Cup next month.

Cardigan Bay was sent out a short priced favourite, paying 1 16s for a win and 1 6s for a place. No official time was taken but Cardigan Bay was privately timed to pace the mile and a quarter in 2:39. Scottish Command, although no match for the winner in the run home, paced a sound race, and there was some merit in Smokeaway's third placing after disputing the lead in the early stages. Lady Belmer finished fourth, just shading Lookaway who paced a grand race. Lookaway stood at the start and was checked later when Diamond Hanover broke. Another to be checked was Johnny Guitar. Teryman was right up sixth ahead of Earl Delta and Panui.

Bred by D Todd, Mataura, under whom he did his early racing, Cardigan Bay is a five year-old bay gelding by Hal Tryax from a capable pacer in Colwyn Bay who had her racing career cut short by unsoundness. Colwyn Bay is a half sister by Josedale Dictator to Scotch Girl, Snow Jane (dam of Slick Chick), Toucher, Scotch Pleasure and Dorstan. Cardigan Bay raced last season in the interest of Mr A Todd, Mataura, and was purchased before the present season by Mrs A D Dean. He has been trained and driven for all his engagements this term by the Pakuranga trainer, P T Wolfenden. Since he began racing as a three-year-old in the 1959-60 season Cardigan Bay has won 11 races and been placed twice for 5690 15s in stakes.


Credit: 'Irvington' writing in NZ Harness Weekly 15Nov61



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