Del’s Dream Leaps To Fame

When breeding horses, one needs to be reminded that good horses can come from anywhere, because if we all had the ‘secret recipe’ then we would all be rich…….sound familiar?

In the beginning Rosa Fay (1958 b.m. Court Martial – Bayadre) had 11 foals and only one was good enough to qualify. Her sire Court Martial was best known as the sire of good trotters.

The qualifier, (Cooks Charmaine) only had the one unplaced run before going off to be a broodmare where she left the winner of one race from seven live foals.

Bred to noted broodmare sire Lumber Dream several times over, Rosa Fay first left Rosa Dream who, although unraced, rose to the top of the NZ broodmare band courtesy of her winning progeny and some 20 years after the birth of her mother, was crowned broodmare of the year in 1979.

Mighty Gay (by the unheralded Hornby local Gay Gordon) and George Shand won 9 races together and graced the heights of a NZ Cup start.

Bronze Trail (by Crockett) achieved the same feat but won 18 races before being on-sold to America. Crockett produced both pacers and trotters with limited success here in NZ.

Bred to ‘more successful’ commercial sires in between those two progeny, to Bachelor Hanover she left Valiant Dream (four of his six wins as a 2yo) and to Armbro Del she left Del’s Dream who also won 4 races as a 2yo, 14 in total from 114 starts.

Arthur Cross celebrates with daughter Pam

Both the latter two were purchased by East Tamaki trainer Arthur Cross and his wife Shirley as yearlings when the northern sales were conducted at the Claudelands showgrounds. Del’s Dream raced from 2 through to 8 for a touch over $57k, her last raceday start in an Auckland Cup won by the mighty Delightful Lady by a staggering 14 1/2L with the likes of Lord Module, Locarno, Young Quinn and Sapling in the beaten division.

Pam and Lindsay Turner, with Tigerish after securing the 1992 NZ Oaks

All this activity coming together in the mid to late 70s is remembered well by the Cross’s daughter Pam Turner (of Tigerish fame and all the other good Tigers that followed.

“Dad trained Del’s Dream throughout her career, and she was a lovely mare, completely sound throughout her time as a racehorse. I looked after her the year Rondel won the Interdominion grand final at Addington and Del’s Dream won the pacer’s consolation” she shared.

Del’s Dream would also have 11 live foals for 8 minor winners, arguably, the best being daughters Delorus (5 wins) and Lotliker (4 wins).

Delorus, not a nice horse according to Pam Turner, left 8 foals and the clear standout was Double Dream (by Dream Away) who only won 3 in NZ but went on to run 1:49.4 in America and some $600k in stakes. Lotliker left Like An Atom who in Australia won 11 + $102k who in turn left Beach Fighter who won 36 races + $367k (but he did have 329 starts)

Other daughters of Del’s Dream have bred on with moderate success but it was to be her first foal Lady Delwin (Our Lady Delwin in Australia), by Lordship, that was to establish the hottest racing family currently racing across the Tasman.

“I’m pretty sure John Curtin bought her for good money, and she soon found her way to Australia” Pam recalled

15 of her live foals produced 11 winners and a number of them had long racing careers for small monetary returns and one filly/mare that fitted into this category was Left For Me (10 wins + $31k but from 79 starts).

She was by Fake Left, a son of Cam Fella, who did a fantastic job in Australia before his untimely and premature death. There is little doubt that he would have re-written many of the breeding records in Australia had he been lucky enough to live longer than he did.

Of her 10 live foals, Left For Me has left nine winners including the million dollar earner For A Reason (1:49.4), by Art Major, placed in a NZ Cup and now a leading homebred stallion in NSW and Lettucereason (17 wins + $180k), also by Art Major, and the dam of both the current NZ Cup champion Swayzee (19 wins + $900k) and now the current Interdominion & Miracle Mile champion Leap To Fame (35 wins from 45 starts and closing in on $3M in stakes)

Leap to Fame

Throw in another of her progeny in Maximus Red (30 wins + $333k) and one can see why they paid $210k for her American Ideal daughter at the recent APG yearling sales.

From humble beginnings that had their origins over 60 years ago in the North Island and with the astute contributions from the Cross/Turner families in particular over a long period of time, the Del’s Dream branch of this stud book family has grown to now ‘hallmark’ status with the likelihood of much more to come with the real chance that Leap To Fame will cross the Tasman to take on his kiwi counterparts sooner than later.

One other aspect of this breed stands out!

The mares that have assisted this rise to stardom have all done the business when going to top proven sires.

From Lumber Dream to Armbro Del to Lordship to Fake Left to Art Major and now to Bettor’s Delight (sire of Leap To Fame), one can argue that there is not one weak stallion link in this pedigree. Its just taking time to prove it