Devoted and passionate Kilmore breeder June Fletcher is over the moon once again following the win of one she bred, Benz, in the Group 3 Ladbrokes Zedative Stakes at Caulfield.
Now into her 80’s, June, a retired schoolteacher, can focus on her love of breeding, and although she can’t keep them all and race them herself, she is never far away when they run.
June and her late husband Jim bought a farm at Broadford in 1970s and made Benz’s granddam, Prospice, their first broodmare purchase.
“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 spoke of the mating that produced Benz’s dam Mycedes.
June is an ardent student of the horses she breeds. Just like the children she has taught before, she enjoys watching the horses she has bred go off and spread their wings.
She makes every effort to see them up close at the track and, if the travel challenge is too greate, makes sure she watches them on the television.
This was Benz’s first start since a thirteen-week spell, having run three fifth placings in a row. These races during the Melbourne Spring Carnvial included the Listed Durbridge Stakes, Hilton Stakes and the Group 2 Sandown Guineas.
Having five straight wins before that, he has really enjoyed the break and come back in great form.
Trained by Gordon Richards at Morphettville, Benz motored under Blake Shinn in the $150,000 Zeditave Stakes over 1200 metres..
“I was a bit worried that he had to do all of the legwork chasing the two tear-away leaders but he was strong on the line and he put them away, I was very happy,” Richards said.
It was Benz’s sixth win from just his tenth start and bring his earnings to just a tick over $280,000. That’s not bad for a $37,000 purchase by his trainer out of book two of the 2015 Magic Millions Adelaide Yearling sale.
Benz was sold by June as a weanling to former Crows footballer Peter McIntyre at the Inglis Great Southern Sale for $11,000.
“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.
He is the seventh foal of the unraced Encosta de Lago mare Mycedes whose dam Prospice (Scruples) is a daughter of the Group 1 South Australian Oaks winner Brunisse.
Six of Mycedes’ foals won at the track, including the very handy city winning mare Mybenz (Danbird), but unfortunately June lost the dam in 2015.
She leaves behind the talented Benz as well as a two-year-old colt by Magnus, Benzagain bought by Seymour farrier John Pittard as a weanling. Unraced as yet, he is in the stables of Caulfield conditioner Stuart Webb.
June maintains ownership in 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. Andronica was covered by Americain last season.