Dunearn dairy farmer Steve Baucke is putting his well-performed pacer Citylight aside for a month's spell after she gained her fourth win from her last five starts at Forbury Park last Friday night.
One of the most improved pacers in Southland this season, the stoutly bred daughter of Christian Cullen has emerged as an autumn and winter standout by "getting better and better all the time'', according to trainer Baucke who said she is "a family favourite that any kids and others can drive.''
"She is basically a paddock-trained mare that my wife Carol and son Brendan can drive. She does most of her work on the farm and we go to the Winton track for fast work and when it is wet here at home.''
The ease with which she dealt to her rivals at Forbury Park last week after being ''off the course'' at the straight entrance suggested her marked potential was far from exhausted.
The close relation of Southland-bred Auckland Cup winner Happy Asset has been a credit to owner-breeder-trainer Baucke and her young drivers Brad Williamson and Shane Walkinshaw.
Baucke bought back his home-bred product when she was offered at the 2009 Premier Sale of yearlings staged by PGG Wrightson in Christchurch.
"It was a falling market at the time when I was offered just $12,000. Her service fee to Christian Cullen was $20,000.''
If she was offered as an unraced yearling now, she would fetch big money as she is from the same family as dual Interdominion Grand Final winner (I'm)themightyquinn and Mighty Khan, winner of six New Zealand races and many more in the United States with earnings of $267,000.
Cash Asset, the grand dam of Citylight, has also left Auckland Cup winner Happy Asset (12 wins and $451,353) who was bred by David Kennedy, of Bayswater, and Wayne Pierce, of Arrowtown. Others from the Vance Hanover producer include Mighty Khan (1:51.6) and Transport Chip mare Dollars and Cents, the dam of It's Only Money (16 NSW wins).
Citylight is a daughter of Armbro Operative producer Operative Asset, an unraced half-sister to Happy Asset and Mighty Khan.
Many of Citylight's relations from the Dusky Morn taproot have been slightly slow maturing, taking time to develop and strengthen. Citylight was only ordinary at two and three but has grown another leg and grown into her frame this season.
"It took her a while to get match hardened this season...I will put her out for a month, bring her back in and work her up for early racing,'' Baucke said.
- © Fairfax NZ News