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NZTBA member Bevan Wilson has high hopes for Madam Victoria

Madam Victoria wins the Listed NZ Bloodstock Airfreight Stakes at Wingatui - Photo NZTM website
Madam Victoria wins the Listed NZ Bloodstock Airfreight Stakes at Wingatui

Photo NZTM website

The promising High Chaparral (IRE) filly Madam Victoria is helping to restore Bevan Wilson's faith in a decision he made seven years ago to buy back her mother Royal Madam (Personal Escort [USA]-Queen's Style).

At only her fourth start, Madam Victoria recently won the Listed New Zealand Bloodstock Airfreight Stakes at Wingatui. She won a maiden at the same track back in November, and at the end of December easily won a rating 65 event at Timaru. The Teri Rae trained filly then lined up in the listed Gore Guineas where she finished a disappointing fourth. It was discovered after that race that she was tying up and coming into season, so was put aside for a short break.

In a fresh state she easily took care of her rivals in the listed 1400 metre event and went on to win by a length and a quarter. A tilt at the New Zealand Bloodstock Southern Filly of the Year title is next on the radar. Winning that title would mean a lot to the filly's owners as they also bred and raced the 2005 title holder Royal Miss, who tragically died before she retired from racing.

Several years ago, former All Black Bevan Wilson – he played fullback from 1977 until 1979 - had to buy back Royal Madam, a mare he and wife Robyn bred and raced to win seven races, in order to keep breeding from a family he had been involved in since the 1970's.

"It's always a thrill to win black type races, and she looks very promising," Wilson said, "I hope it continues as it didn't start out that well for us when we decided to buy Royal Madam back.

"My Dad and I raced Regalatis back in the late 1970's, actually before I was old enough to legally own her, and she is the fourth dam of Madam Victoria. We had a lot of success with that family and all our mares descend from her.

"About 10 years ago we sold up a lot of the family including Royal Madam to a stud in Australia. We kept four fillies, one of which was Royal Miss ( Volksraad [GB]- Bashful Lady), but unfortunately we lost them all, so we decided to buy back Royal Madam.

"It didn't start out that well. Her first foal wasn't very big, then she left Royal Governess also by Volksraad. She was quite promising but all sorts of things went wrong with her, she won three races and is now one of our three broodmares.

"Then she lost two foals by Golan (IRE) before visiting High Chaparral, and since then she has been to Thewayyouare(USA) three times. We have a two-year-old gelding by him who is just in work with Teri, and a yearling colt and a filly foal, both here at home at Omakau. She is in foal now to Raise The Flag (GB)," said Wilson a member of the Canterbury/Marlborough/Westland branch of the NZTBA.
Regalaltis (Regalis II[GB] – Alomise) won five races and was placed in the Listed Otago RC Champagne Stakes. She left four foals, three to race all winners, but it was her unraced daughter by Noble Bijou Regal Splendour that features in this story as the third dam of Madam Victoria.

She had nine named foals, eight of whom raced, with seven winners, the best being Nearly Pal's (Palatable [USA]) who was also trained by Bevan Wilson, with all the track riding being done by Robyn, the daughter of Champion trainer Rex Cochrane, a recent inductee to the New Zealand Racing Hall of Fame. He won 13 races the best being the Group Three White Robe Lodge Stakes, and he also won the Listed Churchill Stakes (now the Couplands Mile), James Hazlett Stakes and Timaru Cup.

To Imperial Guard(GB) she left Bashful Lady, who won eight races including the Listed Gore Guineas and South Island 3YO Championship Final, and Queen's Guard who won three and was third in the Listed Princess Mellay Stakes. Bashful Lady went on to leave Royal Miss (Volksraad), the winner of eight races including the Listed New Zealand Bloodstock Airfreight Stakes and the Dunedin Guineas, and her sister, the stakes placed winner Eftee One, who in turn left Fazzle winner of the Group Two NRM Auckland Thoroughbred Breeders' Stakes, and Queen's Guard left Laguna Queen a stakes winner in America.

She left two good winners in Ecstasy (Exattic [USA])who had 10 wins in Macau, and Royal Conqueror (Hereward The Wake [USA]) with six wins, as well as Queen's Style who won one before becoming the dam of Royal Madam, one of the three broodmares the Wilsons have on their Omakau sheep and cattle farm, where Bevan is a third generation farmer.

"My grandfather bought this farm, and Dad who was a keen horseman farmed it after him, before I took over. We have actually just sold it and leave in September. We have two daughters Rebecca and Monique and they are not interesting in farming - it's a tough busy life and they have their own careers. Now we are on the lookout for a small holding for the mares and youngsters.

"Royal Governess is in foal to the Cambridge Stud stallion Power (GB) and I bought another mare a couple of years ago called Sound Decision (Volksraad-Sounds Like Spring), who has a yearling colt by Gallant Guru (AUS) and a filly foal by Zacinto (GB) and is back in foal to Zacinto.

"We also borrowed a mare from the Dennis Brothers called The Persuader (Personal Escort (GB)-The Reason) and we have a filly foal by Zacinto from her here as well."

Sound Decision is a winning granddaughter of the 1992 Southern Filly of the Year Sequel Sound, a sister to the stakes winning mare Ultra Sound, the dam of the 1994 New Zealand Filly of the Year Tartan Tights.

So with retirement looming the Wilsons are looking forward to spending time with their young horses and Bevan hopes to fit in a bit more golf.

"Robyn does a wonderful job with the young horses. I stopped training them when she said she was too old to ride trackwork, but she is a great horsewoman, and the girls enjoy mucking around with them too.

"We all had a lot of fun with Nearly Pal's. It was pretty special training him to win races like the White Robe Lodge Stakes and apart from farming, the horses have been our only real interest.

"It was a thrill winning the Airfreight Stakes. All wins are pretty special, they are pretty hard to come by, and the semi-classic races like that are really pretty special," and he added "I know one thing in this game you certainly need to have luck so let's hope that continues for Madam Victoria."

Footnote: Madam Victoria has seven points in the New Zealand Bloodstock Southern Filly of the Year Series, and is her first equal with Orovela with two races to run, the 1600 metre New Zealand Bloodstock Insurance Stakes on April 5th and the 2000 metre New Zealand Warstep Stakes a week later.

- Michelle Saba