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NZ CUP WINNING MARE AND WINNING PROGENY

Last week we posed the question “Do you know the name of the only mare to win a NZ Cup and produce a winner of the NZ Cup??”

 

A clue was given that her foal also won the Dominion Trotting Handicap. Still stumped??

 

Answer to question : the only mare to have won the NZ Cup and whose subsequent foal won a NZ Cup was Trix Pointer. Her foal and subsequent NZ Cup and Dominion Hcp winner was Wrackler.

 

Trix Pointer (1914 Demonio/Bally Pointer), 2:09.4, £7,411¾; family of Fanny Fern by Blind Tuckahoe (U302)

 

Six year old Trix Pointer won the 1919 New Zealand Cup from a six second handicap in her first start in the event by four lengths defeating Moneymaker and Matchlight. Her time for the two mile journey was 4:30.0 for Upper Riccarton trainer/driver Free Holmes and owner WH (Bill) Norton. The fifth favourite paid £7 6s for the win.

Trix Pointer 1919 NZ Cup

 

Her four subsequent NZ Cup starts began with her being unplaced in 1920 in Reta Peter’s initial Cup win, fifth in Reta Peter’s second Cup victory in 1921 (on protest, Sherwood relegated from first), sixth in 1922 to Agathos and again sixth in 1923 to Great Hope.

 

The all American bred mare was purchased by Free Holmes during one of his North American trips (other purchases made in 1915 apart from Trix Pointer were Bonilene, Logan Pointer; in 1922 Rey de Oro; in 1930 Grattan Loyal, Frank Worthy). Her sire Demonio was by Charles Derby, the sire of outstanding mare Norice who finished second to Monte Carlo in the inaugural 1904 Cup. Demonio was a Strathmore line stallion, just four removes from Hambletonian himself. Trix Pointer’s dam Bally Pointer was by Star Pointer, the first ever two minute pacer.

 

Trix Pointer’s NZ Cup victory assured her of leading stakes earner status in the 1919/1920 season with earnings of £2,635; Bill Norton was leading owner with £3,135 while Free Holmes was runner up in the trainers premiership with 22 wins to James Bryce‘s 28½ and fifth on the drivers premiership with 16 victories (Eugene McDermott 34½).Free Holmes holds a unique record with Roy Berry** as the only persons to have driven a NZ Trotting Cup winner and ridden a NZ  Galloping Cup winner at Riccarton (Manton, 1888). His successes as a jockey included Canterbury Cup, Grand National Hurdles and Great Northern Hurdles/Steeplechase double. As a thoroughbred trainer, success included victories in Auckland Cup and NZ St Leger.

 

** NZ Galloping Cup (1913 Snapps), NZ Trotting Cup (1937 and 1939 trained/drove Lucky Jack to victory and in 1944 trained winner Bronze Eagle).

 

Free Holmes was just as productive on a personal note, with all three sons (Freeman [FG], Maurice and Allan) associated with NZ Cup successes – Wrackler (1930, dr : Maurice Holmes), Harold Logan (1932, dr : Allan Holmes), Gold Bar (1945, tr/dr : Allan Holmes), Chamfer (1950, tr/dr : Maurice Holmes), Adorian (1953, tr/dr : FG Holmes), Lookaway (1957, tr/dr : Maurice Holmes).

 

Trix Pointer recorded success in 13 races for total earnings of £7,411¾, 2:09.4 (among first twelve 2:10 performers in NZ in 1922/23). Apart from her NZ Cup victory, major races won included at Addington NZFFA, Lightning/National Cup/High Class/Christchurch Hcps and Winter Oats Hcp at Forbury Park. She established national mare’s records over various distances, including all comers record 2:08 3/5 for mile when placed third to Ena Bell at Addington in 1921.

 

Among her eight foals were seven winners; her noted male progeny apart from Wrackler (see below) was 1935 Wrack colt Aldershot. He won the Canterbury Juvenile Stakes at two, Wellington Stakes and NZ Derby at three (2:13.0, £1,731). Stamboul (1934 Frank Worthy gelding) was the winner of two races at four.

 

Trix Pointer’s daughters (all by Wrack except Festivity by Rey de Oro) included :

[only a selection of better performed family horses possible under each of Trix Pointer’s daughters]

Harry (HF) Nicholl

 

Arethusa (1927), winner of Sapling Stakes (NZ Two Year Old filly record of 3:25 3/5 for 1½ miles), NZ Derby (double for owner Harry Nicoll, trainer Dan Warren and driver Maurice Holmes on same day Wrackler won 1930 NZ Cup), Henry Mace Memorial, Methven Cup, Ritchie and Park Hcps for Harry (HF) Nicoll, £3,505, 2:09.4 (among first 2:10 performers in NZ in 1933/34). Arethusa was dam of several fillies that continue to breed on with Eva Sophnally (1:55.3, Ashburton F&M Mile) being the most recent example. Arethusa was grand dam of leading trotter Ordeal (T1:59.3US, Dominion Hcp, Rowe Cup, USA Californian Trot); third dam of Cute Van (TAS Pacing Championship) and Elbejay (QLD Derby); fifth dam of Ryans Day (SA Cup).

 

  • Raclaim (1928), £990, T2:13.6, dam of Acclamation (NZ Trotting Stakes at three, four/five, Dominion Hcp, fourth dam of Top Evander [VIC Trotters Derby], Alley Brown [dam of Cameron Hanover, 1:52.4US; grand dam of Easton Alliance 1:49,0US, Vanlo Yorker WA Pacing Cup]; sixth dam of good juvenile pacer Joker Man), Guilane, dam of Interdominion Trotting Grand Final winner Yamamoto, third dam of Lady Netty [1:55.0US], fourth dam of Master Bomber [Ordeal Trotting Cup, Summer Trotting FFA]), Rewa Scott (Rowe Cup, dam of Our Own [Three Year Old NZ Trotting Stakes]; grand dam of Geffin [Three Year Old NZ Trotting Stakes, ID Trot Final/2 heats], Dupreez [ID Trot heat], Hilton Adios [Aust Trotting Championship heat], Hilton Bear [ID Trot heat] and fourth dam of Megalite (SA Trotters Derby), Doonholme, amongst numerous progeny
  • dam of Pebbles [Ashburton Cup]
  • grand dam of
  1. Humphrey [NZ/Kaikoura Cups, Barton Memorial, ID heat]
  2. Seattle (dam of Nostradamus [Messenger], Scimitar [1:54.0US], Alliage [dam of Neroship, NZ/Auckland Cups, Flying Mile; third dam of Sweet Talking Man, NZSS – 2c; fourth dam of Gomeo Romeo, Taylor Mile/Waikato Flying Mile]
  3. Local Lie, NZ Oaks
  • third dam of Doubter [QLD Derby]
  • fourth dam of Next Bonus [NSW Breeders Plate – 2], Golden Flyin [VIC Queen of the Pacific], Larrakeyah Lady [VICSS – 4m, AUST Broodmare of Year, dam of
  1. Safe and Sound [APG – 3c, VICSS – 4h, SA Cup, AUST Pacing Championship, Hunter Cup]
  2. third dam of Beauty Secret [ VIC Oaks], Major Secret [NSW Derby, VICSS – 2c]
  • fifth dam of Star Bonus [1:50.1US], By My Side [VICSS – 4h], Fabrication [VICSS – 3T]
  • sixth dam of Mindful [VICSS – 3f], Lovelist [Breeders Crown – 4m]
  • seventh dam of Brailos Pass (SA Derby), Rocknroll Magic [VICSS/Breeders Crown – 3f].

 

Ochitree (1931), fourth dam of New Law [NZ Derby], sixth dam of Premium Kiwi [VICSS – 2T], seventh dam of Scoleala [1:50.3US].

 

Mistral (1932), dam of Chinook [Greymouth Cup], grand dam of Fri [National Trot] and Urrall [Kaikoura Cup], fifth dam of Versary [1:49.4US], sixth dam of Tupelo Rose [Caduceus Club Fillies, NZ Two tear Old Championship, VIC/AUS/QLD/GN Oaks, Nevele R Fillies, Messenger, 1:51.2US, grand dam of Little Brown Jug heat winner Resistance Futile, 1:49.1].

 

Festivity (1937), winner of Methven Cup, £1,536½, 2:13.1, dam of Affiliate (Manawatu/Wanganui Cups); her daughters bred on including Scotch Melody dam of Game Pointer (NZ Trotting Championship, Dunedin Trotting Cup) and Camilla, grand dam of Charles Nero (1:53.3US) and Frisco Frost (SA Cup).

 

Trix Pointer was inducted into the NZ Trotting Hall of Fame.

 

Wrackler (1925 Wrack/Trix Pointer), 2:08.4, £8,655; family of Fanny Fern by Blind Tuckahoe (U302)

 

One of the earlier examples of a very successful dual gaited horse, Wrackler is the only foal of a New Zealand Cup winner (Trix Pointer) to win the New Zealand Cup (1930) and later the leading trotting race the Dominion Hcp (1932). In his first NZ Cup start, five year old Wrackler started from the 12 yard mark – in fact all 12 yard mark horses filled the first four places in the Cup. Wrackler defeated Author Jinks by four lengths with a similar margin back to Jewel Pointer with Kohara in fourth place. There were only eight starters in the 1930 NZ Cup (first four placegetters in each heat/division of NZ Cup) with Wrackler covering the two mile distance in 4:24.2 (5 seconds quicker than his dam) for trainer Don Warren, twenty two year old driver “The Maestro” Maurice Holmes, the first of his three winning Cup drives and Ashburton owner Harry Nicoll, then President of NZ Trotting Conference. Wrackler, the favourite paid £2 16s 6d for the win. He was to finish third in the NZ Free-for-All to King Pointer beaten a head and a head later in the Cup carnival.

Wrackler 1930 NZ Cup

 

His two subsequent NZ Cup performances saw him finish fourth in a seven horse field in 1931 in Harold Logan’s first Cup win and unplaced in 1933.

 

Wrackler was a product of Harry Nicoll’s United States stallion import Wrack (Peter The Great/The Colorado Belle), Happy Medium line stallion (four removes from Hambletonian), over Trix Pointer, making him all American bred. Wrackler was Trix Pointer’s first foal and one of Wrack‘s first crop of foals.

 

Wrack was a free legged pacer in North America racing successfully for three years on the Grand Circuit prior to arriving at Nicoll’s Durbar Lodge Stud, Ashburton as a seven year old in 1924. Wrack a leading stallion in his day, siring 173 winners and leading sire on stakes for three consecutive seasons (1932/3, 1933/4, 1934/5) plus leading broodmare sire based on winners (three times) and stakes once.

 

His stock aside from Trix Pointer family above included NZ Cup winners Indianapolis (first three time winner, GN Derby, Auckland Cup, NZFFA, sire)/Bronze Eagle, NZ Derby winners Ciro/Imperial Jade, GN Derby winner Tempest, Dominion Hcp winners Peggotty/Sea Gift. Wrack was broodmare sire of Vedette (ID Pacing Final, NZFFA), Fair Isle/Recruit (Dominion Hcp), Turco (NZFFA), Perpetua (NZ Oaks), Indomitable/Recruit twice/Fair Isle/Scotleigh (Rowe Cup). He stood two seasons in Australia after landing there as an older horse purchased by Edgar Tatlow standing a season in Tasmania before being purchased by Ray Lawlor for Windsor Stud, NSW, where he died in 1939 without siring another foal.

Wrackler GN Derby Maurice Holmes

 

Wrackler commenced racing as a pacer at two from the stable of Ashburton trainer Don Warren who died several years later although Wrackler was still racing. His preparation was taken over by Jack Behrns who turned him into a top trotter. At two, Wrackler recorded two thirds, which included one in the Sapling Stakes to Sonoma Child. As a three year old Wrackler won on five occasions, three of them in the hands of Maurice Holmes (GN/NZ Derbies, Oamaru Presidents Hcp), although Don Warren drove him in his first ever win in the Rakaia Hcp at Ashburton and a mile event (2:16 1/5) at Forbury Park.

 

Wrackler again won five races pacing as a four year old from his eleven starts (third highest seasonal stake earner), again winning the Rakaia Hcp at Ashburton this time off 84 yards, three wins at Alexandra Park (Ranfurly/Spring/Alexandra Hcps) and the NZ Trotting Gold Cup at Hutt Park (750 sovereigns).

A) Home turn 1930 Cup heat, Wrackler leads

 

B) Finish 1930 Cup heat, Wrackler wins

In his five year old season, Wrackler won the NZ Cup Trial at Hutt Park, the second division and final of the 1930 NZ Cup at Addington (see above). His three wins from ten starts again placed him third highest seasonal stake earner. Placed fourth off 60 yards in that seasons Auckland Cup won by Carmel. At six in the 1931/2 season, Wrackler placed second in his NZ Cup heat to Free Advice, fourth to Harold Logan in NZ Cup final and was unplaced from 84 yards to Royal Silk in the Auckland Cup.

Jack Behrns

 

It was following his unsuccessful Auckland Cup campaign and Don Warren’s death that Wrackler first switched to the trotting gait when Jack Behrns, an employee at Durbar Lodge took over as private trainer for Harry Nicoll. His first start as a trotter yielded a second off 48 yards to White Satin in the Summer Hcp at Addington at the end of March 1932. Mixing gaits with several unplaced starts as a pacer, Wrackler recorded his first win as a trotter beating the pacers over two miles at a special relief meeting (depression years) at Addington in July 1932 (Owners and Breeders Hcp, T4:29 3/5).

 

As a seven year old, Maurice Holmes handled Wrackler in his Dominion Hcp success in November 1932, winning by two lengths in a time of T4:26 1/5 for the two miles from his 60 yard handicap. Second off 120 yards to Todd Lanzia in the two mile Sockburn Hcp on the second day of the Cup meeting, rounding off his NZ Cup meeting campaign with a NZ and world record time for 1½m (pacing or trotting) when second off 84 yards to Arctotis in the Middleton Hcp (T3:15 4/5, first mile T2:08 2/5). Five unplaced efforts against the pacers followed before his last win for Jack Behrns and Maurice Holmes in the five horse International Trotting Championship match race (Addington, February 1933). This 1½m race was run from a flying start and won in T3:18.0 (other starters were Todd Lanzia, Peterwah, Olive Nelson, Stanley T). Wrackler was leading trotting stake earner for 1932/3 season with earnings of £795.

 

At eight this was the start of Wrackler losing all semblance of form going unplaced from thirteen starts. At nine he failed in five attempts and at ten his nine starts brought no return. However, as an eleven year old from the Winchmore (Ashburton) stable of Leicester (LA) Maidens he ran second to Norma Bingen in early August at Addington before two days later recording his seventeenth and final win in the Addington Hcp, Off 60 yards, he beat top trotting mare Sea Gift (Dominion Hcp) by 1½ lengths in T3:20 3/5 (1½m). Wrackler finished third to Norma Bingen in the 1936 Dominion Hcp together with a couple of further placings before being retired after his third twelve year old start, unplaced in the August 1937 Federal Hcp at Addington (Kings Play). He did race (unofficial) once more at a patriotic gymkhana in the Ashburton district from 96 yards behind but to no avail.

 

His career stats showed 113 starts : 17 wins (13 pacing/4 trotting), 2:08.4/T2:12.0, £8,655. Wrackler was inducted into the NZ Trotting Hall of Fame.

 

 

 

 

To date Wrackler holds the unique position in NZ harness racing, and one unlikely to ever be threatened, as the only horse to have won both the NZ Cup (pacing) and Dominion Hcp (trotting), our two premier races. In addition, his dam Trix Pointer remains the only NZ Cup winning mare to have left a NZ Cup winner.

 

 

 

Peter Craig

10 November 2017

 

 

 

Approved By Dean Baring www.harnessbred.com

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