The benefits of HBV membership continue on long after the season has faded away – just ask Norm and Joan Visca! In 2014, they got their membership form in before start of the season and as such, were entered the draw to win one of the early bird free stallion services.
Don't miss your chance to win a free service to either THE STORM INSIDE (left) at Alabar Farms or GREAT SUCCESS (right) at Niota Bloodstock, both terrific Victorian stallions - simply join or renew your membership - great value at just $55 - before the start of the new breeding season on 1 September to be in the running. Niota also have two services to KVINTET AVENGER for members who can deliver their mare for paddock service.
Norm and Joan were randomly drawn from our list of pre-season paid-up members for a service to Loddon Valley Standardbred Stud’s Stonebridge Regal. After much discussion, they chose to send their Safely Kept mare, NIRVANA CASTLE, to the 1:48.2 $1.06M earning son of Artsplace.
The resulting foal eleven months later was a filly, later named PATCHWORK, and was kept by the Viscas to race; she is the last from Nirvana Castle who has since passed away. At the end of June 2020, in her 12th start, she defeated the favourite in the Guardline Security Maiden Trot at Shepparton in 2:06.3. She was 1.1m ahead of the punter’s preferred runner, and the pair were put a 24m margin on their eight rivals.
The mare is from a strong family of mixed gait breeding – she is Stonebridge Regal’s sole square gaited winner – but her dam’s family is far more varied. Four of her siblings have won races – all trotters, despite a mix of sires – Group 1 mare Betty Hall is by Angus Hall, but Poetic Castle, Hold That Grin (both Grinfromeartoear) and Hettivale (Village Jasper) are by traditionally pacing sires.
Her dam sire, Safely Kept, is well known for throwing champions of both gaits including Safe And Sound and Kept For Pleasure, La Coocaracha and Our First Jewell. In fact the unraced NIRVANA CASTLE is a full sister to the $428,000-winning LA COOCARACHA; the mare has gone on to throw eight winners, including DANCE CRAZE (Muscle Hill, $478,000), LA GRANGE (Muscle Hill, $163,000) and LOUEY LOUEY LOUEY (CR Commando, $41,000) who himself is now at stud and has had five winners from eight starters.