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Wild & Madness delight Mrs Wilding

Punters looking for omen bets on April Fool's day could not have gone past Jokers Wild in the Manawatu Sires' Produce S. G1 and Fiscal Madness in the CJC Great Easter S. LR. And surely those bets would have been doubled once it was realised that both horses were bred by Jo Wilding (pictured >>>> with Gone With The Wind) of Te Mania Thoroughbreds in North Canterbury.One of New Zealand's most successful private breeders, Jo was delighted to see Fiscal Madness (Volksraad-Belle Nuite by Balmerino) set a new 1400m record at Riccarton Park, and Jokers Wild (Black Minnaloushe-Miss Rory by Rory's Jester) win one of the fastest runnings of the Sires' Produce Stakes at Awapuni.

She recalls Jokers Wild as "a lovely, easy-peasy yearling who never put a foot wrong. I take my hat off to the Moroneys for managing him so well through a long season."

Jo bred the striking chestnut colt in partnership with Mr C.W. Wong and Bee Teck Hoong who own a farm opposite Te Mania that is now managed by Kevin Mahood.

"Mr Wong asked me to buy a mare for him at the Sydney Broodmare Sale in 2000, so I bought Villa Wanda in foal to Octagonal for $A40,000. I then had some money left over and my son Tim suggested I should buy another mare, but it was a very difficult market to buy in and I nearly gave up on it.

"I then saw Miss Rory waiting to go into the ring. I couldn't see anything wrong with her and I'm mad on Sovereign Edition, so I asked Nick Wigley to bid on her for me and got her for $A26,000." (Miss Rory is a grand-daughter of a full-sister to champion New Zealand sire Sovereign Edition.)

The partners didn't have to wait long to get a return on their investment in Miss Rory. The foal she was carrying, a colt by Desert King, made $75,000 as a yearling, and her three subsequent foals have averaged $50,000 at the New Zealand Select Yearling Sale. Ironically, Jokers Wild, sold for $40,000 to Paul Moroney, was the cheapest of them.

Miss Rory has since had a Don Eduardo colt, passed in at the 2006 NZ Select Sale, a 2005 colt by Montjeu and she's in foal to Van Nistelrooy who like Black Minnaloushe, is a son of Storm Cat. Jo says, "She's not a big mare but she has big, robust foals."

The dam of Fiscal Madness, Belle Nuite was purchased as a weanling by Jo who was prepared to overlook the filly's undershot jaw because she moved so well. Irony strikes again: Fiscal Madness is the only one of her five foals that has inherited his dam's defect, and is easily the best of them so far, with seven wins, including two Listed Stakes races and a win at Caulfield, plus a second placing in the 2004 Levin Classic G1.

Fiscal Madness was syndicated after being passed in as a yearling and is raced by Jo and her daughter Robin, with a group of family, neighbours, and friends, several of them Angus cattle breeders and many new to racehorse ownership: Kelvin Mahood (syndicate manager), Tim and Katie Wilding, Johnny Harrington, Tim and Sue Anderson, Martin Satterthwaite, Gerald and Sue Hargreaves, Hamish and Angela Williamson, Wayne McLaren and his partner Jane, and Jamie Hay.

Belle Nuite has a two-year-old colt, Penrickson (by Pentire), in the Rogerson/Autridge stable, but didn't have a foal last year. She's in foal to Waikato Stud's new sire Savabeel because, Jo says, "I decided to give her a treat!"

Te Mania is home base for only eight broodmares in all, the other six being Sweetliner (First Norman), Proteaceae (Kaapstad) and Inadream (Danasinga), all from Jo's famous Gone With The Wind family; Fools Gold (Royal Academy); and Whey To Go (Sound Reason) and her daughter Georgie Porgie (Entepreneur).

- Susan Archer