The Smithies brothers Joe and Max experienced a weekend most breeding farms can only dream about at Rotorua races recently.
Their family owned Monovale Holdings bred the Gr.3 Sweynesse Stakes (1215m) winner Dawn Patrol (Dawn Approach[IRE]- Dazzling) and the Listed Staphanos Classic (1950m) winner Sweet Treat (Ekraar[USA]- Flinders [USA]), and for good measure they own a half-share of the latter winner.
Sweet Treat also provided Joshua Kam, his first black type winner at only his second winning ride.
“It certainly was a weekend to remember,” enthused Joe Smithies, “We had put Sweet Treat through the sales in 2015 and Denise Howell bought her, we felt that she made unders so we stayed in for half, and now we are looking at a stakes winning mare.
“With Dawn Patrol Frank Ritchie really liked the pedigree and subsequently bought the horse at the 2017 Select Sale, for his long-term client Rex Jensen. From the minute he got him home he was a horse that wanted to get up and go, he likes to do things on his own terms and hasn’t been the easiest of horses to train, but Frank has worked him out and has good success.
“We bought Dazzling in foal, to Dawn Approach basically for the same reason that Frank bought the yearling, we liked the pedigree and knew it would rejuvenate at some stage. We thought it’s one of the best old families around and knew something would wake it up soon enough.”
And in Dawn Patrol they found that horse. He was recording his fourth win from just 10 starts; in fact he has only been out of the money twice in his short career and ran second to last season’s champion colt Madison County in the Gr.1 Al Basti Equiworld 2000 Guineas last November. He has also recorded placings in the Gr.2 Wellington Guineas and the Listed Uncle Remus Stakes.
He is out of the winning Star Way(GB) mare Dazzling the last foal of Limitless the Gr.1 Brisbane Cup winner bred and raced by Una and Doug Ancell. As well as winning the Brisbane Cup she won the Gr.3 AJC Summer Cup, the listed WRC Anniversary Handicap, Listed NSW Tatt’s RC Tattersall’s Club Cup, and ran second in the Gr.1 AJC Queen Elizabeth Handicap.
At stud Limitless produced nine foals including five to Star Way(GB). It proved to be a successful mating producing Zero Limit the winner of eight races including the listed QTC Thai Airways International Handicap, Easter Cup and Twinkling who won five races including the listed ARC Guineas Trial, Cornwall Handicap and Great Northern Foal Stakes.
Le Chocolat won three races and an unraced daughter Nothing Less produced nine foals including the Gr.1 New Zealand Oaks winner Boundless who won nine races in total amongst them the Gr.2 Counties Cup, Gr.3 ARC Nicolas Feuillatte Stakes, and Gr.3 Hawkes Bay Gold Cup. Nothing Less also produced the stakes placed winners Purrfection (Tale of the Cat [USA]), Nothing Lika Tango (Dance Floor [USA]) and Our Dance (Dance Floor [USA]).
To Centro, Limitless produced Over The Limit, the winner of one race and the dam of the mighty Veyron a winner of 15 races in New Zealand and Australia including four at group one level. He won the ARC Easter Handicap twice, the Zabeel Classic and the Waikato Draught Sprint. In Australia he won the Gr.2 ATC Warwick Stakes and was placed in the Gr.1 ATC George Main Stakes.
By the mighty Sir Tristram(IRE) Limitless was out of the Zamazaan (FR) mare Coverless, herself a winner of four races. She produced four other winners besides Limitless including her full sister Run For Cover the winner of five races including the listed City Tattersall’s Club Cup, and Reap Gold (Gold and Ivory[USA]) who won five and was placed in the Gr.3 Rotorua Cup.
Back to Dazzling she is also the dam of two other winners from her time in Australia; Duibio (Not A Single Doubt[AUS]), and Dazzling Rain (Manhattan Rain[AUS]). The Smithies’ have a two-year-old colt by Ocean Park out of the mare in work with the Ritchies and they have retained the her last foal, a filly by Proisir(AUS).
Dawn Approach, the sire of Dawn Patrol, is a son of the Galileo(IRE) sire New Approach(IRE) and was a Champion Two-Year-Old who went on to win the 2000 Guineas at Newmarket. He previously stood at Darley in Australia and Dawn Patrol is his third Southern Hemisphere group winner.
Sweet Treats mating was planned by Paul Smithies, Joe and Max’s father who passed away in 2017. Paul was a stalwart of the Waikato branch of the NZTBA, as well as serving on the NZTBA Council. He had purchased the American bred Royal Academy(USA) mare Flinders from Darley around 10 years ago.
She had left a winner in Mauritius (Cape Cross [IRE]) and was in foal to Commands(AUS). After foaling a filly she was served by Henrythenavigator(USA) before moving to New Zealand. That mating produced De Paolino who won two races.
Her first New Zealand mating was to Iffraaj(GB)and resulted in Ezra a stakes placed winning mare. A return to that stallion produced Flaaj a winner of four races, before she visited Ekraar(USA) twice.
Sweet Treat, now six, is the result of the first mating and she has now won five races, her year younger brother Steven James has won two and another Iffraaj(GB) youngster has also won two races. Flinders has a three-year-old colt by Sacred Falls and a two-year-old colt by Ekraar(USA) who are yet to race.
Flinders is out of the Diesis (GB) mare Eternal Reve (USA) a winner of the Gr.3 Curragh Matron Stakes, and the listed Deauville Prix Yacowlef, and the Longchamp Prix du Pont-Neuf. She was also group one placed in the Keeneland Queen Elizabeth II Gold Cup, and the Royal Ascot Coronation Stakes.
Eternal Reve is also the dam of five stakes performers, and progenitor of a host of black type performers. She is also a half-sister to the stakes winners Eternity Star(USA) a Hollywood Derby winner and Eternity Range(USA) a successful sire. Their dam Northern Eternity (USA) (by Northern Dancer [USA]) is a stakes-winning sister to Miswaki (USA).
“Flinders died but we also have the half-sister to Sweet Treats by Iffraaj in Ezra and she has had been to Savabeel (AUS) three times and to Sacred Falls so we have given her every opportunity,” said Smithies.
“We have around 30 mares we are trying to keep it reasonably simple, and we can’t really justify too many more especially some of the lesser bred mares, with the current state of the industry. We have around 15 mares that are Book One, and the others we are taking a punt on improving.
“We send a few mares to Verdi and Puccini each year and a few to Australia as well, which is fairly typical of what we have always done.
“Dad has passed on the baton and now we are running our leg of the race.”
Puccini and Verdi were bred and raced by Paul Smithies, out of his great mare Miss Opera who also left the Champion Middle Distance Horse Sir Slick the winner of 22 races. Puccini (by Encosta de Lago) who won eight races, including the New Zealand Derby, and was Champion New Zealand Three-Year-Old of his year, while Verdi a winner of three races is by Zabeel. They both retired to stud in 2017, Puccini at Mapperley Stud and Verdi and Long Acres Stud.
“We always like to race a few,” he added, “and we seem to have ended up getting a few fillies by Puccini and Verdi so we will keep them to race, as well we are keeping some to trade as tried horses. Both stallions have done a great job with leaving a good type.
“We are looking forward to getting some of their progeny on the track. It will be nice to have a true home bred having bred both the stallion and the mare.”
A legacy Paul Smithies would be very proud of. -Michelle Saba, NZTBA