SAROA Owner of the Month November Paul & Suzie Kristoris

Our Owner of the Month award winner for November is Paul and Suzie Kristoris, part owners of Picargo and Li’l Kontra. Suzie wrote these notes for us.

The 4 year old chestnut mare Li’L Kontra was sired by Krupt out of the mare L’il Cashy who also foaled other winning horses including Cashed and Embecee Lil, both of which Paul and I had a share of the ownership.

Ownership and racing of Li’l Kontra historically continues Paul’s long and successful association with the Balfour family dating back to the days when Ryan’s father David Balfour was training. David originally urged Paul to buy into Cashed.

Li’l Kontra commenced her so far impressive racing career as a 2 year old in the 2018/19 season at Morphettville, where between December and May, she notched up 3 wins from 9 starts without missing a place. Her excellent early form culminated in her achievement of ‘black type’ status winning the Group 3 National Stakes in Adelaide in May, ridden by Dwayne Dunn.

Ryan set Li’l Kontra for her Melbourne debut during the Spring Carnival of 2019 where Jaimie Kah rode her in the Group 3 Blue Sapphire Stakes at Caulfield, against the best 3 year olds in the country. She placed a credible 2nd in excellent company, and later during the Carnival ran in her first Group 1 Race, the Coolmore at Flemington, where she placed a sound 4th.

As a 4 year old Li’l Kontra, has so far had mixed results, with a first up win in November 2020, after a long 25 week spell. Thus far, after 23 starts and overall race record of 4 – 9 – 3, and a Group /Listed race record of 11 – 2 – 2 – 1 winning an impressive $520,000 + in prizemoney, we are looking forward to watching Li’l Kontra’s future runs, hoping for more success for this excellent mare.

As for sprinter PICARGO, a 4 year old bay gelding sired by Oamaru Force out of Dam Bel Franc, Paul and I have only become owners since September 2019.

Picargo provides us with plenty to cheer about demonstrating so far, a more than handy race record of 14 starts for 2 – 5 – 2. He has shown us to be an honest horse where he is always around the mark and is paying his way.

We look forward to plenty more action from this horse in this and future preps as we move into the Autumn racing season

There have been three horses called Picargo that have been trained by the family of Ryan Balfour – the first one trained by Ryan’s grandfather T.W. Neale was the winner of the 1967 Goodwood Handicap, the second trained by Ryan’s dad David was also successful and the stable now has the third iteration. This 4-year-old gelding is by Oamaru Force out of the Bel Esprit mare Bel Franc. He has to date raced 12 times for 2 wins, 4 seconds and 2 thirds and stakes of $75,950.

Bel Franc was lightly raced with 1 win from 3 starts. Picargo is currently her most successful progeny, his full brother Ashtrain has won 4 from 12 in northern Victoria. The granddam Lady Franc (by Grovenor) was not successful as a race horse, her progeny include 7 time winner Thankgodforfranc (by God’s Own). Going back a further generation we find the Little Brown Jug mare Lady Bronte who left a three time stakes winner of two Group Ones in Western Red.

Also trained by Ryan Balfour is Li’l Kontra by Krupt out of Li’l Cashy (by Keltrice), her prizemoney earnings exceed $500,000. She has always raced at a high level and has perhaps not always had the best of luck in her races. She has won a Group 3 race and a listed event so far in her career.

Her dam L’il Cashy was a speed machine ending her career on the track with 9 wins for almost $190,000. Li’l Cashy has been a great brood mare with her progeny including the ever unlucky Cashed a full brother to Li’l Kontra winner of 9 races and over $450,000 and Embecee Lil (by Myboycharlie) winner of 5 races.  There are probably more winners to come as she has two Shamus Awards and a Toronado either lightly raced or yet to race.

Li’l Kontra’s granddam Camicia (by Night Shift) was born in the UK, she won three races in Australia. She has also left Cashkalani (by Ashkalani) winner of 6 races, and dam of Jack Henry (by Good Journey) winner of 3 and I Am Kalani (by I Am Invincible) winner of $120,000.

It seems likely that more success will be heading the way of both L’il Kontra and Picargo.