Kisukano winning the Aquis QTIS Jewel 2YO at the Gold Coast (Grant Peters/Trackside Photography)
It took just one minute and a tick under 12 seconds for the brilliant filly, Kisukano, to win Saturday’s $500,000 Aquis QTIS Jewel 2YO over 1200m on the Gold Coast, but for breeder/owner, Peter Reeves, she’s been a long time in the making.
Over 40 years as a matter of fact.
Back in the late 1970s, Peter and his brother, Michael, had ventured to Sydney to buy a mare they were keen on at an Inglis winter sale.
Unfortunately, when they turned up, the broodmare which had caught their fancy was withdrawn so they chose instead a multiple city winning Topiary mare, Belle J’Amie, who was in foal to Purple Patch.
Turns out Belle J’Amie is the fifth dam of Kisukano – five dams and 40 years! – and it’s been one helluva ride for Peter Reeves.
“I’m from Stanthorpe in Queensland (close to the NSW border) and we had a property nearby where we kept our horses,” Reeves explains. “We never had big numbers – bred a few, sold a few, raced a few – but this has been a terrific family.
“Belle J’Amie’s first foal for us, Gentle Marchesa, was unraced but we put her to Black Zephyr and her first foal was Huntington Girl.
“Huntington Girl was multiple stakes placed in Sydney and went on to produce 14 winners from 15 to race, including Dynamic Love (winner of seven, Group Two Stan Fox, Group Three Sweet Embrace etc.) and 2YO stakes winner Key Bar Nights.
“Dynamic Love is the dam of stakes placed Excellent Dancer, who won 11 in Australia, Singapore and Malaysia, Key Bar Nights produced multiple Sydney stakes winner Barbed, while another daughter, Nero Cavallo, is the dam of Singapore stakes winner Top Knight.
“All up, Huntington Girl’s progeny won 51 races between them.”
One is the stakes placed Sea Road mare, Grouse Lane, dam of the Reeves raced Listed Gold Coast Silk Stocking winner Princess Margaret.
“My son, Robert, and I own Grouse Lane and one of her daughters is Kisukano’s dam, Kiss For Gran,” Reeves reveals. “Kisukano was a first foal and, being a filly, we decided to race her ourselves.
“My son David is in the filly too, along with some close friends. It’s fair to say we were all very happy on Saturday.”
Trained at Toowoomba by Michael Nolan, Kisukano literally burst onto the scene last month with a 7.5 length romp over 1050m at her home track after being sent out a $1.30 favourite.
Although Kisukano would suffer her only defeat to date when facing Rothfire at Eagle Farm in mid February, the filly quickly bounced back with a 4.25 panel demolition job at Doomben on 29 February.
“We’ve had horses with Michael for 25 years – practically since he started out – and he’s trained a lot of good winners including (Group One Doomben 10,000 winner) Laurie’s Lottery, plus, I’m happy to say, quite a few good ones for us,” Reeves reveals. “Kisukano made it to Michael’s stable last November from the breakers and she’s just kept surprising us.
“We thought it might be the end of her run after the win at Doomben, but then decided to have a crack at the Jewel. All the talk was around Rothfire ($1.20) but while we weren’t overly confident about our filly, we thought she had a pretty good chance nevertheless.
“She now has something of a cult following around town and pretty popular in our household I can tell you. I was always fond of Princess Margaret, but this girl is definitely heading quickly up the ranks.
“Kisukano will definitely head out for a spell and we’ll make a decision in the next few days as to what she’s likely to target in the winter or spring.”
Kisukano is the first foal of Kiss For Gran and is by Champion Sire, Bel Esprit.
“Bel Esprit stands at Sun Stud and when they had a farm up here in Queensland, they sent him up for a season and Robert and I were straight onto it.
“He’s the sire of another fairly good filly in Black Caviar and produced a lot of winners over the years.”
The timing could hardly be better for the Reeves as they will sell Kiss For Gran’s second foal – a filly by Better Than Ready – through the Alexia Fraser draft at the Magic Millions March Yearling Sale which commences today at the Gold Coast.
Kisuanko’s half sister will go through the ring tomorrow morning as Lot 272.
Kiss For Gran produced a Rothesay colt at the end of October, but due to the late foal, wasn’t covered last spring.
HOOFNOTE: The Reeves’ have had plenty of experience naming horses over the last 40 years or so and clearly enjoy the challenge.
“Every time the grandkids come around, my wife, Del, is always saying ‘kiss for gran’, so one of the daughters in law said that’s what she should call the mare,” Reeves adds. “As for Kisukano, one of the owners was keen to call her Kiss A Bel but the name got knocked back by the Registrar of Racehorses.
“I’ve been informed – reliably or not – that Kisukano is Japanese for Kiss A Bel. All I know is that there were a few kisses going around on Saturday.”