Retired teacher and Kilmore resident June Fletcher is passionate about the horses she has bred.
Whether or not she has maintained ownership of her ‘babies’, she keeps an eagle eye on their performances around Australia.
Into her 80s, June maintains a Bruce McAvaney-esque memory of her horses, their performances and breeding.
“I follow them all with great interest. I’m retired. This is my passion I suppose,” June says.
She is now experiencing the thrill of a four-race winning streak by Benz (Bushranger), a three year old she bred and is now in the Morphettville stables of Gordon Richards.
Benz made it four wins in a row when winning at Morphettville over 1200 metres on Saturday.
Richards is now bringing the gelding over to Melbourne for a 1200 metre race at Moonee Valley on Grand Final Eve.
Of course, wild horses will not be able to stop June from being there.
With prizemoney of $100,000 plus an additional $30,000 in Super VOBIS bonuses, the race would almost double Benz’s prizemoney in one (victorious) fell swoop.
“He’s a pretty tractable horse who won’t mind Moonee Valley,” Richards said.
“He’s the best I have in the stable right now. If not for shying and almost crashing through a running rail in his debut at the track, he would be unbeaten.”
Benz was sold by June as a weanling to former Crows footballer Peter McIntyre at the Inglis Great Southern Sale for $11,000.
He then went through the sales ring again as a yearling at Magic Millions Adelaide last year where Gordon Richards bought him for $37,000.
“I had his full brother Black Caesar who was a winner, but a bit of a rat-bag. As a yearling, Benz was a lovely individual, athletic and a lot nicer type than Black Caesar. I told myself that I needed to get him; which I did,” Richards said.
Mycedes at Sun Stud with her 2011 Bushranger foal named Black Casesar
June also bred Benz’ dam Mycedes with all but one of her foals winning at the track. Mycedes, who resided at Romsey’s Sun Stud unfortunately passed away last year.
She leaves behind the talented Benz as well as a two-year-old colt by Magnus bought by Seymour farrier John Pittard as a weanling (John also raced his sibling Mybenz with trainer Stuart Webb).
Mycedes’ 2014 foal by Magnus
Having bought a Broadford farm with her husband Jim in the 1970s, June purchased her first broodmare Prospice in the early 1990s.
“We bought Prospice from a long time friend in Ed Barty (a TBV Life member who ran Trevenson Park Stud at Maldon),” June explained.
“Prospice went to Encosta De Lago in his first year for a service fee of just $9,000 – not the $200,000 charged later in his career!” June exclaimed
That mating produced Mycedes who, due to her precocious behaviour, did not ever get to the races.
In her first three years as a broodmare, Mycedes failed to produce a live foal.
In stepped Kilmore veterinarians Anita Burke and Maxine Brain. With their expertise and a lot of hard work, a filly was finally produced.
All six foals since then have been winners including the very handy city winning mare Mybenz (Danbird).
June maintains ownership of the family having kept a share in Benz’s half sister Andronica (Mujahid). Andronica now has a yearling filly by Bushranger making her a three-quarter sister to Benz.
June is also the breeder of consistent Magnus mare Make Mine Brandy. The Rhys Archard trained seven year old experienced a run of five runner-up placings in a row in recent times before winning at Bendigo on September 2nd.