The combination of Stephen Hooper & David & Catherine Butt as breeders delivered in a big way at Auckland last Friday night when they bred the quinella of the Sires Stakes Heat for two year old fillies.
Making the feat more remarkable was how closely related the pair of fillies are.
Both are by Somebeachsomewhere with Dontstopbeleivin’s dam Bedtime being a daughter of the second placegetter Excellent’s dam, Regret.
They both stem from a 1988 Yearling Sales purchase and an El Patron mare by the name of Going Royce (1987 El Patron - Good Going).
“I paid for her and Davie took a half share and started training her until we worked out the terms. She won a heat of the DB Fillies Series in 1991 and ran sixth in the final behind Smooth Performer”, said Hooper, known to all as ‘Hoops.’
“She came back a fortnight later and ran second in the Sires Stakes Fillies’ Championship before going in the wind. We operated on her but in the end decided not to bring her back and just started breeding from her.”
While Going Royce may have left a bit of untapped ability on the track before her demise, she certainly left nothing in the tank when she hit the broodmare barn.
Twelve foals for 12 winners!
Hooper’s first venture into breeding was to be a good one. The partnership with David & Catherine has produced some extremely smart types from the family.
Never Going Holme (1993 Holmes Hanover) was the first foal who won four before being exported.
The second foal Pentium(1994 Soky’s Atom) won a Kindergarten Stakes on debut as a two year old in 1997 before running into another handy type called Christian Cullen.
“He ran third in his last New Zealand start behind Another Party and Christian Cullen in a Sires Stakes heat but unfortunately broke down that night. He won a few races over in Brisbane but he was never the same which was a shame as he looked like an Open Class type of horse.”
Going Royce was to miss her next two years in a row before foaling a daughter of Holmes Hanover by the name of Coolmore (1997). She showed ability also winning twice from 13 starts and was unfortunately to pass away giving birth to her first foal.
Luckily for the breed she foaled a filly who has in turn bred on a bit for her owners.
Going Royce’s next foal died as a yearling before leaving a full sister to Pentium in Birchbrook who won a race from six starts for Brendan McLellan.
Her next foal by In The Pocket was to fulfill the promise that Pentium unfortunately never did. He picked up where his brother left off after winning a Kindergarten Stakes in 2004.
The war horse open class performer was Tribute.
“Tribute’s time that day (1:54.9) at Wyndham was a New Zealand record for five years until Smiling Shard broke it at the Jewels.
“It’s funny how he worked out because Peter Cocks was a friend of mine. Pete had a friend at West Melton who was looking for another foal to keep company with his. I told him I had an In The Pocket colt and he told me he would graze him for free if he could keep his foal company.
“Peter told his wife Joan a year later he was going to go to the yearling sales. “What for Joan asked him? There’s that beautiful In the Pocket Colt in the paddock, you should buy that!”
“The rest is history and Peter pretty much brought every colt out of the mare after that I think!”
It’s well known that Tribute bought the late Peter and Joan Cocks, two of the loveliest people in racing, massive pleasure with his achievements.
Tribute would go on to accumulate $610,993 in stakes winning 16 times and placing on 13 occasions. In his trophy cabinet were the three-year-old sires stakes final (G1), Tas Pacing Championship (G1), Ashburton Flying Stakes & Franklin Cup (G2) and a couple of Interdom pacing heats amongst others.
With the colts all being sold, the daughters of Going Royce were all bred from by the partnership, with mixed success. Birchbrook left a couple of nice types in Willowbrook and Lillybrook.
But it was Tribute’s full sister in Regret (2003) that had the most ability out of the girls winning five before retiring to stud duties.
Her first mating with Artsplace left the very talented filly in Bedtime (2008) who ran 5th in the Sires Stakes Fillies Championship at G1 Level.
Being a nine-win daughter of Artsplace set the partnership up with a beautifully bred broodmare who has now left three foals, including Friday nights Sires Stakes winner in Dontstopbelievin (first foal).
Regret’s next foal was a colt by Bettor’s called Mundaka who five in New Zealand before going to Australia where he won a Popular Alm Free For All (G3) at Melton and 12 of his first 14 starts.
One of the more interesting matings of Regret was the McArdle mare Natural who right from the get-go was her name sake in the opposite gait.
“We had a lot of fun with Natural and she was a great wee mare. Davey had her out with the galloping pacemaker one day and said she was useless to be fair. One day she was out and came down trotting and went a quarter in about 34 and was just one out of the blue.”
She won four races for her owners and has recently picked up two further wins in Australia including a Group Three.
Regret’s most recent foal of racing age brought up the quinella last Friday night when racing out of the Nathan Williamson barn. In her first look at ‘The Park’, Excellent produced a gallant second placing and showed she has certainly inherited the family ability also.
Unlike Dontstopbelievin, the breeding partnership of David & Catherine Butt and Hooper (along with 3 mates) don’t share in the ownership of Excellent.
“We sold her at the sales as it’s a case of getting a bit of cash flow. We’re breeding from three mares now out of the family in Regret, Bedtime & Corbell (2007 Christian Cullen – Going Royce) who is the mother of Micky Gee (2013 Bettor’s Delight | 9 starts – 3 wins).
The breeding syndicate haven’t stopped believing in the progeny of Somebeachsomewhere either with the foals from the family forcing their hand.
“The first foal was Dontstopbelievin and she was such a nice type that we kept going back. We’ve got three by him now and another on the way” said Hoops.
The sales purchase of Going Royce nearly 30 years ago has now produced in excess of 70 wins from the family branches and the way the latest two-year-old fillies are shaping up, the century won’t be far away.
This article is from the Breeders Weekly online publication distributed directly to your inbox.