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NZTBA members celebrate top results at Wanganui

Waikato owner-breeders Ron and Maryanne Thompson (pictured above) and Matamata trainer Tony Gillies after the impressive stakes win by Fiddler (3 Ch. G. Keeninsky – Adonia, by Brigade Of Guards) in the $45,000, Listed, H S Dyke Wanganui Guineas over 1340-metres.
Waikato owner-breeders Ron and Maryanne Thompson (pictured above) and Matamata trainer Tony Gillies after the impressive stakes win by Fiddler (3 Ch. G. Keeninsky – Adonia, by Brigade Of Guards) in the $45,000, Listed, H S Dyke Wanganui Guineas over 1340-metres.

On a weekend where the Horse of the Year awards were being celebrated on both sides of the Tasman and multi million dollar earners were receiving all the accolades, the first two black type three-year-old races of the New Zealand season the listed Wanganui Guineas, and the listed Fordell O'Leary's Fillies Stakes, were held at Wanganui.

The winners of these races Fiddler (Keeninsky-Adonia) and Rememba Howe (Handsome Ransom – Yachting Magic) not only gave their young stallions their first black type winners but they were both bred by a couple of hard working, grassroots private breeders who were as excited about their wins as the recipients of the Horse of the Year awards.

Fiddler, the winner of the H S Dyke Wanganui Guineas, is raced by his breeder Ron Thompson a member of the NZTBA Auckland branch and trained for him at Matamata by Tony Gillies. He is out of his former good racemare Adonia (Brigade of Guards – Athena) herself a winner of the Foxbridge Plate and four other races.

"I am so thrilled with Fiddler. I have been racing horses from this particular family for four generations and a win like this is so rewarding," according to Thompson.

"Unfortunately he is the last foal as the mare died last year carrying a full sister to him but we were unable to save her.

"She was a fairly good race horse and everything that has raced out of her has won, the only one I haven't raced is Regal Babe. She is by O'Reilly's full brother Kingmaker and now I think I will send her straight to stud without racing her.

"Adonia left three winners by O'Reilly (Last Tycoon – Courtza); Maloney and Gilhooley which I raced, and Imazeus and another winner Regal Babe (Hunza Court a brother to Courtza) has the same bloodlines as they do so I am pretty sure she is worth breeding from now," he added.

"I was pleased for the team at The Oaks as well and pleased to be the breeder of Keeninsky's first stakes winner. I liked Keeninsky as a racehorse, and thought he would be an ideal mating for Adonia – he didn't win over 1400 metres and neither did she so I followed the theory of breeding a sprinter over a sprinter. Hopefully Fiddler will go beyond 1400 metres and on to the 2000 Guineas," he enthused.

Ron Thompson operates a building business out of Waitakaruru on the Hauraki Plains and has been racing horses for around 40 years. He has always been into racing and started off with a few fillies that became broodmares, one of which was Arragon's Lady (Summertime-Autumn Glow) who is the great granddam of Fiddler.

"Arragon's Lady gave Brian Smith his first winner as a public trainer. That was her only win and she left a winner - Mid Northern by Lomond. I kept one other foal, a filly by Licorice Stick called Athena.

"During the early 80's just after Sir Jack Butland died, and his wife was selling up all the stock at Blandford Lodge, I bought Brigade of Guards (Brigadier Gerard – Hazy Idea) and stood him myself on a 10 acre block in Waitakaruru.

"He used to serve a handful of mares and one of those was Athena and the result was Adonia. He did leave a couple of other stakes winners including Anteaus who was out of a sister to Arragon's Lady," he said.

"These days I live at Miranda and still have a couple of mares and my racehorses as a hobby and it's a great hobby when you can travel around going to the races and meet good people and win a black type race."

The owners and breeders of the winner of the Fordell O'Leary's Fillies Stakes Rememba Howe didn't have to travel to Wanganui to watch their filly as they all live there and she is trained there by Evan and Jay Jay Rayner.

She is out of Yachting Magic (Yachtie-So Lucky) owned by another local Wanganui identity Wayne Keenan, the owner and breeder of O'Ceirins Angel. A half brother to that horse Mr O'Ceirin (Postponed –Cadell) was a debut winner in an earlier race at Wanganui as well.

"What an unbelievable day it was," enthused an ebullient Wayne Keenan a member of the NZTBA Wanganui/Taranaki branch, "to have Mr O'Ceirin win on debut and then this filly take out the listed race, it was pretty special.

"Even though I am registered as the breeder of Rememba Howe, she has always belonged to my mates. Dave O'Leary who is part of the clan that sponsored the race has been a mate of mine for years and when his marriage broke up a few years ago he came to live at my place.

"At the time he said he wouldn't mind breeding a racehorse for himself and a few of his fellow prison officer mates to race, so I effectively lent them the mare and they sent her to Handsome Ransom. When the foal was born I liked her so much I sent the mare back there myself and I have a cracking full sister to Rememba Howe.

"She is due to foal to Sandtrap and will visit Bachelor Duke along with my other mares Cadell and Clancy O'Ceirin. All her foals have been winners including Rueben Percival (Al Akbar) whom I sold to Gai Waterhouse about a month ago.

Yachting Magic won two races and hails from the same family that produced Born to be Queen, Stormee, Shaitan, Bright Blue and Lodore Lady.

Last week Keenan's classy mare O'Ceirins Angel was served by Pins. She retired to stud this year as the winner of nine races including the group three Postponed Classic at Hawera twice, as well as being placed in the group one Captain Cook Stakes and group three Cuddle Stakes.

"Rememba Howe was always precocious and she and Mr O'Ceirin were always "go forward" type horses from the word go. It will be pretty exciting for me if they both get to Christchurch for the Guineas races in November. Mr O'Ceirin will be much better on top of the ground.

"It's been an amazing couple of years really, with O'Ceirin's Angel winning the group three Breeders Stakes two years in a row, and now this latest stakes winner. It's a great game to be in," he said gleefully.

- Michelle Saba


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