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Keep The Peace rewards her breeders

Matamata racing identities Judy and Danny Moss, the breeders of Keep The Peace (Keeper – Peace of Mind), have been inundated with phone calls and well wishers wanting to help them celebrate the success of that filly following her victory in the Group One Wellfield New Zealand Oaks.

Family business in the Manawatu prevented them from going to Trentham, but a quick dash back to the motel to watch the race ensured that they saw the victory.

"Gosh, we really screamed the place down. I hate to think what the other guests must have thought," explained an extremely excited Judy Moss, " and it hasn't stopped. By the time we got back to Matamata the following night, there were plenty of messages. The phone hasn't stopped."

Chatting to Judy you get the impression she could talk about her horses until the cows come home. They all have 'pet' names – some unprintable – and she enthusiastically describes their temperament, physical attributes and constitution.

Keep the Peace is the first group one winner – in fact, the first black type winner she has bred - and is out of a mare, Peace of Mind (Wild Rampage – Regency Art) she inherited from her parents.

"Peace of Mind is a family mare and she is very precious. She was bred by my mum and dad, June and John Smellie, when they had Rockfield Stud, and we were going to race Keep The Peace, until Paul Bellingham and company made us an offer that was hard to turn down.

"As a two-year-old she was in work with Andrew Scott, and she had a trial at Pukekohe over 800 metres. She missed the start by 20 lengths, and flew home for fourth. It wasn't that impressive but they obviously saw something they liked, so we sold her and have watched with interest ever since."

Keep The Peace didn't race at two and had two trials in August before making her race day debut in September where she was beaten a neck. She won her next two starts before finishing a brave second to Katie Lee in the Group One 1000 Guineas over 1600 metres in November.

Put aside until January, she raced fresh-up in the Group Three Desert Gold Stakes at Trentham, and turned the tables on Katie Lee, winning impressively by half a length. In her next start she was flattened by a fallen horse in the Group Two Sir Tristram Fillies Classic over 2000 metres, but bounced back three weeks later to run a game second in the Group Three Lowland Stakes over 2100 metres.

A fortnight later she returned to Trentham and went on to win the New Zealand Oaks over 2400 metres, and in doing so she became the first group one winner for Judy and Danny Moss and the fourth group one winner for her sire Keeper (Danehill-Nuwirah).
She also headed a trifecta of Cambridge Stud-sired fillies in that event, beating November Rain (Stravinsky – Lady Teruko) and Zarzuela (Zabeel- Star Satire).

Keep The Peace is the sixth foal from Peace of Mind who was a pretty handy racehorse herself, winning six races.

"When Peace of Mind finished racing, Mum bred her first foal Humdinger (Bigstone) who won a race, then we came to an arrangement with Westbury Stud and with Des Coppins they bred Silent Dragon (Faltaat), a winner in Hong Kong. Following that, Westbury bred Pyrate Princess who is still racing but hasn't won a race yet.

"After Mum died I got her back from Westbury in foal to Captain Rio and that foal was Coleraine - he has won four in Korea.

"Peace of Mind is only a slight mare and that is why I decided to send her to Keeper, to throw some size into the foal. And so it turned out She was a lovely looking filly with a great temperament - you only had to teach her something once. Since then the mare has left a colt to Captain Rio who we will race, and a filly foal to him as well. Unfortunately she didn't get back in foal to Keeper this season, and even though she is rising 18 we will try again next season.

"Peace of Mind is half sister to the former Hong Kong horse of the year Makapura Star (Native Kingdom- Regency Art) who is perhaps the most famous galloper to come off Rockfield Stud. This is also the family that produced Captain Cook and Oenjay Star.

These days Judy and her husband Danny live at that property at Taihoa, east of Matamata on the way to Tauranga, and it still goes by that name, although it has undergone a subdivision and a few changes.

"We have a smaller block now. Our boys have the diary farm and we have a brand new home, and we are building new fences, yards and buildings. It will still be Rockfield Stud though, as it was named that way back when Matamata was first settled. There is a huge rock sitting in a field at the back of the property - you can see it from quite a distance it's that big, and that's how it got its name.

"It's home to about 11 horses, and Danny and I raise about 40 calves a year from the dairy farm, and they pay for our racing and breeding hobby."

That's when Danny is not involved in racing administration. He is currently the chairman of the TRAC racing consortium and was formerly the Chairman of the Matamata Racing Club. The horses vary in age from foals right through to yearlings, horses of racing age, and the broodmares.

"I tried to sell some mares about three years ago, but didn't get offered any money for them so we have pressed on. They include Lady Dorothy (Grosvenor-Kantuta) who was another bred by my mother. She has a two year old Soviet Flash filly and a yearling filly by Hawkeye and is in foal to Viking Ruler.

"We also have O'Malleys Girl (Kingdom Bay – Out Clear) - she is a half sister to the good horse we raced, O'Malleys Boy (Dance Floor). He won 11 races including the Group Two Concorde and was group one placed a few times. This mare won a race and has left a Dance Floor colt (a three-quarter blood brother to O'Malleys Boy) and a Captain Rio filly that is a yearling. She has a Cecconi colt at foot and she missed to Keeper as well.

"Finally we have Lastofthedragons (Indian Danehill-Amarula Belle) and she was named that because she is the last foal of Amarula Belle (Racing Is Fun – Swanee Belle) and they have all been difficult, to put it mildly. Amarula Belle left a couple of good winners by Slavic; Cashel Belle and Campari Belle.

"Lastofthedragons is in work with Andrew Scott, and was placed third at Matamata before Christmas. Things are a little up in the air with her at the moment as she had to be scratched from the Matamata meeting last week. Anyway, amongst all the excitement of Keep the Peace winning a group one, I haven't had time to worry about her. I'll just enjoy the excitement for now and then take the good with the bad."

- Michelle Saba