At­ti­tude means a lot to Tar­getts

Brood mare started fam­ily dy­nasty of stars

The Sunday Telegraph (Sydney) - - RACING -

WITH $1 mil­lion in prize­money on of­fer and seven Group 1 races, to­day marks the day the NSW har­ness rac­ing in­dus­try cel­e­brates the achievemen­ts of its breed­ers with the Alabar Breed­ers’ Chal­lenge fi­nals.

And for breed­ers Greg and Mandy Tar­gett, the day will be spe­cial when three horses they bred from the same mare, Sheeza­l­lat­ti­tude, com­pete in re­spec­tive Breed­ers’ Chal­lenge fi­nals.

The three pac­ers are Art Se­ries (four-year-old mare), Myra Dawn (three-year-old filly) and Saint Emil­ion (two-year-old colt).

When pressed for their favourite of the trio the Tar­getts quickly names ‘Tiny’, the sta­ble nick­name for Myra Dawn.

Un­der 14 hands high, Myra Dawn will be chas­ing her sixth win from just 11 starts when she lines up in the $150,000 Alabar NSW Breed­ers’ Chal­lenge 3YO Fil­lies fi­nal (1609m).

Myra Dawn holds a spe­cial place in the Tar­getts’ hearts as she is named af­ter Greg’s late mother who in­stilled a pas­sion for the trots in her son when she would take him and his broth­ers to the Show­grounds in Mel­bourne on Sat­ur­day nights in the 1970s.

“Whilst I was too young to punt, Mum would help out and I man­aged to place the odd 50c on horses like Markov­ina, Royal Gaze, Monara and Rip Van Win­kle with money I earned from my pa­per rounds,” Greg said.

“In more re­cent years, my work colleague Felicity Gal­lagher and her late hus­band Damien induced Mandy and I back to har­ness rac­ing as own­ers and we pur­chased a year­ling from the sales which we named Cutthe­at­ti­tude.

“He was a spe­cial horse and with great pride we were able take mum in her later years to Queensland with us to see our horse win the rich­est two-yearold race in Aus­tralia, the APG Fi­nal, and she was also at Menangle to see Cutthe­at­ti­tude win the Breed­ers’ Chal­lenge fi­nal in 2009.

“Mum loved fol­low­ing our horses and al­ways said we could name a filly af­ter her but only af­ter she passed away.

“We couldn’t tell some­times if she was se­ri­ous or jok­ing but as it came up so reg­u­larly in con­ver­sa­tion, we fig­ured we had to go with it.

“It just hap­pened that we had a filly that was too small to get to the track as a two-yearold and, like mum, she was tiny and a bat­tler (a sin­gle mother bring­ing up four boys).

“Our trainer Steve Turn­bull didn’t get our hopes up that she would ever get to the races but we’re glad he per­sisted.

“Mandy and I will be in Pula, Croa­tia, des­per­ately hop­ing we can gain a sig­nal to watch the horses race.

“So, it was meant to be, and the whole fam­ily back in Aus­tralia will be with Tiny on Sun­day.

“Win, lose or draw, we all will be hav­ing a ‘Tiny’ bot­tle of Art Se­ries chardon­nay from the Mar­garet River and a nice red from the Saint Emil­ion wine re­gion!”

All three horses are trained by leg­endary Bathurst horse­man Turn­bull and will be driven by his daugh­ter Amanda, NSW’s lead­ing reinswoman.

Turn­bull is in awe of Myra Dawn. “She is so tiny, she’s in­cred­i­ble,” he said. “She’s been an amaz­ing filly so far.’’

‘Tiny’ Myra Dawn is the Tar­gett fam­ily’s favourite horse. Pic­ture: Laura Lebe­d­eff

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