S is for Sundon
Simply put, Sundon was a stud.
Credited with changing the game, Sundon is universally accepted as the greatest trotting sire to have ever stood in Australasia.
Bred by prominent New Zealand breeder Sir Roy McKenzie in North America he was foaled in 1986. His sire Arndon was no slouch, setting a world record at the Red Mile, Lexington (Kentucky) in 1982 (1:54.0).
Sundon was originally named Sondon before being exported to New Zealand. His impact on the racing scene was immediate and impressive.
At two Sundon won 11 straight, winning 17 of his first 18 starts.
His unbeaten sequence of 14 wins was a record at the time until being surpassed by Lyell Creek (20 wins) and Courage under Fire (24).
Among his 27 wins from 60 races was the 1990 Dominion handicap where, once he found the front for Peter Jones, there was no pegging him back. Jones won with him eight times with Fred Fletcher (18) and Mike De Filippi (1).
He last raced in 1992, but his fun was only just beginning. He would go to be a super stallion based at Roydon Lodge Stud at Weedons, just out of Christchurch.
His progeny would be much sought after on both sides on the Tasman and beyond.
Four times he was named NZ Stallion of the year, and was the country’s champion trotting sire for 14 years in a row (2001-14).
His richest performer in New Zealand was One Over Kenny who earned over a million dollars while his fastest in Australia was another million dollar earner in Sundon’s Gift.
The pair clashed at the Interdominions in 2009 where Sundon’s Gift prevailed. He went on to defend his title in 2010.
In that 2009 race Sundon’s progeny filled the first four places : Sundon’s Gift, One Over Kenny, Whatsundermykilt and Sundon’s Tiavon.
Other top horses he’s sired include Delft, Master Lavros, Martina H, Allegro Agitato, Galleon’s Sunset , Escapee, Springbank Richard and many many others.
He died in 2015 after suffering from laminitis and arthritis, aged 29.
But his influence was profound and it will continue to be into the future.