Black Watch descendant giving Trish one Helluva ride 

By Peter Wharton 

An affinity with the Black Watch family spawned more than 40 years ago has again borne fruit for Pukekohe professional photographer and hobby breeder Trish Dunell with the deeds of Helluva in Victoria recently. 

Helluva (7) winning at Melton
photography: Stuart McCormick

Dunell and her son Cameron Mackie bought the Real Desire mare Desire Mhe at the NZ yearling sale at Karaka in 2010. 

“She was from the Black Watch family and the first mare I ever owned Promptly was from this family,” Trish said. 

Desire Mhe, who was bred by Sandy and Jan Yarndley, won six races with four placings from 35 starts for $47,214 in stakes and took a mile record of 1:57.9. 

“She won her first start in a heat of the Young Guns at Alexandra Park,” she said. 

Retired to stud, Desire Mhe is matching her brilliance as a racehorse in the breeding barn. 

Her first live foal, Koenigsegg (by Mach Three), won four races and was four times placed from 13 starts. 

However, it’s Desire Mhe’s second issue that is capturing the imagination of trotsgoers on the other side of the ‘ditch’. 

It is the Mach Three five-year-old gelding Helluva. 

Trained originally by Woodend Beach horseman Gavin Smith, the gelding chalked up an Ashburton win and a placing from four starts before being sold through Canterbury bloodstock agent Peter Lagan to Melbourne businessman Mark Gurry. 

Helluva won a further four races as a three-year-old and three as a four-year-old for Inter Dominion winning trainer-driver John Justice. 

But as a five-year-old the gelding has really come into his own. He has won four times in elite company highlighted by his end-to-end triumph in the Popular Alm Free-for-all at Melton and placings in the $50,000 Smoken Up Sprint and the Ararat and Charlton Pacing Cups. 

Helluva has boosted his bankroll to $123,550 and the best may be yet to come! 

Buoyed by Helluva’s outstanding form in his adopted country, Gurry, on the advice of Lagan, bought his dam Desire Mhe in foal to Always B Miki last year.  

The resultant foal, Bob’s Sister, was broken in by Stephen Boyd and has had one preparation with Yaldhurst horseman Regan Todd. She is currently spelling at Laura Smith’s Cust property and will go back into work in January. 

Now based at Macca Lodge in Southland, Desire Mhe is heavily in foal to American Ideal and will be joined with Downbytheseaside this season.