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Trelawney puts the 'Icing on the Cake' for NZTBA member Judi Wanless

Expat New Zealander Judi Wanless may live in Queensland but she still thinks New Zealand is the best place to breed horses, and why wouldn't she, as Judi is the breeder of the group one South Australian Oaks winner Lights of Heaven (Zabeel-I'm In Heaven). Lights of Heaven is the 11th individual New Zealand bred group one winner in Australia this season and is the 41stgroup one winner for her stallion Zabeel.The Peter Moody trained filly strode to success in the South Australian Oaks at Morphetville recently producing a perfect record of four starts for four wins. The astute Caulfield trainer has subsequently decided to send her to the spelling paddock in preparation for a big spring campaign. "I think the environment in New Zealand is better for the mares and foals, and being able to raise horses at a place with a history like Trelawney, what could be better? I am so lucky to have people like Brent and Cherry Taylor to help make it happen," enthused a very excited Judi who admitted she was still flying high from her recent win. The association with Trelawney Stud goes back just over a decade to when Judi and her husband Ron purchased the VRC Derby winner Amalfi (Carnegie-Rationaine) from the stud as a yearling. According to Brent Taylor of Trelawney, Judi, who is among the select number of overseas members of the NZTBA, has always had a strong interest in breeding whereas Ron loves to race horses, and now they are great friends as well as wonderful clients. "Judi bought I'm In Heaven as a yearling and raced her in Australia where she won six races. She always intended to keep her as a broodmare. She was on a quest to breed a top filly by Zabeel to keep as a broodmare and it looks like she has achieved that goal with Lights of Heaven and I'm so excited for her. We bred and sold a few nice colts on the way, and now she also has a lovely yearling Zabeel filly out of the stakes winning mare Bridal Hill because unfortunately that mare died foaling this year. "She has four mares here at the moment and getting a group one winner is the icing on the cake as she has done remarkably well in the past couple of seasons with five stakes performers. "As well as Lights of Heaven, she has bred the group two Queen of the South winner Returntosender (Elusive City-Disco Queen), and Celeris (Fusaichi Pegasus –Cuphill) the winner of the listed Levin Stakes, while out of the Marscay mare My Funny Face (ex Jamine) she has bred the group three Queen's Cup winner Gondorff (Montjeu) and the listed Wairarapa Breeders Stakes winner Princess Annaliese (Van Nistelrooy)," he said. Judi grew up on the Coromandel and went to high school in Papakura. Attending the races was a family pastime so she always had an interest in horses. Her husband's family were into harness racing and Ron himself was an accomplished polo player. "I have always loved horses and my getting into the breeding business just followed on from my love of them and Ron's involvement as well. I have bought and raced some lovely fillies over the years and these are the basis of my broodmare band. I started out wanting to buy nice fillies to race and send to good stallions and always wanted to get a nice Zabeel filly – well who wouldn't - and with Lights of Heaven it looks like my dream has come true," she added. Lights of Heaven is out of the Volksraad mare I'm In Heaven, herself a full sister to the group three winner Eloa. Both are out of the stakes placed winner Cent From Heaven (Centaine – Logical Miss), a sister to the group two winner Perfect World and Lodore Mystic the dam of Alamosa. I'm In Heaven has a Savabeel filly at foot and is in foal to Mastercraftsman. Trelawney Stud sold her Darci Brahma filly for $105,000 at the select sale this year. She is also the dam of Stellafire, the winner of four races in Australia. Also based at Trelawney Judi has Cuphill (Danehill-Loving Cup) who has a Pins filly at foot and went to Pentire, and My Funny Face (Marscay-Jamine) who has a high Chaparral filly at foot and is in foal to Tavistock. "Brent does all the hard yards and works out the matings. I just add a little bit of luck to the equation. They are a wonderful team to work with at Trelawney and I'm having so much fun with my fillies and mares. I don't mind being patient and it doesn't matter how many wins you have, whether they are group one's or maidens, its all so exciting and that is what it is all about."

- Michelle Saba