The Grubb Family's 50-Year Impact on Harness Racing

23 February 2024 | APGold


Ray and Ann Grubb of Sutton Lodge have been breeding and selling youngsters for more than half a century and their efforts have had a huge impact on harness racing in NSW.

They imported Black Tie, the first son of Meadow Skipper to stand at stud in Australia, in the mid-1970s. From that stallion, they produced Scientific (1.55, $173K), who won 21 races – including a heat of the 1986 Brisbane Interdominion in track record time.

His full sister, Never There (1.59.4, $122K), became the first filly to win the two and three-year-old legs of the Sires Stakes at Harold Park. She won 13 races from just 24 starts.

Black Tie went on to sire 112 winners of more than $2.2 million in stakes.

The Grubbs also won a NSW and Australian broodmare of the year award with Sexy Lexy Whitby.

They have put hundreds of yearlings through the sales, including Australian Pacing Cup winner Ima Spicey Lombo (1.55.1, $483K) and tough Tasmanian free-for-all pacer Fleet Express (1,58, $347K), who won all his stakemoney racing solely in Tasmania.

“In the early days, we used to keep a track of yearling numbers but I wouldn’t know the exact figure now,” Ray Grubb said. “We have been going to the sales for more than 50 years and there were years when we took more than 20 yearlings – so it would have to be hundreds.

“We started at the Sydney Showgrounds, then moved to the Inglis complex at Randwick and now out to Warwick Farm.” Grubb Continues. “They won’t let me retire but we are down to two broodmares now and we did not breed them last season.”

The Grubbs will offer two well bred yearlings at the APG Sydney Yearling Sale on February 25.

Lot 309 is a colt by Captain Crunch from outstanding race mare Bettor Believe It (1.53.8, $139K). He is a half brother to leading South Australian youngster Ever Hoping (1.54.2, $141K) from the family of Fleet Express.

“We raced Bettor Believe It. She won six or seven at Melton before we brought her to Menangle, where she took her mark of 1.53.8,” Grubb said. “This colt is a lovely yearling. He is a red bay with a salt and pepper tail.”

Grubb, 86, said Lot 376, a filly by Captain Crunch from Rise To The Top was an exceptional youngster.

She is from a family of champion fillies that includes Ima Spicey Lombo, 2YO and 3YO Australian filly of the year Whitbys Miss Penny (TT1.55.2, $586K) and Interdominion heat winner Whitby Heritage (1.58.8, $201K).

“She is a stunning black filly and I don’t use the word stunning very often,” he said. “Her dam is a daughter of Sexy Lexy Whitby. Her first live foal, Rise Above All, was a two-year-old winner and came back to win twice at Albion Park in December.” Grubb says.

“Her two-year-old, Im The Reason, ran fourth at his first start at Bathurst on February 14. It really is a top producing family.”

For full details of Lot 349 and all catalogued yearlings in the 2024 Australian Pacing Gold Yearling Sales please visit our Online Sales Catalogue or Register as a Buyer now


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