An article in the Spring Edition of Breeding Matters has provided an interesting and enlightening look at the starters in the 2013 PGG Wrightson NZ Yearling Sales Series Final for two year old fillies. The author Peter Craig looks back nearly a decade ago and has summarized each filly's racing career and how they are performing as broodmares up until late July 2022.
In the race itself the Stivens' broodmare Venus Serena finished third behind Libertybelle Midfrew and Te Amo Bromac but there is no denying that both her racing and breeding statistics are the best of the 13 fillies in the race.
She was the biggest stake earner with a total of $796,397 and she had the fastest time of 1:52.1 for one mile. She won 6 Group 1 races, 2 Group 2s and a Group 3 and a listed race. She set three age group New Zealand records and three overall records.
The article records Laver as the fastest performer of any of the group's progeny - running 1:51.9 at Richmond Park, Nelson. He and his full brother Arden's Ace have earned over $267k and won 16 races between them. To see the complete article from the NZStandardbred Breeders Association 'Breeding Matters' click here: https://77e3075d.flowpaper.com/BMsept2022300dpi/#page=24
*In the same week that Laver was withdrawn from the 2022 New Zealand Trotting Cup because of a serious injury his full sister made her debut appearance at a Southland race meeting. Bob and Jen Sandford bred the Art Major gelding from Mach Three mare Venus Serena and it is a huge disappointment for them and trainer and part owner Geoff Dunn.
When the Stivens purchased the mare Venus Serena from the Sandfords in 2017 she was in foal to Art Major and they sent her back to the stallion to produce the now two year old filly Melody Arden. The Sandfords and Stivens have formed a partnership to race the filly. Grant Payne has broken her in and she is trained at his Elite Stables in Canterbury.
After tidy trial performances Melody Arden was expected to show her class when she lined up in the Lather Up at Woodlands Fillies and Mares Mobile Pace at the Winton Harness Racing Club meeting on Saturday 24th September. It was a tricky draw for the daughter of one of New Zealand's most accomplished mares but Junior driver Mark Hurrell was able to give her a good trip from the second line
and she completed the mile in slick time of 1:55.9, beaten only by a head by 3 year old Betterthancheddar filly La Moth for Alex Milne.
Part owner John Stiven was pleased with her first start, "She went great. She was a bit green but Mark handled her nicely and she finished well."
Melody Arden has been given a freshener at Arden Lodge and returned to Canterbury and her trainer Grant Payne.
To see Melody Arden's race click here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9mMNioky5tQ
*Arden bred two year old What The Hill filly Celtic Arden qualified
at Rangiora on 14th September. She is trained by Robert and Jenna Dunn. Watch her trial here:
*Arden bred colt Arden's Horizon has continued to race consistently well for his connections in Western Australia. The Bettor's Delight colt out of Arden's Rose (Somebeachsomewhere) has been placed in all of his eight starts for three wins, two seconds and three thirds.
He is pictured here on the night of his back to back wins on the 3rd September 2022 with his trainer driver Callan Suvalijko.
* Arden bred two year old gelding Venturesome Arden (Captaintreacherous x Arden's Darlin) had his first start on Friday 30th September in the Bill's Bar and Bistro Mobile Pace at Addington. He was driven by Tim Williams for trainers Robert and Jenna Dunn and owners M and J McKinnon. Breeder John Stiven said it was nice to see him finishing on from four back on the fence.
You can watch the race here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=73JJKvNSpK4
* Broodmares Raindowne (Life Sign x Tuapeka Tango) and Southwind Arden (Bettor's Delight x Winter Rose) have been delivered to Macca Lodge for foaling. Raindowne is expecting a foal by Lazarus and Southwind Arden is in foal to Captaintreacherous. The remaining mares have been enjoying the spring conditions.
*The decision has been made by the Stivens to send four year old Tosca's Arden to stud. After qualifying in August the Bettor's Delight daughter of Tosca Hanover has returned to Arden Lodge and she will be served at Macca Lodge this breeding season. Her full brother Arden Rooney won over one million dollars and the 2015 New Zealand Trotting Cup so she has very good credentials for being a top broodmare.
*Stellar Arden has finished her spell at Arden Lodge and is back in training with Grant Payne. Her owners The Night Sky Syndicate are keen to have her back at the races. She was looking great when she headed north.
Some images of Arden livestock: