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PWJ...question - Freddie Pratt


slam dunk
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Peter. hopefully you tune in.

Magic Incanto offcourse won Taranaki's main F/M race on Saturday which got me thinking was Freddie Pratt La Mer's regular track rider?  

About that time I was doing bit of a owner/trainer stint and young Fred did some trackwork for me. He was the head lad for Malcolm Smith and had the reputation as the strongest rider at the track also a popular character. 

Just thought the La Mer connection something the Racing Desk reporters didn't pick up.

 

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On 10/11/2021 at 11:07 AM, slam dunk said:

Peter. hopefully you tune in.

Magic Incanto offcourse won Taranaki's main F/M race on Saturday which got me thinking was Freddie Pratt La Mer's regular track rider?  

About that time I was doing bit of a owner/trainer stint and young Fred did some trackwork for me. He was the head lad for Malcolm Smith and had the reputation as the strongest rider at the track also a popular character. 

Just thought the La Mer connection something the Racing Desk reporters didn't pick up.

 

Des Harris was La Mer's regular rider. What an outstanding mare she was. 

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55 minutes ago, LookingForValue said:

Des Harris was La Mer's regular rider. What an outstanding mare she was. 

It always brings back memories of the late great Peter Kelly when I think of La Mer.

Also that superb win in the Air NZ Stakes at Ellerslie.

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Except for one race when Peter Graham rode her which probably means he was regular trackwork rider for her. So I was keen to findout who actually did the trackwork on her.

I knew the "owner" of La Mer very well. He was the Chairman of the High School Board because the late L.A. Alexander had bequeathed his estate for the purpose of setting up an Agriculture College. The chairman Pat Sole would have all sorts of fights with the rest of the board who were aghast at the prospect the future education of their little darlings depended on a horse race. Finally they sold her for over $1M.

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I used to muck out her box at one time when I was a young fella so she was my favourite horse by a mile. I didn't used to go to trackwork at the time - I lived in Bell Block - but I think Peter Graham rode her a lot. Malcolm was a strange bird and made some weird calls with her sometimes. In some hands she would never have been beaten (certainly in NZ). I remember her 5yo debut was on an absolute bog track in an open sprint at Foxton under some massive weight - I think Graham rode her that day but stand corrected if I am wrong. Smart fella, the noted heavy track specialist won and another bog-meister - Gavade - ran 3rd. Poor old La Mer struggled home into 5th behind another noted mudder Young Burnell.

The chap Slam Dunk mentions who managed the estate, was my neighbour in 1988 when I moved back to New Plymouth briefly. Nice chap but I'm not sure he knew a huge amount about racing in general.

 

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To finish off the tale, I always had a soft spot for the family and when I got my first role buying yearlings (for the rather strange Arthur Williams) I went to the very first yearling sale ever held at Karaka (1988) and bought a filly by Ra Ora's brand new first season sire Sackford out of La Fillette, a Sovereign Edition half-sister to La Mer. Named La Meilleure, she won a 2yo race at Riccarton exactly a year later and scored another CJC win before retiring to stud where every foal either died or had something wrong with it. She left no descendants.

In my Stoney Bridge days I still had a soft spot for the family and bought a badly-named mare called Cheesin at the Sydney Easter Broodmare Sale. She was a grey Danehill daughter of the Sovereign Edition half-sister to La Mer and therefore a half to the Sackford filly. She was in-foal to Hussonet and set me back $50k although we later got $92.5k for the resultant Hussonet filly c/o David Ellis who won a race at Waterlea of all places, with her, trained by a young Mark Walker, Kylie Williams in the saddle. Cheesin was a shy breeder and we only got one other foal from her - a Storming Home gelding named Storm Inn, which won a special condition race on a premier day at Te Rapa for Donna Logan and Vinnie Colgan.

Although a slightly disappointing producer herself, La Mer has a host of top performers descended from her, the latest being the Dubnai Meydan Stakes and Caulfield Stakes victor Benbatl who ran 2nd to Winx in the 2018 W.S. Cox Plate. La Mer is his 4th dam

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23 hours ago, PWJ said:

I used to muck out her box at one time when I was a young fella so she was my favourite horse by a mile. I didn't used to go to trackwork at the time - I lived in Bell Block - but I think Peter Graham rode her a lot. Malcolm was a strange bird and made some weird calls with her sometimes. In some hands she would never have been beaten (certainly in NZ). I remember her 5yo debut was on an absolute bog track in an open sprint at Foxton under some massive weight - I think Graham rode her that day but stand corrected if I am wrong. Smart fella, the noted heavy track specialist won and another bog-meister - Gavade - ran 3rd. Poor old La Mer struggled home into 5th behind another noted mudder Young Burnell.

The chap Slam Dunk mentions who managed the estate, was my neighbour in 1988 when I moved back to New Plymouth briefly. Nice chap but I'm not sure he knew a huge amount about racing in general.

 

Peter,   brings back a few memories..

You may have mixed up the manager of the estate who was the accountant with Pat Sole. If you moved to the Veale Rd/Frankleigh Rd area then it was Pat Sole.

The accountant I think got caught up in the big scandal with the President of the Jockey club. (not fair to mention their names after so many years.)

This story may give you a chuckle. You obviously have had a lot to do with marketing yearlings.

Back in early 1960's my father had been given a horse which after some determination was a Balloch mare. Mr Alexander who had just imported Copenhagen was so impressed how the mare looked he basically gave him a free service. Now the the old man was basically on a minimum wage, not that great at English having been in the country only a dozen years or so. Anyway managed to get the resultant yearling to the yearling sales at Trentham all done on a shoestring. I was pretty young but I distinctly remember when in the box at Trentham the Wright Stephenson rep coming in and saying "tell your father he will have to take down the montage of photos from the stable door". 

Back in 1963 the only bit of advertising allowed in the front of the boxes was the standard catalogue page. Nowhere else at the sales did I see any extra material on the front of the boxes and that included all the big studs although they had their hospitality tents. After the yearling was sold the Aussie buyer was quite aggressive he wanted the photos. It was quite obvious he only bid on the horse because he saw the photos.

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2 hours ago, slam dunk said:

Peter,   brings back a few memories..

You may have mixed up the manager of the estate who was the accountant with Pat Sole. If you moved to the Veale Rd/Frankleigh Rd area then it was Pat Sole.

The accountant I think got caught up in the big scandal with the President of the Jockey club. (not fair to mention their names after so many years.)

 

Wasn't Frankleigh Road. This guy lived a couple of doors down in Hunter Place, Merrilands. This was 1989.

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2 hours ago, slam dunk said:

Peter,   brings back a few memories..

You may have mixed up the manager of the estate who was the accountant with Pat Sole. If you moved to the Veale Rd/Frankleigh Rd area then it was Pat Sole.

The accountant I think got caught up in the big scandal with the President of the Jockey club. (not fair to mention their names after so many years.)

This story may give you a chuckle. You obviously have had a lot to do with marketing yearlings.

Back in early 1960's my father had been given a horse which after some determination was a Balloch mare. Mr Alexander who had just imported Copenhagen was so impressed how the mare looked he basically gave him a free service. Now the the old man was basically on a minimum wage, not that great at English having been in the country only a dozen years or so. Anyway managed to get the resultant yearling to the yearling sales at Trentham all done on a shoestring. I was pretty young but I distinctly remember when in the box at Trentham the Wright Stephenson rep coming in and saying "tell your father he will have to take down the montage of photos from the stable door". 

Back in 1963 the only bit of advertising allowed in the front of the boxes was the standard catalogue page. Nowhere else at the sales did I see any extra material on the front of the boxes and that included all the big studs although they had their hospitality tents. After the yearling was sold the Aussie buyer was quite aggressive he wanted the photos. It was quite obvious he only bid on the horse because he saw the photos.

Loved the story about the marketing. I have a similar one. The very first yearling of my own that I ever took to the sales was a Great Charmer colt out of an Imperial March half-sister to the Grangewilliam Stakes (Gr3 2yo race at Taranaki) winner  Mister Aythorpe. It had been a free service as part of my salary package and the mare was borrowed so it cost me bugger all to breed and get to the sale. The sale was Wrightsons Waikato Yearling Sale at dusty old Claudelands back in 1991. My ex-wife and I designed and had made half-a dozen t-shirts with a stunning posed photo of the colt printed on front and back of the Ts. We spent every minute at the sales wearing these as we paraded the horses and walked around. It garnered a lot of attention as no one had seen anything like it before.

We were over the moon when we got $10k for him in the ring and the first thing the buyer did on coming back to the box afterwards was to ask for one of the T-shirts which we duly gave him having saved a couple just for that reason. Unfortunately for them he was the slowest horse I ever bred. He managed a 3rd in a tote race at Te Teko in 12 starts in maiden company. never mind. The only way was up from there.

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3 hours ago, PWJ said:

Loved the story about the marketing. I have a similar one. The very first yearling of my own that I ever took to the sales was a Great Charmer colt out of an Imperial March half-sister to the Grangewilliam Stakes (Gr3 2yo race at Taranaki) winner  Mister Aythorpe. It had been a free service as part of my salary package and the mare was borrowed so it cost me bugger all to breed and get to the sale. The sale was Wrightsons Waikato Yearling Sale at dusty old Claudelands back in 1991. My ex-wife and I designed and had made half-a dozen t-shirts with a stunning posed photo of the colt printed on front and back of the Ts. We spent every minute at the sales wearing these as we paraded the horses and walked around. It garnered a lot of attention as no one had seen anything like it before.

We were over the moon when we got $10k for him in the ring and the first thing the buyer did on coming back to the box afterwards was to ask for one of the T-shirts which we duly gave him having saved a couple just for that reason. Unfortunately for them he was the slowest horse I ever bred. He managed a 3rd in a tote race at Te Teko in 12 starts in maiden company. never mind. The only way was up from there.

Peter, you are slow to catch on. They were looking at your wife !!!

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