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A dream result for the Riders

Irish Fling - Photo NZTM website
Irish Fling

Photo NZTM website

Two stakes winners in the space of eight weeks is a dream result for the team at Milan Park Stud as they prepare to present their first draft of yearlings at the New Zealand Bloodstock National Yearling Sales Series next January.

Winning Glory (One Cool Cat [USA]- Alpine Beauty) won the group three Newcastle Gold Cup in late September and Irish Fling (Darci Brahma – Irish Belle) the listed CJC Pegasus Stakes in early November. Both were bred by Milan Park Stud proprietor Tony Rider, and Irish Fling is still owned by him but leased to a group of his staff members at his Hamilton Pak'N Save.

"Alpine Beauty was the first mare we purchased, so for her to produce our first stakes winner is very exciting, and then within in the space of a few weeks we have another one with Irish Fling," said NZTBA Waikato Branch member Tony Rider who with his wife Vicki, owns Milan Park Stud which is managed by their daughter Nicole.

"Bruce Perry sourced all my mares. When he found Alpine Beauty he said she is from an old family and she hasn't done a lot, but she won't cost you a lot of money to get into but you will get the rewards, and if you look at my mares, they are all mostly from good old strong New Zealand families.

"I got involved in the thoroughbred business about 10 years ago, mainly through my daughter Nicole. I was a dairy farmer from the time I was 16 until I was 25 in the Manawatu when I quit to go into the supermarket business and that brought me north.

"We lived in Thames and from about the age of four my daughter's had ponies. I used to have the odd bet and follow the races, but Nicole was keen to make a career out of it and we ended up with David's (Benjamin) place in Kaipaki Road, just out of Cambridge.

"I didn't have a lot of knowledge and I have been very fortunate that I sought advice from Mark Chittick and Bruce Perry. They have been a great support and I can't thank them enough. Mark put me onto Guy Lowry who trains Irish Fling and most of my horses, but I do have some in work with Murray Baker and Stephen Marsh.

Alpine Beauty, Irish Belle and Danex are among about a dozen mares owned by the Riders, and they were sourced for them by Bruce Perry and are all black type producers.

As well as Winning Glory, Alpine Beauty (Khozaam[USA- Mount Tryst) also produced the dual Invercargill Gold Cup winner Alpine Delight (Bluebird[USA]) and Adventador who is trained by Guy Lowry and Grant Cullen and has won four races for the Riders. They also race her most recent foal Divine Shiva, a No Excuse Needed (USA)three-year-old filly trained by Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman.

At age 22 Alpine Beauty has been a little difficult to get in foal lately, but she has a positive to Ocean Park (Thorn Park [AUS] – Sayyida). She was a winner herself and is a full sister to Lover's Knot, the dam of the Melbourne Cup winner Viewed (Scenic), and descends from Mountain Heights, a half -sister Battle Heights, Artic Heights, Gold Heights (dam of Noble Heights), and Claudine (dam of Mapperley Heights and Royal Heights).

"We bought Irish Belle (O'Reilly – Society Bay). She was a stakes-placed winner of five races and a daughter of Society Bay (Zephyr Bay[AUS] – Pacaya), who won six races including the group two VRC Edward Manifold Stakes, the MVRC Veuve Clicquot Stakes, the group three WRC Noble Heights Stakes and the listed Otaki Weight-For-Age Stakes."
She has left eight winners including the stakes winners Society Beau and Sandblaster, and the dam of the Champion Filly Final Destination (O'Reilly- Logical Lady) and thus a three-quarter sister to Irish Belle. This family has also produced the stakes winners Final Form (ex Final Destination), Duanette's Girl, Reddlan and Beau Zephyr.

Irish Belle's first foal was by Savabeel (AUS) and as Enthusabelle was placed at two. Her next foal by Stratum(AUS) was unplaced, and then she produced Irish Fling who has now won four races. She has a three-year-old Zabeel colt, a two-year-old colt by Starcraft that is in the New Zealand Bloodstock Ready to Run sale, and a yearling full sister to Irish Fling in Milan Park Stud's yearling draft. This season she has produced another filly, this time by Mastercraftsman(IRE) and now she is in foal to Rock'N Pop.

Rider's Danasinga(AUS) mare Danex (ex Balm), herself a stakes-placed winner, is another from a good old New Zealand family, that of the dual group one winner Calm Harbour. She provided the Riders with their first stakes performer when her second foal Digital Fortress (Savabeel) was placed in the group three AAMI Norman Robinson Stakes.

"He ran fourth in the VRC Derby behind Lion Tamer and that was pretty exciting for us. Just breeding them and seeing them going out and winning is a fantastic feeling," he said.

"There's a full-sister to Digital Fortress in our draft in the sale, and it's Nicole's pick of the fillies in our draft. Danex has returned to Savabeel again and has an O'Reilly filly at foot.

"Mark thinks I should start keeping some, especially Danex's fillies as she leaves such perfect foals. He says that you want to keep progeny like that and these are the type of fillies that you should keep to breed from. We have been very fortunate to have him to put us on the right track.

"The key to your success in this business is getting the right advice. We have paid reasonable money for the mares, and you have to be in the right families to take out as much risk as possible. I run my little stud as a business and it has to pay its way which is why I am selling my fillies as well.

"When it comes to the matings, I am a stockman and like to breed to type as much as anything. We come up with a shortlist and then discuss it with Gareth Downey at Waikato Stud.

"Nicole runs the farm. She worked at Little Avondale and at Waikato Stud until Mark said he thought she was ready to run her own place and present her own yearlings, and we have a draft of 10 - five fillies and five colts - and they are all by good sires like Darci Brahma, O'Reilly and Savabeel."

Naturally Nicole is very excited about presenting her first draft and she is really pleased with the way they are coming to hand. At the moment her pick of the colts is the O'Reilly colt out of Vickeezchardonnay (Don Eduardo – Our Rosalee) and of the fillies it's the sister to Digital Fortress.

- Michelle Saba