Duncan’s decision to Keepa pays off 

By Peter Wharton 

Prominent Melbourne breeder-owner Duncan McPherson, and NZSBA member, showed astute judgment when he decided to retain the trotting mare Aldebaran Keepa a few years ago. 

The Kadabra four-year-old notched her eighth win when she came from near last at the bell to beat a handy field on the final night of the Summer of Glory carnival at Melton. 

She has now earned $115,033 in stakes and has worked her way back to a NR83 mark.

Aldebaran Keepa – winning at Melton

The crowning moment in her career was her barnstorming win in the Group 1 $60,000 Victoria Trotters Oaks at Melton last October in which she credited her dam, Another Love, with an Oaks winner in two different countries, joining Ten To One as to the only trotting broodmares ever to achieve the feat. 

Aldebaran Keepa also took out the Victorian country features the Aldebaran Park Starlet at Cranbourne and the Aldebaran Park Gold Bracelet (Maryborough). She has been set for the $50,000 Lyn McPherson Memorial Need For Speed Gold Series at Melton on February 25 and the $100,000 The Macarthur Mile at Menangle on May 6. 

“We sold her dam Another Love and her half-sister Aldebaran Heather last year, but we decided to retain Aldebaran Keepa as we thought she would be a foundation mare for us here in Australia,” Duncan said. 

“I’m an advocate of Kadabra and I jumped at the chance to buy one of the few straws by him that became available in New Zealand. It is a genetic that is not accessible to Australian breeders.” 

“There are only 11 live foals sired by Kadabra from a single crop.” 

Aldebaran Keepa is the fourth foal out of the royally-bred Another Love, a Love You mare bought by McPherson for $30,000 at the dispersal sale of the late Carl Middleton in 2015.  

“She was carrying a positive test to Dream Vacation at the time of her sale,” McPherson said. “The resultant foal was Carlton who we sold as a yearling for $54,000.” 

He won once from only three starts as a two and three-year-old. 

Another Love’s second issue was Aldebaran Heather (by Trixton), who won twice for McPherson and noted Templeton trainer Kevin Williams and his wife, Bonnie before being sold. 

Next, to the cover of Muscle Mass, Another Love left Aldebaran Floss, who McPherson knocked down for $25,000 at the NZ Bloodstock yearling sale at Christchurch in 2019.  

Trained by Leeston horseman Murray Alfeld, Aldebaran Floss won three races as a three-year-old including the Group 1 $50,000 NZ Trotting Oaks at Addington. 

Another Love’s fifth foal, a Father Patrick colt named Aldebaran Redwood, realised $27,000 at the National Yearling Sale at Christchurch last year. 

She has since produced a filly foal by What The Hill for her new ownership group.