“I was very lucky that I got in early with her. I drove her in her first five races all of which she won . In the fifth one she came from the outside of the front line at Ashburton to win the Jewels in 1.53.3. That was when it was realised by the public that she was way out of the ordinary. Then she went on to be unbeaten in Australia that year for Mark and Natalie which made her really special.
She did a few things that are very rare these days. She transformed from an age group star to a staying star and she took the boys on at their level and beat them. Adore Me did that but not many other mares of my time.
That was a terrific run in the Cup this season. Not many mares would have led up to run a time like that and fought Tiger Tara so hard considering what he went on to do. There were a number of great performances like that.
One of remember which was not considered so much at the time was when she beat Elle Mac at Auckland last year having missed a race in the leadup and drawn the outside. She did the same for Natalie in similar circumstances up there. She made it look easy but they were terrific runs.
Her Flying Stakes races were great too.
My biggest disappointment was the day she was checked out of the Cup because her leadup form was so good she would probably have been in the finish as she showed this year.
I think it is great that she went out winning a Group One race in a really fast mile. She deserved that and you have to hand it to Natalie and Mark how they preserved and restarted her career when she struck problems and got her back to a peak like that as a farewell race.
Like I said she was a brilliant juvenile and then a tough staying mare who never gave in without a fight,
Put it this way if I was going to war I would want her on my side.
“A great mare really and probably underrated for what she has done. Coming so soon after Adore Me probably played a role in that She was a really brilliant younger horse, her record is really outstanding right through her early career. She lost some of that brilliance but then her stamina developed even more and she could foot it with the best of them.
She has an unusual foot design which made her quite hard to train at times in terms of giving her enough work because she thrived on work. Kerry our blacksmith worked hard on her and we got her through for her last campaign and it was fitting it ended on a high note like that. You don’t get many mares who are star two year olds and still at the top of the tree over all distances at six.
Charlie (Roberts) Paul and Mary (Kenny) were prepared to be patient with her too and that made a big difference. It is not always easy for owners with a horse as good as her to be prepared to wait.
She was a great mare around the place and we will miss her. But we look forward to seeing her progreny especially if they are anything like she has been
ALWAYS THE LADY-DREAM ABOUT ME NOT AS GREAT AS ADORE ME-BUT SHE CAME VERY CLOSE
11 Group One wins in a career of 41 races is honour enough. Being in the first 5 in 37 of them and never finishing further back than 6th when she completed a race wasn’t bad either. And lets not forget those those 12 wins in a row from start one which had the harness world ga-ga.
Dream About Me was certainly something special.
Her first start and win was in a Sires Stakes heat at two and three starts later she won the Sires Stakes Final and then the Harness Jewels Diamond.
She then went to Australia and was unbeaten there at two culminating in the Breeders Crown for fillies. She went back in the summer and won her first four starts went down to Tell Me Tales in 1.49.3 in the Robin Dundee before winning the NSW Oaks. She did not get back to Australia until this year when she lost her only race in Australia (1.49.3 mile behind Tell Me Tales) before winning the Ladyship.
Three campaigns in Australia and the three leading female Group Ones, one for each trip. Not bad.
If it wasn’t for Adore Me’s 1.47.7 win in the Ladyship Mile in 2015 that champion mare would have to bow to her “cousin” on the Australian front. Adore Me had to settle for second in the Ladyship Mile (to Vansumic in 1.51) on her first trip to Australia and won the G2 Brian Hancock leading into her success in that race in 2015.
Dream About Me was well underdone when her winning streak was ended by Golden Goddess on her return from Australia but she won the Nevele R Final at her next start, added the NZ Oaks next start and was then cruelly beaten in the Harness Jewels flying home from a woeful draw for third
After a warm up win at Ashburton at four she easily won the Junior Free for All on Cup Day before being set for the Auckland Cup. A four year old mare winning a 3200m staying race in 3.55.4 is something you don’t see every season, maybe not even every decade.
“Splendour” went through a bad patch after that. Foot trouble ended an Australian campaign before it began and continued to plague her so that it was not until October she resumed now with Tim Williams
She took time to hit her straps but was always in for the fight and when you are going down to Lazarus by half a neck in the Ashburton Flying Stakes you are doing something right.
But nothing went right on Cup Day. Drawn on the second line and stopped in her tracks at the start she took no part. Ok so beating Lazarus was going to be a challenge but she was ready for the run of her life.
After being fourth in the Free for All she was hit by more problems and was not seen on the tracks again until the following August,
Beaten twice by Thefixer, she took out the time honoured Hannon Memorial and was beaten a mere head by Eamon Maguire who had a superior run before ensuring her strength as a stayer was in play in the NZ Cup going down very late to Thefixer (trail) and Tiger Tara a head and half a length from the winner.
She posted a double at the Auckland Cup meeting including the Queen of Hearts which gained her an automatic start in the Ladyship but was well below her best in the Auckland Cup where the time of 4.03 was eight seconds slower than her winning time the previous year.
But she went out on a high. The champion mare of New Zealand with her Standardbred Breeders win at Addington and champion mare of Australia with the Ladyship. It was a hell of a farewell.
Dream About Me was a 1.50.1 miler and a 3.55.4 “two miler” . Just off of Adore Me (1.47.7 and 3.54.6) but not far off. $1.2m compared to Adore Me’s $1.67m.
But really even being compared to Adore Me is as high a tribute to a mare in modern times you could find.
Splendour was at her best in tough staying races rather than those of outright speed. It may be no coincidence her worst race in recent times was the Auckland Cup which was just a sprint home .She was resilient, coming back twice from major setbacks mostly to do with her feet which were of unusual design. Her limbs were as sound as a bell.
Dream About Me was never the glamour mare Adore Me was. Because she was just so sheer bloody efficient in her work and in her races, utterly dependable, always giving her best, never quite demanding or hitting the headlines she so often deserved.
But her power when others were fading, her determination when others were wavering, her resilience when others might have limped into the history books and that glorious finale -the lioness at the head of the trible- those are things we will never forget.
2019 Sapling Trifecta-Smooth Deal, Flying Even Bettor, Copperfield
RAPID RISE FOR VIRGIL
The top priced lot of the Autumn Mixed sale in Auckland in June, Virgil is a likely starter in one of the earliest two year old races of the southern season after being nominated for Addington on Friday.
He finished third in his heat at Rangiora last week behind stablemates Flying Even Bettor and Copperfield and is making strong progress for his fearless owner, Jean Feiss.
Jean has topped the National sales in the past two years alone with Jesse Duke and Smooth Deal who both won their debut races at two so Virgil has something to live up to.
He is also from the first crop of Sweet Lou whose youngsters will be watched with special interest in his first season. Another son, Shelley Beach, fetched $120,000 at the same sale as Virgil and was exported to Australia but has yet to appear.
Virgil is from a family Jean Feiss and All Stars know very well.
He is from Pacing Delight an unraced daughter of the well performed Pacing Grace. But those mares have left plenty of action on the tracks with their progeny.
Pacing Grace’s first foal, Graceful Way has left Three Ways, Forgotten Highway, Shanway Make Way and Man of Action. She has just landed her first filly foal this season,
The next filly to be bred from, Pacing Delight, is the dam of Virgil.
A colt foal, Pacing Major was a big winner for All Stars especially as a two year old and was later sold to the United States. The family’s ability to leave early speed has given it a huge boost as emphasis on age group racing has grown. After Pacing Major came a sales topper in All U Need is Faith who has been an impressive performer for Dennis Dunford and a more recent filly foal, Sweet Affinity,is another member of the All Stars team,
Meanwhile Pacing Grace had left Linda Grace the dam of Smooth Deal the $230,000 sale topper for Jean who has already won a Young Guns heat. Linda Grace had earlier left Linda Lovegrace a 1.54.8 mr winner in Australia and placed in 1.51.4 in a Harness Jewels at Ashburton for All Stars who won nearly $270,000 including the Group One Caduceus Club Filly Classic.
THE MOST UNDERRATED MARE OF HER TIME!
Ok, big deal. Queen of Hearts -for the second time. Is that news ? Well, yes.
For a start only two other mares have won the G1 race twice. Only one has also beaten the males at that level, the other being placed n an Auckland Cup. The winner was Adore Me. A cousin of the above. But she hasn’t been left behind by her close relation in any way. Study the record.
She has 34 starts and been in the first three 33 times.Yep. 33 times. That is in classic races, Cup races, a stream of G1 races.
She won the Delightful Lady Classic (G2) ‘ then the Sires Stakes Final (G1) ‘then the Breeders Crown; then the NSW Oaks. Then the Nevele R Filly Final and the NZ Oaks. Then the Junior Free for All on Cup Day beating Locharburn and Field Marshall; then there was a bit of a steal in the Queen of Hearts before a sensational 3.55 win in the Auckland Trotting Cup.
Foot problems restricted her for some time after that but since her return she has mixed it with “the boys” in race after race. Including the NZ Cup.Adore Me probably did it with more emphasis but Dream About Me has done it over a longer period of time.
A number of the “great mares” of modern times have ducked the big time all sex races. What Dream About Me has done in them is truly outstanding quite apart from her sensational record against her own sex.
Her earnings now top $1.1mwith more things -such as the Auckland Cup-yet to come.
TURN IT UP winning first up at Alexandra Park was hardly a surprise but backed Marks’ assessment that the right handed track would be no threat to him. He was helped getting another great trail from Ashley Locaz but proved too strong in the end indicating he will be heading for the Auckland Cup.
Nobody ever begrudges “everyday” star ASHLEY LOCAZ a moment under lights and he made it in spades on Friday at Alexandra Park.
On a track where he has shone previously (as if there is a track at which he hasn’t) Tim gave him a nice run trailing on the outer and outsprinted a smart field to win the Summer Cup, his biggest win since his shock triumph in the Harness Jewels at Ashburton at 2.
Now he has not only won one third of all his 18 starts but he has also posted seven seconds. That’s first or second in 13 of the those 18 starts. Who wouldn’t love a horse like that ? Certainly not the Van Beeks (with a Murfitt twist) who have remained loyal through the good times and the not so great. His earnings are now over $150,000
Ok no records were broken on Friday but most regarded it as the most competitive race of the night, Ashley Locaz holding out a fast finishing stablemate All U Need is Faith, not the first time they have run a quinella this season.
It was only the 6th start Ashley has had since winning at Alexandra Park on New Year’s Eve last year and he has been first or second in five of them. He is that sort of horse.
DREAM ABOUT ME had given Tim an earlier win after he claimed the lead from Elle Mac and won strongly in the Breeders Stakes. It was her first run at Alexandra Park since her treble of 2016 which included the Queen of Hearts and the Auckland Cup-a treble that could well be repeated.
Dream About Me has a remarkable record. Seh won her first 12 races on both sides of the Tasman with a dash of Group One features and even now after suffering foot trouble last season, has won 22 of 37 starts 12 others being seconds and thirds.
This is one of the great unsung strengths of the All Stars stable as Ashley Locaz’s record also shows. Maximum return for minimum race output. Explains why Dream About Me at 6 is just as big a threat to the best as she was at two years old.
JESSE DUKE won as rather expected in his Sires Stakes heat while the more sensational result on the night was the first defeat of Princess Tiffany at her 10th start.
Short on race conditioning and caught wide in the running she ran out of puff in the last 50m but fought bravely for her placing. So she doesn’t match Dream About Me’s 12 successive wins from career outset. But there won’t be many risking her next time.
(as of December 2. New Zealand racing season)
Winners (NZ) 38 Placegetters (2nd and 3rd) 38.
Winners (Australia) 5 . Stakes (NZ) $1.325m Strike Rate: .4536
Group One: 4. Breeder’s Crown, Sires Stakes Final, NZ Cup, NZ Free for All
Group Two: Kaikoura Cup
Group Three: Flying Stakes, Maurice Holmes. Methven Cup, Hannon Memorial
Most Wins on One Card: 8 (from 9 races)
Most Quinellas on One Card: