Bred for victory
By Steve Spinks
A little breeding goes a long way in horse racing.
Just take a look at Spikes 'n' Spurs, who was an impressive winner at yesterday's Coopers Shoot Orchards Ballina Bracelet Plate (1000m).
Spikes 'n' Spurs is the son of former Golden Slipper winner Flying Spur and multiple Group One winner Little Shoes.
And just like his champion parents, the two-year-old looks to have something special.
After being checked early in the race and almost dislodging jockey Chris Whiteley, Spikes 'n' Spurs steamed home in the final 200 metres to take the prizemoney ahead of Miss Mataya and Ace Arena.
The young colt looked to have plenty in reserve which pleased Scone-based owners Don and Rena Baird, in what was only the horse's second race.
"He's out of some good horses," Don Baird said. "We used to race his mother, who we loved.
"He was put to sale at the Magic Millions, but was passed in, so Stephen (Lee, trainer) rang and asked us if we would lease him out."
The move has paid dividends and the Baird s are thankful for the Ballina trainer's efforts.
"He's one of the best trainers, but he also has great staff," Mrs Baird said.
The Bairds, who own Middlebrook Valley Lodge, intend to put Spikes 'n' Spurs' full sister up at the Easter sales.
The first year of the Brisbane Bloodstock sponsorship of the Ballina Bracelet went off without a hitch.
The only horse available to win the initial $10,000 bonus, Haight Ashbury, faded in the straight and finished fifth.
Next year, Brisbane Bloodstock will offer $50,000 as a bonus to any horse purchased through one of their sales which wins the Bracelet.
n Spikes 'n' Spurs' half brother, the Ballina-based galloper Arena Valadora, finished fourth in Saturday's $100,000 Neville Sellwood Stakes (2000m) at Rosehill Gardens.
The race was a preliminary to the Golden Slipper and the six-year-old finished behind Jeremiad, early favourite Havana Wind and Hassle.