We are privileged to have the retired Australasian Champion racehorse The Phantom Chance on our farm.
This is his story.
The Phantom Chance is one of the most successful racehorses to be bred in the South Island. He was born in 1989 at Winton, Southland and was sold as a yearling at the 1991 Karaka Yearling Sales to the bid of Colin Jillings - one of NZ's best horsemen for the sum of $50,000.
The Noble Bijou-The Fantasy chestnut colt was soon gelded to rectify a wayward personality. Brian Anderton, owner of White Robe Lodge that prepared the horse for the yearling sales nicknamed this colt "Billy Front Foot" for obvious reasons.
The Phantom Chance got his name from an elder brother "The Phantom" and these two full brothers were champion racehorses and dual millionaires, both earning their mother "The Fantasy", the premier NZ breeding award "Broodmare of the Year" in 1994.
The Phantom Chance first raced at 3 years of age in September 1993, and after two 4th placings he won his next eight races including two Group One races - The NZ Derby and the Waikato Racing Club International Stakes. He finished his three year old racing season as the Champion Australasian Three year old.
As a four year old the Phantom Chance won his greatest race - The WS Cox Plate in stunning style. He dominated this great race just like Sunline has done in recent years. After this win PC travelled to Japan to represent Australasia in the Japan Cup. Unfortunately he contracted travel sickness during the long and arduous flight to Japan from Melbourne, and this illness was to plague him for the remainder of his racing career.
He retired from racing as the winner of 11 races (8 of which were stakes races - three Group I) and NZ$ 2 million.
He then had a two year career as the three day event mount of Heelan Tomkins of New Plymouth. Heelan was the World Junior 3 Day Event Champion and a member of the NZ World 3 Day Event Team. PC initially competed successfully in this sports horse discipline but as he went up the grades he was unable to improve his dressage to the international standard required for Heelan. He did have the international ability to compete in the show jumping and cross country events.
Since 1999 The Phantom Chance has been based at Te Kowhai and more recently Matangi near Hamilton where he keeps several thoroughbred mares company on Chris Luoni's property. He is exercised regularly and has successfully competed at The Pukete Horse Riding Centre dressage events. PC is now a one eyed horse (see the picture below) after he lost his left eye in 2004 to cancer.
He has a vastly improved manner today from his Billy Front Foot days.
He is in good health and is the boss of the group of mares and young horses at the Luoni property. His present paddock mate is our recently retired stakeswinning racehorse Oliverdance.
We are breeding from PC's niece Lexus who is out of PC's 1/2 sister "The Folly". This is the family of current racing stars The One and The Jewel.
In October 2005 just before the Cox Plate raceday the Australian national racing newspaper The Sportsman published an article about The Phantom Chance and his present life. We are very proud to provide PC with a well deserved retirement home.
The Phantom Chance - January 2006