30 years on and the Mossdale horses just keep winning

By Rob Courtney

The Mossdale horses are synonymous with Archie Affleck and his origins within the Southland farming community, and Mossdale Ben's win at Addington last Thursday, with Ben Hope in the bike, continued a family tradition which began over 30 years ago.

"Charlie Smaill and myself both farmed in the same area (near the present day home of Macca Lodge in Southland) and our kids were the same age so we saw a fair bit of each other," says Affleck.

Together we got Keyali off Neil Timms in the early 90s and bred full sisters Kute Jaccka (4 wins) and KrissyJaccka (2 wins), both by Holmes Hanover.

"On my own, I got 'Kutie' and Charlie took Krissy and its gone on from there."

The Mossdale name was already in the family with Archie's grandfather (on his mother's side) who ran a Clydesdale stud and Archie was keen to keep attached to his Scottish heritage.

Kute Jaccka left Mossdale Kara (by In The Pocket) who was good enough to just qualify but who in turn left clearly the best Mossdale horse to date in Mossdale Conner.

The latter won 13 races and bankrolled $461k in NZ for Affleck and the Hope team including a Taylor Mile in a 1:51 MR and 4th in the 2016 NZFFA behind the mighty Lazarus, 3 days after the latter had blitzed the cup field by some 10 lengths.

"We sold him to America for big money where he won in 1:49."

"His American connections had big plans for him, nominating him for many of the big races but unfortunately he got cancer and died."

Mossdale Kara also left Mossdale Major (2 wins in short career) whose first three offspring have all been winners in sub 2:00 mins with another 4 fillies to come all by champion sire Bettor's Delight with high hopes for Mossdale Margaret as the 'next cab off the rank".

Full sister Mossdale Sue also won two races and is the dam of last week's winner but unfortunately died after only leaving two foals of racing age, both winners. Another full sister Mossdale Rose suffered the same fate but not before showing ample ability in winning eight times and being race timed in 1:54.

Archie, quite modestly, believes he has been 'reasonably' successful as a owner/breeder and his memory is a little 'hazy' on certain points.

He doesn't know how many wins he has had but it must be close to 50 in NZ alone.

He doesn't remember exactly when Greg and Nina Hope became his trainers but he does remember a young baby boy called Ben being carried around on his father's back.

"Some 20 years ago, we were sellers at the National yearling sales and one didn't sell and Greg took it home for a half share.

"If I was a horse, I think I would much prefer to run down the beach than around and around a track at home", Archie chuckled as he justified the attachment to the Hopes base at Woodend Beach.

"The Hope family are very genuine people," he continued.

The home landscape down south has definitely changed for Archie Affleck too.

A large sheep farm in the middle of Southland has been sold up and replaced with an orchard in Cromwell growing cherries.

"I think its more stressful than racing and breeding horses" Archie explained.

The broodmare band is down to two - Mossdale Major and one of her daughters Mossdale Art (5 wins and a time of 1:52.5) and who has been to American Ideal three times, her oldest being a yearling colt called Mossdale Frank.

The recent win of Mossdale Ben, his sixth,  against the likes of Beach Ball and Glorys Delight, was not unexpected if one believed the 'stable talk' coming out of Woodend Beach and with the sustained number of young stock coming out of the Cromwell 'cherry farm', it will be no surprise to see the name Mossdale continue on their cherry (I mean merry) way.

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