Morrinsville publican Russell Mead headed to Bali over Easter knowing that his classy three-year-old Speedy Meady (Swiss Ace[AUS]- Lucy In Disguise) could win at Rotorua on Easter Monday but he wasn’t expecting him to take out the Gr.3 Cambridge Breeders Stakes five days later.
“I knew he was going to run at Rotorua and could win,” recalled Mead, “but then Stephen (Ralph) rang and said he was going to back him up quickly in the Cambridge Breeders Stakes, and I said good luck with getting in the field. And the rest is history.
“It was pretty exciting, it’s been a long haul, although every horse I have bred has gone to the races, this is my first stakes winner, in fact he is the first horse I have bred that has run in a stakes race!”
Speedy Meady was in fact sixth on the ballot and scraped into the field on race morning. To add to the drama the prestigious sprint event for three-year-olds the judge was unable to separate Speedy Meady and another smart up and coming sprinter in Vigor Winner (AUS) (Declaration of War[USA]-Savont[AUS]) and a dead heat was declared.
The son of Swiss Ace(AUS) is trained at Te Awamutu by Stephen Ralph and was making only his sixth race day appearance. He was recording his third win and in his short career has never finished further back than fourth.
He is the third foal of the Elusive City(USA) mare Lucy In Disguise, who was purchased by Mead as a weanling.
According to Mead he bought Lucy in Disguise from a mate who bought two weanlings by Elusive City at Karaka and offered him one, he was ask me to choose one but put it back on his mate and was left with Lucy In Disguise. The other weanling was more commercially bred and was out of the stakes placed winning mare Jinsky Rose who had already left Raw Instinct – a multiple listed winner of 13 races.
She went on to win five races, while the other weanling named Phantom of Paris didn’t win a race, however Mead does own and is breeding from her first foal Parisienne Lass, who now has a Rip Van Winkle (IRE) filly at foot.
Lucy In Disguise was trained by Wayne and Anne Herbert who thought very highly of the mare, however she had an issue with loading on a float, and further investigation revealed an old fracture on her back and she was subsequently retired and went to visit Swiss Ace four times.
“We lost the first foal,” said Mead, “the next one was Katie Louise who ran second behind Hard Merchandize at her first start at two, then raced in his Castletown Stakes where she finished sixth, before running another second at her next start.
“She came back at three, but also had gate loading problems, and was put aside but Mead believes after a lot of hard work by a lot of people that she is over that now and just needs a wet track to show her best.
“Speedy Meady (George) was the next foal, and she has a two-year-old also by Swiss Ace,and had a filly foal to Wrote who unfortunately met with a paddock accident.
“She’s not in foal but I will probably send her to stud again this year.”
Lucy In Disguise is out of the unraced Tights(USA) mare Pantaloon, who left four other winners including Trews (by McGinty) a multiple stakes placed winner of two races, and Undertheradar which was also raced by Meads.
“I probably got my first horse about 12-13 years ago,” he recalled.
“My Dad Alan always had horses, and my uncle Gordon raced Kay Ward who was a pretty good horse in the 70’s. I guess I got the bug from them, I guess I have always been interested but I decided that until the kids left home and I had no other commitments and I could afford to lose some money that I wouldn’t be involved.”
One of his early involvements was a horse called C’mon Cuba (Thorn Park[AUS]- Hecuba) who he raced with Bob Bilkie, she won three times and was placed in the Gr.3 Sir Tristram Classic and the Listed Sunline Vase, and now he and Bilkie are breeding from her.
”We have a Dalghar (FR) filly foal, and she is in foal to Charm Spirit(IRE). She has left I See Red (by Redwood[GB]) and Brett Wilkinson borrowed her for a couple of years and he bred Ole Ole (by Makfi [GB])who won two before being sold overseas.”
Mead’s involvement has grown over the years and he bred a few winners from Conquering Beauty (I Conquer-Emerging Star), and her last foal a two-year-old by El Roca is now being educated by Stephen Ralph along with the full sister to Speedy Meady. - Michelle Saba