Family ties to continue Humma’s legacy

Redgum Racing’s affinity for the progeny of well-performed racemare Humma Mumma (Bel Esprit) has made it easier for trainer John McArdle to farewell her first stakes-performed daughter, Humma Humma (Denman), at the upcoming Magic Millions National Broodmare Sale.

Saturday’s G3 Proud Miss S. at Morphettville, the scene of Humma Humma’s first Group success last year, will mark the end of the road for the galloper who put her family on the map, and she will line up against a field of 16 in Saturday’s race.

McArdle described the decision to part with the highly talented 5-year-old, by way of Magic Millions, as “tough but necessary”, saying she has earned the right to enjoy a peaceful retirement.

“She’s perfectly sound but we aren’t going to gain anymore by racing her on for another year,” McArdle said. “While she’s been very good to us, we have her two half-sisters Tycoon Humma and the filly by Zoustar, who we recently paid $600,000 for at the Inglis Premier Sale.”

Redgum’s association with the progeny of Humma Humma’s dam, Humma Mumma, goes back to 2016, when it acquired a Smart Missile colt for $120,000 at that year’s Inglis Premier Sale on recommendation.

Strela as a yearling

Later named Strela, he who would go on to break a Bendigo track record over 900 metres on debut, paving the way for the stable to spend $80,000 on a half-sister by Denman the following year.

“Strela’s speed as a racehorse led us to look into Humma Humma as a yearling, and I really liked her as a type from the outset,” McArdle said. “I went on to buy her half-sister Hummalong a year later and, while she didn’t achieve what we hoped for, Bert Viera still bought her for $190,000 online the other week and will send her to Trapeze Artist.”

Despite Hummalong failing to replicate her older sister’s success, McArdle and stable manager Brent Clayton would not be deterred, paying $240,000 and $600,000 respectively to secure Humma Mumma’s two most recent offspring, a filly by Capitalist and another by Zoustar.

“The Capitalist filly, now Tycoon Humma, was probably the best at the time on type and she has already repaid us in spades, winning her first two starts and one at stakes level,” McArdle said.

Tycoon Humma | Image courtesy of Bronwen Healy

“However, the Zoustar yearling, in my personal opinion, is the best type that the mare (Humma Mumma) has ever produced, and we had to spend a bit more to get her. So, we’ve obviously had a lot of luck to date with this family producing good running-types who are strong and sound horses,” the trainer said.

McArdle described the “stable favourite” Humma Humma as a beautiful mare with a lovely temperament and relentless will to win, saying those traits and characteristics made her into a formidable racehorse that could match it with the best fillies and mares of her era.

The consistent performer was beaten only 0.1l by three-time Group 1-winning superstar Sunlight (Zoustar) as a 3-year-old in the G3 Quezette S., before again finding her one better in the G3 Thoroughbred Club S. two months later.

“She (Humma Humma) always showed very good ability from the start, but it was her toughness and tenacity that made her what she was.” – John McArdle

“She always showed very good ability from the start, but it was her toughness and tenacity that made her what she was,” McArdle said. “She was a tough, hard horse who did more than her ability suggested she should. However, her ability to run well so consistently over a long period of time set her apart, and that is reflected by 11 top-three Group and Listed finishes.”

Humma Humma couldn’t be going any better in the build-up to her swansong on Saturday, according to the trainer. McArdle said she is continuing to thrive in her work, and remains sharp and bright ahead of a potential fairytale finale.

“She won the race last year off what I thought wasn’t as good an effort as this year’s lead up, and I was really happy with her work this morning,” McArdle said.

“She just always tries her heart out, the way she fought to the line to finish sixth in the G1 Sangster S. last fortnight, when the others on-speed curled up, shows her toughness and how well she’s still going.”

Paying for the progeny

Buying the progeny of Humma Mumma isn’t a matter of holding the monopoly and paying whatever it takes, according to McArdle.

He said he will continue to inspect her offspring with a keen eye, and will do the same when Humma Humma has her first foal go through the ring.

“It’s a matter of seeing what type they produce,” he said. “If it’s not the right one, I won’t buy it, but if they keep producing the right types, we’ll certainly be having a crack,” McArdle said.

“It’s a matter of seeing what type they produce. If it’s not the right one, I won’t buy it, but if they keep producing the right types, we’ll certainly be having a crack.” – John McArdle

“That was on display with the Zoustar filly this year. I was pretty much going to pay up whatever it took to secure her, and that was the same for the Capitalist (filly) last year too.”

McArdle has no preconceived expectations of what he would like to see Humma Humma go under the hammer for, saying she owes the ownership group “absolutely nothing” after earning the best part of $700,000 on the track.

However, the current state of the market, combined with her success and ever evolving pedigree page, leaves one to imagine the figure that could feature up alongside Lot 683 on Tuesday, May 25.

“I had this conversation with Antony Thompson (owner, Widden Stud) the other day about her price and it was, ‘how longs a piece of string’. If you get two of those bigger studs in on her, who knows what she will make, because she’s a good, solid, strong mare who has proven herself on the track,” McArdle said.

“However, no matter what she makes in the ring, her band of owners will be sad to see her go because she’s been so good to us, but we will be happy to see her in the next part of her career as a mum.”


Article courtesy of TDN AUS/NZ