Touch Of Gold dynasty still thriving in Australia
By Peter Wharton
When talented four-year-old Wheres The Gold (by Somebeachsomewhere) scored a barnstorming success in the $150,000 Tasmania Cup – the richest harness race in the island State – he became the latest member of a family established in New Zealand’s North Island 30 years ago to achieve Group 1 glory.
A $47,500 yearling, the gelding has won six of his seven appearances on Australian soil – he was forced to sit parked throughout when second in the other – and tipped his earnings over the $140,000 mark. He has won nine of his 20 lifetime starts.
Gold Elite and her Art Major foal Woman In Gold
The Wheres The Gold story began in 1995 when South Auckland breeder Derek Moore outlaid $3,500 for the Soky’s Atom mare Touch Of Gold, in foal to New York Motoring and with a Payson’s Brother colt at her side, at a mixed sale in Auckland.
Only moderate as a racemare, Touch Of Gold, a descendant of the noted foundation mare Harold’s Rest, left eight foals, five of which were successful. They included Seeking The Gold, winner of the Group 2 Cambridge Futurity and who later forged a successful career in America taking a mark of 1:50.4 and earning $227,824 and the Waikato Guineas winner Golden Son (1:54.8).
Two daughters of Touch Of Gold in Golden Charm (by New York Motoring) and Hill Of Gold (by In The Pocket) bred on with the same distinction as she did. Golden Charm left four winners including Copper Tone (1:50.8), a winner in NZ and America of $111,279.
While Hill Of Gold became the dam of nine individual winners, seven of whom took records of better than 2:00, and they won 86 races and a staggering $2million in stakes between them.
She left one of NZ’s greatest pacers of the modern era in Gold Ace, who won 16 races at Group level and $1.2million in stakes including the NZ Derby, Harness Jewels, NZ Sires Stakes 3YO Championship, NZ Free-for-all, WA Golden Nugget and the Cranbourne Cup. He is now siring winners on both sides of the Tasman.
“He’s clearly the best horse I’ve ever bred,” Derek Moore said.
Others from Hill Of Gold have been Dark Energy (1:51.5), a winner of 32 races in NSW and America, Strike The Gold (1:51.9), a good winner at Melton and Menangle, the thrice Menangle winner Gold Rocks (1:52.5) and the Bettor’s Delight mare Gold Elite (1:57.3).
A smart racemare herself, Gold Elite has extended the Touch Of Gold dynasty with her own feats in the broodmare barn.
Her first four foals have all emerged successful and they have won 32 races and $516,197 in stakes so far.
Besides Wheres The Gold, Gold Elite figures as the dam of the exported Commander Cathy ($178,578) and Woman In Gold ($134,520) and the highly promising three-year-old Charlie Brown ($57,125).
Her 2020 issue, Always Be Elite (by Always B Miki), finished a head second in a heat of the Breckon Farms Young Guns at his second start.
“She’s now in foal to Captain Crunch. She’s the only mare I am breeding from,” Moore said. “Hill Of Gold was retired after producing a Tall Dark Stranger colt last season.”