by Duane Ranger
The winner of last Saturday night’s (April 22) prestigious Blue Chip Matchmaker Series for Mares at Yonkers Raceway in New York has a strong Cambridge connection.
The US$375,000 pace was taken out by a Kiwi bred - Shartin N, a 5-year-old mare whose sire, top Kiwi pacer Tintin In America, was bred by Bee Pears of Cambridge.
Shartin N was sent out the $3.80 favourite and driver Tim Tetrick gave nothing else a chance winning the mobile mile by almost five lengths in 1:52.2 (27.2, 29.8, 27, 28.2).
Shartin N, who was exported in December 2016, never raced in New Zealand. The 5-year-old daughter of Tintin In America and Bagdarin (Live Or Die) was bred by Grant Crabbe of Prebbleton.
She is now trained by Jim King Junior and is co-owned by Richard and Jo Anne Looney-King.
Proud of ‘Tintin’s’ performance as a champion American sire Pears thought the “obscure” Down Under breeding must have left a few puzzled faces in America.
“I had already thrown light on that in an article entitled “Tintin Who?” for Harness Racing Update, the free and widely subscribed USA harness racing newsletter.
“In that article I pointed out his breeding was actually a classy North American (McArdle x In The Pocket) over a really strong Kiwi maternal line.
“On paper Shartin’s pedigree is a lovely match with Tintin In America because if you burrow into the maternal line for Shartin you will find multiple connections to Light Brigade and Old Maid/Spinster,” Pears said.
The Cambridge breeder also said that there were lots of other factors like size that come into play.
“Of course this can mean taking time while body catches up with mind, or ‘heady’ youngsters that means helping their mind to catch up with their body.
“Geoff Small and David Butcher combined to do exactly that with Tintin In America as a racehorse, after really important early handling by Kym Kearns of Cambridge.
“It’s about how to harness that energy, and now Shartin is showing what might be possible if the stars align. She possesses the wow factor,” Pears said.
She said Shartin was exceptional and incredibly strong, and always had the mind-set to make a great racehorse.
“From what Shartin’s breeder Grant Crabbe tells me, she got this from both Tintin and her dam. In a way she captures what the best offspring by Tintin can be – tough, sometimes very assertive and they respond well to early engaging human connection and clear direction for their energy right from the start.
“Tintin’s sire McArdle is so much more admired over in America than in New Zealand or Australia. So it is very cool to help that sire establish a viable siring line regardless of where it is located. This is also the siring legacy of that amazing horse in both hemispheres - Falcon Seelster,” Pears said.
Pears extended her involvement in Tintin In America with his siblings including Grinfromeartoear mare, The Blue Lotus, who is proving a very good producer (and “a honey of a broodmare” to deal with).
“I’ve also got involved with another daughter of Tintin In America from the family of Bit Of A Legend N who is the Levy 2016 winner and last week’s 2018 runner-up at Yonkers,” Pears said.
Six of Tintin In America’s 16 wins ($934,305) were at Cambridge Raceway, and from age two to four he won the Emerald Jewels 4yo Final, and put in a huge finish from back in the field to win the Cambridge Futurity Stakes in 2010.
Bee Pears is currently breeding from a Tintin In America mare with CJ (Spud) Crosse, who has many of his horses at Cambridge with trainer Arna Donnelly.
“The mare, named Be A Legend, was bred by Studholme Bloodstock and is closely related to Bit Of A Legend N who races now in North America. The Levy series in USA is the males equivalent of the
Matchmaker Series. So that could be a great omen for Be A Legend's foal who will be by Sweet Lou,” Pears said.
"If its a colt we might have to call him Levy!" she added.