Darryl & Vicky Dixon breed their second winner

By Duane Ranger

Pukekohe Kidz Kartz has ultimately led Hunua parents of six – Darryl and Vicky Dixon – into standardbred breeding.

In fact, the Dixons have become so immersed in harness racing they not only enrolled their children in Pukekohe Kidz Kartz in 2015, but two years later they also completed the North Island Amateur Driving Course.

Zoe with Mr Wonderful himself at the Pukekohe training track.

“Vicky has always loved horses and through our recent involvement in the sport, she now works for Steve and Amanda Telfer at Ardmore.

“I write software for a living and didn’t know much about horses at all, other than watching our children drive at Kidz Kartz.

“Vicky and I thought if we want to enjoy the sport completely, we should learn about it, and that’s why we completed the amateur course – which ultimately led us into breeding two standardbreds,” Canada-born Darryl Dixon said.

Their involvement in the sport then saw the couple enter a breeding lease with Papakura harness identities, Frank and Sue Phelan.

“We bred two horses at the same time through Frank and Sue. The opportunity came by, and we thought why not. We now have a mare and an entire out of two of their mares.

“The season after next we would like to cross them both and produce a foal, because we only arranged to get one foal each from their respective mares,” Darryl said.

“Last Friday was really exciting. That winning feeling never goes away. We are still buzzing about it,” Vicky added.

He was referring to Mr Wonderful’s easy three-and-three-quarter length (1:57.5-mile rate) victory in race one at Cambridge Raceway (October 28). The Telfers did the training, while Frank Phelan did the driving.

Mr Wonderful (Mr Feelgood – Binky The Wondahorse) was born on November 3, 2016. Sixty-five days earlier Maiden China (Auckland Reactor – China Goddess) was born on August 30.

“We are pleased we never gelded him because we want to produce our own family from them both. We are grateful to the Phelans for this opportunity.

“Frank drove the horse perfectly the other night. Credit also goes to Steve and Amanda, who do an amazing job with the horse,” Darryl said.

Mr Wonderful has now had two wins, 10 placings and netted $23,072 in purses from his 27 starts. The 5-year-old entire also won at Cambridge Raceway on March 24 this year.

His ‘soon-to-be-bride’, Maiden China, retired from racing after three starts, due to an injury.

Vicky and Darryl Dixon

Both foals were the last left by their respective dams – Binky The Wondahorse (2006 Falcon Seelster one-win mare), and China Godess (2002 Pacific Rocket four-win mare).

Mr Wonderful is the only foal out of Binky The Wondahorse, while Maiden China is foal number six out of China Godess.

The best foal out of China Godess was the 2011 Gotta Go Cullect four-win gelding Cully Backy, who was trained by Brent White.

The Dixons six children are aged from nine to 23. They said harness racing had become a family sport for some of them.

“We are also very thankful we were able to take up the generous offer made by the owner of Mr Feelgood at the time, who was providing semen with no associated breeding fees.

“Mr Wonderful is a beautifully natured stallion that we are proud to own, and we love watching him run.

“The harness racing industry has provided a fun and enjoyable career path for Vicky to indulge her love of horses,” Darryl said.