It seems that without exception nearly every season a stakes winner pops up who descends from the mighty mare Eulogy (GB).
This season another stakes winner, has come to light and that is the Gr.3 New Zealand Cup winner Bizzwinkle (Rip Van Winkle[IRE]-Bizz).
And for good measure the family associated with breeding Bizzwinkle have a history in the industry about as long as Eulogy’s.
Eulogy (GB) (Cicero[GB] – Kelibia[GB]) was imported to New Zealand by George Currie in 1915 as a consort for his stallions Limond(GB) and Absurd(GB), whom he stood at Koatanui Lodge just outside Whanganui. She produced 14 foals and a dynasty of multiple stakes and classic winners throughout the year's right through until today.
Bizzwinkle was bred by Lucy Scoular with her husband John, son Andy and daughter Sally Tothill. An octogenarian Lucy is the great grand-daughter of John Douglas, one of the pioneers of the Hawkes Bay Jockey Club, and founder of Te Mahanga Station on the outskirts of Hastings where she still lives.
Along with husband John and daughter Sally who lives in Christchurch, a very delighted Scoular was on course at Riccarton to see her latest star lead all the way in the Christchurch Casino New Zealand Cup.
Lucy Scoular can’t remember a time when she didn’t have a horse and they weren’t a big part of her life.
Her grandfather William Douglas, raced the champion sprinter The Hawk around the time of the First World War, and her father Dennis raced the mighty mare Gold Trail after whom the Gr.3 Gold Trail Stakes is named.
“The Hawk was trained Jack Cameron, and he also trained Gold Trail for Dad, who was 21 when she won the Auckland Cup,” recalled Scoular.
“When Jack died, his son Charlie took over the stable and trained for Dad, and John and I still had horses trained by him for a while before he died.”
Gold Trail also won the Great Northern Guineas and the ARC Clifford Plate, she was a granddaughter of another mighty mare Desert Gold, who was the first New Zealand thoroughbred to chalk up a record of 19 consecutive wins while racing against colts, as well as fillies, in both New Zealand and Australia.
Douglas continued to breed from Gold Trail, and as a noted breeder and in the early 50’s bred and raced Red Jester (Red Mars[GB]- Climax) before standing him at stud through until the early 70’s. He was also President of the Hawkes Bay Jockey Club. This was around the same time that Scoular was at boarding school, and her recollection of this time is not just of Red Jester racing, but of another great racehorse in New Zealand’s racing history.
“When I was at boarding school,” said Scoular, “you didn’t see your parents for weeks or talk to them on the phone, but before the end of term, I had a telegram from Dad which said you are a lucky girl and I have got you Brookby Song to hunt. I can still remember that telegram very vividly.”
Brookby Song was one of New Zealand’s greatest all time steeplechasers, and another crowd favourite.
Fast forward a few years and Scoular married, John who had no interest in racing at the time, but is now fully immersed in breeding and racing and loving it.
The couple were dining at Okawa Stud in the early 70’s when Tom Lowry offered them a weanling filly by Sucaryl (GB) out of Princess Talaria. Mrs Lowry Senior Tom’s mother had bought the horse for Tom as a polo pony, but she went on to win the Whyte Handicap at Trentham. Princess Talaria is by Red Mars (GB) from Eugenic and traces directly back to Eulogy through Pennon.
“That was how we acquired Honey Pot, and all her descendants that we have kept all have something to do with bees in the their name, like Bizz and her half-sister Runny Hunny,” explained Scoular.
Bizzwinkle is the fifth foal from the Volksraad(IRE) mare Bizz, herself a winner of three races. She is the dam of two other winners Murdoch by Falkirk, and a filly by High Chaparral (IRE) who is still owned by the Scoular family.
Bizz’s dam Buzzy Bee by Diplomatic Agent(USA) won two races and left five winners from six foals. She in turn is out of Honey Pot who left eight named foals, of which six raced and were winners including the Champion Three-Year-Old colt of his year Jolly Jake (Three Legs[GB]), Sweet Gem (In The Purple[FR]) a winner of nine races including the Gr.3 VRC Frances Tessday Stakes, and the Jolly Jake’s brother Our Secret Weapon who won 11 races and was placed at listed level as a three-year-old.
Lady Beebee won five races and went on to be the grandam of Bull’s Eye (Rivotious[USA]) a stakes winner in Hong Kong and Ecstatic (Sandtrap[USA]) who won the Listed Castletown Stakes before a successful career in Hong Kong. Another daughter Buzz left the Gr.3 BTC Chairman’s Handicap winner Yacquina Bay (Oregon[USA]
Bizzwinkle a five-year-old gelding by the Galileo (IRE) stallion Rip Van Winkle(IRE), has now won five races from just 17 starts, and as a four-year-old was placed third in the Listed St Leger Stakes at Wellington last autumn. He was very impressive winning the 3200 metre New Zealand Cup, leading all the way.
“I knew I still had a heart after he won the Cup, it was really racing,” said Scoular, who was staying in Christchurch with her daughter Sally over Cup week.
“It was a huge thrill, especially to lead all the way and Sam (Spratt) rode him a treat. I caught up with Bizzwinkle’s syndicate before the race and they were so thrilled to be running they said we don’t mind if he doesn’t win we will still drink as much beer. They were a great bunch.
“After the races we took the bus to the Casino to have dinner and when we got in the Dining Room they were all there, and we sat the cup on the table while we dined, it was quite special.
“It was probably my biggest thrill since Jolly Jake won the Derby and he led from start to finish as well. We sold him as a yearling for $8,000 at Claudelands and after he won the Avondale Guineas and the Derby he was sold to America for $2million. Oh well at the time I thought it’s good for the family.
“He went to America, but got sick on the trip over, and he only ever raced over steeplechases there. Then he went to Ireland and stood at a National Hunt Stud, and in 1990 we went to visit him and he looked magnificent.”
The Scoular Family have sent Bizz to Little Avondale Stud this season where she has foaled down a filly to Rageese(AUS), and is visiting Time Test (GB). She will be joined by Runny Hunny who has a foaled a Jakkalberry(IRE) filly that they own with fellow Hawkes Bay racing identities Paul and Carol Nelson.
They have retained a yearling colt out of Bizz by Charm Spirit, but sold a year older full-sister earlier this year for $40,000.
“She was a big filly so will probably take time, she was bought by Noel Allen who is going to race her with Byerley Park owner Elias Nakhle. The yearling wasn’t ready to go to the sales this summer, and we thought we might wait and see what happened with Bizzwinkle, he will be well sort after now,” she mused.
The Scoulars have just the two mares, with Lucy maintaining she is too old to get any more or a divorce.
”I have been lucky really as John has been long suffering and loves it too, which is great after coming from a non-horsey background. Two mares is more than enough for us.
These days John and Lucy are not farming Te Mahanga that is up to Andy their son. They have swapped houses and still live on the property but there farming duties only involve odd jobs and feeding the mares.
“When they are not at stud we have them home here at Te Mahanga, we have a lovely paddock next to the house with a rolling hill and we love having the horses here. The get really fit.
“And over the back next door is Corrina McDougall who works for Paul and Carol Nelson. She is an amazing lady, she has just had a kidney and liver transplant, and will be returning back from Auckland very soon. She was on dialysis for up five hours a day, but still insisted on going to work for Paul.”
“We are in the I See Red Syndicate with Paul and Carol Nelson and that races Perry Mason and Keileb it’s been brilliant and a lot of fun there is about 30 of us in the syndicate. Perry Mason won over $65,000 this season.
“The world has changed and they don’t have horses on farms any more they have those dam motor bikes, and I think that is why the present generation of farmers are not horse people. We grew up on horses, when I hunted I never used to open a gate.
“I guess we might have to stick to syndicates, I think they are our saving grace for the industry. We have been very lucky, having the life we had and a local race course that had lots of trials and jump outs etc., but things have changed, and courses have to close it’s a reality,” she said philosophically, “for the sake of our industry bring on the changes in the Messara Report.” – Michelle Saba