Belclare delivers Woodhouse with ultimate reward

By Michelle Saba

12 Apr 2023

Belclare delivers Woodhouse with ultimate rewardDavid and Deb Woodhouse (left) joined rider Sam Spratt and trainer Lisa Latta in celebrating Belclar

David Woodhouse’s decision to buy a share in Per Incanto has turned out to be the best move of his life in racing and breeding.
Along with his partners in the quality racemare Belclare, Woodhouse gained his greatest reward with victory in the Gr. 1 New Zealand Thoroughbred Breeders’ Stakes at Pukekohe on Saturday.
Woodhouse hails from a family steeped in New Zealand racing history, his great-grandfather Henry Knight having raced the mighty galloper Limerick, who won 29 races in Australia and New Zealand.
He has been a shareholder in Per Incanto since he commenced stud duties in 2011 after Sam Williams of Little Avondale Stud offered him a share in the son of Street Cry.
“Sam rang me and said, ‘I’ve told the management syndicate that I’d like you to have a share in Per Incanto, if you want one’, so I grabbed it,” the semi-retired Masterton farmer told RaceForm.
“It’s the best racing and breeding investment in my life. It was a masterstroke to get in as they just keep winning.”
That investment has provided Woodhouse with his first group one winner as a breeder and an owner.
“It’s unbelievable really, such a thrill,” he said of his first Group One success. “Before this one I had bred Bouillon, who won the Gr. 3 Dunedin Gold Cup and ran third in the Wellington Cup and second in the Awapuni Gold Cup, but that was a long time ago.
“Bouillon was actually out of Piber, the first horse I owned, and now I have had 60 winners.”
Woodhouse races Belclare with his good friend Oliver Smith, John Clark and the Rusties Syndicate, which includes Polly Ensing, Martin Firth, Chris and Tracy Lowe, Alister and Linda Mitchell and Warren and Sonia Procter.
Very much a hands-on owner, Woodhouse likes to transport his horses to the races himself. He picked Belclare up from trainer Lisa Latta’s Awapuni stable on Friday morning, making the six-hour journey to Cambridge where they stayed overnight.
“They arrived at Pukekohe Park just two hours before the race, before returning to Cambridge on Saturday night.
Belclare, who races in the same colours as 1920s champion Limerick, is now the winner of nine races and is a fine representative for Per Incanto, whose progeny are renowned as good consistent racehorses.
The five-year-old is Per Incanto’s seventh Group One winner, with Saturday’s success coming on the back of wins in the Gr. 3 CJC Canterbury Breeders’ Stakes and the Listed Wairarapa Breeders’ Stakes.
She is the third foal from the O’Reilly mare Miss Rhythmic, a winner of one race and herself a sister to Luxe, who ran third in the Listed Taranaki Oaks Prelude. They are out of the Keeper mare Gymnast who in turn was out of the champion filly of her year in Olga’s Pal, whose six wins included the Gr. 1 New Zealand 1000 Guineas.
Belclare’s dam Miss Rhythmic has also left Tamalin, a winner by Tavistock, and Ballyane, a four-year-old sister to Belclare who has been placed but is now spelling on the Woodhouse farm. Her fifth foal is a three-year-old by Per Incanto in work with Latta, who purchased her next foal, a filly by Time Test, at the Karaka sales for $30,000, with Woodhouse retaining 10 per cent along with family members and the Rusties Syndicate.
Sam Williams played a part in Woodhouse purchasing Miss Rhythmic, who is now in foal to Per Incanto for the fourth time.
“Sam mentioned to me that O’Reilly mares were crossing well with Per Incanto, so I approached Bruce Perry to buy one,” he recalled.
“As it turned out his brother had one for sale, Miss Rhythmic and they wanted $6,000 for her. I rang Mark Chittick, who had bred Miss Rhythmic, and asked him what he thought it was worth, and he told me to offer them $5,000 – and the rest is history.”