Amidst a life spent around horses Jeanette Brown always dreamed of owning thoroughbreds.
She fulfilled her dream when she purchased her first filly to race in 2002, and recently she took that dream to the next level when she bred her first stakes winner Pendleton (Rip Van Winkle[IRE]- Ihadadream).
The lightly raced four-year-old mare won the time honoured Listed Dunedin Gold Cup at only her ninth start. Trained by Shane Kennedy and Anne Furlong at Riccarton Park, Pendleton has now won four races, in basically what is her first serious preparation.
As a three-year-old she had one unplaced start at Matamata in May before being sent to the South Island by her owner Kevin Hickman. She won her maiden at Timaru in October after two starts in September. At her next start she was checked out of the competition at Riccartion Park over 1600 metres, and three weeks later she won on that course over 2000 metres.
Returning to Riccarton Park she ran second over 1800 metres before going back to Timaru and winning over 2100 metres in late December. A 1200 metre trial in mid-January kept her fit for her tilt at the 2400metre Dunedin Gold Cup which she won easily going away by two and a quarter lengths.
Brown has always had an interest in horses and competed on ponies and horses as a youngster. She began breeding ponies for her son Justin and daughter Amanda to ride, and tagged all the ponies with the Maori world for beautiful Ataahua.
When Amanda switched to eventing Brown decided to look for a thoroughbred mare to breed a suitable horse. That mare by Hastings Road(GB) produced Ataahua Brigadier that Amanda rode when she was part of the New Zealand Representative Eventing team.
That was her first introduction to working with thoroughbreds and that strengthened her resolve to follow her dream and one day buy her own racehorse.
In 2002 using an inheritance from her mother she ventured to the Karaka and purchased a Volksraad (Ire) filly out of the stakes winning mare Majestic Angel from the Premier Sale. She took her home to the South Island and approached Neil Ridley to train her.
“I named her Just A Dream. She is not a big horse but has a big heart and had a will to win. Out of 29 starts, she won seven times, three seconds, four thirds, two fourths, and a fifth,” recalled Brown.
In fact Just A Dream’s last two wins were in the best company, and she won the Listed South Island Breeders Stakes at Riccarton Park before taking out the Group Three Easter Cup on the same track. Her dam Majestic Dream won the Listed Manawatu Challenge Stakes and also left a useful stakes winner in Forfar, who in turn went on to leave the Gr.3 Canterbury Breeders Stakes winner First Serve and stakes placed Hot Fuss.
Majestic Angel was a full sister to the Gr.1 1000 Guineas winner Imperial Angel.
“I retired her to stud, and my intention was to sell the colts, and keep the fillies. But her first foal by Pins(AUS), was small, so I was advised to keep and race him. I named him Ataahua Dreamin, he had three trials winning all three the last one by nine lengths, was showing promise at the start of his racing career, when an accident while in training at Riccarton meant he had to be euthanised.
“She missed to Zabeel then had a filly by High Chaparral(IRE) followed by a colt by Mastercraftsman(IRE) who races in Hong Kong as Money Winner.”
Brown kept the next foal a filly also by Mastercraftsman named Ataahuadreamsfree and the next filly by Darci Brahma. She sold a Darci Brahma colt last year at Karaka, and this year a Iffraaj(GB) colt was also sold out of Book 2 from Haunui Farm’s draft for $50,000.
In 2009 Brown returned to Karaka in search of a Zabeel filly and after inspecting them with Neil Ridley in tow settled on two fillies.
“The bidding was very spirited and I had reached my limit, so I was lucky to buy her. I named her Ihadadream, she had eight starts, for one first, one second, and a third, and Pendleton is her first foal.”
“Going against my original plans once again I sold her as a weanling, but Just A Dream also had a filly that year, so I decided to only keep one, I only have eight hectares here, and only keep my young horses here.
“My two mares are kept at Haunui where they receive the best of care, any weanlings that have returned home to me have been well handled and well trained, enabling me to cope, with them in their new environment.
“Mark is always ready to spend time discussing decisions to be made, and I am forever grateful for his experience shared so willingly.”
Ihadadream is out of the winning Gold and Ivory(USA) mare Ebony Heights, a daughter of Mountain Heights and Rocky Mountain(FR), and member of the illustrious “Heights” family. Mountain Heights is an unraced half-sister to the stakes winners Battle Heights, Arctic Heights, Gold Heights, and Monty.
More recently the stakes winners Adventador, Viewed, War of The Worlds, Conquered Dream and Honey Rider have come from this same family.
Ihadadream’s second foal was by Iffraaj and has been retained by Brown, and she sold a Cape Blanco(IRE) colt last year as a yearling for $48,000. Her 2016 foal was a filly by Tavistock and she is currently in foal to Showcasing(GB).
It just goes to show that dreams can come true in the world of thoroughbred breeding. - Michelle Saba