Super Easy bound for Western Australia

25 April 2024

Article: LOVERACING News Desk 

Hallmark Stud have announced that their resident stallion Super Easy will continue his breeding career across the Tasman following his recent purchase by Lewthwaite Thoroughbreds.

A $140,000 New Zealand Bloodstock Yearling Sale purchase, the son of Darci Brahma was initially trained in New Zealand by John Sargent, for whom he won on debut before finishing runner-up in the Gr.3 Eclipse Stakes (1200m) and fourth in the Karaka Million 2Y0 (1200m).

He continued his racing career in Singapore where he won a further 14 races on his way to being crowned Singapore Horse of the Year in 2012 and 2013, and Champion Three-Year-Old and Champion Sprinter in 2012 and 2013 respectively.

Super Easy has been one of the underrated performers of the New Zealand breeding industry, but has left his mark as a sire, with his progeny including the likes of Group One performer Easy Eddie, Group Three winners Prom Queen, Sheezallmine and Super Strike; and he experienced his career highlight just a few months ago when his daughter Bonny Lass won the Gr.1 BCD Group Sprint (1400m) at Te Rapa.

Bonny Lass is one of seven stakes winners for Super Easy, a son of Darci Brahma out of 2015 New Zealand Broodmare of the Year Parfore.

“We will be sad to see him go but excited he will get new opportunities at this stage of his career,” Hallmark Stud principal Mark Baker said.

Deserved success for Vila Belmiro 

10 April 2024

Congratulations to Nigel and Lee Tiley 🎉

They bought Vila Belmiro off us out of our Karaka Book Two 2022 draft, who scored handsomely today at Ellerslie under Sam Spratt and looks destined for higher honours!

Here he is pictured as a yearling 🤩

She's home!

10 March 2024

Born and raised here on the farm the wonderful Bonny Lass returned home for a well earned spell. It comes off the back of a massive season that saw her place in the G1 Railway, G1 Telegraph and win the G1 BCD Sprint at Te Rapa 🎉

Huge congrats to her trainer Graham Richardson, owner breeder Sandy Moore and Wendy and Brent Cooper who manage the Social Racing Syndicate

Bonny is pictured here with Dharmvir and Zipporah also Maddy Baker and Devon Shirley all of course very proud of Bonny Lass. She has now been a Group winner at 2, 3, 4 and 5 years of age which is no mean feat

Bonny Lass with her Group 1 breakthrough!

10 February 2024

So proud of Bonny Lass (Super Easy) for taking out the Group 1 BCD Sprint at Te Rapa! 🌟

Pictured at 6 hours old in the second photo, where we raised her for 18 months before going off to Mark Brooks to be broken in. We raised her dam Posh Bec for our loyal client Sandy Moore who was stakes placed. She returned to the farm here where Sandy continues to breed from her.

Huge congrats to obviously Sandy, her marvellous trainer Graham Richardson, Brent and Wendy Cooper who manage the syndicate that race her plus Craig Grylls for a peach of a ride! 👌🏼

She returns here each autumn for her annual spell where a shout must go out to our farriers Ron Buchanan and George Hunt who do a great job on her feet which have been a challenge.

Enjoy Brent and Sandy 🍾

That’s a wrap on Karaka 2024!

2 February 2024

Thank you to our amazing staff and underbidders. Best of luck to our buyers with their newest purchases 🤗

The countless kind messages about our record breaking filly have blown us away and we couldn’t be more grateful and proud of this outcome.

This sale will go down in Hallmark’s history books for sure 📚

Until next year 👋🏼

“She’s a Queen” - Steve Davis

28 February 2024

Wow! We are over the moon 🥳

Congratulations to Peter Moody for purchasing Lot 21 (Proisir x Donna Marie) for $1,600,000. The full sister to the one and only, Prowess.

Thank you to all the underbidders and our hardworking staff, we couldn’t have achieved such amazing success without you!

Parades are well underway now!

12 December 2023

Yesterday we hosted Leanne Imboden from Maher Eustace Racing, Campbell Stott and John Blight.

Plenty more booked aswell in the lead up to Karaka 24 🤩

Another win for Pudding

4 November 2023

The Listed John Letts Cup at Morphettville is taken out by Hallmark born and raised Pudding (Tavistock), win number 8 at start 21.

The Jolly's have been wonderful supporters of the farm and purchased Pudding for $65,000 out of the 2020 New Zealand Bloodstock Yearling Sale.

Group 2 Double for Graduates

25 October 2023

What a day! We sold a G2 double in the space of five minutes!

Firstly we consigned the G2 Soliloquy Stakes winner Impendabelle for the Smithies Brothers, making her the new leader of the New Zealand Bloodstock Filly of the Year Series. This win was followed by Hallmark bred Book 1 graduate Prowess, who took out the G2 Crystal Mile on Cox Plate day.

Prowess's next target is the G1 Champions Stakes at Flemington on November 11, while Impendabelle will now push towards the G1 1000 Guineas at Riccarton on November 18.

Icing on the cake though was the Hallmark Blue Hen and Matriarch Lyn Baker’s 80th birthday

She's Arrived!

26 October 2023

This morning at 3.30am Donna Marie foaled a full sister to our superstar Prowess.

It was a special one as our own daughter Maddy Baker was on hand for the delivery, her first night on foal watch, she must have the magic touch

Prowess - Champion Middle Distance Horse 2022/23

14 September 2023

What a night at the 2022/23 New Zealand Thoroughbred Horse of the Year Awards celebrating the success of Prowess who we are so very proud to have bred!

Team Prowess picked up Champion Middle Distance Horse against some fierce competition. Well done to all the connections, there are many important people involved in the success of a Gr1 star and it was our pleasure to share Sunday evening with them. We can’t wait to see Prowess return to the track in the near future

NZB Weanling & Broodmare Sale 2023

The 2023 NZB Weanling and Broodmare Sale is fast approaching and we have plenty on offer including 3 weanlings and 6 nice mares in foal to Tarzino on behalf of Rob Ferguson. 

The results have kept on coming this season with top three year old Prowess scoring two Gr.1 victories both in New Zealand and Australia, add to that Impendabelle, Bonny Lass and Self Obsession, as you can imagine it has been a year to remember!

Prowess Purrs in Vinery romp

25 March 2023

Article: NZ Racing Desk

New Zealand-trained three-year-old Prowess demolished her rivals when winning the Gr.1 Vinery Stud Stakes (2000m) at Rosehill on Saturday.

The Roger James and Robert Wellwood-trained daughter of Proisir has been in imperious form in her homeland and that form more than translated when crossing the Tasman Sea.

With Mark Zahra in the saddle, Prowess was sent out a $2.15 favourite with Gr.1 VRC Oaks runner-up Pavitra ($3.40) considered her only genuine rival.

However, Prowess made the Vinery Stud Stakes a one-act affair, unleashing a powerful turn of foot to race clear and beat Pavitra by 3-1/4 lengths with Fireburn ($11) another three-quarters of a length back third.

“I’ve thought it for a long time that she could be the best I’ve trained,” an emotional Roger James said.

“She is a superstar this filly. She is bloody good. She is an absolute gem. I’ve been the strapper this week, I was here before she was.

“I have travelled a lot of horses to Australia and not many settle in like she did and it’s her first trip away so she’s only going to get better. She is a star in the making.” 

The beaten brigade will be thanking their lucky stars that James and Wellwood are calling time on Prowess’ campaign, opting for a flight home to New Zealand rather than progressing to the Gr.1 Australian Oaks (2400m) in a fortnight.

“She goes home in the morning,” James said. “The world is her oyster. Without being silly, there is a lot of money to be had as an older horse in Australia and she’s had quite a big season.

“She’s been to the South Island and back, she is still learning her game too. We’ll get home and enjoy what we’ve just seen now and we can make plans from there.”

Respected horseman James rates the dual Group One winner right up with the best he has trained.

“She does things that I haven’t had another horse be able to do and I’ve been very blessed,” James said.

“I’ve had Zonda, who was always the benchmark, Silent Achiever, I’ve had some lovely horses over the years. I’ve won this race with Sixty Seconds, but this filly does special things.

“She is pretty versatile, she’s capable from 1400m to 2000m and I truly don’t believe she’s a mile-and-a-half horse. We took her out of the New Zealand Derby (Gr.1, 2400m) when she was vying for favouritism for it and she does hold a nomination for the Oaks. But she also holds a slot on the plane tomorrow and that will be the one she takes.” 

Perhaps the greatest compliment came from Chad Schofield, the rider of beaten rival Pavitra, a class act in her own right.

“My filly ran well. Our race went to plan,” Schofield said. “Full credit to the winner. We got beaten by an absolute weapon.”

James and Wellwood went to $230,000 to purchase Prowess out of Hallmark Stud’s 2021 New Zealand Bloodstock Book 1 Yearling Sale draft on behalf of owner Dean Skipper.

One of five individual Group One winners this season for the remarkable stallion Proisir, Prowess was bred by the Baker family of Hallmark Stud and is out of the Don Eduardo mare Donna Marie, who is also the dam of the stakes performer Ajay Tee (by Foxwedge).

“Prowess was a beautiful foal and she went the right way and continued to grow and develop as you would hope,” Mark Baker recalled.

“To be fair, she was probably a Book 2 page at the time. Proisir hadn’t quite hit his straps, but New Zealand Bloodstock could see what was there physically and put her in Book 1 where she deserved to be on her physical makeup, and she made money accordingly.

“She was the dearest Proisir at the time at $230,000.

“She had terrific size and scope as a yearling. She was all quality and a great mover and had a great attitude.”

Donna Marie has since returned to Proisir and the Bakers are over the moon with her filly foal.

“We still own her mother and have a lovely full-sister at foot, and she is back in-foal to Proisir,” Baker said.

PROWESS dazzles in WFA showdown


12 March 2023

Prowess continued the meteoric rise of her sire Proisir on Saturday when becoming his fifth individual Group One winner after her victory in the Bonecrusher New Zealand Stakes (2050m) at Pukekohe.

It continued a brilliant season for the three-year-old filly, with previous wins in the Gr.2 Auckland Guineas (1600m), Karaka Million 3YO Classic (1600m), Gr.2 David and Karyn Ellis Fillies Classic (2000m), and placings in the Gr.1 New Zealand 2000 Guineas (1600m) and Gr.3 Soliloquy Stakes (1400m).

Proudly watching her elite-level success were breeders Mark, Vicki and Denny Baker of Hallmark Stud.

“We are extremely proud and I am delighted for the Skippers, who own her. They put up a lot of money to buy her,” Mark Baker said.

“I am pleased for (trainers) Roger (James) and Robert (Wellwood) for placing faith in our brand and delivering at the highest level.

“She beat that top field in the Karaka Million 3YO and she has franked that form on Saturday against the older horses. What a masterstroke it was from Roger and Robert to bypass the Derby and go to the 2000m.

“She has given us a lot of thrills.”

Prowess made an instant impression on Baker as a foal at his Te Kauwhata property and she continued to attract admirers, eventually selling to James and Wellwood at New Zealand Bloodstock’s 2021 Book 1 Yearling Sale for $230,000.

“From the time she was born she was all quality,” Baker said.

“She was a beautiful foal and she went the right way and continued to grow and develop as you would hope.

“To be fair, she was probably a Book 2 page at the time. Proisir hadn’t quite hit his straps, but NZB could see what was there physically and put her in Book 1 where she deserved to be on her physical makeup, and she made money accordingly.

“She was the dearest Proisir at the time at $230,000.

“She had terrific size and scope as a yearling. She was all quality and a great mover and had a great attitude.”

The Bakers purchased Prowess’ dam Donna Marie for $20,000 as a broodmare prospect at Karaka in 2014 and she is proving to be a bargain buy for the farm.

“We bought her (Donna Marie) in the 2014 May broodmare sale,” Baker said.

“You can’t afford to buy the black-type mares off the track that you would love to. She is the daughter of a black-type winner.

“Don Eduardo (sire) attracted her to us too. He didn’t make it as a stallion but he had terrific blood himself, by Zabeel out of Diamond Lover.”

Donna Marie struck instant success with her first foal, Ajay Tee, with the Foxwedge filly going on to place in the Gr.3 Canterbury Belle Stakes (1200m).

Her subsequent progeny Diamond Ring and Prima Donna have both been winners on the track, with the former tasting success in Singapore on three occasions.

With a stallion share in-hand, the Bakers elected to send her to Rich Hill Stud stallion Proisir for her next mating, which resulted in Prowess.

“We have one share in Proisir. We thought physically it was a terrific match and that was one of the main reasons for going to him (with Donna Marie),” Baker said.

“He is the next level, he is a serious upgrader. No disrespect, but he has done it off average mares. Who knows where he will get to with some quality mares now.”

Donna Marie subsequently foaled a colt by El Roca, who was purchased by Carlaw Park as a weanling and was onsold through their 2022 New Zealand Bloodstock Book 1 Yearling Sale draft to Kiltannon Stables for $80,000.

Donna Marie has since returned to Proisir and the Bakers are over the moon with her filly foal.

“We still own her mother and have a lovely full-sister at foot, and she is back in-foal to Proisir,” Baker said.

“The filly is another quality individual. She looks a bit more precocious, is a quality filly and uses herself well.”

Baker is now looking forward to watching the rest of Prowess’ autumn campaign, with a trip across the Tasman now on the cards to compete in the Gr.1 Vinery Stud Stakes (2000m) where James McDonald is confirmed to ride.

Prowess displays all her class at Te Rapa

11 February 2023

Article : NZ Racing Desk

Prowess, who started the hottest favourite of the day at Te Rapa on Saturday, justified her $1.20 quote when she gave her three-year-old counterparts a complete shellacking in the Gr.2 David & Karyn Ellis Fillies Classic (2000m).

The last start winner of the Karaka Million 3YO Classic (1600m), where she defeated horses of the calibre of Wild Night and Legarto, was expected to comfortably account for her rivals despite stepping over 2000m for the first time.

In a display of pure class, the daughter of Proisir sat handy to a steady tempo for rider Warren Kennedy before unleashing her powerful sprint finish in the run home to run out a convincing five length winner from pacemaker Sakura Girl and stablemate Contagious, who had sat outside the leader from the 1200m mark.

In what was no more than a training gallop, Prowess indicated she is right on track for her next assignment which could be the Gr.1 New Zealand Derby (2400m) at Te Rapa on March 4.

Co-trainer Robert Wellwood, who prepares the filly in partnership with Roger James, was well satisfied with the performance.

“It was very good as she got on the nickel a little more than she has in the past, but at the end of the day she has put then away easily,” he said.

“Hopefully we can now make some firm decisions on where we go in the future.”

Prowess holds nominations for three upcoming Group One age-group features including the Derby, the Gr.1 Al Basti Equiworld Dubai New Zealand Oaks (2400m) and the Gr.1 Levin Classic (1600m) with Wellwood hesitant to single out just which race she would tackle.

“We will have to speak to Warren, but the Derby is the obvious option as long as she is going to see out a mile and a half,” Wellwood said.

“There are some other great opportunities coming up for fillies and mares over a mile to 2000m, both here and over in Aussie.

“Wherever she goes it will be exciting,”

For his part Kennedy couldn’t have been more impressed with how the winner performed.

“She actually feels like she has gone up a gear,” Kennedy said.

“She is just getting better and better and handled the 2000m as we expected.

“We got over from the wide gate (9) which was Plan A, so I was happy to be one out watching the pace and she powered home when I asked her.

“She is something special and she did it effortlessly today.”

James and Wellwood went to $230,000 to purchase the filly out of Hallmark Stud’s 2021 New Zealand Bloodstock Book 1 Yearling Sale draft.

Out of the Don Eduardo mare Donna Marie, Prowess is a half-sister to stakes placed Ajay Tee and has never been unplaced in seven starts having won five of those for stakes earnings in excess of $773,000. 

Prowess triumphs in Karaka Million 3YO Classic


21 January 2023

The Roger James and Robert Wellwood-trained filly Prowess prevailed in a strong edition of the Karaka Million 3YO Classic (1600m) at Pukekohe on Saturday.

Never out of the money in six starts, the classy daughter of Proisir had run out a ready winner of the Gr.2 Auckland Guineas (1600m) at Te Rapa on New Year’s Day and was able to repeat the dose in the million-dollar feature.

Ridden by Warren Kennedy, Prowess enjoyed a good run throughout, with key rival and eventual runner-up Wild Night to her inside for much of the race.

The free-striding Prowess was put into the race before the home turn and went on to score by 0.8 length from Wild Night, with Desert Lightning close up in third. Race favourite Legarto lost her unbeaten tag but none of her admirers when closing into fourth after enduring a checkered-passage.

All honours were with the winner and jockey Warren Kennedy, who had earlier watched as his South African compatriot Craig Zackey had triumphed in the Karaka Million 2YO (1200m) on Tokyo Tycoon.

“I am still pinching myself,” Kennedy said. “Roger James and Robert Wellwood had the confidence in me to put me on this filly when she won at Te Rapa and I was pretty confident coming into today’s race.

“I knew there were some crack three-year-olds in the race but she did everything right and she showed that she is a filly to be reckoned with. Once she goes 2000m she will be even better so there are lots of things to look forward to with her.

“I just kept her flowing and kept her momentum going and she piled onto the line. She still had a good look at the winning post and about 50m out she started pricking her ears. It was a lovely win.

“For the South African boys to win both million-dollar races is just fantastic and for all the people that have had faith to bring us here and faith in us to put us on these horses, we are delivering and a big thank you to all of them.”

Cambridge trainer Roger James had been quietly confident his filly could topple the favoured pair of Legarto and Wild Night, who drew barriers 1 and 2 respectively, and praised the depth of the field.

“It is pretty special. I think this is as good a crop of three-year-olds we have seen assembled in this race and I think there is any number of them that will hold their hand up in Australia,” he said.

“I was quietly confident. We got the draw (barrier 5) where we weren’t going to be locked away and that was going to be a big advantage and so it proved.”

James and Wellwood went to $230,000 to purchase the filly out of Hallmark Stud’s 2021 New Zealand Bloodstock Book 1 Yearling Sale draft.

Out of the Don Eduardo mare Donna Marie, Prowess is a half-sister to stakes placed Ajay Tee.

“It is not about us, it’s about the owners that stumped up with the money,” James said.

“It is a guy called Dean Skipper who was firstly in roofing and then building in the Wellington region mostly and he has involved his family in the ownership.

“Dean had a share in a horse with me close on 30 years ago and he said he would go away and make his money and come back one day. This is the first horse we bought for him.”

Prowess sets up Legarto rematch

Article: NZ Racing Desk

1 January 2023

After losing her undefeated record to the superstar Legarto in the spring, quality filly Prowess has set the stage for a high-stakes rematch with a superb win in Sunday’s Gr.2 Jamieson Park Auckland Guineas (1600m) at Te Rapa.

Prowess was a nine-length winner of her only start as a two-year-old last season, and she won again on her three-year-old debut before having to settle for a fast-finishing and unlucky third behind Legarto in the Gr.3 Soliloquy Stakes (1400m).

Freshened by trainers Roger James and Robert Wellwood after a Group One placing against the boys in the New Zealand 2000 Guineas (1600m) in early November, Prowess returned to the races in style on New Year’s Day.

She was ridden by in-form jockey Warren Kennedy, who had her prominently positioned throughout the race before rolling forward to take command at the top of the straight.

Fittingly for a race meeting that also featured the Gr.2 Rich Hill Mile (1600m), the Guineas became a two-horse war between two progeny of Rich Hill’s premiership-leading stallion Proisir. The biggest challenge to Prowess came from Waitak, a last-start stakes winner at Te Rapa in the Listed Trevor & Corallie Memorial (1500m).

Waitak came bounding down the outside with giant strides and Prowess briefly looked vulnerable, but the favourite lifted again and kept herself out of reach. She crossed the finish line three-quarters of a length in front of Waitak.

“It’s absolutely fantastic to have the opportunity to ride a quality filly like this,” Kennedy said. “She’s really going places.”

James and Wellwood paid $230,000 at Karaka 2021 for Prowess, who they bought for a long-time stable client, octogenarian Dean Skipper. From five starts, she has recorded three wins, two thirds and $162,740.

Her Cambridge trainers now have their eyes firmly on the Karaka Million 3YO Classic (1600m) at Pukekohe on January 21.

“As long as she comes through this well, we’d love to have a crack at the Karaka Million and another match-up with Legarto – the party will be a pretty big one if we can beat her this time,” Wellwood said.

“This is a filly that’s just kept getting better, and I think she’ll continue to do so into her four and five-year-old seasons. She still has more maturing to come, but it was awesome to see her win so well today.

“One of the great things about her is that you can use her early in a race, and then she just relaxes and can go again. She’s a real push-button horse, and Warren gave her a lovely ride today.

“It looked like she might be labouring a little bit for a few strides in the straight, but then she went again and put them away pretty well in the end.

“She’s a very easy filly to have around the stable. She is a well-doing horse, so we’ve had to really keep the work up to her since the Guineas at Riccarton, but she’s taken it all in her stride.”

Legarto remains a hot favourite at $1.75 for a star-studded renewal of the Karaka Million 3YO Classic. Multiple stakes-winning gelding Wild Night holds second favouritism at $3.40, with Prowess shortening from $10 into third favouritism at $7. Sacred Satono is the $8 fourth favourite. 


The catalogue is now out for the 2023 NZB Yearling Sale, we have a really strong diverse line up of colts and fillies by leading sires Savabeel, Almanzor, Proisir, Tivaci, Russian Revolution and Tarzino.

Follow the link below to view the full draft via the NZB website.


3 December 2022


Despite a few moments of concern when placed in tight quarters at the top of the Trentham home straight, rugged filly Impendabelle maintained her unbeaten record with a dogged performance to win the Gr.2 Mode Technology Wakefield Challenge Stakes (1100m)

The Tony Pike-trained filly had been an impressive first up winner at the venue back in October and went in to her first black type challenge on Saturday as a warm $2 favourite.

Her backers had plenty of reasons to worry however, as after beginning well, she drifted towards the rear of the eight-horse field, with rider Michael McNab searching for daylight entering the home straight as he found himself caught in traffic at a vital stage of the contest.

Angled into a tight gap, the daughter of Impending showed her mental toughness as she burst between runners to hit the front at the 200m before drawing away from runner-up Believe In Magic in the closing stages.

McNab admitted he wasn’t overly worried with the spot he found himself in when the pressure went into the race as he had faith in his mount’s ability to find her way through the pack.
“I got away clean enough but then they went quite quick so I thought I’d get some cover,” he said.
“I ended up back but I was happy with the horse I was following who I knew would take me far enough into the race.

“The best thing about it was she burst through the tight run and when she balanced, she really sprinted and put them away.

“It may have even been too easy as she was all over the show, but only handy horses can do that as she was super.”

McNab’s father Chris was representing the Pike stable at the meeting and shared his son’s feelings on the way the race unfolded.

“It was a bit surprising she got crossed at the start, but we were on the back of the right horse and she is a good, tough filly,” McNab said.
“They don’t come too much better than this one.
“She wasn’t going to win by much at the 200m, but the closer they got to the line the further she got in front.”
The victory takes Impendabelle to the top of the qualifying table for the $1 million Doubletree by Hilton Karaka Million (1200m) which will be run at Pukekohe on January 21.

Bred by the Smithies family under their Monovale Holdings banner, Impendabelle was an $80,000 purchase out of the Hallmark Stud draft during the Book 1 session at the New Zealand Bloodstock National Yearling Sale at Karaka back in March.

A half-sister by So You Think will be offered as Lot 26 during the Book 1 sale at Karaka commencing on January 29 next month. 

More stakes success for BONNY LASS

Bonny Lass winning the Gr.3 Sweynesse Stakes

17 October 2022

She's back! BONNY LASS (Super Easy) adds another stakes win to her already impressive resume! A last start winner of the Gr.3 Cambridge Breeders' Stakes, Bonny Lass picked up right where she left off with a win in the Gr.3 Sweynesse Stakes at Rotorua this afternoon.

Bonny Lass was born and raised at Hallmark and is by our resident sire Super Easy. Congrats to her breeder Sandy Moore and the Social Racing ownership group. A masterful training performance by Richardson Racing Stables.

Bonny Lass as a foal with dam Posh Bec


Graham Richardson will follow a proven formula with his leading sprinter Bonny Lass through to her grand final at Te Rapa on New Year’s Day.

With training partner Rogan Norvall, he produced the daughter of Super Easy to successfully open her campaign with a dashing first-up victory in the Gr.3 Sweynesse Stakes (1215m) at Rotorua on Sunday.
She also completed a winning double for the stable, who had earlier produced the highly regarded Snazzytavi to make a perfect start to her career with a runaway victory in the T W Moore Maiden (1400m).

Bonny Lass’ preparation is focussed on the Gr.1 Sistema Railway (1200m), which will be hosted at Te Rapa next year with a new track being installed at Ellerslie at present, and Richardson will draw on a past and successful experience to have her at the peak of her powers.

“She will probably run next in the Counties Bowl (Listed, 1100m) at Pukekohe on November 19 between now and the Railway,” he said.

“I don’t think I’ll do too much with her, she’s better when she’s kept fresh and I did the same thing with Kailey, who won the Railway.”

Kailey was a daughter of Festal, who claimed the 1997 edition of the premier sprint.
Bonny Lass was quickly into stride before rider Craig Grylls eased her into the trail and, when into the clear, the mare rounded off strongly to account for Gospodin and last year’s runner-up Packing Rockstar.

Richardson had been confident of a bold first-up showing from the mare following her lead-up trial win and a recent exhibition gallop.

Bonny Lass has fashioned an excellent record and won the Gr.2 Matamata Breeders’ Stakes (1200m) and finished third in both the Gr.1 Sistema Stakes (1200m) and Gr.1 Manawatu Sires’ Produce Stakes (1400m) as a two-year-old.

She returned last season to win a further three races, including the Gr.3 Cambridge Breeders’ Stakes (1200m), after which she was spelled.

Bonny Lass with connections Graham Richardson and Rogan Norvall

LORD COSMOS now a Listed winner

7 May 2022

STAKES SUCCESS at Te Rapa for Hallmark graduate LORD COSMOS, who wins the Listed Waikato Equine Veterinary Centre 2yo event. Biding his time at the rear of the field, Sam Weatherley and Lord Cosmos came with a strong late run to beat Mazzolino. It was a 5th start for Lord Cosmos, who was in a second up condition this afternoon.

Lord Cosmos was a $190,000 purchase from the 2021 Karaka Yearling Sale by Te Akau Racing, he is the first foal from Not A Single Doubt mare Cosmic Powers.


6 May 2022

The girls are back together 😍 After growing up here on the farm in the same mob, top class 3 yo fillies Self Obsession and Bonny Lass are back together! It was an incredible season that resulted in four group wins between them, they have both returned home to enjoy a well deserved break.

Gr.3 success in the Cambridge Breeders'

30 April 2022

BONNY LASS shows her class and delivers a clinical win in the Gr.3 Inglis Sales Cambridge Breeders' Stakes. The two time Gr.1 place getter and Gr.2 winner is a daughter of Super Easy, born and raised here at the farm.

She has been a flag bearer for her sire, adding Gr.3 success to an already impressive resume! We are delighted for her breeder Sandy Moore and the Social Racing syndicate! What a star 🌟

JOB VACANCY - Want to work for us?

We have a vacancy for a Stud Groom on our Thoroughbred Stud Farm.  The successful applicant will have a can-do attitude, be a team player, have an outstanding work ethic and be passionate about thoroughbred breeding & racing.

Listed success for Hallmark Graduate

18 April 2022

Game mare Wannabe ‘N’ Paris secured Listed success today in the Riverton Cup. Sent straight to the front by Chris Johnson the daughter of Reliable Man stuck her head out where it mattered!

Wannabe 'N' Paris was born and raised at Hallmark for John and Carlene Murdoch who also bred New Zealand Cup winner Mondorani.

Candle lights up Awapuni

8 April 2022

Article: NZ Racing Desk

A stakes target is now in the offing for promising filly Candle after her impressive win in the Rich Hill Stud Autumn Sprint Series Qualifier (1100m) at Awapuni on Friday.

The daughter of Super Easy settled midfield for jockey Johnathan Parkes who had to navigate to the extreme outside when turning for home where Candle was able to show her superior turn of foot to run home a 1-1/2 length victor over Bradman, with a further short neck back to Pure Incanto in third.
Candle now boasts two wins and a fourth placing from her three career starts and Lowry is now eyeing some stakes targets for his homebred.

“It is always good when you breed them,” Lowry said.
“We have always had a very high opinion of the horse. She is a really nice filly.
“She had a really nice trial win leading into Wanganui and she won there (on debut in November last year. 

“She had a bit of an oopsie at Hastings (when missing the jump).
“She trialled up really well again (heading into Awapuni) and she showed a very good turn of foot (today).”

Candle will now likely head north to Te Rapa later this month to contest the Gr.3 Inglis Sales Cambridge Breeders’ Stakes (1200m).

Lowry could have a strong hand in the race with fellow contenders Wewillrock, who placed in the Gr.3 Almanzor Trophy (1200m) at Ellerslie in January, and Podium, who won on debut at Wanganui on Thursday.

Off The Track and loving the new career

7 April 2022

Caring for our thoroughbreds both on and off the track is a high priority issue for everybody in our industry. We were so excited to get this update about Friday Woolfe (Super Easy) who is clearly excelling in the jumping ring with Issie Whatley.

Friday Woolfe is out of Classic Blonde, she was born and raised on the farm for Alex Smith, winning three races under the care of Peter and Dawn Williams.

Joint Filly of the Year honours for Self Obsession

21 March 2022

It wasn't the Gr.1 victory we were hoping for but Hallmark graduate Self Obsession (Shocking) still did us proud when placing in the Gr.1 New Zealand Oaks at Trentham on Saturday, behind stablemate Belle En Rouge (Burgundy). 

The three stakes victories she has already picked up this preparation, plus her gallant run in the Gr.1 New Zealand Oaks means that she claims joint Filly of the Year honours with Belle En Rouge.Self Obsession has enjoyed a very quick rise to fame, she broke her maiden at just her second start back in early December, before making the big jump in grade to stakes company, she most definitely relished the challenge and duly delivered a hat trick of wins at Gr.2 level.

-  1st Gr2 Valachi Downs Royal Stakes, Ellerslie

-  1st Gr.2 David and Karyn Ellis Fillies Classic, Te Rapa

-  1st Gr.2 Little Avondale Lowland Stakes, Hastings

This magnificent three year old is a daughter of Rich Hill Stud sire Shocking out of the ill fated Mawaakib (O'Reilly), who very sadly passed away just minutes after the birth of Self Obsession. A big congratulations must also go to our wonderful client, breeder and owner David Price.  

Slipper Island - a promising type

19 March 2022

Saturday at Trentham also provided a slick juvenile winner for Hallmark graduate SLIPPER ISLAND. This colt was a thrifty $180,000 purchase by Pike Racing from our Book 1 New Zealand Bloodstock Yearling draft back in 2021. This lovely son of No Nay Never broke through for his maiden victory at just a second start. 

He came into the race as a well fancied favourite after finishing a very brave second to subsequent Gr.1 Sistema Stakes winner Lickety Split (Turn Me Loose) on debut. At Trentham on Saturday he beat a competitive field including Trav (Almanzor) and Perfectly Suited (Savile Row).We look forward to following this promising juvenile as he progresses through an exciting Autumn campaign.

4 straight wins, 3 straight stakes victories

2 March 2022

SELF OBSESSION is dominating the 3yo fillies ranks here in NZ after her sensational win in the Gr.2 Lowland Stakes this afternoon. She was raised with us here on the farm, tragically losing her dam just minutes after her birth, this star 🌟 has overcome a lot to get to where she is!

Over the past 12 months we have had 7 stakes wins, from 5 individual horses either bred, born, raised or sold off the farm. Buy your next star from our draft at the New Zealand Bloodstock Yearling Sale

Self Obsession strikes again

14 February 2022

She’s as tough as nails, SELF OBSESSION leads them up and fight off all challengers to secure the David and Karyn Ellis Fillies Classic at Gr2 level. Born and raised here at Hallmark Stud for great loyal client David Price.

More stakes success!

8 January 2022

It’s still the first week of 2022 and we have already had two stakes victories!! Hallmark graduate SO YOU WIN cruised down to Listed success in the January Cup at Rosehill. Mubariz and So You Win pulled clear of the rest of the field and fought it out up the straight with the Hallmark graduate coming out on top 🥇

This son of So You Think was a private purchase that we pinhooked through the 2016 New Zealand Bloodstock Yearling Sale, purchased for $220,000 by Chris Waller Racing.

Gr.2 success for Self Obsession

1 January 2022

Congratulations are in order after the success of Self Obsession in the Gr.2 Valachi Downs Royal Stakes, owned and bred by David Price, who is not only a loyal client of Hallmark Stud but also a noted form analyst and bloodstock trader based in Hong Kong.

Born and raised at Hallmark Stud, Self Obsession became an orphan just minutes after her birth, when the lovely old mare Mawaakib (O'Reilly) sadly passed away. She was successfully mated up with a mare who had lost her own foal and from there, went from strength to strength.

She showed a glimpse of her ability when dominating rivals in a maiden victory at Tauranga. Jamie Richards had seen enough to make the decision to jump in grade and give her an opportunity to pick up stakes success in the form of the Gr.2 Valachi Downs Royal Stakes. She duly obliged leading up race rivals and fighting off all challengers, including the very tough Princess Lowry. 

From what she showed in the Royal Stakes, the Gr.1 Al Basti Equiworld New Zealand Oaks looks like it is on the horizon for this daughter of Shocking. The win provided Self Obsession with eight points in the New Zealand Bloodstock Filly of the Year title race, where she is now placed third behind stablemates Belle En Rouge (19) and The Perfect Pink (12) with five races left in the 11-race series that culminates with the New Zealand Oaks on 19 March.

Hallmark Stud Handicap

27 December 2021

The Hallmark Stud Handicap has been run and won 🏆 by FESTIVITY for Opie Bosson and Te Akau Racing’s Jamie Richards. As always, it’s our pleasure to be part of the big day at Ellerslie racecourse. We were also delighted to catch up with her part owner Glenn Holmes, who is an old neighbour of ours!

​BONNY LASS - What a star 

26 December 2021

Social Racing are back in the winners circle with this daughter of SUPER EASY who was super impressive on a premier day at Ellerslie beating the older horses from a wide draw. Stoked for the team at Richardson Racing Stables, what a classy filly she has been for the stable, already a Gr2 winner and twice Gr1 placed at 2yo, she looks to be hitting her straps again at 3yo.

Photo : Bonny Lass as a foal

Christmas Party 2021

22 December 2021

The Hallmark Christmas party went off with a bang last night. A big thanks to all our staff for their hard work and dedication over the past 12 months.

Clay bird shooting champion - Dharmvir Paswan

The Melbourne Cup comes to visit

21 December 2021

The Melbourne Cup came to visit Hallmark Stud this week!! Loyal clients Mark and John Carter, along with Beefy Stocker who is also a share holder in the mare dropped in with Verry Elleegant’s Cup 🏆🐴 We all got a great thrill out of having it here on the farm 😍

A special win for an orphan foal

10 December 2021

The story behind Self Obsession (Shocking) made her win today even more special - born and raised here on the farm, her dam Mawaakib sadly passed away minutes after she was born meaning she required a foster mother.

She has overcome plenty of adversity to get to where she is today and that made her first win at just her second start even more satisfying. Congrats to owner/breeder David Price and everyone Te Akau Racing.

Third individual stakes success as Mondorani wins NZ Cup

13 November 2021

Mondorani (Burgundy) gives us a 3rd individual stakes winner for the year with Gr.3 New Zealand Cup success at Riccarton Park Racecourse. He was weaned and raised here on the farm for our wonderful clients Carly and John Murdoch.

Hallmark graduates who are stakes winners in 2021:
- Mondorani (Burgundy)
- Dream Queen (Super Easy)
- Bonny Lass (Super Easy)


It was some Kevin Myers magic at play at Riccarton on Saturday when outsider Mondorani ($22.60) stormed home down the outskirts of the Riccarton track to take out the 158th running of the Gr.3 Martin Collins New Zealand Cup (3200m).

Myers has long made Riccarton a happy hunting ground despite operating from his North Island base at Whanganui. Having already produced four winners during the Cup Week carnival, including a double earlier in the day with Kopua and Ucalledit, Myers provided the piece de resistance with the seven-year-old Mondorani who went into the race with some useful lead-up form including a fourth in last week’s Listed Metropolitan Trophy (2500m).

After settling in a nice position in midfield, rider Sarah Macnab never panicked as she found herself shuffled back to near last against the rail with 800m to run after several lead changes up front.
Macnab got to work on her mount who began to make up good ground in the run home before finding an extra gear at the 200m as he stretched hard to down favourite Beaudz Well and Leaderboard in a driving finish to the race.

Macnab, who shook her head in disbelief shortly after passing the winning post, was still trying to take it all in after returning to the birdcage.

“I spoke with Kevin and he said to just let it all unfold in front of me,” she said.

“I was flat on the home turn, but he had said to get to the outside and he knows best and it has paid off.”

Macnab has started the season with a bang, sitting sixth on the national jockeys’ premiership with 21 wins, including five at stakes level.

“I can’t really explain it all at the moment,” she said.

“I can’t thank Kevin enough for giving me the opportunities that has got me to where I am today.”

Myers, who watched the race from his home, was delighted with the performance and especially for his staff member Lisa Kennedy who has done most of the work with the son of Burgundy.

“He’s always been a good stayer and I thought he was up to winning a race like this,” he said.

“Sarah got off last week and said he wouldn’t have blown out a candle, so, if things worked out, he would be a good chance.

“All credit to Lisa Kennedy as she has looked after him and pretty much told me how to train him.
“She has got him into the position he is in now and she deserves to be recognized for her efforts.

“His owner John Murdoch is also a beauty and a great owner to have in your stable.

“He lets me do what I like with his horses and is first on the phone with congratulations when they do well.

“I’m thrilled for him to get a win like this.”

Mondorani is raced by his breeders, John and Karlene Murdoch and is the first foal out of their More Than Ready mare, Del Mondo, the granddaughter of dual Australian Group One winner Arborea

Dream result for Hallmark Stud

23 October 2021

Article : Michelle Saba - NZTBA

Dream Queen’s (Super Easy - Hampton’s Gold) win in Saturday’s Listed William Crockett Stakes (1200m) was celebrated by Hallmark Stud who had been nurturing her family for three generations.

“That’s what we strive for, winning a stakes race on a big day like Cox Plate day,” enthused a very humble Denny Baker of Hallmark Stud.
“We are very proud. It’s a great family with a long history on our farm going way back three generations to Estella Dawn, the mother of Miss Distinction who has gone on to be the dam of a Group One winner and grandam of two champion fillies.”

It is a family that Baker has so much affection for that he bought back Hampton’s Gold from a dispersal sale in Tasmania to add to his broodmare band.

According to Baker, Estella Dawn was originally owned by his neighbour and good friend Lance Wallace.

“She was a bit bloody excitable and one day Lance came over and asked me to take her,” recalled the astute horseman, well known for helping out and teaching fellow breeders. 
“I told him I don’t want it - I am sick of other peoples’ rubbish! Anyway, we kept yarning and eventually went inside for a bit of lunch, then I asked him what is this horse you are trying to unload on me anyway?

“He showed me the pedigree and I said I know this family. It was owned by my old boss John Malcolm. (Baker had originally worked for John Malcolm at Kinross Stud, where Hallmark Stud is now located).

“The mare Estella Dawn was by Hasty Cloud out of a mare called Nam Sang and was a full-sister to Rising Damp, a top handicapper who had won 10 races.

“It was also the family of the Cox Plate winner Sir Dane (Summertime [GB] - Carsa) and traced back to a mare called Peeble II (GB) (Rock Flint [USA] - Petual [GB]) who was imported in the 1920’s.

“She could be naughty and a bit of a challenge but I believe that there has never been a horse born bad or mad, though some are predisposed to going that way if not handled well.
“So, I told him we’ll have a go and that is how Estella Dawn came to the farm.”

Hallmark Stud's Denny Baker. - Photo: NZ Racing Desk
Hallmark Stud's Denny Baker.
Photo: NZ Racing Desk

Before coming to Bakers she had produced four fillies including the unraced Mia Malagra (by Vaguely Tender [USA]), dam of Hampton’s Choice whose eight wins included a victory in the Listed Kiwifruit Cup (2170m).

Her first mating at Hallmark Stud was to Bletchingly (AUS) stallion Lord Ballina (AUS) and this mating produced Breaker Dawn, the unraced dam of four winners including the stakes placed Orakei Korako (by Any Suggestion [AUS]), Wazuzu (by Le Bec Fin) and Hampton’s Gold, the dam of Drama Queen.
Hampton’s Gold was purchased by Ace Shaw of Acelands Stud in Tasmania as a yearling. Baker bought her at a dispersal sale with a Husson (AUS) colt at foot who unfortunately died.

Her first live foal in New Zealand was Tumbleweed, also by Hallmark Stud’s resident sire Super Easy – a well-bred son of Darci Brahma and the blue hen mare Parfore.

From a limited number of mares, Super Easy has left seven stakes winners and 148 winners. His stakes winners include the leading two-year-old filly from last season Bonnie Lass, Super Strike, Easy Eddie and Prom Queen.

Dream Queen was Hampton’s Gold’s next foal.

“That year we decided to sell all our weanling fillies on gavelhouse, with a reserve of $1000,” said Baker. “Kenny Rae bought her for $1500 for Sue Martin and Kenny did a great job with her.”
Rae, who had a lot of success with nine-time winner Prom Queen (Super Easy – Finishing School), is a fan of the sire and a bargain.

Drama Queen raced four times as a two-year-old under his care including a debut win in early January before running second later in the month. Put aside she resumed in July with a second at Ruakaka and two weeks later won on that same track, after which she was sold to clients of Ben and JD Hayes. The win in the William Crockett Stakes came at her second start in Victoria.

Subsequently Hampton’s Gold has produced a colt by Derryn (AUS) which sold at New Zealand Bloodstock’s National Weanling Sale last May for $20,000. She missed to Telperion (AUS) last season and will visit Hello Youmzain (FR) this season.

Returning to Estella Dawn, her next mating was the one that ensured the family’s position in Hallmark folklore.

"We bred her to Bletchencore (AUS), and she produced Miss Distinction,” he recalled.
“She was a little bit offset and we knew we would get hammered at the sales, but we both liked her as she was a deep girthed filly, so we decided to keep her.

"Eventually we leased her to Trevor Hurley and Kieran McCarthy to race, she won a race for them and they sent her back. Lance by this stage had just bought another dairy farm and wanted to give her away. He suggested giving her back to Trevor but on the condition that she only go to Hallmark stallions, unless we agreed otherwise and that is how the partnership and the family has developed.
"Miss Distinction went to Spectacularphantom (USA) and produced Miss Jessie Jay. We took her to the sales and couldn't sell her either. So, home she came and fortunately Trevor gave me the time to break her in and get her going along. She was a highly strung type of filly as well, but nursed along she was fine, and it paid off. Miss Jessie Jay won nine races including the Group Three Fayette Park Stakes and the Levin Classic.

"Her second foal was Miss Katella (The Commander) she didn't sell either and was a bit hot to handle, she came back here and I worked on her and she went on to win a race.

"When the two fillies – Miss Jessie Jay and Miss Kattella - that Trevor bred retired from racing they came back here for us to look after and we continued with the partnership arrangement whereby they went to Hallmark stallions. If they came right or the family took off that we still had a share with him and Trevor has been as good as his word."

The family certainly did come right. Miss Jessie Jay was the Champion Broodmare in the 2009-10 season, being the dam of the Group One winning champion fillies Katie Lee (by Pins [AUS]) and Banchee (by Oratorio [IRE]).

Miss Katella produced the Group One placed stakes winner San Bernadino (by Gold Mine [USA]) who won four races including the Gr.3 Stewards Handicap and Listed Welcome Stakes.  He was also third in the Gr.1 Manawatu Sires’ Produce Stakes.

More recently Miss Krisdel (by Spectatorial [AUS]) has left Qiji Express (by Shamexpress) a winner of three races including the Listed Mufhasa Stakes.

Keiran McCarthy, Miss Distinction's other racing partner, also bred from the mare. In 1999 he sent her to Jahafil (GB), and she produced a filly. As Gee I Jane she became a multiple Group One winner, winning six races including the Telegraph and the BTC Cup.

Baker may be 80 years old but he reckons he can still do what he loves to do and that is breed a  good horse. He has faith there are more Group One winners to come to add to the Roll of Honour at Hallmark Stud and join the likes of those already mentioned plus Diamond Lover, Lycra and Carson’s Cash.

Don’t be surprised if that next Group One winner comes from this fabulous family.

Public holiday success for Aurora Dolce

Lucky last for Super Easy, AURORA DOLCE takes out R8 on Labour Day at Te Rapa Racing. This lovely honest mare has been competitive in R65 company since breaking the maiden and today got a well deserved victory at that grade.

That’s the 3rd day straight that Super Easy has provided the goods - Dream Queen, Super Spirit and now Aurora Dolce! It’s not too late to secure a spot for your mare!

Stakes success for DREAM QUEEN

We were elated to see Dream Queen get up to Listed success in the William Crockett this afternoon.

This daughter of Super Easy started her career in New Zealand with Kenny Rae and Krystal Williams-Tuhoro where she had 4 starts for 2 wins and 2 placings, showing above average ability. She was then sold to Ben and JD Hayes of Lindsay Park Racing and at just her second start in Australia gets Listed success on Cox Plate Day.

Dream Queen is out of Hampton's Gold (Gold Mine) who has had just two foals to race both winners, she hails from the same family as Gr.1 winners Katie Lee, Banchee and Gee I Jane, a family that we have treasured over the years. 

She is also by our resident sire Super Easy who stands at just $6,000 + GST, last season he produced four individual stakes winners and was second only to Savabeel for NZ based sires in stakes winners to runners and we are delighted to see him kick off this season in much the same fashion. 

Eight time winner by Super Easy

Congrats to the connections of Dreaming Easy, this 7yo daughter of Super Easy has always been good to follow and today was no exception, as she posted her 8th win 🥇 🎉

That’s 4 winners in 10 days for our boy Super Easy!!

Super Thief strikes again

Great result for Super Thief who makes it back to back wins, taking the career tally to three starts for two wins, this latest win was at Sale, we look forward to seeing him progress through the grades.

Not only is Super Thief by Super Easy but he is also out of our broodmare Hestolemyroses (Elusive Quality), she is also the dam of talented Australian winner and Karaka Millions performer Neptune's Spear (Super Easy). 


SUPER THIEF (Super Easy) victorious for Lindsay Park Racing and Blaike McDougall.

No wonder the team have recently bought two more Super Easy's, given the style of this super impressive win. Dream Queen and a trial winner from Richardson Racing are now residents of the Victorian powerhouse.

Three year old Super Thief is a son of Hestolemyroses (Elusive Quality) whose first foal was Karaka Millions contender Neptune Spear. She has a lovely Windsor Park Stud Turn Me Loose colt heading towards the 2022 Karaka Yearling Sale.

Australian Double for Hallmark Graduates

An Australian double for Hallmark Graduates yesterday. A nice result with both horses coming through our 2020 Yearling draft.

Tramontana (Toronado x Subtle Breeze) broke through at Ballarat for Ben and JD Hayes of Lindsay Park Racing. The 3yo was a $200,000 purchase by Lindsay Park & Andrew Williams Bloodstock from the 2020 Book 1 Yearling Sale.

Our other winner was Eyes to Eye (Tivaci) who lead and won, breaking the maiden at start number two. First dam Adriatico (Stravinsky) is already a proven producer as the dam of Bobby Dee and Robusto.This 3yo was a $140k yearling purchase.

Fun in the sun

Fun in the sun ☀️ making do with a natural beauty spa 🚿

Our 2006 Gr.1 Easter Handicap winner Rags to Riches babysitting our Karaka bound boys 🐴

Steady progress

NIKAU SPUR (Proisir) makes steady progress through the grades in Victoria. The lightly raced gelding has now recorded 4 wins in 9 starts.

Bred in partnership with Robert Stewart, Nikau Spur was born and raised at Hallmark Stud. First dam Sarsarun is back in foal to Rich Hill Stud stallion Proisir.

Gr.1 gold under the rainbow

Who needs gold under the rainbow 🌈 when you have Gr.1 winner Julius. 

He fills a vital role here at the farm babysitting the yearling fillies (plus giving great cuddles 🐴 🤗) John Bell Bloodstock and Racing

We have action, two Eminent fillies to start the ball rolling

What a treasure..

Two year old Treasure State (Trust in a Gust) lives up to punters expectations with a well deserved win in the first of the day at Te Rapa Racing.

An astute $27,000 purchase by Wexford Stables from Book 2 of the New Zealand Bloodstock Karaka Yearling Sale. It was also a first NZ win for stallion Trust In A Gust Swettenham Stud

A stunning Saturday double for Super

It was a competitive afternoon of racing at Ruakaka on Saturday, where Super Easy secured a winning double.

Dream Queen has always shown plenty of ability, she was a maiden winner at Te Aroha before placing at Ellerslie behind star 2 yr old On The Bubbles, who went on to record Karaka Million and Gr.1 success this season.

After a well deserved spell she looks to have returned to the stable in fine order posting a placing fresh, before an impressive victory on Saturday in the 2 yr old feature.

It was an easy watch, leading throughout she kicked clear and cruised down to a 4.5 length win. The perfect stepping stone towards some bigger assignments, although Kenny Rae has some big decisions to make.

She was originally to be targeted at the Listed Courtesy Ford Ryder Stakes (1200m) at Otaki on July 31 but some consideration is now being made to sticking on home turf, and lining up in the Gr.3 Cambridge Stud Northland Breeders’ Stakes (1200m) on August 21st. Where she would once again clash with stablemate Follow Your Dreams.“The long-term plan is a shot at the Group One three-year-old races at Riccarton in November, so there is a lot of water to go under the bridge before then,” Rae said.

The second part of the winning double was raceday success for Regal Duchess, who broke the maiden at start number seven. The story of the race was most definitely the result for trainer Michelle Bradley, who trained her first winner in her own name.

Michelle, worked for the successful Donna Logan stable for many years before joining in training partnership with Chris Gibbs in 2017. She pulled out of the partnership in October last year, taking a complete break from the sport, using the time to reset and refresh. We wish Michelle the best of luck with her future training endeavours. 

On Regal Duchess, Michelle commented "I thought she might find it a little wet today as the track can be quite tricky when it rains here."
“It was a really gritty performance, off the back of a lovely ride by Lynsey, so I’m feeling absolutely elated at the moment."

A Frosty morning on the farm

It’s a fresh one this morning on the farm! 

Gr.1 winner Julius babysitting a mob of weanling fillies who are headed towards the New Zealand Bloodstock Yearling Sale 2022.

Life After Racing - Boogie Easy

Lady Whistledown, formerly Boogie Easy, was acquired by the Jarvis family in Christchurch after being retired from racing with three wins for the Social Racing Starting Gates syndicate and owner/breeder Sandy Moore. The family turned her out on arrival to chill and meet their two geldings and she soon relaxed happily in her new environment. They report on her as follows:

“Since starting her career as a sport horse Boogie aka Lady was a very (super?) easy horse out around the roads and she loves being part of our team. She initially started her flatwork training for dressage and has recently started her cross country training to become an eventer and has taken water jumps, banks, logs, ditches, etc in her stride, which is fantastic. She loves big red carrot treats and she sticks her head in the side of the truck any chance she gets, but we are still working on her liking real apples and carrots! She is a fantastic addition to our team and is dearly loved. She also still loves to remind us occasionally of her sassy side to keep us on our toes!”.

Nikau Spur justifies short odds

Hot favourite Nikau Spur justified the short odds when getting home to win at Sandown this afternoon.

The son of Proisir is a Hallmark graduate who started his career in NZ with Rosie Buchanan, recording one start at Awapuni for one placing. Since jumping the ditch he has now become a three time winner. He holds a nomination for Sandown on June 16th.

Bonny Lass in holiday mode

Enjoying these sunny winter days whilst dreaming of more stakes success in the Spring.

One of four individual stakes winners for Super Easy this season #BonnyLass #supereasy

Almanzor colt tops strong Weanling Sale

Mark Baker has had plenty of success pinhooking out of New Zealand Bloodstock’s May Sale, and he believes he has found another promising youngster at Karaka on Friday.

The Hallmark Stud principal paid $145,000 for lot 78, the Almanzor colt out of Group One performer Girl Of My Dreams from Haunui Farm’s draft.

The colt topped the Weanling Sale and Baker thought justifiably so. “I loved him from the time we saw him at Haunui. Myself and my partners are delighted to get him,” Baker said.

“He has a wonderful temperament, he never batted an eyelid up here all week. He is beautifully balanced with great strength, great movement, and is correct. He is off a great farm by an extremely exciting young horse in Almanzor.”

The colt will return to Karaka in January where he will be offered through Hallmark Stud’s New Zealand Bloodstock National Yearling Sale draft. “The plan is to go through Karaka in 2022. But with a lovely horse like this you have got some options too,” Baker said.

Baker has already had great success with Almanzor’s first crop of yearlings at this year’s sales.
“Almanzor has been very good to us,” he said. 

“We sold one for $560,000 on behalf of the Pike’s, and a filly we bred for $300,000. “They are wonderful types and I have worked with enough of them now and they have got brilliant temperaments, they are going to be a huge chance.”

Baker played a dual role at Karaka, also offering a five-strong draft under his Hallmark Stud banner.
“For a nice horse, they were extremely hard to buy,” he said. “If you had a genuine horse here today, as was proven, there was a lot of money here.”

Haunui Farm principal Mark Chitty was delighted with the result and expected the colt to sell well.
“We have been selling weanlings for a long time and he is the nicest we have brought to this sale, and he sold accordingly,” Chitty said.

“He is a lovely colt out of a very good mare and by a young sire who has created a lot of interest, and they have sold really well.

“I expected him to be a six-figure horse. He oozed class and handled pressure. He was bought by a very good judge in Mark Baker. He bought Hardline off us and he went on and won the Karaka Million. He was a very good pinhook result for him."

“The mare is back in-foal to Almanzor, so it was a great result.”

Haunui Farm were leading vendor by aggregate at the sale and Chitty said the higher end of the market sold well.

“The good horses, and there haven’t been a lot of them, have sold well, but underneath that reflects the state of the industry,” he said.

“You haven’t got people buying horses to put in the paddock and wait. It’s the traders, people who are looking to pinhook yearlings or ready-to-runners.”

Chitty is a big supporter of the dedicated weanling sale and his thoughts were justified by the strong market on Thursday.

“I totally support a standalone weanling sale,” he said. “I don’t think you have to have it mixed up and I think that it is great to be back at a sale ground.

“The pinhookers like to see horses in the flesh and they like to see how they handle pressure, especially if they are going to pay decent money for them.”


A one day extravaganza at the New Zealand Bloodstock Weanling Sales. We have 5 lots going under the hammer. Lots below, head to for all the pictures and full pedigrees. 

Lot 30 Exosphere x Tattle (Bay Filly)
Lot 68 El Roca x Donna Marie (Chestnut Colt
Lot 73 Reliable Man x Flamette (Bay Colt)
Lot 81 Derryn x Hampton's Gold (Bay Colt)
Lot 101 Exosphere x La Valeta (Bay Filly)

Out and About

Out and about with our gal Bonny Lass, the Gr2 winner and 2 x Gr1 placegetter is enjoying a well deserved break at the farm.

Do you remember this guy?

It’s the Tivaci x Sorellina colt from our ‘Follow a Yearling’ segment earlier this year. He looks as laid back as ever, we are delighted to see him doing so well with Danielle N Alex Oliveira

Smart graduate back in the winners enclosure

Hallmark graduate Nikau Spur (Proisir) was back in the winners enclosure on Friday night at Cranbourne. Starting his racing career in New Zealand with Rosie Buchanan he was impressively placed at a first raceday start and later sold to Ciaron Maher/David Eustace.

Superdonna good on debut

Well, in very unusual circumstances the Daniel Miller trained SUPERDONNA (Super Easy) gets a win on debut. After getting back, she made up a stack of ground, getting blocked for a run between horses close to the line, a lengthy protest ensued and she was eventually promoted to first spot.

The daughter of Super Easy was bred by Curraghmore Stud, here she is as a foal and at the races on Saturday.

Bonny Lass primed for Group One

NZ Racing Desk

Graham Richardson is an excited man ahead of the Gr.1 Courtesy Ford Manawatu Sires’ Produce Stakes (1400m) at Awapuni on Saturday.

The Matamata horseman, who trains in partnership with Rogan Norvall, will line-up Bonny Lass in the juvenile feature and he is hoping she can take home the lion’s share of the $225,000 purse.

“It’s really exciting heading into the Group One with a filly like her,” Richardson said.

The daughter of Super Easy has been impressive in all three of her starts to date, winning on debut on her home track over 1200m before returning to win the Gr.2 Matamata Breeders’ Stakes (1200m).

She put in a bold effort in the Gr.1 Sistema Stakes (1200m) at Ellerslie last month, running the second fastest last 200m to place behind Te Akau pair Sword Of State and On The Bubbles.
Richardson was pleased with the run and believes she will be suited by Saturday’s extended distance.

“It looked like she would go the 1400m after that run,” he said.

Her three raceday appearances and one trial have all been on Dead4 tracks and with the Awapuni track rated a Slow8 on Thursday morning and further rain forecast, Richardson is interested to see how she will handle the wet track conditions.

“The question mark is the Slow8, but the track would come back I would imagine,” he said. “She worked up on Tuesday on ground that was Dead to Slow and she enjoyed that.”

Saturday will likely be Bonny Lass’ last hit-out for the season before she heads to the spelling paddock in preparation for the three-year-old fillies series next term.

“We are talking with Brent Cooper about that, who is the manager of the Social Racing Syndicate,” Richardson said.

“I would say she will be tipped out after Saturday and will get ready for the Gold Trail Stakes (Gr.3, 1200m) and those fillies series races.”

TAB bookmakers have installed Bonny Lass as a $10 fourth-favourite for the Sires’ Produce, behind On The Bubbles ($2.80), I Wish I Win ($3.40), and Quicken Away ($9).

Richardson is also looking forward to watching Tiptronic contest the Gr.2 City of Palmerston North Awapuni Gold Cup (2000m).
Tiptronic put in a brave performance to hold on for third behind Melody Belle and Avantage in the Gr.1 Bonecrusher New Zealand Stakes (2000m) at Ellerslie last start, after being the pacemaker throughout.

Richardson was proud of his efforts and is expecting another bold showing this weekend.
“He was courageous and things didn’t go right before that (in the Herbie Dyke Stakes), and before that he won the Karaka Cup,” Richardson said.

“He is very genuine, he tries his hardest and he is a very good horse.”

Number one of the top 50 NZ based sires stakes winners to runners list

We can’t quite believe it but the victory of Bonny Lass in Saturday’s Gr2 Matamata Breeders Stakes means that Super Easy has actually surpassed Savabeel and now leads the Top 50 NZ based sires Stakes Winners to runners list.

We are incredibly proud of this achievement, Super Easy is not just producing winners but quality gallopers who can compete and dominate in black type company.

How's this for a flash back?

Gr2 Matamata Breeders Stakes winner Bonny Lass as a foal and yearling. 

By our resident sire Super Easy, she was born and raised here for breeder Sandy Moore, well done to Social Racing and their syndicate. First dam Posh Bec is by Le Bec Fin, she is a three time winner and is the dam of 4 named foals, 3 to race, all winners.

Yes!!! Go Super Easy..

YES!!! Punching well above his weight SUPER EASY scores Gr2 success in the Matamata Breeders Stakes with Bonny Lass. In the top 40 NZ based sires, Super Easy is second only to Savabeel in stakes winners to runners. 

What a season it has been with Sheezallmine, Super Strike, Spine Tingle and now Bonny Lass. 

Photo credit Mark Nowell.

Ruakaka filly strengthens Oaks bid

NZ Racing Desk

Lightly raced filly Spine Tingle sent shivers down the backs of plenty of her potential Gr.1 Al Basti Equiworld Dubai New Zealand Oaks (2400m) rivals with a stunning victory at New Plymouth on Saturday.

Bred and raced by the Hawkins family under their Llanhennock Trust banner, the Super Easy three-year-old went into Saturday’s Listed Fasttrack Insurance Oaks Prelude (1800m) at New Plymouth with just two runs under her belt, including a last start victory over 1400m on her home track at Ruakaka.
The Chris Gibbs-trained galloper was overlooked in the market for the race, starting at a closing price of $17.60 on the tote, however she made a mockery of those odds as she streaked to a hollow four-length victory.

Settled beautifully in the trail by rider Lisa Allpress, Spine Tingle travelled easily before hugging the rail on the home bend and spurting to the lead when a yawning gap opened up shortly after straightening.
Allpress gave her charge full bore at the 250m and the filly raced clear to win easing down by four lengths from the well favoured Providenceprovides with Ezdara battling on gamely to take third.
Gibbs admitted he had trekked south to New Plymouth with hopes of a good performance but no certainty his charge was up to the opposition she faced.

“I didn’t really expect that, but she was very impressive today,” he said.

“We made a plan to hug the rail the whole way and hoped the leaders would roll off and sure enough they did.

“She races so well just off the bridle, which I just love about her.

“When Lisa asked her, she sprinted so quickly that I was stunned.

“When we first got her she looked like she would make a two-year-old and not much after that, but she changed completely and turned into a long, scopey individual, who had stayer written all over her.
“We haven’t done that much with her, so after she won her maiden at home, we decided this race would be our main target.

“I just didn’t know how she would measure up, but she travelled down perfectly, ate and drank everything last night and gave me confidence she would go a good race.”

Gibbs is unsure how he will go about formulating a plan to get Spine Tingle to the Oaks in March but admits it is a good problem to have.

“Today was really where we had put our efforts into, so I’m not sure what to do next,” he said.
“It’s a long trip back home so she can have an easy time of it while I work out how we get to the Oaks.
“The good thing is she has qualified now so I don’t have to worry about that and can pick and choose where we start.”

TAB Bookmakers reacted swiftly to the victory, slashing the Fixed Odds for Spine Tingle to win the New Zealand Oaks from $61 to $14 behind current favourite Amarelinha ($4). 

A new journey ahead

This is what we love to see, our Tivaci x Sorellina colt with his new owners Danielle N Alex Oliveira

He has the most beautiful nature, we wish him the best of luck in his new journey. 

Photo Trish Dunell

Perry saves his best until last

NZ Racing Desk

Masterton Bloodstock agent Bruce Perry has been a constant presence on the buyer’s sheets throughout the three days of the Book 1 sale at Karaka this year, but he left his biggest hit until the 11th hour.

Lot 578, the Almanzor colt, who is a half-brother to Australian Group Two winner Subpoenaed, was the last horse through the auction ring on Tuesday and despite his position in the catalogue, had plenty of heavy hitters’ keen on him.

The auction ring action boiled down to a slugfest between Perry and former trainer Graeme Sanders, with Perry lodging his winning $560,000 bid on behalf of clients, Brae Sokolski and Chris Waller Racing.

“I was acting for Brae (Sokolski), who is one of the main owners in the colt’s half-sister Subpoenaed and Chris Waller,” Perry said.

“I was doing the work for them, so I had a look at him and just loved him.

“They were very strong on him, as it was a good fight to secure him, but I had Brae on the phone talking with me the whole way.

“I really just hope the Almanzors can run now.”

Perry has been keen on yearlings by the Cambridge Stud-based first season sire during the sale, having purchased seven individuals for local and international clients including three for Melbourne trainer Danny O’Brien.

“I knew this horse would be a $500,000 plus buy as he was a lovely type and mover, so the mare has done a good job,” he said.

“Brae and Chris had him on their radar, so I just did the legwork for them.”

Out of the five-win O’Reilly mare Notice Received, the colt was sold through the Hallmark Stud draft on behalf of Cambridge couple Wayne and Vicki Pike, with studmaster Mark Baker thrilled with the result.
“The colt is the perfect specimen,” he said.

“His x-rays, his scope, both perfect. He is perfect.

“The way he handled the pressure, right from when we got him all the way to ring, was incredible.
“We are grateful to be chosen to prepare him for Wayne and Vicki Pyke. It really was a pleasure.”
Vicki Pike was on hand to congratulate Perry after the sale and was delighted with the result.
“We’re absolutely thrilled to bits,” she said. “He was worth every penny of it though.

“We’ve been breeding for a long time and I think he is probably the best we have ever put in the ring.
“They rated him the best Almanzor colt born at Cambridge Stud that year and he has never gone backwards.

“He has always just gone forwards and improved into the product you saw today, and his temperament is just unbelievable.”

With the Pikes holding a share in Almanzor, Notice Received is back in foal to the triple Group One winner and European champion. 

“We bought Notice Received for $52,000 out of a mixed sale in Melbourne and she has been very good to us. She has had two by Rip Van Winkle, including Subpoenaed who we initially raced and sold after winning impressively for (son) Tony.”

Hallmark Stud also sold a Tavistock colt out of their Group One winning mare Chenille for $180,000 on behalf of the couple, who operate from a boutique property in Cambridge.

“Trent Busuttin and Natalie Young bought him so he has gone to the best possible place for a Tavistock and we also sold a very nice Proisir colt,” Pike said.

“We’re thrilled. I can’t believe the positivity here and the domestic buying to go with the internationals.”
The Pikes have reduced the volume of mares they are breeding from 14 to six, with a focus on quality and couldn’t speak more highly of the preparation skills of Hallmark Stud.

“They’re very good friends, they’re like family to us,” Pike said. “They love the horses and they do a super job.”

A 'Super Easy' debut

Another 2yo winner for Super Easy, Bonny Lass scored with ease on debut at Matamata yesterday in race 3. Beating home well fancied favourite Noverre. All being well she will head to the J Swap Contractors Matamata Breeders Stakes on the 27th Feb.

Trained by Graham Richardson and Rogan Norvall, Bonny Lass is out of Posh Bec who has already produced winners Way Too Easy and Super Posh.

What a journey...

What a journey it has been, from the foaling paddock to the sales ring. 

Its fair to say the Tivaci x Sorellina colt has bloomed over the past year, he goes through the ring as Lot 134.

Super result for proud breeder


A promise made by Janet Hepi to one day send a mare to Hallmark Stud has resulted in Super Strike (NZ) (Super Easy), the winner of the Gr.3 Anniversary Handicap (1600m) at Trentham on Saturday.

“Dad had a farm right opposite Hallmark, and quite often I would wander over to see the horses,” said Hepi, the daughter of prominent Auckland businessman and breeder Lou Fisher.
“Denny (Baker, Hallmark Stud) always knew how much I loved horses, and he would always say why don’t you send me a mare to one of my horses and I kept saying I will one day.
“I loved watching Prom Queen race and that prompted me to take a look at Super Easy. So, I phoned Denny and asked him about sending a mare. He said you mean you are finally sending me a horse, and Super Strike, or Toby as I call him, is the result.

“It’s wonderful for both of us, Denny is as thrilled as I am about Toby and I’m pleased for Super Easy.”
Hepi races Super Strike in the colours made famous by her father – an emerald jacket, black braces, cerise sleeves and cap, the colours were carried by the great sprinter Yahabeebee.
“I get such a thrill watching those colours,” Hepi said. “I had such a special Dad and Uncle (Sir Woolf Fisher) who introduced me to horses so it’s important to me that I use those colours and continue their dynasty.”

Trained at Pukekohe by Richard Collett, the now four-year-old has been to the races nine times for five wins, three seconds and a third.

Super Strike won on debut in November as a three-year-old. He was placed at his next two starts but severely injured his hindquarter and was out for a prolonged spell, and there was some doubt as to whether he would come back.

“Richard has been really patient with him,” Hepi said. “It was a matter of wait and see.
“When he came out and won his first race back, Richard was still saying let’s wait and see. Then he won his next race and I said to Richard perhaps he’s okay now.” 

Super Strike was beaten a nose at his next start before coming out and winning an open handicap at Ellerslie. He returned in late September last year and won fresh up over 1200m at Ellerslie and backed up three weeks later on the same track and won over 1400m.

At his home track in late November he went down by a nose over 1400m, before returning to Auckland in mid-December to win at that distance. His next run was in the Stella Artois 1500 Championship Final where he chased home Mai Tai Before heading to Trentham where he got up to win the prestigious mile event by a nose in the last bound.

“He’s got a real personality, he loves to show off he has an attitude and is a bit of a naughty boy,” Hepi quipped. “l think he just loves going past all the other horses, and that’s why he settles at the rear.
“I am so proud of him I just love horses so much. I love to spend time with them giving them apples and carrots. I had his grandmother and his mother. His mother Becky (Southern Touch) I gave to Sue Ellis to train when she went to Australia, as she had trained a couple of horses for me before that. Well Becky did everything right on the training track, but on the race track I think she went out just to smell the roses, as she let everything go past her and kept tailing the field. In the end I sent her to Written Tycoon and bought her back in foal after that.”

That foal was the placed mare Mills’N’Boon who Hepi raced. Southern Touch’s next foal was Gutsy Gussie who was also placed, followed by Super Strike. She also left another youngster by Super Easy but he didn’t make it to the races, and that was to be her last foal.

“I got the grandmother from David Benjamin,” Hepi said. “My family and his family go way back, and one day I took my daughter Jasmine out to the Karaka sales and went around to talk to Benji. I was busy talking to Benji and then we couldn’t find her! Anyway, we eventually found her in a box with a horse – J was only about 8 or 9 and that was Touche Amora, so I bought her, and from her I got Southern Touch (Becky) and she is the dam of Toby (Super Strike).”

Touche Amora won one race and went to stud and produced five live foals, the first being Stark Touch by Stark South who won nine races in Australia, followed by Embrace (Prized) who didn’t race but has left a couple of winners and Prized Touch (Prized) who Janet also raced out of the Collett Stable.
“Prized Touch won six races,” she said. “I had so much fun racing Oscar (Prized Touch) and he’s still alive and enjoying life at the ripe old age of 20. He raced in Dad’s colours as well.”

Touche Amora was a sister to Touch of Force who won five races including the Gr.2 AJC Villiers Stakes, and to Tantalise who was a stakes placed winner of four races.  Their dam Amora was a winner and a half-sister to the smart group one placed two-year-old winner Milton Magic, both being out of the stakes placed winning mare Milton Leigh.

From another former Fayette Park stallion in Germano, Hepi bred the 2009 Sydney Cup winner Ista Kareem who was out of another Touching Wood(USA) mare Princesses Touch. She doesn’t have any broodmares anymore, but she and Denny Baker are hoping to breed another Super Strike.

“I have been in touch with Gail Hughes who bred Touche Amora,” Baker said. 
“She still has mares from that family and why wouldn’t we try and bred another one like Super Strike?”

Famous colours to the fore in Anniversary

NZ Racing Desk

16 January 2021

Six decades on from the heyday of the legendary sprinter Yahabeebe, the same colours have played a starring role at Trentham. Super Strike stepped up to stakes level for the first time and triumphed in Saturday’s Gr.3 Wellington Seamarket Anniversary Handicap (1600m). It was the fifth win of a nine-start career for the rising star son of Super Easy, bred and owned by Janet Hepi, whose father Lou Fisher raced the two-time Gr.1 Railway Handicap (1200m) winner Yahabeebe.

“It’s very special to win this race in my father’s colours,” Hepi said. “Those same colours were carried by Yahabeebe in some of our great sprint races, including in the Telegraph here at Trentham.
“I just loved the win today by my super, super Super Strike. It was a sensational ride by Andrew Calder, and Richard and Judy Collett have done such a good job with him. I really appreciate all their efforts, including driving him all the way down here from Auckland for this race.”

Super Strike was backed into warm favouritism at $2.60 for Saturday’s feature, in which he dropped to 53kg after lugging 60kg into a gallant last-start second in the Stella Artois 1500 Championship Final (1500m) on Boxing Day at Ellerslie.

Patiently ridden by Calder, Super Strike dropped out near the tail of the field before rushing into contention with a powerful burst in the straight.

Sacred Elixir fought back strongly on his inside, but Super Strike lunged at the line and got the verdict by a nose.

“He gave me a great feel before the start, he had really fresh legs,” Calder said. “But he’s just such a laid-back horse. You don’t want to get to the front too early on him – he switches off and waits for the others. But he’s exciting and still has improvement in him.”

After winning one of his three starts in his first preparation, Super Strike began this season in Rating 65 grade. But he has soared through the ranks with four impressive wins from six appearances.
The four-year-old holds a nomination for the Gr.1 Thorndon Mile (1600m) on January 30, and the TAB now rates him a $10 chance. But Richard Collett was non-committal about a return to Trentham in a fortnight.

“He’s come a long way in this preparation, and this was his first time in open company,” the Pukekohe trainer said.

“So we’ll get him home and see how he’s come through this run before deciding on anything. He might not be far away from going out to the paddock.

“But this was a good result today, and it’s a big thrill to get this win for Janet. She’s a lovely lady and I’ve trained horses for her for a number of years.”

The performance of runner-up Sacred Elixir was full of merit. The son of Pour Moi won the Gr.1 JJ Atkins (1600m) in Brisbane as a two-year-old back in 2016 and finished second in the Gr.1 Victoria Derby (2500m) later that year.

After three years on the sidelines, he returned to racing with a fifth at Ellerslie on December 10 and a sixth in the Gr.2 Rich Hill Mile (1600m) on New Year’s Day. He also holds a Thorndon Mile nomination.
There was another length and a half back to Guillada, who took third just ahead of Times Ticking and Sinarahma.

Dream filly makes successful debut at Te Aroha

This article is supplied by NZ Racing Desk

Trainer Ken Rae knew he had just the sort of filly he likes dealing with when he picked her up on the float on the way home from a trip away.

The Super Easy weanling had been purchased by Rae for owner Sue Martin off the site and needed to be collected from Mark and Denny Baker’s Hallmark Stud.

Rae was bringing home experienced gallopers Kaharau and Blanco Bay and was taken with how the filly handled herself throughout the process.

“Sue had asked me to bid for her on gavelhouse and I think we got her for $1,500,” Rae said.
“I was bringing home Kaharau and Blanco Bay one day and stopped off at Hallmark to collect her.
“She walked straight on the float without a care in the world which had me thinking she was my type of horse, easy to handle.”

Rae took his time with the filly, who is now named Dream Queen, and gave her two trials before electing to start her over 1000m at Te Aroha on Sunday.

Under the guidance of Jasmine Fawcett, Dream Queen missed away before improving along the inner to take over on the home turn and run away from her two-year-old rivals to score by more than a length at the line.

Rae, who is currently campaigning a team on the West Coast circuit, watched the race on television and was delighted with the result.

“She showed us at her recent trial that she had some ability as she ran second to a smart one of Richard Collett’s,” he said.

“The third horse that day came out and won first up at Awapuni, so I knew we had one that could gallop.

“Sue said to me should we enter her for Ellerslie on Boxing Day, but I thought that the field there might be a little tough and we should wait for something easier.

“The way she won today was great, so I’ll need to have a think about what to do next.
“I don’t have anything planned, but if she came out and won again, then a race like the Matamata Breeders’ Stakes (Gr.2, 1200m) might well be a target for her.”

Rae also reported that classy two-year-old colt Follow Your Dreams had come through his run at Ellerslie on Boxing Day in fine fettle and would head straight to the Karaka Million 2YO (1200m) on January 23 next.

The Contributer colt made up good ground in the straight after getting well back off a wide barrier, finishing fifth behind Palamos who heads the current Fixed Odds market for the race at a $3.20 quote, with Follow Your Dreams at $14.

Second stakes success for Sheezallmine

Another black-type success for bargain buy Sheezallmine (Super Easy x Bast).

Bought for just $1,000 from the 2017 Festival Sale, Sheezallmine collected the second stakes win in her career in the $50,000 Listed Alleviate Administration Hazlitt Stakes (1200m). She has now had 17 starts for 6 wins, 3 places and $168,255 in stakes for owners John and Maree Miller.

Ridden by Chris Johnson for trainer Daniel Miller, the five-year-old settled close to the speed before quickening stylishly in the straight to win by a length and a quarter.

"It was nice to get a win like that" Miller told NZ Racing Desk "She has been going good races without a whole lot of luck.

"She came down with my foreman, Mason Stevens, and he told me she had travelled and settled in well, so we were quite confident before the race."

The daughter of Super Easy was bred by Mrs JM & TM Henderson, vendor Leanach Lodge Ltd, purchaser Dreamers Syndicate Cambridge.

Article courtesy of NZB

Follow A Yearling to the sale

We might be bias but honestly, he is a bit of a head turner...😍 

Lot 134 Tivaci x Sorellina, powering towards January’s sale like a true professional 


Hallmark Yearling a Nick that Clicks

Nicks that Click – Karaka 2021 – One of the Best

Sponsored Content - by Tara Madgwick - Sunday December 20

This nick has become one of the best known and most successful in Australasia with an impressive 21% stakes-winners to runners and Karaka Book 1 features two youngsters bred this way and two more that are very close.The 2020 Karaka Book 1 sale was topped by a Pierro colt from Redoute’s Choice colt mare Our Squeezer that made $900,000 for Westbury Stud.Now named Postulate and placed in the care of Team Hawkes for Orbis Bloodstock, he’s a colt whose future will be followed with great interest given the astonishing strike rate for success of horses bred on the Pierro x Redoute’s Choice cross.There have been 31 winners from 42 runners, which equates to nearly 74% winners to runners and those winners include nine stakes-winners headed by Group I stars Arcadia Queen, Regal Power and Levendi.

$3.9million earner Arcadia Queen is by Pierro from a daughter of Redoute's Choice. $

3.9million earner Arcadia Queen is by Pierro from a daughter of Redoute's Choice. 

 Lot 323 Colt Pierro x Cosmic Powers – Hallmark StudFirst foal of a juvenile winner by outstanding sire Not a Single Doubt from the family of stakes-winners Pistols and Keep the Faith.

Impressive Maiden Victory For Nikau Spur


Former Kiwi galloper Nikau Spur (NZ) (Proisir) has made an impression in Australia in just his second start across the Tasman.

The Ciaron Maher and David Eustace-trained gelding ran away to a 3-3/4 length victory over 1600m at Moonee Valley on Friday night after placing over 1300m at Bendigo in his Australian debut at Bendigo last month.
The son of Proisir was identified by Maher’s bloodstock manager Will Bourne after running a game third on debut at Awapuni in July for former trainer Rosie Buchanan.
“I watched the race and the horse almost fell at the 500m mark, and to rattle home (for third) I thought it was a massive run,” Bourne said.
“I thought he was a horse who could really go through his grades in winter over here.”
Bourne duly made contact with Buchanan and was delighted to secure the gelding.
“I try to buy a lot of horses and I can’t believe how quickly I bought the horse,” he said.
“I offered fair money and she accepted it, and it was all done and dusted. I was really rapt with it.”
Bourne is pleased Nikau Spur is living up to his initial expectations and he has been happy with both of his Australian starts to date.
“He looked a bit flat-footed over the shorter distance first-up, but the form out of that race has been good, the winner went on to win at Flemington,” Bourne said.
“He stepped up in distance and was a bit fitter second-up and he showed a pretty impressive turn of foot.”
Bourne is looking forward to the future with Nikau Spur and he won’t have to wait long for his next start.
“He is a horse that has no issues, he is very sound,” Bourne said. “He jars up a bit on the hard tracks, but apart from that he is very clean, with a solid action. He should be a very fun horse for the owners. “His next start will be on New Year’s Day at Flemington.”

He strikes again!

SUPER STRIKE (Super Easy) keeps up that impeccable record with another dazzling victory. Coming into it 3 wide, from a long way back made his win look even more impressive!

In open company for the first time, Super Strike looks to be a ⭐️ on the rise. He holds a nomination for the Gr1 Thorndon Mile and we are SO excited to follow his progress. Well done to Richard Collett and connections.

Track upgrades and improvements ahead of our upcoming yearling parades

We are wondering if our Tivaci x Sorellina colt has been here before 🤔 

First time on the walker handled like an old campaigner! 

#roadtokaraka2021 #yearlingpreparation #MrProfessional

Road to Karaka 2021

Have you been following our Tivaci x Sorellina colt on his road to Karaka 2021?

He has hit a couple of milestones over the past few weeks, first bath and first time with the rug on. Throughout this process he has handled everything with ease, showing us his genuine nature and willingness to learn.

Follow a yearling to the sale

This is our 2019 Tivaci x Sorrellina colt.

We want to give you a behind the scenes look at his preparation for the 2021 NZB Yearling Sale. Keep following us on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter to watch his progression. As you can see he is still out with the herd but it won't be long before he starts to make some big steps towards the sale! 

Excitement machine Super Strike

It was with great excitement that we watched progressive galloper Super Strike secure another win at Ellerslie on Saturday, recording his third victory in just five starts.

The son of Super Easy was all class and supported not only market favouritism but his trainers high opinion of the galloper. Putting himself in a much more forward position at this latest outing, it was a relatively straight forward win ahead of Babiche (Ocean Park) and Couturiere (Pins).

Super Strike is out of Stark South mare Southern Touch, she is from the same family as Gr2 Villiers Stakes winner Touch Of Force (Touching Wood).

Super Striking win for promising galloper

Progressive galloper Super Strike reminded racing pundits of his undoubted ability when he produced a powerful finish to score first up over 1200m at Ellerslie on Saturday.

The Super Easy gelding had been off the scene since sustaining a muscle injury when running second at the venue back in December last year.
Trainer Richard Collett took a patient approach with the Janet Hepi bred and owned four-year-old who has taken time to grow into his imposing frame. Two handy trial outings at Ruakaka sharpened him up for his raceday reappearance and he looked every inch a galloper going places as he easily lumped topweight of 59.5kgs to victory in the hands of Collett’s son-in-law Andrew Calder.
Collett wasn’t on hand to witness the triumph as he was in New Plymouth with stablemate Sweet Clementine, who went a bottler to finish fourth in their Group Three feature but was pleased with the race report from Calder.
“Andrew was very complimentary of the run and the way the track played as he is a horse that needs good ground,” Collett said.
“He (Super Strike) did a good job and I actually didn’t realise that they ran 1.09.44 until I got home and watched the replay so I thought geez it’s been a big effort to come from where he did to win.
“He just took a while to find clear air and had to come between a couple to make his run but he was very strong to the line.”
Super Strike had impressed when winning his maiden on debut at his home track last November with Collett hoping to see him step up to better company before the untimely injury came about.
“When he had his third start and got beaten by Star Of Bombay at Ellerslie, he pulled up sore behind,” he said.
“When we watched the replay, it looked like he might have done the injury when he was clearing the starting gates.
“He was very scratchy when he came off the track which is unusual as most times with that sort of muscle problem it isn’t for a few hours later when they have cooled down that it becomes apparent.
“It took its toll on him and he took a long time to recover although we had him ready to go in the autumn before the lockdown took effect.”
Following his first up victory there have been a number of offers to buy the horse however they been rejected by Hepi who has been racing horses with Collett for many years.
“Janet, who bred and owns him, has been with me for a long time and I think she is keen to retain and race this one here in New Zealand for as long as possible,” Collett said.
“You get offers all the time but I can understand when you get a smart one that you want to keep them and enjoy that success.
“He’s a big lad at around the 560kg mark and there is still plenty of improvement left in him.
“He’ll be going 1400m at his next start and will most likely carry the blinkers as he is a pretty laidback customer.
“We tried him blinkers at home the other day and he was very sharp so we will keep that option for him but I think he is ready to go through the grades during this preparation.
“He will go back to Ellerslie in three weeks and then we will plan from there but there is a nice sequence of races around here over the next few months, so we have a lot to choose from.”

Tivaci x Two Queens - Filly

Ocean park x Flying Tilly - Filly

Some quality additions to the farm this week​

Out on the farm this week....

Comfortable there?

It’s a tough life growing up to be a champion 😴 nap time on mum’s lap, looks pretty comfortable. #catchingzzzzs

One of Hallmark's best back in form

One of the best graduates to have come off the farm here at Hallmark is HUMIDOR (Teofilo). We were delighted to see him bounce back to form and into the Cox Plate after his win in the Feehan Stakes this afternoon

We can’t wait to watch him progress on towards the great race. Just to reminisce here is his unbelievable second in the Cox Plate behind Winx.😳

Charlotte Hook : Three decades of dedication

We were so proud to see our former employee Charlotte Hook acknowledged with this LoveRacing article. Written by Leigh Phelan

Dedication to the job is an understatement when it comes to Charlotte Hook, who after three decades at Hallmark Stud has finally called it a day.
Charlotte was just 14 years old when she decided to leave school behind, instead putting an ad in her local paper on the search for a job. She received just one reply, from the renowned Denny Baker who was simply looking for extra help at his stud farm in Te Kauwhata.
From the small Waikato town of Tuakau and not even old enough to drive, Charlotte packed her bags and moved to work full time at Hallmark Stud. Denny was in complete shock by her young age,“When he asked me how old I was and I said 14, I can still remember him saying; ‘Good God girl!’”.
However, he agreed to give the young determined girl a chance at a job. Reminiscing on those early years, Charlotte explained how she will never forget her first day as she watched a two-year-old Roman Empire colt being lunged and being in complete awe of its immense size.
Up until then, her experience with horses, let alone thoroughbreds, was relatively small. Only riding her next door neighbour’s ponies as a young girl. “I had no idea of anything, Denny taught me everything.”
She remembers often feeling homesick, but never while she was working with the horses as it was where she felt most content. “When I was working, I was fine.” While Denny, along with his wife and family were always there to help.
As Charlotte’s experience quickly grew, she went on to help with every aspect needed at the Stud. “When I first started, most of the work I did was with the breakers because I was little and light.”
Describing it as a perfect learning environment, she was always encouraged to give new things a go and never be afraid to ask for help. “It was always easy to say, ‘I don't get it. Can you show me again?’”
Over the years that experience built her expertise. “I loved it so much, all aspects. From the riding, breeding, weaning, everything. I loved it.”
From breaking in yearlings to stomach tubing, sales prep to even learning how to drive the farm tractor, she did it all under Denny’s mentorship.
“Everything I know is because of that place,” she said. That willingness to learn and absorb what she was taught saw her work her way to assistant farm manager.

Charlotte pictured at the NZB Karaka Sale. Picture : Supplied
Given those valuable memories Denny has been as reluctant to see Charlotte go as she was to leave.“I loved her qualities,” he said. “She was so kind to the animals; she was great with them.”
Denny confirmed Charlotte’s willingness to learn, stating that every task which was sent her way got done. “If she had my horse and I didn’t see Charlotte or the horse for six months I wouldn’t be worried about her, or the horse,” he said.
The appreciation between Denny and Charlotte is mutual, with Charlotte labelling Denny as invaluable. “It’s nice to be able to be a great mate with your boss,” she said. “It’s huge and I really appreciate that.”
Charlotte also respected the support from others around her which helped her learn so much while at Hallmark Stud. She labels farrier Marshall Stead and vet Murray Bertram as a couple of people whose work fascinated her and whom she learned from. “[Murray] was amazing for teaching something, he was unbelievable, and he took the time,” she said.
Over the past three decades Charlotte saw not just horses but also people come and go.“The more people that come in, those people teach you more about yourself. You’ve got to be flexible because one day a person might be there and the next day they're not.”
She worked alongside individuals with all sorts of nationalities, age and backgrounds, all bringing their own methods and varying experiences. “When you're there that long, and you see that many people come and go, you don't actually realise you're getting better as well.”
She not only became a great mentor, but also learnt a lot from those around her, “Staff would come in, and I would ask them ‘what do you think? Their opinions count as well, or they might come up with something you had never thought of. It was easy for me to be that kind of person.”
Charlotte valued not only her own personal growth, but that of Hallmark itself, remembering when they had their first yearling go through to the premier sale to that being a matter of course.
“To watch something over the years go from one premier horse, to 24-25 book ones, that's huge. I feel grateful that I've been a huge part of that as well,” she said.
One of her favorite aspects of the job was seeing a horse’s life from start to finish, with mares often returning and having foals of their own. “Watching those horses, you've been lucky enough to handle, come out and do something, they stick with you for a long time. You see it go on and do a really good job for someone else, and you feel as though their time at Hallmark, their mental state, helped.”
Some of those horses include the likes of Katie Lee, Miss Jessie Jay, and Banchee, “I feel blessed to have been able to do them as weanlings and yearlings,” she said.
Holding a special place in Charlotte’s heart though, is Hallmark stallion Super Easy. “I’m very one-eyed when it comes to Super Easy, I love him. He’s my screensaver on my phone.”
While Charlotte never really planned on leaving Hallmark, life had other plans. Her day-to-day life changed as she had children and began running her own farm and now she is moving to Christchurch for her partner’s job.
“My heart broke the day I had to say goodbye, they’re real family,” she said with emotion in her voice. “Sometimes you do have to get out of your comfort zone to find out what you’ve really learned in life and I feel they have prepared me for life.”
While initially not sure what she might pursue when settled in the South, she has faith that her time at Hallmark has prepared her to be ready to give anything a crack.
“I’m not worried if I had to do something new, because I think about those big colts that think they can push you around, or broodmares with a one trick mind, you just take a deep breath and say right, we’ve got this. Even if I worked at McDonalds I’d try and be the best,’’ she said.
Her advice to anyone else having to reluctantly leave a job; “Make sure you move somewhere far enough away so you can't get in a car and drive back there.”

A fond farewell to Charlotte Hook

It was a bittersweet day for us here at Hallmark Stud as we said farewell to one of our key team members Charlotte Hook.

30 years ago to the day she joined us and now she embarks on a new journey with her husband Richard down in Christchurch. Charly has seen a lot of good horses come and go here at the stud and played a crucial role in all of their lives. We will miss her can do attitude and natural passion for horses. 

Good luck to you and the family on this new exciting adventure!

Super Easy has some special visitors

Yesterday, we had the pleasure of hosting Tim and Chris Ungar from Perth. 

They had the good fortune to race Super Easy’s three brilliant half brothers Terravista, Tiger Tees and Ball of Muscle, pictured here with Super himself.

Group Three win for Super Easy

It was a very proud week for us at Hallmark Stud as Super Easy sired the winner of the Group Three Stewards Handicap at Riccarton on Wednesday with Sheezallmine (Super Easy). The Daniel Miller trained mare was able to secure the victory over some of New Zealand's best sprinters including Enzo's Lad and Sensei.

Sheezallmine raced strongly on the first day placing behind Sensei in the Pegasus Stakes, the original plan was to head to the Group Three Thoroughbred Breeders Stakes but Miller followed his gut instinct in  keeping his mare to 1200m instead, thinking that she was better suited over the shorter distance.

It has been well publicised that Sheezallmine was a bargain purchase costing just $1,000 from Gavelhouse, an astute purchase by the Miller family. To add to the occasion it  was Dan Miller's first stakes winner and was the start of an epic week, with him training three winners across two days plus a second stakes winner with La Romanee. 

2019 Foal Pictures

Photo credit: Melissa Marriner 

Tivaci ex Babington

Tivaci ex Sorrellina

Derryn ex Zazonali

Super Easy ex Posh Bec

Super Easy ex Secrets Only

Tivaci ex Sorrellina

Iffraaj ex Two Queens

Ocean Park ex Queen's Elect

Ocean Park ex Queen's Elect

Super Easy ex Classic Blonde