Allwood Stud manager Mick Holtham is one of the most respected studmasters and yearling handlers in Australasia but you might be interested to know, he fell into a harness racing career by accident.

Holtham came to WA from New Zealand looking for work as an 18-year-old without any horse experience in the 1980s.

“I thought I was applying for a job at a cattle farm but it turned out to be Adios Stud,” Holtham said. “We had horses on the farm at home but I didn’t have much to do with them. I thought they were a waste of space.

“They gave me 12 youngsters to halter break and a book to show me how to do it – it was called the Jefferies method” he continues. “The horses taught me a lot, pretty quickly, and I worked out my own methods over the years. I was at Adios for five years. I met Bob Fowler there. We stood his stallions and we both did an artificial insemination (AI) course together.”

“After that, I went to work at Jerramungup, where I met my wife. We decided to go back to New Zealand, where I worked at Roydon Lodge doing AI and the yearling drafts. I did the first crop of Sundon yearlings and one of the colts won best presented at the sale.”

“It was the first time Roydon had won it and they were pretty proud of the effort.”

Holtham returned to WA with his family in 1996 and eventually took the role of studmaster at Royalstar Farm.

“I spent a couple of years at (respected thoroughbred nursery) Remlap Stud and then Ross Torre (Royalstar) advertised for a studmaster,” Holtham said. “We stayed on when Bob (Fowler) took it over and it became Allwood Stud. We have been here 23 years. It is a challenging role but I am still passionate about the horses and look forward to foaling time. You get attached to the youngsters and we follow their race careers.”

Allwood has bought several high quality broodmares in the past few seasons and will offer yearlings with some of the best New Zealand bloodlines available.

Lot 445 is a filly by Rock N Roll World from young Bettors Delight mare Fulfil The Dream, a full sister to multiple Group 1 winning Kiwi superstar Akuta.

Akuta (1.51.8, $1.1mil) claimed the 2YO NZ Sires Stakes, the NZ Derby and the Auckland Cup in a run of success that saw him vying for the title of the best pacer in Australasia before an injury curtailed his 2024 campaign.

Lot 494 is a colt by Rock N Roll World from exceptional open class race mare Millwood Liberty (1.51.5, $303K), who won 22 races.

The daughter of Christian Cullen is a half sister to Kilmore Cup winner Ohoka Nevada (1.51, $505K) and Pinjarra Cup victor Ohoka Du Nord (1.52.7, $200K).

The colt’s third dam is American bred Lil Sweet Art, who is by legendary sire Artsplace.

Lot 497 is another Rock N Roll World colt with impeccable NZ bloodlines.

He is out of Bettors Delight mare Millwood Martini, who is a full sister to NZ 3YO colt of the year Ohoka Punter (1.52.4, $1.1mil) and is bred on the classic Bettors Delight – Christen Cullen cross.

Holtham has prepared hundreds of yearlings in his 40-year career with great success and he is upbeat about the 29 Allwood youngsters to be offered at the APG Perth Yearling Sale on Sunday.

“The youngsters from the New Zealand mares are outstanding and should be well received,” Holtham said. “But we have a range of yearlings to suit all buyers”.

“(Lot 441) The colt out of Allamerican Queen is outstanding. If you want a Fly Like An Eagle, you couldn’t go past him. He has the looks, nice forward movement and the right attitude to make it on the track”.

“The Paradisa colt (Lot 514) has a look of quality and (Lot 435) the colt out of Doeseverythingrite is an exceptional mover.”

For full details of all catalogued yearlings in the 2024 Australian Pacing Gold Yearling Sales please visit our Online Sales Catalogue or Register as a Buyer now.