Smokin Annie wins untouched from a hopeless position at Ascot Park

Annie smokes them at Ascot

Tuesday August 19, 2020

By Brad Reid

Paul Hailes patience was rewarded last Thursday for a lock-down project that came to fruition with his Mach Three pacing mare, Smokin Annie.

The mare he owns and bred out of Glenburn Jewel (Live or Die) was facing employment issues familiar to a lot of New Zealanders prior to the onset of Covid 19.

The Mach Three mare was inclined to hang a bit in her races and besides a couple of third placings, hadn’t managed to live up to some of the potential shown by immediate family members.

“Regan Todd’s parents leased her for their Any Excuse Syndicate and although she qualified ok and had a couple of placings, to be honest she hadn’t really done much on the track,” said Hailes.

“Horses had to go out of training more or less on Covid lockdown, but the syndicate sacked her right then.

“She had been back in work for about a month and rather than tip her out completely, I thought I would take her on as a bit of a project over the lock down period,” he said.

Having grown up on the family farm, Hailes was more than competent around livestock and horses.

However he had little to no experience in working the latter.

He didn’t let that stop him and upon taking advice from the likes of Matty Williamson, Jonny Turner and Caine Macintyre, his greatest training ally came in the form of a time honoured book.

“I found an old copy of the book ‘Care and Training of the Trotter and Pacer’ written by James Harrison,” he said.

The book is still revered by horsemen and women around the world for being a wonderful resource to the training of standardbreds. Although much has changed with the breed, many of the principles and ideas remain as relevant as the day it was written.

“I jogged her up for about eight weeks and had great fun doing it too. I think the lads thought I was a little bit mad when they found out how many miles I had been putting into her around the paddocks,” he laughed.

“I could only do so much with her and when restrictions eased. I took her round to Macca Lodge a few times and ended up leaving her with them before long. I must have had her reasonably fit because she was at the workouts 10 days after dropping her off,” he quipped.

Smokin Annie was at the Winton Workouts on June 5th where she ran sixth of seven starters.

Before Hailes could list his copy of ‘Care and Training of the Trotter and Pacer’ on various buy and sell websites, Smokin Annie vindicated the time and effort bestowed to her by rewarding connections with a winning workout at the same venue a week later.

“She played in fences a bit as a young horse and was also really small. Tony Stratford had her bowling round as a two-year-old as she showed a bit early but we chucked her in a paddock to give her some time. She is improving and can run a wee bit,” said Hailes.

She was luckless in her resumption to racing at Ascot Park when hampered by a tiring runner, finishing seventh on the 9th of July.

She ran on solidly from a hopeless position at workout a week later making up many lengths to run fifth.

Smokin Annie went to the races a week later and carried a bit of support. She was unable to run on from back in the field on a slushy track in a race where you wanted to be on the pegs. Lead, trail and parked filled the placings.

At this point you could be forgiven for getting a little impatient with the mare, but having bred her himself from the breed developed by his late father, Hailes was entitled to keep the faith.

“When dad passed away in 2011 I took over the family farm and the mares he was breeding from.

“They trace back to Ronella who dad leased a long time ago to breed a horse called Newella,” said Hailes.

Newella (1963 Newport Chief – Ronella) is the fourth dam of Smokin Annie and represents nearly 60 years of an association with the breed developed by Edward Hailes, Paul’s father.

The family has some remarkable tail lines with Newella’s half-sister Petronella (1960 Whipster – Ronella) being responsible for the likes of Ryal Robyn and the Robyn breed. As well we have Vita Gold, the tap root for the likes of Matthew Lee and Atomic Gold who in turn left A G’s Whitesocks, Power of Tara and Tara Gold, the dam of Tiger Tara.

On the surface, Newella wasn’t as nearly as prolific as her half-sister at stud but similar to the perseverance shown with Smokin Annie, good things take time and eventually the family has begun to fashion its own line of success.

Newella had eight foals for one winner in Hayley’s Hero, the third foal from the mare by Majestic Chance.

One of the first horses that Paul can remember from his fathers breed was the seventh foal from Newella, the unraced Alba Counsel colt called Greg’s Delight.

“He must have jumped a fence as a foal and hurt himself. Bryce Buchanan took him away and tried to get him going but they couldn’t get him to pace properly.

“Bryce had Cedar Lodge Stud at the time and Dad told him he wouldn’t mind a foal by the colt he had taken home.

“Bryce got one his Knowing Bret mares called Cedar Lady and put her to the colt which was probably by natural service back then.

“It produced a horse called Glenburn Star who won eight races here before being sold to North America where he went 1:54 which was quite a good time back in those days,” he said.

Greg’s Delight never made it quite to the dizzy heights of a Bettor’s Delight, but he does have the distinction of 50% foals to winners, albeit from two foals.

With so much patience and perseverance it’s fitting that it was Newella’s final foal that would further develop the breed.

Unraced Knowing Bret mare, Bretella (1982) also produced seven foals, of which four qualified and two were race winners.

Although she too lacked a horse of real quality, Bretella left a Stand Together mare called Glenburn Rose that was an immediate hit at stud for Edward Hailes.

Bred to Christian Cullen, her first foal produced the open class pacer Chesterton.

He won seven races in the care of Gil Shirley including a Southern Country Cups final before being sent north to continue his career.

Chesterton looked like being the first horse to lower the colours of Auckland Reactor when trainer/driver Steven Reid led off the front in the Franklin Cup. Chesterton and Reid set about leading them a merry dance and at one stage Chesterton was out by a dozen lengths before eventually being reeled in by the champ.

He finished second in the Group 2 event and although he couldn’t hold out Auckland Reactor, he fended off the likes of Baileys Dream, All Tiger and Awesome Ambro in a great staying performance.

It would prove to be his career pinnacle which saw him amass 16 wins and $130,000 in stakes.

The second foal by Live or Die produced the dam of Smokin Annie in Glenburn Jewel.

The bonnie mare was a five-race winner spending the majority of her career in the care of Maurice Kerr.

She is now one of the five mares Paul has in his broodmare band and the one that is proving to be the best of his fathers breed at stud.

The third foal of Glenburn Rose was Norham Fella, a son of Live Or Die and who was typical of his sires stock, an honest bread and butter sort of horse who won four and placed six times from 34 starts.

Glenburn Rose had six years of bad luck at stud before finally producing a live foal, also to Live Or Die with resulting colt named Glenburn Flyer. He qualifyied but lacked the ability to be a racehorse and was given away as a hack.

It is around this time that Pauls father passed away and he took over the reins of both land and livestock which included the mares.

It’s been the start of a golden run for Hailes whose only failures from his breeding stock have been two horses who have died.

After some bad luck breeding Glenburn Jewel to Bettor’s Delight in 2010, a deal was struck with Woodlands where he was to breed both Glenburn Rose and her daughter Glenburn Jewel to American Ideal.

In 2012 the elder mare Glenburn Rose produced a filly called Novena Rose who won both a workout and her qualifying trial before going to Australia and winning 11 races.

Her daughter Glenburn Jewel produced the two-race winning mare Glenburn Joy the same season.

In 2013 Glenburn Rose produced a filly by Mach Three in Debnita Rose and while no superstar, she provided the trio of Hailes, Jonny Turner and brother in law Caine Macintyre with many a thrill at the races.

The four-race winner is now in the breeding partnership of Hailes and Jonny Turner and has produced a filly by Rock N Roll Heaven and is currently in foal to Betting Line.

“I know she only ran third on Cup Day but that was one of the biggest highlights of my involvement in breeding and racing horses.

“It looks like we will be racing her stock. I suggested the yearling sales to Johnny, but he is pretty keen to race her stock which is fair enough,” he said.

2013 also produced the highly talented Somebeachsomewhere colt out of Glenburn Jewel in The Honey Badger who “could have been real smart had he stayed sound”. The three race winner picked up two of his wins at two but was barely ever right after that and injury curtailed what was promising to deliver so much.

2014 brings us back to Smokin Annie. The mare who was looking rather lost, but was beginning to find her feet for the team at Macca Lodge after some lock down paddock work with her breeder.

Last Thursday she found herself in a maiden on her home track at Ascot Park.

After a slow beginning from barrier two, she was stone motherless on the bend and racing five back the pegs before unleashing a withering burst up the straight to go away from the field with real ease.

Hailes is hoping it’s not a case of one and done and the plan is to push on with the wee dot.

“We don’t have any immediate plans to breed from her this season unless she starts racing like crap,” said Hailes.

In 2015 a full brother to The Honey Badger was foaled by Glenburn Jewel and was sold at the 2017 Premier Yearling Sales in Christchurch for $30,000 to Malcolm and Dianne Gillies, clients of Dean Taylor.

“He had an allergic reaction to penicillin after contracting colitis unfortunately and had to be put down.”

The 2015 foal from Glenburn Rose (Novena Joy | Rock N Roll Heaven filly) faced a similar fate being found dead in a paddock at Macca Lodge not long before the 2019 Harness Jewels.

Sadly it was to be Glenburn Rose’s final foal at the ripe old age of 22 (now 26) but she had more than done her part in furthering the breed for the Hailes family.

Going back to Somebeachsomewhere a third time with Glenburn Jewel produced a colt called Boots Electric who was aptly named given the way he went about selling himself.

“Caine and I owned him together and he qualified back at the end of February at Wyndham pretty smartly going 2:58 which would almost be a record in Southland without knowing.

“He was purchased by Emilio Rosati and I think Anthony Butt was pretty keen to get a hold of him. He’s only had three starts but has won his first two and already race timed in 1:54,” he said.

The seventh foal from Glenburn Jewel was from the first crop of Captaintreacherous.

Given the success the family has had with Somebeachsomewhere and the way Captain T stock hit the ground running, you could be forgiven for wondering why you have not seen the now three year old.

“Castledrum is going to need a bit of time. Unfortunately her next foal by Sweet Lou (Redcastle) is a bit of a worry with a big knee at the moment and it kept him out of the yearling sales,” said Hailes.

It was hoped after missing to Sweet Lou last season that Glenburn Jewel would be delivering a foal by the world champion Fear The Dragon who is stood by Hailes father in law at Macca Lodge.

“Unfortunately, she slipped. Luckily the neighbour spotted the issue and gave us a ring or the mare could have retained the placenta which would have been an issue had it not been picked up. We will go back to Fear The Dragon with her this season.”

Hailes has expanded his broodmare band and bloodlines by buying into other families with regal breeding of their own.

“In partnership with Macca we bought a Well Said filly out of Imprint from the Weanling Sales for $8000 a few years ago. She is now four and in foal to Fear The Dragon,” he said.

Registered as Bella Cara, the Well Said mare is a half-sister to the Group One winner Opulent and the extremely fast Dibaba. It is a family that is littered with black type with her third dam being the Broodmare of Excellence winner, Smarty Pants.

“State of Mind who I bought off Gavelhouse from the Breckons for $2500. She is a Bettors Delight granddaughter of Under Cover Lover. I am hoping she will make a broodmare one day and I’ve got sum mates in with me to try her as a racehorse,” said Hailes.

Hailes blames the purchase on going mad over lockdown but if you have the land and resources to acquire stock like her at that sort of money, why not the roll the dice?

She is due at the workouts shortly for trainer Derek Balle and her breeding would suggest she is one to keep an eye on.

One of the few French items in Southland besides French fries are Love You trotters and while there is not an abundance of them, Hailes has now dipped his toes in the trotting market with a share in a well bred squaregiater.

“We also have a share in a Love You mare out of Micro Chip called Abella who is in foal to Majestic Son,” he said.

Hailes and his partner Lauren will head north to Christchurch early next year with one yearling being set for the NZB Standardbred Sales.

It will be one of the many from the strong Southern Bred Southern Reared contingent and is a lovely Sweet Lou Colt out of the American Ideal mare Glenburn Joy (second foal of Glenburn Jewel).

The colt called Zamperini will be hoping his close relatives in Smokin Annie and Boots Electric can continue to fly the Glenburn flag as he waits his turn to further the family legacy.