Entries Tagged 'News' ↓
February 23rd, 2013 — Horse Racing, News, Winners
I’m the first to admit that 2013 has been more than disappointing – at least until 4.30 pm today. After last year’s successes, in terms of a record number of wins,
the New Year brought with it a near drought – in more ways than one.
However, today showed what a good horse Nashville is. After his Trentham disasters, I was wondering what other bad luck could befall him but no, today the gremlins and the forces of darkness were as soundly defeated as his opponents in the Haunui Farm WFA Classic at Otaki. The race attracted a top class field including the Cox Plate winner Ocean Park, the triple Group 1 winning mare Final Touch (doesn’t she just remind you of Show Gate ?) and the established weight for age star Veyron. Without wanting to rave excessively, the manner of his victory was as remarkable as the horses he beat. Until the 600 he cruised along three lengths behind the rest of the field; when Kelly Myers asked him to go he accelerated smoothly, ran up to the others and put his head in front. Veyron fought courageously as he always does, but Nashville was just too strong and was edging away on the line.
It’s aways a great thrill to have done the mating for a high class thoroughbred but it’s also sad to reflect that my client on this occasion, the late Bob Tait, missed out on seeing his pride and joy win such a presitigious event. It’s one thing for people like me to say, “Go to stallion A” or ” Stallion B appears to be excellent value at his current fee”; it’s quite a different matter for a breeder to take the advice and write out the service fee cheque – not to mention all the other cheques – and also to take all those risks which make eventual success all the more precious.
December 8th, 2012 — Horse Racing, News
Whistling Straits’ dashing finishing burst at Ellerslie today marked our 600th winner and – on a more personal note – my 61st birthday. So thanks to Donna Logan, Rory Hutchings and, of course, Whistling Straits himself.
Until the last event at Ellerslie, the day was looking very much like one of those “if only” days. Golden Miss had been desperately unlucky at Trentham and Durham Town had just failed to repeat last year’s Concorde victory, so it was great to see Whistling Straits bursting between runners for a narrow victory.
Other recent highlights have been Comanche Gold’s win last Sunday in the $15,000 Queenstown Cup at Cromwell and Nashville’s dominant performance in the rather more prestigious Group 2 Couplands Mile. The latter thus became our 22nd stakeswinner and the manner of his win suggested that a Group 1 success might not be beyond him.
A Group 1 event which really made the alarm bells ring was THE race, the same Melbourne Cup that New Zealander breeders used to regard as a reasonably predictable annual addition to the national trophy cabinet. Alas – no more. All four kiwi breds were by the marvellous Zabeel and the first seven placegetters were reportedly bred in Ireland. As I mentioned in my previous article on this website, we’ve got problems. When Zabeel passes on and Australian buyers forget the sound advice embedded in “Bart’s Book”, where will our breeding industry be?
I’ve made my small contribution to the greater good by sending Balladane ( a half-sister to Auckland Cup winner Bodie) to Roc de Cambes and I hope that other breeders have bred some of their staying-bred mares to stallions which have some chance of leaving progeny capable of winnning good races at 2400 metres and beyond.
October 22nd, 2012 — Horse Racing, News
It’s been a while since my last article. The winners have kept ticking over nicely enough with Saturday bringing up 60 (and Monday 61) for the calendar year to date but one does need a headline.
2012 has been notable for the number of stakes-placed performers. Since Durham Town was successful in the Darley Plate, Comanche Gold, Thy, The Jungle Boy, Zinko and Browne Sugar have all earned lower case black type – encouraging results but not earth-shattering.
However, Special Draw’s dashing win in the R75 1200 and Nashville’s last to first victory in the open sprint were both dominant enough to be worthy of mention. The former, a product of my yearling sales buyers’ guide, is yet another highly promising performer by Falkirk – and yet another bred on the Falkirk – Sir Tristram cross. Nashville was a recommended mating for the late Bob Tait. The Darci Brahma – Royal Kiss (Royal Academy) gelding has always looked top class and is now deservedly favourite for the CJC Couplands Mile. Our homebred Comanche Gold is also being targeted at the $230,000 but giving weight to a horse as good as Nashville is not something I’m looking forward to.
Getting back to Falkirk again, I note that he had yet another winner today (Monday) at Te Rapa. Kalevala scored easily in a strong maiden field and her nomination for the 1000 Guineas appears to be entirely justified. Interestingly, she’s inbred to Secretariat – a pattern which is turning up increasingly often in the pedigrees of Group 1 winners.
Saturday also featured the latest renewal of the Caulfield Cup, an event notable mainly for the almost complete absence of New Zealand bred competitors. As Australia is our biggest market and as Australians come here to buy stayers, one has to be worried about the future – especially as Zabeel and Pentire won’t be here forever.
July 16th, 2012 — Horse Racing, News, Winners
Saturday’s Parliamentary Handicap victory by our tough Shinko King gelding was a a great thrill for his breeders. There may only have been six runners in this year’s renewal but the manner of his win confirmed that he is an above average winter stayer.
Rising Tide was bred by a partnership consisting of Athol and Diane Hunter, Fred Gianone, Vaughan Cronin and myself – a similar partnership to the one responsible for his older half-brother The Jungle Boy (Jungle Pocket).
In 2002 the three win mare Ballina Wave came on to the market. She had previously left the good wet track galloper Vinny’s Image and I had done the mating for her 1997 colt, later named Bodie, who was showing highly promising form. The Lord Ballina mare seemed too good an opportunity to miss so I put together a partnership which included the subsequent breeders of Rising Tide.
However, as any breeder will attest, there are always setbacks to any breeding venture. In December 2002 I was congratulating myself at having selected Pentire as Ballina Wave’s consort and on the mare having returned a positive test to the Rich Hill stallion, then standing at a fee of $6500; the following month came the dreaded phone call – the mare had slipped her foal. The partners accepted the news philosophically and we agreed that Bodie’s sire, Stark South, was the way to go. Bodie had just won the 2003 Auckland Cup so this was just about as obvious a mating as you can get. Who wouldn’t want a full sibling to a Group 1 winner?
In the Spring of 2004 Ballina Wave delivered a filly prior to her covering by Jungle Pocket. Unfortunately, the filly was so bad legged that the only sensible course of action was to give her away when she was old enough to be weaned.
Our luck had to get better – and it did. At least, up to a point. The Jungle Pocket foal turned out to be a colt, if a somewhat plain one, so it was decided to sell him as a weanling. He made $18,000 at the National Weanling Sale – which just about covered what he had cost us.
Undeterred, we continued. In 2006 Ballina Wave produced another plain colt, this time by Shinko King. Declined by New Zealand Bloodstock as a candidate for the Select Sale, he was retained to be raced from the Awapuni stable of Mark Oulaghan. We were joined in the racing partnership by racing stalwart Bill Freeman, Wellington enthusiast Kevin Kane and Stratford vet Philip Jeffreys jnr.
At last we got it right. May the ride continue!
June 23rd, 2012 — Horse Racing, News, Winners
Yesterday’s Amberley meeting at Riccarton featured two $25,000 open events; both were won by Cloughmore representatives. Too Much Torque cantered home in the open sprint over 1200m and in the very next event Comanche Gold out – toughed his opponents in the Greenwood Amberley Cup (1600).
Too Much Torque is product of one of my favourite crosses: Tale of the Cat – Sir Tristram. Dual Group winning sprinter Durham Town is bred on a similar genetic pattern and I wouldn’t be at all surprised if Too Much Torque ended up being competitive at a similar level. Taking a three – or four – wide position for the entire journey, the son of juvenile SW Superjet managed to complete the journey in a slick 1:10.48, a remarkable time on the Dead 8 surface.
Thirty – five minutes later Comanche Gold did what he does best. Settling on a strong pace, he hit the front early in the run home and fought off the strong finishing The Hammer Head to win by a narrow margin. This was his fourth win over the Riccarton mile; hopefully he will be back to contest the Group 3 Winter Cup in early August. His sire, the Danehill son Hawkeye, hasn’t done much as a stallion but clearly was well suited by the speed – bred Festal mare Treadgold. Her dam Can Lah (Riverton) was a quick on – pace performer; she’s also the grand-dam of the useful Howbaddouwantit mares Malissimo (6 wins) and Vincitore (4 wins to date).
Malissimo was catalogued in the recent NZB May sale and I was fortunate enough to be able to purchase her in foal to Nom Du Jeu. As Comanche Gold was Treadgold’s last foal, I’m really looking forward to breeding from this family again.
June 18th, 2012 — Horse Racing, News, Winners
Cloughmore’s golden June run continued on Saturday with a double at Ellerslie. Only the day before the much improved Miss El Bee Dee had completed a double of her own at Timaru’s Phar Lap Raceway.
We all knew that The Jungle Boy was a more than handy horse but even his most enthusiastic admirers were expecting no more than a strong finishing run in the $25,000 Chevalier Produce Mile. The track conditions were in his favour and he was aided by a clever ride from top jockey Matthew Cameron but what was really impressive was his determination not to be headed by the very good winter milers Matost and Taking the Mickey.
It appears that the son of Jungle Pocket and the good producer Ballina Wave will be heading to Melbourne next month with the express aim of winning some nice handicaps over ground. Given Saturday’s performance, one would not want to bet against this happening.
Just one race earlier on the Ellerslie card, the Terry Archer- bred Splitfire broke through for her maiden win. Her previous form had not indicated that she was capable of winning a good race at any level on a major track but her determined finish over 1400 showed how wrong I – for one – was. The Keeper mare is out of the speedy SP Mi Signora, a very challenging mare to provide mating advice on. She had previously left nonentities by Zabeel and Stravinsky (2) but did leave the very good Malaysian Group 1 winner Professional Man to Royal Academy. Her last foal, a now 2YO filly by Any Suggestion, has recently been named Mi Idea.
Nothing’s ever perfect in racing and it was disappointing that The Jungle Boy’s half-brother Rising Tide could do no better than fourth in the open stayers’ event at Awapuni. Still, we did learn that running him close to the pace isn’t the way to go – so it wasn’t all bad news.
June 8th, 2012 — Horse Racing, News
Yes, it’s been a while since something headline – worthy occurred but today Pamina, Miss El Bee Dee and Browne Sugar combined to do just that at Phar Lap Raceway
Pamina was a recommended purchase last year at the Karaka sales, as Browne Sugar was three years previously. Both were purchased by Riccarton trainer Kevin Hughes. Miss El Bee Dee was a recommended mating for Cloughmore client Donald Tait.
Apart from today’s success, things have ticking over well enough with 24 individual winners doing us proud prior to today. However, it’s the near misses in black-type races that have been my personal highlights since my last article appeared. Our homebred Comanche Gold ran a strong second in the CJC Easter Cup (Group 3) and O’Reilly filly Thy (recommended mating) did even better with her Group 1 third in the Randwick ATC Oaks. Comanche Gold will be aimed at the Riccarton winter carnival; Thy is apparently being reserved for Melbourne spring events.
As always at this time of the year, new stallions have been announced and the crystal ball dusted off. I’ve never been a great fan of recomending first-season horses, preferring to wait until at least the first crop of foals have hit the weanling sales but this year has seen the retirement of one of our best Kiwi-bred stallion prospects for some time – Jimmy Choux. I was contracted by Rich Hill to give my opinion on what bloodlines would especially suit the five-time Group 1 winner and one point I do want to pass on is that he could well develop an affinity with descendants of supersire Sir Tristram. My rationale, together with my other thoughts on the subject, can be found on the Rich Hill website.
On the topic of websites, in the next few weeks I hope to develop a new page on this site. Clearly, times are hard and money is tight so it seemed a good time to focus on stallions standing at $3000 or less. Two horses I intend to feature are Mettre En Jeu and Tobique.
March 3rd, 2012 — Horse Racing, News
It’s been a steady start to 2012 but Ellerslie provided a spectacular boost to the Cloughmore fortunes today with both The Jungle Boy and Durham Town recording impressive victories.
Homebred The Jungle Boy trialled encouragingly for Wednesday’s Group 1 Auckland Cup, showing impressive acceleration from the back to the field to narrowly defeat a game Titch and the favourite Shez Sinsational in the Nathans Memorial Handicap. The Cup field will also feature Single Minded and Blood Brotha, to name but two well-credentialled rivals, so it will be anything but a walk in the park next week for the Jungle Pocket 6YO. Nevertheless, there’s certainly cause for hope.
The absence of Nash Rawiller indicated that Durham Town had every chance of success in the Group 3 Darley Plate over 1200 metres – and so it proved. This horse is one serious sprinter: he’s got good gate speed, the ability to relax and a devastating turn of foot, even on tracks that don’t really suit him. In my opinion, he still has room for improvement and you wouldn’t be surprised if ultimately he was competitive in Australia.
As readers are well aware, the Falkirk gelding was bought by Donna Logan out of the Festival Sale of 2009, Cloughmore providing pedigree advice in support of the purchase. This year’s sales resulted in six lots ending up in the ownership of Cloughmore clients: fillies by Sir Percy – Devant (Zabeel), Elvstroem – Evana (Entrepreneur), Keeper – Giuliana (Zabeel), Sakhee’s Secret – Louders (Danasinga), Thorn Park – Lyric (Grosvenor) and a colt by Any Suggestion – Diaga (Kinjite). Although Premier Sale vendors found the going difficult, it was not easy to buy a quality individual at either the Select or Festival levels.
Talking of quality individuals, I was much impressed by the stock of Mettre En Jeu in the Festival Sale. The colts I saw all looked very much the same and, as Mettre En Jeu looks very much like Montjeu, this has to be good news. On following up my observations with studmaster Nigel Auret, he commented that Letham has some yearling fillies available at a reasonable price. Given the increased advantages enjoyed by fillies through the revamped handicapping system, buying a nice filly is becoming an interesting investment option.
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.
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.