Breeder of the Month
Jake Stockton’s star on the rise Story by Peter Wharton
A sensational 12 months with his stock on the racetrack and some spectacular results in the yearling sale arena have elevated Riverina breeder Jake Stockton into the top bracket of standardbred breeders in New South Wales.
Horses out of Stockton’s broodmare band produced an amazing four Group 1, two Group and three Group 3 winners and two sub 1:50 performers.
“Cruz Bromac won the NZ Cup, Len Smith Mile and three heats of the Inter Dominion, Be Happy Mach won the Breeders Crown, NSW Breeders Challenge and Edgar Tatlow and Picard took out the Hondo Grattan Sprint. Heza Thrill won in 1:49.2 in Canada, while Picard scored in 1:49.4 at Menangle,” Jake said.
Stockton’s success on the racetrack spilled over to the yearling sales.
At the Australian Pacing Gold sale in Melbourne last month, he sold a Courage Under Fire half-brother to Cruz Bromac for $122,500 – the second highest priced lot at the sale – and the Captaintreacherous-Giveusachance colt for $90,000.
“He was the highest priced Courage Under Fire yearling ever sold at auction,” he said.
Stockton, who hails from Alfredtown, just outside Wagga, is a third generation member of a prominent Riverina trotting family. His grandfather, Les Stockton, was a leading studmaster and breeder, while his late father, Wayne, was a successful hobby trainer.
A stint at Bernie Kelly’s Wagga stables where he trained and drove numerous winners was also a valuable learning curve.
“I won on Frith at her first race start, but I never got back on her again!” Jake said.
“Bernie showed me the training side of things and taught me a few tricks about breeding. I thought that if was to learn the ropes from someone it may as well have been off the best.
“My grandfather also helped me a lot.”
A keen student of breeding, Jake started putting the building blocks into place for his boutique stud in the early 2000’s.
His first foray into the breeding side was the unraced Windshield Wiper mare Mataranka Molly, whom he bought in foal to Panorama from Ross Simpson. The resultant foal was Rotkara Rama, a winner of 12 races including one at Harold Park.
Mataranka Molly was then sent to the court of Mach Three.
At the time Stockton was playing Australian Rules football for the Northern Jets in the Farrer League with the money he earned while ploying his trade on the footy field being used to fund his harness racing interests.
“I got the money for the service fee to Mach Three from playing football,” Jake said.
Mach Wiper, the product of the mating, ended up winning $280,000 including feature race wins at Melton, Menangle and Albion Park.
Her next issue, Stirling William, has won 29 races and $216,000 and is still competing successfully.
“Mataranka Molly was a 100 percent producer,” he said.
“I later bought a mare from Ross Gange called Cypellocarpa and I bred Packnplenty out of her. He won 30 races and $170,000.”
Stockton had begun to realise that purchasing broodmares at the top end and sending them to the leading stallions of the day was his pathway to success in the tough yearling sale market.
His search for quality matrons led him to Victoria, both islands of NZ and NSW.
Stockton currently has a dozen mares in-foal to leading lights such as Somebeachsomewhere, Captaintreacherous, Mach Three, Sweet Lou and Roll With Joe.
Some of his broodmare herd are:
Crown Defender NZ – dam of Cruz Bromac 1:50.1 ($1 million)
Sabrina Bromac NZ – dam of eight in 2:00 including Cups King Smudge Bromac 1:53.2 ($460,958)
Behappysam NZ – dam of six winners including 2YO of the Year Be Happy Mach 1:52.7 ($344,935) and Heza Thrill 1:49.2 ($443,297)
Giveusachance NZ – half-siuster to Sokyola 1:54.6 ($1.8 million)
Esther’s Light - $111,000 winning dam of Picard 1:49.4 ($170,940)
Jake has high expectations for two colts he has nominated for the APG Sydney sale on March 8.
They are a Tintin In America half-brother to Picard (Lot 676) and a Badlands Hanover colt of Lorna Kelly, a 1:57 half-sister to Mcraes Mate, Greg Kelly, Albert Kelly, etc (Lot 727).
It’s onwards and upwards for Jake Stockton!