J Scott The Inside Word

The weekend ending July 14, 2013, was a good one for former trainer-driver Carl Nordqvist, and accountant wife Wendy, who had their McArdle colts, Rock Till You Drop and Classiebee, both win for the Mark Jones stable.

The Nordqvists farm an irrigated agistment property near Ashburton.

Back in the 1980s Carl enjoyed success as the driver of 1982 Leonard Memorial (latterly Nevele R Stakes) 2YO fillies winner Bedlam, who won four, and as the trainer-driver of her colt brother Dakota (Noodlum-Betsy Morano), who won seven from just 29 starts including the 1988 Geraldine Cup and 1989 Timaru Centennial Cup.

Carl achieved 19 driving wins but last held a harness racing licence in 1995.

Rock Till You Drop, who notched his maiden win in the Muscara Standardbreds Mobile Pace at Addington last Friday, was knocked down to Carl and Wendy at the 2012 NZ Premier Yearling Sales for $23,000.

Rock Till You Drop, pictured after being purchased at the 2012 NZ Premier Yearling Sale, with preparer, David Shadbolt, of Broadfield Lodge.

Rock Till You Drop, pictured after being purchased at the 2012 NZ Premier Yearling Sale, with preparer, David Shadbolt, of Broadfield Lodge.

Named after a Def Leppard song, he held appeal pedigree-wise being a half-brother by McArdle to former Dean Taylor-trained and Mark Jones-driven New Zealand Free-For-All winner Waipawa Lad (17 NZ wins, 1:52.2, US).

Also a half-brother to useful winners Waipawa Lord (1:56.4, Aust), River Rock (1:57.5 m.r, 1950m) and Waipawa Junior (1:58.4 m.r, 1950m), he belongs to the maternal family of former dual Derby winner & 2005 NZ 3YO Pacer of the Year Badlands Bute, and his sister, 2000 NZ Oaks winner Caps Off (1:52.8), the dam of big Australian winner Captian Cullen (17 wins, 1:54.9).

Rock Till You Drop, rising three, confirmed his promise by beating mostly older maiden pacers at his fourth start.

After trailing three back on the outer, Rock Till You Drop was saved for one run by catch-driver Blair Orange, delivering a well-timed late finish to catch front-running $1.70 favourite Satori.

Rock Till You Drop had a bit of work to do after the leader got away with a leisurely middle half, but showed good speed four wide in the straight to win get up by half a neck.

The winner rated 2:02.9 for the mobile 2000m, being timed over his last 800m in 56.8s and his final 400m in 27.8s.

On Sunday, at Oamaru, Wendy Nordqvist gained her third win with Classiebee, which she races with her parents, Peter and Beryl Boag, who have had numerous success races horses with the “Unique” prefix.

Classiebee provided Wendy with her first win as an owner when he dead-heated at Rangiora for the Jones stable last September.

The former $28,000 yearling also won a maiden outright at Forbury in early October, then was spelled in mid November.

With a 3YO win concession, he had another opportunity to win in the maiden grade, being successful at his third start since resuming on May 30.

Found to be off-colour after a fair eighth at Addington in in mid-June, punters remained loyal to Classiebee on Sunday.

Installed a $1.50 favourite, Classiebee worked to the front a lap out in the Fat Sally’s Pub & Restaurant Pace and kept kicking to hold by 1 1/4 lengths.

Classiebee paced the 2000m (stand) in 2:35.9 in the blustery conditions, running his last 800m in 59.5s and final 400m in 27.8s.

He continues to embellish his talented maternal family.

Classsiebee is a grandson of former smart juvenile filly Coma Berenices, who numbered wins in the 1986 Caduceus Club 2YO Fillies Classic among her seven wins.

His dam Cee Bee is an unraced half-sister to Personality Plus (nine wins, dam of former top juvenile sir Clive); Sagitta (five wins, dam of smart winner Smiling Star (1:55.5) and grand-dam of PGG Wrightson Yearling Sales 3YO Open Pace winner Classiesistar); and Stardust speedy mare (TT, 1:55.7; five wins).