YEAR: 2019

JESSIE DUKE:3 B c Bettor’s Delight – Daisy Dundee (by In The Pocket)

OWNERS: Mrs J L Feiss, W R Feiss

BREEDER: Woodlands Stud (NZ) Ltd

TIME: 2:24.8 Mile Rate: 1-57.6 Last 800m: 57.5 Last 400m: 28.2

Leading into the 2019 Harness Jewels, ten of the previous twelve three-year-old Emerald winners had been secured at a Yearling Sale whether here or overseas.

It makes sense in some regards, with the best genetics on offer to the open market.

A mature type which has been well fed and raised will be considered an essential ingredient but another important point to remember will be the family.

Sires can make a difference but families generally run true to form. In other words unless the family has a history of producing early speed, it is unlikely to start producing top juveniles out of turn.

There are exceptions to every rule, particularly when it comes to breeding and racing horses, but the buyers will be playing the odds in their favour when selecting colts from pedigrees with established juvenile form at Group race level.

The winner of this year’s Three Year Old Emerald was the top priced lot at the 2017 Sales when catching the keen eye of Jean Feiss and selling for $220,000.

He was a colt with a pedigree of early speed if ever there was one, but more on that later.

His win capped an interesting year for his Breeder Woodlands Stud who have been kicking goals in all facets of their business model.

Woodlands’ head, Andrew Grierson says the road that led the stud to breed Jesse Duke was paved with a bit of good fortune.

“The dam, Daisy Dundee, was one of a few that we got off Sarah Crawford a few years back.

“We took these mares over to help them out of a bind and it turned out to be a win-win for both parties.

“There was a bit of risk there, but we liked the pedigrees of them and, as it turned out, Jesse Duke was in the first batch of foals we bred from them.

”Daisy Dundee was rather underwhelming on the track, winning four of 40 starts, the final one being a $4,250 race at Gore for Bruce Negus.

But what she did have in her favour was her father – In The Pocket – and the fact she descended from an impressive maternal line that had produced the likes of Courage Under Fire, Smokey Lonesome, Harley Earl, Texas Terror in the previous 20 years.

Her mum is Adios Dream, a former stakes-winning two-year-old who retired prematurely due to injury halfway through her three-year-old term.

“We were attracted to her because of that, knowing what a great filly the dam was as a young horse.

“So, she went in our system, which is meticulous and leaves them wanting for nothing.

”But Daisy Dundee has proved to be a shy breeder since Jesse Duke, producing just the one foals since, a weanling colt.

“He’s a lovely type and we’ll be putting him through the sales next year.

“Unfortunately, Daisy Dundee is a mare that gets in foal but then loses the odd pregnancy.

“I think she’s safely in foal again this season, but if it happens again we may have to look at an embryo transfer.

”Woodlands hit ‘pay dirt’ when the ‘big three’ of yearling sale buyers all wanted Jesse Duke, who at that stage was just a Bettor’s Delight out of an unheralded mare that had left one live foal from five servings.

“He was a really nice horse at sale time, and as we all know, Jean Feiss is a pretty good judge.

“Jean was all over him, as were John Street and Emilio Rosati.

”That makes for the perfect storm in the sale ring and he ended up going for a whopping $220,000.

“We were astounded at the time, and it’s fair to say we were more than happy to have owned the mare after that.

“But it’s all swings and roundabouts.

“They don’t all turn out like that; some we buy end up being no good.

“We just have the numbers that inevitably there will be good horses come out of our draft.

”Grierson makes a point of noting that Woodlands Stud offering 13 colts at the 2017 Karaka yearling sale, and they have turned out to be quite the bunch on the race track.

Joining Jesse Duke was last year’s 2YO Colt of the Year, Another Masterpiece, this season’s dual Derby placegetter Supreme Dominator, plus the good performers Double Rocket, Make Way, Stars Tonight, Kolovos, Infatuation and recent impressive qualifier, Montana Lad.

“Looking at what those horses have done, it’s just amazing.

“When you do what we do – buy stallions, buy mares, breed them, raise them and then prepare them for the sales, you are very invested in the progeny and you take a keen interest in who buys them, who trains them and how they turn out as race horses.

“Success is the name of the game and getting a crop like that only reinforces what we are trying to achieve.

“And we’re in it for the long haul.

”As noted above, Jesse Duke’s granddam was Adios Dream, a half-sister to the dam of Courage Under Fire, perhaps the greatest youngster of them all.

He swept through everything as a two and three-year-old and wasn’t beaten until taking on the Inter Dominions as a four-year-old at start number 25.

Courage Under Fire was an In The Pocket brother to another really good juvenile in Advance Attack, who won his first seven races including the Cardigan Bay, Sapling and Welcome Stakes that later went in to stand at stud in Perth.

Adios Dream produced other smart juvenile performers in Smokey Lonesome (by In The Pocket) and Ransom Olds (Artsplace) along with the Christian Cullen dam of Quite A Delight (Diamond Classic 2yo Fillies Heat at Gloucester Park) and Millie Sampson (1.56.1, 8 NZ wins).

Adios Dream was also a half-sister to another top filly in OK Deb, a juvenile winner of debut and six races at three and now the grandam of Delightful Memphis along with a good horse in Harley Earl.

Throw in other smart youngsters such as Cyclone Kate, Cyclone Prince, Chattanoogachoochoo, Passion Stride (3, 1.56.2), Three Of The Best (2, 1.54), Scruncher, High Octane (38 Aus wins, $425,000) and Buy Chevron Direct along with Texas Terror (24 Aus wins, $263,000), and it can be seen that this has been probably the best early speed family in the Stud Book.

Where it all came from is a bit a mystery, however.
The Direct Scooter sire line has certainly played a big part but that hardly explains everything.

It really began with Deborah Dundee, a mare by the unraced Dundee Adios (Adios Butler-Robin Dundee) from Loving, by Aksarben from Venus, by Gold Bar from Queen Wrack, by Wrack.

That pedigree hardly gave a hint of things to come and accordingly, Deborah Dundee won three races after starting out as a five-year-old.

Advance Debra, the dam of Courage Under Fire and Advance Attack, was a daughter of Vance Hanover who won the Sires Stakes 2yo Fillies Championship on debut for Wayne Ross.

Later filly foals from Deborah Dundee in OK Deb and Jessica Rose were by OK Bye and Adios Dream was by Caprock, a son of Jate Lobell who was not exactly renowned for producing early speed despite having a pedigree and race record which suggested he should have.

One wouldn’t have been surprised if one of these daughters of Deborah Dundee proved a source of early speed, but for several of them to do so was quite the revelation.

One can only suggest that it was the combination of a mare with a very stout pedigree, ‘clicking’ with a later generation of speed sires to produce outcrosses which consistently worked.

Or just one of those things that happens in breeding that can’t really be explained or forecast.

Credit: Garrick Knight


YEAR: 2018

All Stars racing stables grabbed another harness racing Group One tonight when Jesse Duke got over the top of his stablemate and favourite Another Masterpiece to land the spoils in the $170,000 Garrards 2yo Sires Stakes Final.

Driven beautifully by co-trainer Mark Purdon, Jesse Duke had to work a bit early to get to the parked position but then had cover from the 700m to the turn as John Dunn attacked the leader Another Masterpiece with his drive Heisenberg.

In the straight Jesse Duke had too much speed for his rivals and got up to beat Another Masterpiece by a head with yet another All Stars runner A Bettor Act running home well for third.

Mark Purdon was delighted with the win and said after the race, "He is a good 2yo this one and he got the run to suit.

"I had to work a bit more than I wanted early but he has improved and it worked out well. I was probably lucky that John took the sting out of our other one and we managed to capatilise," he said.

Jesse Duke paced the 1950m mobile in 2-20.0 and won by a head. The smart colt paced his last 800m in 54.6 with a final 400m in 27.6 seconds.

Credit: Harnesslink Media, 18 May 2018


YEAR: 2018

Harness racing has a new superstar and his name is Ultimate Sniper.

On a perfect Canterbury day the showy looking Bettor's Delight colt won a grinding finish in the the 3yo $170,000 Sires Stakes Final at Addington Raceway.

Trained by the all conquering All Stars Stable of Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen, Ultimate Sniper had to sit parked on a hot pace but found extra reserves in the home straight to wear down his stablemate Jesse Duke who trailed and battled well to be only three-quarters of a length away at the line.

Heisenberg ran third after setting a hot pace in front and Mighty Flying Art ran home well for fourth.

Ultimate Sniper ran the 1980m mobile in a lightning time of 2-19.0 for the 1980m mobile, a mile rate of 1-52.9 with the last 800m cut out in a super quick 54.6 and 400m in 28 seconds.

Driver Natalie Rasmussen gave a lot of credit to the horses toughness in the run.

“This guy is very similar to his big brother Ultimate Machete,” she said.

“He just does not know when to give up and just fights right to the line.

“Jesse Duke had the run to beat him today but my fella has a hell of a motor and was just too tough.

Credit: Harnesslink Media, 13 Nov 2018

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Phone (03) 338 9094