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Breeders' thrilled with continued success on the race track

There is no greater thrill for a breeder than breeding a winner, even though all breeders aspire to breed a Group One winner any winner is a fulfilment in itself.

North Canterbury breeder Jo Wilding is no stranger to breeding winners. Under the Te Mania Thoroughbred banner, she has bred numerous group winners including the outstanding filly Analie, Champion three-year-olds Zonda, and Joker's Wild, Magnolia Hall, Fiscal Madness and Whey To Go, to name a few, and although the winners she has bred over the last few weeks haven't reached such lofty heights, they have still provided her with a big thrill.

"It's certainly been an exciting autumn for us. Winning races helps cheer up the gloom of the impending winter and the freezing weather we are having right now," she quipped.

Last weekend her Balmerino mare Belle Nuite left two winners including Penrickson (Pentire), the winner of the Lord Mayor's Cup at Canterbury in Sydney, and Fiscal Folly at Te Rapa.

They were hard on the heels of Paint The Way (Pentire-Whey To Go) breaking maidens at his third start at Oamuru on the day before. Whey To Go is one of the mares that Jo part owns with Messrs Sargent, Wong and Hoong and is raced by WH Holdings who run a property across the river from the famous Te Mania farm and with whom Jo now has a close association.

These winners come on the back of a very successful season which has seen the breeders combine to produce Wall Street (Montjeu – Willa Wanda) and Arabian Princess (Faltaat – Zoe's Appeal) to win in April along with the stakes winners Millbank (Keeper – Woodini), and Miss Millbrook (No Excuse Needed – Arche), earlier in the season.

"We combine resources and I work very closely with Kelvin Mahood who manages the property for Messrs Wong, and Hoong," said Jo, a stalwart member of the NZTBA.

Te Mania Thoroughbreds is very much scaled down from the days when Jo and her husband Frank combined thoroughbred breeding with Angus cattle, and stud sheep breeding. Te Mania remains one of the best Angus Stud's around, but the "retired" Jo and Frank now just borrow a few paddocks for Jo's horses and work in with Kelvin to prepare horses for the sales.

"We have a lovely draft of rising two-year-olds going to the South Island sale in August. It's a sale I like to support and we are selling a Captain Rio colt out of Georgie Porgie (Entrepreneur – Whey To Go) and a Pins colt out of Belle Nuite (Balmerino – One Night Stand). As well we have a Don Eduardo colt and a King's Chapel colt."

Belle Nuite was unplaced as a racehorse, but has already left five winners from five to race including the multiple stakes winner Fiscal Madness (Volksraad), and the aforementioned Penrickson and Fiscal Folly. Penrickson has now won seven races from 33 starts and has been stakes placed over ground on three occasions in the listed Wagga Wagga Cup, Frank Underwood Cup, and Tattersall's Club Cup. Fiscal Madness has retired to become a dressage horses after winning 12 races and over $500,000 including the Group Tow Rich Hill Mile.

Belle Nuite's Savabeel two-year-old has been named Brightlight in Australia and is unraced, and Belle Nuite left a weanling full brother to Fiscal Madness last spring.

Jo received her first broodmare as a wedding present from her uncle, a breeding enthusiast and has had mares ever since. As well as breeding horses to sell and race she has also had hunters, point to point horses and jumpers as befitting any North Canterbury farmer with an equine interest.

In the late sixties with Sir Woolf Fisher she bred the Sovereign Edition filly Analie who went on to win 16 races in Australia including five group one events. Buoyed by success and with a passion to breed winners, Jo also began buying yearlings to race and develop into broodmares. She purchased a Regalis II filly named Curds'N'Whey with whom she won four races, before consigning her to the broodmare paddock. She left nine winners including Whey To Go (Sound Reason) and Countess Rhyme (Ruling), the dam of the Group One winner Del Coronado.

Whey To Go won the Group Three Canterbury Gold Cup and five other races and has been at stud since 1995. To date she has left five winners including last week's winner Paint The Way, The Guttersnipe, Georgie Porgie, and I'm a Superstar. Her daughter by Kaapstad, Way Leggo, has left three winners including two by Keeper; Kiwijazz who races in Singapore and Keep The Spirit who now races in Hong Kong as Fortune Winner.

A year later, she purchased Gone With The Wind as a yearling, and from her produced the stakes winners Magnolia Hall and Man of Honour before sending her to Zabeel at his first season at stud. That mating produced Zonda, the Champion three year old of 1997-98 and although she no longer has Gone With The Wind she watches with interest as the breed continues to flourish. Scarlet Vanharra (Van Nistelrooy-Fiddle De De) recently took out the Listed Warstep Stakes to add more black type to the family.

"I don't have that many mares now and some that I do are in shares with my daughter, or the likes of Guy Sargeant and WH Holdings. We are not going to have too many foals this Spring but we keep on trying for those group winners, and the thrills of just seeing our progeny win wherever it may be," she concluded.

- Michelle Saba