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!!!
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.