McArdle legacy lives on in record-breaking NSW country cups winner

By Peter Wharton

A friendship between Christchurch studmaster the late Bob McArdle and Otago sheep farmer Peter Grant has paved the way for one of the most exciting young pacers racing in New South Wales at present.

Blake Jones and Glenledi Elvis sneak through up the inside to take a narrow victory over Cameron Hart and Missed The Truth in the Murray Cup on Friday night. Picture by Courtney Rees

It is the five-year-old Glenledi Elvis, A Rocknroll Dance gelding who extended his record to 11 starts for seven wins and a placing when he outstayed a strong field in track record time in the inaugural $60,000 Murray Cup at Albury on February 16.

In doing so, Glenledi Elvis hoisted his second track record at the Paceway in the space of a week. He rated 2:00 for 2570 metres in winning the Cup and 1:56.9 for the 1770 metres sprint trip.

The gelding earlier captured the Leeton Pacing Cup on New Year’s Day.

Trainer Ellen Jones said: “He’s such a professional. Everything we throw at him he just takes in his stride. He’s the ultimate racehorse.”

Grant, who trades as Grant Enterprises Ltd, said that McArdle, the co-founder of Nevele R Stud, helped him get started in the breeding industry.

“I started off by leasing a few mares off Bob and after he died I bought quite a few of his mares,” the Glenledi (near Milton) based Grant said.

One of the matrons was the royally bred Mach Three mare Zeta Bromac, who was in foal to A Rocknroll Dance at the time of her purchase.

Zeta Bromac, a winner of five of her nine starts, left the Breeders Crown champion and Grand Circuit star Zeuss Bromac 1:49.4 ($494,965) as her first foal.

Zia Bromac, a winner of six races and a full sister to Zeuss Bromac, was her second issue and Glenledi Elvis the third. He was offered by Grant at NZ Bloodstock’s National Yearling Sale at Christchurch in 2020 but was bought back for $25,000.

“Mark Smolenski broke him in but he thought he needed a bit of time. He was big and lanky,” Grant said.

“I then leased him to Ross and Kyle Cameron. They had him for a while. They quit him and then Mark took him back and got him going. He won a race at Oamaru and was sold to Australia.”

After producing Glenledi Elvis in 2018, Grant also offloaded Zeta Bromac to NSW enthusiast Chris Vella.

“I ended up selling a lot of horses because we had an offer to buy our farm and we were looking at buying another farm,” Grant said.

Aardie’s Express (Always B Miki-Tatijana Bromac), a winner of 13 of her 19 starts including the Group 3 Northern Breeders Stakes and $192,614, was probably the best horse Peter has been associated with.

Other smart performers bred by him were Glenledi Chief, whose 20 successes included the WA Lord Mayor’s Cup and Parliamentarian’s Cup, Advantage (He’s Watching-Pascale Bromac), a winner of six of his seven starts at Gloucester Park, the good Albion Park winners Glenledi Boy and Glenledi Commander and the Bathurst Gold Tiara placegetter Glenledi Babe (Somebeachsomewhere-Zoe Bromac).

“With Grace is the only mare I have now with Mark Smolenski on a half share,” Peter said. “She has an Always B Miki filly foal and is back in foal to him.

“I’ve got another mare leased out to Ross and Kyle Cameron called Glenledi Fling (Rocknroll Hanover-Slinky Bromac).