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Warren Pegg strikes "Gold" with Bonnie Mac

Photo: NZTM website - Bonnie Mac
Photo: NZTM website

Bonnie Mac

The winner of the listed SAJC Proud Miss Stakes, Bonnie Mac (Thorn Park[AUS]-Gold Class), also the winner of five out of her six career starts, nearly didn't make it to the race track.

As a two-year-old in the Moroney stable in Matamata, the filly underwent her first preparation but was put aside after a small paddock accident left her very sore in behind. According to Paul Moroney, who selected the filly from the 2009 Select Fillies Sale, the vet prescribed rest for the filly. She then came back after about four months but went sore again.

"Eventually she was diagnosed with a torn suspensory ligament at the top of her hock, and her future didn't look great. By this stage she was an early three-year-old and in my opinion too young to go to stud. I talked to the McCarrisons and told them I had seen some strange things in this business so why not just turn her out on the hills for a year and let nature heal her and take it from there.
"Thank God we did. Look what she has done in her six starts, and I am sure there is plenty more to come. Mike is planning on taking her to Brisbane for two races including the Winter Stakes."
Bonnie Mac had her first raceday start as a four-year-old in November where she ran fifth in a maiden at Matamata. A month later at the same track she won over 1400 and did the same again at Trentham a month after that. She was then switched to the Melbourne stable in mid-April . She won at Ballarat, and before a month had passed she had won at Caulfield and followed that win with the win in the Proud Miss Stakes (LR) at Morphetville.
"I thought she was the best filly in the sales that year," said Moroney, " and from the moment I saw her in a parade I wanted to buy her. I rang Mike and said we are going to buy Gold Class's filly and I was really disappointed when it looked like she wasn't going to make it to the track. Her mother, who was one of the first fillies in the Class of 99 Syndicate, was also unlucky - she had a ton of ability but was plagued with bad luck.
"Gold Class was a slow to mature as well. She only had eight starts, after she had won two we put her in a listed 1400 metre race at Te Rapa where she flew home for third. On the strength of that we sent her to the Melbourne stable where she ran a couple of placings before breaking down."

Gold Class was then offered up for sale. In the meantime, New South Wales owner Warren Pegg had been keeping an eye on Gold Class and went and purchased her and sent her to stud in New Zealand.
Pegg was a fan of Gold Brose. A long time racing enthusiast, he had a number of racehorses trained by his good friend Frank Lewis. Lewis was the trainer of Gold Brose and when he retired to New Zealand to stud he suggested to Pegg he should patronise him. Instead he went to the yearling sales and bought a yearling filly by that sire and took her back to Sydney to race. Named a Touch of Brose she was a year older sister to Gold Class and won four races.

"I always liked Gold Class from the time she was a yearling and I eventually ended up with her. Frank Lewis has some good ideas on breeding and he suggested I send her to Golan, and she produced Gold Rum, whom I raced in New Zealand. He had five starts for three wins including a win in a listed 1400 metre race at Taranaki. We were offered $650,000 for him after that win, but he failed the vet test and then broke down two starts later.
"Once Frank Lewis gave up training I switched my team to Bob Thompson at Randwick. He's been a mate of mine for around 15 years. He trained Thorn Park and he recommended that I should send some of my mares to him as he was the best racehorse he had ever trained. From a breeder's point of view I liked Thorn Park's dam side."
"I don't really think that a lot of Australian trainers really knew how good Thorn Park was, and his stock have been a credit to him on the track.
Gold Class visited Thorn Park and produced a filly called Goldie Thorn who won one race. She returned to the sire again and produced Bonnie Mac who Moroney purchased for $90,000. Her next foal was a Dubawi filly that was sold at Karaka for $190,000 and this year her Darci Brahma colt sold to Hong Kong for $150,000.

According to Pegg she has a magnificent Mastercraftsman colt at foot and is back in foal to Darci Brahma.
"I am hoping for a filly. If she doesn't have a filly this time I will send her back to Thorn Park and hope for the best.
"I have four mares now and they are all based in New Zealand at Wentwood Grange. In my opinion New Zealand is a great place to breed horses and I enjoy having my horses there. They are certainly well looked after.
"There are some wonderful stallions in New Zealand, good horse people, and a great selling venue at Karaka. I enjoy going to New Zealand to see my stock both at Wentwood and on the race track. I have a lot of good friends in New Zealand now and I enjoy spending time with them."
Pegg, who is an overseas member of the NZTBA, also has a couple of racehorses based in the Matamata stable of Graham Richardson, including the well performed two-year-old of last season Miss Upstart (Snippetson[AUS]- Magic Star), and the recently retired group two placed Top Spot (High Chaparral[IRE]-Turtle Beach[AUS]).
According to Des Hawkins at Wentwood Grange, Pegg has been a client of the farm since the beginning and is now a good friend of all the family.
"Warren has some nice mares and has done very well with them. They may not have the best bloodlines but he has mated them well and bred a number of stakes performers. Miss Ivy was one of the first and Gold Class has now left two listed winners in Gold Rum and Bonnie Mac. Last season he bred Miss Upstart, and she won the listed Counties Bowl for him," he said, "and Top Spot was group placed this season."

Miss Upstart's dam Magic Star(AUS) (Danzero-This Way Up) is in foal to Rip Van Winkle(IRE) and has a colt foal by Iffraaj(GB) at foot. Magic Star is a half-sister to Make Mine Magic a stakes winner of 14 races.
Pegg has sold Top Spot's dam Turtle Beach but not before she had left four winners. This is the family of the Queensland Oaks winner Bravery who in turn was the dam of the group winners Brave Prince and Valourina – herself the dam of three stakes winners.
His remaining mare at Wentwood Grange is Tea in the Sahara (AUS) (Desert King[IRE]-Pekinoise ) who won one race for Pegg out of the Moroney stable. She is already the dam of the multi winner Gold Tea by No Excuse Needed (GB). She has a yearling colt by High Chaparral, a colt foal by Thewayyouare(USA), and carries a positive test to Shocking(AUS).


- Michelle Saba