Twizel based breeders Stephanie Rathgen and Grant Midgley were in love with All About Magic (Showcasing[GB]-Rosecroft) from the day she was born, and her achievements this season have endorsed their faith and strengthened the love affair.
All About Magic is the recent winner of the Listed Berkley Stud Champagne Stakes at Riccarton, and within the hour in the North Island Rainbow Dash (Showcasing[GB]-Sarsouti) became Showcasing’s second stakes winner for the season. The son of Oasis Dream has left 12 individual two-year-old winners this season that have won 16 races.
This filly is the first horse the couple have raced and one of the first they have bred from their Grantleigh Farm breeding operation.
“It’s really exciting, she is the first horse we have raced,” enthused Stephanie Rathgen, “she has certainly paid her way.
“Not only is she our first winner but she’s our first stakes winner. I bought her dam Rosecroft at the 2016 NZB National Broodmare sale with the intention of putting the resulting Showcasing(GB) back through the ring, but once she was born we decided to keep her.
“She was born at White Robe Lodge and when they sent the photo through my partner Grant said oh she’s magic, we have to keep her and that is basically how she got her name. Not long after that it was announced that Showcasing wasn’t returning so we decided she was the one to keep.”
All About Magic has had five lifetime starts and has a pretty impressive record. Trained by the South Island’s leading trainers Mathew and Michael Pitman, she debuted in the Listed Barneswood Farm Welcome Stakes in November where she finished fifth.
She was put aside and freshened and in late January she came out and won a NZB Insurance Pearl Series 800 metre event complete with bonus, and followed that up with another win in a similar event two weeks later, along with another bonus. Another short break followed and she resumed in mid-April with a second at Canterbury over 1000metres, before taking out the Champagne Stakes (1200 metres) in early May.
All About Magic is the third foal from the Montjeu(IRE) mare Rosecroft, she is also the third winner. The first foal Wapiti by Iffraaj(GB) won a race, while the next foal Rosetta (Pins[AUS]) has won four races.
Following All About Magic, Rosecroft foaled a colt to Ghibellines (AUS) and following a year off is now in foal to Belardo (IRE).
Rosecroft is a daughter of the stakes winning mare Soltanto (by Tights[USA]), a member of the Richard Moore’s illustrious Soliloquy family.
Soltanto won seven races including the Gr.2 ARC Clifford Plate and was second in the Gr.1 Championship Stakes also at Ellerslie. She is also the dam of Temple Hills a winner of six races including the Gr.3 ARC Great Northern Challenge Stakes and the Listed Penny Edition Stakes in Adelaide, and the stakes placed multiple winners Filey and Tantamount.
Soltanto is one of Soliloquy’s 12 named foals, nine of whom were winners including the Gr.1 Avondale Cup winner Solvieg (Imposing[AUS]). Other Group One winners descending directly from Soliloquy include Gallic, Cross Swords, Culminate, Eileen Dubh, Capitivate and Savaria.
Rathgen is fairly new to thoroughbred game, venturing into breeding about five or six years ago. Growing up in Saint Andrews just south of Timaru, she starting riding the neighbours ponies when she was about five.
“I got my first pony when I was 11 and started competing in shows. My pony club instructor was Stu McGiffert who along with wife Sue has Three Valleys farm and I started helping him prepare yearlings to take to the sales. I started off breeding a couple of sport horses then decided I wanted to get into thoroughbreds.
“About five years ago I bought a couple of colts and a mare with a foal at foot to sell with the idea of selling at the South Island sales. It’s been a big learning curve, and next year I hope to take two yearlings to Karaka a Belardo(IRE) colt out of Orinto and Vespa colt out Tallulah Belle.
“When I purchased Rosecroft, I went up with the intention of buying a couple of colts to pin hook but they were too dear that year, so I decided to buy a couple of broodmares. I marked her but thought from that family she would be a bit rich for me, but she was a little worked up in the ring and thankfully I was able to buy her for $7,000.”
A year later she returned to the sale and purchased Olden Days a No Excuse Needed(GB) mare out of Aroon, in foal to Pins(AUS). This mare is a full sister to Take The Rap who won the Gr.3 VRC C S Hayes Stakes before being sold to Hong Kong where he raced as St Rap. That Pins(AUS) mating produced a filly, she has a Road To Rock(AUS) filly at foot and is in foal Ghibellines (AUS).
With 3000 hectares in Twizel, Rathgen doesn’t have any trouble finding a week paddock or two to keep her mares and young stock, but maintains she still gets growled at for using the best paddocks.
She now has four mares Orinto a dual winning mare by Iffraaj(GB) from The Perfume Garden (by Tights) a group three winner of five races, who descends from the wonderful race mare Shelly Burford (Pakistan II[GB]- Nighella). This is the family of Royal Regatta, Bayshore, Love In A Mist, and Round The World. Orinto is currently is the dam of one winner from one foal to race and is in foal to Per Incanto(USA).
Tallulah Belle (Iffraaj[GB]- Sapphire Belle) is another from an old established family, she traces back to the “Flight” family with her fourth dam being Gem Flight the dam of the champion racehorse Alibhai. Her dam Sapphire Belle won five races including the Listed Timaru Cup and is the dam of three winners including the multiple listed winner Merion. Her first foal a colt by Vespa sold at the South Island sale for $10,000 last month.
Rathgen has really immersed herself in the thoroughbred game, joining the NZTBA and is now on the Committee of the Canterbury/Marlborough/Westland/Otago branch.
“It’s good to be involved with a great group of people,” she said, “I enjoy the members’ days and the stud tours and there are some very knowledgeable people involved and I have a lot to learn yet.” - Michelle Saba NZTBA