2019 Pacing Broodmare of Excellence: Twice As Good
Steve Phillips receives the Pacing Broodmare of Excellence from James Jennings of NZB Standardbred
15 November 2019
by Frank Marrion
It could be said to be belated but Twice As Good being posthumously awarded the NZSBA’s Pacing Broodmare of the Year Award recently was richly deserved and an honour well overdue.
The daughter of Butler B G passed away a few years ago after producing 15 foals for 11 to race and nine winners, which included top performers in Waitfornonone (1.55.7, 11 NZ wins, $202,000, G1 Queen Of Hearts), St Barts (1.57, 14 NZ & 1 Aus wins, $151,000), Fight Fire With Fire (1.56, 7 NZ wins, $152,000, 2nd G1 Fillies Final), Mark Dennis (Aus1.51.4, 2 NZ & 42 Aus wins, $316,000) and the good mares Twice As Hot (1.59.6, 5 NZ wins) and Double Shot (1.57.9, 6 NZ wins).
Twice As Good only produced four colts with St Barts and Mark Dennis being big winners, the latter now an 11-year-old and still racing at Menangle where he took his record over the winter. That was win No.95 by Twice As Good’s progeny in New Zealand and Australia.
Twice As Good’s daughters have obviously also been prized possessions at stud, with Twice As Hot producing Flaming Flutter (Aus1.53, 23 Aus wins, $790,000, 2 G1 SA Cups, 2nd G1 Inter-Dom Final), Twice As Fine the dam of Pacific Warrior (Aus1.54.8, 28 Aus wins, $343,000), Twice As Great the dam of Duplicated (US1.50.4, 4 NZ & 6 NZ wins, $237,000) and Waitfornoone the dam of Windinherhair (Aus1.54.6, 8 NZ & 3 Aus wins, $143,000), Luis Alberto (Aus1.52.8, $154,000) and In The Shadows (1.55.4), the latter third in the G1 4YO Diamond at the Jewels this year behind her close relation Elle Mac.
The latter is from Goodlookinggirl, the one-win Christian Cullen daughter of Twice As Good who has also produced the promising filly Miss Streisand (Aus1.53, 2 NZ & 7 Aus wins to date, $162,000, 2nd G1 Qld Oaks).
An Art Major colt from Goodlookinggirl was the top priced lot at this year’s Karaka sales at $190,000 for Ken Breckon and has been renamed Challenger by Graeme Rogerson.
Just how many winners emanate from Twice As Good’s ‘family’ would be an exercise in itself, but as is so often the case in these sorts of stories and outcomes, Twice As Good was perilously close to not existing at all.
Her dam Princess Nandina couldn’t win a race in 11 starts here in the late 70s and had been sold to America, where she took a modest record of 1.59.8.
But one of her early foals there in Pacific proved an outstanding filly performer, and as a result, Princess Nandina was brought back to New Zealand by National Bloodstock and Twice As Good was her only foal here.
This is the noted family of Miss Fortune and the line leading to Twice As Good had been solid over the years.
A daughter of Miss Fortune in Erins Fortune produced the top pacer Loyal Peter to Grattan Loyal and then a Dillon Hall half-sister in Garden Path produced the NZ Derby winner Tobacco Road and the Grattan Loyal filly Forever, the dam of Byebye Bill (Captain Adios) and Portmadoc (Tuft).
The latter produced good colts in Captain Smooth and Porthcawl, but it was her daughter by the influential Able Bye Bye and her first foal in Princess Nandina who really set the family alight.
The second foal from Portmadoc in the Estes Minbar filly Precious Nandina couldn’t win a race in 22 starts, but she would also lead to the good mare Precious Dina, Auckland Cup winner Flight South, Pullover Brown (NZ Oaks), Monticeto (12 NZ wins, US1.49.4), Pass Them By (US1.51.4, $419,000), Where Eagles Dare (US1.51.4, $196,000) and Whittaker (US1.50, $164,000).
Twice As Good would find her way into the ownership of Dave Phillips’ brother Steve, and she really hit her straps as a 5-year-old, winning five straight races in Auckland, the first four over 2200m mobile with one over a rising star in Victor Supreme and the last over 1700m in a 1.56.5 mile rate back in 1993.
That mile rate remained a national record for mares for eight years and until Champagne Party went 1.56.3.
“We had a lot of problems with Twice As Good and for quite a while it seemed like nothing was going right,” recalled Phillips.
“Then for a brief period it seemed like nothing could go wrong,” he added.
Twice As Good’s first two foals in fillies by Genghis Khan (Twice The Spice) and New York Motoring (Twice As Fine) didn’t amount to anything in training, but then came the smart Twice As Hot and the tough, top mare Waitfornoone.
Twice As Hot won three of her first six races as a 3-year-old from Geoff Small’s stable and twice more as a 4-year-old, when she was twice second in the NI Breeders Stakes, to Pullover Brown and Alta Serena, before Phillips sold her to America.
She would also find her way back to New Zealand to produce Flaming Flutter and later in Australia, the good filly Two Times Bettor.
The focus for Phillips however has been very much around Waitfornoone with her latest winner in Wildestdreams coming at Cambridge this month and she is due later this month to Vincent.
After breeding two more fillies from Twice As Good, including a useful sort in Trelise (4 NZ wins) by Holmes Hanover, Phillips decided enough was enough.
Twice As Good’s first six foals had been fillies so he leased her to then Auckland TC racing manager Robert Death, who bred her to Island Fantasy and promptly got a colt, and a good one at that in St Barts.
Island Fantasy was one of those many surprising disasters at stud and his only other top performer was Ebony Gem.
When Twice As Good was then back in foal to Artiscape, Phillips sold her to Rod Croon, and she produced a top filly in Fight Fire With Fire, who was beaten just a nose in the Fillies Final won by Badlands Jewel.
Ian Dobson had bought her at the sales and when he was getting out of the breeding game with a dispersal sale, Croon bought Fight Fire With Fire back and bred her to Christian Cullen to get the colt Big Boys Don’t Cry, a $250,000 sale at the Australasian Classic in 2012.
Croon would get more fillies from Twice As Good in Twice As Great (Artiscape) and Goodlookinggirl (Christian Cullen), the latter bought by Mark Purdon at Karaka for $80,000 for Ken Breckon, when Purdon was unaware he was bidding against Breckon.
GoodlookingGirl won a race at Cambridge and her first four foals have been winners, but again most of her foals have been fillies, the latest a yearling sister to Elle Mac.
Croon then got a couple of colts including Mark Dennis, who won a Sires Stakes heat at Addington before his sale to Australia.
Breckon later bought Twice As Good and got her in foal to Bettor’s Delight as a 23-year-old, producing a good filly in Double Shot, who won five races as a three-year-old and another in Australia.
Her first foal is a yearling colt by Art Major called Whiskey On The Rocks and he will no doubt get his share of attention at the Karaka sales this season.
And so it can be seen that Twice As Good has been very good to a number of people, and with such an abundance of fillies floating around, her legacy is going to be on going for a very long time yet.