Most astute breeders both in Australia and New Zealand know that getting a "good type" is half the battle when breeding a superior horse but equally they also know that planning a mating using sound breeding techniques is just as important if not more so.
Saturday's two biggest races in Australia and New Zealand the A$16.3 million The Everest ( 1200m ) and the Livamol Classic ( 2040m ) were won by horses where it was obvious that their genotype and phenotype both came out to play.
Three year old gelding Giga Kick ( Scissor Kick - Rekindled Applause, by Royal Applause ) came into The Everest with a picket-fence formline unbeaten in all four previous starts. It was a big step up racing against Australia's best Open Class sprinters including the World Champion Nature Strip.
But aspire to great heights Giga Kick did coming from the clouds with Hillary-like all conquering determination.
This 1200m The Everest win came off the back of a 4-length maiden win at Sale in February followed by a good win at Flemington in July, both as a two year old.
As an early three year old in August he scored in the Vain Stakes ( Gr 3, 1100m ) and then followed this up with victory in the Danehill Stakes ( Gr 2, 1100m ).
Let us now look at what immediately catches the eye in his 7-generational pedigree compilation.
The first notable feature is that both Giga Kick's parents ( Scissor Kick and Rekindled Applause ) are from the Northern Dancer sireline whilst their respective dams are from the Rainbow Quest ( Nasrullah ) sireline.
This sees Giga Kick 5x5 paternally linebred to Northern Dancer but also carrying a 4x3 cross-duplicate sex-balance to Rainbow Quest through son Quest For Fame ( damsire of Scissor Kick ) and daughter Rekindled Affair ( granddam of Giga Kick ).
A quick perusal of Giga Kick's 5-generational Tesiopower Dosage Report can be a little misleading here in this instance as it depicts a horse of strong middle distance capability rather than one of sizzling sprinting prowess.
So where may have Giga Kick's great turn of foot emanated?
We are suggesting here that one has to look at his 6th and 7th generational removes to see a concentration of linebreeding to three superior females as perhaps holding the likely key to his fleet-footedness.
We will commence with Flaming Page to whom Giga Kick holds sex-balanced linebreeding to at 6x7x6x6.
Rekindled Applause ( dam of Giga Kick ) possesses a solitary female only line of Flaming Page via the latter's daughter Fleur ( dam of the very sharp The Minstrel, granddamsire of Royal Applause ) so it makes perfectly good sense to balance this up with a stallion that is strongly linebred to Nijinsky II ( a son of Flaming Page and half-brother to Fleur ) at at 4x5x4. The added benefit here also is that Scissor Kick holds sex-balanced lines of Nijinsky II for potential maximum impact.
Another huge female influence is that of Family 8 member Stolen Hour ( best known as the dam of Best In Show ) but not through to the more illustrious "Woodbine" branch but rather that of Torpenhow.
Rekindled Applause ( and therefore also Giga Kick ) trace directly tail female to Stolen Hour ( 5th dam of Rekindled Applause and 6th dam of Giga Kick ) via her daughter Stolen Date.
Stolen Hour also features in Rekindled Applause in her paternal pedigree through another daughter Best In Show ( a half-sister to Stolen Date ) who is the granddam of her great grandsire Try My Best.
How then does this relate to the pedigree of Scissor Kick?
Scissor Kick's sire the seemingly incomparable Redoute's Choice is also tail female to Stolen Hour ( his 5th dam, and just like Try My Best also through Best In Show ).
Whereas Try My Best came through Best In Show's daughter Sex Appeal, Redoute's Choice has come through another daughter in Show Lady ( 3rd dam of Redoute's Choice and a half-sister to Sex Appeal ).
Whilst neither Stolen Hour nor daughter Best In Show are sex-balanced, history with past results has shown that they do not require to be.
One other important female duplication that is very easy to take for granted is that of Natalma.
She is sex-balanced in Giga Kick's pedigree at 6x6x7x7x6x6 in a desirable sex-balanced cross-duplication via her son Northern Dancer and daughter Spring Adieu with Scissor Kick providing the key female balancing line.
Scissor Kick may have been considered a "failure" in Australia ( standing at Arrowfield Stud to 2019 ), leaving only one other Stakes winner in Listed winner Dzsenifer, but he did descend maternally from a female line that has also brought us the likes of Dansili, Champs Elysees and Raise The Flag ( all stallions reasonably well known in Australia and New Zealand ).
Having served a couple of seasons in France since his Australian departure and recently sold to Morocco, he will never be a forgotten stallion because of the deeds of son Giga Kick who may just have "girlpower" to thank for his "turn of foot" and Group 1 glory.
From the moment she first set foot on the racetrack it was obvious Mustang Valley was heading places and was going to greatly benefit with maturity.
A recent runner-up to the promising young Vadamos mare La Crique in the Arrowfield Plate,and with no La Crique to contend with as well as a step up in distance and a deep track all factors were in Mustang Valley's favour in the Livamol Classic ( 2040m ) and saw her romp home to a decisive victory also landing her sire Vanbrugh ( Encosta De Lago ) his first Group 1 Stakes winner.
But as we all know, Group 1 winners don't just happen without a good deal of hard work and meticulous planning and that begins with planning a mating that can be effective on the racetrack.
Bred by Windsor Park Stud, it is plainly obvious that considerable thought has gone into constructing the pedigree of Mustang Valley ( Vanbrugh - Cream Of The Crop, by New Approach( Galileo )), in fact it is a genetic masterpiece and one gains the distinct impression that it may well be the work of Windsor Park's resident pedigree guru Mr Steve Till.
Without any shadow of doubt the outstanding feature of Mustang Valley's pedigree is the double Rasmussen Factor upon which she is bred.
And neither is sex-balanced for maximum potential impact however they are cross-duplicated ( contributed by both proposed parents ).
Both occur in the highly favoured 4th and 5th generational positions so highly favoured by past pedigree doyens such as Harold Hampton and Clive Harper as being the most effective generational positions to be of influence in a pedigree.
The first of these occurs to Fairy Bridge ( a daughter of the highly influential mare Special ) at 4x5 through her sons the full-brothers Fairy King ( grandsire of Vanbrugh ) and Sadler's Wells ( great grandsire of Cream Of The Crop ).
As both are by Northern Dancer, this makes Mustang Valley, like Giga Kick, also paternally linebred to Northern Dancer but at 4x5 as opposed to Giga Kick being at 5x5.
The second Rasmussen Factor ( breeding back to superior females through different individuals within the first 5-generations ) occurs to broodmare gem Benediction at 5x4.Many readers / breeders will instantly recognise this name as synonymous with the maternal family of Australian great Might And Power.
Vanbrugh's damsire Lucky Owners is out of Miss Priority, a daughter of Benediction.
And here comes the big connecting factor.
Cream Of The Crop carries Benediction as her 3rd dam via another Buenos Aires, a half-sister to Miss Priority ( Miss Priority being by Kaapstad whilst Buenos Aires is by Rainbow Quest ).
This sees Cream Of The Crop as being from the same family which produced the mighty Might And Power.
For those breeders appreciating getting involved in debates on close-up doubles of Danehill, Mustang Valley presents another example of a top horse who carries a 4x4 cross-duplicated male double of Danehill ( through sons Lucky Owners and Danehill Dancer ).
Beyond the above identified closer-up cross-duplications to key male and female presences, we also see cross-duplicate sex-balances occuring to the symbiotic presences Northern Dancer at 4x7x6x5x6 and to Mr Prospector at 5x6 with in both instances Vanbrugh providing the key female balancing line ( Fanfreluche and Rolls ).
Vanbrugh also injects new balanced doubles of both Sir Tristram ( via son Kaapstad and daughter Star Of The Knight, the latter Vanbrugh's 3rd dam ) and Sir Ivor ( via son Sir Tristram and daughter Grand Luxe ) into the pedigree of Mustang Valleywhilst cross-duplicated sex-balances also prevail to Klairon ( via Lorenzaccio and New Way ) and Round Table ( via son Artaius and daughter Isolt ) as well as to Herbager ( via son Appiani and daughter I Will Follow ) in what is a very well-rounded pedigree compilation.
Whereas the Tesiopower Dosage Report for Giga Kick has seen that horse so far defying his inherent aptitude performance ( showing a sprinting rather than staying preference perhaps for the time being at least ), Mustang Valley has very much stayed true to her inherent predicted profile which is telling us that she will optimally operate at distances around 2000-2200m but 2400m may not be an assignment too far given her favoured racing style.
Time will tell.
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.