Michael McGuire-bred Monsignor wins on debut 

 By Duane Ranger  Dorie breeder, Michael McGuire, always believed in last Thursday’s Addington debut winner, Monsignor. 

He did his homework and was very aware that the Father Patrick gelding had the bloodlines to be a good trotter. His great-grand-dam, Merinai (1991 Tuff Choice – Meriden – Farm Timer 19-win mare) was a multiple Group One winning champion ($244,155) who nailed the 1997 Dominion Handicap and 1998 Rowe Cup champion.

Michael & Sue McGuire

“I couldn’t believe that Monsignor’s mother – Pretty Sunday (2008 Earl – Sun Mist) didn’t get even one bid when I went and looked at her at the Yearling Sales in Christchurch (2010). 

“Her dam (Sun Mist) was by Sundon, which I liked. She never raced, but her mother was out of one of our best trotters of the late 1990s (Merinai). 

“So, I went and saw the vendors after he went through the ring and made them an offer of $5,000. She then raced in two countries and has left four foals since 2017, and was served by Timoko in early December,” McGuire said. 

Ironically, the trotter that no-one wanted later went on to place in the Listed New Zealand Yearling Sales Series Trotters Final at Addington Raceway on March 1, 2012, and then the Group Three Northern Trotting Breeders Stakes at Alexandra Park on December 13, 2013.  

She retired at Melton’s Tabcorp Park on March 12, 2016 the winner of 15 races and $183,664. 

 Monsignor, who is her third foal, came into last Thursday’s Paige Nicol Non Winners Trot (race two) with an impressive four-and-three-quarter lengths trials win at Rangiora on July 19. 

 The 3-year-old well-named son of Father Patrick recorded a 2:11.1 that day. On Thursday the Katie Cox trained and driven gelding went 2:07.1 and won by one-and-a-quarter lengths. 

 Monsignor is owned and was bred by McGuire and his wife, Sue. 

His Mum, Pretty Sunday won seven races in New Zealand from March 2011 to April 2014. She was initially trained by Phil Burrows before heading to Jay Abernethy’s Hunua barn. 

Pretty Sunday is the third and most successful (so far) of the 15 foals left by Sun Mistbetween 2006 and 2022

Pretty Sunday with her Creatine filly born last year

 “Pretty Sunday was a lovely mare, who without a bid ironically placed in a Listed and Group race in both islands, but she didn’t like the Auckland-way around. 

“Pretty Sunday was with Jay for six starts (one win at Cambridge on March 20, 2014) before we transferred her to Brent Lilley in Victoria not long after that last race in New Zealand. 

 “She won another eight races in Australia and ran second in the Group One Collins Trot and was also start runner-up in her last Australian race on March 12, 2016 at Melton – the aptly named Group Two Breed For Speed Gold Final,” McGuire said. 

On October 31, 2017, Pretty Sunday (15 wins, 17 placings & $183,664 – 1:57.4) left her first foal – an Angus Hall mare named Magnifique Dimanche, who has so far won two of her 26 starts and placed in nine others for the McGuires. The Angus Hall mare commenced her career with Katie Cox and is currently trained by Amber Hoffman.

McGuire said Pretty Sunday’s second foal, a 4-year-old untried Majestic Son mare named Majestic Sunday, and then came Monsignor. 

“Katie has done a wonderful job with this fella. She weaned and broke him in. He’s had a few setbacks before making his debut this week. 

“He was a quick 2-year-old who could match it with some of the best. He won his first two workouts at Chertsey and Motukarara (October 2022) and then when he qualified at Ashburton the same month, we turned him out and he never came back until a trial in late May,” the Mid Canterbury breeder said. 

The mare has also left us a Creatine weanling filly, which was born on October 31. She looks absolutely delightful and is with us here on our farm,” McGuire said. 

The McGuires have milked up to 600 dairy cows on their Dorie property for 32 years.

Jaz Tanner with the McGuire’s granddaughter

The 77-year-old St Bedes College-educated McGuire said Eric Clapton said the best standardbreds that he and his wife had bred are the 2009 son of American Ideal out of Jaz Tanner (Artiscape), Eric Clapton (1:52.8) and his younger 2014 Western Ideal half-brother, Pat Stanley (USA 1:51.4). 

McGuire said Eric Clapton won 11 races in New Zealand and Australia ($101,394), including a placing in the Group Three Cordina Sprint at Tabcorp Park, Menangle on August 13, 2016. 

As for Pat Stanley, he was exported to Australia on November 22, 2017 after two starts, and then won 28 more in Australia and then the United States. He is a former Group Two Globe Derby Pacing Cup winner (2020) and is still winning races as recently as last weekend in New Jersey. 

“Sue and I have been fortunate to have bred some nice horses. Perhaps Monsignor might be our best yet, because he won really well the other night, and for us that’s exciting. 

“I’m glad I bred from Merinai’s family. The bloodlines are starting to come through. Monsignor also has sisters, which means the family line will continue,” McGuire said,