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A Perfect Fit for Haunui Farm and connections

Perfect Fit - photo courtesy of Trish Dunell
Perfect Fit

photo courtesy of Trish Dunell

For a breeder winning a black type race is the ultimate, and if it's with a mare that you race yourself that's an added bonus, according to Mark Chitty, General Manager of Haunui Farm.

Chitty was commenting on this after the impressive win by the Elusive City(USA) mare Perfect Fit in the Group Two fillies and mares Westbury Classic over the Auckland Cup Carnival. Perfect Fit was bred by Haunui Bloodstock Limited and is raced by them, along with the Provincial Club Limited, Garry Madill, Margaret Duncan and James Orton.

Having only her 10 th race day start, the impressive looking bay mare improved on her last start win in an open 1200 metre handicap to beat a field of high class mares by a length with one and a half lengths back to the third horse.

She commenced racing in late December 2014, winning on debut. After a short break she raced four more times being placed on each occasion before a winter break. She resumed at Auckland in November and won with aplomb, and repeated that performance on the same track a month later.

Three weeks after that, she ran second on that track, was freshened and came out and won at Matamata two months later before her Group Two win back at Ellerslie. At this stage she will go on to contest the Group One New Zealand Thoroughbred Breeders' Stakes over 1600 metres at Te Aroha in early April.

She is trained at Matamata by Ken and Bev Kelso, who won that race in 2013 with another Elusive City mare Xanadu.

After Perfect Fit was foaled out of the fine race mare Fayreform, Chitty was always of the opinion that this foal could well be the next Xanadu and had told Kelso that on many occasions. Now she has gone a little way to prove that.

Fayreform was raced by Haunui Farm, with Garry Madill who has been associated with the stud for over 30 years, and Margaret Duncan, whose late husband Ron was involved in the stud when they were based at Pukekawa in the 60's.

A daughter of the Haunui stallion Tights (USA,) she was the champion weight-for-age performer in 1998, winning eight races in total including the Group One New Zealand Stakes, Waikato Racing Club International Stakes and the Thorndon Mile at Trentham.

She in turn was out of the Indian Ore(USA) mare Glamour Gold a winning sister to the hardy stakes winner Young Indian.

At stud she left a number of winners, but it is her sixth winner Perfect Fit that has really inherited her ability.

"You like to think that when you breed from a mare like Fayreform that it's a good start, but those top race mares don't always throw a good one, sometimes it's the next generation. We also have a lovely two-year-old Showcasing(GB) filly Showthemoff out of the mare, that is in work with Steven Marsh, but she is going to need time as well," stated Chitty the Vice- President of the NZTBA Council.

"Perfect Fit was a lovely big physical foal, very athletic, but she was a late November foal, with very offset knees. The yearling sales were out of the question so we prepared her for the Ready To Run Sale. She was lot one and trialled up really well so we knew she could run.

"We knew we were going to get hammered at the sales, so we decided to keep her and take in some partners. The Provincial Club is a group of mates that I was at Massey with years ago, James Orton is Mum's brother and Margaret Duncan and Garry Madill have a long association with us.

"They are great bunch of owners across the board and we had a wonderful day after she won the Westbury Classic. We have managed the mare well and been rewarded for it. "

In winning the Group Two Westbury Classic, Perfect Fit became the 42 nd stakes winner worldwide for the Elusive Quality(USA) stallion Elusive City, who stood in New Zealand for seven seasons before he returned to France.

"Our Northern Hemisphere partners made us an offer to buy us out and stop him shuttling. At that stage he hadn't left a Group One winner and we decided to sell him. To be fair, it was only in his last season, the year Perfect Fit was conceived, that he served over 100 mares. In the next season he came out and left three Group One winners, Xanadu, Vespa and Famous Seamus," he said.

Also in that last crop was another smart mare in Triaction a three-quarter sister to Perfect Fit being out of the winning Octagonal (AUS) daughter of Fayreform Free Form. She is trained for Haunui Bloodstock Limited, Garry Madill and the O'Brien's, by Peter and Dawn Williams and Paul Richards and has notched up three wins from eight starts.

"About five or six years ago we put a plan in place to keep a filly out of our best race mares or buy a filly to race," added Chitty.

"Valopolicella (Red Ransom(AUS)-Reisling) was one of the first that we kept and she won the Group Three Manawatu Classic. She has gone on to leave Vilanov,a a Group Two winner by Commands (AUS) and Vavasour (by Redoute's Choice [AUS]), who won the Group Three Counties Cup and the Waikato Cup, we have retained her yearling filly by Ocean Park at this stage.

"We have bought and raced a couple like Full of Spirit(AUS) (Flying Spur[AUS]-Imposingly[AUS]) a Group One performer, and the dual Listed winner Misstrum (Stratum[AUS]- Malagra Miss[AUS]), and have added them to our broodmare band".

"It is important the way the game is going that we develop those black type mares as they are so hard to acquire off the racetrack with the international players that are now in the market. It's so easy to get left behind, but for now," he concluded, "the plan is working well, we are having a lot of fun on the way and achieving the ultimate in breeding a black type winner." - Michelle Saba