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Jacksons enjoy recent racing success

Dr Alan Jackson has received plaudits as the man behind The Plan for Lifting Economic Performance in the Racing Industry (see link on the Resources page) published in January 2005 by the Racing Board. Better known as the Jackson Report, it gave crucial support to the industry's argument that unfair taxation of betting on racing was hampering its ability to grow and contribute even more to the national economy. In conjunction with sector groups, notably the breeders' and trainers' associations, and the Fair Tax campaign, the Jackson Report put the industry's distress, and its potential, on the political agenda before last year's General Election.

That has made Alan the best-known member of the Racing Board, but what isn't quite so well-known about him is that he and his wife Colleen are enthusiastic and successful owners, and NZTBA members. The depth of their interest became a little more obvious last week when they announced the purchase of Katrina Alexander's stables at Matamata. The property will become home base for trainer Lance Noble, his wife Leigh and their two young children, the youngest only a month old.

Young Robert's birth on 6 April appears to have sparked a splendid run of success for both the Jacksons and the Nobles. Three-year-old filly Centapin (Pins-Centakin by Centaine) won at Hastings on the same day, bringing an end to a frustrating run of seconds for horse, trainer and owners.

Five days earlier Colleen and Alan's four-year-old mare Kosi Bay (Spinning World-Calvinia by Varick), trained by Bart Cummings, won the STC Epona S. LR in Sydney, and on 17 April ran third in the AJC JRA Plate LR.

Colleen says, "She was desperately unlucky in her previous start and we always knew from her work and previous campaigns that she had great potential. We also own her older sister Acacia Bay, and they are both half-sisters to Calveen."

Also on 17 April Tinkerbeel (Zabeel-Pixie Dust by Fairy King), who was a 50th birthday present for Alan, won over 2100 metres at Ellerslie. Says Colleen, "She's been a test of patience, but I'm glad we've given her the time and space she's needed to put it together at the track. We have learned patience well from the great Bart Cummings! So Tinkerbeel finally broke through at her 13th start – we're all thrilled, especially for Alan, and for Lance who has persevered with the difficulty of training her.

An unforgettable month ended with victory in the $40,000 Cambridge Trophy at Te Rapa on 29 April by Nordic Dancer (Generous-Danish Habit by Danehill), from a half-sister to the champion Rough Habit.

Colleen comments, "She was a huge thrill because we liked the staying capabilities of Generous and were convinced that this filly, once she hit a less firm track and got over more distance, wouldn't let us down.

"Her win was particularly satisfying for Alan and me because we chose Nordic Dancer ourselves at the New Zealand Premier Sale in 2004, so maybe we're not that bad at choosing bloodstock!"

Asked what it means to achieve this kind of success, Colleen replies, "Obviously it helps tremendously to have some winners to help pay the bills, but after a lean time the joy of winning is doubly cherished. The thrill of being competitive in such a great sport is immeasurable! I always think whether it's mid-week racing or black-type at the weekend, the joy of racing a winner is just wonderful.

"I really love the animal and it's wonderful to see the horse gain confidence and develop after it's been successful. They're like members of our family! It also serves to confirm that the types of horses we're buying are competitive types with good breeding for future broodmare potential.

"And we share the joy of success with Lance who works extremely hard, along with his team at the stable."

Lance has now had seven wins and 23 placings this season, for prizemoney of $112,625.

- Susan Archer