The 2023 edition of the prestigious Haymes Paint Jericho Cup over the extreme distance of 4600m saw the New Zealand mare Nassak Diamond run out a very authoritative winner for her Cambridge based owner/breeder The Oaks Stud ( an operation wholly owned by Queenslander Dick Karreman ).
Whilst this race never seems to attract the top echelon of staying horses it does allow it's own kind of recognition for a lesser class of horse biased more towards stout stamina traits.
With a generous Stake of A$304,000 in prizemoney it also allows the winner to put their own stake in the ground.
For Nassak Diamond this stake is more one of setting her up as a recognised name in the future as a budding broodmare rather than through the normal route of earning valuable black type.
The outstanding feature of this Warrnambool victory was that Nassak Diamond won the race by a staggering 7 lengths. Not only this but it was well-noticed that she was the only horse cruising forward at the 1000m mark where many were already gasping.
Jockey Campbell Rawiller took another half-lap to pull her up after the finish commenting that she would have been quite content to run another lap after the finish.
Truly frightening for all her competitors.
All this begs the question, were there any previous signals that this 5 year old mare by Rock De Cambes ( a long standing stallion at The Oaks Stud but hardly deemed Commercial these days ) and trained by Shaune Ritchie ( a former strapper for Bonecrusher back in his youth ) and Colm Murray was about to go out and obliterate her opposition on this day?
Perhaps the best indicator to this occurred at New Plymouth back in mid-September when she lined up in New Zealand's longest flat race the 3210m NZ$40,000 appropriately named NZB Airfreight Road To The Jericho on a Heavy 10 track, going she has always had a penchant for.
That day in what looked an "ugly" ride by Irishman Joe Doyle ( always being out 3 and 4 wide ) and perhaps covering closer to 3500m, it was always "under control" with the mare poering away down the home straight winning decisively by 5 and a 1/4 lengths unchallenged.
Confidence levels were relatively with co-trainer Ritchie and Stud principal Rick Williams who were on track to witness the mare's great victory in one of their proudest moments on a racecourse. They knew she would go the distance, a firm surface their biggest concern, but to win it was more an hopeful aspiration than a given.
But a given it turned out to be, and how!
What then makes Nassak Diamond such a dour stamina queen?
The answer is relatively apparent in her breeding ( using a 7-generation Tesio printout ) but there are other indicies to confirm her great staying prowess.
Before going to the Tesio indicators we will first of all reference our newly acquired Green Dots ( Traffic Lights as some of our valued client's are now referring to it as ) Breeding Programme to see what this can tell us regarding her potential racing ability.
Nassak Diamond holds a profile of 5 Green Dots ( 1 in the much lauded OTC position ) and 2 Yellow Dots, a very good profile for a successful racehorse.
This sees her carrying the same "traffic lights" profile as 2023 European champion Paddington as well as New Zealand wonder mare Probabeel.
Delving into her 7-generational Tesio Pedigree Profile reveals a multitude of "genetic delights" for a keen student of pedigrees.
Within just her first 3-generations we find the names Roberto, Fairy King, Sir Tristram, Zabeel and Sadler's Wells.
Little wonder Nassak Diamond possesses the equivalent of a V8 engine; her breeding cross effectively being Roberto over Zabeel, her sire Roc De Cambes being Roberto over Fairy King and her dam Kadesa carrying a Zabeel over Sadler's Wells cross.
Horsepower of the highest class and most of it stamina oriented.
Let us now dissect the technical tapestry to her pedigree which we suspect was put together by The Oaks Stud General Manager Rick Williams.
Nassak Diamond is bred stout, there is no disputing this.
Her Tesiopower Dosage Profile indicates a horse that will run best at 3200m and beyond with a Stamina to Speed ratio carrying a distinct Stamina leaning ( in fact in a very similar position to another 3200m specialist of yesteryear in Secured Deposit ). What is also very apparent is her sizeable Classic score of 24.0 as well as a strong Professional ( Ultimate Distance ) score of 6.0.
However, her Pedigree Profile is not solely about the influence of notable superior male ancestors.
Nassak Diamond's pedigree chart reveals a double Rasmussen Factor ( breeding back to superior females through different individuals within the first 5-generations ) in positions that both Harold Hampton and his keen student Clive Harper widely acknowledge as being the most influential generational positions in a pedigree at which to duplicate i.e. at the 4th and 5th generational positions.
Here we see Nassak Diamond carrying a 4x4 cross-duplicate Rasmussen Factor to Fairy Bridge through her sons the full-siblings Fairy King and Sadler's Wells.
This is further extended to Fairy Bridge's own dam Special who features in her own cross-duplicate and favourably sex-balanced Rasmussen Factor at 5x5x5 through daughter Fairy Bridge ( twice ) and son Nureyev.
This strong female association in her pedigree also incorporates today's highly influential and increasingly familiar "Special pattern" as seen in numerous top racehorses.
These though are not the only close-up features to her pedigree fabric.
Nassak Diamond is also bred on an increasingly rare 5x5 reverse-sex cross to Sir Gaylord, a son of legendary bluehen Somethingroyal and a half-brother to the mighty Secretariat.
This feature not only provides Nassak Diamond with a formidable breeding core but also contributes significantly to her "engine room".
Not wanting to put too bigger point on this from our newly acquired Green Dots "Traffic Lights" breeding programme but very few horses hold 5 Green Dots in the aspirational OTC position but Somethingroyal does, Danzig and Let's Elope being another couple that spring to mind.
What else can we see within 7-generations?
There is solid linebreeding to Nearctic at 5x5x6x5 with Nassak Diamond's own sire Roc De Cambes being bred on a 4x4 reverse-sex cross to Nearctic allowing Nassak Diamond to carry sex-balanced lines to this influential male ancestor for maximum impact whilst a little further out we see her also carrying sex-balances to two of the original large heart foundation sires in Blue Larkspur at 7x7 and Princequillo at 7x7x6, the latter through son Round Table and daughter Somethingroyal.
On the subject of large hearts, we also note Nassak Diamond is from Family 13 which traces directly back to the "Royal" mares of the late 1600's and early 1700's with her 27th dam being recorded as Royal Mare ( born 1715 ) by a stallion simply listed as Royal ( born 1690 ).
These were considered some of the elite mares of that time.
Amongst other sires recorded in her damline is that of the well-recognised Diomed ( 1777 ), a noted large heart progenitor of his era. Diomed is recorded as being the sire of Nassak Diamond's 21st dam Fanny.
Finally, we thought we would have a look at Nassak Diamond's 12-generation Cluster Profile to detect if she carried any particular Critical Mass ( either male or female ).
Her male Critical Mass would have warmed the cockles of the heart of the World's greatest thoroughbred breeder, Italy's legendary breeding genius Federico Tesio with no less than 194 presences of Tesio's beloved St Simon, a stallion Tesio loved to linebreed to but in his own words "no closer than 4-generations".
No fear here Federico, Nassak Diamond fully subscribes to stipulation.
Female Critical Mass is led by Pilgrimage at 61 presences and her daughter Canterbury Pilgrim at 75 occurrences, the latter being matched by only St Angela also at 75 presences to 12-generations.
It was mentioned after Nassak Diamond's Jericho Cup victory that her future could be as a hurdler or a broodmare.
We are firmly in favour of the latter with her already being set up as a broodmare however if returned to racing ( she is only a 5 year old now ) the what about another tilt at the Jericho again in 2024 following the same lead up path as for2023?
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.