The stunning Falkirk - Flytaine 2-year-old gelding. Photo: Jacq Nesbit Media
Rangiora’s Kaye Sanders is the latest private New Zealand Thoroughbred breeder to prove that big results can be achieved from a modest base.
In 2009 Kaye and her daughter Holly decided that they wanted to get involved in the thoroughbred breeding industry. Kaye headed off to the bank to get a loan, before attending the NZ Bloodstock National Weanling, Broodmare and Mixed sale at Karaka.
Kaye had spent weeks with her eyes glued to the sales catalogue and had picked out what she believed were the A team and B team mares. When the A team mares proved too pricey and the B team mares didn’t measure up conformation wise, Kaye rang daughter Holly to tell her that she would probably be coming home empty handed.
Then, just as Kaye was about to pack her bags and head home, a lovely big black Centaine mare caught her eye. The mare had not done much to date, but had not had much luck either, with two dead foals on her record. So, with her hands shaking and her blood pumping, Kaye raised her finger and secured Flytaine, in foal to Chinese Dragon, for $6,500. The resulting foal was a nice colt which was privately sold to Awapuni based trainer Lisa Latta.
Kaye then contacted Philip Jefferys of Cloughmore Pedigrees to help her select the next mate for Flytaine. Philip picked out a son of Tale of the Cat, Falkirk, to give a double strain of champion sprinter and sire Vain, and repeat the Storm Bird/Centaine cross that has produced more than 10% stakeswinner to named foals.
When Kaye gave Falkirk the tick of approval for his looks and conformation, Flytaine was sent away to Windsor Park Stud. The result was a leggy colt, who Kaye nicknamed Forest after the 1994 American comedy drama, Forest Gump, as he was all legs and had no idea where to put them. The colt had a lot of presence and character, continuing to grow into his frame and into the stunning 2yo gelding we saw walk through the sale- ring on Friday August 10 at New Zealand Bloodstock’s South Island Sale of 2yos and Mixed Bloodstock, held at Canterbury’s Agriculture Park.
Unfortunately, it wasn’t all plain sailing for Kaye, Holly and their 2yo brown gelding prior to sales day. On Wednesday August 8th, Nationwide Horse Transport picked up the horse from a flooding Mansfield Farm, but that was only the beginning,
“When we got him to Canterbury Agricultural Park and had him settled in his box, we left him briefly and when we returned he had cut both his shoulders, his hock and thrown a shoe, so it was hardly the lead up to the sale we were looking for,” said Kaye. After a visit from the vet, farrier and a bit of tender loving care from Kaye and Holly they were able to patch him up and get him to relax. “It was completely out of character for him, as he is usually such a lovely laidback horse.”
Friday rolled round and after a slow start to the Sale, Lot 44 entered the ring. It was Kaye’s lovely Falkirk-Flytaine gelding, with an improved pedigree, since his dam Flytaine has now produced three winners, including one in black type company: a far cry from the one winner she had produced when Kaye purchased her.
After a slow start to the bidding, a bidding war began and the smart looking gelding was sold for $85,000 to Nester Chan of Hong Kong. It was fair to say Kaye was overwhelmed. “A friend who was standing across from me in the sales arena said that when the bidding got to $70,000 she looked at me and my face went a funny colour and she thought I was going to pass out,” laughed Kaye.
“No, in all seriousness it was definitely a huge thrill and I am only starting to come back to reality now,” Kaye said three days later about her gelding, who was the second highest priced lot of the sale. The top lot was an O’Reilly full brother to Ombre Rose who fetched $145,000, and was also sold to Mr. Chan.
Both Kaye’s Falkirk gelding and the O’Reilly colt will be pre-trained by Roger James before joining Hong Kong trainer Paul O’Sullivan.
Kaye now owns another couple of mares that she breeds from at Mansfield Farm, including Eurotec dam of a Postponed filly called Vittoria, a Group One placegetter in Australia. Kaye had another mare she described as stunning and her favourite, but sadly the mare died last season after foaling an Edenwold filly, that Kaye will retain to race and breed from.
Kaye has a Thorn Park half sister to her $85,000 2yo, who she describes as being elegant and having presence just like her Falkirk half brother. Kaye and Holly sanders also do sales preparation, agistment, foaling and weaning for other breeders at their Rangiora-based property.