End of a WA era for Southland Breeder, but plenty more success in the pipeline

By Duane Ranger 


Southland training centurion and NZSBA executive member, Katrina Price, racked up another breeding win with her husband John, at Alexandra Park last Thursday (September 1). 

In January the Winton-based horsewoman notched up a century of training wins with the Nathan Williamson driven Yankee Party. Her husband John was co-trainer. 

John and Katrina Price

Then on Thursday Yankee Party’s cousin – Advance Party – won the fourth race – The Sweet Lou At Woodlands Stud Pace for 2-year-old fillies. 

Advance Party, who is by Bettor’s Delight and is out of the six-win ($254,688) Group One winning mare, Democrat Party, is trained by Barry Purdon and Scott Phelan at Clevedon.  

Zac Butcher steered the bay to a neck victory in what was her first race-day start. 

“That was a pleasing win because Advance Party was very hard to break in and John did all the hard yards with her risking life and limb on a few occasions. 

“Barry and Scott have done a good job with her in quick time. She’s such a big strong girl, unlike her mother who was a small mare. 

“We still own her (Advance Party) but sent her up north about a month ago because there just isn’t the same number of races for her down this way.  

“We qualified her mother (Democrat Party) before we sent her up to Barry’s – and she did a very good job,” Price said. 

Advance Party is the third (of four) foals out of the 2014 New Zealand Sires Stakes 3yo Fillies Championship winner. Democrat Party also won the Group Two 2014 Young Guns Delightful Lady Classic. Butcher drove her back then as well. 

“Democratic Party was a wonderful racehorse, and now she’s proving to be a very nice broodmare as well. She’s currently in foal to Bettor’s Delight and we are hoping for a nice colt later this month.  

“She’ll likely to go back to ‘Bettor’s’ because he’s still producing winner after winner. In fact, all of Democrat Party’s foals are by Bettor’s Delight because we really like the American Ideal – Bettor’s Delight cross, which has been quite prolific,” Price said. 

She said Democrat Party’s first foal, the Bettor’s Delight 4-year-old mare, Debutante Party, was a little black filly, who won one of her 10 starts for the Prices before they sold her to Australian owners in October last year. 

Across the Tasman she has won another four races and is currently racing in New South Wales for trainer Brad Hewitt. 

The Prices fetched a Sales equal topping $210,000 for their second foal, Republican Party, at the 2020 Yearling Sales at Karaka. 

“That was a day to remember. He was such a lovely looking animal. He now races for Cran and Chrissie Dalgety and has won seven of his 13 starts ($79,015). 

“The mare has also left us a Bettor’s Delight weanling filly named Smarty Party. Sadly, she got lame early on and had to be boxed and then was put in the training yard for a couple of months. 

“Her x-rays tell us she’s on the mend, so we will be keeping her at this stage,” Price said. 

She said this family all started with Advance Party’s grand-dam, the 14-win 1996 Sky’s Atom – Bee Gee’s Dream (Butler B G) filly, Champagne Party. 

“John bought her at an Ian Dobson Dispersal Sale. He was meant to buy another mare, which he did, but then also bought Champagne Party unbeknown to me.” 

Price said Champagne had already left six foals and they bred the last four from her with Democrat Party being the first and best of what we bred from her.” 

“We had previously bought Surprise Party (one-win Christian Cullen – Champagne Party mare) at the Yearling Sales. It was a family we always admired as it consistently produces good horses who possess speed,” Price said. 

Price said she got into breeding via her husband, John’s father. 

“The first horse we bred was Bellaholmes. She was a Holmes Hanover – Belladonna mare, who won six of her 13 starts here and then we sold her to Joe Muscara in the United States where she went on to win more races. That was the perfect start,” Price said. 

Gary Hall Snr with Chicago Bull.
Photo by Daniel Wilkins

But undoubtedly the best horse Price has bred is the just retired multiple Group One winning Western Australian champion Chicago Bull.

The 2012 son of Bettor’s Delight and Chicago Blues (Christian Cullen) won 62 of his 113 starts and placed 36 times for $2.4 million in purses. 

“It’s going to be tough beating that, but John and I have always loved breeding. It’s so rewarding to see them born and develop into equine athletes and then successful broodmares,” said Price who is breeding from 10 mares, 

Price was born in Dunedin and moved to Balcultha as a seven-year-old. She has always been around horses.  


“I was at the shows as a little kid and later that’s how John and I met. I trained at Dunedin Teachers College and taught at Tweedmuir Intermediate. 

“I taught for four years fulltime and then part time for another couple, working horses in the morning. I always wanted to train full time. I took out my trainer’s license in 2014 and co-trained my first winner that year,” Price said. 

When asked to put her breeding executive hat on and comment on the current state of standardbred breeding in New Zealand, Price replied: 

“I am hopeful breeding numbers will rise. Harness Racing New Zealand has now identified breeding as a priority which is heartening. 

“And for those that do get involved we have to ensure that they can make a living from it without going broke. There must be ways the industry can achieve this,” said Price. 

She then mentioned their 2-year-old Father Patrick – Habibti Ivy (Love You) filly named The Ivy League, who ran second on debut at Ashburton today (September 4). 

“John and I have recently branched out with a small number of trotting mares and fillies, including The Ivy League who we purchased as a weanling. It follows our long-running ethos to keep diversifying our broodmare band with desirable families.”