Attitude means a lot to Targetts
Brood mare started family dynasty of stars
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