An unwell Aaron Lowe and his beloved centurion – Cyclone Vance

By Duane Ranger

When Karaka-based part-time rugby agent, Aaron Lowe, rocked up to the 2000 Australasian Yearling Sales not far from his home, little did he realise his $10,000 purchase would produce more than 100 winners in just 22 years.

Linda and Aaron Lowe with Heavyweight Hero

That yearling was the Safely Kept – Cyclone Betsi (Vance Hanover) bay mare, Cyclone Vance, who went on to win six races ($46,583) between 2001 and 2004 for Lowe and co-owner/trainer/driver, Todd Macfarlane.

“I don’t think any other trotting mare in New Zealand has had progeny that have achieved more than 100 wins between them. It’s something I’m very proud of considering she was my first ever Yearling Sales purchase,” Lowe said.

Cyclone Vance’s 12th foal (of 14) added to that impressive list at Alexandra Park on August 18 when the 4-year-old mare, named after Lowe’s wife, won the sixth event – the Majestic Horse Floats R56 and Faster Trot.

It was Cyclone Lucky Linda’s (Father Patrick) fourth win in 15 starts for Pukekohe trainers Peter and Vaughan Blanchard. She has also placed nine times ($47,735) since she made her race debut at Alexandra Park on December 18, 2020.

The daughter of Father Patrick was driven by Zac Butcher and is owned by Lowe, his wife Linda, Tina Fong, Jeff Lau, Yong Ly, and Jeremy Lowe.

“We are having a lot of fun with her. It’s also a good chance to catch up with friends when she races. Over the years I’ve tried to include family and friends in the horses because it gives us an opportunity to get together amidst our busy lives,” Lowe said.

That was exactly the case when Lowe and friends owned the two-time New Zealand record holder Heavyweight Hero (Muscle Mass – Successor), who won 10 races and $226,911 between March 2016 and May 2022.

His biggest triumphs came via the Group One New Zealand Trotting Free-For-All on ‘Cup Day’ 2020.

“That was a huge thrill owning a good horse like that.

However, it’s even more satisfying knowing that you have bred a champion as well. Cyclone Vance has been so kind to us,” Lowe said.

Cyclone Vance’s fastest horse to date is the 2005 Dream Vacation colt, Cyclone U Bolt (1:54.5). He won, who has won 12 of his 35 starts and placed in eight others ($240,392) for owners, the Butterworth Racing Syndicate.

“We sold him at as a late 3-year-old. He’s since won the Jewels 3 and 4yo Finals (in 2012 and 2013) and would be right up there with the best I’ve bred, that being, Glenferrie Typhoon.

“He’s the foal after Cyclone U Bolt. He’s by Majestic Son and we sold him as a yearling for $50,000. He raced in Australia and won 36 of his 77 starts and more than half a million dollars ($561,169). He’s won several Group races over there,” Lowe said.

Lowe said Cyclone Vance’s first foal, the 2004 Muscles Yankee colt, Cyclone Jake won five races and $70,000 in New Zealand before going on to finish his career in Australia with 16 wins and $175,552.

Foals two and three, Cyclone Dani (2005 Muscles Yankee filly) and Cyclone Moi Moi (2006 Malabar Maple filly) never raced, but Lowe has bred eight foals out of ‘Dani’ and the mare was served by Majestic Son in January.

“Her fifth foal, Cyclone Dream won over $100,000. He was by Dream Vacation and won five races here and then 12 in Australia ($124,134).”

In 2010 Cyclone Vance left a Majestic Son colt named Cyclone Lucky Seven, who won three races here and 10 in Australia ($89,068), and then a year later she left a Majestic Son filly named Cyclone Jeter.

She won two races here and 10 all up ($74,874) and was served by Love You in Australia last year.

Other progenies include the 2014 Muscle Hill filly, Cyclone L Ko (two wins); the 2015 Wishing Stone colt, and Cyclone S Adams (six wins).

“Cyclone Lucky Linda came next, and we have high hopes for her both as a racehorse and broodmare one day. When Todd broke her in, he said she gave him a strong feel and was one of the best horses he had sat behind at that early stage.

“That’s a huge call, because he’s driven some nice horses over the years. Hopefully she is black type because I would like to target some of the South Island mares’ races with her this year,” Lowe said.

“But in saying that we want to protect her as well. She is our next broodmare and we won’t be over-racing her,” he added.

Following ‘Linda’, Cyclone Vance has also left a 3-year-old Kadabra filly named Cyclone Kadabramelia and a brown Father Patrick yearling colt named Cyclone Zion W.

“The 3-year-old has placed in three of her seven starts for the Blanchards and is still learning her craft. She just needs time and will make a much better 4-year-old.

“Bob Butt broke in ‘Zion’ and likes him. Time will tell there. The mare is getting on now, she’s 23. I might have her served again, but if I do it will have to be fresh semen,” said Lowe, who names a lot of his horses after sports starts or loved ones.

Footnote: Spare a thought for Lowe who will undergo an operation in September to repair three faulty heart valves and replace an aorta.