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Good Faith brings its share of Grace

Back in 1997 when Good Faith (Straight Strike[USA]- Head of the River [GB]) broke down while winning the group one Sires Produce Stakes the prognosis for her future was not very bright. Thanks to the good faith of her owners and the people they entrusted to care for her, she not only survived that, but she has gone on to produce 11 foals including two stakes winners, Tully Dane (Danehill [USA]) and the recent listed CJC Valachi Downs Breeders Stakes winner Mygoodgrace (Royal Academy[USA]). According to Waikato branch member Mark Treloar who raced Good Faith with Robin Congreve, but now owns her outright, there are a whole host of people that need to be thanked for the fact that Good Faith is still alive and her achievements as a broodmare. "It was such a thrill to win at Riccarton and I am delighted as well for the good guys and girls, my partners in the horse," said Treloar who owns the mare and leases a racing share to a large syndicate which includes himself, form analyst and jockey's agent Garry Cossey, his partner Diane McDonald, her good friend Anna Campbell, Samantha Logan (daughter of Donna and Dean) and the Rising Stars Syndicate headed by Johnny Devlin. "I made the decision to keep this filly with the hope that she would develop into a worthwhile broodmare, initially I raced her with the Rising Stars Syndicate who have 50% and I only recently reduced my racing share in her to widen the syndicate to include the other new partners." Mygoodgrace has now won five races. As a two-year-old she was placed third in the Northland Breeders Stakes, and then went on to win her next two races. Over the summer she competed in a couple of three-year-old events and later that season struck form again and won two races at Whangarei. She backed that up with a couple of placings, before running a shocker at Ellerslie, but with the addition of blinkers, came out and won her next start in the Valachi Downs Breeders Stakes. Mygoodgrace is the seventh foal from Good Faith who has now left five winners. "Good Faith was a real cot case after the Sires Produce, she had to have surgery on her knee and then she developed laminitis in another leg, she was in a bad way. At one stage the insurance company agree for her to be put down, but Robin Congreve and I knew she was a fighter and Donna and Dean along with the local vet in Whangarei were confident they could pull her through." "And they did, but the prospect of long cold wet winters was not a good one for a mare who was obviously going to be prone to arthritis and laminitis and may have a limited stud career, we thought Australia would be a better place for her to reside so we approached Coolmore Stud. "After all she is a group one winning mare and deserved to be well looked after. Dean had nurtured her through her injuries so he accompanied her to Australia and stayed with her until she had settled in. She went to Danehill that year and produced Tully Dane." "Even though Good Faith was a resident in Australia we made the decision to bring her foals home once they were weaned and they are placed in the care of Gordon Cunningham at Curraghmore Stud. "Tully Dane was sold at Karaka for $625,000 and went on to win two races including the group three VATC HDF McNeil Stakes, he was also third in the group one ARC Railway Handicap. "Her next foal was also by Danehill and that was Sea of Faith, which Robin and I kept along with my wife Karen, and she won a race and then went to stud she has left two winners. Her Encosta de Lago colt sold for $870,000 in 2008. "A couple of months back I sold Sea of Faith to Kevin Hickman the owner of Valachi Downs so it's rather ironic that we should have now won the Valachi Downs Stakes with her half sister. "Sea of Faith has foaled a filly to Thewayyouare [USA] which I have retained and I believe she is going to Rip Van Winkle [IRE]. "Funnily enough her next foal is at Valachi Downs also, that is The Cat's Whiskers (Tale of the Cat [USA]) she is owned by Bloomsbury Stud and has gone to Tavistock.She won two races here and commenced her stud career in England where she has left two good two-year-old winners. "We brought Good Faith back to New Zealand after that foal and sent her to Zabeel for two years and she produced two more fillies that we sold. She went back to Coolmore and produced a filly to Flying Spur; My Parlay. She is unraced and in the broodmare band, she has a No Excuse Needed colt in Karaka this summer and a Guillotine colt at foot. "Following that Good Faith went to Encosta de Lago and produced Private who is owned by Stuart Ramsay, and the next foal was Mygoodgrace. "From the time she came home as a weanling Gordon Cunningham always rated her as an elite athlete, and recommended that we should keep her. I had always been impressed by Royal Academy he is a real classy individual so I was happy to get a filly and keep her. "It wasn't a hard decision to give her to Donna and Dean to train, and the Rising Stars syndicate had leased another horse of us previously which was on sold to Australia, so we were happy for them to join the racing partnership." Good Faith returned to Royal Academy and produced King's Shilling a last start winner he is nominated for the Sandown Guineas as this article goes to print. Following that she produced a filly to Rock of Gibraltor retained by Mark, and she has a Duke of Marmalade filly entered for the Karaka Premier sale in January. A couple of weeks ago she foaled a colt to Duke of Marmalade and as yet a decision of who she will visit or even if she is mated this season is yet to be made. Mark has always been involved in the selection of stallions for his mares and has a simple philosophy that he follows. "Firstly I breed with the Australian market in mind, I want to sell horses at Karaka that will appeal to Australian buyers, and hence the use of Australian based sires. So far it has been successful Good Faith has produced well over a million dollars herself and about that much again from her daughters. I mainly breed to sell and I have bred and sold a lot of good fillies. "Secondly I want to breed to a sire that if it isn't correct enough to sell at Karaka or something else goes wrong that I am happy to keep it. Thirdly there is the physical aspect and in the case of Good Faith who is only an average size mare I have looked to breed a bit of size into her foals. "With Coolmore having such a wide selection of stallions I have been very fortunate. They have been fantastic to deal with over the years and have done a wonderful job looking after Good Faith, she was really only a day to day proposition when she went there. "And I must say the same about Curraghmore, they are very good at raising foals into superb yearlings and selling them as well. My thoroughbreds are a business not a hobby and with that in mind I have to get something back for my investment and so far I have been lucky with the people I have entrusted with that investment. As well as Good Faith and her family, Mark also has mares from another family he has developed. During the late eighties Mark joined the corporate team at Allegra Park Stud, at that stage he basically knew one end of the horse from the other and had a share in a few legs of a racehorse or two, but didn't have an extensive knowledge. Through his involvement of managing a number of their stallions and breeding partnerships and racing syndicates he grew to know a bit about bloodlines and a lot about the people in the industry. From the dispersal of one of the Allegra partnerships he bought a mare called Smile (Sackford [USA] – Agreeableness [USA]) and later her half sister Danness (by Danske [NZ]). Smile produced the stakes winners Spin'n Grin (Spinning World [USA]) and Mr Smugg (Spectacular Love[USA]), and two other winners before Mark on sold her to Australia. It was also through Allegra Park Stud that Mark met Robin Congreve who was a director of that company at that time. They purchased Good Faith at the 1996 Karaka sales out of the Waikato Stud draft. They had gone to the sales to buy a colt, to win the Golden Slipper with but missed out on what they liked when Mark spotted the Straight Strike filly in the outside parade ring. "She was really up on her toes, she was a really muscular filly, I looked at the catalogue and saw she was by Straight Strike so I knew all about him and she had lots of English blood on her dam side, I thought it must have been karma so I followed her into the ring and we bought her for $17,000. "I had previously had a horse with Donna and Dean when Donna had a reputation for healing "crocks" and it had been really worthwhile so I wanted to reward them with one that wasn't a crock. And look where we are now, it's been a tremendous journey and without them and Curraghmore and Coolmore we wouldn't still have Good Faith and now Mygoodgrace."

- Michelle Saba