Ineka Lee and Taurus return at Rangiora
Taurus caps great week for Neville
By Jonny Turner
Otago breeder Rusty Neville rounded out a big week when Taurus ran to victory at Rangiora in the Team Teal Challenge Pace on Sunday.
Taurus (Raging Bull-Star Franco-Live Or Die) dug deep in the closing stages after copping some early pressure to clinch a tough win for trainer John Hay and driver Inneka Lee.
Neville sold the pacer at a mixed age sale in Christchurch where Hay snapped him up.
The trainer also had his half-brother The Guild (Panspacificflight) at the time.
The Guild was an incredibly consistent performer, winning twice and placing nine times in just a 13-start career.
Neville also bred Star Ruler (Washington VC) from Star Franco, who won at Cobram earlier this month.
Taurus’ win was the icing on the cake for the week for Neville with that cake being a career-best sale at the National Yearling Sales in Christchurch.
He sold an A Rocknroll Hanover colt from Artsplace mare Don’t U Wantme Baby for $70,000.
There was plenty of pre-sale talk about the colt bred on the magical Rocknroll Hanover-Artsplace cross but it was Stonewall Stud that eventually secured him.
Naturally, Neville was delighted.
“I was rapt with that, he is a lovely colt.”
Neville has long held an interest in harness racing but it has noticeably stepped up in recent years.
Given he has a 20,000 acre farm at Oturehua in Central Otago, he knows a thing about stockmanship.
And that is why Don’t U Wantme Baby isn’t in foal this year.
“I try to rotate the mares around a bit to look after them.”
“I’ve got nine in foal this year and I have seven foals on the ground.”
“I have picked out three of them that I think could go to the yearling sales next year.”
Don’t U Wantme Baby had a foal this year, producing a strong filly by Panspacificflight in the spring.
Neville’s sale averaged dropped when he sold a Raging Bull colt from Heavenly Bliss to Casey Swain, daughter of Southland trainer Robin Swain.
Heavenly Bliss’ pedigree page probably doesn’t tell her full story.
The mare’s second foal, Ronaldo (Raging Bull), was sold without starting in New Zealand after trialling well for Brad Williamson. Ronaldo has taken a 1.52.7 mark in Australia and won six races.
Neville and his racing and breeding partners have a full-sister to both Ronaldo and his yearling brother who qualified as a two-year-old and has shown promise.
With his sales duties completed, Neville will soon move on to weaning his foals from this season.
The breeder-owner has also been mixing in a bit of trackwork with a couple of four-year-olds as his involvement in harness racing continues to expand.