Amazingly, the late Bob McArdle has played a part in the breeding of favoured Inter Dominion Final contenders, Cruz Bromac (pacing) and Winterfell, the new NZ trotting record-holder.
Winterfell, 5g Majestic Son-Una Bromac, (by Live Or Die-Universal Kim), is from a mare bred by the late Bromac founder, Bob McArdle.
She won eight races when raced and managed by Trevor Casey, who bred and races Winterfell on his own account.
Winterfell is a half-brother to Mr Casey’s former top filly/mare Escapee (1:57.4, 11 wins from 39 starts & $272,783), while he’s also a half-brother to good Australian winner Needle (1:57.4, 16 wins & $122,4810), and another smart Australian winner, Caligula (1:56, seven wins & $54,833).
Una Bromac was a good trotter herself when co-raced by Mr Casey in Canterbury with Bruce Negus, and associated trainers of the time in Craig Parsons and Todd Woodward.
Latterly, when raced by Mr Casey on his own account in the north, she scored a Group Two win in the 2005 Meadowset Graphics Challenge Stakes at Auckland when prepared by Leanne Edwards, defeating subsequent Dominion Handicap dead-heater, Martina H.
Una Bromac is pacing-bred, being a younger half-sister to fast Union Guy mare Ulrica Bromac (1:49.6, US), formerly NZ’s fastest-bred female pacer, bred by the late Mr McArdle.
Winterfell, winner of both the NZ and Northern Trot Derbys', and the Harness Jewels 3YO Ruby at three, is growing in confidence racing right-handed through the series for master trainers, Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen, after mixing his form at last month's NZ Cup meeting at Addington.
He's the new NZ record-holder for the mobile 2700m trip after Friday's impressive win.
Purdon had the confidence to roll Winterfell to the front from the six-barrier and he was much too good in the second third round trot heat over 2700m, trotting a record 3:20.5, a mile rate of 1:59.5, and quickening over his last 800m in 56.5 and 400m in 28s.
The big trotter was all class in the final stages, winning by 2 and 3/4 lengths from the former NZ record-holder for the distance Massive Metro (3:21.1, set last Dec) and Majestic Son.
The win extended Winterfell's record to 11 wins from 24 starts, for $282,980 in stakes.
By comparison, the other form horse of the trot series, Temporale, also led up in the first trot heat to also win with a bit in hand by 3/4 of a length, in 3:23.8, a mile rate of 2:01.4, the last 800m in 57.1s and 400m in 28s.
Temporale was again driven by former trainer Tony Herlihy, who officially transferred the Monarchy-Whosinthenest gelding to Waiuku beach trainers, Michele Wallis and Bernie Hackett last week.
The former Rowe Cup winner extended his career record to 16 wins from 49 starts for $513,299 in stakes.