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Dr Bill Luey's Family Comes Up Trumps

Breeding theories, nicks and crosses, male or female line dominance, they are all part of the fascinating elements that make thoroughbred breeding so intriguing. Believing in theories and putting them into practice is a brave move and not for the faint hearted, neither is it a passion for those that don't have the stamina to stay in the game to ensure the results and reap the rewards. This autumn's multiple stakes winning 3yo filly Scarlett Lady (Savabeel-On Call) is the result of 30 odd years of faith in those beliefs and a welcome reward for the passion and commitment put into one family by breeding aficionado Steve Luey. Since the beginning of April Scarlett Lady has beaten the older horses to win the group two Travis Stakes, and the listed Manawatu Breeders Stakes, before crossing the Tasman to beat the best three-year-old fillies currently campaigning in Queensland, by winning the 'Red Roses Stakes' at Flemington. "It's such a huge thrill to see Scarlett Lady doing so well and extremely satisfying when I think of the millions of dollars my wife Adrienne and I have invested into this industry over the years. She has been so supportive of my passion it's wonderful to see our input come to fruition," said Steve Luey who has been passionate about pedigrees for about 30 years. He developed his interest from his father Dr Bill Luey a colourful and successful breeder and owner based in Lower Hutt, and the breeder of the former Australasian champion racehorse Veandercross. "Dad was a big fan of line breeding and would discuss pedigrees for hours. He would have great discussions with Jack Glengarry and John Bradley about matings and theories, and I would be hanging around and that was how my interest evolved.Veandercross (Crossways – Lavender) was the best horse he bred and he was inbred 3 x 3 to Nijinsky." Scarlett Lady was bred by Steve and Waikato Stud out of On Call who was raced by his father Bill. Unfortunately Scarlett Lady is her last foal. She suffered a paddock accident while in foal to Any Suggestion. Steve however is still breeding from On Call's mother, Aggressive, the dam of the stakes placed winner Justanexcuse. In 1990 Steve Luey and John Bradley purchased an Australian bred mare Startavia, she was by Morn Piper a son of Biscay(Star Kingdom-Magic Symbol) out Latavia a daughter to Kaoru Star (Star Kingdom – Kaoru)so subsequently had a double dose of Star Kingdom. "She was unraced and at that stage had not produced any winners, in fact there were five dams on her pedigree page in the catalogue, now Startavia alone can fill the whole page, and that was achieved by breeding her to reasonably modest sires" he said with pride. Startavia died in 2005 having left 13 foals, 12 to race of which nine were winners three of them stakes winners. "The first foal we bred was a filly by Val Dansant (Val de l'Orne-Dancing Doris) called Aggressive, her next foal died and then I sold out to John but kept Aggressive." Startavia went back to Val Dansant twice and she produced the stakes winners Tough Call and Call Spades who each won a Cambridge Breeders Stakes. Tough Call went on to produce the stakes performer Midnight Call (Jetball). Startavia's third stakes winner was the group three Lowland Stakes winner Gentle Call by Classic Fame. "Aggressive didn't race and I gave her to Dad to breed from. There was always a lot of discussion, debate and collusion over her matings as in fact there was with all of the mares that Dad had at the time. The first stallion we selected for her was Ironclad (One Pound Sterling-Vicksburg) who at that stage had a stud fee of $150. We sent her north to the stud who were advertising Ironclad only to find he was no longer there but was down the road serving warmbloods. The resultant foal was On Call who won nine races including the listed Feilding Cup, as well as the Wairarapa and Foxton Cups, she also ran third in the New Zealand Cup.Luey senior also bred and raced the listed winner Special Call (Masterclass) out of Aggressive and continued to breed from the mare in partnership with various studs until he died in 2005. Following that Steve entered into a partnership with Waikato Stud and together they bred four foals. Aggressive has produced Justanexcuse (Fast'N'Famous) and an unnamed Scaredee Cat filly who is in work with Danica Guy in Matamata, while On Call produced Scarlett Lady and She's Got Spunk an O'Reilly mare who went to stud without racing. "On the back of Scarlett Lady's success we may send Aggressive to Savabeel this year, we were considering going to Keeper, but if Rogie is to be believed, we would do well to breed a three-quarter relation. As well as Aggressive Steve Luey owns a couple of other mares he potters around with and a couple of young fillies in work, but Aggressive is certainly the one getting all his attention at the moment, he and Adrienne also has a substantial shareholding in the stallions Bachelor Duke and Perfectly Ready. - Michelle Saba