One name that popped up three times in the pricier lots at Karaka was that of John McIntosh, a sharp-witted 91-year old “just out of nappies” from Pokeno, on the south side of the Bombays.

He spent $211,500 on three colts, all to be trained in Pukekohe by Derek Balle.

“I’m getting older and it’s about the only hobby I’ve got left,” McIntosh told HarnessXpress.

McIntosh revealed that he spent much must of the last month looking through the catalogue after making the decision to buy three nice colts.

“I’ve been spending a month on it, really.”

“Ticking, crossing, marking and what have you.

“And with Derek’s help I decided on which horses to go after; two heads are better than one after all.

“Derek has been a great help; we liaised with one another regularly and I must say that he is quite an authority on breeding for a man of his age.”

McIntosh said he raced horses with Roy Purdon for many years, including “25 or 26 winners at Alexandra Park” and after a trying a few other trainers when Roy retired, finally settled on Balle.

“I like Derek and we have developed quite a friendship.

“I live in Pokeno so him being in Pukekohe is very handy to home.”

Until last month McIntosh had Master Charlie with Balle but he was sold to Perth and his current flag-bearer is the more-thanhandy three-year-old Ideal World.

His favourite, and most expensive, Karaka purchase was Suidelike Major, an Art Major son of former good race mare Suidelike Meisie, who won eight races for Mike Berger.

McIntosh went to $85,000 to secure him, determined not to miss out after missing an earlier lot he wanted so badly.

“I missed on lot 19 and I was runner-up on another for $140,000.

“I should have kept going but my mate said to me ‘What’s happened to you Mac? You’ve lost your grits!’.

“That’s what happens though; you get a lot of spec from the sideline.”

“I do like him (Suidelike Major) a lot, though; he is a lovely horse.

“And the other two I bought are by Bettor’s Delight and I think you’ve got a really good chance with him as the sire.”

McIntosh’s two Bettor’s Delight colt purchases were Bettor Step Aside, a $74,000 full brother to Linda Lovegrace offered by Woodlands Stud, and Quick As Fire, a $52,500 buy offered by Merv and Meg Butterworth that hails from an Australian family.


Courtesy: The Harness Xpress