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Clarken Racing | Clarken Racing News 57583 Keltons Winning Run With Homebred

Kelton's winning run with homebred

Kelton's winning run with homebred

There aren't many things that John Kelton loves more than backing a winner.

The Racing.com form analyst has built a reputation over several decades as one of the most astute judges when it comes to South Australian racing.

But tipping fast horses doesn't quite offer the same thrill as breeding and racing them - something that Kelton is also well accustomed to.

In recent weeks, his homebred mare Second To Nun has enjoyed a purple patch of form with three wins on end, including metropolitan-grade victories at Thomas Farms Racecourse Murray Bridge and Gawler.

Second To Nun's story is almost 20 years in the making for the hobby breeder, who purchased her grand dam Bella Bellucci when she retired from the track in 2006.

"The grandmother of this horse (Second To Nun) is Bella Bellucci, who was a horse that Jamie Opperman had," Kelton said.

"I didn't mind her pedigree, so near the end of her racing career I got onto him and said that I wouldn't mind breeding from her, so he sold the mare to me after she finished her racing career.

"She was by Flying Spur out of a mare that had some black type and while she was only moderately performed on the track herself, she always showed a little bit and was a nice-looking mare.

"I sent her to a few different stallions and the best horse out of her was Tidy Prophet, who I kept and I'm breeding with now.

"She won nine races including the Port Lincoln Cup and she was placed in the Murray Bridge Cup.

"She had one to the track before Second To Nun, but she only had one start and broke down so we had to retire her.

"Second To Nun went through Inglis Premier, Will (Clarken) bought her, I stayed in and then he sold some shares in her.

"I sent Tidy Prophet to Toronado twice - one of them died as a foal and the other I sold as a weanling.

"She's got a Tagaloa yearling that my family are keeping and we're going to sell shares in privately with Will Clarken."

Second To Nun can make it four wins in a calendar month when she lines up as the $1.65 Sportsbet favourite in a 1600-metre handicap at Morphettville on Saturday.

Kelton said her run of form coincided with the Clarken and Niki O'Shea stable understanding and capitalising on her strengths, including her aptitude for truly run races.

Apprentice Rochelle Milnes has also played a part and remains unbeaten in three rides on the daughter of Akeed Mofeed.

"It's taken a while to work out exactly what suits her and how to ride her but we're obviously starting to work that out now," he said.

"She's extremely similar to her mum in terms of her characteristics and her racing style.

"She's got vertical head carriage and when she gets pulling in slower-run races, she tends to choke down.

"We've combined going up in trip with letting her free roll a bit and she's really liking that.

"If you look through her record, the times that she's run badly have been when we've either restrained her too much or they've been slowly run races.

"We're taking it into our own hands a little bit now and making sure they are genuinely run races by taking her forward.

"The way she's going, we might start identifying some feature races or a bit of black type for her to have a go at at some stage soon."

While Bella Bellucci was one of his earliest forays into thoroughbred breeding, Kelton's first broodmare delivered him a racing dream.

Kelton and Jake Stephens paid $4000 for modestly performed Blevic mare Iota Of Luck, not long after she'd given birth to her first foal by Juene.

The Juene youngster would become Alcopop, a Group 1 winner who ran second in the 2012 Caulfield Cup for Stephens, Kelton and several others.

Iota Of Luck produced several other talented racehorses, including Stakes-placed mare Detox.

"I had a handful of horses with Jake Stephens on his farm and we actually bought the mother of Alcopop," he said.

"Jake and another guy down there on one of the neighbouring properties, Doug Gillam, had a few mares together.

"One of Doug's mares was Iota Of Luck, who I always liked as a race mare, and the opportunity came up to buy her.

"I paid $2000 to buy half of her.

"He first foal was Alcopop, who was already on the ground, and we bred a few more out of her, the best being Detox, who was Stakes-placed.

"Jake ended up owning half of Alcopop, then myself and a couple of my cousins had a share in him, along with Doug, who kept a share as well.

"I hadn't done any breeding prior to that."

Story from Racing.com (James Tzaferis)

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