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Group 3 winner for Allan and Colleen Jackson

Decorah wins the Gr.3 Swap Stockfoods Manawatu Breeders’ Stakes 10.04.15 - Picture courtesy of Race Images
Decorah wins the Gr.3 Swap Stockfoods Manawatu Breeders’ Stakes 10.04.15

Picture courtesy of Race Images

When Decorah (Pins[AUS]-Nordic Dancer) won the Group Three Manawatu Breeders' Stakes recently she became the 150th winner for her owner/breeders Alan and Colleen Jackson.

Included in that number are two very classy mares they have raced in partnership Faint Perfume and Irlanda, but this is the first stakes winner bred by the couple, who are members of the Auckland Branch of the NZTBA.

"It was a fabulous win even though we weren't able to be there, nor were any of the other partners, and neither was the trainer, but we have replayed the race dozens of times," enthused Colleen Jackson, "we are just so proud of her, she is so versatile."

A five-year-old mare Decorah has now won six races from 1200 metres to 2000 metres and has run second over 2100 metres in the Group Three Trentham Stakes, and third in the Group Three Waikato Times Gold Cup over 2400 metres.

She is raced by the Jacksons along with Warren and Barbara Larsen and Colleen's Sydney based brother-in-law Stuart Allan. Warren Larsen was a friend of Murray Baker and so the decision was made to send the horse there, rather than to Lance Noble's Easdon Lodge where most of the Jackson horses are trained.

"Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman have been brilliant and patient, waiting for Decorah to come in to her own and also work out some of the problems she was having in the early days. Other trainers may have given up but they never did, they always saw her potential and we are really grateful for that," she added.

Decorah is the first foal of the Generous (IRE) mare Nordic Dancer, a winner of three races who was placed twice in the Listed Cornwall Handicap at Ellerslie. She in turn is out of Danish Habit a Danehill(USA) half-sister to the champion Rough Habit, and stakes winner Citi Habit. This season that family has also produced the Group Two winner Addictive Habit (Colombia) and earlier his half-brother Branson (Personal Flag[USA]) a Group Three winner of seven races.

"Nordic Dancer is the only mare we have left in New Zealand that we own outright, we have three in the Burnet Jackson partnership," according to Jackson.

"Decorah didn't get a single bid at the sales, and neither did her half-sister by Pentire(GB), at the sales this year, we have since sold her for $5,000. That was surprising as that filly's older full-brother, has been placed in the Listed Geelong Classic this season. Yet no one wants her progeny. She has been served by Pins again, and is in foal, and she has an Iffraaj(IRE) filly at foot.

"It's too hard, it's not worth it, we had six to eight broodmares here, and it just doesn't work if you are an individual breeder. We didn't seem to be having any luck here as breeders, until now.

"We still have five mares in Australia, and Alan does all the pedigree research and the matings for those, studying pedigrees is a passion for him, whereas I am more interested in the racing side of the game. We are buying more to race than breeding foals, Alan researches the pedigrees and sets a budget and we stick to it.

"In Australia you have access to better stallions, and we seem to be able to sell the progeny over there. The mares, except Faint Perfume are kept at The Old Crossing in Singleton with John Wood. The Old Crossing backs onto a river and is quite well irrigated so it doesn't run out of grass. The horses do well there.

Faint Perfume was raced by the couple with her breeder Dato Tan Chin Nam – of Think Big and So You Think fame, and now resides at Think Big Stud in New South Wales. The winner of five races including the Group One Crown Oaks and Vinery Stud Stakes she is by Shamardal(USA) out of the Zabeel mare Zona (AUS). She was also Group One placed twice in the AJC Oaks and the 1000 Guineas, and won twice at Group Two level. She has produced a two-year-old colt by Street Cry (IRE) and two colts by So You Think. She is currently in foal to Redoute's Choice(AUS).

The Jackson's have raced several horses over the years with Chin Nam.

Around 20 years ago, Colleen Jackson worked with Rob Burnet and his father Alan was putting together a syndicate to race a filly called Madame Faubourg (Starboard –Donnarae[USA]), and the Jacksons decided to take a share. Madame Faubourg won four races and was stakes placed, and they were hooked. That started the association with the Burnet's. Madam Faubourg went on to leave a Listed winner in Kingside (Kaapstad).

As well with the Burnet's the Jacksons had further success with Irlanda (O'Reilly-Cenphic) who won six races, including the Group Two NRM Auckland Thoroughbred Breeders Stakes, and was second in the Group One New Zealand Thoroughbred Breeders Stakes. She also won at Group Three and Listed level. She has produced two fillies to High Chaparral, the second of which Tear Gas has won four races in Australia.

"After Madame Faubourg Alan put a syndicate together with some of his friends from Boston Consulting and we raced Beat The Fade (Maroof[USA]- Our Dawn Run) out of Bart's stable and she won the Group Two Emancipation Stakes. That was the start of our run of horses in Australia, then came Faint Perfume and we still have a small racing team over there.

"It's tough to make it work here, but when you have a win like that one with Decorah, who always tries her guts out, you know why this is why we race horses. It's really exciting, and thrilling even if it's only a maiden race on a Thursday somewhere, and I guess that's why we continue, and look forward to more winners and to breeding more stakes winners."

- Michelle Saba


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