Nerano is the best horse ever bred by Rob Stuart

By Peter Wharton

Retired Wakefield meat worker and hobby harness racing breeder and trainer Rob Stuart, who has been involved in the sport for almost 40 years, is adamant that Nerano is the best horse he’s ever bred.

Nerano wins at Menangle recently – Club Menangle photo

The black Tintin In America gelding chalked up his 17th success when he outsprinted a strong field including Hot And Treacherous and Major Perry in 1:51.8 at Menangle on April 6.

The win boosted the seven-year-old’s lifetime stake tally to $242,917.

Nerano was bred by Stuart and his wife Sue out of the Village Jasper mare Jass and originally trained by Rob.

“We won two races with him as a four-year-old including one at Addington,” Rob said.

The gelding was later sold to leviathan New South Wales owner Mick Boots in June 2021.

He won seven of his first eight starts in the NSW Riverina region including the Leeton and Griffith Pacing Cups. He later won the Wangaratta Pacing Cup in Victoria and was placed in the Albury and Junee Cups.

Nerano announced himself on the big stage with a string of successes at Menangle during 2022 and 2023 highlighted by a career-best 1:50.7 effort over the flying mile on November 5, 2022.

However, his achievements at the Brisbane Inter Dominion carnival at Albion Park in December last year confirmed his status as a genuine player at the top level. He ran second in the opening round of heats behind Leap To Fame, won heats over 2138 metres and 2680 metres on the second and third nights and finished a creditable fifth in the $530,000 Grand Final.

Stuart said that Nerano’s three half-sisters all showed above average ability. Jazelle (by Changeover) won 11 races and $117,025, Scelta Uno (by Mach Three) won eight and $89,046 and Speciale Uno (by Art Major) notched three wins.

Rob Stuart with Scelta Uno and her Lazarus colt foal

“Speciale Uno broke a back leg a week before she was going back to the races and subsequently died,” Rob said.

“They were the first three girls out of the old mare. The next five foals were colts!

“Her last foal Roma (by Downbytheseaside) is being broken in at the moment.”

The couple are breeding from Jass’s daughter Scelta Uno.

“She has a colt foal in the paddock by Lazarus and is in foal to Sweet Lou,” he said. “She is the last mare out of the family.”

The Nerano story actually began at the national yearling sales at Christchurch in 1996 when the Stuart’s shelled out $4,000 for a Windshield Wiper filly out of the good producer Rakabelle named Wind Chime.

“Wind Chime qualified for us but she had a problem with her back and never raced,” Rob said.

Wind Chime only produced three foals – all fillies.

“The first two weren’t of much account although they were both by top sires,” he said.

Her third and last foal was Jass, who won four races and $36,311 and took a mile mark of 1:58.1.

“She was a brilliant mare. She was placed in 1:55.6 at Nelson one day,” Stuart said.

“The handicapping system was different in those days. Once you had won a few races you were up against the good one’s.

“These days she would have won a lot more than four.”