A couple of weeks ago I got an email from Gerry Burke of Australia, who wanted to know champion import Wild Orchid’s record because he owns a half-brother of hers who is in training and will be racing soon. I sent him the Philippine Racing Commission record, with my own notes appended:
WILD ORCHID (AUS) High Yield – Dove Orchid, bay mare, foaled 09/01/02
Philippine Race Record
Importer/Former Owner: Atty. Edmond Moreno
Current Owner: Mr. Herminio S. Esguerra
Starts: 41 (1st – 25, 2nd – 9, 3rd – 3, 4th – 3)
- 1400 meters – 1:25. San Lazaro Leisure Park, 27 May 2007, class-division (ordinary) race
- 1500 meters – 1:30.8. SLLP, 1 Oct 2005, CD race
- 2000 meters – 2:04.4. SLLP, 24 Dec 2005, Philracom Classic Open Championship
Stakes races won:
- 3rd Santa Ana Park Challenge Run, 1500m, 3 July 2005
- Philracom Imported Stakes series IV, 1800m, 31 July 2005
- Santa Ana Park Championship series IV, 1600m, 11 Sept 2005
- Klub Don Juan de Manila Derby, 2000m, 16 Oct 2005
- Philracom All-Imported Championship, 2000m, 27 Nov 2005
- Philracom Classic Open, 2000m, 24 Dec 2005 (RECORD) 2:04.4
- Santa Ana Park Championship, 1800m, 31 Dec 2005
- Don Antonio Floirendo Golden Girls Stakes, 1750m, 15 Oct 2006
- Philracom Imported Stakes Series III, 1750m, 10 June 2006
- Philracom Imported-Local Challenge I, 1600m, 19 Aug 2006
Wild Orchid is considered one of the best horses ever to run on Philippine tracks. Her peak period was when she was owned by Atty. Moreno, in 2005, when she broke two time records. Mr. Esguerra, the biggest horseowner and breeder in the country, acquired her some years later, not just for racing but more for breeding purposes later on.
She has earned many millions of pesos in prize money, but I cannot give you the exact figure of her career earnings but because of problems with record-keeping at the Philippine Racing Commission, only figures from 2006 onwards are available.
She raced only once this year (so far), on 20 January, placing second in the Philracom Garnet I Stakes (Imported Stakes series I) and is currently on spell at Mr. Esguerra’s Herma Farm and Stud.
A dejected Jonathan Hernandez rides Wild Orchid into the parade ring after being beaten by Aly Dancer in the 20 January 2008 Philracom Garnet I stakes at Santa Ana Park. This was Wild Orchid’s last appearance so far this year.
Gerry emailed back with news on Wild Orchid’s half-sib:
Dear Jenny, Many, many thanks for that info – a truly remarkable record! Our colt is called Distant Ruler and is by King’s Best out of Dove Orchid. He should have his first race about the second week in October and is trained by Pat Carey, who trained last year’s VRC Oaks winner. You can probably track him through the free Breeding & Racing site out of Sydney.
I noticed that somebody from your part of the world bought the full sister or brother to Wild Orchid but it must not have risen to the same heights.
The most exciting horse over here, right now is Weekend Hustler. He is most dominant.
It’s terrific to hear from other horseowners and breeders from other parts of the world, brought together by the Internet and love of horses.