Noreen Stiven will be missing but not forgotten at the New Zealand Premier PGG Wrightson Yearling Sale's Select Day in Christchurch tomorrow.
The former outstandingly successful Tapanui harness breeder and owner, who died last September, was last week posthumously honoured at her Arden Lodge establishment when those on the Southern Bred-Southern Reared busload inspecting yearlings pre-sale observed a moment's meaningful silence.
The distinguished band of visitors included northern harness racing identities Tony Herlihy, Brent Mangos, Ray Green and Cantabrian Cran Dalgety.
''The occasion was very moving for me,'' her son John, a timber buyer and seller who has now assumed control of the family's breeding operation, said yesterday.
He is aware his late father Doug first consigned a yearling to the sales as far back as 1970, 43 years ago, and that his mother will be looking down on him too when he ''goes it alone'' for the first time with three royally-bred yearlings tomorrow.
His aristocratically bred filly Arden's Rockstar, a daughter of International siring sensation Rocknroll Hanover, the United States sire of eight world champions, will arouse much interest. She is the first foal of Arden Lodge-bred and owned 2007-2008 New Zealand 2-Year-Old Pacing Filly of the Year Arden's Darlin.
Rocknroll Hanover's fee of $27,500 was a New Zealand record when his frozen semen was used for Arden's Rockstar's conception.
Arden's Ruler (Bettors Delight-Achieve A Dream), who is a brother to Arden's Darlin, will also command widespread interest, being rated by acclaimed judges as precocious and racy.
Southland and West Otago breeders will contribute much to the tone of tomorrow's sale, particularly Tuapeka Lodge, David Kennedy, Vin Devery, Debbie Smith, Highview Riverton and Diane Cournane.
Macca Lodge is a worthy multiple consigner of first crop New Zealand stock by its successful sire Panspacificflight on Thursday, the second day.
Seasoned Invercargill sales campaigner Devery will consign three choice lots, he and wife Daphne sharing ownership in one, an Art Major filly from Natal Franco (1:56.5) with Alan and Phillipa Blackler of Makarewa.
The Devery-bred Three Dreams, by standout sire Mach Three from national champion juvenile and 3- year old filly Western Dream, should measure up to most. He is a half-brother to last year's West Australia Golden Slipper winner Western Cullen who won four in a row recently in Perth and boasts career earnings of about $350,000.
Devery's third lot is a filly by ace sire Bettors Delight from Dreamy Atom, a former national champion juvenile filly of the year and dam of Western Dream.
''Wednesday's catalogue is very good but will depend heavily on Australian interest that is often difficult to gauge,'' Devery said.
Caduceus Club of Southland president Debbie Smith (Shard Farm) is pinning her hopes on Shard's Echo, a first crop filly by Changeover ($2.3 million) from crack producer Sly Shard, dam of Smiling Shard ($757,492), Pemberton Shard, winner of five and placed at Group I and Group II level and impressive recent qualifier Shard's Assassin.
''Shard's Echo is a tall athletic type from a family hard to procure fillies from and the Changeovers are breaking in extremely well,'' Smith said.
It wouldn't be a major national sale without Bayswater's David Kennedy playing a leading role. He has consigned 40 yearlings since 1994 and only three have been unraced. Thirty seven have won stake money. The highest sale was Highflyin Fella in 2002 at $95,000 and later a big Australian winner of 19 races.
The Kennedy operation is all about selling, only one filly having been brought back from the sale. Dual Interdominion Pacing Final winner I'mthemightyquinn, bred by Kennedy, was sold for $2500 as a weanling after the national mixed stock sale to Richard Aubrey (Dunsandel) who sold him on to Peter Bagrie (Ohoka) before he was cashed in to West Australia.
Beaudiene Boaz, a brother to the Kennedy-bred standout Beaudiene Bad Babe (22 wins) is only one of three appealing Kennedy lots tomorrow.
Allan Clark, whose Riverton family has exerted a profound sales influence, has a tiger by the tail to offer in a brother to Highview Tommy (15 wins and $761,988).
''He is a lot bigger than Highview Tommy at the same stage. He is twice as good to look at and is a magnificent colt,'' Clark said.
The Clark family bought Mark Purdon's outstanding juvenile pacer Isaiah (Sapling Stakes) as a weanling from Alabar and turned him over for $45,000 to the champion trainer as a yearling at last year's Premier sale.
- (Live Matches)