Sandy Moore has had his fair share of winners but admits there is something special about seeing a horse he has bred cross the finish line first.
Three-year-old filly Bonny Lass (Super Easy x Posh Bec) has been providing plenty of thrills since she made her winning debut at Matamata in January last year.
Her fifth win on Saturday was her second at group level and Moore said though unexpected, her victory in the Gr.3 Cambridge Breeders’ Stakes (1200m) at Te Rapa was a welcome surprise.
“It was exciting,” Moore said. “It was a little bit unexpected, we were confident as Graham (Richardson, co-trainer with Rogan Norvall) had said she was in top form and looking a million dollars but the draw was going to be problematic for 1200m. We were 19 and came into gate 13.
“The plan was to run her in behind and then try and come through in the straight but the jockey (Craig Grylls) said he couldn’t really hold her, she was desperate to get to the front so they went right around them, almost three wide the whole way and she ran on really strongly.
“They tried to get to her but she was too full of it.”
Bonny Lass is the fifth foal out of his homebred mare Posh Bec (Le Bec Fin x Silver Cent) who was a winner on three occasions and is a half-sister to Group Three performer and seven-time winner Time To Celebrate (Per Incanto). It is also the family of Group Two winner King of Ashford (His Royal Highness x Zena’s Wish).
Posh Bec has been a regular visitor to Hallmark Stud’s Super Easy, and Moore credits Denny Baker with the decision to mate her with the son of Darci Brahma.
“Denny Baker is pretty good at picking out good matches,” Moore said. “There is a good bloodline going back a couple of steps that he said would be good with Posh Bec.
“So I went to him based on that and as a show of support for Hallmark Stud and it seems to have been proven right.”
Moore races Bonny Lass in partnership with Brent Cooper’s Social Racing and said the enjoyment of racing a good horse with a great group of people added to the excitement on raceday, though it was once again a member of the Baker family that was instrumental in the decision to retain the filly to race.
“I had bred a few from Posh Bec by Super Easy and I had been hoping for a colt but got a filly so thought I might sell her,” Moore explained. “Mark Baker said she was the strongest looking filly he had seen in a long time and that she had great conformation. He said I could sell her but wouldn’t get much for her so I should race her. He talked me into keeping her.
“I have had a couple of horses with Social Racing before. I thought it would be a bit lonely racing her myself so I maintained the ownership and offered her to Brent to see if anyone wanted a go racing her with me. He put a syndicate together and off we went.
“They are an incredible group, they are all hard case and shall I say ‘senior’ people. They come to everything and some even drove up from Feilding for the race. It is remarkable.”
Posh Bec is the dam of seven foals, including three winners from four to the races. Her headline act is Bonny Lass, while Super Posh (Super Easy) has won three in Singapore and Way Too Easy (Super Easy) won two in the South Island.
Her yearling filly by Shocking, bred by Hallmark Stud when the mare was on loan to them for a season, was purchased by the Australian based Eales Racing at Karaka earlier this year for $40,000, while the two-year-old gelding by Super Easy, named Clark Kent, was sold on gavelhouse.com for $5,000 and has since placed in one of his two starts for Riccarton trainers Les and Richard Didham.
Posh Bec uncharacteristically missed last year and will return to Super Easy again this spring.
Moore is a self-proclaimed amateur breeder and is quick to give credit for Bonny Lass’s success to trainer Graham Richardson.
“I think a lot of the success is down to Grahame,” he said. “He is a very patient man. She seems to love running fresh and he has left big gaps between her races.
“Bonny Lass has been quite a surprise because if you look at her, she might not have the best breeding in the world but if you get a good match then it seems to click and away you go. I think the mare is worth a bit now.
“It is quite incredible, I am just an amateur so it is amazing when something works out. I have been in a few that haven’t worked out but since I have stuck with ones I have bred things seem to have got better.” -Amie Best -NZTBA