A friendship developed at the racetrack reaped the rewards at Riverton on Wednesday.
Peter Forde and John and Barbara Racz met when in the ownership of five-time winner Ginty’s Choice (Coats Choice x Ginty’s Gold) and bought out the syndicate to secure the well-related mare as a breeding prospect.
This week her only live foal to date, Gintys Girl (by Ghibellines) cleared maiden ranks when winning her mile contest at her fourth career start.
Barbara Racz has a special place in her heart for Gintys Girl having foaled her down at their 15-acre Otautau property and was thrilled to see her score a deserved win.
“It was really good,” Racz said. “We have had a bit of bad luck over the years and she has been the only one who has got to the races. I have a very special connection with her, all my foals I breed are foaled down at home and I was there right from the start with her. To get her where she is now has been very exciting for me.
“She is pretty green still, she is young but I think she will come up better next year and hopefully we get some more fun out of her.”
Gintys Girl will head for a spell and return to the Racz’s for a break before coming back for her four-year-old season.
Racz has grown up in the thoroughbred industry and is very hands on with her horses, doing a lot of their early education before they head to the trainer.
“I do all the preparation,” she said. “Tying up, lifting their feet, rubbing them down, all that sort of stuff.
“My father was a trainer and I used to help him after school riding horses. I’ve always gone to the races and worked in stables and then decided to breed my own. We had the land here so we started breeding and it has gone from there.”
Gintys Girl comes from a strong southern family and her pedigree page lists the likes of Listed Waikouaiti Cup winner King D’Or (Palatable x Queen of Gold) and Listed South Island Breeders’ Stakes winner Missy (Stark South x Queen of Gold) who is the dam of Gr.3 Winter Cup winner Miss Three Stars (Perfectly Ready x Missy) and Listed winners Uncle (Palatable) and Esprit D’Or (Al Jaheed).
“She’s from the Crooks’ breed that goes back to Miss Three Stars,” Peter Forde said. “It is a good breed.”
Forde was delighted with the result and said Gintys Girl had her excuses leading into the win.
“We were pretty happy,” Forde said. “We have bred three out of the mare, one had an injury and had to be euthanized and the other died when it was a foal so to have the third one come and win was pretty exciting.”
“Her first start she ran seventh but was green and only three or so lengths off them. The next one was at Riverton and there was the gale wind and she drew wide, was ridden wide and attacked the lead into a gale wind so she stopped and you can’t blame her. They cancelled the races after that it was so windy.
“Then she went to Dunedin and ran second, she came home quick and ran a good time. We were pretty confident going into yesterday, we had a bit of a doubt about the wet track but she handled it okay.”
Gintys Girl is by Ghibellines who will stand this season at $8,000 +GST. Standing at White Robe Lodge, he is currently running on 49.5 percent runners to winners and 5.9 percent stakes winners to runners.
His other progeny include Gr.2 Coupland’s Bakeries Mile winner Markus Aurelius, multiple Southern Guineas winner Palmetto, proven sprinter Live Drama, last-start Listed Warstep Stakes (2000m) winner Burgie and talented stayer Smokin’ Romans, who won the Listed Pakenham Cup (2500m) in a campaign that netted five wins.
“We went to Raise The Flag a couple of times,” Forde said. “It was close to home but after we lost the first two foals we thought we would go to Ghibellines who was relatively new at the time. He is a nice big stallion and he is leaving some nice horses and doing a great job.”
Ginty's Choice is currently having a break from broodmare duties but her ownership group haven't ruled out a return to the breeding barn.
Invercargill-based Forde is a car mechanic by trade, owning his own business for around 26 years, but openly admits his real passion is for a different sort of horsepower.
“My father used to train horses years ago so I have been involved in horses for about 50 years,” He said. “We were always riding horses as kids.
“I’ve always loved going to the races, you’d think being a mechanic I’d be into car racing but rugby and horse racing are my passion. Beer is the other one.” -Amie Best, NZTBA