‘Joannina’ Wins at Scone
Featured Image: Hunter Valley News report ‘Favourites Prevail at Scone’.
Iconic fictional racing author Dick Francis stated presciently in one of his many popular books ‘Breeders are dreamers of dreams’. He was so right! With the success of Bletchingly firmly established our local trifecta of Pat Farrell, Hilton Cope plus the author were supremely confident that their combined part-purchase (60%) of his first-crop sprinting star Pilgrim’s Way would further embellish the trail of gold! The latter was Bletchingly’s first sire son to go to stud. His lucky co-owners were breeder Tiggy Moses, Wallace Munro and Murray Cole who retained 40%. We had the right stud: ‘Yarraman Park’.
Alas the alchemy did not work out to perfection? While no failure Pilgrim’s Way was a modest success at best. His first winner is featured in the image above. Sarah and I selected ‘Joannina’s dam ‘Mellessini’ (Convamore/Farsak II) as a yearling and were able to purchase her at a manageable price. She was from the famous ‘Sappho’ family so beloved by F K ‘Darby’ Mackay. Significantly her only win was the First Division of a 1000m Maiden at Scone. Things pretty much stayed that way.
We actually also bred the record-winning (number of races won) progeny of ‘Pilgrim’s Way’. ‘California Express’ was out of ‘Beyond All’, a close relation on ‘Lowland’ and won 28 races; admittedly mainly on the Queensland Country and Provincial circuits. It’s still a lot of wins! He was a three-quarter brother in blood to our record breaking yearling colt Bletchingly/Beyond All ($105,000:00) who raced as ‘Norseman’ and succeeded in a winter mid-week race at Canterbury when trained by T J Smith.