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Salvatore brings great pride to his breeder

"He is a wonderful horse, trained by a wonderful trainer doing a wonderful job," stated Paul Pearce, the breeder and part-owner of Salvatore (Howbaddouwantit – Just Berceuse) the winner of the group three ARC Eagle Technology Stakes.

"He is really on top of his game right now and it's a thrill to see him winning, Anne (Herbert) is doing a wonderful job with him."

Even though Salvatore has won his last four races and 10 in total, Pearce has only ever been on course to see the gelding he races with his wife Jude win a couple of times.

The six-year-old gelding was impressive in winning the weight-for-age 1600 metre event easily by three and a quarter lengths, a slightly longer margin than the two and half lengths he won the group three weight-for-age Tauranga Stakes over the same distance a couple of weeks ago.

A long time member of the Central Districts branch of the NZTBA, Paul Pearce is based in Palmerston North where he operates a chartered accountancy firm, which also specialises in thoroughbred work.

"I have been interested in racing and breeding for 30-odd years, and although I am an amateur I am very much an enthusiast.

"My father Charlie, who is the secretary of the Foxton Racing Club, got me involved when he raced a horse called Kathy's Crown (Bottle Top- Hello Kathy) in the seventies and she is the third dam of Salvatore.

"Kathy's Crown won four races and left four winners, including Berceuse (Serenader II) and over the years we have had a lot of fun racing descendants from that mare and lots of them have Berceuse in their name. Si Si Berceuse, Sir Berceuse, Aberceuse, Buberceuse and probably the best two up until now La Berceuse (King's Island) and Just Berceuse (Oregon).

"La Berceuse won four races and was placed in listed company twice in the South Island. Just Berceuse was raced by my father and Vic Thorby and was trained for them by Noel Eales to win five races.

"Being a Palmerston North boy, I have always been a supporter of the local studs, and both Dad and I have bred a lot of horses by Fairdale stallions. They happen to be clients of mine now as well. La Berceuse left a pretty smart galloper by Howbaddouwantit called Far Too Much who won three races and was third in a group three Taranaki Cup.

"Being by Oregon, Just Berceuse was a big roomy type of mare and we decided that she too would suit Howbaddouwantit so we sent her there. She has just had a filly foal to that stallion and we also have a Van Nistelrooy three year old gelding in work and a Lucky Unicorn two-year-old filly.

"I love horses and could spend all day looking at them. I love going to Karaka for the Premier sale and spend most of my day just watching the horses, and looking at their pedigrees. I don't follow any breeding theories but plan my matings on physical types, strong stallions more than anything, much to the horror of some of my clients. According to Clive Harper (a well known breeding enthusiast and retired lecturer from Massey University) this mating should never have worked!

"Every year I keep threatening to give up being a breeder and just go to the sales and buy one. For what it costs to produce a horse and the returns you get, the accountant in me is very frightened, I have to say. However with a family like this one I know they take time so I am committed for a few more years yet.

"Salvatore is a six-year-old now and we have had to be very patient. He has now won over $200,000, but I can easily say that he cost all of the first $100,000 he won. Anne has done a wonderful job with him."

When Noel Eales was no longer able to train, Pearce switched to another local trainer who was having a fair amount of success at the time and that was Anne and Wayne Herbert.

"They had Tit for Taat in their stable and I knew they were good horse people, so I gave them Far Too Much to train. He moved north to Cambridge when they moved and Anne always thought a lot of him, and it seemed natural to give them Salvatore when he came along as well.

"He is the only horse we have in work at the moment, and he is by far the best we have ever bred and raced - that is until the next one," he added gleefully.


- Michelle Saba