One of the last purchases for the late Neil Pilcher at the 2018 Yearling Sales, Dina Bolt has a long way to go to match some of Pilch's super buys but he is shaping well enough at this stage at All Stars.
He is now raced by Mark and Natalie with Peter Baken as a new partner. He is having little trouble matching the mile times being asked of the youngsters at this stage.
One of Pilch's contributions to the stable was that he was not bound by fashion and bought several good performers without notably commercial appeal to match some of the glamour buys for the stable.
Dina Bolt, while by sire of the decade Bettor's Delight, comes somewhat into that category at least on pedigree.
But his dam, Pullover Brown, was a great racetrack performer for Geoff Small and usually driven by Anthony Butt, winning the New Zealand Oaks, the Victoria Oaks and the Moonee Valley Australian Oaks also a G1 race, as well as a Sires Stakes Final here. Her brother Montecito was also successful and took a 1.49.4 time in the United States.
However Pullover Brown has been somewhat disappointing at stud in more ways than one. She missed in three of her first five years and her best performer, Runaway Brown, while he has posted a fast time in Australia has been only a fair performer there before moving on to the US where he has gone 1.52.6.
She was largely kept to Volomite line stallions such as Christian Cullen, Mach Three and Elsu and Dina Bolt is only her second foal by Bettor's Delight.
That makes him line bred to Cam Fella, the grandsire of Bettor's Delight and sire of Armbro Operative the sire of Pullover Brown. Both Armbro Operative and Cam's Card Shark were bred on a Cam Fella-B G Bunny cross.
Cam Fella is the greatest stallion descendant of Most Happy Fella and twice the US champion stallion as well as twice Horse of the Year. His son Cam's Card Shark (sire of Bettor's Delight) was also very successful.
Cam Fella's success was a reminder that statistics can be misleading. He came from a weak branch of a top family which had left only 3 classic winners in 80 years yet triumphed above all that on his own ability and the potency of Most Happy Fella. His son Cambest has a time trial of 1.46.2 which has been the world's fastest time for 20 years.
He was closely bred to Dale Frost the sire of Meadow Skipper and the line (Most Happy Fella one) has a strong presence in Dina Bolt's pedigree. However he has a double cross of the Adios line stallion Abercrombie, sire of Art Major, and a strong influence for size and speed.
Armbro Operative was a Little Brown Jug winner who left over 1000 winners. He left a $1m winner Fleur De Lil in Australia but his best here was Awesome Armbro who later posted a fast time in America. But notably he is also the damsire of Ultimate Machete and bred on the same cross .
Two interesting stallions closer to home in Dina Bolt's pedigree are Fitch II and Mercedes. Fitch II was by Abercrombie and a smart racehorse tho he had a mixed career here at a time when the country was flooded with American stallions. His best son was Giovonetto a real star in his younger days in particular. Fitch II sired Dinavinetto ( 1 win from 43 starts but the dam of Pullover Brown and Montecito )
Her dam Precious Dina was by the Meadow Skipper stallion Mercedes and raced by Ted and Richard Hooper who stood that stallion at the former Nandina Stud in Auckland. Mercedes was a horse of most uncertain temperament whose stock were not highly regarded in some quarters but then he produced some topliners notably Luxury Liner the best stayer Roy and Barry Purdon trained and a super durable horse of the outstanding late 1980's era of stars. Roy Purdon recalls that Luxury Liner in most situations was a sensible horse even though his sire could strike fear in the uninitiated even from behind stout fencing
Bettor's Delight has not been matched with many Armbro Operative mares but one, Bettor Be Gold raced out of All Stars. The best one out of the stable however has been Ultimate Machete and there is no greateer recommendation for this youngster than his record to date
Pur Dan might seem at first glance an unusual name for a younger pacer but on closer inspection it is not hard to agree that the yearling sold for $62,500 at the last PGG sale as Big Art has quite an appropriate moniker.
Mark purchased him for Victorian owner, Danny Zavitsanos nearly all of whose horses have Dan in their name War Dan Delight being another example at All Stars.
Given the success Danny and Mark/Natalie have enjoyed in recent times the name seems most appropriate.
There is another reason. Pur Dan is the first live foal of the Mach Three mare Collectable, a Group Three winner for All Stars in 2010 notable for the driving success of Nicole Molander who won the Delightful Lady Classic with her. All Stars having its usual bevy of female stars that season and many drivers were rostered.
Oddly, though Collectable won her first three starts,she did not win again. However she ran some grand races including a 4th in the Caduceus Classic and 4th again in the Nevele R Fillies Final at three, the year of Carabella when everyone else was struggling to compete. That filly won 10 of her 11 starts and was second in the other to completely dominate the season.
Pur Dan is her first live foal after two dead foals and failing to get in foal at her other service
Her sire Mach Three has not struck up any special relationship to Art Major as yet though there is time for that to develop and the cross has produced some useful types. Collectable was the only foal from her dam Stage Talent by Mach Three, who has had a notable contribution to New Zealand breeding, especially with his ability to leave early speed and notably with fillies. Ironically his best in New Zealand, Auckland Reactor, did not race at two but he more than made up for it at three.
Mach Three was among the notable descendants of the Direct Scooter (Volomite) pacing line to carry everything before it in New Zealand for a decade beginning with the importation of In the Pocket who left A string of top horses and whose great son Christian Cullen reshaped the breed before the Abbedale line was restored at the top by Bettor's Delight.
The Direct Scooter line emerged from virtually nowhere his sire and grandsire not being memorable racehorses and the Volomite pacing line going out of fashion but the speed element of the line crossed nicely with the tougher but rougher Meadow Skipper paces
Mach Threes sire Matt's Scooter, a $US17,000 yearling purchase, was an extremely fast son of Direct Scooter who overcame some handicaps to establish his reputation. He was hard to handle at two but at three, though ineligible for both the Little Brown Jug and the Cane Pace he won over $2m including the Meadowlands Pace and the Messenger. He wasn't spared, running in 20 races and he had more at four winning 23 of his 30 starts. He was Harness Horse of the Year at 3 and Pacer of the Year at 4. Mach Three (1.49.2) was one of his fastest his fastest sons though Royal Mattjesty who also came Down Under, ran 1.48 and change was faster. Mach Three's brother Extreme Three also came to New Zealand while Matt's Scooter's son Mattuity, a smart pacer, did as well though he failed to build on the early promise of Ken Barron's smart youngster Mattnamara's Band.
The Bonnie Barbara branch of Collectable's family has left some very good sorts on the track though not many standouts in recent times. Her dam, Stage Talent was by Soky;s Atom from the Stampede mare Stage Queen.
This where the most notable performer of recent times comes into the picture as Stage Queen was a sister to the outstanding pacer, Defoe who won the Superstars Final (a bigger race then than now) and the Lion Red Mile at Alexandra Park for the Robert Dunn stable. He was from the Lumber Dream mare Secure Bel.
Pur Dan's family has several genuine speed influences over a tough old Kiwi source and with the speed capability of Art Major youngsters he could be a formidable performer-whatever his name is.
Major Coo is raced by a tried and true Kennard syndicate who also race Tennyson Bromac and as his name suggests he tracks back to the prolific mare Coo Doo the dam of Palestine, Stereo Light and Barbara Del (dam of Ruthless) and 11 winners in all. Another of her foals, Anna Pavlova (unraced) left the young flier Derby who set a record for the time by qualifying for the NZ Cup after just 12 starts
This has been a very successful family over a long period but it has bred in large numbers and getting the right end of the strike rate is not a simple task. Some of the fillies have been indifferent breeders in terms of racing success. Major Coo looks to be one of the many exceptions.
The reason there are so many foals from the breed is not hard to trace. Coo Doo (1960) who did not race, had a live foal every year from 1967 until 1984 and was nearly 25 years oid when she first missed. Eight of them were fillies.
Coo Doo was by Morano who brought two gifts to an old Mid Canterbury family. The first was the high speed which was reflected in his own career especially as a younger horse. The second was the influence by the great U Scott which was not quite so welcome. Some of his offspring among the colts could be temperamental if not downright difficult just as he was. Some of the Coo Doo tribe were somewhat problematical to handle especially among the colts as the late Jack Smolenski would have been able to testify. But Morano brought a lot more good than bad.
Major Coo traces to Entrancing (Mark Lobell) one of Coo Doo's least successful daughters. She had 46 starts for John Noble and never won a race. Her first foal (1986) by Holmes Hanover won four minor races and so did her last to race but the rest were unsuccessful including the Soky's Atom filly Infante Elana. Her sister, Conchita, also unraced, later left the smart pacer Tennis Ball, but the rest of her breeding career was ill fated.
Infante Elana has left Nonno Stride winner of $117,000 so far from 116 starts in Australia almost all in moderate company. Ruato Bay has had a similar career there with $94,000 won from 116 starts his biggest winning stake being $5000. However both horses have the innate toughness in their makeup which has made the Coo Doo breed so long lasting in the industry. Ruato Bay is a three parts brother to Major Coo.
Long Live Lana (In the Pocket)was the only filly from Infante Elana to win a race, winning twice at three for John McKenzie trained by Phil Burrows wining at Blenheim and Addington.
The influence of In the Pocket was a bonus for the filly and she got another boost when she was mated with Bettor's Delight for her first foal the smart Delightful Lana (1.55.9) who won 7 races from 15 starts in New Zealand. She was Group One placed from Cran Dalgety's stable when she beat all but Fight for Glory in the PGG Wrightons sales series for 3yo fillies.