Burgundy filly Dijon Bleu honours Joy's memory

14 Sep 2017

Matamata breeder Mac Robinson has been laid low with a lingering dose of the flu recently but this week received a boost when Burgundy filly Dijon Bleu won the Listed O’Leary’s Fillies Stakes at Wanganui.

Robinson, a member of the Waikato Branch of the NZTBA, bred Dijon Bleu with Auckland branch member Craig Grammer, with whom he owns the dam Pristino, a More Than Ready mare purchased by his late wife Joy.

Joy Robinson worked for Roger James as his personal assistant for nearly 20 years, before she tragically died in a car accident, and, according to Robinson, it was her involvement with James that lead her to buying the mare.

“Joy worked for Roger and he bought her as a yearling for $75,000, but unfortunately as it turned out she had an inoperable growth in her nose so she couldn’t race. She went through the 2010 mixed bloodstock sale where Joy bought her for $14,500, along with a friend of hers and another client of Roger’s Craig Grammer.

“Joy had faith in her all the way through and believed she showed a lot of promise as a racehorse. She was the one who had been born into the industry, being Ian Signal’s daughter and growing up on Walton Stud, where he stood Lord Sasanof and trained his successful son Johnny Cash.  I have always followed horses, but I am more of a harness racing person, but after Joy died three years ago I didn’t have the heart not to keep breeding from her.”

Prostino is a half-sister to Zabeel mare So Pristine, a winner of seven races, including the Gr.2 Queen of the South Stakes in Adelaide, and Red Ransom mare Restored, a winner of four races in New Zealand and Singapore, including the Listed Queen Elizabeth II Cup at Kranji. This is the family of the champion racehorse and sire Theatrical.

Joy Robinson sent Pristino to Thewayyourare the first year and she produced Readywhenyouare to win two races. Her next mating was to Stravinsky, producing three-win galloper Prosecco. That was followed by a mating with Shocking and then Craig Grammer sent her to Burgundy to produce Dijon Bleu.

Grammer who spends a lot of time studying pedigrees was always a fan of Burgundy.

“I loved his pedigree,” said Grammer, who developed his love of horses on a Himatangi dairy farm where his father would spell his race horses.

“I did a bit of research and I thought it was a lovely cross with a More Than Ready mare. Joy agreed with me and we got this lovely fluent filly. She was a bit on the small side but she is very quick. I am absolutely thrilled for her owners that she won that stakes race. It makes breeding horses all worthwhile when you get results like that.

“She went back to Shocking and that colt is in the Ready To Run Sale this November in the Landsdowne Park draft. Following that, Mac and I bought a share in Proisir and Pristino went to him for the next two years. We also leased another mare from Pencarrow Stud to send to Proisir and she has produced a filly foal this season.”

The Prosir colt is in the yearling sales this summer and Prostino hasn’t foaled yet. 

Neither partner is sure about her mating for this year as she is foaling quite late; it may be back to Proisir or back to Burgundy, but both agree that Dijon Bleu’s Listed win has come at a great time with the Shocking colt in the Ready To Run sale in November and the Proisir yearling in the sales in January.

Prostino is resident at Dave Duley’s Landsdowne Park, near Mystery Creek, and it was from his 2016 Select Yearling Sale draft that Lisa Latta bought Dijon Bleu for $26,000.

She is now the winner of two races, and the second Stakes winner for her Cambridge Stud sire Burgundy. 

The young Redoute’s Choice sire, who is a half-brother to Darci Brahma, stands at Sir Patrick and Justine, Lady Hogan's Cambridge Stud and in his first season at stud also left Hard Merchandize, the winner of the Listed Castletown Stakes at Wanganui last June.

Dijon Bleu went into the O’Leary’s Fillies Stakes on the back of a strong third fresh-up at Taupo behind the highly-rated Astor and the Group One-performing filly Belle du Nord. As a two-year-old, she won on debut at Awapuni before finishing fifth in the Gr.3 Eclipse Stakes and unplaced in the Karaka Million. - Michelle Saba, nzthoroughbred.co.nz