Top Tempo was a very smart young filly in her day in New Zealand but she is fashioning a quite outstanding record as a broodmare in Australia.
A daughter of In The Pocket and the top mare Kliklite, Top Tempo won four of her first five starts as a juvenile including the Sweetheart Stakes and a Sales Graduette while later that season she was second to One Dream at the Breeders Crown at Ballarat.
When she returned as a three-year-old she was considered good enough to run the second favourite in Changeover’s New Zealand Derby, although placings in feature races would mostly be her lot that season for trainer-driver Mark Purdon and co-owners Graeme Rogerson and Tim Vince.
Rogerson trained Top Tempo as a four and five-year-old before she was sold as broodmare to Victoria’s Lauriston Bloodstock, the entity of commercial breeders Anne and Bill Anderson.
Last weekend’s winner of the Breeders Crown for three-year-old pacing fillies, Speak No Evil, is the sixth foal and sixth winner from Top Tempo and those earlier winners include Gr.1 winners Musical Delight and Queen Of Pop, who both won APG 2YO Fillies Finals.
The Bettor’s Delight filly Musical Delight won 11 of her 18 races and $249,000 and only produced two foals, the first of which in Young Rooster has won three races as a juvenile this year.
Queen Of Pop won nine of her 26 races and $205,000, while Top Tempo’s other winners have been useful enough colts in Countdown (1.53.1, 21 wins, $108,000), Thats How Weroll (1.56.1, $37,000) and Lead Singer (1.58.5, $36,000).
Top Tempo’s first six foals are 2.00 performers with her three daughters Gr.1 winners, while her seventh foal, Cadenza, has just begun racing as a juvenile.
The Well Said filly Speak No Evil has been easily the best of them so far however and since she began racing in January, she has won 12 of 15 races and $245,000.
The only time she has been beaten in her last 12 races was when second in the Victoria Oaks behind Shez All Rock, while she has also won the Vicbred Final beating Soho Burning Love and Nostra Villa.
Speak No Evil recorded the fastest mile rate of 1.54 for all of the 2240m finals at the Breeders Crown at Melton and in coming home in 27 and 28, only the trailer Angel Of Arts could keep in touch with New Zealand-bred fillies My Harmony Blue (Betterthancheddar-Gotta Go Harmony) and Our Angel Of Harlem (Mach Three-Paradise City) next in.
None of this comes as any surprise as the brilliantly-bred and performed Well Said (Western Hanover-Must See, by Artsplace) is well established as a sire of both juveniles and fillies, including U.S. Breeders Crown 2YO Fillies Final winner Uffizi Hanover (2, 1.50.6, $747,000).
The maternal line of Speak No Evil was rather ordinary until Kliklite came along, but clearly Top Tempo is in the process of taking it to another level and starting a family all of her own.
The Bettor’s Delight-Christian Cullen cross has become an increasing influence on the age group feature race scene in New Zealand in recent times and it accounted for two of the finals at Melton.
Another Masterpiece was a representative in the $290,000 final for two-year-old colts and geldings, but it was won by another one in Hurricane Harley, also bred and owned by Anderson.
The local, or Victorian, breeding scene has been going ahead in leaps and bounds in very similar ways and means as in New Zealand and Hurricane Harley is just one example of that.
The son of Bettor’s Delight is the third foal and second winner from Sugarland, a useful performer by Christian Cullen from Lindsey Leigh, an imported Artsplace mare whose first foal was a top colt in Maffioso.
The latter won 24 of his 41 races and $607,000 with Group One wins at two, three and four and he is now at stud.
Lindsey Leigh was from a sister to Walton Hanover and half-sister to the dam of Western Hanover, while others close by in the family include A Rocknroll Dance, Modern Art and millionaire Fashion Delight.
The representation of New Zealand-trained contestants at the Breeders Crown was well down this year with just three, for wins in two finals, although the New Zealand-bred Stress Factor won the three-year-old colts and geldings trotting final and Wrappers Delight (1.54.2, $259,000) is from the New Zealand-bred Charlotte Church, a Christian Cullen mare from the Reign family.