Monbet and Adore Me have represented their respective mothers on the grandest of stages
To lose one was unfortunate but to lose two grand mares so close together was a tragedy. One a pacing mare of outstanding all round ability, the other a trotting mare whose one hundred percent record could have been the start of something just as special: SCUSE ME and DIEDRE DARLING are major losses to our breeding industry.
Whilst the 23yo Scuse Me’s breeding career was drawing to a close, her loss was still unexpected. Her impact on the breeding scene has been immense. She over recent years been the mare of the moment—the hottest breeding proposition in NZ. Over the past couple of decades, the immediate family includes horses of the calibre of Christen Me, Adore Me, Have Faith In Me, Dream About Me, Imagine Me, Hands Christian to name but a few.
While Mark Purdon bred her, Woodlands Stud supremo Charles Roberts is prominent as breeder of all her foals as well as being involved in the breeding/ownership of a number of the family offspring. Scuse Me by BGs Bunny/Super Smooth by Smooth Fella, from USA family of Nora by Glencoe, was the first foal of her dam. Winning eight of her 25 starts (1:53.5, $126,841) including Great Northern Oaks, two Hydroflow 3yo Fillies heats, Elliott Futurity Stakes heat and Taylor Mile in which she established a New Zealand record 1:53.5 for a mile, remains the Alexandra Park mile record and equal fastest MR at Auckland ((Besotted, 1:53.5, 1700m). Major placings included thirds in Ladyship Stakes, Elliott Futurity final, GN Breeders 4YO Stakes; fourths in NZYSS - 3f, NZ Messenger; fifth in NZ Oaks
Producing sixteen foals, 12 to race for 12 consecutive winners, she achieved breeding glory with awards including being named 2012/13 and 2014/15 NZ Broodmare of Year, NZSBA Broodmare of Excellence Award in 2013 and North Island Broodmare of Year in 2016. Her second foal Splendid Dreams was named 2015/6 NZ Broodmare of Year while in 2015 she was North Island Broodmare of Year.
Scuse Me’s male progeny included;
Have Faith In Me, 1:47.5, Australasian all comers record set in 2016 Miracle Mile, millionaire, winner of 14 of 26 starts, NZSS - 3, GN/NZ Derbies, Jewels Emerald [first horse to achieve four Group One’s at three], Auckland Cup, Chariots Of Fire, Miracle Mile, Pacer of Year
Megabucks, 1:49.3US at Colonial Downs
Toledo, NZYSS Aged Pace
It is however Scuse Me’s fillies that have taken prominence including:
Adore Me, 1:47.7, fastest mare in Southern Hemisphere, winning Ladyship Mile at Menangle on Interdominion Grand Final day; millionaire, 12 Group Ones, five Group Two’s, three Group Threes; winner 11 of 12 three year old starts; won 28 of 36 starts; GN/NZ Oaks, Nevele R Fillies, NZSS - 3f, Jewels Diamond (twice), Queen Of Hearts (twice), NZ Breeders Stakes, NZ/Easter Cups, Ladyship Mile, NZ 3yo filly Pacer of Year/twice NZ 4yo+ Pacing mare of Year, Australian 4yo+ Pacing mare of Year, Australasian Grand Circuit Pacing Runner Up (to Christen Me)
Imagine Me, NI Breeders Stakes
Splendid Dreams, sub two minute winner, dam of;
Christen Me, 1:49.1, double millionaire, winner of 32 races, Chariots Of Fire, Taylor Mile, Messenger, Jewels Emerald, Hunter/Victoria/Auckland/Easter Cups, NZFFA, Miracle Mile, twice Grand Circuit champion. Pacer/Harness Horse of Year
Hands Christian, 1:52.5, Easter Cup
Aliante, $103,000 from 30 starts including 8 wins
Dream About Me, 1:53.3, three quarters million in stakes, won first 12 successive races, currently winner of 16 of 19 starts, 2yo filly - NZSS, Jewels - Diamond, Breeders Crown, NZ/Australian filly of year; 3yo filly - NZ/NSW Oaks, Nevele R Fillies, NZ 3yo filly of year
Splendid Deal, dam of;
Maxim, NZSS - 2c, VIC Derby
Splendour, Gold Coast Oaks
Minor winners from Scuse Me –Le Filou (winner, dam of three winners); Coca
Vicola (winner); Pardin Me (NZ winner, 10 WA/1 Gloucester Park); Abide With Me (4 wins); Idolise Me (3 NZ wins, 1 Australia); Ohoka Jett (winner).
In contrast to Scuse Me, Diedre Darling’s breeding career was in its relatively early stages. The one race winning daughter of Sundon/Diedres Pride by Game Pride, had left four foals, all of them boys, so tragically no filly to carry on the bloodlines that were brought to New Zealand by Sir Roy McKenzie.
Bred by Sir Roy McKenzie, Diedre Darling (USA family of Lizzie Witherspoon) was a winner for Sir Roy from Fred Fletcher’s stable with grandson Sam Smolenski being her successful driver. Acquired to breed from by Greg and Nina Hope, Deidre Darling struck the double in our most recently completed season (2015/6) taking out both the New Zealand Breeders award for Trotting Broodmare of Year and the Canterbury Standardbred Breeders Association award for Trotting Broodmare of the Year. Both these awards were primarily due to the deeds of her third foal and 4yo Trotting Entire or Gelding of Year, Trotter of Year and New Zealand Harness Horse of Year at the 2016 NZ Harness Racing Awards in Monbet.
Monbet, Love You’s Australasian standout trotter, has been a sterling performer for owners Greg/Nina Hope and Morrie Molloy, last season being the winner of seven Group 1 races, one Group 2, one Group 3 and other feature races in his thirteen wins from 15 Australasian starts.. Already this season, his three starts have yielded a win in Ashburton Trotters Mile (T1:55.2), NZ Trotting FFA in a NZ record time of T2:21.7/T1:56.9 and Dominion Hcp in NZ record time of T4:00.7/t2:01.0 (last eight wins consecutively) taking his career stats to 34 starts, 23 wins, 5 placings for stakes over $760,000 (T1:55.2NZ/T1:59.6AUS). His major wins have included Jewels - 2T/4T, NZ Trotting FFA (twice), National Trot, NZ and AUST Trotting Championships, Rowe/Anzac Cups, Dominion Hcp, Trotter and Harness Horse of Year.
Diedre Darling’s other three foals include two winners in [Sir] Donaldson (7NZ/3 Menangle wins, T2:00.0AUS, $122,194), Conway (2 wins, T2:08.6, $14,685) and an as yet unregistered Muscle Hill half brother to Monbet.