“Our breeding all started with Impish Devil’ – Jeff Wallace

By Duane Ranger (courtesy of Redcliffe Paceway)

Prolific Ipswich breeder and businessman, Jeff Wallace, often wonders what would have happened had his father, Des, not met, Des Weeks, when the brilliant Queensland horseman was working as a part-time security officer back in 1970.

“Our family has owned a Furniture business in Ipswich since 1952 and when I was 20, Des said to my father that he should own a horse. Dad said okay and bought a 1967 Deep Adios colt named Adios Lawn, which was trained by Des (Weeks).

“Adios Lawn went to open class and we got hooked. So much so I got my driver’s and trainer’s licence (1973), but soon realised I couldn’t drive. I gave up training in in 2011 with 162 winners ($429,024),” Wallace said.

The Raceview-based 75-year-old and his wife Le-Ann, have owned several hundred winners since, but it is the breeding barn where the duo have really made a name for themselves.

“In 1997 we bought a 1995 Fake Left filly named, Impish Princess, at the Yearling Sales. She then went on to win more and a quarter of a million dollars both here and the USA, before we brought her home to breed.

Raceview (Ipswich) couple, Jeff and Le-Ann Wallace, who have been married for 53 years.

“Then when Impish Princess’s breeders, Kevin and Kay Seymour, wanted to sell her mother, the 1988 Devil’s Adversary three-win mare, Impish Devil, several years later, we decided to buy her as well. We had to after what our first yearling purchase was producing on the racetrack. She was the first of 13 foals and was out of the 1984 Albatross two-win mare, Varney Hanover (by Albatross).

“When we bought Impish Devil she had bred seven foals for the Seymours. We bred the eighth – a 2000 Perfect Art mare named Forgiven. Then tragedy struck. Just two weeks after we sold Impish Princess to the USA, Impish Devil was bitten by a snake and died, ” Wallace said.

“Sadly, we only got to breed one foal out of her, and that was Forgiven. In fact, now some 24 years later all of the foals that we have bred have originated from four daughters of Impish Devil,” he added.

He said they were foal three, Impish Princess, foal four – the 1995 Fake Left 14-win mare, Sweet Shania, foal six, Little Phoebe (1998 Fake Left mare), and foal eight Forgiven. Between them they have won approximately more than 400 winners for the Wallaces’ with roughly 74, 90, 43, and 140 triumphs respectively.

In fact, their latest winner came from a daughter of Forgiven at Redcliffe Paceway last Monday (March 25). Six-year-old Pet Rock mare, Forgive Me, who is the eighth of Forgiven’s 10 foals, won the first race as the $4.20 second favourite by 5.7 metres.

The Jeff and Le-Ann Wallace-bred and owned, Forgive Me, wins race one at Redcliffe Paceway last Monday (March 25) in the hands of Peter McMullen. The Wallace’s long-time friend, Peter Greig is the trainer. DAN COSTELLO PHOTO

Forgive Me is owned and bred by the Wallaces and was driven by Peter McMullen. The 6-year-old was trained by Peter Greig – a friend who goes back more than half a century, and who has trained almost all the horses we have bred.

“After all these years, Peter just lives a few kilometres down the road from me at Peak Crossing. Peter was driving for Des Weeks when we first got involved, and has remained a loyal friend since. We have built up a solid rapport with him over many decades and now the same is happening with our regular driver, Pete (McMullen).

“It’s a privilege to have them both involved with our horses. They know them inside and out and how they perform. That was a nice win by Forgive Me the other night. She’s now won 20 races ($90,308),” Wallace said.

In fact, Forgive Me (1:54.4) has raced 127 times and placed on 32 occasions since making her debut third at Redcliffe Paceway on June 17, 2020.

Forgive Me and Peter McMullen are way too good winning race one at Redcliffe Paceway last Monday (March 25) by 5.7 metres. It was the Pet Rock 6-year-old mare’s 20th win in 127 starts.

Last Monday Forgive Me drew nine and McMullen situated her three back and two out at the bell. Then at the 400m he asked the mare to go, and she responded, looping them three-wide and then cruising to victory by almost six metres.

“Peter (Greig) has placed her very well in her races throughout her career and the other Peter puts the icing on the cake. They are both very astute horsemen. Peter (Greig) was also a fine driver over the years. In fact, he’s still driven more winners than he has trained (2417 driving and 1297 training),” Wallace said.

He said Forgive Me, was who was the eighth of 10 foals out of Forgiven, had some above average siblings – two of which had earned more than Forgive Me, and two which had earned stakes of $150,000-plus.

Forgiven’s most successful foal to date has been foal two – the 2007 Western Terror brown gelding, Blazing Terror (1:54.6), who won 36 races and $234,654. He won the 2yo Qbred Final for Greig on the Gold Coast in June 2010.

Her sixth foal, the 2013 Rocknroll Hanover mare, Just Rokin (1:53.3), won 25 of her 163 starts and placed in 40 others for $147,997, while the first and last foals the Wallaces have bred from the Forgiven, have also exceeded $70,000 in purses. Foal one was Mach Dreamy (2006 Mach Three 10-win gelding) and foal eight, Miki Magic (4yo Always B Miki mare).

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The Jeff and Le-Ann Wallace owned and bred Miki Magic nails the 3yo Fillies Qbred For Life Final at Albion Park on November 4 last year. The Always B Miki mare is trained by Peter Greig and driven by Peter McMullen. DAN COSTELLO PHOTO

“Peter thinks Miki Magic is in for a good season. She’s now won eight of her 38 starts (13 placings & $71,675) and has recorded a 1:56 mile,” Wallace said.

“We have since sold Forgiven, who is 24. Noel and Christine Denning are breeding from her now and she has left them a 2-year-old Cammibest gelding, and a Soho Tribeca weanling colt, which was born on September 29,” he added.

So, when asked who is the best horse that you have bred, Wallace replied:

“That’s so difficult, because daughters of three of our foundation mares have all left some wonderful foals. Too many to single out just one. Impish Princess (1:56.6 and $276,518) won 41 races including a Qbred 2yo Fillies Final in 1998, and then won several races in the United States before coming home, and then leaving some nice foals herself.”

Foal two, the ill-fated 2008 Mach Three mare, How Will I Know (1:55.9), was her best racehorse. She won 18 of her 70 starts and $195,159, but it was foal one that was perhaps the fourth best breeder of the family.

Her name is Lets Rocknroll, a 2007 unraced Rocknroll Hanover mare, and four of her nine foals have so far won $100,000 or more. They are: Ima Norma Jean (2014 Modern Art mare – 1:52.8); Miss Mia (2015 Modern Art mare – 1:55.2), Corey William (2014 Mr Feelgood gelding – 1:52.4), and Ima Beach Babe (2016 Sunshine Beach mare – 1:55.8). They all won 17, 23, 23, and 21 races respectively.

“Blazing Terror, Corey William and One Eyed Terror are also up there with the best Le-Ann and I have bred,” Wallace said.

Jeff Wallace a few years back with two of his loves – his grandson and his beloved standardbred.

One Eyed Terror (1:54.9) is the fourth (of eight) and most successful foal out of the 1996 Fake Left 14-win mare, Sweet Shania. The bay gelding won 45 of his 254 starts between June 2010 and January 2018. He also placed 64 times and banked $229,226 in purses.

Despite the two Des’s talking trots 55 years ago and even though the two Peters are two of the best trainer-drivers in Queensland, Wallace insists none of his success would have happened had it not been for his wife of 53 years.

“Le-Ann has not only been very supportive and enthusiastic like myself, but she has also done all the hard yards with feeding, watering and being a Mum to the horses over the years. We both love the animal very much. Horses will always be in our heart.

“Horses will always play a big part in our family. My parents were involved, my brother Wayne trained 44 winners and owned horses, and my son, Tony, was a junior driver but now works in a different industry,” Wallace said.

Wallace also paid a tribute to Ken McKay of Premier Pedigrees in New Zealand.

“He did all the pedigree matching for me and is a huge reason why I have so many photos on the wall. He is someone I trust and respect a lot,” Wallace said.

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Raceview in Ipswich – where Jeff and Le-Ann Wallace reside.

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