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South Island success in Goodwood Handicap

South Island bred mare 'Velocitea' provides a huge thrill for Southland breeders' Raeywyn Ramage and Shelley Frost.

South Island bred mare 'Velocitea' provides a huge thrill for Southland breeders' Raeywyn Ramage and Shelley Frost.
It may be a long way from Southland to South Australia, but that is where the story of the Group One Goodwood Stakes winner Velocitea (Volksraad- Cat Shmea) has its roots.
Velocitea was bred and initially raced in New Zealand by Raewyn Ramage and her daughter Shelley Frost, from a mare they bred and raced as well. Raewyn Ramage is Southland born and bred, although she now resides in Christchurch and it was in Southland that she developed her life long passion for racing and went to school with NZTBA life member Onawe Miller.

It was a huge thrill for the pair and other family members who watched on Trackside the Mick Price-trained mare easily win the group one event, the Goodwood Handicap.

"It was so exciting, such a thrill, and when they interviewed Mick Price, and he said all those lovely things about her, how she has a huge heart, how she practically trains herself and has such a wonderful temperament we were so proud," enthused a very delighted Raewyn Ramage.

"She was a lovely foal, and was always unflappable, quite methodical, yet smart enough to be crowned Champion South Island two-year-old in 2007/8 when we raced her here.
"After she had won two races at two and been placed in the listed Champagne Stakes, we received an offer we couldn't refuse from Australia and sold her and she has now won seven races, three at group level."

Velocitea is the first foal of Cat Shmea (Felix the Cat – Ingresea) a mare bred and raced by Raewyn and Shelley.

"About 10 years ago Shelley and I decided to have an interest and breed and race a few horses. I bought Ingresea (Beaufort Sea-Ingres) from my old school friend Onawe Miller. We only bred one foal from her and that was Cat Shmea.

"She was a smart race horse. She only had 13 starts and won three races and was hardly ever out of the money. She was placed in the listed Otago Breeders' Stakes, but unfortunately she broke down.

Ingresea won four races for Onawe Miller and produced three other winners besides Cat Shmea. She is a half sister to Saffie, the dam of the Group One winner Orange County (Volksraad) being out of the Super Gray mare Ingres, herself a sister to Super Dude. This is also the family of Sopherim and Ronzino.

"She was a lovely big mare, and so when it came time to send her to stud we chose Volksraad, because he was established and as some of his progeny can be on the smaller side he was suited to big mares.

"Velocitea is the result and even though she is slightly on the small side she has a big heart. Since then however Cat Shmea's subsequent foals have all been a good size," she added.

It has turned out to be a successful cross as Orange County is also by Volksraad and is thus a three-quarter brother to Velocitea. When winning the Goodwood Handicap she became the 13th Group One winner for Volksraad, and his second this season.

Cat Shmea's next foal was Black Tiger by Kaapstad, a three-year-old gelding with Richard Yuill. Her next foal was a filly by Keeper, followed by a full sister to Velocitea by Volksraad, and her weanling is a filly by Zabeel.

"We are racing the Keeper filly and have named her 'Macavity'. She is in work with Roger James and has had one start for a third. Roger thinks a lot of her. Velocitea's full sister is due to be broken in and Shelley and I will race her as well.

"However we are going to sell the Zabeel filly at Karaka, and now she is a half sister to a group one winner, and if 'Macavity' comes up well, that will be pretty exciting. According to Gordon Cunningham, the Zabeel is the nicest foal that Cat Shmea has left.

"We didn't serve Cat Shmea this time as she had got quite late and we decided to give her a year off and send her back to stud nice and early in the spring."

Most of the bloodstock owned by Shelley and Raewyn reside at Curraghmore Stud just out of Hamilton under the care of Gordon Cunningham and his team. They have around seven mares although they have made the decision to downsize their broodmare band.

"We are going to concentrate on Cat Shmea's family from now on, especially since she has produced our first group one winner."

According to Raewyn she has been going to the races all her life.

"I grew up in Southland and going to the races with the family was a way of life.We would all meet at the races, aunts, uncles, and cousins, my grandmother Alice Roberts always sat in the same seat in every grand stand in Southland and all of us children would run off and watch the horses and play and we always knew she would be in the same place so we had no fear of getting lost.

"One of my best friends was Lesley Ellis -she later became Mrs Winsloe- and her father was a trainer, and every now and then he would let us lead a horse in at the races, much to the horror of my mother!"

Alice Roberts is also the grandmother of NZTBA Life Member Robin Archer and he is one of the cousins that Raewyn was referring to that attended those race meetings.

"I am the first member of my immediate family to get this heavily involved in the industry and until now Robin was the only other member, who had bred any good horses, and of course he is Susan Archer's father and we all know how successful she and Michael Martin have been as breeders.

"My daughter Shelley has the bug, but my other daughter Rowan Reid isn't at all interested, yet her daughters are. Although all the family were pretty excited watching the Goodwood, shouting and cheering - it was so exciting - and I am sure we will remember it for a long time and hopefully there will be many more Velocitea moments in the future," she said.


- Michelle Saba