Bargain broodmare leaves Cup winner in WA

By Peter Wharton

When Otautau hobby breeder Brent Smith shelled out a modest $1500 for the broodmare Sheza Windermere seven years ago little did he know that she would one day produce a Cup winner.

“I saw her advertised for sale in the NZ Harness Racing Weekly. I looked at her breeding and because she was by Christian Cullen I purchased her,” Smith, the retired functions and beverage manager at Riccarton racecourse, said.

Watching Our Coin, the sixth foal of Sheza Windermere and the first one bred by Smith out of her, began racing as a three-year-old under the direction of the late Murray Edmonds.

Watching Our Coin as yearling

The He’s Watching gelding won one race at Addington with nine placings from 28 starts before being sold to Western Australian interests in November 2022.

He has now won 10 races in his adopted country including six at Gloucester Park and put an exclamation mark on his career when he overcame a 30 metre handicap to annex the $35,000 Northam Pacing Cup on January 27.

The win lifted his stake tally to $158,555.

Sheza Windermere later produced B K Windermere – a full sister to Watching Our Coin – who only started racing in January for Oamaru trainer Brad Williamson and was placed at her second start at Winton.

“Watching Our Coin was sold at the Christchurch yearling sale in 2019 for $9,000 and B K Windermere was sold the following year for $3,000,” Brent said.

“Sheza Windermere died the year after that.”

Sheza Windermere, who was only lightly raced, was earlier bred from with fine success by Invercargill horseman Jack Tither and his wife Andrea.

She had a 100 percent record for the Tither’s, producing five foals for five winners – all inside 2:00.

Watching Our Coin

The best of her produce was Blow A Cloud, a Real Desire gelding who reached Group level in Australia. Blow A Cloud took a mile record of 1:50.7 at Menangle and later raced successfully in America and in all, won 41 races and $411,993 in stakes.

Others from Sheza Windermere were Lynryd Skynryd (1:59.7), a winner of 12 races to date in NZ and Tasmania and $114,692, B D Windermere (1:53), a double Menangle winner, RnR Windermere (1:55.4), who won 13 races including two at Menangle, and VC Windermere 1:58.1 (4 wins), who became the dam of the WA and Queensland winner Mufasa (1:56.7).

All told, Sheza Windermere’s progeny have won 100 races and $874,027 in stakemoney between them.

Brent Smith, who has been breeding standardbreds for more than 40 years, has cut back his numbers in recent years.

“I’ve only got two mares left now,” Smith, who lives on a five acre lifestyle block in rural Southland between Winton and Invercargill, said.

One is Tact Aunty, a Christian Cullen mare from the Tactics tribe who figures as the dam of the five-time Group winner and 2022 NZ 4YO Entire/Gelding of the Year B D Joe 1:50.6 ($436,966) and the prolific Menangle winner and Group 1 placegeB K Swy 1:50.6 ($202,006).

“She’s got a nice Lazarus colt at foot and is back in foal to Captain Crunch,” Brent said.

Smith is also breeding from the trotting mare Delestic, a Majestic Son sibling to the cup class trotters Splash Cola and Delson.

“Her first foal is Create Time, who won his first two starts as a three-year-old last year,” Brent said.

“I leased Delestic out last year.”

Other smart trotters bred by Smith over the years have been BD Love, who established a NZ record of 1:59.8 for 2000 metres as a two-year-old, the brothers BD Khaosan and B D Yasothon, B K Merlot, BK Superstar and last year’s juvenile winner Yosemite.

Smith said the fillies he breeds all carry the prefix BK after his wife Barbara and daughter Kellie, while the colts have the BD prefix, the B being for Brent and the D for his late son Dallas.