Captain proving a pin-up for rookie breeders 

By Peter Wharton 

Retired Gore dairy farmer Terry McPherson and his wife Dawn showed astute judgement when they outlaid $18,000 for the American Ideal mare Pretty Pins at the National Yearling Sale in Christchurch in 2015. 

Her first foal is the talented Victorian stayer Captain Pins, a Captaintreacherous five-year-old gelding who outgunned a handy field to annex the $30,000 Rising Stars Final at Melton last Saturday night.

Captain Pins (5)
Trainer: Denis McIntyre; Driver: Michael Bellman
photography: Stuart McCormick

“Pretty Pins was the first horse we’ve ever bought,” Terry said. “She was a half-sister to the top racemare Carabella but there was only other person bidding on her at the sale as she had broken splints.” 

Pretty Pins was not raced and was sent to the stud as a three-year-old with Captain Pins the result. 

Trained by Terry’s lifelong friend Robin Swain, Captain Pins had only four starts in New Zealand for a win rating 2:00.5 over 2400 metres at Winton, a second and two unplaced efforts. 

Following her Winton success in March 2021 Captain Pins was sold to Victorian horseman Denis McIntyre, who gained fame for his association with a top flight pacer in the 1970’s, Spike. 

“We had a couple of agents interested in buying him, so we decided to sell,” Terry said. 

Only sparingly raced, Captain Pins has totted up 10 wins – including three at Melton – with five placings for $81,205 in stakes and has worked his way back to an NR93 mark. 

Pretty Pins’ second foal, Miki Pins, a three-year-old gelding by Always B Miki, was sold to NSW interests and has won three races to date and is showing a good deal of promise. 

Next, to the cover of Sweet Lou, Pretty Pins produced Sweet Pins, a two-year-old colt who will be prepared by Robin Swain, while her yearling filly by Bettor’s Delight is being retained by the McPherson’s for racing and breeding. 

Pretty Pins is currently in foal to Captain Crunch and will be mated with world champion Bulldog Hanover this season. 

She has an all-American breeding background and one which has been most successful. By American Ideal, she is out of the Artsplace mare Andress Blue Chip, who left six sub 2:00 winners and five sub 2:00 producers. 

Andress Blue Chip ranks as the dam of the six-time Group 1 winner Carabella 1:55.2 ($693,615), Girls Love Pearls (1:55) and Lady Cullen (1:55.9) and the grand-dam of the 2019 NZ 3YO Filly of the Year Belle Of Montana, the dual QBred Triad winner First String and Johnny Mac (Gore Cup).  

The McPherson’s are also breeding from Bronte Lindenny, a Shadow Play mare from the family of the A. G. Hunter Cup winner Surprise Package, and the Rocknroll Hanover mare Rockabelle, a lightly raced half-sister to $170,000 winner Rum Delight. 

Bronte Lindenny has produced a yearling filly by Stay Hungry and a colt foal by Captain Crunch and is booked to Pebble Beach, while Rockabelle has left a colt foal by American Ideal and is booked to Captain Crunch.