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.
Federico Tesio - In His Own Words
Federico Tesio has been described as "Racing's Greatest All Rounder" amongst other titles not only because of his hands on involvement in breeding, training or alike but also because of his numerous great qualities and attributes that went into his daily life.
He was an observer, a thinker, a scientist, a geneticist, a philosopher and an artist as well.
He was a man of great curiosity and exceptional intellect and also determinedly independent.
Born in Turin in Northern Italy on 17 January 1869, Tesio lived for 85 years, his death occuring on 1 May 1954 in what was appropriately the "Year of the Horse".
Purchasing 19 hectares of land on the banks of Lake Maggiore in 1898, Tesio set up Dormello Stud largely as a thoroughbred nursery.
He selected all the fillies and mares for his farm often travelling to Tattersall's in England to target buy without any lavish budget.
Tesio planned every mating for his mares'. In line with his fierce independence, he employed no agents, no advisors and certainly no managers.
Although standing stallion's was largely to be avoided, he briefly stood some of his "lesser" performed male horses, the more successful ones quickly being snapped up by the larger Commercial European Studs.
The book Tesio - In His Own Words, published in 2005 by The Russell Meerdink Company Ltd, is an English translationof Tesio's 1947 manuscript, The Pure Blood: An Animal of Experimentation.
As a read we found it could get highly technical at times especially in the area of scientific observation and experimentation with some areas inconclusive so we will touch onjust a few areas of interest that we acquired from his works.
It is also important to realise that when Tesio operated it was at a time which coincided with many other notable European breeders the likes of Marcel Boussac, the 17th Earl of Derby and HH Aga Khan III so it was a time of great challenge, not only on the racetrack but also intellectually in the quest for a competitive edge over one's rivals.
Without the financial firepower of many of these influential competitors, Tesio's beginnings had to be both frugal and modest, something that was probably the makings of this great man in the equine world.
The establishment of Dormello Stud near Milan in Northern Italy was from the ground up, an old silkworm farm where vast numbers of mulberry trees had to be removed, all in an environment that has been described as "where the climate was wet but the ground dry".
It was from this modest and challenging beginning that a showpiece was developed and from where Tesio was to breed champion after champion eventually becoming known as the "Wizard of Dormello".
Tesio was not a conformist and paid little attention to the failure of other breeders who were all too ready to condemn a particular stallion and relegate him to obscurity unless he could quickly produce a Classic winner as Tesio turned out International champions by blending the genes of horses often held in low regard by others.
At the same time, Tesio did admire other Class performers and would linebreed to performance and Class whenever he could afford it.
Tesio was a great admirer of the unbeaten St Simon who never won "the Derby" simply because he was not staked for it ( in those times Staking occured as a yearling ) but who in Tesio's opinion "would certainly have won it with little effort". Tesio judged St Simon as a "winner".
Nearco was linebred 4x4 to St Simon and became known as "The Italian Stallion".
Like St Simon ( undefeated in all 9 race starts ) Tesio was to go on and breed his own cluster of unbeaten champions such as Ribot ( 16 wins ), Nearco ( 14 wins ), Braque ( 12 wins ) and Cavaliere D'Arpino ( 5 wins ).
Niccolo Dell'Arca ( 1941 ) and Botticelli ( 1954 ) both won Italian Triple Crowns made up of the 2000 Guineas, Derby and St Leger.
In Italy alone, Tesio's horses won 22 Derby's, 11 Oaks, 18 St Leger's and 22 Gran Premio di Milano's.
Such a record could easily have been extended as the horse described as "Tesio's Masterpiece" namely Ribot was never entered for any of Italy's classics at the yearling stage as Tesio deemed him "small and insignificant".
Sadly, Tesio died just before Ribot commenced racing so never got to see him emphatically triumph in both the 1955 and 1956 Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe's.
The irony of Ribot was that Tesio went to his grave firmly in the belief that Cavaliere D'Arpino was the best horse he bred when history was later to tell us that it was Ribot.
But Tesio was not just an advocate of his preferred linebreeding as may have appeared the case as his breeding exploits marched on.
His very first Derby winner Guido Reni was bred on an established breeding cross of proven genetic affinity, the Isonomy / Hermit cross. Tesio knew standing in Italy at the time was a modestly performed stallion named Melanion, a son of Hermit. Interested in the cross at the time, Tesio ventured to England in 1904 and purchased a grand-daughter of Isonomy. The resultant foal from this mating was a colt to be named Guido Reni.
Through his observations and applications of Mendel's scientific approach to genetics, research and selective experimentation and applying this to horse breeding, Tesio established some of his own findings which included "The Law of Changeable Maxims" and "The Law of Similar but Not Identical".
It was the likes of these that determined whether Tesio should repeat a given mating or not when identified as exceptional.
Perhaps one of Tesio's greatest findings from his observations thoughts, and experimentations was that which he described as "Nervous Energy".
He laid claim that racing success was dependent upon a horse's "nervous energy" defined as "the latent moment" - the time between which the brain gives the signal for the animal to move it's limbs and when it is received by the muscles.
Tesio attributed abundant nervous energy as the source for willpower and determination in superior horses.
He also attributes nervous energy as being a prime reason why champion mares that are heavily raced and as a result are placed under greater stress, rarely produce superior offspring.
Likewise the same can be said for stallions that raced heavily into their 5th or 6th year.
Tesio attributes this phenomenon to the fact that these mares and stallions have consumed their nervous energy and claims that it will take a generation or two before this energy can be recaptured.
Tesio further observed that many of the horses conventionally characterised by great energy and speed are offspring of females that have never raced, raced very little or for only short distances. These females have saved their energy, storing a great accumulation of their nervous energy potential.
With reference to the physical breeding act, Tesio observed nervous energy as being present in natural insemination but sadly lacking in artificial insemination.
Tesio's legacy is indeed immense. That a single ( extraordinary ) man could have bred so many great horses ( from very modest financial resources ) that continue to influence the pedigrees of today's best horses is almost beyond belief.
It has been estimated that the blood of Tesio's horses can be found in the pedigrees of approximately 70% of today's thoroughbred population.
I have often mused to myself that I was born in the same year that Federico Tesio departed this world i.e.1954, also appropriately the "Year of the Horse".
Now if that's not a challenge to take over from where the great man left off, then what is???
Peanuts to Producer - Pineau
When long time friends, Hawera accountant Gavin O'Dea and Auroa dairy farmer Johnny "Silver" Goodin asked Premier Pedigrees to provide them with a shortlist of broodmares to inspect at the May 2012 National Weanling, Broodmare and Mixed Bloodstock Sale at Karaka, we actually presented them with two lists.
List One included our favoured top shelf Commercial mares and List Two comprised what we termed a "value" list of mares considered slightly less Commercial.
We presented them with two lists simply because the economic environment at the time and possible bargains may have sprung from our List One.
We were also a little unsure of the financial parameters under which Gavin and Silver were operating hence our preference to develop two lists.
What we did know was that Gavin and Silver had an intent to buy a nice mare together that could possibly be developed into a Commercial broodmare.
At the very top of List Two ( our "value" list ) was a mare named Pineau, by Carnegie and out of Dopff ( a mare by revered broodmare sire Tights )who was in foal to Tavistock, the latter at that time standing at just $6000+gst.
Pineau was being sold by Blandford Lodge ( Graham and Kylie Bax ) in partnership with Go Bloodstock ( Sir Owen Glenn ) on the basis that she was a passive mare and dominated by the other mares' in her group. They believed that she would be better suited with a smaller breeder with one or two mares, certainly not a larger Commercial breeding operation.
Silver and Gavin had obviously "done their homework" on both the Catalogue and our two presented Lists and inspected Pineau upon their arrival at Karaka which included a pre-Sale talk with Graham Bax on all the details they needed to know on the mare.
When they joined me in the selling arena they told me they were going to have " a crack at her". From recollection they were prepared to go to $10,000 tops for her so you can imagine their ecstasy having her knocked down to them at just $6200+gst.
Needless to say it was job well done and Pineau was on the horse transporter and off to her new home at Silver's newly acquired and very sheltered lifestyle block at Bell Block near New
Plymouth where she was about to lead the life of luxury and quickly be given the paddock name "Peanuts".
And the good friends did not have to wait too longas Pineau's 2010 foal Dancer's Tale ( by Tale Of The Cat ) was successful at her two year old debut on September 8 2012 at Wanganui to be followed shortly afterwards by a 3rd placing in the Listed Wellesley Stakes at Trentham in
The following month Dancer's Tale was to acquire thick black type for both herself and "Peanuts" when successful in the Listed Barneswood Farm Agistment Welcome Stakes $50,000 over 1000 metres on 17 November at just her third start in the hands of the King, Michael Coleman for trainer Murray Baker. It was a short career for Dancer's Tale which would see her win 4 races from 24 starts and bankroll $75,860.
This black type success for Dancer's Tale and her mother came just four days after Pineau had foaled a lovely Tavistock colt ( on the writer's birthday ) at Waikato Stud whilst awaiting to be mated with O'Reilly.
After some deliberation, the Tavistock colt was to be retained by the Goodin's and the O'Dea's and given the name Travimyfriend.
I called into Silver's Bell Block residence to see Travimyfriend when he was just a yearling and found it hard to believe just how short-coupled he was for a horse that carried close-up 3x3 paternal linebreeding to Sadler's Wells. All physical indicators at that stage pointed towards a horse that was going to run early but to the full credit of his owners the Goodin's, Gavin O'Dea and another friend Cliff Erb he was not raced until a late three year old and rewarded them with three wins in a row as an early four year old.
From 22 New Zealand starts, Travimyfriend recorded 4 wins ( one on each of our four categories of track conditions i.e. good, dead, slow and heavy ), 5 seconds and 5 thirds for earnings of $119,750. Testimony to his quality was that four of his thirds were at Group level, once at Group 1, once at Group 2 and twice at Group 3.
He was knocking on the door of Group 1 victory in New Zealand as a five year old and it was only a succession of wide draws that had denied him.
With trainer Rachael Frost's decision to move to Victoria so did Travimyfriend go with her amidst a rejuggling of ownership.
To date Travimyfriend has become a dual Listed black type winner providing Pineau with her second Stakes winner.
A gorgeous O Reilly filly was to follow but tragically she succumbed to cancer, detected very close to the eve of her sale at the 2015 NZB Yearling Sales where she was entered in Book 1 and anticipated to sell very well.
The 2013 breeding season would also see Silver and Gavin canvas around a few people including ourselves for a suggested stallion mate for Pineau.
Amongst our top selections was Makfi. I remember Gavin telling me that he had asked trainer Fraser Auret who he thought would be a suitable stallion for Pineau and Fraser had said "to leave it with him" eventually also coming up with Makfi.
So it was an easy breeding decision that season for the partners and what a masterstroke it proved to be for one of them in particular as it was not uncommon for one partner to buy out the other's share in a foal if they wanted to race it instead of prepping it for the Yearling Sales.
Pineau obliged with a Makfi colt which was to be owned solely by Gavin O'Dea and trained by Fraser Auret.
Narrowly defeated on debut at Woodville on a Heavy 10 track, Matchbreaker was tobreak maiden status at his very next start at Otaki and went back there for his third start this time in the Group 3 Lucia Valentina Wellington Stakes which he won narrowly but well in the masterful hands of Chris Johnson.
So now Pineau had produced her third black type Stakes winner all within a relatively short period of time. Naturally after black type success offers rolled in for the three year old Matchbreaker and he was sold to Hong Kong interests for a large six figure sum where under his new name Monster Kaka to date he has shown hints of his ability without winning.
With "Peanuts" producing the goods it was off back to Westbury Stud and another date with Makfi in 2014 resulting in late 2015 in a filly to be retained by the partners and be named Not Santa. She was to be retained by the partners to race as at the time she was the only living female they had as a future replacement breeder for Pineau and to retain this wonderful "Haunui Farm family".
Although yet to strike any black type for various reasons, Not Santa has acquitted herself well on the racetrack to date with 3 wins, a second and two thirds for $27,720 in earnings from just the 10 starts in little over two seasons of racing.
There are plenty of good times eagerly anticipated with Pineau's 2017 foal by Ocean Park being an impressive debut winner at New Plymouth in 2020 racing in the name of Puke Park for the partners. He is one to keep a close eye on as he has clearly inherited the family talent and is held in high regard by trainer Fraser Auret.
Pineau's 2018 foal by Iffraaj is a striking looker and already labelled by Silver as "potential stallion material", having recently rejoined the Auret barn for the next stage in his preparation whilst a 2019 yearling filly by Sacred Falls, also un-named at this stage, currentlt resides at Silver and Helena Goodin's Bell Block property under their watchful eye. She will also be retained as a future breeding replacement for "Peanuts" further down the track. According to Silver she has a very impressive temperament and a great brain ( very intelligent ) so is another to keep a watch out for.
Very recently Pineau has foaled a colt by U S Navy Flag at Haunui Farm in late November 2020 where she is going to be served by Ribchester, a mating largely stamped by the looks and type of the Iffraaj two year old colt.
Interestingly, being a member of the "Haunui Farm family", staff there are amazed that the U S Navy Flag colt was born with four white feet as the "Foxona family" predominantly straight plain bays with little in the way of white feet.
So this must have come though U S Navy Flag and whilst Silver thinks it could be the influence of damsire Galileo we believe it it may have come via granddam sire Storm Cat and in particular Storm Cat's damsire Secretariat who possessed a star, a snip and three white feet.
"Peanuts" has give the Goodin/O'Dea partnership one helluva rideto date and there is promise of even better to come. One thing is for sure,Pineau has played her part in keeping the "Haunui Farm family" current and Commercial and she has a couple of well bred daughters to continue this amazing legacy.
Geoff and Peg Chitty's desire to own a mare by the all-conquering sire of the time in Foxbridge led to their 1958 purchase of Foxona from the Estate of Peg's late parents Ernest and Winifred Schofield.
Little were they to know that Foxona was to lay the platform for a future racing and breeding dynasty that continues ever so strongly today with many of it's members carrying vintage "vino" names such as Riesling, Moselle, Vavasour etc although perhaps some over-indulgence may have occured when it came to the registration of "Peanuts" name as Pineau rather than the more traditional Pinot.
With Haunui Farm currently breeding from close to a dozen of the descendants of Foxona and other well-recognised racetrack mares yet to hit the breeding barn such as Rondinella and Shezzacatch just to name a couple there is ample evidence that this Commercial dynasty is going to be around for a long time to come.
September Run - a Winx replica
The sight of September Run ( Exceed And Excel - Pittsburgh Flyer, by Street Cry ) thundering down the Flemington straight six in another dominant last to first performance over the Melbourne Spring Carnival stamped her as a potential freak and almost undoubtedly crowned her as the best current sprinter in Australasia.
Not since the days of "the grey flash" Chautauqua have we seen a sprinter give them all a head start and then pick them up and put them away with such arrogant ease.
The ability to do this oozes Class and extraordinary ability which can only come from superior inherent genes.
Perhaps the most resonating factor watching September Run in victories such as her most recent, the Group 1 Coolmore Classic, was just how much she looked like Winx in physical ( phenotype ) resemblance although colour wise she leans a little more to true bay with Winx more a dark bay or dark brown.
Could she take over from Winx as the next Australian "people's horse". Possibly so.
With her white bridle and similar stature trainer Chris Waller has her very much resembling his former champion mare, perhaps a timely reminder that as one star disappears another arises in it's place.
With 5 wins now from just 8 starts and $1,183,300 already in the kitty as well as achieving Group 1 winning status, September Run is a long way off the lofty achievements of Winx and her 33 consecutive wins from 43 starts including 25 Group 1 wins ( a World Record ) and $26,451,176 in the bin at distances ranging from 1300m to 2200m.
But she has time on her side as a current 3yo given Winx raced through to a 7 year old.
Apart from both being females, having the same trainer, and similar in stature, there are also from a breeding enthusiast's perspective there are two principal pedigree common denominators that link September Run and Winx.
The first of these is that they both hold close-up presences of the highly influential stallion Street Cry in their respective pedigrees.
Street Cry is the sire of Winx hence appearing in her 1st generation and he is the damsire of September Run hence appearing in her 2nd generation.
Given that he places so prominently in the pedigrees of both Winx and September Run then he has got to be of considerable influence in both horses both physically ( via phenotype ) and genetically ( via genotype ).
It could be forces at work in behind Street Cry's pedigree that have most likely shaped these two mares' superior racetrack performance most likely through the likes of Machiavellian and Riverman in particular.
In Winx we have Machiavellian's dam Coup De Folie close-up linebred at 3x3 to Almahmoud through her daughters Cosmah ( dam of Halo ) and Natalma ( dam of Raise The Standard who herself is the dam of Coup De Folie ). This pattern is reinforced in Winx's female pedigree where her granddam Vegas Magic is by Voodoo Rhythm, a son of Northern Dancer, the latter a son of Natalma hence offering the perfect sex-balance to trigger the female presences at play in Machiavellian.
And we should also acknowledge the presence of Riverman in Street Cry. Riverman appears in the pedigree of numerous elite racehorses, females in particular where his presences feature in the likes of Goldikova and Zenyatta to name a couple quickly. He is hugely under-estimated in pedigrees and appears to play a key role in facilitating acceleration or " a turn of foot".
In Sptember Run's pedigree we see things working a little in reverseto the way Winx's genetics have unfolded.
Her Maciavellian influences are coming through her dam Pittsburgh Flyer who also carries Northern Dancer through the latter's son Lyphard.
This complex but well constructed Almahmoud / Natalma pattern within the pedigree of September Run's dam Pittsburgh Flyer was always going to be well-received by September Run's sire Exceed And Excel if for no other reason than it was going to be feeding back to the very breeding core or "engine room" of Exceed And Excel who is bred none other than on a 4x4 reverse-sex cross to Natalma through son Northern Dancer and adding a new sibling in Spring Adieu. How could it fail?
And like Winx, September Run also benefits from the presence of Riverman in Street Cry with the positive traits that he has to offer.
We mentioned a little earlier about September Run and Winx having two pedigree common denominators.
The first of these has been explained above and the second relates to September Run and Winx descending from the same maternal family i.e.Family 5.
Bruce Lowe's Family Numbers has Family 5 as descending from The Massey Mare by Mr Massey's Black Barb - dam unknown.
Tesiopower's Tail Female Lines show Family 5 as far back as Old Ebony, a mare born in 1714 by Basto ( 1702 ) out of an unknown mare.
Old Ebony is shown as Winx 22nd dam and September Run's 24th dam.
Old Ebony had a daughter to Flying Childers named Ebony in 1728.
Ebony had two daughters; Y Ebony ( to Crab in 1742 ) and Y Cartouch ( to Cartouch in 1750 ). From each of these branches did September Run and Winz descend.
Y Ebony was to become the 22nd dam of September Run and Y Cartouch the 20th dam of Winx.
It was not until some considerable time later that Y Cartouch's branch of Family 5 would become 5-b and Y Ebony's branch would become Family 5-h.
So bizzare knowing we would be exploring the feats of two potentially great Australian female Champions of the Turf not knowing in the first instance that they had a little more in common than we first realised.
We will continue to follow the racetrack exploits of September Run with great interest and who knows, if she manages to snare a couple of Everest's like the admirable Redzel then it may become "game on" in terms of giving Winx's lifetime earnings a bit of a scare.
Working with Tesiopower: Part 2
When constructing a pedigree based on either linebreeding or outcrossing principles it is an advantage to be able to check that the genetic cocktail that you have put together is actually producing the outcome that you are seeking.
For example, you may have a young racemare fresh off the track that had a distinct staying aptitude. Let's assume that she was well-performed and peaked with maturityand is deemed as a Commercial mare from which you plan to breed for the Sales.
She lacked a bit of top end speed or turn of foot and definitely lacked precocity.
She may need a stallion with high speed ( probably a sprinting stallion ) as well as one who is injecting very early maturity ( probably a stallion who is a recognised producer of juvenile performance ).
By utilising the Dosage Icon within the Tesiopower programme for a particular test-mating we can immediately see if the chosen stallion is indeed having the soughtafter impact on the proposed foal's likely Dosage Profile ( otherwise referred to as an Aptitude Profile ).
Whilst never one hundred percent guaranteed, the Dosage Profile is the best indicator we have to work with at the moment thanks to the upgrading work in 2002 of Dr Steve Roman and William Hewitt, the latter bringing in the American greats in 1977 as the early dosage work focussed on European performance only through the work of founding pioneers, firstly Lt Col J.J.Vuiller and then Franco Varola.
It is not our intention here to go into the deep mechanics of how dosage operates other than to very briefly summarise it's workings.
Based on largely superior male performers over time who are termed Chefs-de-Race, each Chefs De Race was placed into one of five categories based on race performance.
The categories presented what was known as a Dosage Profile and comprised Brilliant, Intermediate, Classic, Solid and Professional classifications.
Points were allocated to each Chefs-de-Race based on his appearance in the pedigree at particular generational levels.
For example, the 1st generational level incurred 16 points, the 2nd level 8 points, the 3rd level 4 points and the 4th generational level 2 points.
It was not uncommon for some elite male ancestors to have their points split and equally allocated to two category types e.g. Brilliant and Classic.
In the perfect world an equal balance of sprinting and stamina qualities throwing a Normal Distribution Curve may be desirable but there are many reasons why breeders are breeding a horse including going down a sprinter's path or focussing exclusively on a staying type or wanting to focus on a likely juvenile type.
In our work with dosages the points tally for the summationof each of the five classifications is not as important as the balance of the spread in order to achieve a well-equipped all round racehorse.
To highlight what we are talking about here we will randomly summarise the Dosage Profiles of Sunline and High Chaparral.
Sunline High Chaparral
Brilliant 4.0 7.5
Intermediate 5.0 5.5
Classic 8.5 23.0
Solid 2.5 9.5
Professional 1.0 2.5
Total: 21.0 48.0
Although the above Dosage Profile totals appear wide apart the key point is the distribution balance rather than the totals per se. Both were elite racehorses. What High Chaparral offered as a stallion was a high infusion of Class predecessors up close in a pedigree match, something absolutely excellent to upgrade a mare's pedigree to the benefit of her foal.
From the five classifications as outlined above Tesiopower delivers a Speed / Stamina Index with Speed set to a maximum of +2.0 and Stamina set to a maximum of -2.0. From this we can ascertain a horse's likely Centre of Distribution towards either speed or stamina.
From left to right the Brilliant, Intermediate and half of the Classic categories are found in the left half i.e.Speed half of the Speed / Stamina Index and half of the Classic and all of the Solid and Professional categories are to be found in the right half or the Stamina half of the Speed / Stamina Index.
Sunline has a Centre of Distribution of 0.40, this sitting comfortably in the Speed sector whilst High Chaparral has a Centre of Distribution of 0.12 placing him just inside the Speed sector. If this Centre of Distribution had jumped to the Stamina side the you would have expected a pretty dour sort of animal more akin to a Secured Deposit type.
A third associated measure that we find more than useful is the Dosage Index.
This is a great indicator of where a foal from a mating is likely to settle in terms of it's own aptitude. We call this it's likely Aptitude Profile.
Again from left to right we run through five different categories with Earlycomer and Sprinter on the left side of the Centre of Distribution and Miler, Middle Distance and Stayer placed on the right side of the Centre of Distribution.
If we go back to Sunline her Dosage Index is 1.71 which has her placed just inside a Middle Distance category i.e. a 2000-2200 metre horse maximum, about as ideal as you could get for a Cox Plate horse.
High Chaparral on the other hand has a Dosage Index of 1.04 placing him on the outer edge of Middle Distance and on the cusp of Stayer so once again ideal as a Derby aspirant. No surprises then that he put an English and an Irish Derby on his resume.
Before we conclude, a quick word on a recent impressive 6 lengths debut maiden winner in New Zealand who turned a lot of heads with his ultra quick time. His name is One More Time, a son of the Street Cry stallion Per Incanto.
One More Time's Dosage Profile is as follows;
This is a Speed /Stamina Index that is geared towards Speed with a Centre of Distribution of 0.66 so we are more than likely looking at a sprinter / miler here with maturity.
This is further confirmed if we look at the resultant Dosage Index of 2.37 which pinpoints perhaps a dead set miler with maturity.
We mentioned earlier on that Tesiopower Dosage indicators are not an exact science and occasionally toss up an exception.
In 2005 Wahid ( Almutawakel - Rory's Helen, by Rory's Jester )was down to debut in the 1200m Wakefield Challenge Stakes, from the Sharrock barn at Waitara.
We had done our due diligence on his Tesiopower Aptitude Profile which gave us tremendous confidence to have a healthy wager on him in this race. He didn't let us down, romping home and paying handsomely more because of the "unknown factor" than anything else. But Tesiopower had indicated to us that he would be a big chance if he lived up to his profile.
His Dosage Profile read like this;
With a Centre of Distribution of 1.06 for his Speed / Stamina Index ( way skewed towards Speed ) and a Dosage Index of 3.77 ( just into the realms of a Sprinter and near bordering on a precocious Earlycomer ) there was no way anything pointed towards him winning the 2006 NZ Derby ( despite starting the favourite minus my money this time ) but win it he did with a slashing turn of foot at the business end.
It was an appropriate reminder that young horses can do what they are not bred to do against their own Age Group and that Dosage Profiles are not a completely foolproof tool.
Working with Tesiopower - Part 2
Working with Tesiopower: Part 1
In my role as a pedigree consultant specialising in Thoroughbred pedigrees throughout Australasia I am reliant on two major tools above all else for putting together planned matings.
The first of these is my own brain ( predominantly for memory function ) and the second is my brain assist ( otherwise known as my Tesiopower thoroughbred computer programme ).
The Tesiopower Thoroughbred Breeding Package ( available via disc ) has been the "go to" tool at the heart of my business. There are alternative computer breeding packages on the market but we prefer to keep it simple and very user friendly.
Tesiopower provides multiple functions and yet some of these are only used on an occasional basis.
The key ones that are used, are heavily used, and we would like to share the use of these with you. In summary these functions are;
7-Generation Pedigree Report ( for an individual or a test-mating )
Tail Lines Function
Test Mating Report
Add Horse Function
Some of these reports can overlap slightly but we will endeavour to briefly highlight the value of each as we work through each of them.
Breeding a top flight equine product is all about maximising it's two principal components; genotype ( genetic match ) and phenotype ( physical match ) between the two proposed parents.
There are essentially three forms of breeding method that a breeder can adopt;
Outcrossing ( for hybrid vigour )
Linebreeding ( compounding one or more favoured ancestors, male or female )
"Breeding To The Best And Hoping For The Best"
Each of these has it's own band of supporters.
The Tesiopower Thoroughbred Breeding Package does not allow us to apply the phenotype test ( Stallion Directories with photos are normally the best source here or better still personal inspection ) but it does have a major role to play in the genotype test.
It is perhaps fair to say that the practice of "breeding the best to the best and hoping for the best" is also largely conducted outside the realms of Tesiopower, but Outcrossing and Linebreeding practices fit firmly within it's scope.
When we first receive a mare from a client to assess for mating recommendations we will run a 7-Generation Pedigree Report on that mare. The value of this report is that it allows us to sight a mare's 7-generation pedigree via a single page.
This report also defines duplicated male forebears ( coloured blue ) from duplicated influential female forebears ( coloured red ). By then utilising the Colour Duplications icon we can then immediately ascertain where these occur in the pedigree hence defining a start point from which we can build a stronger pedigree outcome.
If the mare is not in the Tesiopower database, then we have the flexibility to utilise the Add Horse icon and manually build and load that mare's pedigree into the database permanently. We can do likewise for the new stallions that arise each season and we also have the luxury of adding un-named or unregistered mares to the database by allocating them a bogus name if necessary.
So there is great flexibility with this tool which is one we use regularly.
The 7-Generation Pedigree Report is lifeblood to us as we use this to identify the strengths and weaknesses in a mare's pedigree and to build on both of these albeit whether she possesses an outcrossed pedigree or one leaning towards linebreeding.
This is where we earn our dollars. This is the stage where the hard core analysis takes place that determines what we need to do with the pedigree to improve upon it for the maximum benefit of her foal.
There are a dozen or more breeding techniques that apply in this process. These particularly come into play where it is deemed that we can improve the linebreeding componentry of the mare ( there may be a number of things that she is deficient on from sex-balancing lines through to sire or sireline traits and attributes and beyond ).
We also look at the mix of forebears ( both male and female ) to see if these can be built upon ( if required ) and also that which is missing that may add complementary traits or attributes to those already present,
The aim is to build a pedigree that equips the foal with a full genetic arsenal of positive attributes that complement one another especially with racetrack battle in mind.
It is at this stage that we also run a Linebreeding Report that is particularly useful as it confirms not only the percentage of linebreeding that a mare already holds in her pedigree but also repetitions to each of the duplicated forebears ( male or female ) and by what generation and sex they occur so we can instantly tell if these are already sex-balanced or otherwise as well as determining the percentage componentry of each individual forebear in the mare or proposed foal.The value of Linebreeding Reports also lies in the fact that they can be re-run from a test-mating to ascertain the same information for the proposed foal.
For an already heavily linebred mare it may be considered an appropriate time to mate her with an outcross stallion ( i.e. a stallion offering very little in the way of common forebear duplications within his first 4-5 generations ). A heavily linebred stallion may also realise best results with an outcross pedigreed mare.
Next step is to heavily peruse the mare's maternal bloodlines including any duplications to broodmare gems and in particular at the mare's direct maternal ( tail female ) bloodlines also noting the Family Number to whom she belongs.
By utilising the Tesiopower Tail Lines function we can actually identify her tail line descent literally back to the taproot female founder of her Family. These may present development opportunities as we begin to construct the foal's pedigree. They can also reflect the strength of a mare's direct maternal ( tail female ) bloodline and if it may have a common denominator with any of the available stallions for linebreeding opportunities in particular.
Once we have ascertained the key "missing links" it is then time to run the more time consuming job of the Test Mating Reports with either all the available stallions or as tailored by the client. These may be Commercial stallions only, or limited to a specific State or Island, or determined by having a financial cap i.e.stallions up to the value of $10,000.
We fit in with client's requests here.
Tesiopower offers a Test Mating which we utilise extensively, printing out all matings that at first glance appear to meet a number of the identified criteria that we are seeking to complement the mare's pedigree, a shortlist if you like though sometimes it can top more than a dozen.
It is from this list that we determine our most suited consorts for a mare. Here we can once again use the Colour Duplication icon to quickly define possible "building blocks" for pedigree matching purposes.
Tesiopower also offers a function called Stallion Finder. By inserting a mare's name, you can assess a mare against all the available stallions in the database by individual country. It allocates points for duplications on a scaled basis ( CDT or LB factors ) but we find this aligns heavily with linebreeding principles and makes outcrossing look less desirable ( lower scores ) when that option should be pursued in certain cases.
So our use of this function is more limited but we do concede that it can be useful on occasions as a pointer to a mare biased to a certain sireline through her own pedigree makeup.
We also find the Stallion Finder tool can date very quickly as a new wave of stallions appear each season hence limiting it's use as a "go to" function.
The above provide the "tools of the trade" but may not produce a top racetrack performer on their own.
They say "knowledge is power" ( we refer here to the human brain and memory specifically ) and it is this analytical component that completes the making of a good horse.
Whilst the Tesiopower package can play it's part in the process of designing a good horse, it does not know the individual traits and attributes of sirelines or individual stallions or of influential male ancestors or superior female forebears and it is knowing these that allows one to piece all the individual components of the jigsaw together.
These are our "secrets of the trade" and the ones from which we earn our living.
And this is a world away from "Breeding To The Best And Hoping For The Best" which is suggestive of a lack of homework and more akin to buying a Lotto ticket.
We acknowledge that there are no guarantees in breeding horses but there is a lot of satisfaction to be gained from a thoughtfully constructed pedigree every time success is met on the racetrack be it a maiden victory or one at elite level.
Finally, we would also like to dispel the myth that a good horse cannot have it's beginnings from a computer. It simply can.
We believe we have proved this multiple times at Premier Pedigrees and we are extremely grateful to Tesiopower for the role it plays in each and every one of our successful racetrack productions.
Part 2 of Working with Tesiopower and it's role in planning matings will focus on the more controversial topic of Dosage Indexes and likely Aptitude Profiles and how these can be used as a possible indicator of your foal's likely racetrack prowess.
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.