A New Miss Andretti?
She’s won three from three, so Miss Andretti’s little sister is headed in the right direction.
Brian Russell reports – JOHN HUNT, a national junior tennis star who, after injury ruled him out at only nineteen, became a respected caller of thoroughbred, harness and greyhound racing and more recently an author, may have to add some chapters in the future to the entertaining tale he wove on the racing Queen of the West, Miss Andretti.
This follows the emergence of her six years younger sister Peggie’s Dream as a prospect for major success in the spring. Unlike Miss Andretti, a mare who kicked off with a debut win at Pinjarra as an early 3-year-old, Peggie’s Dream only went racing at four, making a winning appearance at Bunbury south of Perth in March of this year.
She is now unbeaten in her three starts, the second and third each over 1000m at Perth’s Belmont in the first eleven days of this month, August 1 and last Saturday. On the latter occasion, she covered the trip in a smart 0:57.48 and won by a length.
In addition winner of her only three trials in Miss Andretti fashion, Peggie’s Dream races for her breeders, her namesake Peggy Beauglehole and her husband Ron, owners of a small horse farm in the Bunbury region. Peggie’s Dream is trained at Bunbury by the partnership of Bruce Watkins and Gary Hitchcock.
Officially, the Beauglehole’s bred Miss Andretti, a mare who indubitably would have givenBlack Caviar a run for her money. Like Peggie’s Dream, she is from Peggie’s Bid, an unraced daughter of the imported Mill Reef Sydney Cup winner and Western Australian used sire Marooned.
The Beaugleholes did a deal with Peggy’s cousin Ray Cockrane, owner of the Wayandah Stud at nearby Capel, to take the mare on a free lease basis, provided he returned her later if her early progeny were successful. They were afraid if they put her in a sale she would end up in a knackery.
Cockrane was standing Ihtiram, an Ireland bred Royal Academy middle distance performer who was a Listed winner in England and successful out here in Melbourne and Adelaide but of limited appeal to breeders. His first mating with Peggie’s Dream produced the mercurial Miss Andretti, a mare who cost her initial owner David Mueller, a horseman who mixed training with working in an abattoir, nothing. He took her home as a weanling out of the Wayandah paddock with the suggestion from Cockrane ‘if she’s looking like a winner you can give me a small percentage if you like.’
John Hunter wrote in his very descriptive book Princess,The Miss Andretti Story: ” In this way then, as the gods would have it, two horses with stayers’ pedigrees – an unheralded stallion who had twice almost died and an unknown mare who had a death sentence commuted – would nevertheless produce by their mating one of the fastest sprint mares the world has seen.”
Through her racing career Miss Andretti appeared 31 times for 19 wins, the first nine in the West, in the 1000-1200 range and $2.8million.There were13 stakes victories headed by five Group1s in Melbourne, the VRC Newmarket (new course record), Lightning Stakes, Victoria Racing Club Stakes, MVRC William Reid Stakesand Manikato Stakes (new course record). She also won the Group 2 Schillaci at Caulfield and crossed to England to set new track record time for five furlongs in taking the King’s Stand Stakes at the Royal Ascotcarnival.
All told she set five track records, the first of them for 1200m at Perth’s Ascot in November 2005. Remarkably the Perth record was smashed in November 2008 by her two years younger brother Danny Beau.
Like newcomer Peggie’s Dream raced out of the Watkins-Hitchcock stables by the Beaugleholes, Danny Beau showed Miss Andretti brilliance with nine wins, all but one on Perth. He holds both the 1000 and 1200m records at Ascot.
When Miss Andretti won the King’s Stand, third (Magnus) and fourth (Takeover Target) were also Australian visitors. Takeover Target, a $1,250 buy as an unraced 2-year-old, and Miss Andretti rank as two of the biggest bargains in history and as two of biggest examples of the lottery of breeding and racing.
Takeover Target was ranked World Champion and Australian Champion Sprinter in 2006 and Miss Andretti World number two and Australian Champion Sprinter for 2007. She was also named Australian Horse of the Year for 2006-07.
Half-way through her racing career, Miss Andretti was sold to a partnership comprised by Sean Buckley and Mrs G. Guenzi of Victoria and David Mueller and transferred to the Lee Freedman stables.
Put to stud in 2008 at Buckley’s Barree stud in Victoria, Miss Andretti,has not had much chance to transmit her excellence on. Since she produced an Exceed and Excel colt, unraced Mr Villeneuve, from her first mating, she has missed in 2009 and slipped her 2010 service. She was served on December 11 last year by Star Witness. – Brian Russell Media