$700 broodmare turns into rather handy racehorse

NZ HARNESS NEWS

Saturday’s Orari winner Queen Of Glory was run through the 2017 mixed bloodstock sale in Christchurch as a broodmare.

She had a filly foal at foot by Betterthancheddar at the time and was knocked down to her now trainer, Bruce Negus, who wanted her as a racehorse.

Fast forward less than two years and Queen Of Glory has won eight races and $54,000, plus a $7500 Met Multiplier.

And a lot has been seen of her, with 57 races in the last 16 months, or 64 weeks.

Whichever way you spin it, Queen Of Glory was a steal at the sale and she’s been quite the equine ATM ever since.

Queen Of Glory had won a race at Manawatu for Rodney and Scott Dickson in March, 2016, which was her last start due to being in foal.

“I rang Rodney about her and to find out what the story was and he said there was nothing wrong with her,” said Negus.

“She was as sound as a bell and they’d had to retire her because she was in foal, but she was just coming right at the time.

“So, she was in work the day after the sale and her filly goes alright too – I quite like her.

“The family doesn’t produce two-year-olds but she’ll win races as well.”

Queen Of Glory soon won a race for Negus at Forbury Park with Dexter Dunn driving, but since then she’s won five races for amateur drivers and a heat of the NZ Junior Drivers’ Championship at Addington for Alicia Harrison.

Perhaps the only big surprise in all this is that it took his wife, Colleen, until last weekend at Orari to win a race with her.

Auckland driver Cheree Wigg has won three times with her and twin sister Sheryl has won once, too.

“I think that was only the second time that Colleen has driven her for one reason or another. 

“She was suspended for a while last year and has opted to drive either Highland Reign or Pat Campbell in the amateur races.

“The Wiggs have a soft spot for Queen Of Glory now and have asked to take a foal from her later, which is fine by me as I have quite enough broodmares.”

Andrew Faulks trained Queen Of Glory when she won the penalty-free race for Harrison as the Negus’ were in Belgium as a support crew for Cheree at the World Amateur Championships.

“That was quite a thrill as Pat Campbell finished second so we owned the quinella.

“It was 5am in Europe but we rang home and had the phone put beside the TV.”

Negus had his time in the spotlight with superstar Courage Under Fire but he is just as happy plying his trade at the other end of the spectrum in the races for the amateur drivers.

He has won 18 of them in the past three years and 10 in the last 12 months.

“We’ve got a (handicapping) system which is there to be played or used and Queen Of Glory has been the perfect horse for it.

“She just loves to race so even when she wins a race she’s soon dropping back down the ladder.

“She’s never been on a higher rating of her current one of 58.

“She’s also a beautiful horse to drive so she was ideal for the amateur races.

“She’ll follow any speed so a slightly higher grade wouldn’t worry her, but under the old system she would have hit the wall long ago and been at stud.

“But now you have $1500 bonuses for first wins and concessions for mares, the penalty-free races for junior drivers and the amateur races and the Met bonuses and it can all add up.”

It has certainly added up a lot for a mare like Queen Of Glory.

Negus is now looking to take advantage of the even better stakes coming on stream in Auckland from the start of March.

Michael House is setting up a northern stable where Lew Driver is at Kumeu and Negus will be supporting him by sending suitable horses.

“Queen Of Glory is actually better the Auckland way but she needs the odd three week spell and she’s better on the grass so she’s not the ideal horse for going up there.

“Most trainers won’t send horses up there because it means they lose that income stream, but I’m sending ones that I own and I’m always on the lookout for horses to buy for Auckland.”

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