The ‘Charles Joseph’ era lives on thanks to the Kennys

By Duane Ranger

The first two sons of the 2014 New Zealand Oaks champion, Ideal Belle, fetched $260,000 between them at the last two National Standardbred Yearling Sales at Karaka.

The older of the two – the Ray Green trained 2-year-old Bettor’s Delight colt, Lincoln River, won his first race thanks to a nice Zachary Butcher drive in race two at Alexandra Park last Thursday (September 15).

Rewind the Clock seven years and eight months, Butcher also steered the Barry Purdon trained Ideal Belle to her Group One Oaks victory at Addington Raceway.

“He (Lincoln River) was always a lovely foal from the get-go, and I think the bidders at the sale saw that. He was magnificent, and I’m pleased to see him win early on (eighth start) for his owners.

Paul and Mary Kenny with the late Charles Roberts and extended family

“He still owes them a wee bit more though,” said breeder, Mary Kenny, who oversees the breeding empire of her late father Charles Roberts via the company named, Charles Joseph Limited.

Lincoln Farms paid $120,000 for Lincoln River at last year’s National Sale at Karaka.

This year, Ideal Belle’s Bettor’s Delight yearling colt named Prime Mover fetched $140,000. Her Bettor’s Delight weanling colt will go to the Sales next year, and Ideal Belle is due to give birth to a Bettor’s Delight foal in November.

“We kept her first foal, a now 3-year-old Bettor’s Delight filly named Perfect Bet. She’s won two of her 11 starts and is stabled with Arna Donnelly at Cambridge. She’s quite talented too.

“Ideal Belle is certainly one broodmare we wouldn’t want to sell. She’s right up there with Adore Me, Sweet On Me, Dream About Me, Splendid Dreams, and Splendour,” said Mary’s husband, lawyer and part-time farmer, Paul.

But the Kennys’ say they have consolidated their breeding operation since Mary’s father and industry giant, Charles Roberts, passed away in April 2020.

“Mary oversees all of our operation and since her father passed away, she has made it more manageable. We don’t have so many horses, but what we do have are worth keeping,” Paul Kenny said.

Ideal Belle is a 2010 American Ideal – Blistering Belle (Butler B G) mare, who won seven of her 34 starts and placed in 13 others ($204,316) between October 2013 and December 2016.

“She was an ATC Trot Syndicate horse and when she finished racing, we put a tender in for her because Charles thought she would be just as successful in the broodmare’s paddock. She’s proven him right,” Mr Kenny said.

Ideal Belle was bred by Bill and Jay Abernethy.

Mary co-bred one of New Zealand’s greats – Adore Me – with her late father.

The millionaire Bettor’s Delight mare, and 2014 New Zealand Cup winner, left a Downbytheseaside filly via embryo transfer at Woodlands Stud on Saturday (September 17).

That was her fifth foal. Her first, Sweet On Me (by Sweet Lou) won six of her seven starts (including three Group Ones). She has a Captaintreacherous weanling colt and was served by Downbytheseaside last October.

“We have a soft spot for her second foal, Darling Me. She’s about to turn five soon and age is on her side. She’s won 11 races ($190,329) and we would love her to take the next step up and get a