Racing: Instant success for first-time breeders

Neville Hazlett (left) and Steve Hardiman, the breeders of Pyramid Monarch, who won at Oamaru yesterday. Photo by Matt Smith.
Neville Hazlett (left) and Steve Hardiman, the breeders of Pyramid Monarch, who won at Oamaru yesterday. Photo by Matt Smith.
Steve Hardiman and Neville Hazlett could not have asked for much more as first-time breeders at Oamaru yesterday.

The pair made the trip north to watch Pyramid Monarch make her debut in the non-winners trot yesterday after patiently waiting for her to hit the track.

The 3yr-old Monarchy filly did not disappoint, stepping well to the lead before handing up to stablemate Monty Python and finishing over the top of him in the closing stages to win by one length.

Hardiman, who lives just south of Riversdale near Gore, and Hazlett, of Roxburgh, along with Ray Lowe, of Invercargill, decided to switch to breeding their own horse after being part of the Fillies and Colts Syndicate which raced Diedre's Dearest, the dam of Pyramid Monarch.

''We've had a syndicate for 15 or 16 years and three of us have branched out,'' Hardiman said.

''This is the first start, after a four-year wait by the time we got [Diedre's Dearest] in foal, and this is a real thrill.''

Oamaru trainer Phil Williamson had prepared Diedre's Dearest for much of her career and the trio went to the trotting stallion Monarchy for their first attempt at breeding.

We took Phil's advice and did what we were told and went to the stallions recommended and now we're right there.

The Fillies and Colts Syndicate had mixed success over the years, including Petticoat Junction, who won three races in New Zealand before being sold to the United States. ''We had quite a few wins over the years, but it was very hard to consistently have a good horse which you need for a syndicate, I think.''

Williamson is also training 2yr-old Armbro Invasion colt Pyramid Magic for the three southerners. Hardiman said the Pyramid moniker is here to stay.

''I live at Pyramid [3km south of Riversdale],'' Hardiman said.

''It'll always be our breeding name. [Our family] have been at Pyramid since 1894.''

Williamson also had further success with the progeny of Monarchy yesterday when Monnay won. The 5yr-old gelding was sent to Williamson by owners and former trainers Megan Irvine and Ivan Gutsell. The move paid off immediately when he trotted boldly to win by 1 lengths over Amy's Invasion in the 2-6 win trot.