Broodmare package a Major triumph for Tom

By Peter Wharton

When Invercargill horseman Tom Kilkelly bought the Holmes Hanover mare Lite Jade and her In The Pocket filly foal from Auckland breeder Lesley Henshaw 15 years ago little did he realise that the package would produce one of the budding stars of Australian racing.

The filly foal, known as Lite Jagermeister, won three races in the ‘deep south’ for Kilkelly before being entrusted to respected Melbourne trainer Adam Kelly.

She won a further eight races in Victoria and Tasmania including three at Melton and took a mile record of 1:56.3.

“After she finished racing I bought her back home to breed from,” Kilkelly said.

Major Meister
(c) Photography: Stuart McCormick

Lite Jagermeister’s first foal, a colt by Shadow Play named Don’t Tell Tom, won twice at the Victorian provincials including a 1:57.3 effort at Maryborough.

However, it is her second offspring that has captured the imagination of Australian trotting fans. It is Major Meister, a strapping Art Major gelding who arrived in Victoria as a largely unheralded three-year-old in September 2020.

The gelding won his first four starts on Australian soil highlighted by The Graduate at Melton, beating accomplished Grand Circuit performers in Perfect Stride and Boots Electric. He later won the Eastern Challenge (Listed) at Yarra Valley and a further four races in smart company at Melton under the tutelage of Kelly.

Transferred to Inter Dominion-winning trainer Jason Grimson owing to Kelly’s ill-health, Major Meister gave a sample of his class with a barnstorming success on the opening night of the Inter Dominion carnival at Ballarat at his debut for his new stable.

Leading from the outset, the five-year-old won by open lengths at a career-best 1:52.9 rate for 1710 metres with the final two quarters in 27.1 and 27.2 seconds.

Major Meister, who is jointly owned by Kilkelly with an Australian syndicate managed by Frank Barone, has been earmarked for a tilt at the Group 1 $100,000 Cranbourne Pacing Cup on December 17.

He’s A Meister (by He’s Watching), the third issue of Lite Jagermeister, won as a three-year-old at Invercargill in June for Tisbury horsewoman Kirstin Green, who is also preparing his two-year-old half-brother by Captaintreacherous.

Lite Jagermeister has since produced a yearling filly by Rock N Roll Heaven and is heavily in foal to Terror To Love. She is booked to Vincent this season.

Lite Jagermeister is a half-sister to the winners Dangerous (1:57.2) and Pele and to the unraced Lite Jewel, who became the dam of the 2011 Australian 2YO Filly of the Year Sensational Gabby 1:52.4 ($791,681), a winner of six Group 1’s  and who later competed with real distinction in America.

Their dam, Lite Jade, who was unraced, was a half-sister to a fine racemare in Kliklite 1:56.7 ($156,213), who, in turn, left the ‘black type’ performers McKay 1:55.7 ($236,445) and Top Tempo 1:56.5 ($225,513).

Top Tempo was later bred from with marked success in Victoria. She left the Breeders Crown champion Speak No Evil, the Australian Pacing Gold winners Musical Delight and Queen Of Pop and others in That’s How Weroll and Countdown, all pacers of some worth.