Breeding oddity tearing up at the trials
by Dave Di Somma, Harness News Desk
Robert Anderson admits he wasn't sure what to expect when he bred a Sundon mare to a pacing stallion.
But judging from her sizzling form at the trials Jezebel looks to be an exciting prospect.
"I've never had one who works like she works," says the North Canterbury-based trainer-driver, "she's big and powerful and glides over the ground."
Four-year-old mare Jezebel is by Sir Lincoln out of Proserpina. She was an unraced mare by Sundon out of Smooth Nero.
Smooth Nero, a good performer for Anderson, winning five starts in the 1990s, produced nine foals - eight of which went to pacing sires. Only Proserpina went to a trotting stallion, the one and only Sundon no less.
"The reason I went to Sundon was that two of Smooth Nero's foals by pacing sires could both trot a bit so I decided to try her with a trotting sire."
Jezebel is the third and final foal from Proserpina, who died in 2019. Her most successful progeny to date has been Kar Manor, a Majestic Son trotter who's won eight of 40 career starts and is currently with Tim Butt in Australia.
Anderson bred Jezebel on a bit of a whim.
"I was offered a free service to Sir Lincoln and thought why not?," says Anderson, "some people have asked me about breeding to a trotting mare but I had nothing to lose really."
Foaled in 2017 Jezebel showed ability as a pacer right from the start but her initial campaign was derailed by injury.
"She got sore after flying home at the trials one day and she had a hairline fracture in her foot."
"I decided to get her operated on, it cost $4000 and she's now got two or three screws in her pastern."
The investment might yet pay dividends for Anderson, who has had 130 driving and 40 training wins since starting out in the 1980s. His biggest moment in the cart was finishing second to Iraklis in the 1997 New Zealand Cup with Smooth Dominion, trained by his good mate Mike Stevens.
At last week's trials at Rangiora Jezebel missed away, losing about 30 metres before storming home to be just a head away from the pace-making winner, Vincent Vega. Her time for the 2600m was 3:26.6. Vega Vincent went on to finish second at Addington two days later.
It was an eye catching performance from Jezebel, and already Anderson says he's had some offers for her.
"But I'll keep her - that's my thinking right now."
Jezebel has had a solid build-up of standing start workouts and trials of late, and is likely to front up behind the mobile gate at the trials in the fortnight or so.
"If she stays sound hopefully she'll be racing in October."