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Courtesy of the NZ Racing Desk
Iffraaj colt Jon Snow’s emphatic win in yesterday’s Gr. 2 Tulloch Stakes has left Karaka breeder Richard Moore eagerly anticipating a spring arrival.
Moore bred the Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman-trained three-year-old and Jon Snow’s dam is currently back in foal to the Haunui Farm sire.
“I watched the race and I was delighted, I can’t wait for the mare to foal,” he said.
Jon Snow is the first foal of the winning O’Reilly mare Orinda and went through the 2015 New Zealand Bloodstock Select Yearling Sale, where he was knocked down for $65,000 to Andrew Forsman.
There would be few who would begrudge the determined colt his Group success. He has been one of the most consistent three-year-olds around without greeting the judge.
Jon Snow’s solitary win prior to yesterday came as a juvenile, but he has recorded five placings this season. All of them came in black-type events, most recently claiming third place behind another son of Iffraaj, Gingernuts, in the Gr. 1 New Zealand Derby.
“We have used Iffraaj every year since he first shuttled to Haunui Farm in 2008,” Moore said.
“We have had a long connection with Haunui Farm, not just sending our mares there but preparing our yearlings. It goes back to knowing Ron (Chitty) when I was at school."
In addition to the eagerly awaited Iffraaj foal Orinda is presently carrying, Moore also has a three-quarter-sister to Jon Snow out of Orinda’s dam.
That as-yet-unnamed three-year-old Iffraaj filly is the last foal from the winning Zabeel mare Zahra, but don’t expect to see her make an appearance on the racetrack in the immediate future.
“She is a bit temperamental,” Moore said.
Orinda’s subsequent offspring - a two-year-old Showcasing gelding and a Pins yearling filly - have also been retained by Moore.
“The Showcasing was a bit immature, we looked at selling him at the Ready to Run Sale but I don’t think he would’ve stood the preparation. And I am quite happy to have kept the Pins filly,” Moore said.
Moore’s Soliloquy Lodge has been a regular source of top-notch performers, most stemming from the damline of the mare whose name graces the property, Soliloquy.
“We have about a dozen mares in total and about nine or 10 of them are from the Soliloquy family,” he said.
The journey into racehorse ownership and breeding is one Moore has told many times over the years.
“I had saved up a bit of money, I was still at school and I had marked a mare in the catalogue for my father to buy. He bid on it but didn’t get it and afterwards Sir Woolf Fisher asked him why he hadn’t bought the mare,” he said.
Moore’s father told the Ra Ora Stud principal the tale of his son’s limited funds and Sir Woolf offered an old mare to get the young Moore’s breeding interest underway.
“Things were a bit different back then,” he laughed. “I can’t have been 20 and I am 70-odd now, so it was at least 50 years ago. I bred a colt from the mare and sold him and he went on to be a stakes performer. That’s when I really caught the bug.”
Moore’s next venture was the Gabador mare Gabardine, the granddam of Soliloquy.
It is a family which has, through the years, provided Group One winners the likes of Solveig (Jon Snow’s third dam), Culminate, Captivate, Gallic and Eileen Dubh.Moore is now hopeful another Group One-winning chapter will be added to the Soliloquy story when Jon Snow tackles the Australian Derby next weekend.