Paramount Legend N breaks ground for NZ bred trotter

The stars were out at Hambletonian Day at the Meadowlands last Saturday night, and the ever-growing New Zealand representation in North America was abundantly clear.

And while it may have been upstaged by its trans-Tasman neighbours when Todd McCarthy and brother Andy reigned home major winners on the card, kiwi bred’s were still incredibly prominent.

Harnesslink’s Steve Wolf with Paramount Legend N pre-race

Dexter Dunn drove three winners on the 16-race card, which included the $278,000 Sam McKee Memorial with the Captaintreacherous entire, Catch The Fire.

The former Jamie Gameson-trained mare, Majorca N (Art Major), took home top honours in the $40,000 Open Fillies & Mares Handicap. The field also included Watch Me Now N (He’s Watching) and Sly Eleanor N (McArdle).

The former New Zealand glamour mare, Amazing Dream N (Bettor’s Delight), put up one of her best recent efforts by running third in the $173,000 Lady Liberty, where she paced 1:49 flat.

However, a seventh-place finish in the $337,000 Peter Haughton Memorial holds the most significance for the New Zealand breed and what it may mean for future exports.

The New Zealand-bred pacer has proven over the last decade to be competitive with some of the best in the world when you consider the likes of 2019 Horse of the Year, Shartin N, and what Lazarus was able to achieve in a short space of time.

Southern Hemisphere trotting genetics has generally lagged behind that of our Northern Hemisphere counterparts, and it’s only been the virtue of an influx of frozen semen becoming available that has helped us pick up some of the slack.

Paramount Legend N was probably a bit tired down the stretch in the rich two-year-old trotting final last Saturday night, but simply making the final became the first New Zealand-bred trotter to contest the 41-year-old race won by some of the greats of the sport.

Paramount Legend N is the product of two stallions to never physically stand in New Zealand, being by Father Patrick out of the Love You mare Paramount Queen.

Therein lies a great opportunity going forward as genetics continue to improve for New Zealand breeders to specifically breed to North American time. A recent change to the horse birthdates and radical shift in the major race calendar in our country means breeders and owners are no longer disadvantaged by having January-born foals.

In the case of Paramount Legend N, he clearly still has a lot of filling out to do as he matures into his frame. Still, reports suggest he is a physical specimen aided by the fact he is three to four months older than his North American counterparts. Whether this opens the floodgates for more to follow suit remains to be seen, but it is something to keep an eye on as the breed continues to improve down under.

Interestingly his co-breeder, Brian West of Studholme Bloodstock, was also the co-breeder of Lazarus N, the stallion hoping to break barriers of his own in becoming a flagship stallion in two hemispheres. Something he is well on his way to establishing.

by Brad Reid for Harnesslink Insider
Subscribe here: