Fate is a funny thing.
Literally within an hour of posting our recent article on Rasmussen Factors, more specifically double Rasmussen Factors, an email came in to Premier Pedigrees from our Waikato-based client asking how another of his mares "would go" with the recently announced Waikato Stud stallion Banquo.
This was from our same client who was involved with his Showcasing mare to King Of Comedy.
On this occasion he was asking how we saw his mare by Niagara "going with" Banquo.
A quick synopsis of the 7-generation pedigree match on our Tesio programme had us chuckling but at the same time wishing he had emailed us 24 hours earlier and we could have also included this example in our original article.
Nevertheless, all is not lost.
It can always be added as a separate corollary if it's that good and worth sharing with others and we certainly consider it that.
So here we go.
Breeding any Niagara mare to Banquo produces a similar outcome to that of King Of Comedy with any Showcasing mare, your foal will carry a double Rasmussen Factor ( albeit different individuals featured ) and all occuring within that same 4th and 5th generational level.
But this time the double Rasmussen Factor is potentially even more powerful as both are fully sex-balanced for maximum potential effectiveness.
We will now go into the mechanics of this in a little more specific detail.
All the action with this double Rasmussen Factor involves the 2nd and the 3rd quartiles of the resultant foal's pedigree. These are considered in many breeding quarters as the two most powerful quartiles in a horse's pedigree to pedigree match.
All the action here centres around the pedigree of Banquo's dam Noondie and that of Niagara himself.
The first Rasmussen Factor is to broodmare bluehen Rolls at 4x5 through her son Flying Spur ( damsire of Banquo ) and daughter Shoal Creek ( dam of Encosta De Lago, sire of Niagara ) which sees Flying Spur ( Danehill ) and Shoal Creek ( Star Way ) as half-brother and sister.
The second Rasmussen Factor is to broodmare gem Dancing Show ( a grand-daughter of Best In Show ) at 5x5 through her son Umatilla ( sire of Creatrix, granddam of Banquo ) and daughter Twyla ( granddam of Niagara ) which sees Umatilla ( Miswaki ) and Twyla ( Danehill ) as half-brother and sister.
And just for good measure linebreeding also features further removed to Best In Show at 7x7x7 through daughter Show Lady ( dam of Dancing Show ) and another daughter in Sex Appeal ( a half-sister to Show Lady ) with the latter presiding in the paternal bloodlines of Banquo's own sire Written Tycoon as the dam of Try My Best.
As an aside, a Banquo - Niagara mare mating also sees a balanced double of Danehill at 4x5 through son Flying Spur and daughter Twyla but that is the subject of a whole new article in itself. For now let that debate reign for another time and rejoice in the Banquo - Niagara pedigree match such is it's quality.
Those breeders willing to chance their arm by dabbling in a touch of inbreeding can be well rewarded albeit avid followers of Marcel Boussac and his breeding principles or just plain willing to give it a go if the opportunity arises.
If the desirable duplicated ancestor is a female then this should double the attention of any breeder.
Some breeders believe that inbreeding to a female with superior qualities or attributes as either a racehorse or a broodmare is especially effective.
This was certainly the view of Leon Rasmussen, a staunch advocate for what became known as the "Rasmussen Factor" i.e. a principle relating to breeding back to superior females through different individuals within the first 5 generations.
As the late great "Father of Pedigrees" in our part of the world ( Australia and New Zealand ) Harold Hampton identified from his myriad of observations, the position of greatest influence in most pedigrees centres around the 4th and 5th generational level.
So whenever a potentially exciting new racetrack achiever comes along, especially one who is the product of a new or new season sire, then it is only natural for pedigree consultants such as myself to study it's pedigree to see if we can identify the possible source of excellence.
One shining example came through after the eye-catching performance of the Murray Baker / Andrew Forsman trained two year old filly Mustang Valley, a memorable winner at Te Rapa on 12 June 2021.
Mustang Valley is a daughter of new season sire Vanbrugh ( a son of Encosta De Lago ) and is a very impressive physical type.
But it is her pedigree page that is equally as impressive if not more so.
We are first to admit that Vanbrugh is a stallion that can be a challenge to match mares' to ( Windsor Park's Steve Till may disagree with this ) but in Mustang Valley's dam Cream Of The Crop ( by Galileo's son New Approach ) he was to receive a mare who we can only describe as a "match made in heaven".
The resultant pedigree match produces a foal ( Mustang Valley ) which is bred on what is known as a double Rasmussen Factor.
A single Rasmussen Factor can be relatively common in a mating but a double Rasmussen Factor can be more difficult to find.
In the case of Mustang Valley, this occurs through the broodmare gems Fairy Bridge ( a daughter of Special ) and Benediction.
The Fairy Bridge Rasmussen Factor occurs at 4x5 through her sons the full-brothers Fairy King ( grandsire of Vanbrugh ) and Sadler's Wells ( great grandsire of Cream Of The Crop ).
The Benediction Rasmussen Factor occurs at 5x4 through her daughters the half-sisters Miss Priority ( by Kaapstad, and the dam of Lucky Owners who is the damsire of Vanbrugh ) and Buenos Aires ( by Rainbow Quest, and the granddam of Cream Of The Crop ).This also sees Buenos Aires as the great granddam of Mustang Valley.
A little further removed in Mustang Valley's pedigree female linebreeding also occurs to Natalma at 5x8x7x7x6x7x7 which is favourably sex-balanced through son Northern Dancer and daughter Spring Adieu.
I recall many years ago a former Sri Lankan workmate once telling me that "good information comes in one ear and goes straight upstairs and that bad information comes in the same ear but passes out through the other ear" and this I have never forgotten as it so relates to assembling a superior pedigree such as that possessed by Mustang Valley.
So when it recently came to pedigree-matching a valued Waikato-based client's mare by Showcasing in the lead-up to the 2021 breeding season the Mustang Valley breeding template came back downstairs to me.
As i scrolled through all the Tesio test-matings with the available stallions another mating appeared in front of me offering a foal bred on a rare double Rasmussen Factor also occuring in the 4th and 5th generational levels.
The name Mustang Valley echoed off the canyon walls.
And this newly found mating looked as if it could pack a decent punch as well.
The stallion featuring here is none other than Novara Park's new season sire King Of Comedy.
And the double bloodline connection is made through Showcasing ( both sides of his pedigree ) and King Of Comedy's revered sire Kingman, more specifically though Kingman's maternal bloodlines.
The first Rasmussen Factor features broodmare gem Hope at 4x4, favourably sex-balanced through her son Oasis Dream ( sire of Showcasing ) and daughter Zenda ( dam of Kingman, sire of King Of Comedy ) who are half-brother and sister.
The second Rasmussen Factor occurs to the broodmare gem Zaizafon at 5x5, through her sons the full-brothers Zamindar ( damsire of Kingman ) and Zafonic ( damsire of Showcasing ).
So how do these these two sets of Rasmussen Factor's, Mustang Valley's and the one in the King Of Comedy / Showcasing mare compare?
The Mustang Valley double Rasmussen Factor occurs through a set of full-brothers and a pair of half-sisters so no sex-balancing takes place but it does have the advantage of being spread across all four quartiles of Mustang Valley's pedigree whereas the King Of Comedy / Showcasing mare double Rasmussen Factor also features a set of full-brothers as well as a desirably sex-balanced pairing with the total connection occuring through just the first and the third quartiles of the overall pedigree.
The latter also means that any Showcasing mare that is bred to King Of Comedy will carry this same double Rasmussen Factor as outlines above.
And as with the Mustang Valley pedigree, we also see further removed in the pedigree of the King Of Comedy / Showcasing mare mating further female linebreeding this time to the broodmare gem Tamerett at 7x7x7 also in desirable sex-balance via her son Known Fact and daughter Secrettame.
Time will be the judge as to which of these two examples of the double Rasmussen Factor will prove the more telling but one would presume if logic was to prevail then the King Of Comedy / Showcasing mare mating should have weight of numbers in it's favour especially if those breeders possessing a Showcasing mare are aware of this opportunity.
It is hard to believe that as a racehorse La Troienne did not win a race, managing just a second and a third in her three year old season in 1929.
But as a "cull" from Marcel Boussac's breeding programme it was more than reasonable to expect better in her career as a prospective broodmare.
And so it turned out. So much so that today she is widely regarded as the most important broodmare imported to the United States during the 20th Century and becoming the foundation mare of her own branch ( 1x ) of the Bruce Lowe No 1 Family.
All this from a mare that was no picture to look at and described as a plain, light-framed, lengthy bay mare with long cannons, characteristics which featured in a number of her descendants.
Inbred to both Bend Or at 4x5 and Galopin at 5x5, this illustrious daughter of Teddy was the dam of 14 foals, of which 12 raced with 10 being winners. It is also interesting to note here that 7 of La Troienne's 9 daughters became Stakes producers.
So why this interest in La Troienne?
Windsor Park Stud have recently announced that they will be standing champion miler Circus Maximus for the forthcoming 2021 breeding season.
As we do with all newly announced stallions a quick check of his pedigree tells us he is a direct maternal descendant of La Troienne carrying the great mare as his 8th dam via her daughter Big Hurry, a Reines De Course mare in her own right.
So what implications does this carry?
At this position in Circus Maximus's pedigree the opportunity is presented to return as many lines of La Troienne ( via her many descendants ) as possible from a mare to the stallion's "bottom line" in the quest for enhanced speed.
This breeding practice may just provide the stallion's best runner.
And the more lines of La Troienne in a mare the merrier for Circus Maximus.
We will now go through each of the progeny of La Troienne ( both male and female ) to identify key descendants that may exist in the bloodlines of today's broodmare genepool to assist breeders contemplating Circus Maximus.
Daughter Black Helen was champion USA 3YO Filly of 1935 and granddam of 8 Stakes winners. In New Zealand, she is ancestress of She Might Hula, dam of the 1992 Two Thousand Guineas ( Gr 1 ) winner Hula Strike.
Baby League won only once from 11 starts but has a far more profound presence in New Zealand through her descendants. She produced 1945 USA Horse Of The Year Busher as well as her high class full siblings Striking and Mr Busher, all three being by War Admiral.
We occasionally see Striking's grandson Poker in downunder pedigrees ( he is the damsire of Seattle Slew ) but more so through her daughter Glamour through her dynasty of Intriguing, Numbered Account, Private Account, Rhythm and Mutakddim as well as Woodman and Boucher.
Smarty Jones, Hitting Away, Sparkling and Effervescing are other prominent members of this branch of La Troienne's family.
Another daughter Big Hurry ( 1936 ) was a full-sister to Black Helen and is the direct ancestress of Circus Maximus ( his 7th dam ). Big Hurry won the Selima Stakes as a juvenile and produced 5 Stakes winners from 14 foals.
More importantly for New Zealand breeders she is also the direct ancestress of 4 times NZ Champion Sire Noble Bijou.
She is also ancestress to 1983 French Champion 3YO Male and twice English/Irish Champion Sire Caerleon as well as 1993 Kentucky Broodmare of the Year Glowing Tribute.
Bridal Flower, Searching, Affectionately, Straight Deal, Personality, the outstanding racehorse Allez France, Regal Gleam, Relaxing and Easy Goer are other well-performed members of the Big Hurry branch descending from La Troienne.
Of this lot, Searching became a Hall Of Fame member and subsequent Reines De Course member with her daughter Affectionately ( by Swaps ) becoming a two time American Champion.
Searching is the 6th dam of Circus Maximus via her daughter Priceless Gem ( Hail To Reason ), the latter a half-sister to Affectionately.
Priceless Gem ( 5th dam of Circus Maximus ) is also the dam of former top New Zealand stallion Noble Bijou ( by Vaguely Noble ) meaning any mares holding his presence may well be leading contenders to work well genetically with Circus Maximus.
Bimelech ( 1937, also by Black Toney ) was another of La Troienne's sons and still found in pedigrees today. He was Champion USA 2 and 3 Year Old winning both the Preakness and Belmont Stakes in 1940 and subsequently a useful sire.
Big Event ( 1938, by Blue Larkspur ) ran second in the Selima Stakes and is best remembered as the dam of 1951 American Derby and Arlington Classic winner Hall Of Fame but will be more familiar to New Zealand breeders as the granddam of top racehorse and good sire The Axe II who still abounds in downunder pedigrees.
Businesslike ( 1939, Blue Larkspur ) is a full-sister to Big Event and most remembered for producing top staying mare Busanda ( War Admiral ) who became the dam of Buckpasser, a highly valued male presence in most modern day pedigrees.
La Troienne's final four daughters have not left much to influence downunder bloodlines although her last foal Belle Of Troy ( 1947, Blue Larkspur ) did leave the speedy Cohoes ( Mahmoud ) who can still be found in the odd pedigree even today.
You may want to carefully analyse the pedigree of your mare even as far out as the 12th generation to pick up on the number of lines of La Troienne that may be present in your mare, an exercise well worth doing especially if you are a Commercial breeder who is contemplating using Circus Maximus.
Before leaving Circus Maximus, we must add that whilst feeding back from your mare as many lines of La Troienne is highly desirable there are other opportunities presented by this stallion's bloodlines that do not involve La Troienne.
As a few examples, these involve highly effective delta pattern linebreeding to Sadler's Wells as well as reverse-sexing ( for "engine room" building ) to the likes of Secretariat and Hail To Reason in particular. And there may be numerous others that are mare specific such as mares holding the presence of Nureyev ( Zabeel and Zabeel-line coming into contention here ) to complete the "Special" pattern in full sex-balance.
The 2010 Kentucky Derby winner Super Saver was 4x5x5 inbred to Buckpasser ( a descendant of La Troienne ) and carried multiple lines of La Troienne through his dam Supercharger ( tail female to La Troienne ), a daughter of Get Lucky ( a full-sister to American champion juvenile Rhythm and a half-sister to Oscillate, the latter dam of 2006 Argentine champion sire, Mutakddim ) and from the Baby League branch of the La Troienne family.
It was the deeds of Super Saver that was to reiterate the long held views of American pedigree analyst Les Brindsfield; "If a pedigree lacks La Troienne, get some in there. If it has La Troienne, get more in there".
Short and succinct, but it certainly worked for Super Saver and his connections.
For those breeders who have La Troienne presences already in their mares and wish to add more but cannot afford the Commercial Stud Fees of a stallion such as Circus Maximus, we have listed below ( in alphbetical order ) some of the La Troienne family descendants that can be accessed today through current standing stallions as per the Register Of Thoroughbred Stallions Of New Zealand 2020. Please note that these only go up to and including 5 generations of the stallion's pedigree and there may be some stallion's not listed that have La Troienne descendants further removed i.e. at their 6th generation or even further back.
Adargatis - 1934 French Oaks winner and a half-sister to La Troienne.
She can be found in Unusual Suspect.
Buckpasser - Found in Almanzor, Ardrossan, Belardo, Coats Choice, Dalghar, Darci Brahma, El
Roca, Fabulous, Highly Recommended, Mongolian Falcon, Mongolian Khan,
Nadeem, Per Incanto, Pure Champion, Redwood, Reliable Man, Rip Van Winkle,
Rock 'n' Pop, Savile Row, Shamexpress, Shocking, Staphanos, Super Easy, Swiss
Ace, The Bold One, The King, Time Test, Turn Me Loose, Zacinto and Zed
Busanda - Found in Dalghar, Darci Brahma, Redwood, Super Easy and Swiss Ace
Glamour - Found in Redwood
Glowing Tribute - Found in Ghibellines, Vespa and Ten Sovereigns.
Her son Hero's Honor can also be found in both Elusive Quality and Elusive
Intriguing - Found in Redwood
Never Hula - Found in Gallant Guru
This mare is from the Black Helen branch of La Troienne and is the dam of Don't
Say Halo, damsire of Gallant Guru
Noble Bijou - Found in The Bold One and The King
Playmate - Found in Redwood
A grand-daugher of Glamour and the dam of Woodman
Priceless Gem - Found in The Bold One and The King
Searching - Found in The King
Woodman - Found in Redwood and War Decree
Whilst we acknowledge that the above list may not be fully comprehensive, our intention is for it to act as a prompt in either injecting or adding new lines of La Troienne into the pedigree of your mare/s foal's.
How many times have you had your choice of stallion for your beloved broodmare "set in concrete" prior to the breeding season only to change your mind to another stallion seemingly at the last minute?
Our guess is this happens more frequently than one is prepared to admit for a multitude of reasons.
Well, it has also happened to us here at Premier Pedigrees so you are in good company.
This particular story has it's origins back at the NZ Bloodstock Broodmare Sale in May 2011 when my good Taranaki breeding friends Johnny ( Silver ) and wife Helena Goodin purchased the mare Nicole's Niner from Cambridge Stud ( vendor ) for $16,000+gst.
I was with them at the Sales when they were in discussion post-sale with Garry Chittick ( Waikato Stud ) about the mare and about how he acclaimed her as being part of " a great International family".
One of her first breedings for the new ownership was to Windsor Park resident stallion Rip Van Winkle ( we had no part to play in this breeding ).
This produced the talented "turn of foot" mare Lady Rudolph, a mare that has been dogged from reaching higher honours because of chronic back issues as well as perpetual "tying-up" problems.
Lady Rudolph is currently still racing in the quest for black type ( like a lot of other racemares ) but around Christmas-New Year Johnny did casually ask me if I could suss out a good mating for her with the view that the foal could either go to the Yearling Sales or be retained to race.
And for a good while we thought we had found the right stallion for her ( and we still may have ) in the Windsor Park based Turn Me Loose, yet another "turn of foot" horse.
After all, everything looked good ( in fact very good ) on the Tesiopower 7-generational test-mating printout with the resultant foal presented with a breeding core based on a 4x4 reverse-sex cross to Sadler's Wells, a position in a pedigree that the late father figure of pedigree consultancy, Harold Hampton, acclaimed to be one of the most effective positions in a pedigree.
This is ably supported by a 4x5 sex-balanced cross-duplication to Nureyev via the latter's son Stravinsky ( Lady Rudolph ) and daughter Pastorale ( Turn Me Loose ) whilst an even more desirable, and more rare, cross-duplicated sex-balance occurs to the revered speed influence Ahonoora at 5x6 through his son Don't Forget Me ( Lady Rudolph ) and daughter Park Appeal ( Turn Me Loose ).
These two sex-balances to highly influential male forebears really connects the maternal bloodlines of Iffraaj ( sire of Turn Me Loose ) with the maternal bloodlines of Rip Van Winkle ( sire of Lady Rudolph ).
Whilst Turn Me Loose is a Mr Prospector-line stallion ( his great grandsire Gone West being a son of Mr Prospector ) it is Lady Rudolph who contributes a great deal more Mr Prospector blood ( 3 lines ) including an all important female sex-balancing line of Mr Prospector ( via daughter Prospector's Fire ) where Rip Van Winkle's balanced lines of Mr Prospector add to those of Lady Rudolph's damsire Forty Niner who is also a son of Mr Prospector, the resultant foal being 5x6x7x4 in sex-balance to Mr Prospector.
Things do not stop here either in this mating which also carries a significant under-pinning to Northern Dancer ( considered the Siamese twin of Mr Prospector ) at 6x5x5x5x5x6x7 albeit all via sons but we are hopeful that this is far enough removed not to trouble any resultant colt foal.
In fact, the resultant linebreeding that occurs to Northern Dancer's own dam Natalma may have a diluting effect on the likely influence of Northern Dancer in this mating as she can be found in sex-balance courtesy of Turn Me Loose's own dam Indomitable being bred on a 4x4 reverse-sex cross to Natalma through the latter's son Northern Dancer and daughter Spring Adieu ( granddam of Danehill, damsire of Turn Me Loose ).
The resultant foal carries sex-balanced linebreeding to Natalma at 7x6x6x6x6x6x7x8 whilst another broodmare bluehen in Special is found in Lady Rudolph only via her son Nureyev so will appreciate the balance that Turn Me Loose provides through having balanced lines of Special via son Nureyev and daughter Fairy Bridge, the foal thus being the benefactor of 5x6x6 sex-balanced linebreeding to Special.
With four lines of Natalma in Turn Me Loose through Northern Dancer and another line through Spring Adieu it is easy to see that Turn Me Loose is well-immersed also in lines of the quality speed influence Native Dancer ( damsire of Northern Dancer ).
These should work well with the multiple speed lines of Nasrullah that can be found in Lady Rudolph where we find amongst them that her dam Nicole's Niner is bred on a 5x5 reverse-sex cross to Nasrullah.
Just a darn good mating and one that in all honesty should probably still be proceeded with.
So what's holding us back from giving it the full green light? Probably a little trepidation as well as a little impatience.
Given the books Turn Me Loose has served to date one might have expected good numbers to have already trialled and raced and for him to have had a flagbearer "out there" by now......but we are still waiting at this moment.
And the longer you wait......the more time you have for other thoughts!
I was reading through a thoroughbred website a couple of weeks ago which had numerous interesting articles on past Influential Broodmares of the World featuring a number of Reines-de-Course. And one of them in particular caught my eye.
Her name was Chelandry, a Family 1-n member born way back in 1894. The first paragraph on her struck accord.
"Chelandry was one of those rare individuals which Thoroughbred breeders and owners pray for, but very rarely possess. Chelandry was exquisitely bred, a beautiful individual, a racetrack performer of the highest class, and a broodmare who went on to become one of the most renowned of her era and one whose influence is still being felt in the breeding world".
As a branch of Family 1, Chelandry's line of descendancy goes back to the very beginnings of the modern thoroughbred where in the late 1600's the Taffolet Barb mare was put to the Byerley Turk stallion at some time in the 1690's to produce the Byerley Turk mare who in turn was put to the Darley Arabian stallion in the very early 1700's to produce the Darley Arabian mare.
The Darley Arabian mare was bred to the stallion Bay Bolton producing in 1723 a filly named Bonny Lass and so the Family evolved to the birth of Chelandry in 1894.
We will not digress into the Family achievements, which have been colossal right up to this present day, other than to say these accomplishments can be caught up with at www.reines-de-course.com/chelandry if one wishes to delve far deeper.
So what significance does Chelandry hold for Lady Rudolph who is a Family 14 member like Turn Me Loose?
The answer does not lie in Lady Rudolph's direct maternal line but rather in that of her damsire Forty Niner who surprise, surprise, is a Family 1-n member as best found on the website www.bloodlines.net/TB/Families/Family1n.htm where a full Chelandry family tree including recent and past performers can be found.
A quick perusal of this threw up some significant finds including names so familiar to us such as Americain ( Melbourne Cup winner and now a sire in Australia ), Never Say Die ( former stallion and still found in pedigrees today behind the likes of Battle Wagon ), Genuine Risk, High Chaparral, Princess Coup, Wahid, Once Were Wild, Brazil and Just A Dash to name just a few.
And so, for Lady Rudolph, the dice started to roll again.
Of the lot mentioned above, High Chaparral became of particular focus, or more specifically give that he is deceased, his sons and grandsons.
We thumbed through the NZ Stallion Register for the best one and bingo baby!
We hit the jackpot!
Super Seth is not only a grandson of High Chaparral ( via Dundeel ) but he is also from the Family of 1-n and thus a direct maternal descendant of Chelandry.
Here is a wonderful opportunity to linebreed to Chelandry through three different parts of the foal's pedigree i.e. twice through Super Seth's pedigree ( top and bottom ) and once through the third quartile of Lady Rudolph's pedigree via the bottom line of her damsire Forty Niner.
Potentially, the best part of doing this lies in the fact that you can return the blood of Chelandry from Lady Rudolph straight back to the stallion's ( Super Seth ) direct maternal ( bottom line ) bloodlines also featuring Chelandry.
This is a long recognised and highly successful breeding technique widely utilised by breeders for developing speed enhancement in the foal.
And the cream on top? Super Seth is another "turn of foot" stallion.
With Helena Goodin being an avid Masters Games tennis player, the ball is well and truly back in the Goodin's court when it comes time to breed Lady Rudolph.
It is with a great deal of interest to us that the lead story in today's ( 7 April 2021 )edition of Racing Post's ANZ Bloodstock News should read "Arrowfield's $2.5 million Snitzel colt tops record-breaking Inglis Easter Sale session".
Behind every news worthy event in the racing world is often a good background story and we would like to share one here.
And current Arrowfield Stud pedigree analyst Peter Jenkins features in it from start to finish.
The story begins at the now defunct Stoneybridge Stud at Karaka during the onset of the 2009 breeding season when Peter was leaving Stoneybridge bound for the exciting challenge that lay ahead of him at Arrowfield.
During our overlap period, Peter had given me a number of planned mating assessments that required completion for various breeding clients and that he had simply run out of time to complete before his departure.
Thankfully, what he had done was complete papers on the likely prepotency factors of all the Stoneybridge stallions at the time ( Postponed, Ekraar, Storm Creek, Mr Nancho, Royal Gem, Red Clubs, Storming Home and St Reims ) which made my job relatively straight forward being new to these stallions.
So I was able to bring everything up to date and for Peter to vette my work before he left.
Soon after Peter departed our shores for the Hunter Valley, Stoneybridge owner Michael Tololi asked me if I could do a breeding match that he wished to email through to his solicitor, John Carter also of Carter Bloodstock Ltd.
The request was straight forward enough, to do a breeding match on Ekraar with John's one win mare Post Romance.
This was to become the first breeding match I was to perform between the two Stoneybridge flagship resident stallions.
I worked my way through all the criteria that Peter had listed as pre-requisites in a mare to produce a top horse by Ekraar such as looking for opposite sex lines of the sons and daughters of the influential mares Selene and Plucky Liege, looking for a male line of Spearmint ( i.e. Chicle, Spion Kop etc ) to balance the 25 ( from memory ) all female lines only that Ekraar held and so on including a key female line of Nearctic that was always going to provide a perfect foil for any mare holding the presence of Northern Dancer ( who also held the key male line of Chicle ), a son of Nearctic.
There were no other magic bullets in the proposed mating apart from one which had me intrigued as it was exploring new ground. We will get to this in a minute.
There was no Danehill in Post Romance ( Peter constantly reminded me of the Danehill / Red Ransom affinity drafting out a long list of Group 1 and other Graded winners produced from this cross ) nor were there soughtafter female lines of Hail To Reason, Bold Ruler or Nasrullah and there were no male balancing lines of Nashua and My Babu but she did have balanced lines of Northern Dancer, Sir Gaylord, Raise A Native and Princequillo.
But there was a female linebreeding opportunity to the largely unheralded mare Missy Baba at 4x7 ( a large generational gap which presented a partial worry as to how effective this would be in the resultant foal ) but looking at the positive side it was desirably sex-balanced via her son Raja Baba ( damsire of Ekraar ) and daughter Gay Missile ( the great granddam of Summer Squall, the sire of Postponed and grandsire of Post Romance ).
There was some risk here that it may or may not come off but at least it was being applied in the highly effective second and third quartiles of the foal's pedigree.
To cut a long story short fortune favours the brave and John Carter proceeded with the mating resulting in a strapping filly he was to name Rising Romance.
The rest they say is history.
Rising Romance was to go on and win races from 1400m to 2400m and $2,253,245 in lifetime earnings.
In New Zealand when trained by Logan & Gibbs she won the Royal Stakes ( Gr2 ) and the Trevor Eagle Memorial ( Listed ) whilst also being runner-up in the Avondale Guineas and the NZ Derby ( Gr1 ), both times to Puccini, as well as the NZ Stakes ( Gr1 ) to Sakhee's Soldier and also running third in the Eight Carat Classic ( Gr3 ).
In Australia under the training care of Hayes & Dabernig she was to claim glory winning the Australian Oaks ( Gr1 ) and finishing runner-up in the Caulfield Cup ( Gr1 ) to Japanese entrant Admiral Rakti as well as being runner-up in the Craven Plate ( Gr3 ).
At the conclusion of her racing career Rising Romance was purchased privately by Arrowfield's Japanese breeding partners for around $900,000 and is now bred in a joint venture with Arrowfield Stud.
It is therefore appropriate that Rising Romance should embark on her breeding career in the Hunter Valley and under the close scrutiny of Peter Jenkins
And no doubt Peter has already had an influence in shaping her matings as well.
No surprises then that she has visited Arrowfield's flagship stallion Snitzel in her first four breedings. I can hear Peter from across the Tasman singing the praises of a Red Ransom-line mare to a Danehill-line stallion and scrolling out his impressive list of Graded winners bred on this highly proven bloodline cross.
It is Mendelian Genetics which touches on the Law Of Probability and which highlights that when you are on to a "good thing" that you should attempt it at least four times ( largely because of genetic cell variation ) with the mare first having a filly to Snitzel followed by the subject Yearling Sales full-brother with a further weanling colt full-brother to come and the mare back in foal again to Snitzel.
In horse breeding parlance this often translates into one being exceptional, two being fair to maybe slightly above average and one being a complete dud not being able to run fast enough to get warm.
It will be very interesting to keep close tabs on the progress of each of Rising Romance's Snitzel foals and see if they conform to this outcome.
What we do know however is that it will be a brave man or woman to suggest otherwise about the mare returning to Snitzel for the 2021 breeding season.
Repeating a highly desirable mating four times can also reveal a difference in "type" and the Hawkes family have already confirmed this as trainers of Rising Romance's first foal, a filly named Yearning, who they claim is scopey and looks more like an Oaks filly but nevertheless very, very smart.
No surprise then that the Hawkes family should return to the same well to secure the full-brother with his price tag reflecting that he was a totally different "type" to the filly, being a more Snitzel type and a dead set two year old type oozing class.
We like the balanced lines of Lunchtime that Snitzel brings to the table in his mating with Rising Romance for both speed and precocity at 6x4 ( in the foal's pedigree ) and the rare 4x5 sex-balance that results to Storm Bird ( English & Irish Champion 2YO Male 1980 and undefeated as a juvenile ) is also welcomed as is a 6x5 sex-balance to Sir Ivor. And it is good to see the mare introducing balanced lines of Sir Gaylord to Snitzel whilst her female line of Northern Dancer ( Chapel Of Dreams ) is likely to prove a godsend to any stallion holding four male only lines of Northern Dancer and is especially good news for any colt foal as it allows it to avoid possible "plodder's syndrome".
Roll on the 2022 Golden Slipper, just 49 weeks to go!!!
Often we hear from breeders and successful purchasers at the Yearling Sales about the reasons why a particular yearling was bred the way it is or why a successful buyer bought a particular yearling and such reasons all form valuable insights into human behaviour.
Much of this reasoning when it comes to Commercial breedings and Yearling selection focuses around known successful crosses and that which is already proven and established in an endeavour to "beat the odds" or gain a "leg up".
And why not?
We will use a most recent example to illustrate this and add some additional comments of our own in a hopefully constructive manner.
This week's Inglis Premier Sale in Victoria saw the sale on the last day of Lot 560, a filly by Choisir out of Group 1 winning mare Costa Viva ( Encosta De Lago ) who was victorious in the NZ 1000 Guineas and named NZ 3YO Filly Of The Year in the 2013-14 season. Costa Viva's own dam is the Group 3 winning mare Vivacious Spirit ( Bel Esprit ).
The subject filly was purchased for A$400,000 ( the second top Lot of the day )by Adrian Bott & Gai Waterhouse working in with Bruce Slade.
Bred by Rick Jamieson ( of Black Caviar and Jameka breeding fame ) it is interesting to read the comments of Gilgai Farm manager Kelly Skillercorn in ANZ Bloodstock News ( 3 March 2021 ).
"The cross is 13 per cent stakes winners to runners and I wouldn't imagine he ( Choisir ) has been bred to many Group 1-winning mares by Encosta."
"She is the first foal Rick has bred out of the mare as we bought her in foal to Pride Of Dubai and she was bought to go to Choisir."
"He was a proper mating for the mare in Rick's mind and we've got a colt foal out of her to follow by Choisir as well."
In an ironic coincidence, Costa Viva was purchased by Jamieson out of the 2018 Magic Millions Gold Coast National Broodmare Sale for A$400,000, the same price that her Choisir filly has now sold for.
Interestingly, with Choisir now "pensioned off" Stud duties, it is planned to send Costa Viva to freshman sire Ole Kirk in 2021.
So enough of the background, we would like to return to the Choisir-Costa Viva breeding match and add our comments as we see appropriate.
Firstly, we are going to approach this in the reverse order to that which we are normally accustomed by taking a look at the Tesiopower likely Dosage Indicator outcomes which as we have said before are not truly gospel but which we find are a reasonably reliable indicator and certainly a "better to have" than "not have".
A 5-generation Dosage Index for this breeding match reveals category scores of Brilliant 11.5, Intermediate 4.5 and Classic 11.5 with not much prevailing in the "Staying" categories.
Overall, these outcomes tell us that this filly should be naturally precocious ( a likely two year old ) and carry on to be an outright sprinting type.
When talking about a cross such as Choisir over Encosta De Lago ( and it's superior ratio of Stakes winners to runners ) invariably what is being referred to is the top three quartiles of the subject's pedigree i.e. both sides of the stallion's pedigree and the top half of the mare's pedigree.
So often the "bottom half" of the mare's pedigree can get scant regard and it is often here where a lot of the "genetic treasures" can lie.
If the top three quartiles of a yearling's pedigree are proven ( returning figures above average or even better ) then it can often be the fourth quartile that defines the difference between an above-average performer and an elite performer.
In the case of the Choisir-Costa Viva filly we know that her damsire's paternal bloodlines ( Fairy King ) work well with the paternal bloodlines of Choisir ( Danehill ) as this has been demonstrated time and again to perhaps even greater effect with Fairy King's full-brother Sadler's Wells.
We also know that Encosta De Lago's own delta pattern breeding to Northern Dancer at 2x5 ensures he will also supply a female sex-balancing line of this highly influential forebear ( and via his top daughter in Fanfreluche ) to any mare or stallion with male only lines of Northern Dancer.
And this is important as whilst fillies are immune from the influence of "plodder's syndrome" any colts carrying four or more male only lines of Northern Dancer can succumb to this influence ( refer to Jack Glengarry's findings in Let's Breed A Champion Racehorse ).
This could be good news for the ensuing younger full-brother to the Choisir-Costa Viva filly as both will carry 5x4x7x6x7x7 sex-balanced linebreeding to Northern Dancer.
It is also worth noting here that Costa Viva carries Northern Dancer at the very heart of her breeding core being bred on a 6x5 reverse-sex cross to Northern Dancer.
But there are other forces at play with Costa Viva's breeding match with Choisir and for these we need to go to the mare's maternal pedigree and the all too often forgotten fourth quartile ( aka bottom quartile ) of the Choisir-Costa Viva filly's pedigree.
The first thing to note is the strength of not just the damline but particularly that of the damsire line where quality sprinting influences abound.
Granddam Vivacious Spirit is a daughter of Bel Esprit, great granddam Bit Of Bliss is a daughter of Snippets and 4th dam Hawaiian Island is a daughter of Last Tycoon so it is more than obvious that the filly carries some likely very powerful male presences deep in her maternal pedigree.
If we look at the 7-generation pedigree chart we notice that the first notable and highly desirable duplication of blood occurs from one of these male presences deep within Costa Viva's maternal bloodlines.
We refer here to Lunchtime, the sire of Snippets.
Lunchtime is of course the damsire of Choisir so herein lies the first opportunity to sex-balance to this precocious male forebear at 3x5 for maximum potential influence in endeavouring to extract his best attributes.
One thing we do like to see in a mating is a solid under-pinning to Native Dancer ( again for reasons of speed ) wherever this is possible and this mating has it in bucket loads primarily because of the multiple prevailing presences of Northern Dancer ( his dam Natalma is by Native Dancer ).
Costa Viva has at least three lines of Native Dancer through her sire Encosta De Lago but equally she also has three lines of Native Dancer through her dam Vivacious Spirit.
These sis lines of Native Dancer are set to mesh well with Choisir's own sire Danehill Dancer who is also well-immersed in lines of Native Dancer including being 5x4 reverse-sex crossed to Native Dancer.
As well as Native Dancer, the mating also realises a strong under-pinning to Hyperion through his sons Rockefella and Stardust ( in Choisir ), and son Hornbeam and daughter Lady Angela ( found in both Choisir and Costa Viva behind Lunchtime and Northern Dancer respectively).
As a son of the highly influential bluehen Selene, look to Hyperion's multiple presences in Choisir to mesh well withthe female line of Selene that Costa Viva carries via New Moon ( a half-sister to Hyperion ) who can be found as the 3rd dam of Star Way in the maternal pedigree of Encosta De Lago ( sire of Costa Viva ).
As a result of all these genetic connectors, it is easy to identify why Lot 560 has a distinct likely speed inheritance that will shape her likely destiny as a classy true runner for the Waterhouse / Bott training partnership.
Keep a watch out for her when the juveniles step out next season.
Sometimes it takes just one good horse to kick start a stallion's Stud career and Tobias looked every inch that horse at New Plymouth on New Zealand ( Waitangi ) Day with an attention drawing victory in the Energy Vets 3YO, becoming the second individual and first New Zealand winner for his young sire Complacent ( Authorized ).
Fellow first crop individual Calm Seeker ( Fast 'n' Famous, Mi Preferido ) has already recorded two wins in Queensland to date, one as a two year old.
Tobias showed he was a quick learner after finishing 7th of 12 on debut on the same course back on 27th December behind the smart Tony Pike trained Bentayga.
Bred by A J & J C Dravitzki and I W McCaul and raced by them along with N P George, Tobias is the third live foal from the Zabeel mare Zabolta who in turn is out of the Nassipour mare Arena Pride.
It is therefore clearly evident that Tobias has a distinct stamina inheritance particularly through his maternal lineage which also features a strong French staying aptitude noticeably featuring his 7th dam Astronomie.
Astronomie was bred by "the Master of Inbreeding" in Marcel Boussac and became a Stakes winner herself, winning the Prix Chloe, but it was in the breeding barn that she was to become a real powerhouse. She produced 8 Stakes winners led by the great stayers Marsyas ( Prix du Cadran twice, Doncaster Cup, Goodwood Cup ), Caracalla ( Grand Prix de Paris, Royal Oak, Ascot Gold Cup, Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe ) who later came to New Zealand as a sire, and Arbar ( Ascot Gold Cup, Prix du Cadran ) as well as the fillies Asmena ( Epsom Oaks ), White Rose ( Newmarket Oaks ), Arbele, Floriadas and Pharas.
Of this later bunch of fillies, Tobias's direct maternal line comes through White Rose.
Interestingly, Astronomie was by Asterus who was described as a solid bay and an extremely beautiful horse oozing class and quality and often attributed as the probable source of what became the classic "Boussac look" of horses of exquisite beauty, with small refined heads sometimes compared to Arabians. They usually had beautiful balance, high energy ( something Federico Tesio would have admired especially if this includes nervous energy ) although possibly a little light of bone, an attribute which may have been retained by his descendants into current times.
It was Astronomie's mating with Goya that produced White Rose, 6th dam of Tobias, in 1946. Goya went on to become leading sire in France in 1947 & 1948 and was from the Byerley Turk sireline rather than the much more common Darley Arabian sireline that most breeders would be more familiar with.
This maternal family goes further back to Maid Of Masham ( 15th dam of Tobias ) and it was through Maid Of Masham that the Family branch evolved from Family 9 to become Family 9e.
Other notable descendants of Family 9e include Caravaggio, Cyllene, Dalakhani, Daylami, Dubawi and Zafonic, many of these possessing and passing on a significant staying aptitude although not all as some also feature a "turn of foot".
These names may also provide a significant clue to the breeders of Zabolta on the direction to steer with some of the mare's future matings.
We witnessed in Tobias's inaugural win definite staying qualities in how he ran through the line but also a "turn of foot" how he went up to the leaders very quickly and soon "put them away".
So where may these admirable qualities have come from?
Family 9 members have always been looked upon as possessing inherent speed so it is feasible that some of Tobias's inherent speed may have come from his direct maternal origins after all his dam Zabolta, although bred on a stout Zabeel / Nassipour ( also a Family 9 member ) cross, is also sex-balanced to Mah Mahal ( Family 9 ) through her son and daughter the half-brother and sister Mahmoud and Mah Iran making the latter pairing a grandson and granddaughter of "The Flying Filly" Mumtaz Mahal ( by The Tetrarch ) and therefore very closely related to Nasrullah ( out of Mah Mahal's half-sister Mumtaz Begum ).
Some of Mumtaz Mahal's other descendants include Royal Charger, Petite Etoile ( out of Mah Mahal ), Abernant and Shergar.
But of course it would be irresponsible of us to attribute all of Tobias's speed and "turn of foot" qualities solely to his direct maternal lineage or even to the sharp attributes of Zabolta's own damsire Showdown.
Complacent has obviously had a role to play in Tobias's speed and "turn of foot" inheritance with two areas attracting our immediate attention.
Complacent is 4x3 prominently linebred to 1985 Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe winner Rainbow Quest who possessed a "turn of foot" attributed to his sire Blushing Groom ( by Red God, by Nasrullah ). And Zabolta adds to Tobias's own linebreeding to Blushing Groom at 6x5x4 through her damsire Nassipour, also a son of Blushing Groom. Blushing Groom was top two year old in France and was acknowledged as the European Champion 3yo Miler in 1977.
The second likely source of speed in Tobias from his sire Complacent is seen in the breeding cross particularly of Complacent's granddam Awards Ceremony, a half-sister to speedster Festal and La Bamba ( dam of Wandjina ).
Awards Ceremony is by Kaoru Star and out of a mare by Lunchtime so an Australian speed pedigree right up close and personal and championing speed inheritance.
In a pedigree match that completes the "Special" pattern at 6x5 through her son Nureyev ( found behind Zabeel in Zabolta ) and daughter Fairy Bridge ( found behind Sadler's Wells in Complacent ) and allows Zabeel to work in tandem so favourably with Sadler's Wells, there are perhaps greater forces at play in the forecasted likely stamina outcomes as well for Tobias into the future.
We mentioned earlier about Complacent's own linebreeding to Rainbow Quest through the latter's sons Saumarez and 1990 Epsom Derby winner Quest For Fame.
Complacent's dam Insouciance has been linebred to broodmare gem Alora at 5x4 where the latter's son Adamastor ( featuring in the pedigree of Awards Ceremony ) has been returned to the blood of Insouciance's own sire Quest For Fame ( who's own granddam is Americaine, a half-sister to Adamastor ).
And Complacent himself, has been bred in a similar manner, linebred to broodmare gem Green Valley at 4x5 and also in desirable sex balance where Green Valley features in the pedigree of his damsire Quest For Fame through her son Green Dancer, blood which has been to Complacent's own sire Authorized who features Vallee Dansante, a half-sister to Green Dancer, as his granddam.
What influence then does this balanced female linebreeding have for Tobias?
With Alora perhaps not so much but the same cannot be said for Green Valley. Why?
Green Valley is by significant staying influence Val De Loir. Val De Loir also features prominently in Zabolta's sire Zabeel through another daughter Valderna, granddam of Zabeel.
To maximise Val De Loir's influence in Tobias we need to find a male line, a son of Val De Loir, to "trigger" the three female lines of Val De Loir in Tobias's pedigree.
Looking for a male line of Val De Loir can be like looking for a needle in a haystack but low and behold, we find one in the pedigree of Complacent's own sire Authorized through the latter's sire Montjeu where the latter's granddam Toute Cy is by Tennyson, an elusive son of Val De Loir.
And through this very same source have we not uncovered the very secret ( reason ) why Tavistock ( a son of Montjeu ) succeeded so well over Zabeel mares or those featuring his presence producing the likes of Werther, Tarzino, Tavago, Toffee Tongue, Tavidream, Hasselhoof, Gobstopper and Pacorus to this same key genetic connection.
This is just more great evidence to convince us that the world could become Tobias's oyster especially when it comes to tackling the ultimate distances with maturity.
Having stamina is one thing but having a "turn of foot" to accompany it is another, just ask Great Sensation, Il Tempo, Castletown or perhaps even Kiwi!
A quick perusal of Tobias's Tesiopower Dosage Report indicates a horse possessing a very versatile Aptitude Profile with the following scores over his first five generations.
Brilliant 5.5 ( natural precocity including speed )
Intermediate 3.0 ( sprint inheritance )
Classic 22.0 ( class of his male forebear inheritance )
Solid 3.5 ( stamina indicator up to 2400 metres )
Professional 6.0 ( stamina indicator 2800/3200 metres and beyond )
The big question with Tobias, will he be retained in New Zealand or is he destined for potentially greater things offshore?
Either way, he will still be flying the flag for his sire Complacent and that cannot be changed.
Every time there is a sudden or unexpected stallion announcement either during the breeding season or at the end of it, I find myself scurrying to the pedigree to formulate some early thoughts on what mares' ( genetically ) might suit.
I do this because now is the era of instant communication and my next conversation or email just might be from a breeder who may ask for my thoughts on what mares' the stallion may suit.
Whilst it is impossible to conjure an answer on the spot for every mare, without individual analysis, I find it does pay to have a shortlist of ideas which can be shared upon that initial communication with a breeder.
This situation has just evolved in the last couple of weeks with firstly Te Akau's talented young colt Cool Aza Beel succumbing to suspensory issues closely followed by trainer Michael Pitman announcing the retirement of his top class sprinter Sensei after cracking a sesamoid bone.
Whilst I will touch only lightly on Cool Aza Beel, I will go into a little more detail with Sensei and a mare I was asked to look at on Gavelhouse back in April 2020 for one of my loyal client's.
At this time both future stallion's have yet to be placed for the 2021 breeding season but let's hope they find a place in New Zealand as I see them both as welcome additions to our local stallion ranks.
Firstly though to Cool Aza Beel.
He will be well-placed in New Zealand stallion ranks joining both Embellish and What's The Story as sons of the great Savabeel to stand at Stud in New Zealand.
A quick look at his maternal pedigree reveals an outstanding Australian speed influence led by an appealing sex balanced double to the epitomy of speed in Vain.
He also carries the "Special" pattern in sex balance as well as a female double to Without Fear and male doubles to both Hail To Reason and Nijinsky II so mares with opposite sex lines of these presences are of immediate appeal.
Cool Aza Beel's damsire line is full of good bullets including the likes of Testa Rossa, Red Ransom, Bletchingly, Whiskey Road and Vain.
It is in this area that a real opportunity arises for those breeders fortunate enough to possess a mare by Ekraar or Roc De Cambes as it enables you to breed a horse on a 4x3 reverse-sex cross to Red Ransom, a rare cross for New Zealand but one which occurs in a highly influential position in a pedigree. These two broodmare sires ( Ekraar and Roc De Cambes )are also seen as being very receptive to a mass infusion of Australian speed blood which Cool Aza Beel promises to deliver.
And now to Sensei.
Without doubt we never saw the very best of Sensei on the racetracks of New Zealand for one reason or another, his trainer Michael Pitman quite candid in his reasoning that he could never find a flint hard racing surface even during a golden Summer.
Sensei will bring welcome new blood to the New Zealand thoroughbred genepool especially through his sire Dream Ahead, a son of Diktat.
Diktat is a grandson of the highly influential mare Park Appeal hence providing an instant genetic connection with any mares' featuring the presence of Iffraaj, Cape Cross or even Great Britain.
The fact that Dream Ahead, once possessing a Time Form rating the equal of the great Frankel, is also bred on a 5x4 reverse-sex cross to Balidar just adds further genetic fuel to mares' by Iffraaj or those carrying Cape Cross or Great Britan presences being of serious consideration for a date with Sensei.
And even a little further down the track the future looks good for Sensei with mares' by Turn Me Loose, Jon Snow, Wyndspelle, Almanzor and even Ribchester joining in on the above bloodline compatibilities.
It doesn't end here either as Sensei has the female line of Special via Fairy Bridge so will also be looking for mares' with the male line in Nureyev to complete the highly proven "Special" pattern.
He also has a rare male line of Tamerett in her son Known Fact which should strike accord with all those mares' holding the presence of Gone West who's dam Secrettame is a half-sister to Known Fact.
The daughters of other sires holding the presence of Gone West such as Ghibellines, Mongolian Falcon, Vespa and even Ten Sovereign's are also well placed genetically to excel with the blood of Sensei.
A lot of the above is for the future but for now let's return to the present.
As I alluded to earlier on, back in April 2020, a long time loyal client now based in Southland asked Premier Pedigrees to have a look at some possible stallion matches for a mare listed at the time on Gavelhouse by the name of Sacred Delight ( Iffraaj - Capacia, by Cape Cross ).
From memory, our top stallion recommendation was Rip Van Winkle ( alive then but to die only a few months later in August at the very onset of the breeding season ) but my client was not to purchase the mare anyway. She was instead purchased by Michael Roustoby and headed to the lush pastures of Putaruru where Michael has continued to race her.
With Sacred Delight's pedigree firmly etched in memory and looking for an Iffraaj mare to "test-mate on paper" with Sensei utilising Tesio I could not have achieved a better pedigree match even if I had asked for one.
Sacred Delight, by Iffraaj, carries a sublime damsire line featuring Cape Cross, Tale Of The Cat, Sir Tristram, Sovereign and Hermes.
Bred on a close-up but favourably sex-balanced 3x3 reverse-sex cross to broodmare bluehen Park Appeal ( this also doubling as a Rasmussen Factor ), this acts as a huge compatibility factor with the blood of Sensei's grandsire Diktat, adding a third sibling in Arvola, a half-sister to Pastorale and her half-brother Cape Cross, the latter two appearing in Sacred Delight.
All of this would add up to Sacred Delight's foal by Sensei carrying a 5x4x4 Rasmussen Factor to Park Appeal. This mirrors how legendary Northern Hemisphere mare Urban Sea was utilised the pedigrees of some recently very well-performed horses in Europe. Oh la la!!!
And with Pastorale being by Nureyev, this also facilitates the completion of the "Special" pattern as mentioned earlier above.
If the female duplications to Park Appeal and Special are not enough, a third one surfaces to Tamerett through her son Known Fact ( in Sensei ) and daughter Secrettame ( in Sacred Delight's sire Iffraaj ).
So there is very strong overall genetic affiliation in this proposed mating particularly via the blood of Sensei's grandsire Diktat and that of Sacred Delight's own sire Iffraaj but Sacred Delight takes this one step further by having a maternal linkage also to the blood of Diktat.
In the case of Sacred Delight, she also offers the key male sex-balancing line of Park Appeal through her damsire Cape Cross, a son of Park Appeal.
And male sex-balancing would also be to the fore in this proposed mating. Leading the way here is a resultant 5x4 sex-balance to Green Desert via daughter Sahara Star ( granddam of Dream Ahead in Sensei ) and son Cape Cross ( damsire of Sacred Delight ) as well as a 4x5x6 sex-balance to Mr Prospector ( through son Woodman and son and daughter Gone West and Yarn in Sacred Delight ).
For good measure, and those seeking some stamina application, Sacred Delight's two female lines of Balidar, both through Irish Oaks victor Balidaress, are well placed to feed back to the blood of Sensei where his own sire Dream Ahead is bred on a 5x4 reverse-sex cross to Balidar through the latter's daughter Balidaress ( once again ) and son Young Generation.
This culminates in Sacred Delight's Sensei foal carrying sex-balanced 7x6x6x6 linebreeding to Balidar.
A sublime genetic mating indeed.
As a closing remark on Sensei, it is noted that he descends directly from the maternal family which includes Canny Lass as his granddam.
This makes him a soughtafter target also for any mare carrying the presence of Canny Lad ( a full-brother to Canny Lass ) in her pedigree.
Since this article was written on 3 January 2021, a subsequent press release on 15 January 2021, has announced that Cool Aza Beel will stand at Stud at Newhaven Park, Boorowa, New South Wales for the 2021-22 season, joining another ex Te Akau horse in Xtravagant. With no Danehill in his pedigree, Cool Aza Beel should be well-suited to the Australian broodmare genepool.
One of the forebear influences that we have admired here at Premier Pedigrees has been the impact made on the thoroughbred breed by Native Dancer.
His influence remains today even if beginning to get a little further removed in pedigrees.
He is best represented through just a small group of elite horses which include the likes of Raise A Native, Shenanigans, Natalma, Dancer's Image, Kauai King, Dancing Cap, Hula Dancer, Native Charger, Atan and Dan Cupid.
From this elite handful his influence was to spread far and wide.
His best son Raise A Native was to sire Mr Prospector whilst his daughter Natalma produced Northern Dancer later giving rise to the famed Northern Dancer / Mr Prospector cross with Native Dancer being the common denominator.
Another daughter Shenanigans produced Ruffian who some still consider the best filly ever produced in America whilst his son Dan Cupid sired Sea-Bird who many considered as the best racehorse in Europe in the 20th Century.
"The Grey Ghost" of Sagamore was born in 1950 and developed into a massive horse, standing 16.3 hands and weighing more than 1100 lbs.
On the racetracks of North America he was not only imposing but also surprisingly precocious, winning 21 of his 22 races at 2 and 3 years old at distances from 1000 metres through to 2400 metres. This led to mirror-like comparisons with the great Man o' War, again with split camps, the Native Dancer fans claiming he won one more race than Man 'o War.
His only defeat was a narrow one, beaten a half head by Dark Star but it happened to be in the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs. It also denied Native Dancer the glory of becoming the first horse to win the Triple Crown as he picked up both the Preakness and Belmont Stakes.
Crowds warmed to his endearing racing style of getting well back in the running early and thundering home. This is how he gained his fan club.
With the advent of television corresponding with the rise of "The Grey Ghost" Native Dancer was to become horse racing's first equine TV star as his racing style endeared viewers of the new medium and introduced them to the sport.
But he also had what is best described as a "pounding galloping action" and this was to take it's toll on his feet giving him recurring lameness, forcing him to be retired at the beginning of his 4 year old season in 1954.
It was here that he drew a number of detractors, many of whom were quick to label that he was passing on these same traits to his progeny.
His son Raise A Native was an outstanding 2 year old before injuring himself, and his son Mr Prospector was a top sprinter until he fractured a sesamoid bone.
Ruffian ( damsire Native Dancer ) broke her leg in a match race with Foolish Pleasure in 1975, Go For Wand ( great grandsire Northern Dancer ) fractured her right cannon bone in 1990, the great Barbaro ( Mr Prospector in the 3rd generation of his dam ) succumbed to laminitis after breaking three bones in his right hind leg in 2006 and Eight Belles ( Raise A Native in three different positions in her pedigree ) broke both her front forelegs in the 2008 Kentucky Derby.
The racing world can be very unforgiving at times and a lot of these tragic events had the finger pointing at Native Dancer as once again being the common denominator.
Thankfully, there are experts out there that provide some sort of balance in defence, one of these being pedigree researcher Hermann D Lammey who says "It's unfair to blame a single ancestor for breakdowns and injury", referring to a couple of Raise A Native's better track progeny, Point Given and Flower Alley, as having both stamina and soundness, pointing to other factors such as nutrition, track surface, animal care, training or just a bad step at an unusual angle as more likely contributing factors in these breakdowns.
As a then new stallion at Stud in North America it is perhaps a little surprising that Native Dancer would never go on and win a Sire's Premiership, finishing 6th in 1965 and 2nd in 1966, the only two years he was to finish in the top ten. He left both sprinters and stayers, producing 44 Stakes winners ( from 14% of foals ).
But without doubt, Native Dancer's overwhelming legacy in the last 50 years or so has been the male lines of Northern Dancer and Mr Prospector that have come to dominate worldwide bloodlines ensuring his name will remain ever present in the vast majority of pedigrees even today.
Premier Pedigrees would now like to relate it's own personal story on Native Dancer.
Back in early 2006 in the lead-up to the May NZB National Weanling Sales we were supplied with a list of weanlings by then Whangaparaoa enthusiast Mr Alan Stuck to sort out which weanling we considered the best on pedigree.
Our top selection was Lot 129, a bay filly by Elusive City from Culburra Beach, an Australian bred mare by boom Western Australian staying sire Scenic.
No nonsense from Alan as he snapped her up for $15,500+gst.
He placed her with John Miller ( then Waiuku based ) and as Dasoudi she raced 19 times for 6 wins, 4 seconds and a third earning $142,050 at distances from 1200m to 1600m, winning on all track conditions from Good to Heavy.
She won her only trial at Cambridge on 22/9/09 and then won on debut at Counties on the 14/10/09 in the hands of Troy Harris.
Acquiring light black type in finishing 2nd in the Group 1Thorndon Mile ( beaten a half-length by Booming ), Dasoudi also went on to finish an unlucky ( blocked ) 3rd in the G 1 Haunui Farm Classic WFA before her eventual sale to Australian interests.
So what attracted Premier Pedigrees to her pedigree?
For starters, we looked at Culburra Beach's pedigree. This told us that she was bred on a 4x4 reverse-sex cross to Raise A Native. This provided the mare with not only a focussed breeding core but also a likely potential "engine room".
Her other influencing feature was her prominent sex-balanced lines of Northern Dancer at 3x4 in the mare's pedigree.
These two most prominent pedigree features amounted to a substantial bloodline under-pinning to Native Dancer.
So now, how does this all feed back from Culburra Beach to Elusive City?
We start with his two most prominent favourably sex balanced lines of Mr Prospector at 3x4,a forebear not present in the pedigree of Culburra Beach. So big tick here.
These two lines of Mr Prospector in Elusive City means he carries two male only lines of Raise A Native.
For these to take effect in the foal ( Dasoudi ) as an influence we need to find a female sex balancing line of Raise A Native in Culburra Beach and she duly provides this courtesy of his daughter Where You Lead ( granddam of Scenic, sire of Culburra Beach ).
And for good measure, Culburra Beach addsa new line of Raise A Native in the latter's son Exclusively Native.
This all means Alan's foal named Dasoudi carries sex balanced linebreeding to Mr Prospector at 4x5, Norther Dancer at 5x5x4x5 ( with Dancers Countess providing the all important female presence as dam of Culburra Beach's damsire Paris Prince ) and to Raise A Native at 5x6x5x5.
And in putting the jigsaw together, of all these prominent presences in Dasoudi's pedigree, who do we find as the common denominator and baseblood lynchpin? You guessed it....Native Dancer, sex-balanced at 6x7x7x7x5x6x6x6x7 with Elusive City providing five presences and Culburra Beach four presences.
Although Native Dancer is beginning to get a little further back in pedigrees these days he is one to capitalise on where the opportunity avails as he provides speed and a turn of foot, and if lucky, a pinch of versatility at both distances and track conditions.
We see the mating of Culburra Beach with Elusive City as either very astute or very fortuitous with the latter's immersion in lines of Native Dancer and although this stallion is no longer available to New Zealand breeders we will be keeping a close eye moving forward on the progeny of Turn Me Loose who is another young stallion we have identified as having a very liberal sprinkling of Native Dancer running through his veins.
Probably no other stallion in recent times can emulate the remarkable ups and downs in the fortunes of Zed.
His story is unique and perhaps the very reason numerous equine scribes have delivered on his life events as they have unraveled. And his story is by no means over yet.
A foal of 2002 vintage by Zabeel out of the Danehill mare Emerald Dream who's 3rd dam is Eight Carat, one could not get more "Cambridge Stud" than this in his pedigree which is appropriately described by Wanganui racing journalist Paul Vettise as "Born of royal parents".
Bred by the Carter's Jomara Bloodstock ( of Humidor notoriety ) and a $400,000 purchase at the Karaka Yearling Sales, Zed was originally destined for the Australian stable of Lee Freedman but cut legs in an early float mishap ( not his fault ) saw an early change of plans.
Zed entered Murray Baker's stable at Cambridge from where he won on debut over 1600 metres at Hawkes Bay in January 2006.
A former one time pre-post favourite for the New Zealand Derby, Zed ran a respectable 6th at his second start in the Waikato Guineas before having a couple of starts later in the year at Egmont where in his fourth raceday start he incurred ligament troubles.
Despite being well-rested attempts to get him back racing were unsuccessful.
Hence a new chapter was to begin in the life of Zed as his illustrious bloodlines could not be seen to be going to waste.
Zed commenced his stallion career at the Little Avondale Stud in the Wairarapa at the paltry introductory Stud Fee of $500+gst. Despite a blueblood pedigree, Zed was lacking in race performance and Little Avondale were keen to give him a fair chance of success given the plethora of imported stallions that he was going to be competing with in a declining seasonal local breeding industry.
Whilst syndicated and with shareholder breeding entitlements which would ensure a base level of mares' in his sophamore season, Zed's low fee also came with inherent risks in that he was unlikely to attract much in the way of Commercial mares, if any, primarily because of his lack of race performance.
This all added up to Zed having to do it the hard way hoping that his illustrious bloodlines would influence his progeny and also that he may get that precocious early runner to put him on the map.
After a very respectable first breeding season covering 131 mares, Zed's numbers then dropped to 68, 61 and 49 mares in following seasons, enough to give him a chance of success based on the numbers but no precocious types shone through from his first crop.
Zed's progeny were obviously going to require a little time.
It was time for Little Avondale Stud to move him on as they had a new stallion arriving in the form of Nadeem.
With little on track evidence of his progeny even at this relatively early stage Zed was already developing a reputation as a sire of "late maturing progeny" and therefore it was not the least surprising that no other New Zealand stud was interested in his re-homing.
Through South Island contacts, Little Avondale Stud were able to re-home Zed to the headwaters of the Rangitata River at Erewhon Station where one of his new missions in life was to contribute to the breeding of cross-bred horses, serving the Station's Clydesdale and Clyde-Gisborne cross mares. And breed some beauties did he.
During the brief time Zed spent at Erewhon Station he was also openly available to serving outside thoroughbred mares at a Fee of $1000+gst. He is recorded on the NZ Thoroughbred records as having served 30 thoroughbred mares in the 2012/13 season.
Wisely though, Zed's syndicate of owners retained the rights to re-secure him if his progeny fortunes were to take a sudden change on the racetrack's of Australasia.
And change they did.
The full maturity of his first crop saw immediate performance on the racetracks of New Zealand and Australia including at Group 1 level the emergence of horses like Survived, Usanity and Absolute Champion leading the way.
At a time when Waitotara studmaster Mark Corcoran of Grangewilliam Stud was going through " a changing of the guard" with the loss of fellow Zabeel stallion St Reims and the retirement of Thano, there was room for one more stallion and a quick phone call to Sam Williams at Little Avondale Stud culminated in Zed going on the move once more, back to the North Island and back to serving just thoroughbred mares.
Zed was on a roll once more.
With a new home and a new Stud Fee of $4000+gst life was looking up for Zed thanks to the racetrack performances of his sons and daughters and his first season at Grangewilliam Stud saw him serve a record 168 mares in the 2013/14 breeding season. Subsequent seasons have seen his numbers fluctuate with 58, 56, 47, 49, 81 and 63 mares served with current 2020/21 breeding numbers not to hand yet, Zed having moved to a $6000+gst Stud Fee from the 2019 breeding season.
At the time of writing this article, Zed has 12 individual Stakes winners of 27 Stakes races, easily led by his 6 times Group 1 winning daughter Verry Elleegant, a winner of a modest $17,000 in New Zealand and a whopping $6,730,575 in Australia to date.
So good has been the performance of Zed's daughter Verry Elleegant that we thought her pedigree may provide some clues on what may work with Zed to produce superior performance.
A quick perusal of Verry Elleegant's 7-generational pedigree profile threw no surprises to us here at Premier Pedigrees as this is the way we also like to breed successful horses where the opportunity prevails.
Being 3x3 reverse-sexed to Danehill is a very good start allowing Verry Ellegant not only a breeding core but also paving the way for a likely engine room at it's position within the pedigree.
This is opportunely supported by a resultant cross-duplicated 4x4 Rasmussen Factor to broodmare gem Cotehele House ( a daughter of bluehen Eight Carat ) through her daughters the half-sisters Theme Song ( granddam of Zed ) and Chalet Girl ( granddam of Opulence ).
As this duplication occurs in the direct maternal line of both sire ( Zed ) and dam ( Opulence ) it is known as "Breeding Back Into The Herd" ( aka BBITH ).
This form of breeding has some big fans in the breeding world including Leon Rasmussen ( founder of the Rasmussen Factor ) and former Australian pedigree guru Mr Gordon Campbell who both contended that it most closely resembled that which occurs naturally in the wild where superior speed and stamina saw only the toughest and the fittest survive against predators and relating these qualities as also being required in battle out on the racetrack. An article on Gordon Campbell can be found in the Standardbred dropdown box elaborating a little more on this also under Thoughts and Observations header.
But for now, back to the pedigree of Verry Elleegant.
The above two core breeding features are admirably reinforced by further female cross-duplications to bluehen Special at 5x6 ideally sex-balanced through son Nureyev ( Zed ) and daughter Fairy Bridge ( Opulence ) as well as to broodmare gem Flower Bowl at 6x6x7 where Zed's single male line of Flower Bowl ( via His Majesty ) receives sex-balance from Opulence's rare female line of Flower Bowl ( via Bowl Of Flowers ) as found behind Whiskey Road in Opulence's own sire Danroad.
As if this is not enough, just to put "icing on the cake" Zed's male line of Crafty Admiral is also well-placed to relish the rare female line of Crafty Admiral that Opulence carries via her damsire King's Theatre who's granddam Dennis Belle is a daughter of Crafty Admiral.
This particular mating is that good in our opinion that it is one where the breeder should be applying Mendel's Law of Genetic Variation in accompany with the Law Of Probability and going at least four times to Zed. Even the great Federico Tesio would be an advocate here.
Due to different gene inheritance, these laws identified that one outcome will be well above average, two outcomes will produce useful to fair types and one outcome will produce a horse that cannot run fast enough to get warm.
In the case of Opulence, from the New Zealand Stud Book we can deduce that this advice has been adhered to. In fact, Opulence has been to Zed six times to date for a dead foal in 2012, in 2014 she had a colt foal Verry Flash who to date has amassed 7 wins and $145,150 ( perhaps better than an average performer ), in 2015 she had Verry Elleegant ( the standout performer, see details above ), in 2017 she missed to Zed, in 2018 she had a colt named Affluential ( now in Australia ) and in 2019 she had another colt to Zed which is currently a yearling.
The latter two will be watched closely as they get nearer to racing but do not be surprised if they perform beyond the predictions of Mendel.
Still going strong and now a sprightly 18 year old, let's hope Zed is around for many years to come such are the versatility of his progeny both as racehorses and as station hacks with that royal blood running through their veins.
Premier Pedigrees was born out of Ken Mackay's passion for horse pedigrees to offer a very affordable pedigree matching service and valuable recommendations to new and existing Australian and New Zealand clients for both thoroughbred and standardbred mares.