YEAR: 1977


An unraced or lightly raced mare from a good producing family is the best prospect to leave a top racehorse, in the opinion of Mr John Johnston who has been breeding standarbreds in the Oamaru district for 50 years.

Cardinal King, who made a clean sweep of the Inter-Dominion series, ace sprinter Master Dean, and a score of winners sold at the National Yearling Sales, all bred by Mr Johnston support his claim.

Mr Johnston (73), now living with his sister at Pukeuri is currently maintaining his interest in trotting through Rustic Widow, a Bachelor Hanover-Rustic Lady mare whom he has leased to the 16-person Berts Syndicate.

Mr Johnston's father, Joseph, bred Clydesdales in England and NZ, and at one stage had 20 stallions. His grandfather, John, and great-grandfather, Wilson, bred Clydesdales and thoroughbreds in England.

Information, the dam of Cardinal King, had a throat affliction that caused her to choke when at speed. Lent to Mr Johnston by Bob Ludemann of Kauru Hill, she left Cardinal King to a mating with First Lord, one of several stallions Mr Johnston has stood at stud. Sold as a yearling for 150gns to the Wederell brothers, Stewart of Dunedin, and Fred, of Timaru, Cardinal King won 10 races, including the 1967 Olliver Handicap, before he was sold for $40,000 to patrons of Stanley Dancer's New York stable. Cardinal King immediately made an unequalled clean sweep of the International Series - International, Good Time and National Championship Paces - at Yonkers raceway in 1968.

Cardinal King's grandam, Waikaura, and third dam, Misty Morn, were like his dam, unraced. Waikaura, who produced the first two-time Inter-Dominion winner and dual Auckland Cup winner, Captain Sandy, was bought originally by Bob Ludemann as a hack. He gave up the idea when he found she had to be broken in each time she was left for a few days. Misty Morn was a twin of poor constitution and also used as a hack. Mr Johnston had a close association with Captain Sandy. He stood his sire, Sandydale, and he stayed overnight with the vicious Waikaura when Captain Sandy was born to ensure she allowed her foal to suckle.

In 1953 Mr Johnston recommended Captain Sandy to Adelaide trainer Dinny Nolan, who was looking for Inter-Dominion material. Captain Sandy, then 10, had been returned to his breeder, Mr Ludemann, after winning the Inter-Dominion in Melbourne two years earlier when held on lease by Jock Bain, the Oamaru trainer. Nolan bought the gelding for 525gns and won the 1953 Grand Final in Perth at the expense of the favourite, Ribands.

Master Dean is out of Gay Sheila, a Logan Derby mare who did not reach the race track, like her dam, Madam Gay. Mr Johnston bought her after she had left two foals, Flaunt and Smart Play, for Don Nyhan, of Templeton. She had been sent to stud as a 3-year-old. Rauka Lad (Easter Cup and Gore Invitation Stakes)has been another big winner from this family in the past decade.

Master Dean, winner of the NZ Free-For-All, Olliver Handicap, Miracle Mile, Benson & Hedges Flying Mile and Clarendon Free-For-All last season, has a best winning record of 1:57.5 and finished second in 1:57.3. He has seven wins from 10 starts over a mile in NZ. The Honest Master entire, who was foaled on February 3, was several months behind other yearlings when offered at the 1973 national sales. He was passed in at $1,100, and Mr Noel Bolase, of Christchurch, then obtained a lease option for $100. After further discussion when Master Dean was being broken in, Mr Borlase bought him for $400 with two $200 contingencies from his first two wins. Master Dean has won 16 races and $65,245. Mr Johnston sold Gay Sheila, the dam of Master Dean, to Mr Noel Dunston, of New South Wales, in 1975. She slipped the foal she was carrying by Lord Dale, and is in foal to Deep Adios, sire of Paleface Adios.

Mr Johnston sold Village Logan, the dam of three 2:00 pacers, for 170gns at the 1957 national sales. Village Logan (Logan Derby-Blue Banner) who had her racing restricted after she foundered, opened her account at the age of 10 when she won twice trotting at the Manawatu meeting. Her 2:00 progeny are Emory Wheel, Bell Logan and Logan Son. Her first foal, William Gunn sired a winner last season, Gunn Tartan. Village Logan is one of 26 individual winners Mr Johnston has sold through the national sales.

Another pacer he bred was Expensive, who won four races for Laurie Smillie, of Pleasant Point, during the 1946-47 season. Expensive was later bought by Noel Simpson and won a United Handicap at Auckland at odds of 70 to 1 after being off the winning list for three years.

The first stallion Mr Johnston stood was the Victorian-bred Four Chimes in the mid-1920s. Four Chimes sired the 1916 NZ Cup winner, Cathedral Chimes, who in turn stood at Mr Johnston's property. Cathedral Chimes got Ahuriri, the NZ Cup winner of 1925 and 1926, and Kohara, who was successful in the next year. Four Chimes figures as the grandsire of triple NZ Cup winner False Step.

Sandydale, the American importation, was bought by Mr Johnston in the 1940s from Mr George Youngson, of Gore. The son of Abbedale has had a significant influence on breeding. Besides Captain Sandy and the dam of Cardinal King, Sandydale sired the dam of Johnny Globe (unraced Sandfast), the great pacer and sire who left another champion in Lordship. Sandydale is the maternal grandsire of Stanley Rio, Horse of the Year last season,when he became the first horse to win the Inter-Dominion Grand Final and the NZ Cup in one season.


NZ Trotting Caledar 1985

John Johnston, who successfully bred standardbreds in the Oamaru district for 60 years, died recently at the age of 82.

Mr Johnston retired from breeding horses 12 months ago when he sold the broodmare Rustic Widow. He bred the big winners Cardinal King and Master Dean and stood several stallions including Sandydale.

Cardinal King made a clean sweep of the three race International Series at Yonkers Raceway, New York, in 1968. He was sold by Mr Johnston for 150 guineas as a yearling. Cardinal King was by First Lord, whom Mr Johnston stood. Master Dean won 16 races, including the 1976 NZ Free-For-All, after he had been sold by Johnston as a yearling for $400 and $200 contingencies from each of his first two wins.

Mr Johnston had a close association with Captain Sandy, the two-time Inter-Dominion champion. He stood his sire, Sandydale and stayed overnight with Captain Sandy's dam, Waikura, a vicious mare, to ensure her foal could suckle. Mr Johnston recommended Captain Sandy to Dinny Nolan in 1953 when the Adelaide trainer was on the lookout for Inter-Dominion material. Captain Sandy, then ten, had won the Inter-Dominion Final in Melbourne in 1950 for Oamaru trainer, Jock Bain who had him leased. He had subsequently been returned to his Kauru Hill breeder, Bob Ludemann. Nolan bought Captain Sandy for 525 guineas and won the 1953 Final in Perth.

Mr Johnston, who lived with his sister at Pukeuri in recent years, previously had stables at Waikaura. He began assisting his father, Joseph, who bred Clydesdale horses in England and NZ. His grand-father, John, and great-grand-father, Wilson, bred Clydesdales and thoughbreds in England.

The first stallion Mr Johnston stood was the Victorian-bred Four Chimes in the 1910s. Four Chimes sired the 1916 NZ Cup winner Cathedral Chimes, who in turn stood at Waikaura. Cathedral Chimes left Ahuriri, winner of the NZ Cup in 1925 and 1926, and Kohara, who won the next year.

Mr Johnston bought American-bred Sandydale from George Youngson of Gore in the 1940s. Besides siring Captain Sandy and the dam of Cardinal King, Sandydale sired the dam of Johnny Globe, who left the champion racehorse and sire Lordship. He is also the maternal grand-sire of Stanley Rio, winner of the NZ Cup and Inter-Dominion Final in Brisbane in the 1976-77 season.

Mr Johnston sold 26 yearlings through the National Yearling Sale which he supported from its inception in 1944. He sold Village Logan, dam of 2:00 pacers Emery Wheel, Bell Logan and Logan Son, for 175 guineas at the 1957 sale.

Credit: Taylor Strong writing in NZ Trotting Calendar 6Sep77


YEAR: 1957

Sandydale with Johnny Johnson in the early 1950s

The imported stallion Sandydale, who recently met with an accident and had to be destroyed was imported to the Dominion by Mr H A Jarden in 1937 and was almost immediately passed on to Mr G Youngson.

Bred at Village Farm, Langhorne, in the United States, Sandydale was a black horse by Abbedale from Ioleen McKinney and before coming to NZ he won a number of races including the Champion Stallion Stakes and he took a record of 2.01 3/4 free-legged.

After his first season in Southland, Sandydale stood for about seven weeks in Canterbury in 1938 where he was mated with almost 30 mares. Included amongst his consorts were Slapfast, Tondeleyo, Arethusa, Tairene, Fantine and Midshipmaid. After several seasons in Southland in the ownership of Mr Youngson, Sandydale was transferred to Mr John Johnston at Oamaru in 1946 where he has done continuous service since.

Sire of almost 150 individual winners, Sandydale's greatest claims to fame as a sire are through the deeds of Captain Sandy as a racehorse and Sandfast as the dam of champion Johnny Globe. Captain Sandy was a brilliant racehorse and when considered a back number in NZ he was sold to Australia where he carried on to further successes, including the Grand Final of the Inter-Dominion Championships at Perth for the second time. Prior to that he had won two Auckland Cups and the Grand Final of the Championship series at Melbourne when still owned and trained by J Bain at Oamaru. Captain Sandy was an 'iron' horse and altogether he won 15 races and 43,712 in stakes which is the greatest total credited to a standardbred in Australia and NZ.

Apart from Captain Sandy, Navigate, Good Review (winner of the Dunedin Cup), Te Maru and General Sandy (winner of the NZ Pacing Championship at Addington last November), also graduated to Cup class. Other good winners sired by Sandydale include Heliopolis, Black Douglas, Victory Dale, Dillondale, Mistydale, Gay Dene, Rola Veyor and Invicta.

As well as siring the dam of Johnny Globe, Sandydale also sired the dams of Surfman, Lady Cook, Sandyshore and Highland Glen.

Credit: NZ Trotting Calendar 19Jun57

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