Our Owner of the Month award winner for February is Dennis Gardiner part owner of Knightstown. Dennis told us about his involvement in racing
My love of horses began years ago when I was a child and my father would take us to Victoria Park, Cheltenham and Morphettville. At these courses I saw the champion jockeys of yesterday year such as Billy Pyers, Pat Glennon and Jim Johnson. My two favourite jockeys of that era were Roy Higgins and George Moore.
I have always wanted to be involved in the racing industry, so I approached Mark Minervini and managed to get a share in a few horses, including Mica Lil, and Martinique. I had some success with Mica Lil running 3rd in the Robert Sangster Stakes. Through SAROA, I met Rob and Maureen McBryde and I purchased a share in Knightstown which is trained by Gordon Richards. Knightstown won a trial at Morphettville, then the following Saturday 13th February he won in grand style, well ridden by Ryan Hurdle.
Interestingly Knightstown was bred by SAROA treasurer Rob McBryde and was passed in at the Magic Million Adelaide sales. Rob retained the horse to race and SAROA committee member Kevin Benger and wife Beverly also took a share. As he won in February, he was eligible for the double up of Racing Rewards and earned $66,000 for his connections in the one start. A great return for a single start in SA.
Knightstown, a two-year-old, is by Valentia out of the staying mare Zaraya Rose. Valentia is a very attractive looking stallion by Fastnet Rock who stands at Cornerstone stud at Angaston. His eldest progeny are three and include Fayerra and Smokin Val.
Zaraya Rose (by Hawk Wind) was a two-time winner and has also produced Saccharo (by Magnus) a winner of almost $200,000. The granddam Summer Magic (by Eagling) has also produced Surmato (by Belloto) and Brewski (by Bel Esprit).
The third dam Lightning Flash (by Lightning) was imported from France, she produced amongst others Light Water (by Bellwater) dam of Flash Coupe and Resplendent (by Bluebird) producer of Flash of Doubt.
Having only raced once and having won quite impressively, the future looks bright for Knightstown and his connections.