Entries Tagged 'Breeding Theory' ↓
March 16th, 2013 — Breeding Theory, Horse Racing, Winners
The O’Reilly mare’s all the way win in Sydney yesterday was a landmark victory in more ways than one.
The daughter of Star Affair’s tough effort in the Listed Aspiration Quality at Warwick Farm validated her Group 1 placing in last year’s ATC Oaks and meant that that she gained the all-important bold black type. As one of my recommended matings for Northland breeder Terry Archer, this was personally significant because the mare’s previous stakeswinner, Solid Billing, had no input from Cloughmore whatsoever. I had been consulted on the Galileo matings for Star Affair, the best result of which was the heartbreak horse Galileo’s Galaxy; his speciality was running close seconds in South African Group 1 events, so yesterday’s result was especially pleasing.
Interestingly, Solid Billing’s best performance was his third placing in the Sydney Cup and it appears that this 3200 metre event is also a target for Thy. After yesterday’s race a stable spokesperson was quoted that the mare will “stay all day”; the fact that she ran her last 600 in 34.44 might indicate that she also has the crucial ability to accelerate at the end of a Group 1 contest.
Another aspect of Thy’s win is that she is the offspring of another Cloughmore stakeswinner. As the Star Way – The Grin filly, Star Affair made $55,000 at the 2000 Premier Sale and was one of my top four filly selections of that sale. Trained by Frank Ritchie, she showed herself to be a very useful miler and, aided by an outstanding ride by Lance O’Sullivan, was successful in the 2003 renewal of the Group 2 Travis Stakes. Thy is thus yet another stakeswinner from the wonderful family developed by the Dennis brothers.
August 12th, 2012 — Breeding Theory, Choosing A Stallion, Value For Money
In these tough economic times there’s one conundrum that all breeders face: to breed that mare of limited commercial appeal or leave her in the back paddock in the hope that one of her relatives will sort the problem for us. The problem is that even if this does happen, we can’t sell foals that don’t exist and we can’t boost our mare’s breeding record unless her offspring are out there running for us.
It’s well known that some studs will do deals on service fees – and all power to them! Only those operations with significant broodmare bands can afford to ignore this technique of getting their stallions’ progeny out there on the racetrack. However, at the end of the day all breeders have to pay something in the way of a service fee. This article aims to identify five stallions standing at $3000 or less which seem to offer significant value at their advertised fee. They are, in alphabetical order, Colombia, D’Cash, Howbaddouwantit, Mettre En Jeu and Tobique.
Colombia has the virtue of giving you what you want. I’ve used him myself to introduce some quality into a a huge, raw-boned mare and the foal, now a 4YO mare, has turned out just as I’d imagined. His progeny throw much more to his female line than to Zabeel but since his dam is Eight Carat, who cares?
D’Cash comes very much into the same category. I’ve done some recommendations for him and also bred to him myself with some success. His foals aren’t always pretty but he is quite predictable in that the mares you’d hope would work with him do just that.
Howbaddouwantit must be the most under-rated sire in the country. His wins:winners ratio is very respectable as are his winners:runners figures. He throws size and does well with speedy mares.
Mettre En Jeu. Readers of this site will be well aware of my respect for this son of super sire Montjeu, himself far and away the most successful son of Sadler’s Wells in these parts. His yearlings at Karaka looked very impressive and his female line is inbred to the legendary Cinna.
Tobique was a classy galloper whose career was blighted by injury. Some sons of Redoute’s Choice can be very top-heavy but he isn’t and I really liked the way he finished off his races. I think he’s a real sleeper and will be especially suited by mares strong in Grey Sovereign.
Please feel free to contact me about these stallons if you’d like me to develop my thoughts in more depth.
January 9th, 2012 — Breeding Theory, News, Value For Money
I mentioned in my last article that there were 12 lots with a Cloughmore connection in the 2012 catalogues and promised to give readers some details about them. So here we go.
The Premier Sale includes two recommended matings, both colts. One is by Darci Brahma ex Showileo and the other a son of O’Reilly out of the Group 2 winner Star Affair. The Darci Brahma colt is a standout in terms of athleticism and I’m thrilled by the recent progress of the Danehill – Sadler’s Wells cross, Frankel being the star. The O’Reilly comes from another rock-solid family; he is a good type with an outstanding temperament. Star Way mares are always something of a challenge to mate but this one has already produced a colt and a filly by O’Reilly which have been well received in the sale ring and are showing promise in the early stages of their careers.
The Select Sale features colts by Falkirk – Baci, Bachelor Duke – Lady Cherokee, Magic Albert – Quiet Please, Strategic – Sotela and Iffraaj – Straight Lake.
The Falkirk mating had a significant conformation aspect to it; Baci is a chunky mare and Falkirk was suggested as a stallion which should provide more scope whilst retaining the mare’s speed.
Lady Cherokee is by Cherokee Run from a superb family. Cherokee Run has had mixed success as a broodmare sire but he crosses well with two stallions in particular – Seattle Slew and Mr.Prospector; Bachelor Duke has both these influences close up.
The Magic Albert and Strategic colts were in utero when their dams were purchased by clients; in both cases I felt that the unborn foals contributed significantly to the value of the packages.
As regards Iffraaj, there seems to be a very strong likelihood that his stock will represent good value. Last year his yearlings brought ridiculous prices; now that his second NH crop has not done as well as his first, the market will no doubt over-react. Buyers should remember that Iffraaj was a much better racehorse as a 4YO and a 5YO than he was in his younger days.
The Select fillies are by Pentire ex Eyes Light Up, Thorn Park – Lady Cavalier and Pins – Sheza Gem.
The Pentire is bred on the highly successful Tudor Minstrel – Star Kingdom nick with some strong Djebel influences thrown in. This is a consistent family which has produced some smart fillies over the years.
Consistency is also a major attraction of the Thorn Park filly’s family. The dam was only narrowly beaten at Group 1 level and the sire was selected to inject just a little more class into the pedigree.
The Pins mating for Sheza Gem was an obvious way of reinforcing the key Star Kingdom and Northern Dancer elements of her pedigree. It never pays to ignore the obvious.
Finally, in the Festival catalogue there are the Don Eduardo – Prangelica and the Perfectly Ready – Superbly Bred colts, both very strong matings. The former pedigree imitates that of the classy stayer All In Black; the latter is a mirror pedigree featuring some of the leading stallions and female families of thoroughbred breeding.
Incidentally, photos of the Magic Albert, Don Eduardo, Perfectly Ready and Pins yearlings can be viewed on the Totara Park Stud website.
Please feel free to contact me if you’d like further information on the above yearlings.
January 6th, 2012 — Breeding Theory
As this year’s New Zealand Bloodstock Karaka yearling sales approach, Ishimine’s impressive win at Whangarei yesterday was a nicely timed advertisement for the buyers’ guides I produce each year.
The Ishiguru – Poacher’s Prize (Prized) filly was selected as one of the top-ranking lots in the 2010 Festival Sale and was purchased by Donna Logan for $9000. Donna has used this Cloughmore service for several years and it has helped her to buy a steady stream of winners at very reasonable prices.
Another graduate of the same Festival Sale is the highly promising Falkirk filly Special Draw. The daughter of Summer Nymph did not make my original list but, as sometimes happens, a client phoned me saying that she was a particularly nice type and was there anything wrong with her pedigree? He also provided me with a key piece of information which completely dispelled a concern that I originally did have about the pedigree page. I was able to assure him that, in my opinion, he could proceed with confidence to bid on the filly. Incidentally, Special Draw’s pedigree has strong similarities to that of Durham Town.
(Clients who purchase a buyers’ guide for a sale are very welcome to any additional advice about any lot in that sale. This advice is available at no extra cost.)
The other exciting thing about these sales is that they contain the results of some of our recommended matings. This year there are 12 such yearlings: 2 in the Premier, 8 in the Select and 2 in the Festival.
In my next article I will focus on these yearlings. They include colts by O’Reilly, Darci Brahma, Falkirk, Bachelor Duke, Magic Albert, Strategic, Iffraaj, Don Eduardo and Perfectly Ready. The fillies are by Pentire, Thorn Park and Pins.
And for those of you following the Lucario story from my previous article – yes, he did run again yesterday at Ballarat and, yes, he did win again. Unfortunately his race was scheduled at the same time as some minor greyhound event so none of us got to see him in action.
December 21st, 2011 — Breeding Theory, News, Winners
One of the difficulties of advising clients about mating their mares is keeping a track of their eventual decisions and the results of those decisions.
In yesterday’s edition of the Manawatu Standard there was a short article about the impressive Awapuni winner, Nashville. The writer referred to the gelding being by Darci Brahma out of the Royal Academy mare Royal Kiss. That sounded familiar so I went to the filing system and it all came back to me.
I also remembered many interesting conversations I had with the late Bob Tait on the subject of breeding thoroughbreds. One such conversation involved Bob’s determination to send a mare to the first-season sire Darci Brahma. Should he send Royal Kiss or Key of Future? On analysing their pedigrees it became apparent that both mares would suit the son of Danehill very well indeed; I wrote to Bob and commented that “both appear to be excellent matings”. The Royal Kiss mating could “produce a racehorse with real brilliance”.
I am normally quite conservative in the way I phrase recommendations but this mating did appear to be somewhat special as it contained what I regarded as at least four major nicks. There certainly was a degree of inbreeding but the nicks were the key point I raised in my letter. It is going to be very interesting indeed to follow Nashville’s progress: if he turns out as good as I suspect him to be, he’ll be a very handy point of reference for future recommendations. I’ve long been doubtful about the wisdom of slavish devotion to inbreeding; identfying successful crosses which work well with other successful crosses seems to make much more sense.
Very much on the same theory one of my own mares, Mi Minnie, had been sent to D’Cash. Her second foal by him contracted a virus in his first few months of life and when I went to inspect my colt he was so unimpressive that I decided that as soon as he was weaned I would give him away. He wasn’t worth the expense of entering him in a sale. One had to be realistic.
Well, Lucario has yet to run out of the money. The recipients of the gift horse did a great job of making him the best he could be and after three consecutive placings sold him to clients of top Australian trainer Mark Kavanagh. After a placing and a spell Lucario was entered for a 1400 metre maiden at Ballarat on Sunday. As you’ll imagine, I watched the race with mixed feelings. Still no oil painting, he nonetheless was one of those horses which you’d describe as “big enough if he’s good enough”. On this occasion he was clearly good enough and beat his nearest rival, an expensive Encosta de Lago colt, convincingly.
August 3rd, 2008 — Breeding Theory
Many authorities on the breeding of thoroughbreds write about “judicious” inbreeding and there have been millions of words written on the subject in general, but just what is judicious and what is not? Clearly, it is easy to be wise after the event and to comment learnedly on the pedigree of a Group 1 winner, but it’s quite a different matter for the breeder pondering which stallion to send his mare to.
When one does a computer-generated hypothetical mating, it is somehow reassuring, especially to the novice breeder, when the presence of dark black type indicates a duplicated ancestor. However, the first thing I learned about breeding thoroughbreds was that duplications do not automatically mean good news. In 1976 a friend and I purchased a Sucaryl- Special Mate filly at the yearling sales; the dam was a half-sister to the champion mare Fairfleet and the sire was a well credentialled Group winner in the UK. We were also impressed by the fact that our pride and joy was inbred 4×4 to Honey Buzzard, the dam of Honeyway and the grand-dam of Messmate. Regrettably, we forgot that inbreeding can reinforce undesirable genetic traits just as often as it can produce a desirable outcome. Not only did our filly fail to win, she also proved an utter disaster as a broodmare.
How then can one guard against such results? Well, there are no guarantees, but there are some useful guidelines. Firstly, there’s little point inbreeding to mares or stallions which are not superior producers; the logic of this is inescapable. If one is trying to improve the family one is breeding from, diluting the gene pool is not the way to go. Secondly, look at the available evidence as to whether inbreeding to a particular ancestor has worked well in the past. (This was our mistake – duplicating Honey Buzzard has been spectacularly unsuccessful!) Thirdly, if the evidence is contradictory, read up about the ancestor you are considering inbreeding to. For example, there is growing evidence that inbreeding to Mr Prospector can be very successful; however, this great stallion has a habit of throwing offset knees, apparently a legacy from his mother. If your mare has offset knees, inbreeding to Mr Prospector might not be such a great idea – especially if you are planning on selling the resulting foal.
Clearly, the more you know about what the names in your mare’s pedigree actually mean, the greater your chances of becoming a successful breeder.