Master Hunter's win timely for Longlands Stud

Master Hunter's owner-breeders, Vicki & Wayne Pike of Longlands Stud

Master Hunter's owner-breeders, Vicki & Wayne Pike of Longlands Stud
Remember the 1988 Australian Cup, billed as a match race between Vo Rogue and Bonecrusher, and Dandy Andy beat them both? It happens often enough in racing to be a cliche and it happened again, on a humble scale, at Ellerslie on Saturday.

The fillies Blue Skies (Spectatorial) and Ifionlyhadtime (Postponed) started favourites in the Cathy Campbell 2yo event over 1100 metres, but first starter Master Starter (O'Reilly-She Wishes by Kenfair) bolted in with his ears pricked. He won by almost two lengths from the game Blue Skies and Mendent (New Trumps), with Ifionlyhadtime fourth.

It was an impressive performance from a still inexperienced horse and it delighted his owner-breeders Vicki and Wayne Pike of Longlands Stud, Cambridge, whose son Tony trains the horse in partnership with Finbarr Leahy. Master Hunter's timing couldn't have been better, as his half-brother by Pentire is in the Longlands Stud draft for the New Zealand Premier Sale. Their older half-brother Jacquart (Zabeel) has also chipped in to the family's catalogue page with his second win, at Tauranga on 3 January.

Master Hunter will now have a short spell while the Pikes contemplate a campaign leading to the Ellerslie Sires' Produce S. G1 on 11 March.

She Wishes was a three-time winner, and was placed in the Hawke's Bay Gold Trail S. G3, and three other Listed Races, including one in Sydney. The Pikes also bred and raced her, and co-bred her dam Miss Saigon. This is the family of SW Guerilla and the outstanding three-year-old of the mid-1970s March Legend.

Master Hunter's win added $9,000 to the progeny earnings of Waikato Stud's O'Reilly, currently in fifth position on the New Zealand General Sires' table, with prizemoney of just over $500,000.

Longlands Stud will also offer two Premier Sale fillies, by O'Reilly from Trickster and a half-sister to She Wishes by Stravinsky, and at the Select Sale they will present a colt by Traditionally from Ayla.

The Stud has achieved fine results at New Zealand yearling sales since 1995, selling 76 yearlings, as agent and on their own account, at an average of more than $56,000. Their best price to date has been $300,000 for Zabeel-Crystal Hailey colt in 2001. Named Hail the Chief, he is a winner in Victoria, while his year-younger sister, Diamond Hailey (sold for $200,000) is a stakeswinner in South Australia.

Thanks as always to Arion Pedigrees for pedigree, performance and statistical data.

- Susan Archer


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