Ask any knowledgeable thoroughbred breeder who the most influential broodmare in New Zealand has been in the last 50 years and only a cynic would suggest an answer other than Eight Carat.
Although Eight Carat ( Pieces Of Eight - Klairessa ) was born in 1975, evidence of her legacy shines just as strongly today with her maternal descendant Verry Elleegant achieving a dominant victory in the 2021 Melbourne Cup on her way to her 10th Group 1 win.
So we here at Premier Pedigrees thought we would take a look at the female lines that trace from her to the present day that have remained in New Zealand and from where future breeding opportunities may emanate.
Who knows, just like 83 year old Don Goodwin ( breeder of Verry Elleegant ), you too may be able to breed the elite racetrack performer that traces directly to Eight Carat.
But firstly, we need to identify where these opportunities may occur, just like digging for diamonds.
Not all may be found deep down, some might be found up nearer the surface.
We recall many years ago a much younger Sir Patrick Hogan being asked a question, "What advice would you give to a keen young entrant entering the world of thoroughbred breeding?".
Sir Patrick's response was to the effect of that young breeder purchasing an old/older mare from the best possible Commercial family and breeding her to a sire one could afford, praying the outcome would be a filly foal for retention.
The moral of the advice being that the young breeder then had "the bloodline" as an anchor for future breeding endeavours.
Sage advice but how many breeders' have followed it over the years?
Sons of Eight Carat have been household names through the late 80's and 90's the likes of Kaapstad, Octagonal, Mouawad and Colombia but what is less well known is that Eight Carat had five daughters who went on to being producers.
These included Cotehele House ( 1980 ), Diamond Lover ( 1982 ), La Brillante ( 1986 ), Nine Carat ( 1989 ) and Marquise ( 1991 ).
Whilst Cotehele House, Diamond Lover and Marquise are very familiar names to New Zealand breeders establishing their own arms of the Eight Carat dynasty, both La Brillante and Nine Carat are less known for their accomplishments. Why?
Looking first at Nine Carat ( Sir Tristram - Eight Carat ), she was retained by Patrick and Justine Hogan as a broodmare and after having a filly first up named Silence Is Gold ( exported to Australia ) her next two foals were colts but alas she was to die prematurely at only 8 years of age without further produce or the chance to extend Eight Carat's legacy in New Zealand.
La Brillante ( Sir Tristram - Eight Carat ) was a full-sister to Nine Carat albeit three years older.
She ended up in the capable hands of Windsor Park Stud producing three consecutive fillies; 02 Glitters ( Thunder Gulch ) who was exported to Australia therefore having no NZ breeding record, 03 Diamantaire ( Montjeu ) who was to be retained by Windsor Park for breeding purposes and 04 Clarens ( Star Way ) who was also to be retained by Windsor Park for breeding purposes.
Clarens produced a filly in 2011 named Ponte Vedra ( Volksraad ) and was listed as being due to Vanbrugh in 2018 but was sold with no further returns having been registered. To date Ponte Vedra is also recorded as having no registered NZ progeny so this wing appears shrouded in mystery.
Thankfully, the same cannot be said for La Brillante's tentacle through daughter Diamantaire. Windsor Park have bred her through commencing with her filly 08 Artemis ( Thorn Park ), 09 Jagersfontein ( Volksraad ), 11 The Centenary ( Mastercraftsman )who has been exported to South Africa without going to Stud in NZ, 18 an unnamed filly by Turn Me Loose and due to foal in 21 to Vanbrugh.
Both Artemis and Jagersfontein have ended up with private breeders in New Zealand.
Artemis produced a filly in 14 Eighteen Carat ( Rip Van Winkle ) and a second filly in 17 Dyzee ( Darci Brahma ) both bred by Ms D M Reed whilst for T.O.Harrison she has an 18 unnamed filly ( Darci Brahma ) and is due to foal in 21 to Sweynesse also for the last-mentioned breeder.
Whilst Dyzee has yet to be put to the stallion, Eighteen Carat has commenced breeding duties with her first foaling in 18 producing a filly Ruby Sunrise ( Sweynesse ) for Hedwood Thoroughbreds Ltd and is due to foal again to Sweynesse in 21 for Hedwood Thoroughbreds Ltd and Explosive Breeding Ltd.
Jagersfontein has a 19 unnamed filly ( Contributer ) and is due to foal in 21 also to Contributer for her breeders B.O.Bluett and B & M Quigley.
With the Nine Carat branch seemingly disappeared from New Zealand shores, there remains more hope for the La Brillante branch through her daughter Diamantaire and granddaughters Artemis and Jagersfontein and their subsequent daughters but there is a lot of ground to be made up on Eight Carat's three imposing branches through Cotehele House, Diamond Lover and Marquise.
In no specific order other than chronological we will now commence with looking at Cotehele House ( My Swanee - Eight Carat ) who as we all know is currently very pertinent with the 2021 Melbourne Cup winner Verry Elleegant being 4x4 maternally inbred ( both sides of her pedigree ) to Cotehele House via her daughters Theme Song ( granddam of Zed ) and Chalet Girl ( granddam of Opulence ).
To see where these two fit in we will quickly list the daughters of Cotehele House.
These include 85 Chalet Girl ( Imposing ), 86 Wycombe ( Imposing ), 87 Theme Song ( Sackford ) all bred by Ra Ora Stud, as well as 99 Cotoletta ( Gold Ace - to an Australian service ) and 01 House Mouse ( Zabeel ) with the latter two being bred by R.A.Scarborough.
Each of the five daughters of Cotehele House listed above have had no breeding record in New Zealand, all being Australian domiciled.
So how then did the likes of Verry Elleegant come to be born in New Zealand?
Verry Elleegant's dam is Opulence ( 2005 ), by Danroad.
Opulence descends through Cotehele House's eldest daughter Chalet Girl.
Put to King's Theatre, Chalet Girl had a filly named Mulan Magic who in turn became the dam of Opulence.
Mulan Magic ( 1999 ) was bred by Glen Logan Park Pty Ltd and imported to New Zealand where in 2005 she had her first foal Opulence for her breeders Ms N Chu & R.C.Y.Hui.
In 2008 Mulan Magic produced her second filly Moonofklairessa ( Towkay ), this time bred by K.J.Hickman who continued to breed from her until the end of 2016 when she ceased breeding.
Other fillies left by Mulan Magic included 09 Hermione ( Viking Ruler ), 13 Voodoo Doll ( Sakhee's Secret ), 15 Magical Way ( Thewayyouare ) and 16 Petit Leon ( Shamexpress ).
So how have each of the daughters of Mulan Magic fared?
Short answer, with mixed fortune.
We will follow their breeding ventures through in chronological order with an emphasis on potential filly successors.
Opulence has left only two filly foals to date, 11 Black Lace ( Towkay ), 15 Verry Elleegant ( Zed ) and is due to foal in 21 to Zed, all bred by J.D.Goodwin. Is there another filly in the ofting?
Black Lace, in the current ownership of N.Bishara and M.Duffie, was exported to Australia in 2021 so one assumes as a 10 year old mare that she is being put to a Commercial Australian stallion or has been sold.
Moonofklairessa is under the ownership of Mrs D.M.Ward. She has not produced a filly foal to date but is due to foal in 2021 to Zed. Is there a filly on the way at last?
Hermione is listed in the ownership of J.D.Corcoran and no surprises has a 20 unnamed filly by Zed. She was again due to foal to Zed in 21. Another filly? Perhaps.
Voodoo Doll, in the ownership of K.J.Hickman, sadly died young and without leaving any progeny.
Magical Way is in the ownership of Miss A.Vaneckova and has no breeding record to date.
Petit Leon is in the ownership of K.J.Hickman and is due to foal her first foal in 21 to Ten Sovereigns.
From the above we can see that there is every chance that the Cotehele House branch of Eight Carat can make a growing impact in New Zealand but it also has considerable ground to make up on the Marquise and Diamond Lover stirps of Eight Carat.
Diamond Lover ( Sticks And Stones ) came into the possession of Sir Patrick Hogan presumably as part of the package when he acquired Eight Carat from Robert Sangster's Swettenham Stud.
She is listed as having five filly foals ( a freakish common pattern in this family ) namely 89 Sparkle 'N Shine ( Sir Tristram ), 90 Tristalove ( Sir Tristram ), 01 Diamond Smile ( Zabeel ), 02 Otto Carate ( Zabeel ) and 03 Special Diamond ( Zabeel ).
Of these five granddaughters of Eight Carat, three became producers in New Zealand, two of them significantly.
Tristalove is recorded as having no New Zealand produce, being exported to Australia at an early date whilst Otto Carate is listed as having no live produce over a seven to eight year period.
Sparkle 'N Shine produced three filly foals namely 97 Muto Princess ( Rhythm ), 03 Mille Luce ( O'Reilly ) and 10 Hortensia ( Duelled ).
Whilst Mille Luce and Hortensia were exported to Australia and China respectively without breeding in New Zealand, Muto Princess was bred from locally producing the fillies 02 Princess Petrushka ( Stravinsky ) and 04 Double Tryst ( Zabeel ) with both being exported to Australia at an early date along with the mare.
So it appears the end of the Sparkle 'N Shine tentacle of Diamond Lover in New Zealand for now unless rejuvenated somewhere down the track in similar fashion to how Cotehele House was through Mulan Magic's importation from Australia.
But in Diamond Smile and Special Diamond there is far brighter hope for the continuance of the Diamond Lover stirp in New Zealand.
Special Diamond has quite noticeably been bred to top shelf Commercial sires vindicating some faith in her potential. Her first two fillies 14 True Excelsior ( Exceed And Excel ) and 16 Heart Of The Ocean ( Tavistock ) have both been exported to Australia without producing in New Zealand but her next three fillies 17 Deepdene ( Tavistock ), 20 unnamed ( Tavistock ) and 21 unnamed ( Almanzor ) all carry the name of B & J Lindsay so remain in New Zealand for now whilst the mare continues to be bred from albeit in the twilight of her breeding career.
Diamond Smile, in contrast to Special Diamond, has had to forge a much tougher path, largely away from top shelf Commercial stallions.
Despite this, for now, Diamond Smile is Diamond Lover's brightest scion.
Over a period from 06 to 14 Diamond Smile produced five fillies ( there's that pattern again ) namely 06 Cool Diamond ( One Cool Cat ), 08 Capital Diamond ( Lucky Unicorn ), 09 Diamonds Forever ( Keeper ), 11 Passion Cut ( Pins ) and 14 Capblamo ( Cape Blanco ).
Cool Diamond's only two fillies to date are 17 Azzura ( Tavistock ) bred by the Hogan's and owned by L.Ridge & Ms M.E.Slagter ( and currently in training with Catherine Cameron ) and 20 unnamed ( Embellish ) filly in the name of Mrs C.Peri who currently has Cool Diamond due to foal in 21 to Staphanos.
Capital Diamond was a talented racemare who died in 2019 but not beforeproducing two fillies, in 14 Gift Of Power ( Power ) who was sold at the Magic Millions Broodmare Sale ( from memory ) in 2021 for just shy of $1 million and will now be bred from in Australia, and 19 Dazzled ( Pierro ) who is currently owned by B & J Lindsay. What an investment both could turn out to be?
Diamonds Forever died prematurely in 2020 but not before leaving two fillies for the Hogan's in 14 Kimberley Star ( Tavistock ) and her full-sister 16 Sparkling Lady ( Tavistock ).
Both of these young daughters of Diamonds Forever have recently commenced breeding careers in the hands of private breeders with Kimberley Star's first foal an unnamed 20 filly by Preferment for Nick King whilst Sparkling Lady is due to foal her first foal to Ferrando in 21 for Graeme Rogerson.
Passion Cut has had two fillies for the Hogan's namely 17 Circuit Breaker ( Power ), currently in training with Stephen Marsh, and an 18 unnamed filly by Tavistock, with the mare due to foal to Proisir in 21 for Peter Setchell.
Capblamo, still listed as being in the ownership of the Hogan's, was in training in Taranaki and recently featured for sale on the Gavelhouse online platform. Records to date show her as yet to be put to Stud.
So plenty of opportunities lie ahead to further consolidate the Diamond Lover branch of the Eight Carat dynasty.
Marquise ( Gold And Ivory - Eight Carat ) was a grouse looking mareoozing class as a racemare and carrying Eight Carat's eyecatching dark colour.
Deservedly, her owners M.K.Glenn and Mrs E & M.H.Oram bred her to top shelf Commercial stallions.
And just like Diamond Lover and a few other female family members, Marquise was also to produce five fillies to continue the Eight Carat legacy.
Also like Diamond Lover, Marquise's daughters and granddaughters were heavily soughtafter by Australian owners and breeders.
Marquise's five daughters in chronological order were 98 Mazarine ( Zabeel ), 02 Markisa ( Danehill ), 06 Krsdahl ( Rock Of Gibraltar ), 10 Asscher ( Stravinsky ) and 11 Ultimata ( Zabeel ).
And also in similar fashion to Diamond Lover, two of Marquise's daughters in Asscher and Ultimata were to be snapped up by Australian interests without the opportunity of going to Stud in New Zealand, leaving just the three as active breeders in New Zealand.
The Glenn/Oram partnership maintained the breeding endeavours of both Mazarine and Markisa whilst Brendan and Jo Lindsay have done likewise with Krsdahl.
Mazarine did not produce a filly during the bulk of her breeding career and it has only been as an older mare in the name of the Chamberlain/Moran partnership that she has produced some fillies namely 17 On Fifth Ave ( Rip Van Winkle ), an impressive trials winner at Taupo on 15 November 21, and a 19 unnamed So You Think filly.
She is also due to foal to Ribchester in 21.
It appears great hope remains for this stirp of Marquise's progeny.
Just as Diamond Smile may be the successor for Diamond Lover so too may Markisa be the successor for Marquise.
The Glenn/Oram partnership have bred the following fillies from Markisa; namely 09 Ahna ( O'Reilly ), 12 Eight Points ( Pins ), 17 Marchioness ( Iffraaj ) currently in training with Tony Pike and showing abundant talent, and 18 Viscountess ( Iffraaj ).
It is our observation that Marchioness has a lot of her granddam Marquise about her and could be one to keep a close eye on when it comes her time to head to the breeding barn.
Interestingly, both Ahna and Eight Points hit the breeding barn at an early date.
Tragically, Ahna left just the one filly 15 The Real Beel ( Savabeel ), her other filly 18 American Actress ( Savabeel )being exported to Australia as a very young horse, before dying prematurely , whilst Eight Points had a filly 17 Octavia Rose ( Shocking ) for A.R.Galbraith QC before also being exported to Australia in 18.
These events should see The Real Beel as a valuable commodity moving forward just like Marchioness.
Krsdahl is listed as being in the current ownership of B & J Lindsay and has produced three fillies for them to date which all appear to have been retained and may lay the platform for growth potential in this stirp of Marquise's own legacy.
Her three fillies include 13 Vironvay ( Savabeel ), 19 Lomanza ( Almanzor ) and 20 unnamed ( Almanzor ) filly.
Vironvay has been put to Stud by the Lindsay's so far producing two fillies in her first two foals, these being 19 Miss Thinx ( So You Think ) and 20 an unnamed ( US Navy Flag ) filly.
So in a parallel with Cotehele House in relation to Diamond Lover and Marquise, the Krsdahl stirp sets out to bridge the gap on Mazarine and Markisa in the name of Marquise.
It will be a fascinating watch following the developments of the Eight Carat dynasty and where the future strength of power may be centered but one which any potential new breeding entrant should be paying close attention to.
Our crystal ball suggests we keep a close eye on Marquise through Marchioness but as we all know when in the diamond fields it can surprise as to where the big nugget can be found.
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.