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Thee Auld Floozie wins the Sunline Vase

Picture courtesy of Trish Dunell
Picture courtesy of Trish Dunell

For 24 hours Te Awamutu dairy farmer John Young didn't worry about the drought in the Waikato, he was too busy enjoying a day at the races in Auckland and watching his smart filly Thee Auld Floozie (Mastercraftsman [IRE]-Thee Auld Hussie) take out the Group Three Sunline Vase.

"There are some great people racing this horse with me like Ali and Helen Cunningham and we sure celebrated her win, in this game you have to cherish every win," said Young a member of the Waikato branch of the NZTBA.

"My wife Sue is walking the Milford Track and has no idea that Floozie has even won this race yet, so I guess there will be more celebrations when she finds out."

Thee Auld Floozie went into the Sunline Vase on the back of a stylish win in the Oaks Prelude at Taranaki and has now won four races. With wins over 1800 and then 2100 she is one of the firm favourites for the upcoming New Zealand Oaks at Trentham.

She was bred by Young and he races her in partnership with his wife Sue and a group of mates including Ali Cunningham's Two Fat Cows Syndicate, Malcom and Robyn Roughead, Peter Craighead, Les Ford, and Stephen Marsh.

The peacock blue with white sashes and sleeves and a red cap colours that she races in originally belonged to John's father Bill and his brother Bob, and were first worn to win in 1946. The jockey that day was legendary trainer Colin Jillings.

Bill Young was a life member of the Waipa Racing Club and in his day was a prominent member of the judicial in the Waikato region. Like many farmers of his generation he was a stoic man and ensured his children were brought up in a similar way.

"My uncle Bob died and the old man continued on with the horses and I raced a few with him but there was always conditions. He sold a horse for $11,000 that I thought I owned a half of but he only gave me $2,000 and instead of cash he gave me a half share in another one. That was Highland Dale who won three races including the first White Horse Whisky race at Waikato back in the day when the Waikato racing club staged the race that was exclusively for grey horses, and she ran third in the Royal Stakes.

"He bred Lady Kintyre (Karol [IRE]) from her and he raced her, that was the last foal he bred out of that mare before he gave her away. Lady Kintyre went to Famous Star (GB) but the foal died, and then the stallion died so our live foal guarantee was transferred to Desert Sun (GB) and we got Thee Old Dragon. He wanted me to have her, and I said I didn't want it, but no one else in the family wanted it either, so I said I would take it but I wasn't paying for it!

"My daughter Miranda was involved at the pony club at Ngahinapouri and so was Brett McDonald, so when it came time to send her to the races we sent her to Brett and Alan Jones. She went on to win five races including the Group Three Desert Gold Stakes and was Group One placed in both the 1000 and 2000 Guineas.

"She ran a couple of bad races and it turned out she had a heart strain. She never came back from that so we sent her to stud. Her first mating was with Spinning World (USA) who stood just down the road at Kaipaki at Windsor Park Stud and that mating produced Thee Auld Hussie; she won five races including the Listed Manawatu Breeders Stakes, she was stakes placed at Group level several times as well, she ran a heap of seconds here and in Australia.

"I noticed that Bruce Marsh was quite a handy trainer of fillies so that is how the association with the Marshes started, and when Bruce went to Singapore I left four horses with Stephen to help him along the way. He has to take a lot of the credit for The Auld Floozie, he has had faith in her all the way."

Thee Auld Floozie is the third foal from Thee Old Dragon, her first foal by Dylan Thomas (IRE) is Thomas the Welsh who has won in Australia, and her second foal is French Revolution by Guillotine. He has won four races from nine starts in South Africa.

After Thee Auld Floozie she has left a two-year-old colt by Rip Van Winkle(IRE) and a filly foal to Pour Moi(IRE) and she is now in foal to Pins (AUS).

"I think this family is now getting the recognition it deserves and I have had a bit of luck. Dad was an old time breeder and only supported local studs, but back in the pedigree we do have horses like Alcimedes (GB) and Sovereign Edition(IRE), and I believe they are coming through now.

"I went local as well initially and supported Windsor Park Stud and they have been great to me, we have had a good association. I'm only a dairy farmer after all so have to look for value in the stallions. I like to go to first season sires as they are usually reasonably priced and sell well."

Being a typical dairy farmer, there is no room on the Young farm for racehorses and broodmares, and these days his mares are agisted at Mapperley Stud who also prepare any yearlings he has to sell.

As well as The Auld Hussie, the broodmare ranks have recently been joined by If I Can I Can and Stella Bella both mares that Young has raced. If I Can I Can (Iffraaj(IRE)-Recollection) won two races including the Listed CJC Warstep Stakes and Stella Bella (Savabeel –Chatto Creek) won four races.


- Michelle Saba