Day At The Track

The good times continue for Team Slater

06:39 PM 21 Feb 2021 NZDT
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Ian and Judi Slater with their Group winning mare Goodtime Marjie, Harness racing
Ian and Judi Slater with their Group winning mare Goodtime Marjie

The well-known Victorian Western Districts-based Slater family have been both sellers and buyers at yearling sales around Australia for many years.

Horses they have sold include the SA St Leger and Sires Produce winner Hesashark, Shesashark, winner of the SA Southern Cross 3YO Final, Whats In The Esky, a winner at Melton and in North America, and the Gloucester Park winner Sidstrepo, to name only a few.

Undoubtedly, the pick of the horses they’ve purchased at the yearling sales is the bonny Rock N Roll Heaven mare Goodtime Heaven, whose list of successes is headed up by the 2018 NSW Breeders Challenge 3YO Final at Menangle.

“That win was simply awesome and to share it with the family made it even more special,” Ian Slater said. “She’s a little star.”

The Slater’s have also experienced success with Goodtime Heaven’s siblings Goodtime Floyd and Goodtime Mach, as well as the Vicbred Platinum Country Series winner Goodtime Grace, the Victorian Metropolitan Cup winner Goodtime Marjie and the unbeaten youngster Goodtime Sammy.

Horses have been part of Ian’s life for as long as he can remember.

“I first became involved in harness racing through my wife Judi’s father, Allan Anderton, in 1981.

Allan bred and owned the Nuclear Nightmare gelding Als Court, named after Anderton and his granddaughter, Courtney Slater.

“Als Court gave me my first metropolitan success as a trainer and driver at Moonee Valley. He beat a top field including Persistency and Out Swing N,” Ian said.

“He was a very good horse.”

Ian and Judi established Goodtime Lodge, a picturesque 150 acre property at Elliminyt, near Colac in the mid 1980’s. 

“It started out as a hobby but its now a professional outfit,” Ian stated.

The breeding arm is conducted by Ian and Judi at the home base, while the training side is the domain of Courtney and her husband, Mark Driscoll, who are based at nearby Beeac.

Mark also helps with the stud work and the breaking-in, the Slater’s son Jordan handles the foals and assists with the training, Courtney is in charge of the training operation and yearling preparation, while their youngest daughter, Ebony, is involved in the ownership.

Goodtime Lodge played host to six stallions in the closing season, namely, Guaranteed, Jilliby Kung Fu, Soho Lanikai, Goodtime Sammy and Restrepo – all colonial breds - and the former Swedish trotter Cardigan Boko.

“We have just completed our biggest season ever serving around 200 mares,” Ian said.

“The incentives offered by Harness Racing Australia to breed to colonial stallions have been fantastic and are one of the major reasons for us having our best year. It has made a huge difference to our business,” Ian said.

Ian shares his time between conducting Goodtime Lodge and a large earthmoving company employing 25 staff. He is also a committeeman and a keen sponsor of the Terang Harness Racing Club.

Ian is passionate about the Harness Racing industry.

“It’s a good alternative to the gallopers. If you can’t afford a galloper, you may be able to afford a standardbred either as a single owner or part of a syndicate,” Ian said.

Goodtime Lodge may be not be a vendor at the inaugural Nutrien Equine Standardbred Yearling Sale, but they will have a presence as Courtney Slater is preparing two trotting yearlings – both by the brilliant, young American sire Father Patrick.

They are Lot 22, a filly out of the WA Trotters Cup winner Itsgettingcalder being offered by Rick Burchell, and a colt (Lot 71) from a half-sister to the Breeders Crown champion Aldebaran Ay M, on account of Harvey Kaplan.

“The filly is good sized and quite athletic. She’s one that would catch your eye,” Courtney said.

“The colt is a show stopper. He’s a well put together colt near black with two white sox and a white star on his forehead.”

Don’t be surprised if Goodtime Lodge is again a buyer at the Nutrien Equine sale as they ramp up their quest for another Goodtime Heaven!

by Peter Wharton
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