“This is probably the best horse I have bred” – Reg Storer
By Duane Ranger
Christchurch breeder, and 52-years a city car dealership owner, Reg Storer, knows quality when he sees it.
That’s why he got New Zealand’s most successful reinsman to travel 1,070km just for two drives at Addington Raceway on Friday September 1st.
Storer sponsored Tony Herlihy (MNZM) to fly south from Ardmore to get in behind his talented 3-year-old Creatine filly, Walkinonsunshine, in race four – the DD Nyhan Of Selwyn Catholic Parish Memorial R35 to R54 Trot.
The Tom Bagrie trained brown filly bolted in by three lengths as the $5.40 third favourite. It was her third victory in eight starts (two placings) since making her debut at Ashburton last November.
Walkinonsunshine is owned by Storer, Bagrie (Tom) and Storer’s Pukekohe-based daughter, Bella. She was bred by Storer, Bagrie (Peter) and his wife Anne.
“Tom and I had a good talk and we both thought it was a good idea to keep Tony on her. I have had a great association with Tony over the years and he is so easy to deal with.
“He drove her in her previous two starts when winning the (Group Three) Northern Oaks and then they finished second in the Group One Northern Trotting Derby.
“When Tom sent her to Auckland she was housed with Robert Dunn, and the comments from several good horseman up there was how good she looked.”
Storer said Walkinonsunshine was being prepared for a $45,000 race in a couple of weeks.
“We realised she’s not paid up for the Sires Stakes so we will have to re-plan, but it is still a strong possibility, “ he said.
“I’ll leave it to Tom to make the decision, and for such a young trainer he has a great understanding with his horses and where to place them.
“I think she’s good enough to compete in the Victoria Oaks and Victoria Derby in October but there’s still a lot of water to go under the bridge yet.
“She has the potential to go a long way, and that is why I put the best driver behind her,” Storer said.
He said Walkinonsunshine is the third of four foals out of the 16-year-old black Falcon Seelster seven-win ($54,104) mare, Blackjacky.
Storer got into the family through Blackjacky’s dam – the unraced 1996 black Holmes Hanover – Tilla mare, Rare Vintage.
“I loved the Tilla line (unraced 1976 black Lordship – Wee Ann – Lumber Dream mare) and what she left, so I bought the last of Tilla’s 14 foals as an unraced 3-year-old. She never made it to the races but had four trials. It was her blood that sold me.
“I really enjoyed watching Rare Vintage’s older half-brother Impressionist (1987 brown Talk About Class – Tilla – Lordship entire) and Teddy Demmler going around in the early 1990s, and that’s what sold me,” Storer said.
Impressionist (1:57.9), won 23 of his 56 starts ($427,005) in New Zealand and Australia. He actually won nine of his first 10 races and ran second in his seventh race there.
The tough son of Tilla won Australia (Gold Nugget 4yo Championship (1992) and the South Australia Pacing Derby (1991). Back home he also placed in the 1991 New Zealand Derby, the 1991 Three-year-old Flying Stakes, and the 1990 Two-year-old New Zealand Sires Stakes Final.”
Storer said he wanted to add a bit of speed to the family and that’s why he crossed Rare Vintage with Falcon Seelster, and on December 12, 2006, Blackjacky was born.
He said Blackjacky won seven races, and like her mother she was the youngest (and most successful) of her family.
“I co-owned her with the Anne & Peter Bagrie & Peter trained her at Ohoka to win 2 races as a pacer & then saw a great potential in her to trot, so changed her gait and we won six races trotting before we retired her on November 15, 2013. Then we bred from her.”
Blackjacky’s first foal, a 2014 black Washington VC colt never made it to the races, but foal two – the 2016 Terror To Love gelding, Hittheroadjack (1:55.2), is currently the best horse he has bred.
” We sold him to the Bonds in Perth in July 2021 where he won six of his first eight races. He then ended up in Queensland and is now in Victoria,” Storer said.
In fact, the now Danny Mullan (Melton) trained and owned bay gelding has won nine races ($94,522), including a last start win at Melton on Friday (September 1).
“He’s the best at this stage, and the first Terror To Love we bred to… but the foal after him could be better,” said Storer, who was referring to Walkinonsunshine.
Storer said Blackjacky had also left him and the Bagrie husband-and-wife duo a Lather Up weanling filly that was born on November 1 last year.
“Kyle Cameron will break him in and going on type, here’s hoping. Based on the exciting potential of Walkinonsunshine, I have put her back to Creatine-exciting times.
“I’m not getting any younger and am not sure what the future holds in breeding.
Storer has been involved in Harness Racing for nearly 40 years and said he was fortunate to have the wonderful help of Peter, Anne, and now Tom Bagrie.
“Over many of these years I have had some great successes with the Bagries, winning more than 40 races.”
Storer also has been lucky enough to race a New Zealand Cup horse Letspenanitetogetha, with his great mate Terry McDonald. He also raced Ross The Boss, who won with Steven Reid in USA, as well as Chatanoogachoochoo, who was trained by Greg and Nina Hope, who won the Northern Hemisphere time race in Auckland – also driven by Tony Herlihy (MNZM).
“Walkinonsunshine is going so well it has given me a real new lease of life!” Storer said.