Here’s another top yarn direct from Brian Russell’s memory bank (you’d like him and Jack Styring on either side of you at a trivia night!).
It is unlikely any of the thousands of mares who will produce foals in Australia this season will ever have a production record as impressive (numerically) as that of Golden Goddess, who was pensioned off after dropping her 20th successive live foal in the spring of 1967.
It was a feat that the Keeper of the Stud Book at the time advised owner, Carl Powell of Brooklyn Lodge in the Hunter Valley, had created two world records: for most foals and successive foals. There was no foal in 1962 as she was not served in 1961 while one was unnamed.
The best of Golden Goddess’s seven winners, all very modest, was Firecrag (won WATC Murray Welter Handicap), but another of interest was bush maiden winner Le Barrie (by White Ensign), one who stood as a station sire at Wee Waa, NSW and, according to a 1967 report on Golden Goddess, had been responsible for nine foals, all country winners.
Golden Goddess may still be the world record holder, while nearest rivals include fashionable matriarchs, Black Ray (GB) (1919), dam of 19 consecutive foals, and Sister Sarah (GB) (1930), a mare who followed up 18 consecutive foals with a miss and then died while foaling.
Bambina, an Australian thoroughbred mare foaled in 1916, gave birth to 11 colts and seven fillies.
A world record for foal production among all horse breeds is claimed for an English pony who was said to have had her 35th foal when she was 40 years old.
Carl Powell, whose Brooklyn Lode rose to the top in the 1950s and 1960s via the imported Nasrullah sire Rego (IRE), acquired the mare who was to become Golden Goddess (by the imported Solario sire Lo Zingaro) as a foal at foot when he bought her dam Barry Mine (by Son-in-Law sire Son o’Mine (GB) for 120 guineas ($252) at a Victorian dispersal sale.
Among the Golden Goddess (pictured below at Brooklyn Lodge) matlngs were three visits to Rego – a horse described by jockey Edgar Britt as a handy welter class performer. Like Golden Goddess, most of the mares who went to Rego in his early stud career were low grade.
One of Carl Powell’s mares that produced a foal from Rego’s first crop was Sweet Nymph (by Beau Pere sire Beau Port): the foal being deemed so small she sold for ($105) as a weanling.
Named Wiggle, the filly became a great racehorse, winning 14 in Australia, including the QTC Stradbroke (at two), AJC Champagne Stakes, Hobartville Stakes, VATC Caulfield Guineas and VRC Linlithgow Stakes, and six in America, several of them stakes. She produced seven winners in America, including three black type winners.
Wiggle did not contest the Golden Slipper, but Rego went on to sire two winners … Reisling in 1965 and Baguette in 1970.