Last Saturday’s Listed Marton Cup winner Canheroc provided his Taranaki owner-breeders with some overdue success after generations of placing their faith in their broodmare band.
“We were due one,” said Aidan Schumacher, who bred the six-year-old gelding with his brothers Kieran and Brian, the latter having since passed away.
“We have been in this game for over 40 years and had this family for that long. The fillies are all worthwhile breeding from, and they have produced bread and butter horses all the way through from different branches of the family.
“But it was nice to get that stakes win and now we can look forward to the Wellington Cup.”
Canheroc is the ninth individual stakes winner for his Westbury Stud-based sire El Roca. He is out of the Colombia mare Goldie Cantride and was scoring his fourth win when he easily took out the Marton Cup, which was run at Hastings this year due to Awapuni being under reconstruction.
Canheroc is trained for the Schumacher brothers by Chris Wood at Cambridge and the day before his success, taking into account his form over ground and his last-start Dunstan Stayers’ Final third placing to subsequent Gr. 3 Queen Elizabeth Cup winner Trust In You, the team decided to put in a late nomination for next week’s Wellington Cup.
After clearing maiden grade over 1800m at Taupo last season, all three of Canheroc’s subsequent wins have been over 2200m. His dam Goldie Cantride won two races up to 1600m, and from her three foals to race he is the best performer. She has a two-year-old filly by Wyndspelle to come along and this spring foaled to The Chosen One.
Second dam Blue Lavender was an unraced sister to Malcomen, a stakes placed winner of six races, and she has produced six winners of 12 races. Malcomen and Blue Lavender were by Imperial Seal out of Wild Lavender, an English-bred mare by Varano.
“About 40 years ago when we were all farming in Midhurst, we decided to have a go at breeding racehorses,” Schumacher told RaceForm this week. “So we bought Wild Lavender off (Awapuni trainer) Alan Kaye – she was an English-bred mare from the number one family and traces back to a blue hen mare in Lavendula.
“We still farm in Midhurst, it’s right under Mount Taranaki, we have to farm to be able to have the horses.
“We have about 11 mares, but we don’t breed from them every year otherwise we would end up with too many. Basically, we race them all; the fillies we try and keep and the geldings we bring up and sell.”
In the past the Schumachers prepared their own horses, but these days they have about six in work with various trainers including Wood, their former apprentice Erin Hocquard and Darrin and Briar Weatherley. Aidan, who has trained 88 winners since the late 1980s, still holds an owner-trainer’s licence.
Another horse the brothers bought in their early days was Mandy Lu, an unraced Alcimedes mare out of Steel Grey. From her they bred Mini Mandy (by Long Row), who was to become the dam of their best to date, Aimee Jay.
In the late 1990s that daughter of Famous Star won 11 races, including the Gr. 1 ARC Easter Handicap, the Gr.2 Cambridge JC Travis Stakes and the (then) Gr. 2 Te Aroha JC Breeders’ Stakes twice. She was also placed in the Gr. 1 Waikato Draught Sprint.
Aimee Jay’s full brother The Twister won five races and was stakes placed, while a half-sister became the grandam of Zorralli, a stakes placed winner of six races. At stud Aimee Jay left just the one winner.
“Aimee Jay was the best so far,” Schumacher proudly recalled. “She won an Easter Handicap with Kelly Davidson aboard – I like to give apprentices a go.
“That’s why it was nice to have Kelly Myers ride Canheroc the other day. When I was training, Kelly and her sister Rosie were apprentices and I would put them on all the time. It’s good to see her back and riding as well as ever.”
Myers, now the mother of two children, has ridden five winners since returning to the riding ranks at the end of November and the Marton Cup success took her tally of black-type wins to 28.
The Schumachers are now looking forward to seeing Canheroc line up in the Wellington Cup.
“All things going well he will be there,” Aidan said. “He can handle a good track and a wet track, so we aren’t worried about that, and the way he has been running out his last 200 metres, he should stay the two miles.”