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Delight & despair for the Taylors at Te Aroha

Within the space of a few hours at Te Aroha yesterday, southern Hawke's Bay owner-breeders Julie (pictured left, in pink) & Kevin Taylor experienced both delight and despair.

First, they watched Mary Lavelle (O'Reilly-Trisha's Belle by Sir Tristram) win the CJC Champagne S. LR at Riccarton Park. The Taylors purchased Trisha's Belle for $A120,000 at the 2000 Australian Broodmare Sale, and sold Mary Lavelle as yearling for $95,000 to Keith Neylon at last year's New Zealand Select Sale.

Then they cheered their own mare Viennetta (Pins-Bali Sugar by Christmas Tree), already a Group 2 winner, to victory in the New Zealand Thoroughbred Breeders' S. G1, only to lose the race in the inquiry room.

Such are the vicissitudes of breeding and racing horses. However, the Taylors could take pride in two very good performances, and a substantial lift in the value of their four-member broodmare band since the beginning of the season.

Trisha's Belle, a non-winning younger sister of 1987 New Zealand Filly of the Year Tri Belle has a 2005 colt by Pins and was served by O'Reilly. Bali Sugar, a four-win, G3-placed daughter of brilliant two-year-old Tasman Dancer, and also the dam of G3 winner Butterscotch, has a rising two-year-old filly by Viking Ruler and visited Pins last spring.

The Taylors are also breeding from Viennetta's half-sister (and full-sister to Butterscotch), Marzipan. She has a weanling filly by Danzero and visited Stravinsky in 2005.

The Taylors' ups and downs were shared, to some extent, by well-known bloodstock agent Robert Dawe (pictured right with Lisa and Mark Chittick) who drew Viennetta in the sweepstake for NZTBA members on the Breeders' Stakes. First prize was a 2006 service, valued at $10,000, to Waikato Stud's exciting young sire No Excuse Needed.
After Viennetta's relegation the prize was awarded to John Watson who drew Arlingtonboulevard.

- Susan Archer


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