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Taranaki breeders celebrate Megapins' Wellington Cup win

A breeding and racing partnership that started over 30 years ago was rewarded with its best result last weekend when Megapins (Pins- Instant Divorce) triumphed in the Group Two Century City Developments Wellington Cup.

Taranaki-based Kerrin and Teresa Brophy along with Kevin Landrigan are the breeders of Megapins and they had plenty to celebrate when the gutsy Pins mare scored her Group Two success.

"It was a great thrill, we were all very excited, it was as good as winning it ourselves but without the stake money," enthused Kevin Landrigan a New Plymouth based accountant.

Landrigan and Kerrin Brophy bought their first horse in the late seventies, a jumper named Kaytu (Rocky Mountain – Anarua by Pakistan II). Brophy, who has a 350 acre dairy unit at Okato, was a young farming client of the accountancy firm where Landrigan was just starting out. Since that time they have generally had one or two mares and racehorses and have had a lot of fun and met with relative success.

One of their first successes was a horse called Waccabuc by Lavinsky who they raced and bred and eventually sold to Hong Kong. He was out of Sister Noelene, who was a half sister to Kaytu. That mare also left Teresarvi (by Godavari) who in turn became the dam of the listed Whakatane Gold Cup winner Gold Merit, who was amongst their best bred before Megapins came along.

Instant Divorce (Fiesta Star – Ebony Jane), the dam of Megapins, raced against Gold Merit in that 1998 Whakatane Cup and in other races about that time and that is one of the reasons Kevin decided to purchase the mare.

"The mare was advertised for sale in the Friday Flash for $1000 and I quite liked the family and the fact that she had raced at the same time as Gold Merit, so I bought her for our partnership, and sent her to Justice Prevails. She produced Blue Blade who won a couple of races, and then she went to Centaine twice and produced Centrelane who won a couple and Rich Return, who showed ability but bled, and she [Rich Return] has just produced a filly to Handsome Ransom," said Landrigan.

The same year that Instant Divorce went to Justice Prevails, so did her mother Ebony Jane and the resulting foal was the Group Two Auckland Thoroughbred Breeders Stakes winner, Pay My Bail, a welcome black type boost to her pedigree. This is also the family of the top miler Shifnal Prince.

Instant Divorce is now in foal to Handsome Ransom, after producing a filly to Royal Gem this season. Her yearling by Don Eduardo will be raced by the partnership.

"We originally had her in the sale, but after Megapins started to perform we decided we would keep him to race and have some fun," he said.

"Over the years we have also raced and bred Bogeyman (Cocky Golfer)who won eight races including the Grand National Steeplechase and his half brother Command Performance (Stark South) who won five. His sister Mangatete Miss is also a winner and she has gone to stud this year.

"We tend to breed to sell and usually end up selling the good ones and keeping the not so good ones, but we are passionate and would be one of the biggest breeders in this district."

The partnership is currently breeding from eight mares, including the listed winner Rampage Queen (Wild Rampage – Dixie Queen), the recently retired dual winner
Mixed Reception (Postponed), and her mother Applaude (The Jogger-Star Performance).

As well as this partnership with the Brophy's, Landrigan is involved in other racing and breeding syndicates, which now include his four sons.

His eldest son Patrick, also an accountant, was quick to add that he is a third generation accountant and a third generation racehorse owner and breeder. His three siblings are also involved in accountancy as well.

On the subject of planning all the matings for these mares, Landrigan tends to rely on the knowledge and expertise of the major studs for pedigree matching.

"That side is more of a hobby and an interest for me, and I tend to seek advice from the studs. However I am keen on line breeding and did select Pins for Instant Divorce to line breed back through Kaoru Star to Star Kingdom."

Pins is by Snippets out of the Kaoru Star mare No Finer, while Instant Divorce is by Fiesta Star who is by Luskin Star, a son of Kaoru Star.

Patrick, who is equally passionate about the racing and breeding industry as his father, laments the fact that the Taranaki breeders are geographically isolated from the major studs, but stresses that the support they receive from studs like Stoney Bridge and Waikato in both race sponsorship and bulk discounted stud fees certainly makes up for it.

"It can be an expensive exercise transporting horses to stud and having to pay agistment while they are away at stud, and we have to factor that in to the cost before we plan our matings," he added.

"At the moment most of our mares winter in Taranaki at the Brophy's and a couple of other properties, and spend the breeding season at Seaton Park, and that is where we have been consigning our yearlings from as well."

However both agree that this win is a boost to breeders in Taranaki and also shows that there is a resurgence in black type winners coming from some of the older New Zealand families.


- Michelle Saba