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Tie Me Down on track for the Group One NZTBA Stakes in April

Tie Me Down wins the Wairarapa Thoroughbred Stakes 6-2-15. - Picture courtesy of Race Images
Tie Me Down wins the Wairarapa Thoroughbred Stakes 6-2-15.

Picture courtesy of Race Images

The success of Tie Me Down (Pins[AUS]- Ashley Downs) the winner of the listed Wairarapa Thoroughbred Breeders Stakes is serendipity according to Pip McCarroll who part owns the mare with Little Avondale Trust.

"She is one special mare, and it's so exciting to be involved with her, and having so much fun," she enthused.

"When she came home from Sydney, Sam offered to buy me out, but I said no way if you are going to race her I'm in. Let's have some fun and race her, and that is exactly how it has turned out, its serendipity!"

Tie Me Down was bred by Little Avondale Trust and McCarroll and is the fifth foal from the Grosvenor mare Ashley Downs. The partnership had a bit of success with selling the first three colts the mare had left and decided to keep the Pins filly.

According to Sam Williams he had decided to lease the filly and race her in Australia with a syndicate of owners out of Bjorn Baker's stable.

"As it happened, there was a few problems with the syndicate that was going to lease her and it all turned to custard so I brought her back and gave her to Royden Bergeson to train. I was going to buy Pip out and she said no way. The rest as they say is history."

Tie Me Down has now had seven starts for five wins. She won her first start at Tauherenikau in June, after a brief spell she won fresh up in September at Otaki over 1400. Her next win came at Awapuni at that same distance, then she ran fourth at Trentham, back at Awapuni again she won this time over 1600.

She stepped up to listed company in the Anniversay Handicap at Trentham and in a muddling run race failed miserably, however with a true pace at Tauherenikau in the Breeders Stakes she was able to settle win and finish on strongly over the top to win by three-quarters of a length.

Pip McCarroll grew up in Wellington in a family that was involved in racing, she is an accomplished equestrienne and thus has a long standing friendship with Catriona Williams who owns LA Stud with her husband Sam. She is one of the founding trustees with Catriona of the Catwalk Spinal Cord Injury Trust which raises funds to support the body of scientific opinion which says a cure for SCI will be found.

She is an active sport horse breeder and expressed an interest to Sam and Cat that she would like to get involved in the thoroughbred industry.

"Pip was associated with Catriona in the eventing scene," said Sam Williams.

"She kept saying she would like to get involved in the breeding game. Ashley Downs was going through the broodmare sale, I had sold her as a yearling and she had won one race. I wanted to buy her back as I didn't have a lot of mares from that side of the family, she traces back to one of Grandmother's blue hen mares in Sanderae (Oncidium [GB]-Nell) who was the Champion three- year-old filly of her year."

Sanderae in fact won nine races including the Group One VRC Oaks and went on to leave six winners herself and an amazing dynasty of winners including around 20 individual stakes winners. Ashley Downs is a daughter of the Khairpour (IRE) mare Selliera who won four races. She in turn is out of the unraced Sound Reason(CAN) mare Sellou, who is also the dam of the Group Two winner Fleur de Chine who produced the stakes winners Tully Thunder and Sufficient; and Sneetch the stakes winning dam of Group One winner Black Mamba and Gussy Godiva the dam of the AJC Derby winner Roman Emperor and Rios.

"I paid $10,000 for her and thought that was a good inexpensive way to get Pip into the game," said Williams.

"Her first foal was Can't Keeper Down, she was a lightly framed filly and we couldn't get a bid on her so we kept her leased her out and raced her; she ran second in the Oaks.

"The next foal was a Towkay colt, and we had a good pay day with him at $100,000; he went to Hong Kong and won three races. Her next foal was by O'Reilly and fetched $160,000 and was named Down Town, he won three and then went amiss.

"She produced another Towkay and he fetched $97,000 his name is Towkash and he has won a race in Australia and then she went to Pins and produced Tie Me Down."

Since then Ashley Downs has produced a filly by Darci Brahma called Otago Miss who has raced once in Australia and a Nadeem colt who sold at this year's Select Sale for $50,000 to Geoff Haigh who trained Nadeem's dam Candide. She is currently not in foal.

Tie Me Down is the second winner in two years to carry the LA Stud colours to victory in the Wairarapa Breeders Stakes. In 2013 the Elusive City (USA) mare Kekova won giving Lisa Allpress her 1000th winner, and when Kelly Myers rode Tie Me Down to victory it was her 500th winner.

Williams is kind of hoping that serendipity will continue and Tie Me Down will get to the Group One New Zealand Thoroughbred Breeders Stakes at Te Aroha in April.

"The LA brand goes well in that race," he quipped, "we have bred the last two winners in Xanadu and Viadana, it would be fabulous to win it three years in a row."

- Michelle Saba