A horse called Kingston Bid was ultimately responsible for the emergence of Kingston Town. Looking for interests away from his business David Hains took up playing golf. There he met Norman von Nida who had an interest in racing and bloodlines. On visiting David Hains’ property he was impressed by the overall set up and thought it would be ideal for breeding racehorses. He suggested buying a foundation broodmare and soon found Major Bargain from Lindsay Park who was in foal to Natural Bid. The foal was Kingston Bid who went on to win 8 races and this encouraged David Hains to invest further into the industry.

Norman von Nida was a fan of Frederico Tesio who is best known for breeding Nearco and Ribot. He travelled to Italy to look for mares from these two sirelines to match with Star Kingdom line sires for Kingston Park Stud. Ultimately two mares were purchased Ursula Launderdale (who produced Lowan Star) and Ada Hunter.  Ada Hunter had a slight club foot but it was felt that wouldn’t cause a problem. Her first foal was Hunting Boy (by Claude) who was bred in England. Imported to Australia he was sold to Northern NSW where he won 6 races. Ada Hunter was then bred to Queen’s Hussar before travelling to Australia. Foaled in Australia the colt became Queen’s Hunter but could only manage to win a country maiden.

For her first Australian breeding season Ada Hunter was sent to first season sire Bletchingly who had won four of five races including the AJC Galaxy in 56.8 equalling the record. Bletchingly stood for his entire career at Widden Stud in NSW from 1975 to 1993. He was a champion sire during the 1980s siring champion 3yo Best Western, champion mare Emancipation plus the stakeswinners Spirit of Kingston, Boardwalk Angel, Canny Lad, Canny Lass, Coronation Day, Lord Ballina, Mr Tiz, Star Watch, True Version, Wrap Around, Kenny’s Best Pal, Khaptingly, etc.

After producing Kingston Town Ada Hunter went on to produce Private Thoughts (by Bletchingly) who won the Phar Lap Stakes and sired the stakeswinner Jolly Good Thoughts, Old Jamaica, Kingston’s Hope (Bletchingly), Pride of Kingston (Bletchingly), Princess Kingston (Bletchingly) and Jamaican Town (Bletchingly). In the late 1980s Ada Hunter and several other Kingston Park matrons were sent to the US Kingston Park property where Rose of Kingston produced Kingston Rule the 1990 Melbourne Cup winner. Ada Hunter produced the filly Ada Slew to Seattle Slew in 1989 and this mare is now a Swettenham Stud broodmare.

The 1976 Bletchingly colt was foaled on August 31 at Widden Stud and was black apart from small patches of white on his near hind coronet band but didn’t particularly stand out from any other foal. After being weaned he was sent back to Kingston Park to prepare to future sale as a yearling. One day he was being brought in for treatment for a cut leg when he got loose from his handler. The lead rope spooked the young horse and he bolted towards the property fence crashing into it and cutting his face badly before racing on. The neighbours ponies then appeared and scared him back to Kingston Park where he jumped the fence on the way back. The cut healed but left a permanent scar on his face.

Kingston Town was consigned with Lowan Star to the 1978 Victorian Yearling Sales. A reserve of $8,000 was put on Kingston Town but no one was interested in the black colt from a first season sire out of a mare with unknown (at that stage) progeny. Despite the auctioneers attempts only a ‘bid from the trees’ of $5,000 was offered so Kingston Town went home again along with Lowan Star who went on to win 11 races including the AJC & Qld Oaks.

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© Cyberhorse 2021 Jenny Barnes Published 27/10/02