Fun was bought for Ģ1,500, he was trained in his early career by Norman Oliver at Brough
Park and owned by Marion Fenwick who was later to own his Derby winning grandson Slippy
Fun made his NGRC debut at 18 months old and was beaten in his first two opens at
Powderhall. He was successful next time out in 28.23 for 500 yards.
He then tackled the Midland Puppy Derby at Monmore Green. His blistering early paced style
saw a trap to line heat win in 30.14 for the 525 yards. He was 13 spots faster wen landing
the Ģ250 final from Enterprize. Things didnīt go quite so well in the Yorkshire Puppy
Derby at Leeds where he was beaten into third place by kennel mate Thropton. The pursuit
of the regional puppy championships continued. This time, though, it was back in home
territory. Brough Park for the North of England Puppy Derby. Fun and Thropton were drawn
apart for their heats. Fun clocked 29.58 Thropton 29.60 and The Grand Trend 29.59 for the
525 yards. They went into the final at odds of 5-2, 3-1 and 3-1.
After another slick break, Fun took his revenge on his kennel mate, with a two and a
quarter length win in 29.29. The Grand Trend finished second and Thropton fourth. Funīs
win was worth another Ģ250.
Then it was back on the road again and
the longest journey of all, to Wimbledon for The Puppy Derby. The fastest time of the
round was Paddy Milliganīs Handy High 28.22), followed by John Colemanīs Over Protected
(28.45). Laurdella Fun was beaten two lengths by the future Laurels winner.
The three met in the semi finals and Laurdella Fun beat Over Protected by just under three
lengths in 28.36 with Handy High a short head back in third. The other semi went to Tan
Silver, owned and trained by the same connections as Fun, in 28.96.
The final saw a complete turnaround as Handy High led from trap to line. Fun was crowded
early and finished down the field in last place. Although the connections would never make
excuses for Laurdella Fun (or Tan Silver), the dogs had traveled more than 900 miles for
the three runs in a week.
It had been a hard seasonīs racing but eight days later Fun was out again in the first
round of the Manchester Puppy Cup. He missed his break in the first round but led at the
third bend to win in 28.00.
He was also slow away in the semis and went down by a length to Riverina in 28.31. In the
final for which he was 3-1 second favorite, Laurdella Fun broke much more quickly and,
although heavily challenged late on, he held on by half a length in 28.46.
Funīs final race of the year was in
Wimbledonīs Juvenile Championship where he finished third to Myrtown and Spiral Cindy.
As a serious Derby contender, Laurdella Fun left Norman Oliver and joined the
geographically better placed Paddy Milligan in the winter of 73/74.
Beaten on his re-appearance, Fun ran Myrtown to a neck in his next race. He then won his
next three and went to the Cearns Memorial final (then over 500 yards) unbeaten.
In the decider, where he drew his least favorite box, trap one, he was involved in early
trouble and finished fourth behind Carry On Bimbo. He was then entered in the Guineas
where he was eliminated by a neck in the second round. He won his next two in impressive
style, 28.62 for 525 at Harringay and 27.90 for 500 yards at Wimbledon.
He was then rapidly eliminated from three successive competitions, the Evening Standard
(2nd rd), the Pall Mall (1st rd) and the Laurels (2nd rd).
He bounced back to win the Laurels consolation in 28.05 with old rival Over Protected
landing the main event in 28.00.
It was to be his last race because it was in his next outing, the 1974 English Derby
qualifying round that Laurdella Fun broke his hock.
The story then took a remarkable twist for Fun had been sold for Ģ4,000 as he was placed
in the traps for the fateful trial.
The new owner of five minutes, a farmer from Cambridgeshire, arrived in the vetīs room at
White City to find a very badly smashed hock. The dog might even lose a leg. He requested
vet Bruce Prole to put the dog to sleep.
Marion Fenwick was outraged and in a frantic few seconds had bought back the suffering
blue for Ģ1,000.
The stud career of Laurdella Fun god
underway when he returned to the north east after three months recuperation at Bruce
Proleīs Northaw veterinary hospital. Marion Fenwick had a lightly-raced bitch in the
kennel called Midi Robin who also broken a hock and it seemed only natural that the pair
be mated. The Jan 75 litter featured the Gan On Trio Danny, Paddy and Sparky. Danny was
runner-up in the Romford Puppy Cup, The Sporting Life Juvenile and the Kent Puppy Cup.
Paddy finished runner-up in the Puppy Derby and won the Steel City Cup. Sparky, reckoned
to be the fastest, finished third in the Breeders Forum Stakes (10-11 fav) and then went
independent racing where he won the Ashfield Derby. Paddy and Danny were trained by Paddy
Milligan who received a call from Ireland asking if the sire was for sale. The great Jack
Mullan wanted a replacement for Newdown Heather who had died and he was sweet on Laurdella
Agreement was eventually made and Fun again changed hands for Ģ4,000 after being bought
by Freddie Warrell.
Laurdella Fun was from the first litter
sired by Supreme Fun the dog who finished runner-up to Dolores Rocket in the 1971 English
His victories included Wembleyīs Select Stakes, the Edinburgh Cup and the Olympic over
600 yards at Carlton where he smashed the course record. Supreme Fun was the classically
bred dog being by probably the greatest dual purpose sire of all time Newdown Heather
(also sire of Dolores Rocket).
Supreme Funīs dam was the great Top Note. Trained by Jack McAllister, she won the Irwin
Cup at Lifford and broke the 525 yard track record.
Laurdella Funīs dam Octum was an
excellent open race bitch who reached the semi finals of the 1969 Irish Produce Stakes and
ran third in a Barry Cup.
She was by the 1966 Irish St Leger and Tipperary Cup winner Movealong Santa. Octumīs dam
Clerihan Heather also threw Clerihan Venture, winner of the Guiness Stake at Limerick in
Clerihan Heather was by Clonalvy Pride out of Prairie Heather, a full sister to Prairie
Flash and a half sister to the great Pigalle Wonder. She also threw Prairie Joy, winner of
the Shandon Sweep in 29.40 at Cork.
The lines are of equal interest to
Australian breeders because Laurdella Funīs brother Waverly Supreme, a former Shelbourne
750 track record holder, was one of the outstanding stud dogs seen Down Under in the last
20 years. Fun who was sold for Ģ3,500 also won a Derby consolation for Ger McKenna. He
was champion sire for three successive years in New South Wales and Queensland and died
after making over a quarter of a million Australian dollars in stud fees.
In terms of overall numbers, Laurdella Fun cannot compare with Monalee Champion, Sand Man
or even his own brother. He was though one of the most successful sires of early pace in
his life time and his influence is still there to be seen.