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Stakes double caps superb day for Carter family at Awapuni

Luna Rossa wins the Gr. 1 Courtesy Ford Manawatu Sires’ Produce Stakes 2-4-16 -  Photo courtesy of Race Images
Luna Rossa wins the Gr. 1 Courtesy Ford Manawatu Sires’ Produce Stakes 2-4-16

Photo courtesy of Race Images

The barnstorming finish that carried two-year-old filly Luna Rossa to victory in the Gr. 1 Courtesy Ford Manawatu Sires' Produce Stakes on Saturday capped a day that Carter family siblings John, Mark and Rachel, who bred and race the filly under their Jomara Bloodstock banner, will never forget.

Brothers John and Mark, who were on-course at Awapuni on the day, barely had time to settle their emotions after celebrating a Group Three victory in the Higgins Concrete sponsored Manawatu Classic (2000m) with enigmatic three-year-old Humidor when the field entered the barrier for the day's main event. Just under ninety seconds later they were headed to the winner's circle to celebrate their second Group One prize as owners on a journey that started just on fifteen years ago when the family purchased well bred racemare Emerald Dream.

"Mum's side of the family had a pretty close affinity with racing so Dad decided to look for a mare we might buy as a future breeding prospect," explained John Carter.

"We ended up buying Emerald Dream, who was by Danehill and had already won a couple of races at that stage. We decided to keep racing her and put her with Murray Baker.

"She went on to win another five races for us including a Group One at Te Rapa and became our first broodmare under the Jomara Bloodstock banner.

"Since then we've expanded to 13 broodmares while we also stand the stallion Zed at Grangewilliam Stud, who was Emerald Dream's first foal."

It was the search for mares to support Zed that led the Carters to More Than Ready mare Wild Promises who is the dam of Luna Rossa.

"Mark and I had gone with Bruce Perry to the Gold Coast sales to see if we could pick up a couple of mares to send to Zed," said Carter.

"Wild Promises was one of the very last lots of the sale so I had gone home by then. We were attracted to her as Emerald Dream's dam featured in her maternal line so when Mark and Bruce both liked her they bought her in foal to Written Tycoon for A$52,500 and brought her back to New Zealand.

"Unfortunately tragedy struck when she died foaling the filly who is now Luna Rossa.

"As you can imagine the win on Saturday was very emotional for a number of reasons, not the least that she is the only foal we managed from the mare. Obviously it is both a great thrill and a huge bonus now that she has got that precious elite black type so early on in her career."

Carter was also quick to acknowledge the delight the family received through the Manawatu Classic win of Humidor.

"He is one we also bred and we've always thought a lot of him so his win was very special as well," he said.

"He has been quite wayward as he's very green but we had an inkling that he might put his best foot forward on Saturday as he grew up a lot with the run in the New Zealand Derby last time.

"I didn't believe the wet track would bother him and he showed us he could be a very exciting stayer in the future.


- NZ Racing Desk