If anyone needed reminding about the ability of Ardsley Stud to raise top-level racehorses, they got a double reminder last Saturday.
Outstanding jumper Tallyho Twinkletoe, who created history when winning the Grand National Steeplechase (5600m) at Riccarton, and Sierra Sue, victorious in the Gr.2 PB Lawrence Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield, were both raised and sold on the Wallace family’s Wairarapa farm.
Sierra Sue was foaled at Ardsley Stud. She was bred by John Fokerd, who subsequently dispersed his breeding interests and looked to sell the filly.
She didn’t reach her reserve of $30,000 at the New Zealand Bloodstock National Yearling Sale in 2018, and she was eventually bought by Waikato trainer Peter Lock at the 2019 Karaka May Sale as an untried two-year-old for $2000.
“She was a lovely, big, strong filly and I couldn’t believe she only made $2000,” Ardsley Stud’s Jim Wallace said.
“My daughter was leading her around the ring and Peter came up to me and said ‘what’s wrong with this thing?’ I said ‘there’s nothing wrong with her at all’, and he went and bought her.”
Lock prepared her to win a trial at Te Aroha in December 2019 by 4-1/2 lengths, easily accounting for a field that included the exciting prospect Gold Watch. Shortly afterwards bloodstock agent Phill Cataldo negotiated her sale to a group of Australian owners headed by Ozzie Kheir.
“It was great to see her win on Saturday and I understand she’s probably heading to the Memsie Stakes (Gr.1, 1400m) in a fortnight,” Wallace said. “If she could win that, it would be fantastic.”
Since Sierra Sue, her dam Centree has produced two Per Incanto foals. One, Oscar Glory, is now in Hong Kong and won his first race there in June, while the other, now three, won a trial at Te Rapa for the Jamie Richards stable on Monday.
Fokerd subsequently signed Centree over to Ardsley Stud and she is due to foal any day to Mongolian Khan. All going well she will visit Sierra Sue’s sire Darci Brahma this spring.
Tallyho Twinkletoe has a closer connection with Wallace, having been bred by Wallace’s father, Jim senior, out of Albacora, a mare by Ardsley’s successful stallion Lord Ballina who won six for Wallace.
He was another $2000 purchase at the Karaka May sale, this time in 2012 as a yearling. He was subsequently sold for $9000 at the South Island sale in August 2012 to Jo Rathbone.
“He was just a nice plain correct horse but by St Reims, a stallion that nobody wanted, and at that stage the mare hadn’t done much so he didn’t sell for much,” Wallace said.
“He’s a tribute to Jo and to Kevin (Myers, trainer), who have patched him up and kept him sound and kept him going. He hasn’t been straightforward and they’ve done a fantastic job with him.”
Tallyho Twinkletoe is the best-known of Albacora’s progeny but she’s been a more than useful broodmare. Mongolian King (Sufficient) won seven races – three in Australia for Bjorn Baker and four in Hong Kong up to class 2 level for Me Tsui – and Best City (Falkirk) also won three, two of which were in Hong Kong.
She has since produced Captaintwinkletoes, a brother to Mongolian King, and Aljay (Rock ‘N’ Pop). Captaintwinkletoes was bought by Rathbone and has won one of his three starts, while Aljay was bought by Myers and is a winner of one of his five starts.
“To be fair, the mare’s pedigree wasn’t a close-up commercial family but it was a good running family and she’s continued to keep producing good runners,” Wallace said.
The Wallace family has produced numerous outstanding gallopers over the years, among them Kip, Cent Home, Bureaucracy, and Titch, and they have no problem whether they are winning on the flat or over fences.
“My father raced a number of jumpers and I’ve trained a number,” Wallace said. “We just want to breed racehorses, whether they’re jumpers or two-year-olds, and we take a lot of pleasure from seeing them winning.” – NZ Racing Desk