RUBIRA  the first foal of a Bettor’s Delight mare of moderate track ability but a rich heritage, posted one for the boys  at Invercargill on Sunday

The many Group Ones posted by this most interesting family in New Zealand to date have all belonged to its fillies,specifically three quarter sisters,Carabella and Belle of Montana.The colts have not been nearly as good so the win was also a boost for Rubira’s  sire, Always B Miki, whose stocks have slipped just a little in the past 12 months.

ANDRESS BLUE CHIP had a few good winners close up in her pedigree and a grand old family further back when imported by Robert Famularo from the US, and  won headlines as dam of  Carabella, one of the best fillies seen in this country, and one of the few (four) to have  won outright Horse of the Year honours as a three year old.

What added to her lustre compared to some rivals for the title  is she did it not only while up against another elite filly and a number of outstanding rivals  but also proved superior to top class males like the All Stars Group 1 trio,Major Mark,Ohoka Dallas and Kotare Mach as a four year old.

The filly crop that year featured Tatijana Bromac,Collectable,Southwind Arden and Minnie Moose from All Stars plus De Lovely etc.Small wonder Carabella made Horse of the Year.

Carabella, raced by the always innovative Robert Famularo under his Dancingonmoonlight banner and trained by Brendon Hill, had harness fans absorbed in 2011 after an unbeaten juvenile season. At three she won 10 of 11.Like Millwood Nike,the best filly since,she probably should have been unbeaten.But she was up against  a rival called Bettor Cover Lover one of the truly outstanding fillies and mares of that era.

The latter  was the only  horse of either sex to defeat Carabella, doing it twice in the latter’s otherwise unbeaten 19 starts.However Carabella won their last two encounters-the Premier Mare’s Stakes and Standardbred Breeders Stakes before injury curtailed her  dazzling career. It was hardly any negative given Bettor Cover Lover’s subsequent achievements and Carabella’s last defeat by her was after sitting outside her rival in a 54.4 800m at Rangiora.

Andress Blue Chip’s granddaughter, Belle of Montana, a sister to Rubina’s dam,Delightful Kas from  a half-sister to Carabella,Lady Cullen, followed Carabella into the harness headlines in a $600,000 classic career.

Lady Cullen had a private reputation for high speed with trainer Steven Reid rating her “as fast as I have driven” and she clocked 1.55.9 mile in a brief career before going amiss. Delighful Kas and Belle of Montanq were her fourth and fifth foals and her sixth Lady Galopin,unraced,has two young Bettor’s Delight fillies yet to race.

Delightful Kas did most of her racing on the Central Districts circuit and has a younger full brother to Rubira who was passed in with a reserve of $50,000 at this year’s sale by Breckon Farms.

But until now the males in the family in terms of stake and Group success have not reached anything like the the heights of the fillies. And the family has,like most,had its ups and downs which is why Rubira was a $45,000 yearling while Belle of Montana was snapped up for $40,000

Andress Blue Chip’s first foal Prima Bella (Mach Three) left three fillies, two of whom did not win.The other (Bettor Bella) ran 1.53 but only reached moderate company as did her only colt foal Watch This Spot. This mare’s progeny did a lot of their racing in Australia.

Lady Cullen was next, winning two of six herself but her first foal,a colt, won one of 14 and the first of four filly foals died at 2. Her most notable success has been so far with Bettor’s Delight but then that could be said for a lot of families.

The Andress Blue Chip filly which followed died at two and then came Carabella.. All five of her foals to race have won and run good times but none have reflected her quality. The most successful in terms of races is Johnny Mac who won once at three second up at Addington for Michael House then  8 wins astutely placed at six, largely in the deep south, and three more at eight for over $100,000 in stakes from over 80 races.


Lady Valentia was the American mare’s next foal.She won once from 2 career starts. She left two colts, one moderate and the other unraced.Next up for Andress Blue Chip,nothing if not fertile,was Soul Sister (Presidential Ball) unraced,who left the moderate Boy George and the early Captain Treacherous filly,Spice It Up, winner of one from two, as well as Mississippi Storm.Both are currently at stud

Riga Doon won three races for Terry May here and Lucky Luciano won two at Addington in the hands of Gavin Smith in five seasons of racing. Then came Micky Flynn winner of 1 of two starts and  the unraced Pretty Pins.She left Captain Pins who won two Rising Star heats at Melton and Miki Pins, well performed at Riverina in Australia.

The American mare’s last foal Girls Love Pearls an embryo transplant  by Bettor’s Delight, ran fourth in the Leonard Memorial at Addington at 2 and had an extensive career in the country circuits of New South Wales and later Albion Park where she posted 1.53.2 without winning.

For years 2021 and 2022  ALWAYS BE MIKI  was the most popular stallion in the country his supreme track record (1.46) overshadowing his rather unusual (for NZ) pedigree including a dam who is  line bred to the Gene Abbe stallion,Big Towner.He was the most popular stallion of those years topping  200 mares after crops half that  size in his first two seasons available here.

Always B Miki

Always B Miki has had very large numbers through the yearling ring as a result and his career is in its early stages. He seems to be currently sitting somewhere just below the top tier stud performers on statistics to date but he was not a great two year old himself and the outcross presence of Big Towner, a $5700 yearling who ended up at Hanover Shoe Farms for his stud career after showing all the toughness and durability of the Gene Abbe tradition,means his influence may be extended as his progeny ages ,in spite of his essentially speed -based race record.

One of the best to date has been Franco Indie with whom All Stars won a 3 yo Sires Stakes Final after running second in the Diamond Creek Classic at two.

So for Rubira, who has finally broken the Group One barrier for the male side of prolific  family-the best seems yet to come.

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