Peak's breeding blinder at Ashburton
by Dave Di Somma, Harness News Desk
One of the stars of Ashburton's meeting yesterday wasn't even there.
Now based in Australia, Peak (pictured above) sired the winners of all four trotting races on the day, with Peaknmonkey (Peak - Twelve Monkeys) and Aiguille (Peak - Shell Seeker) providing an early double for driver Robbie Close before Maui (Peak - Shezadorabil) and Vertigo (Peak - Shimmie Shook Shook) made it a special day for the McCormick family.
Maui was a $30 winner for Tinwald trainer-driver David McCormick with son Lawrence training and driving Vertigo. It was a particularly emotional win for Lawrence McCormick as he dedicated it to his friends Shaun and Symone Hurley. Their three-year-old daughter Effie had died only days earlier.
In Race 1, the Poplar Flats Farm Mobile Trot, Peaknmonkey delivered for trainer Coaster Howe ahead of Barrytown and hotpot A Hill Two Menny while Aiguille produced one of the runs of the day in Race 4, the Tait's Road Mobile trot.
The five-year-old gelding came from a mile back to nudge the ever consistent Rachmaninov by half a neck.
Despite being not favoured by punters, Maui made it seven wins from 50 starts with a well timed run to beat Sunny Louis by a head in the Neuman's Tyres Handicap Trot and then Vertigo justified some late support to easily account for her rivals by five lengths in the Broken Jandal Handicap Trot.
Peak, the son of French super sire Ganymede Peak, had a record of eight wins from 45 starts before Tim Butt brought him out from Scandanavia. In this country he had just three starts for two wins including the 2013 New Zealand Trotting Free For All at Addington.
Injury then curtailed his racing career.
At stud he served 270 mares in this country before Alabar decided not to renew his lease in 2021.
Peak ended up at Mountain View Stud in Victoria where his service fee is $2200.
Yesterday's successes certainly won't harm his chances of attracting new fans, or mares.
Lazarus stock's NZ debut
The first of the mighty Lazarus' progeny has been seen in public in this country. Change Tact (Lazarus - Changedown) debuted at last week's workouts at Pukekohe for co-trainer Steven Reid, with the two-year-old filly dead heating for second, four and a half lengths behind the Brent Mangos trained and driven Tualou. The winner went 62.8 for the last 800 and 28.4 for the last 400.
The Reid-McMullan stable then posted "so far we have been very impressed with this well-grown and developed filly in all aspects."
Now standing at Nevele R in Canterbury, Lazarus is a true great, with over $4m in stakes. He is the winner of 15 Group 1s throughout Australasia, including the NZ Cup twice. His first crop of yearlings averaged $55,895 at NZB Standardbred sale in Christchurch last year, with the top price at Karaka being $220,000.
His US progeny won over $1.1m in 2022. Lifes A Puzzle won in an impressive 1:50.8 while other top performers include Two Pistol Annie and Voukefalas.
Lazarus was highly successful in North America only for his fertility to mysteriously plummet when he stood in Australia. There will be no Lazarus stock at sale at the upcoming NZB Standardbred yearling sales in Karaka and Christchurch after there were no live foals from eight serves in 2021. Last year Lazarus served 108 mares, with 39 live foals identified so far.