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Importance of international investment in the NZ breeding industry

Any Suggestion/ Shadow Ray (Groom Dancer ) Chestnut Colt, Born 24th August (Breeders Rich Hill Thoroughbreds and Jungle Pocket Pty Ltd)

Photo by Trish Dunnel

Any Suggestion/ Shadow Ray (Groom Dancer ) Chestnut Colt, Born 24th August (Breeders Rich Hill Thoroughbreds and Jungle Pocket Pty Ltd) - Photo by Trish Dunnel
The influence and importance of international investment in the New Zealand Thoroughbred Industry was clearly illustrated when Jungle Juice (Jungle Pocket-Shadow Ray) won the listed Bonecrusher Stakes recently.

Jungle Juice was bred by Japanese owned Jungle Pocket Pty Limited and Matamata based Rich Hill Thoroughbreds Limited and is raced by IDL Racing Limited, owned by Dominic Li of Hong Kong who has substantial bloodstock interests in New Zealand managed by Maryanne Simon.

Jungle Pocket Pty Limited is the Australasian business arm of Katsumi Yoshida's Northern Farm – a division of Shadai Farm, the owners of Jungle Pocket. Shadai Farm is owned by the three Yoshida brothers Teruya the eldest, Katsumi the middle and Heruya the youngest.

Shadow Ray the dam of Jungle Juice is one of around a dozen mares that Rich Hill and Jungle Pocket Pty Limited have in partnership together, and the third to produce a stakes performer to Jungle Pocket.

The other two are Pocket Diary the winner of Listed Oceanz Northland Breeders Stakes and Jungle Boots, a winner of three races at three and second in the listed Great Northern Guineas Prelude last season.

According to Northern Region NZTBA Councillor John Thompson it's a business partnership that works well, and it's pleasing to see it starting to reap rewards.

"Each time Jungle Pocket came down to New Zealand to shuttle, a number of mares would accompany him, and it would be up to me to decide where they were placed at stud in Australasia. Some would go to Pentire – whom the Yoshida's are also involved with – and some to Jungle Pocket.

"We have been involved with the Yoshida's and Shadai since they sent Carnegie and Pentire to shuttle down here in 1998. For a while there Carnegie looked like he was going to be the star stallion, but over the past five or six years Pentire has been the one who has been a successful for them and us."

Carnegie only stood two seasons in New Zealand before going to stand in Australia whereas Pentire is now a permanent resident at Rich Hill.

"They have always been supporters of the New Zealand industry buying some nice yearlings and sending mares down here, but they like to keep a low profile. Katsumi is probably best known in this part of the world as the owner of Delta Blues and Pop Rock, the two Japanese horses who took out the quinella in the 2006 Melbourne Cup. It was his passion for racing and breeding in Australasia that gave him the desire to mastermind the plan to win the Melbourne Cup. Through Jungle Pocket Pty Limited he also bred Weekend Hustler with Arrowfield Stud.

"Shadow Ray is by Groom Dancer out of the Mr Prospector mare (Caricatura) out of a Never Bend mare (Straight Street), with that speed influence I thought she would be a good mating for Jungle Pocket, and I thought she would also suit the horse on type."

Jungle Boots is bred on a similar cross, he is out of Special Jade who is by Cox's Ridge out of Statistic who is by Mr Prospector out of Number, hence a full sister to the sires Jade Robbery, Numerous and Chequer. This is also the family of Nureyev, Sadlers Wells, Tate Gallery et al.

A winner of three races in Japan, Shadow Ray has been to Jungle Pocket three times.

"Peter Williams bought the first foal at the Select sale in 2007 for $30,000, the next year I took Jungle Juice to the Carnival Sale. It was the worst sale I've ever been to and no one wanted fillies, I got really peeved and practically gave them away. I thought it was better to get them out there and racing in an effort to help their families, than take them home. Jungle Juice sold to the White Street Trust for $1,000.

"Eight months later, she went to the Ready to Run sale and sold to IDL for $15,000, and I was very pleased for Pukekohe breeder Bruce Wallbank of the White Street Trust. Next month her full brother will be offered at the Ready to Run Sale.

"Shadow Ray then went to Pentire when Jungle Pocket got held up in Australia but she missed, however she now has an outstanding colt foal to Any Suggestions and she has been served again by that sire," he said.

Jungle Pocket (Tony Bin-Dance Charmer, by Nureyev) stood at stud in New Zealand for four years before EI stranded him in Australia and prevented him from returning.

"The year he was held up in Australia, I arranged for him and Zeno Rob Roy to stand a shortened season in Victoria, and the mares that had come down with him from Japan that year went to them there. We now have their yearlings to sell this year, so we will have some Jungle Pocket yearlings at Karaka. They will be his final southern hemisphere yearlings.

"Some of the other mares from the Jungle Pocket Pty partnership went to Pentire and we have some quite nice Pentire yearlings to sell, but as you know you have to send a certain type of mare to him, so we have yearlings by other stallions to promote as well, and hopefully our success will continue with more winners," Thompson said emphatically.

- Michelle Saba