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Hinemoa lives up to her Potential

Hinemoa (Elusive City – Titania) the recent winner of the Waikato Racing Club's listed Ag and Turf Sprint (FC Johnstone Handicap) is the latest stakes winning member of a family that long term Central Districts NZTBA member Chris Grace has nurtured for fifty plus years. "It's great when you run a horse out of their grade in the hope that they will get some black type and it does. It was very exciting and not really that much of a surprise, as she has always shown potential. We had real problems with her about twelve months ago as she doesn't like hard ground, but like a lot of my horses we have given her plenty of time," he said. At five, Hinemoa has only failed to earn a cheque once. From only eleven starts she has notched up three wins, three seconds two thirds, and two fourths. She is trained for Chris and his wife Susanna at Matamata by Andrew Clarken and Mike Moroney.On the same day another member of the Grace racing team, also related to Hinemoa, Tullaroan(Generous – Kamahi)ran third in the Manawatu Cup prelude, and has black type on his immediate agenda also. Born in Hunterville in the Manawatu into a family steeped in racing and farming history, Chris Grace decided at 21 that he wanted to follow his heritage and purchased a filly at the National yearling sales to be his foundation broodmare. "I made the decision to spend the money on a good horse rather than to use it to head off on my OE, and the filly I bought was Hakawai (Le Filou-Te Awa) for 2300 guineas. She was the highest priced yearling that year. She was an outstanding juvenile with four wins in her debut season including the Wakefield Challenge Stakes at Wellington. "Hakawai was a half sister to a very good weight-for-age specialist in Tatua who won over 20 races. The year that Hakawai performed as at top two-year-old Te Awa was named Broodmare of the Year. "Unfortunately Hakawai died when she about four and then I purchased a three-quarter sister Clearness by Without Fear from Clearaway who was by Le Filou from Te Hinemoa (Mr Standfast –Prodice) a half sister to Te Awa, and she became my foundation mare. From the descendants of this family Grace has bred a raft of winners. Clearness had five named foals who all won, including Out Clear (In The Purple) the dam of O'Malley's Boy and Hinewai (Zamazaan) the dam or Morar (Otehi Bay) and Pinprick (Pins). She also left a winning mare Kamahi (Grosvenor) who in turn has left the stakes performer Primavera (Volksraad), the aforementioned Tullaroan and two other winners. Her third daughter Amorina (Sovereign Edition) won one race and left only one named foal Titania (Grosvenor). She won a race over 1000 metres before embarking on a very successful stud career. Titania has had 10 foals with Hinemoa being her seventh. Her first foal Taitanium (Kingdom Bay) won five races and was third in the listed Manawatu Breeders Stakes. She is now at stud as well and has left Tenacity (Zabeel) a winner of two races who has gone to stud for the first time this year. Taitanium is currently in foal to Mastercraftsman. The second foal of Titania was the smart performing Lady Annaliese (Groom Dancer) who won one race in New Zealand and was sold after running third in the New Zealand Oaks. In the United States she won on three more occasions including the listed Hollywood Hermosa Beach Handicap. Titania has also left the multiple winners Titan Prince (Volksraad) and Kuratau (Kingdom Bay), as well as a winning mare Chris is now breeding from called Lottery (Carnegie). After Hinemoa she left Pirinetete a Johar filly that Chris is racing in partnership with some friends. "At 20 I don't think Titania will have any more foals, she has been served by Pins but I don't think she will take, but I have plenty of others from the family to go on with. I haven't sold any thing at the sales for a couple of years I find it easier to work them along and get them going and sell them for around $150 to $200,000. "We have our own property adjacent to the Bulls racecourse where the horses are kept and pre-trained and all the paddocks there are irrigated. Some are sold from there and others go on to various trainers and get sold as proven horses. A lot don't make it as well and I can tell you that there is a whole stable of polo ponies out there with my XX brand. "I have been pretty lucky with my horses I've bred a few stakes winners and had a couple of good seasons racing them recently, when they go off to the trainer you aim for the sky but even if you see them in your colours win a maiden race at Bulls or somewhere obscure you get a big thrill and know they have done very well," he added. True to his heritage Chris Grace is still involved in farming and has paved a career in the meat industry, and he still races his team in a set of family colours emerald green with gold sleeves and a white cap. "My father raced his horses in the emerald green with the gold sleeves and a black cap, and my mother raced hers with a white cap. When I raced Hakawai I added green armbands and a black and white quartered cap, but after my parents passed away I went back to the original with the white cap because it's easy to see in a race, and I usually loose or forget my binoculars!"

- Michelle Saba


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