Albizia trotting to victory

Southland bred trotter a shooting star 

By Peter Wharton 

The old saying ‘mighty oaks from little acorns grow’ is certainly borne out in the case of promising, young Southland bred trotting mare Albizia. 

 Bred and originally owned by Gore enthusiast Kirsty Adams, the Creatine four-year-old began racing as a three-year-old in New Zealand, recording an impressive Addington win and a close third from two starts before being sold to Australian interests last July. 

 Albizia is undefeated in three attempts in her adopted country to date – all at Menangle – highlighted by end-to-end wins over the sprint distance in 1:56.2 and 1:56.3. She also won over 2300 metres, rating 2:00.8 with the last 800 in a sizzling 56.8 seconds. 

 The combined margin of her three successes at Sydney headquarters is an amazing 37 metres! 

 But it has not been all plain sailing for Albizia.

Kirsty Adams and Albizia after her maiden win at Addington

 “She took six months to be broken in by Shane Matheson,” Kirsty said. “She was later transferred to Mark Jones’ Burnham bootcamp where the finishing touches were put on her.” 

 Albizia is the first foal out of Oak, a Monarchy mare who was gifted to Kirsty by her mother Gay McClymont. 

 “I named the filly Albizia which is the botanical name for a Silk Tree. There was a Silk Tree on a property I rented in Canterbury a few years ago and I thought that if I ever bred a filly, I would name it after that tree.” 

 Oak’s second and third foals, the three-year-old filly Quercus Rubra (by Superfast Stuart) and the yearling filly Quercus Uno (by En Solitaire) are both named after a species of the oak tree. 

 “Most of the horses I’ve bred carry names with a botanical flavour,” Kirsty said. “It all goes back to Sapling, a horse owned and trained by my grandfather Lionel Given.” 

 Sapling won 22 races and $240,015 in stakes and was one of NZ’s most outstanding pacers in the 1970’s. His major successes included the Auckland Cup, Messenger, Easter Cup, Nobilo Mile, Great Northern Derby and a heat of the Inter Dominion.

Albizia as a two-year-old with Kirsty’s daughter Emma Adams, who has represented Southland twice at Kidz Kartz Drivers challenges in Auckland, once being the Interdominions

 Oak, who was only lightly raced, was a half-sister to four trotting winners including the Group 3 NZ 4&5YO Championship winner Larix (10 wins) and Larch (4 wins). Their dam, Tamarix, a dual-gaited mare, was by Double Century (son of Albatross) from Picea, by the NZ Cup winner Trusty Scot from Spruce, a half-sister by Gentry to Sapling. 

Oak is carrying a positive test to Superstar Stuart. 

 “I’m looking to go back to Creatine with her this year with the hope of getting another Albizia,” Kirsty said. 

 Another recent winner bred by Adams is the Raging Bull gelding Mi Furioso Toro, a winner of 12 races including six at Albion Park.