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Arlingtonboulevard wins controversial Breeders' Stakes

The 35th running of the NZ Bloodstock-sponsored Te Aroha JC New Zealand Thoroughbred Breeders' Stakes G1 seemed to produce more victims than winners.

The impressive past-the-post winner Viennetta (Pins) was relegated by the stewards under Rule 876(1) for interference caused to the third horse Salsa (O'Reilly), who was subsequently promoted to second placing. The second horse Arlingtonboulevard(Spinning World-Golden Bridge by Gold Brose) was promoted to first, but she is inevitably left with something to prove, despite being the official winner of the country's only Group One race for fillies and mares.

Geoff, a property developer who owns Mark Walker's Belmont Lodge stables at Rangiora, says, "No-one likes to win races like this, but we don't make the rules, we only play by them." And Geoff has some experience of racing's challenges, as co-owner of Kaapstad Way who won nine races and was Group One-placed six times, and fourth in a Melbourne Cup, but never managed to win a stakes race.

Pictured right:
The sterling silver NZTBA medal presented by the Association
to the breeders of the winner of the New Zealand Thoroughbred
Breeders' Stakes. The medal is struck for each running of the race.

Arlingtonboulevard's co-breeder and part-owner Geoff Taylor shares trainer Mark Walker's belief that the four-year-old mare is a genuine top-class performer. "All I want to do now is win another Group One and we think she has the ability to do that." She and Viennetta may both get a chance to prove their respective points in this Saturday's Easter Handicap G1 at Ellerslie.

Geoff bred the four-year-old mare with his wife Janetta, Alan Snellex, and Sandra Tutbury, who paid the service fee to Spinning World. "As a foal Arlingtonboulevard was gangly, not a yearling sale type, so Sandra chose to sell out of her, and Gordon Calder at Windsor Park Stud bought her share." Gordon, Alan and the Taylors are part of the Belmont Lodge Syndicate No. 1 which has leased the mare to race until the end of this season.

The Taylors have had mares at Windsor Park Stud for more than 20 years and in 1999 sent a mare to Danske. Unfortunately, she lost the pregnancy so Geoff and Janetta asked Gordon and Windsor Park's general manager Steve Till to buy a mare in foal to Danske. They settled on a then un-named three-year-old filly by Gold Brose from the from the Irish stakeswinner Queen's Bridge, whose second dam was the oustanding American racemare Amerigo Lady. Offered by Mapperley Stud, the filly, in foal to Danske, was knocked down for $12,500.

The resulting foal was the filly Oxford Road, winner of three races and, according to Geoff, highly talented but beset with problems. She is now in foal to King's Chapel. Arlingtonboulevard arrived in 2001 and has now recorded five wins and eight placings from 17 starts. Golden Bridge's three-year-old daughter by Star Way is now in training with Mark Walker, while the mare is in foal to Spinning World's son Thorn Park and booked to Encosta de Lago.

Like Oxford Road, Arlingtonboulevard, named after the main road in the Arlington Park sub-division Geoff developed near Rangiora, has also had her share of problems. "She's been half-pie 'jarry' half her life, and we're really fortunate that Mark Walker has looked after her so well."

Geoff says, "We've had up to ten and 12 mares but we're now re-focussing our investment at the top end and reducing our numbers to around six better quality mares." The Taylors have also taken a share in the package of three colts purchased by David Ellis at the recent New Zealand Premier Sale. They include Rosehill Guineas winner De Beers' half-brother by Fasilyev. Which means, as Geoff drily puts it, "The last fortnight has been okay."

He adds that this latter investment was made as a direct result of the Minister for Racing's delivery of the bloodstock taxation and depreciation changes promised during last year's election campaign. "If the industry uses that additional income correctly, and breeders buy correctly we can become very competitive very quickly."

Arlingtonboulevard is a member of Spinning World's single, distinctly successful New Zealand crop which has so far produced 35 winners, including four stakeswinners (7.1%) from 56 foals. His other three Kiwi-bred stakeswinners are Kosi Bay, winner of the STC Epona S. LR on 1 April, Spin 'N Grin (ARC Eight Carat Classic, and second in last year's Breeders' Stakes G1) and 2005 Singapore Horse of the Year Big Easy. Spinning World stood at Coolmore Australia in 2005 at a fee of $A12,500, and his eleven Australian yearlings sold to date this year have averaged $22,909.

For interesting comment on Arlingtonboulevard's pedigree read: Pedigree Guru: Something Special, 9 April 2006.

- Susan Archer


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