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Brave Ali packs a punch for Ron Webby

Brave Ali keeps up a strong gallop to take out the Tails Stakes at Eagle Farm. - Photo: NZTM website
Brave Ali keeps up a strong gallop to take out the Tails Stakes at Eagle Farm.

Photo: NZTM website

As a small breeder Waikato NZTBA branch member Ron Webby is pretty chuffed about his latest stakes winner Brave Ali (O'Reilly- Knockmeout), the recent winner of the Listed Eagle Farm JRA Tails Stakes.

"It's just a hobby and I love being involved. I have only got a couple of mares and I have bred four stakes winners, Gale, Danamite, Willy Ryan and now Brave Ali, even if this last one has taken his time," he enthused.

Webby was referring to the fact that Brave Ali is now a seven-year-old, but he hasn't been idle in his racing career notching up 11 wins from 35 starts. Six of those wins are in the city with the last three giving him a hat trick.

"I sold him as a yearling out of the paddock to Hong Kong, and he was leased to Jim Dedes who is the manager of the Armidale Racing Club in northern New South Wales, and a bunch of others associated with that club. They are having a lot of fun with him and keep me informed."

At the time Webby still had his full brother Willy Ryan, his third stakes winner and Knockmeout's first foal. He won his maiden in a three-year-old Listed race at Ellerslie, the Triple Crown Cup, and from 17 starts won another race and was placed seven times. Unfortunately he shattered a shoulder in track-work at Cambridge just as he was about to start his four-year-old campaign.

Being a fan of the Tesio breeding philosophy he purchased Knockmeout, a Kingdom Bay mare, after an unsuccessful racing career- she failed at her only two starts - as she had a 4 x4 cross to Star Kingdom.

"On her top line is Biscay's son Star Kingdom (IRE), (through Otehi Bay (AUS) the sire of Kingdom Bay) and on her bottom line is his daughter Royal Casino (Star Kingdom(IRE) – Dorica [IRE]). She also has the proven Sir Tristram (IRE)-Star Kingdom(IRE) cross - her dam Twice As Good is by Sir Tristram from Royal Casino's daughter Deuce of Spades, and under the Tesio theory I naturally put her to O'Reilly who has the 4 x 4 cross to Nashrullah (IRE) and Princequillo(IRE). He gets that through Last Tycoon's dam sire Mill Reef (GB), on top and Courtza on his dam side, through Pompeii Court (USA)," he stated, "and with Willy Ryan and Brave Ali it's worked twice."

"I have two lovely Zed's as well, and they are bred 4 x4 to Sir Tristram (IRE). The first is a four-year-old named Ali and he is in work with Toby Autridge and the second is Bomaye which is the second part of the chant for the famous Mahammad Ali fight with George Foreman in Zaire in 1974 – known as the Rumble in the Jungle. It went Ali Bomaye Ali Bomaye, Ali Bomaye.

"Both are going well and I am looking forward to them racing. She is back in foal to Zed - that is how much I rate them. She always leaves very correct foals, and has a lovely Mastercraftsman(IRE) filly at foot at the moment. It's a good old strong family."
Other stakes winners from the same family include the Belmont Oaks winner Vulnerable (Western Symphony (USA) –Deuce of Spades) and the good handicapper Clubs Are Trumps (Gatekeeper[GB] – Royal Casino).

"I don't have many mares - only three and two of those are descendants of Imposing Choice. She was the mare that started me on this fabulous journey. Her first foal was Gale by wild Rampage (AUS) and she won three races including the listed Castletown Stakes.

"Her fourth foal I also kept and raced and that was Danamite and he won the Group Two Avondale Guineas and the Group Three Wellington Stakes and was second in the Group One Canterbury Guineas and Rosehill Guineas, third in the 2000 Guineas and the AJC Derby, before being sold to Hong Kong where he won in excess of a million dollars. Imposing Choice left one other winner Happy All Round who won 6 races in Hong Kong.

"I retired Gale to the broodmares' paddock and sent her to Centaine (AUS).The resulting foal was Ciezro, who I gave a couple of starts and she ran last at both of them. I put a 'for sale' advertisement in the Friday Flash and wanted $5,000, I only got one call and that was from Richard Wood and he said he would only give me $2500 so I sold it."

Ciezro went on to be the dam of the champion colt Jimmy Choux who now stands at Rich Hill Stud. Webby did keep her winning half- sister by Danasinga (AUS) in Calgary.

"Naturally she has been to Thorn Park (AUS) a couple of times and the stock have sold reasonably well into good stable, She has a Pour Moi foal and is foal now to Ocean Park."

Webby keeps his mares and young stock on his 40 acre property Lakeview Lodge, so named as it overlooks Lake Karapiro, half way between Cambridge and Tirau. And it's his love of horses that keeps him in the game, something he inherited from his Irish mother, and her father who bred gig ponies.

- Michelle Saba


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