Aussie breeder, Ray Cahill, and his Grand Canyon – Winton win

By Duane Ranger

The trotter that Sydney breeder, Ray Cahill, bought to try to win the Harness Jewels Final in 2012, has now developed into a quality broodmare.

Ray at the Grand Canyon

However, Cahill, a retired New South Wales truck driver, was oblivious that his now 14-year-old Continentalman mare, Not Likely, left a winner on debut at the Winton Harness Racing Club’s meeting on Thursday 26th October 26.

“I only returned from six weeks touring the United States. A friend and I did a road-trip along Route 66, and we also went to the Grand Canyon. In fact, the race was on while we were at the Grand Canyon, so there was no way I could hear or watch it.

“I looked on the HRNZ website that day for results, but it was too early, and then Murray rang me with the good news. I was quite surprised because I was just glad to see Miles Away get to the races, let alone win. I think the public were surprised too. He paid more than $20 to win,” Cahill said.

Murray is Timaru horseman, Murray Tapper. Cahill bred Miles Away, but owns her with Tapper’s wife, Christine.

Miles Away, a Trixton gelding, is trained by Matty Williamson at Oamaru. A brilliant Brent Barclay drive saw the 3-year-old bay win the first event  – the Monica Toretto Photography – Trot the by one-and-a-quarter lengths.

Cahill explained that Miles Away’s dam, the six-win mare, Not Likely was the second and most successful of the six foals left by the 1997 Sundon – Vivacious Lady (Game Pride) mare, Our Super Ann, who had 12 unsuccessful starts here before going on to win two races in Australia.

“I paid $90,000 for Not Likely privately as a 3-year-old. Murray trained her for me after I bought her from Andrew Grant. She had won four races for him and placed in the New Zealand Trotting Oaks, and I thought she was a fair show to win the Harness Jewels after that run.

“She won first-up for us at Addington (September 2012) and then only won one more race after that. On hindsight she is turning out to be a better broodmare than racehorse,” said Cahill.

Cahill retired Not Likely in March 2014, the winner of six of her 30 starts (three placings) and $47,463. On October 7, 2015, she left her first foal, a Majestic Son gelding named Natty Pagger.

“I actually leased the mare to Alabar for her first two foals, so I had time to think about what I was going to do with this mare. The first two foals they bred were Natty Pagger and an unraced 2016 Majestic Son mare named Majestic Like. I like to race my horses rather than sell them and have won hundreds of races over the years.”

Natty Pagger won three races in New Zealand for Tony Herlihy (MNZM) and is now racing in Queensland where he has won eight of his 101 starts (28 placings) and netted $91,690 in stakes.

Not Likely progeny have made an impact across the Tasman

Cahill also bred a 5-year-old Majestic Son gelding from Not Likely. She is now owned by the Young family in Outram.

“Miles Away came next and we missed to Elite Stride last year, but thankfully the mare is due to leave a foal by him any day soon. I liked Trixton because he was good value at the time, and I always thought Elite Stride was a great racehorse and could go on with it in the breeding barn.

“I’m not sure who the mare will go back to this breeding season. I’ll talk to Murray. I pay the service fee and he looks after the horses. He does a tremendous job too I might add. I’m very grateful to both him and Christine for what they do for me here across the Tasman.”

“I only met Murray and Christine by trying to buy a horse that Murray trained called Stylish Monarch, and we have built up our friendship since. We are often on the phone,” he added.

Cahill said he had enjoyed buying and breeding New Zealand horses, but has one regret.

“Not buying I Can Doosit when he came up for sale as a 4-year-old. I was just about to purchase him and my trainer at the time said ‘no’ – the horse would never make it. I should have gone with my gut because that deal cost me well over $1 million,” Cahill said.

He said he had always loved harness racing since his teens.

“I liked to have a bet, and the interest grew from there. I bred my first horse – a 2011 Art Major filly named Maudie Mombassa. She went a 1:54.1 mile and won 11 races ($93,648), but the full-brother after her is the best I’ve bred so far.

“His name is Courtsinsession and he won 22 races ($219,800) and recorded a 1:50 mile. He was Group Two placed and won two Group Threes and was an Interdominion Top 20 nominee before the trainer pulled the plug on that idea.

“I bought their Mum, the 2003 Armbro Oliver mare, Maude, off Wayne Honan when she was a 2-year-old. She succumbed to a lot of injuries but still managed to earn more than $100,000 with her 16 wins,” Cahill said.

He said the 2014 Bettor’s Delight – Jerada Ace (Christian Cullen) mare, Jeradas Delight was also one of the best standardbreds that he had produced.

“She has recorded a 1:52.5 mile and won 19 races and almost $250,000 ($248,422). She’s a Group One winner (2021 Golden Girl FFA). Jeradas Delight was served by Captaintreacherous on December 13 last year,” Cahill said.

“Maudie and Jeradas Delight are my two best mares,” he added.

Cahill said his horses in Australia were based at Success Stud in Wombat (NSW).

So, what does Cahill think of his debut winner, Miles Away?

“You can’t do any better than win on debut. I like him a lot and so does Matthew. I also like the fact that a Williamson is training him. I had a trotter with his father Phil, named Talkmeintoit (2007 Continentalman-Friendly Persuasion – Sundon) who won four races here, and three more in Australia. We actually ran third in the Ruby 3yo Jewels Final in 2011,” Cahill said.

“Yes, I still want to win that race!” he added.

Cahill is married to Ronda and he has three children and five grandchildren. For 30 years Cahill used to deliver milk throughout Sydney – hence his email address being