Namesake could stand at stud near Christchurch

By Frank Marrion courtesy of the HarnessXpress

Christchurch is a real possibility to be standing at stud just outside Christchurch at Nevele R in the not too distant future.

The big Always B Miki colt is part-owned by Spreydon Lodge and went some way towards securing a stud career when he recently won an elimination heat of the Pepsi North America Cup in 1.48.4.

Christchurch had his chance in the $1 million dollar final when sixth, timed in 1.48.2 after racing three-fence and finishing about three lengths from the winner.

Sweet Lou colt Its My Show won in 1.47.4, holding off the late charge from another Sweet Lou colt in Confederate by a head, with Fulton and Dexter Dunn third ahead of the unlucky Lazarus colt Voukefalas.

“Perhaps Christchurch should have come first-over and tried to grind it out, but it was a credible run,” said Ged Mooar, who manages Spreydon Lodge and Nevele R Stud.

“He’s a big horse which has done very little, so you would expect him to improve as he goes along and be quite competitive against the top three-year-olds this year.

“A lot has to happen before he winds up standing at Nevele R, but that was the hope when we invested.”

That happened after the millionaire mare Darlinonthebeach was bought in foal to Always B Miki at the Harrisburg Mixed Sale in 2019 for $450,000 by Diamond Creek Farm, which has stud farms in Kentucky and Pennsylvania.

Diamond Creek, owned by Adam Bowden, stands the stallions Always B Miki, Bettor’s Wish, Captain Crunch, Creatine, Downbytheseaside, Face Time Bourbon (Ready Cash horse that stands for $20,000), Father Patrick, Gimpanzee, Heston Blue Chip (sire of Fulton), Marseille, Pebble Beach and Sweet Lou.

So the North America Cup was a great result for Diamond Creek as their stallions sired the winners of all four heat winners and had a 1-2-3 result in the final.

Spreydon Lodge bought a fifth share in Darlinonthebeach and Christchurch is her first foal.

The second is an Always B Miki filly which was sold as a yearling at Lexington for $150,000, while the third is a Sweet Lou yearling filly whose future has yet to be determined and Darlinonthebeach has just had another filly by Always B Miki and has gone back in foal to Sweet Lou.

One won’t see a better pedigree than Christchurch’s in North America.

His dam took a record of 1.48.1 and was a multiple Stakes winner with earnings of $1,068,000.

She is a Somebeachsomewhere mare from the champion mare Darlin’s Delight (1.49.2), a winner of $2.9m to be the third richest filly or mare of all time behind Eternal Camnation.

Darlin’s Delight won five Group 1s including the Three Diamonds at two and Fan Hanover at three.

She is by Bettor’s Delight from Town Pro (1.51.4), a winner of $1.229,000 and like Darlin’s Delight a U.S. 3YO Filly Pacer of the Year.

She won a Breeders Crown at two and three along with the Fan Hanover in Canada.

She was by Big Towner from Programmed, a Bret Hanover filly who won $305,000 in the early 80s, with Group 1 wins in the Milton and Roses Are Red Stakes.

“We’ve obviously been doing a lot of business with Diamond Creek and Adam Bowden was here for Cup Week prior to Covid and visited Nevele R,” said Mooar.

“It was Adam who named the colt Christchurch as a result.

“We’re always trying to think a little outside the square and you have to invest in mares like Darlinonthebeach if you hope to create a stallion for both hemispheres.

“Christchurch only had a handful of starts as a two-year-old and won his debut this year at The Meadowlands before heading to the North America Cup.

“He’s staked for everything and next up is the Meadowlands Pace in a couple of weeks.”

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