Former top racehorse Jon Snow has settled in well to his stud duties near Timaru but demand from South Island breeders has not been strong at this stage.
“I’m a wee bit disappointed in the South. We’ve had hardly anything from the South, which I guess shows the state of racing here is worse than in the North Island,” Clearview Park studmaster Aaron Tapper said.
During his career, Jon Snow recorded four wins in 23 starts as well as eight minor placings and earned $2.1million stake money in both New Zealand and Australia.
The most notable successes were the Group 1 2017 Australian Derby, Group II Tulloch Stakes (2000m) at Rosehill and the Group III JRA Cup (2040m) at Moonee Valley.
Jon Snow arrived at the stud in June.
“He’s served 25 mares so far and we’ve still got 10 more to go,” Mr Tapper said.
Quite a large number of mares had come from the North Island, from Cambridge, Levin and Palmerston North.
“We’ve helped with a discount for transport costs.”
But the response from the South was not as high as anticipated.
“The prizemoney down here sometimes doesn’t make it worth going to the races and there’s uncertainty over racetracks closing.
“Hopefully, it will get better in another year.”
While the initial demand for Jon Snow’s services was not quite as strong as hoped, Mr Tapper said the horse was thriving at the Spur Rd property.
“He’s got easier to handle and he’s getting his confidence up. In the first service in September he took half an hour to do it right but since then he’s been powering along.”
Jon Snow would stand at the stud for four years.
However, Mr Tapper said it would be quite a long time before the quality of Jon Snow’s progeny became known.
“The first ones he’s served won’t be born ’til this time next year and the sales won’t be until January 2022. Then it will be awhile until they race.
“People will then see the progeny as really good or they won’t go there.”
Given the horse’s pedigree, the odds of success were more favourable than otherwise, he said.
“So far, so good,” Mr Tapper said.