All hobby breeders are entitled to at least one good horse and 75-year-old retired builder Peter McLaren reckons he has finally been rewarded.
McLaren bred Grandview Avenue, the winner of last Saturday’s Listed Norman Carlyon Stakes (1000m) at Moonee Valley.
It was the five-year-old gelding’s second win in eight days after also winning at The Valley over 955m.
The horse is trained at Warrnambool by McLaren’s son-in-law Simon Ryan whose wife Kate is on the Warrnambool Racing Club committee.
McLaren bred the horse, by the now retired Victorian stallion Statue of Liberty, out of his mare Magic By Gosh (Magic Albert x Kashcrop).
“I have been at it (breeding) for most of my life actually,” he said.
“I have never been able to get a winner in town, but the mare came along and I’d probably been going to Eliza Park for 25 years when the Flemings had it of course.
“And I went there repeatedly.”
He sent Magic By Gosh to Written Tycoon in the 2011 and 2012 seasons which produced Steve’s Choice and the unraced Tycoon Mia. He said he got each service fee for about $2200.
He sold the mare Steve’s Choice which won two races for Albury trainer Brian Cox and had another win for Craig Widdison.
Unfortunately Tycoon Mia was killed in a paddock accident.
McLaren, who has a property outside of Warrnambool, said the third foal out of Magic By Gosh was also by Statue Of Liberty and he was told by Eliza Park there was a lot of interest in the then weanling.
“I had never sold horses before and just raced them and I said I won’t be selling the little fellow under 50 grand and they rang me the next day and said the horse is sold if you’ll take 50.
“He went on and won the reverse way of going at Ballarat (two-year-old classic worth $120,000) for trainer Jason Petch.
“His clients bought the horse (Claro El Banco which was originally named Peace Get Joy) and but I think he finished in Macau.”
After the mare produced a colt by Bushranger, McLaren was in a hurry to get the mare back to Statue of Liberty after seeing what Peace Get Joy had done.
The mating produced Grandview Avenue, which was Magic By Gosh’s second last foal. She has Ashford Street by Moshe which has raced once. The mare, which was raced by McLaren’s son Dean and a group of his friends, died last year when in foal to Squamosa.
“I had to get back to Statue Of Liberty with the mare because I was going to it, no one else was going to get it this time and we got this colt, Grandview Avenue,” he said.
McLaren estimates he has been breeding horses since he got married in 1968.
And Simon Ryan believes there is a good sprint race in Grandview Avenue.
He believes Grandview Avenue deserves a crack at the Group 1 Black Caviar Stakes in the New Year. The Oakleigh Plate is also among the options.
Grandview Avenue’s half-brother, Ashwood Street, has had one unplaced run but shows some potential
“And the other half-brother Kednelly (Bushranger) ran on Sunday and has won a couple of races but is just about finished. He hasn’t done anything for a long time and will be retired shortly,” Ryan said.
Ryan said his father-in-law was very passionate about breeding and had a few good financial days with Grandview Avenue.
He said at his stage of life, if McLaren got another horse, he would probably buy one that is ready to race.
“Bu he is very passionate and has bred horses most of his life but this is the best one by far that he has bred” Ryan said.
The Warrnambool trainer says he doesn’t see him racing the gelding beyond 1000m anytime in the foreseeable future.
It was only back in October that Grandview Avenue won an 1100m benchmark 64 sprint at Murtoa – but he smashed his rivals by seven lengths.
Ryan said Grandview Avenue’s five wins at 1100m had been at country tracks and he was probably simply better than the opposition.
“The only thing that has really changed with him now is that you can ride him forward and if he got up on the pace as a three-year-old or early four-year-old, he would compound at bit,” Ryan said.
“He seems to be finishing his races off. Teo Nugent seems to think he can run that 10.5 seconds for five furlongs and said you’d be silly to hold him up when he can run that fast for the thousand metres.
“And he made the comment that we held him up a bit at Flemington because he had 61kg and Teo said if he knew then what he knows now, he would have let him go and he got beaten a length. He thinks he could have nearly got away with that one as well as holding him up is not a good idea.”
Ryan said opposition horses were finding it difficult to peg back Grandview Avenue once he got a three or four length break on them.
But he said with that style of racing, Moonee Valley might also suit the horse when he kicks off the bend and the opposition haven’t got a long straight to run him down.
Ryan said Grandview Avenue had good form on wet tracks and as a heavy horse, he just wonders whether The Valley surface has just got the sting out of it which might suit him.
“I have got quite a few jumpers and you see where wet trackers also run well at Moonee Valley in summer on good tracks and it might have something to do with a bit of the edge off it,” he said.
“When you walk around on the grass, it is a beautiful surface.
“I would be going to Flemington thinking he would run really well but in the middle of summer you’d expect to get really fast ground and it might not suit him.
“If there is a big race in him, it might be at Moonee Valley, but I’m sure one will pop up sooner or later.”
Starting at $7.50 at The Valley last week, Ryan said a lack of support for his horse from the tipsters kept him grounded a bit.
Ryan said the stop watch doesn’t lie and the gelding will be competitive in the good races while running those quick times where ever he goes over 1000m.