Behind the Breeds - Beachbreak

In his first Behind the Breeds story for 2024, breeding enthusiast Don Rae focuses on Beachbreak, a two year old gelding in the Steve and Amanda Telfer barn who is by Downbytheseaside out of the maiden mare Classic Vicolo.

Qualifying third of three in the 2yo Barrier Trial at the Auckland Trotting Club's Trials Meeting at Pukekohe Raceway on Saturday, 24 February, on close examination Beachbreak reveals some distinguished relatives arising out of her distaff line.

His dam, the Il Vicolo mare Classic Vicolo, did not post a dividend in ten lifetime starts but proved a much better proposition as a broodmare. She left eleven live foals at the Woodlands Stud from 2008 to 2021 of which nine have qualified, five have won, with a standout performer emerging in Classic American.

Racing in Australia as Classic American NZ, the American Ideal colt won his only start in New Zealand which was followed by a further 31 victories on the other side of the Tasman. A durable performer, he raced 206 times rating a best of 1:52.6M*AUS and banked $AU372,052 in stakes for his Australian connections. He went on to race in America achieving a best time there of 1.53,1MUSA.

Another good performer was Classie American, who won eight races in New Zealand before being exported to Australia. Another son of American Ideal, he won fifteen more races in Australia and achieved a best lifetime mark of 1.53.6,1M*AUS for total earnings of $AU194,600.

Beachbreak's second dam is the New York Motoring mare Classic Ace, who like her daughter was a good producer and left twelve live foals but never herself managed to win. Her best foal was Better Than Money who won five races in New Zealand and a further thirteen in Australia tallying $AU140,262 in stakes. Perhaps disappointingly, there were only three further winners from Classic Ace, all of relatively modest achievement but two foals won in America while another, Cut The Cards, rates an honest mention for durability. From 126 starts she won four races, racing (successively) from the stables of Ted Clarke, Steve Cornwall and Jay Abernethy until finding a permanent home and a nose for success in Hawera with Fred Mitchell for whom she secured all four of her wins and thirteen placings, usually at tasty odds and always delighting her connections.

The third dam was Scottish Haven, yet again a maiden performer who was by Young Charles out of Witchlight by Local Light out of Witcha by Stormyway out of Watcher by Grattan Loyal from Selene by Guy Parrish out of Locanda Bell. This line traces back to the foundation mare Maud bred in 1886 by Berlin.

Young Charles is worthy of particular mention. On the track, he won 11 races and had 17 placings from 56 starts but these numbers hardly do him justice.

At two he won four times including the Welcome Stakes. At three he ran second in the New Zealand and Great Northern Derbies and, in what owner Bob Mayne rated as his career highlight, he won the notable three-year old double of the New Zealand Futurity Stakes and All Aged Stakes at the Ashburton June meeting. He was rated top-ranked juvenile and three-year old of his year.

As an aged horse, his career was marked by unsoundness (tendon trouble) but at five he ran third in the 1951 New Zealand Trotting Cup behind Van Dieman and Johnny Globe and also secured placings in an Inter-Dominion heat and an Inter-Dominion Consolation.

Perhaps his greatest performance came aged eight when on a limited preparation (on three legs, as they say) he ran second to the immortal Johnny Globe in the 1954 New Zealand Trotting Cup when a new world record time of 4:07.6 was established for the two-mile journey.

Bred on the U Scott - Jack Potts cross, after a slow start to his stallion career, Young Charles sired 165 winners from 470 live foals and headed the sires table in 1975, the annus mirabilis of his greatest offspring Young Quinn.

Young Quinn was an out and out champion. In a racing career where he took on the very best on offer in New Zealand, Australia and North America, he had 68 starts for an amazing 59 wins.

At two he won nine times including the Kindergarten Stakes, the NZ 2YO Championship and Sapling Stakes, and was crowned champion juvenile of the season. At three he won just twice and the doubters began to emerge from the woodwork but at four he stormed back in to form.

His six wins as a four-year old included victories in the C F Mark Memorial, Allan Matson Stakes and Ollivier Handicap. Most notably, he ran third in Arapaho's 1973 Trotting Cup in an era where starting four-year olds in the Cup was still a rarity. He also chased Arapaho home in both the 1973 Auckland Cup and 1974 Waikato Flying Mile.

His five-year old season however must surely be unsurpassed. In springtime he won seven on end before running another third in the New Zealand Cup (this time in the 1975 edition behind Robalan and Kotare Legend). After that he really found form in winning no less than twelve further races in his 1974/1975 season. This included winning all three of his heats plus the 1975 Inter-Dominion Grand Final in the hands of a youthful John Langdon after conceding significant ground at the start. Not content with this, from the outside marble, he also won the 1975 Miracle Mile on a hit-and-run mission where he arrived in Sydney just one day before the race.

After export to the USA, he had a marvellous career as a free-for-aller and raced against all the champions of his era including legends such as Nero, Handle With Care, Rambling Willie, Tarport Hap, Peter Lobell, Nickawumpas Leroy and Sir Dalrae.

One of his best wins came in the 1976 American Pacing Classic where, as in his Miracle Mile triumph, he showed blazing speed from an outside gate to lead, trail and once again tough out his way to the winner's circle, much to the disbelief of the legendary USA driver Billy Haughton. Performances like this saw him crowned as American 1976 Aged Pacer of the Year.

Year after year he just kept on winning most of his races until his return to New Zealand where, at ten years of age, he still retained enough ability to run fourth in Delightful Lady's 1980 Auckland Cup, in what was one of his bravest performances, troubled as he was with the infirmities of age by this stage. Much loved by his connections, Young Quinn retired to the paddock after this, his final curtain call.

Looping back to Young Charles' sire career, Danny's Pal (10 wins), Jacobite (12 wins), Valcador (10 wins), Lonesome Valley (9 wins) and Top Copy (9 wins) were some of the best winners from his earlier crops.

Once he moved to Southland to the care of Colin Baynes and more latterly Des Baynes, his career as a stallion really took off. Apart from Young Quinn, his Southland foals included Sapling (22 wins, 1978-79 Pacer of the Year, 1979 Auckland Cup, 1978 Easter Cup, 1978 Messenger, 1977 New Brighton Cup, 1977 Northern Derby) plus the brothers Stampede (11 wins, of which 6 wins came aged four) and Sassenach [1966] (12 wins, including two wins and a second placing in his three Heats of the Addington-based 1971 Inter-Dominion).

A handy sire, Sapling left 42 winners including Sapper (8 wins, 1978 Southern Supremacy Stakes, 2nd 1987 Easter Cup) and Sycamore (8 wins) and was dam-sire of 25 winners including Fella's Ego (8 wins).

Stampede too left winners as a stallion, in fact 51 of them, including Defoe (10 wins including 1989 Gr2 D B Draught Superstar 4-Y-O Championship, 1990 Gr2 Lion Red Mile, 3rd Gr1 1990 Messenger) and Lady Bonnie (10 wins, twice placed in Gr1 Standardbred Breeders Stakes, 1st 1982 Ashburton Cup). His mares also left 37 winners, the best of which was Onedin Legacy (12 wins, 2006 Central Otago Trotting Cup, 2006 [Listed] Invercargill Cup).

As a broodmare sire, Young Charles emerged as a real force, and counted 367 N.Z. bred winners, 361 Pacers (78 in 2.00) and 8 Trotters. This conforms to my theory that an influential broodmare sire usually has a ratio of 2:1 or more when comparing numbers of Sire Lifetime (165 winners) vs Dam Sire Lifetime (361 winners).

Foals from Young Charles mares included Godfrey (12 wins including 1987 Gr1 Benson & Hedges 2yo Championship, 1987 Gr2 Thames Juvenile Stakes, 1988 Gr2 John Brandon Flying Pace, 1988 Gr1 Great Northern Derby), Pocket Me (13 wins including Heat of 2001 Inter-Dominion plus 3rd in the Grand Final behind Yulestar and Atitagain, 2nd 2000 Gr2 Noel J Taylor 4Y0 Mile), Testing Times (10 wins), Loyal Drift (NZ Oaks) and Saucy Jack (Methven Cup).

You have to go all the way back to the 1937 mate Watcher (who won seven) to find a winner in Beachbreak's direct dam line. The point here is that one doesn't necessarily have to have a pedigree drenched in black type to produce good race horses.

Witchlight's various owners were certainly persistent and she in turn was prolific - she produced no less than 15 live foals. However Witchlight had to wait until her ninth mating (to the Bye Bye Byrd stallion Out To Win) in order to leave a really top class horse in Trident.

Raced throughout his career in Brian O'Meara's familiar blue jacket, black stars and white sleeves, Trident won 14 races from 47 starts and won $235,045 racing solely in New Zealand. He was a standout juvenile in 1985 winning seven races including the Gr3 Kindergarten Stakes, the Gr2 New Zealand Welcome Stakes and the $100,000 Gr3 New Zealand Sires Stakes Final. At three, he ran second to Alba's Reign in the 1986 New Zealand Derby and at four he won a further five races including the 1987 New Zealand Messenger beating Captain Cavalla, Free's Best and Waimauku Princess. He was tried at stud but left just five winners from 65 live foals, one of which, Sun Chef, won eight times for Derek Balle, mostly racing away from the best classes.

Of the other foals from Witchlight, Kintyre won five times and managed third placing in the 1978 Standardbred Sires Produce Stakes Final behind Trio and West Street, while Ballochmyle (4) and Kinfalloch (3) both won races.

Blantyre (an unraced filly from Witchlight) kept up the family tradition of being a prolific breeder leaving an impressive 16 foals. Unfortunately, while nine of these were winners, only the 2000 Caprock horse Rocket Man (6 NZ wins, 14 AU wins, 20 wins in total for $AU122,636 lifetime earnings) made any kind of headline. However, Blantyre's final foal Downtown Hollybrown (by Badlands Hanover) did manage to leave quite a good horse in Gotta Be Downtown who won 10 races and $AU75,086 in stakes.

Going back in the mists of time, in the distant-relative class we find horses such as Worthy Need(1933) who won ten, Nelson De Oro (9 wins), Dan's Choice (7 wins trotting) and Rockella(1930) who had nine wins.

More notably, Philemon (20 wins, 1973 Dominion Handicap, 1973 Lyell Creek Stakes, 1973 Canterbury Park Trotting Cup, 1972 New Zealand Trotting Championship) might count as the most interesting distant relative. By Sun Chief, Philemon was a grand campaigner for part-owner and usual trainer George Taverner of Oamaru racing from aged four until ten. He had six unsuccessful tries at pacing before switching to his better gait and once he did do, he never looked back.

Even more notable is Master Musician who was a headline act from his juvenile until racing as a grizzled open class veteran. By New York Motoring from an unraced grand-daughter of Witcha in Petra Del (from Polly Del), Master Musician was bred by Brad and Catherine McDonald and raced by Ken McDonald, Eugene Storck and trainer Robert Dunn. In a demanding schedule, he won nine races at two including three in Australia and netted connections over $600,000 from his stellar juvenile campaign.

At three "The Master" counted the Gr1 New Zealand Derby, the Gr2 3yo Flying Stakes, the Gr2 3yo Championship. At four, major success eluded him but he roared back into top gear at five, when he counted the Kaikoura Cup, the Gr1 Auckland Cup and City Of Auckland Free-For-All amongst his 1992 tally. As an aged horse he added another Kaikoura Cup (1993), the Ashburton Flying Stakes (1994), Renwick Free-For-All (1995) and finally the Gr1 1986 Easter Cup. His career was marked by total consistency, he was a horse who tried his heart out and if he was beaten, it wasn't by much or bad luck had intervened. In all he had 109 starts, 34 wins, 23 seconds, 14 thirds with lifetime earnings just shy of the two million dollar mark. I'm sure Robert Dunn would agree when I say that "The Master" was the horse who really put him on the map as a trainer.

Shortys Girl (11 wins) was another fine horse from this family. At three she don a Southland Oaks and ran fourth in the New Zealand Oaks behind Shania Patron, Sparks A Flyin and Bellaholmes. She won two New Zealand Standardbred Breeders Stakes (Gr1) in 2002 and 2003 and also ran third behind Facta Non Verba in Gracious Knight's 2002 New Zealand Trotting Cup. At stud she left five winners from nine live foals albeit with nothing up to its high class standard. However J B Mauney did rate 1.52.2,1MUSA so was clearly a horse of some ability.

To summarise, one can certainly see that Beachbreak has some illustrious relatives both near and far in his pedigree. Master Musician would appear to be the most outstanding performer across all the generations and strains of the family but Trident, Shorty's Girl and Philemon and Classic American also stand out.


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