After winning the Gr.3 Sunshine Coast Guineas with Bostonian (Jimmy Choux-Keepa Cheval), Auckland based breeder David Archer is the first to admit that he has been very lucky with his horses and they have taken him and his family on quite a journey.
Bostonian is the latest star in the family owned by Archer Equine Investments Ltd, which also races the Gr.2 ATC Chairman’s Cup winner Charles Road, and he has been campaigning in Queensland for the last two months.
Although dogged by bad luck to begin with, patience paid off and the three-year-old son of Jimmy Choux recorded three wins from three starts, starting with the Listed Daybreak Lover Stakes at the Sunshine Coast, and followed by the Singapore Airlines Plate at Doomben, before scoring in the Sunshine Coast Guineas.
Archer’s son Simon, a partner in Archer Equine Investments Ltd, lives in Brisbane, and over the last few months Archer and his life partner Diane Wright have made several trips to join him in the Queensland capital to watch Bostonian race. Archer’s daughter Natalie, who lives in Syndey, is also involved in the family partnership.
“The first time, we booked our airfares, paid a huge price for lunch tickets and headed off only to be told at the races, that we were being scratched by the stewards,” recalled Archer after Bostonian was scratched from the Listed Queensland Day Stakes, on Doomben 10000 day.
“A week later he drew 18 out of 18 and Tony elected not to run him. Then a week later we headed over bought the tickets for lunch again, only to discover he had a spider bite.
“We did manage to catch all three of his wins, the three of us, and they were magnificent times.
“It’s been quite a journey, I have been very lucky with my horses. I stopped racing them when my wife got cancer, and it was only after she died that I got back into it.
“I bought Belle Joie for my daughter and son and it helped bond us together. Now my new partner Dianne also loves horses and she shares in the ownership of Bostonian, its great family stuff.”
It was in 2004 when Brendan Lindsay persuaded Archer a successful insurance broker, to join him at the yearling sales, with Archer vowing not to buy a horse, however he came back with three and a half.
Amongst that number were Belle Joie (Mellifont[USA]-Sheila Cheval) and Gallions Reach (Victory Dance [IRE]-Dorinka), and all of a sudden he was back in the game, he had developed an interest in from his avid punter father.
Belle Joie joined the McKee stable and won six races, while Gallions Reach was trained by Richard Yuill and won nine races including the Gr.1 Zabeel Classic, Gr.2 Counties Cup, Gr.3 Taranaki Cup and Lindauer Special Reserve Vintage Stakes and ran second in the Gr.1 Auckland Cup.
It was due to the ability that Belle Joie was showing that Archer decided to go back to the sales and buy another yearling from Sheila Cheval from the draft of Rich Hill Stud, this time a colt by Pentire(GB), and two years after that a filly by Keeper(AUS).
The Pentire(GB) colt was the champion racehorse Mufhasa and the Keeper(AUS) filly, Keepa Cheval the dam of Bostonian.
Mufhasa won 20 races including 10 at group one level, he was Horse of the Year twice, Champion Sprinter three times and Champion Miler in 2008-9. Twice he won the Gr.1 Waikato Draught Sprint and the Gr.1 Telegraph Handicap, as well as the Gr.1 Otaki Maori WFA, the Gr.1 Captain Cook Stakes, and at Hawkes Bay the Gr.1 Makfi Challenge Stakes and the Gr.1 Windsor Park Plate.
He also proved himself in Australia winning the Gr.1 MRC Futurity Stakes and Gr.1 Toorak Handicap.
According to Archer Belle Joie and Mufhasa were magnificent and helped bond his family together over the years. Both horses now enjoy a special retirement on the Archer property in Karaka.
“We couldn’t sell Belle Joie she is like family and was the one that started this whole journey,” said Archer.
She is one of three broodmares that Archer owns, and although she has been disappointing she will always have a special place on the property. Her first foal SImbah by Pentire (GB) and thus a three-quarter brother to Mufhasa, won two and was stakes placed. She currently has a Pentire weanling, which is a brother to Simbah and is in foal to Vadamos(FR).
The other two mares Keepa Cheval and Seven Schillings, Archer describes as being more commercial, and both reside at Trelawney Stud.
Keepa Cheval didn’t live up to her older siblings on the race track winning only one race, but has redeemed herself as a broodmare. Her first three foals are all winners.
Bostonian has now won six races, winning twice at two, before winning the Listed HBJC El Roca-Colin Meads Trophy in the spring. He was also placed in the Gr.2 James and Annie Sarten Memorial Stakes at Te Rapa, before running fifth in the Gr.1 New Zealand 2000 Guineas, where he sustained an injury which kept off the scene until he went to Australia.
His full brother Chassure has won two races in Sydney, and an older filly by Makfi(GB), Vitesse is also a winner. A full brother to Vitesse sold at Karaka earlier this year for $180,000. Keepa Cheval has a Rip Van Winkle(IRE) weanling filly, is in foal to Iffraaj(GB), and will visit Alamanzour(FR) this season.
Archer’s other mare is another that he raced, Seven Schillings (O’Reilly-Landon), who won the Gr.3 Ford Classic 2YO at Taranaki and ran second in the Gr.1 Diamond Stakes at Ellerslie.
She has had three foals to the races for two winners Fascinate Me, and Heptagon a winner of four races in Australia and Emily Margaret who has had two starts for two placings at two this season. She has an Ifraaj(GB) yearling filly, a weanling by Jimmy Choux – a brother to Heptagon - and is in foal to Turn Me Loose.
“We have a tranquil little horse property in Karaka, which we love,” enthused Archer, “toit’s in Charles Road, not far from the Karaka sales centre, and of course Mufhasa lives there, and off and on horses that are spelling.
“Amy Durrant who has been Mufhasa’s partner for life, lives on the property and looks after the horses, and Derek Nolan rides them when they are pre-training and also helps out. We are very fortunate to have Amy and Derek as we are only little players.
“Charles Road was unwell earlier this year and he spent some weeks at the farm and Amy and Derek cared for him and got him back to the O’Sullivan/ Scott stable in peak condition before his successful autumn campaign. And the same when Bostonian got hurt in the Guineas. He returned to the farm and Clare McGowan worked hard on him and fixed him before he returned to Tony.
“We have our own place on the property where we stay at weekends, it’s my tranquil place I love getting out there at the end of the week.”
Archer’s passion for the industry is obvious, and he appreciates that he has been very lucky with his bloodstock endeavours, and that combined with his successful insurance broking business led him to establish Fasttrack Insurance. A loyalty programme whereby a portion of the premiums paid for insurance cover is contributed back to the racing industry to help boost stake money. Fasttrack Insurance are one of the NZTBA’s wonderful partners. - Michelle Saba