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Stellar month for Temperton

3 minute read

Manawatu horsewoman Gail Temperton has experienced a stellar month, which got even better on Saturday when her homebred mare Royal Flower attained black-type when placing in the Gr.3 Martin Collins New Zealand Manawatu Breeders’ Stakes (2100m) at Trentham.


While the outsider in the field for Saturday's contest, Royal Flower's result didn't come as a surprise to Temperton, who was delighted to earn some black-type with her mare.

"It is always good for a mare, especially as I am a breeder as well. It was very nice – a good run and a good ride," Temperton said.

"It was only a field of nine and I knew the track would suit her. I was concerned about getting flushed out wide on that big bend at Trentham because the barriers were relatively close to the corner. Unfortunately, she had to go a bit hard early and I think that was her undoing. I don't think she would have beaten Apostrophe, but I think she would have been a little closer if she hadn't had to work quite so hard."

Temperton has been pleased with the way Royal Flower  has come through the race and is now eyeing the Gr.2 Travis Stakes (2000m) at Te Rapa later this month with her mare.

"She is a box of birds, she has eaten all of her feed. She always comes through her racing very well, she has got a good constitution," Temperton said.

"I have been ringing about for jockeys to see if we go to Te Rapa on the 27th (of April). We will see what evolves between now and then, but that would be my aim."

Bred and raced by Temperton, alongside her partner Stanley Alexander under their Taikorea Thoroughbreds banner, Royal Flower is by New Zealand Champion stallion Proisir and out of their two-win mare Ishidanzin.

"I own her mother, who was a favourite of mine, she was only a two-win mare and her pedigree had got a bit empty. I wanted to keep her mother because I like her so much, so I am very pleased," Temperton said.

"This is Ishidanzin's second foal, her first foal was a Vespa and she was very fast. She won a couple of jumpouts and showed me a lot of promise, and then she had an accident and we had to euthanise her, which was very sad. The mare has been good to me and it is good to formalise it."

Temperton also has a yearling full-brother to Royal Flower she intends on offering at New Zealand Bloodstock's Ready To Run Sale later this year.

"I didn't put him in the yearling sales," Temperton said. "I thought Royal Flower could do this, given more time, and the pedigree didn't have much until Royal Flower gave it a bit of black-type. I will put him in the Ready To Runs now."

Ishidanzin has been served by Little Avondale Stud stallion Time Test, with Temperton wanting to support more local farm's after selling her share in Proisir.

"I sold my Proisir share so I no longer had the use of him. We always go a long distance to the studs from here and I wanted to support people who were closer to us, and I just like Time Test," Temperton said.

"I am interested that Jeff Lynds won with a staying horse (Cheval de Foudre) on Saturday at Trentham. That (staying horses) might be where Time Test is heading."

While rapt with Royal Flower's weekend result, it was just the icing on the cake for Temperton over the last month, with her homebred Mark Twain placing in the Gr.2 Auckland Cup (3200m) at Ellerslie before booking his berth in November's Gr.1 Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington when taking out the Listed Roy Higgins (2600m) at the Melbourne track nine days ago.

Temperton said his results have been a tonic for her and Alexander, who can't wait to see what the Roger James and Robert Wellwood-trained gelding can do in the spring.

"I was a bit down in the dumps before Mark Twain did his thing. It was a bad time of the year, we had had a drought, and I am getting on in years," she said. "Mark Twain really gave us a huge boost because he has done our other broodmares a great favour. Suddenly my list of raggle-taggle broodmares are not so raggle-taggle after all."

If he takes up his golden ticket in the Melbourne Cup later this year, Mark Twain won't be the first in his family to take his place in the field, with half-brother Pentathlon having contested the 2016 edition of the two-mile feature, where he finished ninth behind Almandin.

"We bought her (Pinders Prize, dam) from Tom Jamieson and she raced in the CD (Central Districts) three times, Howie Matthews trained her," Temperton said.

"Mr Jamieson was selling up a group of horses and we bought her at the sales. We sent her to Pentire because we are a Rich Hill client, have been for a long time, and she is closely related to Pentathon, who was a very good staying horse by Pentire. That is how we bred Pentathlon.

"He was a very good horse, a very hard-working, good stayer. He was Group placed several times. The fillies haven't been quite as good as the colts out of that mare, but every colt we have bred from her has sold well and raced well."

Temperton's association with the Melbourne Cup doesn't just lie with the horses she has bred.

"I had an uncle, Eric Temperton, who had high acclaim for winning a Melbourne Cup with Silver Knight in 1971, but it is usually forgotten that another horse of his, Magnifique, ran second the following year," she said. "They were both ridden by Bruce Marsh."

While Temperton has high hopes for Mark Twain in the Melbourne Cup this year, she is also excited about the future with his Vadamos two-year-old half-brother, the last foal out of Pinders Prize.

"We have a two-year-old by Vadamos," Temperton said. "I am told Vadamos' are a little out of favour at the moment and the buyers want to see him do a bit more. I will hang onto him because I think Vadamos can do that. If anyone wants him at the right price between now and the Derby they can talk to me, otherwise I will just plod along and end up there myself with a bit of luck."

Temperton and Alexander are continuing to breed from a handful of broodmares, with a focus on up-and-coming local stallions.

"The old mare Pinders Prize, we are not going to breed from her again, but she has two daughters – Surprizing and Nosecondprize," Temperton said. "Nosecondprize is the mother of Samuel Langhorne, who is racing quite well in Australia at the moment for Mick Kent.

"I have got two mares I raced called Miss Benci, who is in-foal to Derryn, and Edwardian Lady, who is in-foal to The Bold One.

"When we sold the share in Proisir, I also wanted to support the local studs, and I wanted to pick out something that was an up-and-coming stallion rather than spend a lot of money on an established one. I think I have done that with The Bold One." 

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