Weekend positives put Elsdon Park on the right path

By Dennis Ryan

21 Sep 2022

Weekend positives put Elsdon Park on the right pathOne Kiss (Opie Bosson) scores a landmark win in the NZB Canterbury Belle Stakes for new entity Elsdo

A weekend of landmarks both on the track and on the farm have set the right tone for new entity Elsdon Park.
The Matamata nursery is owned by Wellington couple Lib and Katrina Petagna, best known in thoroughbred circles for the team that races under their JML Bloodstock banner. After being co-owners of Blandford Lodge, earlier this year they made the bold move to purchase another Matamata property, the 650-acre farm formerly known as Kevin and Joanna Hickman’s Valachi Downs, to accommodate their growing numbers.
Under the management of respected bloodstock agent Bruce Perry, the JML portfolio has grown steadily over the past two decades. The first major win came with Clean Sweep in the 2004 Gr. 1 New Zealand 2000 Guineas, and after an impressive win last Saturday by their home-bred filly One Kiss in the Listed NZB Canterbury Belle Stakes, they will be looking for further Riccarton classic success in November.
“That was a good effort by One Kiss, especially when you think it was only her second start,” Perry told RaceForm. “She’s an appropriate first black-type winner for Elsdon Park, being by Tivaci who we still part-own.
“It was good to see Mark Walker saddle his first stakes winner for us, and great to have Opie Bosson in the JML colours again.”
Since taking possession of the superbly-appointed Hinuera Valley property on August 1, there has been no let-up at Elsdon Park during a crucial time on the annual calendar.
“That’s all in the hands of our very capable farm manager Kerrie Cox and her team,” Perry said. “They’re doing a great job and everything is coming together well.”
One Kiss’s Riccarton win apart, the on-farm team took further satisfaction from events close to home on Saturday.
“Early in the morning we delivered a lovely Zoustar colt from Evalina, a stakes-winning mare by I Am Invincible, and then we got our first positive scan for the season with Pierina, who’s a Group Two winner by Savabeel in-foal first pop to Almanzor,” reported Cox, who is well-known from her 17 years in key roles at Waikato Stud.
“Seeing our first stakes win for Elsdon Park means a lot and it was also very satisfying the runner-up was Perfectly Suited, who is a Savile Row filly bred on the farm and still owned by the Hickmans.”
Discreet Evening, the US-bred dam of One Kiss, earlier produced the stakes-winning Savabeel filly Santa Catarina, but the 14-year-old has proven a difficult breeder with just three foals to date. Significant consolation is that Santa Catarina is also a member of the Elsdon Park broodmare band and on Monday delivered her first foal, a colt by Alabama Express.