Our Owner of the Month award winner for December is Joanne Miller part owner of Second To Nun, Joanne told us this: I would like to nominate myself for the Owner of the Month for January. I offer the following in support of my nomination: Many people will remember my great friend Tom Butler who owned and operated Shamrock Park at Meadows for twenty years.  After Tom’s death in March 2015, my involvement with racing changed, and while I continued to follow the races, I was no longer actively involved. Early in 2022 I decided that I wanted to reinvigorate my involvement in racehorse ownership. It was important to me that the stable I became involved with had a connection to Tom.  I have photos of Tom and I visiting Performance Park while Will Clarken was the manager and Tom had always spoken very highly of Will, so that is where I started looking. Amongst the Ownership Opportunities listed on Will’s website was an unraced two-year-old filly by Akeed Mofeed out of Tidy Prophet.  I liked that she was two and had already done some work and I liked that Will had trained her mother for most of her career and that Tidy Prophet had been a more than handy performer. That unraced filly is now named Second to Nun and at the time of writing has a race record of 18 starts for 6 wins and three placings. Second to Nun (Wilma) has proven to be second to none in my experience as a racehorse owner.  She is the 15th racehorse I have been involved in, as such she is my first horse to have won more than one metropolitan race, my first horse to have won more than three races, my first horse to have won two, three and now four races in a row.  In fact, by winning her sixth race, the Strathalbyn Cup, she has now won the same number of races as all my previous 14 horses combined were able to do. As well as the thrill of her racetrack performances Wilma has enabled me to meet new people and to reconnect with others.  And to talk about Tom, to share stories and to reminisce.   I am certainly enjoying the ride that Wilma is taking me on and I am excited about what is to come.  She feels like a dream come true to me. Second To Nun is by Akeed Mofeed out of a Keep The Faith mare Tidy Prophet, and was bred by Racing.com form analyst John Kelton who retains an interest in the filly. Currently she has amassed over $230,000 in prizemoney. The dam was successful on the track winning nine races and placing a further eleven times with earnings just shy of $250,000. The mare has only had one other starter so far which has only raced once.  The granddam Bella Belluci by Flying Spur has also left six-time winner Breaker Of Chains (by Good Journey) and his full brother Defining Moment who won four in Hong Kong and returned to Australia where he finished racing as Mussoorie Magic The third dam Morning Lover (by Daybreak Lover) was a listed winner in Brisbane. Congratulations to the Joanne and hopefully her success with Second To Nun continues.

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Photo courtesy of Atkins Photography. Our award for 2023 goes to Maggie Collett who is apprenticed to Justin Pickering. Maggie was chosen because of her dedication to return to racing after a difficult run of serious injuries. We also recognise that maMaggie has improved her communication skills both directly to owners and during media interviews. We had an opportunity to chat to Maggie about her career in racing. She grew up in Yarraville Victoria where she started riding at Werribee Pony Club, she subsequently progressed to Eventing and then to riding trackwork. She rode work for the likes of Chris Waller and the Troy and Leon Corstens. Realising that the path to an apprenticeship in Victoria would be difficult and opportunities limited, she made the tough decision, as a nineteen year old, to move on her own to South Australia. She began an apprenticeship with David Jolly, during this time she struggled with homesickness but she was able to ride her first career winner for David on With Gravy and won four times on stable favourite Fulton Street She progressed to ride several metro winners, the first being on The Raven for Kristi Evans before a run of injuries struck. Maggie broke her coccyx in a fall (clearly not an ideal injury for a jockey) then having just returned to the saddle dislocated her shoulder badly enough to require surgery. This was followed by another break to the coccyx and then she broke her shoulder in a race fall. Surely that would have been enough for her to consider a career change but Maggie persisted and returned to riding. During the injury period she had transferred to Wayne Francis and Glen Kent, and then back riding she joined the stable of John Macmillan before moving to Sue and Jason Jaensch where she enjoyed success. Maggie’s latest injury was a serious concussion which kept her out of the saddle for the best part of a year, before she could return to racing. Around this time she and partner Justin Pickering purchased their own training property and gradually work commitments there meant it was more practical for Maggie to transfer her indentures to Justin. Since then she has enjoyed successes with All Beans for the stable, She rode a double on TAB Finals Day with All Beans then a fortunate pick up ride on Manzala. Maggie’s perseverance and dedication should lead to further success in the saddle, she is a worthy winner of the SAROA Apprentice Award.

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Our Owner of the Month award winner for December is Stephen Coulter part owner of Myocean Warrior, Stephen told us this about his horse: Myocean Warrior!  The horse was purchased approximately two years ago by Shayne Cahill, after inspecting him in New Zealand, an unnamed Headwater – Playing Game gelding. Your readers will be interested in the naming of the horse on the net being by Headwater. Despite numerous setbacks, the horse started his campaign May 5th 2023, he faced a series of very heavy tracks and the usual setbacks resulted in a disappointing campaign. A spell and some different scenery saw the horse put together two wins in succession and several seconds all on the Ravendale Racecourse at Port Lincoln. He came to town for two unplaced runs during that period. The horse is currently spelling with a return very soon, we hope. When the horse was purchased, it was syndicated to family and friends of the Cahill’s together with a few first-time clients (myself being one). It was pleasing to get to know the group when he was running, it is always exciting especially when all the people around you are yelling for the same reason!  We are very much looking forward to the Warrior’s upcoming campaign. Currently Myocean Warrior (now a five-year-old) has started 11 times for two wins, and three seconds with earnings of almost $40,000. He is by Headwater from the Playing Hours mare Playing Game. Headwater has sired five individual stakes winners to date – two are SA owned in Aitch Two Oh and Mileva and another Little Miss Kubi earned her black type in Adelaide. The dam was a very useful racehorse having won 9 races and earned over $165,000 on the track. At stud, she has left two other progeny, both unraced. The grand dam Bunga Api (by Celestial Dancer) was lightly raced and did not record a win and she has left no outstanding progeny. The third dam Chiave (By Claude) was unraced but left a fully brother to Bunga Api, Morden who won to listed level amongst 10 wins and earnings of $155,400 in the mid to late 1990’s. Another full brother to Bunga Api, Quick Return was able to win eight and place another twenty-four times. We wish Steve and the other connections the best of luck with Myocean Warrior as he continues his career.

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SAROA members with Owner ID and their guests are welcome to the Owners Appreciation Day at Strathalbyn. On presentation of their Owner ID, Owners will receive Free Entry to the racecourse Free entry to the Commercial Hotel Strathalbyn Owners Marquee that will be located between the members building and the betting ring. Free drink on arrival Throughout the day we will have roaming canapés and cheese platters etc.

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Our Owner of the Month award winner for November is Robert Hill-Smith part owner of Thirsty Guest, Robert told us this about his family’s distinguished involvement with South Australian racing: Our family have had a long and wonderful association with SA racing and breeding. Beyond my father Wyndham being Chairman of the PARC for many years he and my Mother Helen were foundation partners of Lindsay Park Stud through their long association with Colin and Betty Hayes. That happened through Bill Pyers who rode for Dad over many years and was family friend. I grew up with wine cricket and horses in my bloodline and remain an avid breeder and racehorse owner. I work through Vintage Bloodstock for racing and Bacchus Bloodstock for breeding and after losing my mate Tony McEvoy to Ballarat have decided to support local trainers. On a personal level I served on SATRA (the predecessor to Racing SA) for a number of years but avoided Committee invitations whilst I remain heavily involved in the wine industry and its various structures. I bought the dam of Thirsty Guest to breed from a bloodline I had lost but she died after being served by Churchill. I gave “Thirsty” to Oopy McGillivray the wife of an old friend and she and Dan Clarken have done a grand job with him.  On the breeding side Vintage Star with RR Jolly carries on another family bloodline as has Diamonds and others around Australia.  My family love the game and remain optimistic! Robert’s recent winner Thirsty Guest has won five from fourteen starts with a further four minor placings and earnings of just over $180.000. He is by the mighty So You Think out of the More Than Ready mare More Than Pronto. The dam was unraced and has left one other progeny to race in Australia, More Than Quick (by Stryker) who raced four times without success. She also left two colts by Unencumbered which were exported of those Meridian Genius won four out of 35 in Hong Kong and amassed just over $5 million Hong Kong dollars, the other went to Singapore but does not appear to have raced. Thirsty Guest’s granddam Fullazz (by Redoute’s Choice) won 4 races and over $210,000, including the Listed MRC Debutante Stakes. She is the dam of Rosehill Guineas winner D’argento (by Thirsty Guest’s sire So You Think) who was able to earn over 1.1 million dollars and is now standing at Bowness Stud. Her other performers include Quicksilver Lass (by Testa Rossa); Fullazaboot (by Sepoy) who raced in Hong Kong as Hello Beauty and Youthfull (by So You Think). Robert indicated that he purchased Thirsty Guest’s dam because of her bloodline which is steeped in SA racing history – Fullazz is out of Battonage (by Kenmare), who is in turn out of Estate Label (by Without Fear) in turn out of Clinging Vine (by Romantic). The line goes back further with Sherry Label and Sherry Party. Robert is well placed to continue the story with Thirsty Guest and others that he owns and has bred. Vintage Star (by Starspangledbanner) has recently won twice for the Jolly stable and is out of the Royal Academy mare Vintage Salon. In case readers have not noticed the Hill-Smith horses almost all have a name that is associated with wine, with Robert’s family company Yalumba being an iconic SA brand.

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SAROA Raceday and Stable Visit will take place on Saturday October 7th with a visit to the Alexander Brothers stable at Thomas Farms Racecourse, Murray Bridge followed by being part of the Alexander Brothers Marquee for Murray Bridge Gold Cup Day For bookings, time table and further details click here

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As a sponsored Club of the Highway, they’d love us to join them and spread the word to our Members, for the next Highway Sports Lunch with Carlton superstar Marc Murphy on Friday August 25th. Tickets are priced at $130 per person and include a 3 course lunch and all beverages. Any tickets that are bought from our Club/Members, will mean that your Club will also receive a 10% rebate! Tickets and info via this link https://bit.ly/3NfNHhX.

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