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Addictive Habit does it for his Uncle, Rough Habit

Addictive Habit (inside) wins the Couplands Mile 12-11-14. - Photo courtesy of Race Images South
Addictive Habit (inside) wins the Couplands Mile 12-11-14.

Photo courtesy of Race Images South

The win by Addictive Habit (Columbia-Chasing the Habit) in the Group Two Coupland's Mile recently was rather fitting given it came less than a week after his famous "uncle" and sometime paddock mate Rough Habit (Roughcast[USA]- Certain Habit) had passed away.

What makes it even more special is that Hawkes Bay branch stalwart and secretary Isabell Roddick who bred "Roughie" also bred and races Addictive Habit.

Rough Habit passed away at the grand old age of 28, at his "retirement home" at Cambridge Lodge in Cambridge where he was part of the "Magic Horse Show". Ironically Cambridge Lodge is managed by Addictive Habit's trainer Lee Somerville.

"Roughie" was a legend on both sides of the Tasman. He raced from age three to eight and won 29 races from 1200 metres to 2400 metres including an incredible 11 Group One races. Six of those Group One events were in Queensland where he won the Queensland Derby, two Stradbroke Handicaps and three Doomben Cups. He also won Group One races in Melbourne, Sydney and at home in New Zealand.

He was an honorary Queenslander and the Brisbane Racing Club not only runs a Group Three race 'The Rough Habit Plate' in his honour but they also have a bar on course named after him. In New Zealand he has been inducted into the Racing Hall of Fame and appeared on a set of postage stamps.

Rough Habit was bred by Isabell Roddick and won three races in her ownership before she sold him to a syndicate of owners attached to John Wheeler's stable. That sale and Rough Habit changed her life and took her on an incredible journey which has seen her successfully ensconced in the thoroughbred industry.

"One of my biggest thrills was when Rough Habit won his last race, but being there at Riccarton for the Coupland's Mile and being in the ownership was amazing. To think that Rough Habit had passed away the week before and then Addictive Habit came to the fore and won. It's the stuff fairy tales are made of," Isabelle stated with pride.

Addictive Habit is a five-year-old gelding who has now won seven races, six of which have been in 2014. He won his first start as a two-year-old and was placed second in the listed Ryder Stakes. As a three-year-old he was Group placed twice finishing second to Habibi in the Championship Stakes and Great Northern Guineas. In Habibi's Derby he sustained a tendon injury and was put aside for a year.

He made a complete recovery and returned to the racetrack in April this year, winning over 1600 metres at his second start. Two placings at that distance followed before another win and then a third placing in the 2040 metre Foxton Cup. At his next start he ran fourth in the Kiwifruit Cup followed by a second in the Taumaranui Cup. Dropped back to 1600 metres he won two open handicaps, and completed a hat trick by winning the Livamol Classic prelude at Hastings over 2000 metres.

He took on the big guns in the Group One Livamol Classic and disappointed, then failed again at Waikato. Not too concerned with those failures, Somerville elected to take him south to Riccarton and once again he prevailed over the 1600 metre distance.

Addictive Habit is the last foal of the Sky Chase mare Chasing the Habit, who had already left a stakes winner in Branson and four other winners. She is a half-sister to Rough Habit and to Citi Habit (Citidancer) who was also a Stakes winner of six races and four other winners.

They in turn were out of Certain Habit (Ashabit [GB]), a daughter of Charlotte Rhodes (Lucifer II[Gb]), who in turn was out of First Fancy (Avocat General[IRE]-Preview).

Certain Habit had 11 named foals and five other winners beside Rough Habit including Citi Habit, Danish Habit, Navemby and Macmillan.

Growing up around horses, Isabell's father Tom was a farrier at Trentham, and her mother Elsa very involved in horses. Isabell bought First Fancy in 1968 when she was barely old enough to legally own a thoroughbred. At the time she was working for Wrightson's and living in Trentham.

"I bought First Fancy at the Mixed Bloodstock Sale at Trentham from Norville Templeton from Manor Park in Hastings. She was in foal to a pony stallion so was not wanted by a lot of breeders, and she was due to foal in April. She duly foaled and it was a fabulous pony and won at all the shows.

"I bred two foals out of her, one died and the other was Charlotte Rhodes, and from her I bred Certain Habit."

By this stage Isabell had acquired a ten acre property in Battersea on the outskirts of Greytown in the Wairarapa and this is where she established Montana Lodge and Rough Habit was born. He spent the first years of his life in Martinborough, while Isabell and husband Graham had moved to the 40 acres which is Montana Lodge on the outskirts of Napier.

Here they do all the work together on their band of broodmares and young stock and also foal a number of outside mares. Both Isabell and Graham have been active members of the Hawkes Bay branch of the NZTBA in all that time and Graham is currently president, and Isabell the secretary.

"We also stand Citihabit here, he gets a few outside mares each year and we send some of ours," she added.

"It wasn't just a case of love me love my horse, as Graham's family did have an interest in racing, his mother Elsa was one of the Robinson's from Matangi. Now he has a couple of family members involved in a broodmare partnership and in the ownership of Addictive Habit.

Isabell has always had an interest in pedigrees and is a great believer in strong bloodlines, and a follower of line breeding and this is reflective in Addictive Habit's mating.

"I went to Columbia because of the bloodlines. I mean he is by Zabeel out of Eight Carat. Even if he didn't race, the bloodlines are still there. I thought I would try that and see what happens – now I am sending more mares there, most of the relations that I have from the family.

"I always look for a good match up, I am a bit of a line breeder, Eight Carat carried Relic and so does this female family."

Other members from this family that Isabell still has are; Bella's Habit, a half-sister to Rough Habit by Mercury (AUS) and her daughter by Mellifont(USA) Special Habit, both of these mares are going to Columbia. Queen's Habit a winning daughter of Danish Habit (by Danehill [USA]) by Bachelor Duke is going to Highly Recommended(AUS).

The Group One winning mare Cinder Bella (Victory Dance [IRE]- Lucky Jewel) is another product of Montana Lodge, and Isabell is still breeding from her half-sister Another Jewel (Anziyan [USA]). She has a yearling colt by Mr Nancho (ARG) and a filly foal by Citi Habit. Bee Bee a Black Minnaloushe (USA)- Showbiz mare will visit Jakkalberry.

Petty Lane a Danroad mare who won 10 races has gone to stud for the first time this season visiting Raise the Flag (GB) at White Robe Lodge in the South Island. She is just one of the mares that are owned in partnership with Ann and Colin Scott – Graeme's sister and his cousin Hayden and Leonie Nicholson who also share in the ownership of Addictive Habit.

They are also part-owners of Embargo (O'Reilly- Te Akau Secret), a half-sister to Distinctly Secret, who has a Super Easy filly at foot and is visiting Citi Habit; Acadamie Francaise (Royal Academy[USA]-M Twenty Five[GB]), who is visiting Jakkalberry; (IRE) Busted Love (AUS) (Flying Spur[AUS]-The Other Woman[AUS]), and Our Geisha Girl (AUS) (Fuji Kiseki[JPN]-Duel at Daybreak [USA]) the dam of four winners, who are both going to Showcasing(GB).


- Michelle Saba