Little brother to Bill Haley wins for Jay Abernethy 

 By Duane Ranger 


The little half-brother to one of the best horses Jayesh Abernethy has bred won for the seventh time at Cambridge Raceway on Thursday 20th July. 

The Jay Abernethy trained and Sailesh Abernethy driven Peter Forsberg (2) proved too good winning race seven – the Gavelhouse R35-R39 Pace, by three quarters of a length, with a 1:59.5-mile rate. ( Followed by a second last Friday night at Auckland in the Winter Series.)

Jay Abernethy

“He’s an okay pacer who has done a good job here winning more than $80,000 for myself, Dad and John Lindsay, but I think his time in New Zealand might be limited. He’ll probably be sold to Australia soon,” Abernethy said. 

Peter Forsberg is the fourth of eight foals out of the 2001 Presidential Ball – Blistering Belle (Butler B G) 11-win mare, Elite Belle. Abernethy said foal four, the 2014 Rock N Roll Heaven gelding, Bill Haley, was probably one of the better pacers he has bred. 

“He’d be right up there with Ideal Belle (12 B m American Ideal – Blistering Belle – Butler B G seven-win ($204,316) mare); Five Card Draw (Bettor’s Delight – Blistering Belle – Butler B G seven-win ($347,316) gelding), Five Card Draw; and then possibly Henrik Zetterberg (15 wins and $149,208),” Abernethy said. 

The 40-year-old Hunua horseman said Bill Haley won four races in New Zealand before being exported to Australia as a 4-year-old in June 2016. 

Then he won another 16 races across the Tasman ($344,944). He won the Group Three 4-Year-Old Championship at Albion Park in July 2019 before being sold to Perth buyers, and then he ran second in the Group One Freemantle Cup at Gloucester Park in January 2020. 

“Then he made a bit of a name for himself in the United States where he’s still winning and recorded a 1:49.4 mile.” 

Abernethy said Bill Haley was by far the best of the eight foals left by the now 21-year-old broodmare, Elite Belle. 

“Her first foal, Charleston Belle (2010 Christian Cullen mare) was probably next best with five wins ($35,208),” Abernethy said. 

“Elite Belle was served by Always B Miki on December 27, and she also has a 2-year-old unraced Always B Miki filly, and a Downbytheseaside 3-year-old filly named Onetangi Girl. 

“I haven’t done a lot with the 2-year-old. She will probably race next year. Long-term I think she will be kept here to breed from. 

“As for the 3-year-old she’s just came back into work and will be ready to trial soon. She was a little bit lost campaign and should strip fitter this time in after two unplaced starts,” Abernethy said. 

He said Elite Belle was second of 11 foals out of the 1993 Butler B G – Soky’s Belle (Soky’s Atom) four-win mare, Blistering Belle. 

“My grandfather (Kevin) bred Blistering Belle from from Soky’s Belle, who he bought off National Bloodstock. Grandad trained her from 1989 to 1993. 

“Soky’s Belle was a Soky’s Atom – Hi Lo Belle (Mark Lobell) mare who won four races for Grandad,” Abernethy said. 

With 543 driving victories ($4.5m) and 212 training successes ($1.6m) to his name since 2002 and 2007 respectively, Abernethy is equally passionate about breeding. 

“I enjoy breeding and have leaned a lot from my grandfather and father over the years. That is why I put my name forward to stand on the North Island and then New Zealand Standardbred Breeders Associations,” said Abernethy who is now in his fourth year on both committees. 

“I am especially excited with Harness Racing New Zealand’s new breeding initiatives released last week. It’s just the shot in the arm the breeding industry needs. 

“The reason I went on the committee in the first place was to get more live foals on the ground in New Zealand, and I’m sure this initiative will do exactly that. 

“It’s a good time to be a breeder. It hasn’t been easy in the past, but I can only see things getting better from here on,” Abernethy said. 

HRNZ breeding initiative here: