Ian, Gary and Steve Johnson, three brothers from Wagga Wagga in NSW, are passionate about the breeding of their Standardbreds.
They, along with their Late Dad Les, who have been breeding under the Atworthy banner for many years are as successful as they are passionate.
Between Les and now his three sons they have been great supporters of the APG Sales since the inception in 1990.
In fact, in 1991 Les consigned a Whats Next colt to the APG Sales who was later named Golden Reign. That colt covered himself in glory at Addington Raceway in Christchurch in 1996 with a brilliant victory over the Kiwi’s in the Inter Dominion Grand Final. Prior to that he had won the 1992 APG Final at Harold Park and both the Victorian and Australian Derbies at Moonee Valley.
Just to show the Harness Breeding Industry in Australia that Golden Reign wasn’t a fluke, the Atworthy Park team produced another APG 2-year-old Final winner in 1996. This time it was a colt named Croesus, also a son of Whats Next, but this time with John Caldow holding the reins.
In more recent times the Johnson boys have bred an Australian 2-year-old Filly of the Year, which they wisely retained and raced themselves. The Somebeachsomewhere filled named Maajida 1.50.3 collected 24 victories in 44 career starts and put $684,518 into their collective bank accounts.
On 4th February at the Inglis Complex in Melbourne Atworthy Park will offer three impeccably bred yearlings at the 2024 APG Sale.
Their first yearling to strut the auction ring, LOT 114, is in fact a half-sister to Maajida as well as five other winners including the $200,000 earners Lifeonthebeach 1.50.2 and We Salute You 1.51.3.
This Downbytheseaside filly has females all around her who displayed special ability. Her Dam and Granddam won 19 races between them, her Dam is a half-sister to New York Fashion who won 15 and $173,861 and her fourth Dam, Bright Highland , was a brilliant racemare in New Zealand in the 1960’s.
The second of the Atworthy draft, LOT 118, is also a Downbytheseaside filly – this time from the Bettors Delight mare Bella Shine 1.55.5
So, this filly is bred on the same cross as the World Champion and millionaire USA bred filly Sea Silk 1.50.4.
Bella Shine was only a smallish flying machine, but this LOT 118 is a lovely tall and athletically built filly. She is a half sister to the $550,000 winning gelding Shineonucrazydiamond 1.50 and the $100,000 winning Major Mucha 1.54.7.
The Dam, Granddam and third Dam of this filly all won multiple races as 2-year-olds and competed successfully in Stakes races.
When you look at the pedigree page and see such names as Supersonic Miss 1.52.6, Goodtime Heaven 1.52 , Rogers Joy 1.58.1 and Make Mine Cullen 1.53 you know that the Females in this Family can win you Stakes races – so this filly, LOT 118, who is bred on the same cross as a World Champion must be on everyone’s shopping List.
The final offering from Atworthy Park is LOT 144 – a Sweet Lou colt from Habanero [by Rocknroll Hanover]. Habanero is a hot variety of chili and this could be an apt description for this Colt, as he is a son of the red hot sire in the world at the moment in Sweet Lou.
He is also the first colt from his Dam, who is a half sister to 7 winners including the prolific winning, Geoff Webster trained colt Flaming Flutter 1.49.2 $899,341.
Sweet Lou has had considerable success over the Rocknroll Hanover line mares with the Champion USA 3 year old colt of 2023, Confederate 1.46.1, being from a mare by A Rocknroll Dance.
Intending purchasers at this years Melbourne sale are in for an unexpected windfall.
The Catalogue is offering only 53 fillies and 52 colts Eligible for the APG Victorian Race Series for 2-year-olds with separate $150,000 Finals to be held at Melton in 2025.
For full details and catalogued yearlings in the 2024 Australian Pacing Gold Yearling Sales, Online Sales Catalogue or Register as a Buyer now.