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Sunshine Gold comes right for Don and Wendy Pye

As a racehorse Sunshine Gold (Zabeel-Talent Scout) showed a lot of promise but had temperament problems and was retired after only six starts.

Owned by NZTBA Auckland branch members Don and Wendy Pye, she ran two placings in those six starts but also demolished the starting gates at Ellerslie on another occasion, and following that incident it was decided her future lay elsewhere.

Twelve years on and Sunshine Gold is now the dam of six foals, four to race for four winners including the recent group three Macau Sprint Trophy winner Luck of Smiling (Elusive City [USA]).

According to her part-owner Don Pye she has redeemed herself as a broodmare.
"Luck of Smiling" has turned out to be quite a good race horse for the mare, and she has produced some lovely foals, and hopefully she can go on to produce some more.

The three- year-old gelding Luck of Smiling is trained in Macau by MC Tam and has had 15 starts for eight wins and six placings. He was originally purchased by Hawkes Racing from the 2009 Festival sale but was on sold to Macau, however Team Hawkes must have seen some potential in Luck of Smiling as this summer they paid $230,000 for his Pentire half brother from the Select sale. The Pye's have an Iffraaj colt to sell out of the mare at the yearling sales next summer.

Despite not making it on the racetrack herself, Sunshine Gold descends from a family of very talented racehorses. Her dam Talent Scout (Danzatore [CAN]) won six races in Australia and New Zealand and was stakes placed on a number of occasions. She in turn is the dam of five winners and a half sister to the multiple group one winner Miltak, also a successful producer. Both these mares are out of Encore (Amyntor [FR]), a five-time winning daughter of the Fell's great race mare Harp (Sobig).

Sunshine Gold's first foal was Adict (Green Perfume [USA]) who won one race before being fatally injured in a race at Trentham. Her second foal, Sungirl (Kilimanjaro[GB]), also won one race before joining the Pye's broodmare band. Her first foal, a three-quarter brother to Luck of Smiling, sold at Karaka last summer for $45,000.

Luck of Smiling is the third foal followed by a full brother, Seven Cities, a winner in Victoria, then the Pentire and the Iffraaj.

"I have to give credit to Mark Chitty of Haunui Farm. He offered to take Sunshine Gold after her inglorious race career and said he could sort her out, and now she is a lovely quiet mare, a great mum and none of her foals have had temperament issues."

"She was late foaling last Spring so we left her empty. I like to give the mares a year off when they get a bit late as the Australians are not keen on buying late foals," said Pye.

"I have been right through the stallion register and marked all the stallions with Mr Prospector (USA) in their pedigrees and now I just have to decide which one I am going to send her to. The same applies to Sungirl - she will go to a Mr Prospector sire line horse as well. It obviously works well with this pedigree."

Pye is a big fan of Mr Prospecto- line stallions and has had a fair bit of success breeding that way. The well performed listed Matamata Cup winner Atom Cat (Traditionally [USA] – Gatestopper) that he and Wendy currently race is bred that way. Gatestopper is in foal to Bachelor Duke (USA), and has been to Elusive City and Iffraaj, and is among the 10 or so mares that they will send to stud this year.

"There is a bit of a lull in our racing team at the moment as we have sold a lot of nice colts over the last few years," he said, "so I will have to keep sending the mares to stud to build that up."

- Michelle Saba


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