The Pilgrim, the Major and the Spouse
Featured Image: Sarah Howey, ‘Pilgrim’s Way’ and Major James Mitchell at Yarraman Park in 1981
We knew we were on a winner when we guessed right and purchased a share in ‘Bletchingly’ in 1976. It’s history now that ‘Bletchingly’ became leading sire for three consecutive years with his first crops racing (1979/80, 1980/81, 1981/82). Champion Kingston Town helped a lot. Pilgrim’s Way was also in his first crop and proved quite successful on the track although not quite reaching Group Race status.
He was a most impressive individual bred by his owner R L ‘Tiggy’ Moses by ‘Bletchingly’ out of ‘Angelic’ by Chris (imp); a grey stallion who stood at Widden. ‘Tiggy’ raced him with Moree-based friends Wallace Munro (‘Weebollabolla’) and Solicitor Murray Cole. He was trained at Muswellbrook by Pat Farrell and ridden in most of his races by star apprentice Wayne Harris. Pat Farrell, Hilton Cope and the author (WPH) purchased 60% from the conjoint owners and agreed to syndicate him to stand at Yarraman Park. Sarah Howey was the Syndicate Secretary. Major James Mitchell and family owned Yarraman Park.
It was a good idea at the time. However Pilgrim’s Way was no Bletchingly although not an abject failure either. He was later removed to Mary Hallett’s ‘River Ridge Stud’ at Kayuga. About 40 years on Arthur and Harry Mitchell have struck gold with ‘I Am Invincible’ at Yarraman Park. Success in the sire stakes needs an ounce of intuition and an avalanche of luck. Just keep trying!