Kilkelly rides highs and lows of breeding

By Jonny Turner 

Southland breeder-owner Tom Kilkelly has a theory on Smokin Bandar’s big fresh-up win at Addington on 30 September, followed by an excellent second in the CM Sport Canterbury Park Trotting Cup last week.

And he presents a strong case.

Kilkelly’s flashy grey trotter strode out to an impressive first-up win when dashing along the passing lane to win a feature trot that included Sundees Son and Muscle Mountain.

SMOKIN BANDAR – Photo credit Race Images CHCH

The owner went into the race hopeful of a good run from Smokin Bandar (Monkey Bones-The Fiery Filly-Earl) and confident his horse was going well.

But Kilkelly was still among those surprised with the way the race panned out with the two hot favourites galloping and with the result.

“I just couldn’t believe it,” Kilkelly said.

“I knew he was going well, the other two galloped but if they had’ve been in it, I think he would’ve given them a run for their money.”

As rapt as he was to bag the win alongside his co-owners, Kilkelly was thrilled for trainer-driver Craig Ferguson.

“I was thrilled for Craig.”

“When you have a good horse, it makes it all worthwhile.”

Ferguson produced a training double on a big night of racing at Addington, both with Southland breds.

The trainer also scored with Street Art (Art Major-Curragh’s Princess-Mach Three) who beat out a quality field.

Friday night’s victory with Smokin Bandar continued a strong run for Kilkelly and wife Julie with Bobbie’s Rock (A Rocknroll Dance-Ask McArdle-McArdle) winning the previous day at Wyndham.

The victory came soon after the three-year-old’s half-sister Caldwell (Sportswriter-Ask McArdle-McArdle) won at Ascot Park.

As well as the Kilkelly’s stock are going on the track, it is a different story off it.

Both of the dams of the breeder-owner’s winners from last week have run into trouble.

Kilkelly had the misfortune of finding the dam of Smokin Bandar, The Fiery Filly, dead in her paddock recently.

“She ruptured after having her last foal, so she wasn’t going to have another foal but we were planning on doing embryo transfers.”

“It was a real shame to lose her.”

“It is lucky that my wife bred a couple of fillies out of her, so we have them to go on with.”

“We have a two-year-old by Love You and a weanling by Majestic Son.”

The Fiery Filly had put together a strong record before her passing, producing Somethings Burning (Majestic Son) (6 wins) and Madrik (The Best Madrik) (2 wins), alongside Smokin Bandar.

Madrik has recently returned to work to build on his record.

Photo credit | Race Images CHCH
Photo credit – Race Images

The Kilkellys have also faced more adversity, losing the services of Ask McArdle, the dam of Bobbie’s Rock and Caldwell.

The Listed placegetter has an injury which means she will have to sit out the breeding season.

Though he is two mares down this year, Kilkelly still has six mares to send to stud this spring.

As they head off to stud to be served, Smokin Bandar will continue to compete in Canterbury.

The trotter has the Canterbury Park Trotters Cup and the South Bay Trotters Cup on his agenda ahead of a shot at the Dominion.