Jon Snow on the board

Group One winner Jon Snow got off the mark as a sire on Thursday when his son King Of The North took out the Farewell Dave Bradford (1400m) at Matamata.

It was the Lance O’Sullivan and Andrew Scott-trained gelding’s third start, having run fourth on debut over 1200m at the Waikato track in January before placing over 1300m at Te Rapa a fortnight later.

Jon Snow stands at Clearview Park, near Timaru, and farm principal Aaron Tapper was rapt to see King Of The North get his sire on the board.

“It was very exciting,” Tapper said. “He raced the day before we had a filly go through at Karaka where he got third at Te Rapa. It would have been nice if it was that day (he won), but it is really good to get a win.”

The victory was made even more special for Tapper given the fact King Of The North was foaled and raised on his property for breeder Tim Harrison prior to heading north to Te Runga Stud where he went through their 2022 New Zealand Bloodstock Book 1 Yearling Sale draft and was purchased by Wexford Stables for $60,000.

“He was born and raised on the farm here before he went north. He was pretty impressive then,” Tapper said. “He was a typical Jon Snow, they are all pretty leggy as foals and they grow into their body really well.

“I remember going up to Lance and Andrew at the sales when they bought King Of The North just to say congratulations and thank you. They said that they bought him as their next Derby runner. He is a couple of months behind, but there are a couple of Derbys coming up, so who knows?”

A New Zealand Bloodstock graduate himself, Jon Snow was purchased by Andrew Forsman on behalf of the Zame Partnership out of Haunui Farm’s 2015 Select Yearling Sale draft for $65,000.

Forsman, alongside Murray Baker, trained the son of Iffraaj to four wins and eight placings from 23 starts, including victories in the Gr.1 Australian Derby (2400m), Gr.2 Tulloch Stakes (2000m), and Gr.3 JRA Cup (2040m). He also placed in the Gr.1 New Zealand Derby (2400m), Gr.1 Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m), Gr.1 Caulfield Stakes (2000m), Gr.1 Zabeel Classic (2000m), and Gr.1 Levin Classic (1600m). 

“We lease him off the Zame Parnership,” Tapper said. “When we were offered him it was a given that we would take him because he was such an impressive racehorse.

“For the South Island to get something of his quality was great, so we jumped at the chance.

“His temperament is fantastic and all of his foals seem so much more relaxed, they are nice types, and we are pretty happy with him.

“His pedigree is awesome. We just need more on the track.

“I got a booking for him yesterday for this coming season and to have a winner on the board will certainly help.”

Earlier on the card, Tapper celebrated another success for his other stallion Echoes Of Heaven when his son Manawa took out the Matamata Function Centre 1600 for trainer John Bell.

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