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Sworn To Secrecy's win great boost for her breeders

Sworn To Secrecy - Picture ThoroughbredNews
Sworn To Secrecy

Picture ThoroughbredNews

Sworn to Secrecy's win in Sydney in the group two Emancipation Stakes could not have come at a better time for Te Hoi couple Casey and Michelle Dando of Bradbury Park.

"To breed our first major group winner in Australia on the eve of the New Zealand Bloodstock National Weanling and Broodmare Sale is pretty significant," enthused Casey Dando who bred the Keeper-Heartache filly along with his wife Michelle and his mother Glenice.

"Richard Callendar gave us a big wrap on Trackside after Sworn to Secrecy won the race and on the eve of the New Zealand Bloodstock sale who could ask for better publicity.

"It was hellishly exciting watching her win, we nearly raised the roof on the small room we were in watching, and we terrified poor Jack (the couple's rising two-year-old son). The celebrating went on for hours.

After being sold to Wexford Stables at the 2009 Ready To Run Sales for $52,000 from the Poplar Lodge draft Sworn To Secrecy was raced by the Team Wealleans Syndicate, all of Matamata, for whom she won her first two races. She was sold to Australian interests shortly after her second win.

She has now won three races and prior to winning the group two Emancipation Stakes was placed in the group two Phar Lap stakes and listed Canberra Guineas.

"We still own Heartache plus a couple of half sisters to Sworn to Secrecy and we are presenting Tenko (Shinko King –Heartache) at the sale next week. This will be our first ever Bradbury Park consignment of weanlings, broodmares and horses in training."

This follows on from the Bradbury Park's first yearling draft which sold at Karaka last January.

Established in 2010 Bradbury Park's owners Casey and Michelle purchased 45 acres in Te Poi nestled at the base of the Kaimai ranges, some 10 minutes from Matamata, and, along with 20 acres leased off Glenice Dando at nearby Taihoa, offer clients quality sales preparation, agistment, weaning, and box spelling. At this stage they do not do any foaling but have around 25 dry mares ready to go under lights in preparation of being walked out to various studs.

Although Bradbury Park is relatively new, Casey has plenty of experience as a horseman and both he and Michelle have extended racing pedigrees.

Casey's father Ron was a trainer and died when Casey was only 13 years old.

"I had to help Mum with the horses we had at home, and she has always had one or two mares floating about so that was my grounding. I have worked in Australia and was also at Cambridge Stud for a while - which is where I met Michelle when she was Sir Patrick's personal assistant. From there I went to Trelawney as the broodmare manager, before becoming the Manager at Blandford Lodge. I left that position to establish Bradbury Park."

Bradbury Park was named after Michelle's maternal grandfather Ian Bradbury, a renowned horseman and trainer from Woodville. Michelle was the daughter of Margaret Bradbury and Johnny Messent – a leading rider who became a successful trainer following an early retirement from riding due to a leg amputation.

Bradbury Park is home to the Dando's small broodmare band, consisting of Heartache (Casual Lies –Chaleyer) her daughter Acidentallyinlove (Cape Cross), Bemuze (Centro – Mezmerize) and her daughter Zoe Quin (Kashani).

"Bemuze was bred and raced by my mother. She won three races and was out of the Matamata Cup winner Mezmerize (Marceau-Zamareign). She is the dam of the Maz Quin (D'Cash) who won six races. He was placed in the group three Cambridge Breeders Stakes, before going to Hong Kong and racing as Regency Dragon and placing in a group two and a group three race up there. His half sister Zoe Quin won four races before we sent her to Road to Rock last spring.

"Bemuze is currently in foal to Don Eduardo and has a Perfectly Ready weanling. Her Savabeel two-year-old filly is in work with Karen Fursdon – the trainer of Maz Quin - here in Matamata.

"Heartache on the other hand I part owned as a racehorse, and she was placed. The partnership bred Acidentallyinlove and put her in foal to Shinko King and sold her. I put Acidentallyinlove in work with Royce Dowling and Linda Laing and after her first prep Royce asked me if I still owned the mare? When I said I had sold her he told me to go and buy her back again.

"So I did and she ended up costing a little bit more than I had sold her for so Mum decided to come in on her as well. It's taken a little while but it now looks like that investment was worth it," he said.

Sword to Secrecy is Heartache's fifth foal and fourth winner. As well as Sworn to Secrecy, Heartache has left Tenko (Shinko King), a winner of three races and placed in the listed Champagne Stakes; Bear Heart ( Bertolini) also a winner of three with placings in the listed Champagne Stakes and Welcome Stakes; and One Nite Stand, a winner of six. She has a Falkirk two-year-old filly and a yearling filly by Perfectly Ready that have been retained by the Dando's. She has a weanling filly by Don Eduado and is in foal to Keeper.

Accidentallyinlove went in the wind and never raced. Her first foal, Guns At Five (Duelled), has been placed three times from four starts. She has a Scardee Cat three-year-old filly and a weanling filly by Any Suggestions and she is currently in foal to Don Eduardo.

Their grandam Chaleyer (Covetous- Paddy Glen) won five races including the group two AJC St Leger and group three Adrian Knox Stakes, and was placed in the Sydney Cup. She is also the grandam of Marrok (Casual Lies) the winner of the Wellington Guineas and Appeal Process (Volksraad) a stakes winner in South Africa.

"Heartache is carrying a full relation to Sworn to Secrecy which we are very excited about. We knew about a year ago that she was going to be a good one and we have waited a year for the secret to be revealed. She always had shown oodles of ability and has only been out of the money once in nine starts and that was in the group one Vinery Stakes a couple of weeks ago.

"I have actually changed my breeding philosophy in the last year or so and I have tended to mate the mares with mid-range, well performed stallions like Don Eduardo, Elusive City, and Keeper, rather than using first season stallions which I tended to do before. I am confident the results will be evident at the sales and on the track in the future," he stated.

At Karaka last summer with their first offerings, Bradbury Park presented eight yearlings at the Select Sale selling a Golan colt for $75,000, a Sharmardal filly for $74,000 and a Husson colt for $70,000. They also sold six yearlings at the Festival Sale.

"We were very pleased with our results. We had some nice yearlings and a good clearance rate and hopefully we will do well with our first draft of weanlings, mares and horses in training next week.

"Looking forward, we would eventually like to be consigning yearlings for the Premier Session, and also on my wish list is more land so we can establish a foaling unit, then the cycle at Bradbury Park would be complete."


- Michelle Saba