YEAR: 1989

Westburn Grant and admirers

Vic Frost said it all..."this horse is outstanding. It's unfair to compare your three-year-olds with him." Someone had asked Vic if he had been disappointed the New Zealand three-year-olds had not given Westburn Grant more of a run for it in the John Brandon 30 New Zealand Derby.

Captain Lee had just run his last 800 metres a little outside 56 to finish second. It was a gallant run from a c3 horse, yet he was nearly nine lengths from the winner at the end. Hammer clung to the rail and just lasted for third, Bardolino had it hard in the open, but he was there at the gong and Inky Lord, far back at the 500m and not the horse he was, got past tiring runners in the straight.

Vic made no disparaging remarks about the quality of the country's best three-year-olds. All he would say about the opposition Westburn Grant treated so arrogantly was: "I thought they might have stuck with me for a while." Westburn Grant left the barrier in a blur. Vic managed to ease him near the 2000m. The others caught their breath and waited for Vic's second attack. About to let loose near the 800m, Vic decided to hold back. He had Hammer, an unknown quantity, on his back. A bit further on, he put his foot to the floor. Within a few seconds, there was a lone horse and a bunch of nine. The lone horse was widening a gap and the others couldn't find the legs to draw him in.

The fact that Westburn Grant won by such a margin was no surprise; anything less would have been an anti-climax. Those who have maintained Westburn Grant is up to the best in Australia and New Zealand now have a following, but Vic will see he is looked after.

Credit: Mike Grainger writing in HR Weekly


YEAR: 1992

Enabled only by the wonders of modern science to even be competing, 6yo stallion Westburn Grant and 51 year old New South Wales trainer Vic Frost teamed for a triumph in the $400,000 1992 Final in Melbourne. Those closest to this brilliant horse and his master were almost overcome with emotion. Westburn Grant had undergone expert surgery to pin a shattered pastern following a training accident in Perth in January 1991.
Best of the Kiwis was Blossom Lady, who ran third.


YEAR: 1941

ADMIRATION - Classic Winner Producing Mare

ADMIRATION (1941 Grattan Loyal-Bonny Logan), USA family of Black Betty; 2:11.0, 3,020; 2 wins; 14 foals, 12 winners. Breeder: Miss P Norton. Foals bred by F G Holmes and G Aitchison (Esteem, Shy, Modest); F G Holmes, West Eyreton (Adoration, Achates); all other NZ foals bred by G Aitchison, Oamaru. A number of foals were bred in Australia.

Sire Grattan Loyal was imported from Canada by Free Holmes in 1930. Leading broodmare sire (stakes-twice, winners-four times), he often finished second or third on the sires list to U Scott, Light Brigade, Jack Potts and Dillon Hall. Grattan Loyal left many stayers among his 322 winners including Bonny Bridge (NZ Derby), Gold Bar (NZ Cup/FFA, first NZ bred under 2 minutes, sire), Loyal Friend (AK Cup), Loyal Nurse (NZ/AK Cup), Sir Vivian (GN Derby). As a broodmare sire, he left Adorian & Integrity (NZ Cup), Ar Miss, dam of Armalight & Zany (NZ Oaks), Blue (NZ & NSW Derbies), Cabra & Great Venture (Dominion Hcp), Damian, Dandy Briar & Unite (AK Cup), Danniels Pride, Rauka Lad & Torrent (Easter Cup), Guiseppe (GN Derby), Leyoro & Lord Mina (WA Cup), Single Direct (AK Cup, NZFFA, WA Cup, ID Pacing Grand Final), Stella Frost (AK Cup, NZFFZ, ID Pacing Grand Final).

The family of Black Betty faded out in North America but prospered in New Zealand through Bonilene (3rd dam Black Betty) and her daughters, led by Bonny Logan, Bon Rey, Bonny Drusus, Bonny Norval and St Helena. Tracing back to Bonilene are double millionaire , three time Australian Harness Horse of Year & Grand Circuit Pacing champion Westburn Grant, NZ Cup Winners Adorian & Lookaway and top race mares Hyperstat & Gina Rosa.

Admiration commenced racing at two winning the Timaru Nursery Stakes and twice placed from three starts including third in the Sapling Stakes. Unplaced at three, two placings at four, two further wins came as a five-year-old at Cheviot and Hutt Park. Twice placed at six, she retired to the broodmare paddock the winner of three races.

1. Achates, which won 5 races in NZ before his export to Australia. As a three-year-old, he won at Marlborough and twice at Nelson. Two wins as a four-year-old came in the Louisson Memorial at Nelson and the Geraldine Cup, and was placed second in the Nelson and Marlborough Cups. Placed at five and six he went to Australia during the 1959/60 season and was a winner at Wyong in July 1961.
2. Admiral Way won the York Cup at Cunderdin, WA and became a sire of 30 winners including Haddock (ID heat) and damsire (48 winners) of Earth Station (Aust Pacing C/S.
3. Admire won eight races in NZ (2:06.4) before his export to USA in late 1967 (2:04.0US). Wins at Geraldine and Oamaru as a three-year-old, unraced as a four-year-old, 3 wins as a five-year-old - Central Otago Hcp, Kurow Cup (April 1966) and Timaru President Hcp. A second win in the Kurow Cup (August 1966) and Addington together with second placings in the Rangiora Cup, Easter Cup qualifier and third in the Southland Invitation Stakes saw Admire compete at the top level as a six-year-old. His final NZ win came in the Hannon Memorial before his move ton the USA.
4. Chief Wonder, born in Australia didn't race until he was a five-year-old. He won 15 races over the next six seasons including a heat of the Tasmanian Pacing C/S at Hobart (second in another heat, unplaced in final) and Terang Winter Cup.

1. Adoration, winner of five including four on end with 2 wins on both days od Nelson's 1956 Winter meeting. Her fifth win came at New Brighton as a five-year-old. She was the dam of:
- Louie Lopez, NSW SW and Riverina Derby.
- Taiko News, dam of Milson Edition (WA 4/5 Championship, ht Aust Pacing Championship)
- Tama Trees, granddam of Adrenalin (Southland Oaks), 3rd dam of Thomas Sharp (Northern Southland Autumn Cup).
- Tasman, NZ Railway Hcp Trot (Forbury Park)
2. Esteem, an eight-win mare commenced with a win as a four-year-old at Westland RC followed closely by success in the Epsom Stakes - four at Alexandra Park. As a five-year-old, her three wins were at Timaru, New Brighton and Addington. As a six-year-old a second place in the Methven Cup was followed by victory on Show Day in the Hayward Hcp. Unplaced as a seven-year-old, her final two victories were as an eight-year-old in the Spring Hcp on NZ Cup Day and Smithson Hcp at Addington. Esteem was not bred from.
3. Mirastorm, a winner in Australia was the dam of:
- Acutron, dam om several mainly Tasmanian winners,
- Cover Up, TAS 3yo C/S
4. Shy, won one of four starts as a 5yo at Cambridge and was the dam of:
- Carmen Jones, VIC Her Ladyship-4m.
- Charm, dam of Armbro Free (Cup Day Canterbury Hcp, Hutchinson FFA).
- Devotion, dam of Captain Devotion (NSW Breeders Plate-2)
- Shy Castle, dam of Frosty Castle (NSW Star Trek series), Lincoln Castle (Gloucester Park FFA)
- Timid, dam of Big Chase (Cambridge Gold Cup-3/4), Armadene (NSW Golden Easter Egg-3f); granddam of Bronski Beat (WA Easter Cup, VIC Laidlaw, Hamilton, Yarra Valley Pacers & Maryborough Cups); 4th dam of Sharp Bret (VIC The O' Keefe), Jake Pastime (NSW Breeders Plate-2, Bathurst Gold Chalice-3c).
5. Zany, top class mare won ten races. Unplaced in two 2yo starts, as a 3yo she completed two wins at Greymouth and in the NZ Oaks, also placing third in the Champion Stakes (Ashburton). Three wins at Forbury and another at Alexandra Park resulted during her 4yo career. Zany's one win as a 5yo came in the Ashburton Cup with a second in the Dunedin Cup. At six she won the CPTC's HH Wardrop Hcp and third in the Wellington Cup. Her final season of racing resulted in victory in the National Hcp at Addington and New Brighton's Esplanade Hcp. Zany was the dam of:
- Reporter, Marlborough Cup.
- Stylish Eden, 3rd dam of The Statesman (1:53.0US) at Mohawk, among first 100 Aus bred 1:55.0 pacers).
- Zany Hanover, granddam of Tally Van Gold (QLD Qbred Breeders Classic-4); 3rd dam of Partywiththedevil (WA Higgins Memorial).

Minor winners from Admiration included: Modest, two wins on the same day at Nelson while from other foals born in Australia: Craigs Admire, four race winner; Newport Boy, five-race winner; Craig Junior, a winner at Wayville, Adelaide.

Credit: Peter Craig Writing in Harnessed June2015

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