Hobby breeder over the moon with Modern Bliss

Loddon region breeder-owner Graham Maxted was provided with his first ever Group 1 success when Modern Bliss roared home to annex the prestigious $150,000 Hobart Cup at Elwick on Saturday night.

MODERN BLISS (centre) Picture: HRV

Maxted, who owns a sheep and cereal crop farm in the small hamlet of Jarklin, followed in the footsteps of his father, Harvey, in breeding and racing pacers.

"My father always had one or two standardbred broodmares. Stuart Rothacker Snr had our horses in the early days," Graham said.

"Dad owned a great horse called Vin Pronto, who was one of the stars of the Melbourne Showgrounds era.

"But Modern Bliss is without a doubt the best one I've ever bred."

"It's just a hobby to us. We breed a couple of foals a year and if we get one that's any good we have a bit of fun with it," Graham said.

Modern Bliss has certainly provided the Maxted family with plenty of enjoyment.

Following his Hobart Cup success, the Modern Art gelding, who is raced on lease by Geelong horseman Ash Warton, has amassed $275,734 from 22 wins and 44 placings from 182 starts.

The Modern Bliss story began back in the 1950's with a shortly bred Van Derby mare named Thelma Travis, the foundation mare of the Maxted's breeding program.

One of the three fillies left Thelma Travis was Harvest Scott, a daughter of the six-time premier Australian sire Noble Scott, who really established the line for the Maxted family to some purpose.

She produced eight foals, two of which were successful in Jarklin Lass and the Pacing Gift mare Mon Cheval, who, in turn, left two winners including a useful racemare in Ata Strike (by Muckalee Strike).

Ata Strike, a winner of 10 races including three at Moonee Valley, became the dam of winners in Ata Glance, Ata Sunset, Ata Beau and the Village Jasper mare Ata Vee Jay (1:57.6), who won seven.

Modern Bliss is the second foal of Ata Vee Jay.

"A Modern Art filly was her first foal and we lost her due to a snake bite. She was a ripping filly," Maxted said.

Ata Vee Jay's last foal was a filly by Pet Rock.

"She was a premature foal and never raced," Graham stated.

"After that we couldn't get Ata Vee Jay into foal. It's a shame that we never kept a filly out of her."

Graham and his wife Coral are currently breeding from two close relatives of Modern Bliss. They are Jazzy Art (by Village Jasper), who has A Rocknroll Dance yearling filly, and her Heston Blue Chip daughter Jazzy Bay.

The two-year-old Its Confidential, an impressive winner on debut at Cobram, was bred and is owned by Lauriston Bloodstock's Bill and Anne Anderson, who bred and raced the colt's sire Poster Boy and his dam Speak No Evil. It was Poster Boy's second winner and his first in Victoria

Poster Boy's Llowalong Farms' studmate Soho Tribeca was represented by his first winner in the two-year-old Soho The Real Deal at Menangle last week. Captain Crunch (Alabar Bloodstock) also landed his maiden winner from his initial Australian crop with Captain Paprika at Pinjarra (WA)

Lils Nightmare, a smart come-from-behind winner at Cobram, was bred and is raced by well known Goulburn Valley couple Geoff and Lorraine Barnes. The Rocknroll Hanover gelding has now won 11 races.