Loyalist is the best horse ever bred by Steve Baucke

By Peter Wharton

Invercargill dairy farmer and hobby breeder-trainer Steve Baucke is adamant that Loyalist is the best one he’s bred in 15 years in the sport.

The seven-year-old Bettor’s Delight gelding’s breathtaking win in 1:49.8 in the $30,600 Jack Binskin Free-for-all at Menangle recently and his success in the $106,000 Redcliffe Gold Cup last June confirmed the popular Southland horseman’s opinion.

Loyalist winning at Menangle
(c) Menangle Racing.

Bought for $40,000 at the 2018 National Yearling Sale in Christchurch, Loyalist has earned $263,873 from 13 wins and 25 placings in 81 starts and has worked his way back to a NR111 mark.

His scorecard includes three wins as a four-year-old at Rangiora when trained by Woodend Beach couple Greg and Nina Hope.

Loyal Arden with her Rock N Roll Heaven filly foal

The Loyalist story began when Baucke and neighbour David Sutherland bought his dam Loyal Arden (by Art Major) as a three-year-old for a modest $2,500 from an Auckland mixed sale in 2014.

“She dead-heated for second beaten a nose at her first run for me at Wyndham,” Baucke said.

Loyal Arden only raced four times for Baucke before being sent to the breeding barn.

“She was a tough mare, but had a bit of a wind problem,” he said.

Loyal Arden was a half-sister to the millionaire pacer and NZ Cup and A. G. Hunter Cup winner Arden Rooney and the New Zealand, New South Wales and USA winner Arden Messi.

“Loyalist was her first foal and she went back to Bettor’s Delight the following year and got Mr Perfect,” Baucke said. “We sold Mr Perfect for $21,000 at the Christchurch sale.”

Loyalist as a yearling

Mr Perfect won three races in NZ, four in Victoria including a 1:51.9 success at Melton and three in North America where he is still racing at Yonkers. He boasts a bankroll of $109,709.

Loyal Arden’s third foal is Oh Micky, an Always B Miki four-year-old mare.

“She’s not far from winning. She’s been racing well without any luck,” Steve said.

Next to Captaintreacherous she left the now four-year-old Perfect Miss.

“Unfortunately she got a kick in her knee and fractured a carpal bone,” he said.

Two years later Loyal Arden produced to the cover of Sweet Lou a colt named Loyal Lou.

“I sold him for $20,000 at last year’s sales,” Baucke said. “Darren Keast is training him and he’s thrilled with him. He’s a really nice colt.”

To bring Loyal Arden’s breeding record up-to-date, she’s since produced a filly foal by Rock N Roll Heaven and is back in foal to Sweet Lou.

Baucke is currently breeding from five broodmares and four are in foal.

He has four horses in work at the moment including a useful pacer in Bizzie Lou, a winner of four races to date.

“She’s a half-sister to Cavort, the dam of the great Australian racemare Encipher. She’s the only one of that breed left in NZ,” Steve said.

Besides Loyalist, Baucke rates the siblings Royal Gamble and Swell Time as the best horses he’s ever bred.

Royal Gamble has won 16 races including nine at Menangle and $196,288 in stakes, while Swell Time has won 11 races – four in NZ and seven in NSW – and just shy of $100,000.

Another sibling in Lil Ripper posted her sixth success at Hobart the day after Loyalist scored at Menangle.