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!!!
Often we hear from breeders and successful purchasers at the Yearling Sales about the reasons why a particular yearling was bred the way it is or why a successful buyer bought a particular yearling and such reasons all form valuable insights into human behaviour.
Much of this reasoning when it comes to Commercial breedings and Yearling selection focuses around known successful crosses and that which is already proven and established in an endeavour to "beat the odds" or gain a "leg up".
And why not?
We will use a most recent example to illustrate this and add some additional comments of our own in a hopefully constructive manner.
This week's Inglis Premier Sale in Victoria saw the sale on the last day of Lot 560, a filly by Choisir out of Group 1 winning mare Costa Viva ( Encosta De Lago ) who was victorious in the NZ 1000 Guineas and named NZ 3YO Filly Of The Year in the 2013-14 season. Costa Viva's own dam is the Group 3 winning mare Vivacious Spirit ( Bel Esprit ).
The subject filly was purchased for A$400,000 ( the second top Lot of the day )by Adrian Bott & Gai Waterhouse working in with Bruce Slade.
Bred by Rick Jamieson ( of Black Caviar and Jameka breeding fame ) it is interesting to read the comments of Gilgai Farm manager Kelly Skillercorn in ANZ Bloodstock News ( 3 March 2021 ).
"The cross is 13 per cent stakes winners to runners and I wouldn't imagine he ( Choisir ) has been bred to many Group 1-winning mares by Encosta."
"She is the first foal Rick has bred out of the mare as we bought her in foal to Pride Of Dubai and she was bought to go to Choisir."
"He was a proper mating for the mare in Rick's mind and we've got a colt foal out of her to follow by Choisir as well."
In an ironic coincidence, Costa Viva was purchased by Jamieson out of the 2018 Magic Millions Gold Coast National Broodmare Sale for A$400,000, the same price that her Choisir filly has now sold for.
Interestingly, with Choisir now "pensioned off" Stud duties, it is planned to send Costa Viva to freshman sire Ole Kirk in 2021.
So enough of the background, we would like to return to the Choisir-Costa Viva breeding match and add our comments as we see appropriate.
Firstly, we are going to approach this in the reverse order to that which we are normally accustomed by taking a look at the Tesiopower likely Dosage Indicator outcomes which as we have said before are not truly gospel but which we find are a reasonably reliable indicator and certainly a "better to have" than "not have".
A 5-generation Dosage Index for this breeding match reveals category scores of Brilliant 11.5, Intermediate 4.5 and Classic 11.5 with not much prevailing in the "Staying" categories.
Overall, these outcomes tell us that this filly should be naturally precocious ( a likely two year old ) and carry on to be an outright sprinting type.
When talking about a cross such as Choisir over Encosta De Lago ( and it's superior ratio of Stakes winners to runners ) invariably what is being referred to is the top three quartiles of the subject's pedigree i.e. both sides of the stallion's pedigree and the top half of the mare's pedigree.
So often the "bottom half" of the mare's pedigree can get scant regard and it is often here where a lot of the "genetic treasures" can lie.
If the top three quartiles of a yearling's pedigree are proven ( returning figures above average or even better ) then it can often be the fourth quartile that defines the difference between an above-average performer and an elite performer.
In the case of the Choisir-Costa Viva filly we know that her damsire's paternal bloodlines ( Fairy King ) work well with the paternal bloodlines of Choisir ( Danehill ) as this has been demonstrated time and again to perhaps even greater effect with Fairy King's full-brother Sadler's Wells.
We also know that Encosta De Lago's own delta pattern breeding to Northern Dancer at 2x5 ensures he will also supply a female sex-balancing line of this highly influential forebear ( and via his top daughter in Fanfreluche ) to any mare or stallion with male only lines of Northern Dancer.
And this is important as whilst fillies are immune from the influence of "plodder's syndrome" any colts carrying four or more male only lines of Northern Dancer can succumb to this influence ( refer to Jack Glengarry's findings in Let's Breed A Champion Racehorse ).
This could be good news for the ensuing younger full-brother to the Choisir-Costa Viva filly as both will carry 5x4x7x6x7x7 sex-balanced linebreeding to Northern Dancer.
It is also worth noting here that Costa Viva carries Northern Dancer at the very heart of her breeding core being bred on a 6x5 reverse-sex cross to Northern Dancer.
But there are other forces at play with Costa Viva's breeding match with Choisir and for these we need to go to the mare's maternal pedigree and the all too often forgotten fourth quartile ( aka bottom quartile ) of the Choisir-Costa Viva filly's pedigree.
The first thing to note is the strength of not just the damline but particularly that of the damsire line where quality sprinting influences abound.
Granddam Vivacious Spirit is a daughter of Bel Esprit, great granddam Bit Of Bliss is a daughter of Snippets and 4th dam Hawaiian Island is a daughter of Last Tycoon so it is more than obvious that the filly carries some likely very powerful male presences deep in her maternal pedigree.
If we look at the 7-generation pedigree chart we notice that the first notable and highly desirable duplication of blood occurs from one of these male presences deep within Costa Viva's maternal bloodlines.
We refer here to Lunchtime, the sire of Snippets.
Lunchtime is of course the damsire of Choisir so herein lies the first opportunity to sex-balance to this precocious male forebear at 3x5 for maximum potential influence in endeavouring to extract his best attributes.
One thing we do like to see in a mating is a solid under-pinning to Native Dancer ( again for reasons of speed ) wherever this is possible and this mating has it in bucket loads primarily because of the multiple prevailing presences of Northern Dancer ( his dam Natalma is by Native Dancer ).
Costa Viva has at least three lines of Native Dancer through her sire Encosta De Lago but equally she also has three lines of Native Dancer through her dam Vivacious Spirit.
These sis lines of Native Dancer are set to mesh well with Choisir's own sire Danehill Dancer who is also well-immersed in lines of Native Dancer including being 5x4 reverse-sex crossed to Native Dancer.
As well as Native Dancer, the mating also realises a strong under-pinning to Hyperion through his sons Rockefella and Stardust ( in Choisir ), and son Hornbeam and daughter Lady Angela ( found in both Choisir and Costa Viva behind Lunchtime and Northern Dancer respectively).
As a son of the highly influential bluehen Selene, look to Hyperion's multiple presences in Choisir to mesh well withthe female line of Selene that Costa Viva carries via New Moon ( a half-sister to Hyperion ) who can be found as the 3rd dam of Star Way in the maternal pedigree of Encosta De Lago ( sire of Costa Viva ).
As a result of all these genetic connectors, it is easy to identify why Lot 560 has a distinct likely speed inheritance that will shape her likely destiny as a classy true runner for the Waterhouse / Bott training partnership.
Keep a watch out for her when the juveniles step out next season.
Sometimes it takes just one good horse to kick start a stallion's Stud career and Tobias looked every inch that horse at New Plymouth on New Zealand ( Waitangi ) Day with an attention drawing victory in the Energy Vets 3YO, becoming the second individual and first New Zealand winner for his young sire Complacent ( Authorized ).
Fellow first crop individual Calm Seeker ( Fast 'n' Famous, Mi Preferido ) has already recorded two wins in Queensland to date, one as a two year old.
Tobias showed he was a quick learner after finishing 7th of 12 on debut on the same course back on 27th December behind the smart Tony Pike trained Bentayga.
Bred by A J & J C Dravitzki and I W McCaul and raced by them along with N P George, Tobias is the third live foal from the Zabeel mare Zabolta who in turn is out of the Nassipour mare Arena Pride.
It is therefore clearly evident that Tobias has a distinct stamina inheritance particularly through his maternal lineage which also features a strong French staying aptitude noticeably featuring his 7th dam Astronomie.
Astronomie was bred by "the Master of Inbreeding" in Marcel Boussac and became a Stakes winner herself, winning the Prix Chloe, but it was in the breeding barn that she was to become a real powerhouse. She produced 8 Stakes winners led by the great stayers Marsyas ( Prix du Cadran twice, Doncaster Cup, Goodwood Cup ), Caracalla ( Grand Prix de Paris, Royal Oak, Ascot Gold Cup, Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe ) who later came to New Zealand as a sire, and Arbar ( Ascot Gold Cup, Prix du Cadran ) as well as the fillies Asmena ( Epsom Oaks ), White Rose ( Newmarket Oaks ), Arbele, Floriadas and Pharas.
Of this later bunch of fillies, Tobias's direct maternal line comes through White Rose.
Interestingly, Astronomie was by Asterus who was described as a solid bay and an extremely beautiful horse oozing class and quality and often attributed as the probable source of what became the classic "Boussac look" of horses of exquisite beauty, with small refined heads sometimes compared to Arabians. They usually had beautiful balance, high energy ( something Federico Tesio would have admired especially if this includes nervous energy ) although possibly a little light of bone, an attribute which may have been retained by his descendants into current times.
It was Astronomie's mating with Goya that produced White Rose, 6th dam of Tobias, in 1946. Goya went on to become leading sire in France in 1947 & 1948 and was from the Byerley Turk sireline rather than the much more common Darley Arabian sireline that most breeders would be more familiar with.
This maternal family goes further back to Maid Of Masham ( 15th dam of Tobias ) and it was through Maid Of Masham that the Family branch evolved from Family 9 to become Family 9e.
Other notable descendants of Family 9e include Caravaggio, Cyllene, Dalakhani, Daylami, Dubawi and Zafonic, many of these possessing and passing on a significant staying aptitude although not all as some also feature a "turn of foot".
These names may also provide a significant clue to the breeders of Zabolta on the direction to steer with some of the mare's future matings.
We witnessed in Tobias's inaugural win definite staying qualities in how he ran through the line but also a "turn of foot" how he went up to the leaders very quickly and soon "put them away".
So where may these admirable qualities have come from?
Family 9 members have always been looked upon as possessing inherent speed so it is feasible that some of Tobias's inherent speed may have come from his direct maternal origins after all his dam Zabolta, although bred on a stout Zabeel / Nassipour ( also a Family 9 member ) cross, is also sex-balanced to Mah Mahal ( Family 9 ) through her son and daughter the half-brother and sister Mahmoud and Mah Iran making the latter pairing a grandson and granddaughter of "The Flying Filly" Mumtaz Mahal ( by The Tetrarch ) and therefore very closely related to Nasrullah ( out of Mah Mahal's half-sister Mumtaz Begum ).
Some of Mumtaz Mahal's other descendants include Royal Charger, Petite Etoile ( out of Mah Mahal ), Abernant and Shergar.
But of course it would be irresponsible of us to attribute all of Tobias's speed and "turn of foot" qualities solely to his direct maternal lineage or even to the sharp attributes of Zabolta's own damsire Showdown.
Complacent has obviously had a role to play in Tobias's speed and "turn of foot" inheritance with two areas attracting our immediate attention.
Complacent is 4x3 prominently linebred to 1985 Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe winner Rainbow Quest who possessed a "turn of foot" attributed to his sire Blushing Groom ( by Red God, by Nasrullah ). And Zabolta adds to Tobias's own linebreeding to Blushing Groom at 6x5x4 through her damsire Nassipour, also a son of Blushing Groom. Blushing Groom was top two year old in France and was acknowledged as the European Champion 3yo Miler in 1977.
The second likely source of speed in Tobias from his sire Complacent is seen in the breeding cross particularly of Complacent's granddam Awards Ceremony, a half-sister to speedster Festal and La Bamba ( dam of Wandjina ).
Awards Ceremony is by Kaoru Star and out of a mare by Lunchtime so an Australian speed pedigree right up close and personal and championing speed inheritance.
In a pedigree match that completes the "Special" pattern at 6x5 through her son Nureyev ( found behind Zabeel in Zabolta ) and daughter Fairy Bridge ( found behind Sadler's Wells in Complacent ) and allows Zabeel to work in tandem so favourably with Sadler's Wells, there are perhaps greater forces at play in the forecasted likely stamina outcomes as well for Tobias into the future.
We mentioned earlier about Complacent's own linebreeding to Rainbow Quest through the latter's sons Saumarez and 1990 Epsom Derby winner Quest For Fame.
Complacent's dam Insouciance has been linebred to broodmare gem Alora at 5x4 where the latter's son Adamastor ( featuring in the pedigree of Awards Ceremony ) has been returned to the blood of Insouciance's own sire Quest For Fame ( who's own granddam is Americaine, a half-sister to Adamastor ).
And Complacent himself, has been bred in a similar manner, linebred to broodmare gem Green Valley at 4x5 and also in desirable sex balance where Green Valley features in the pedigree of his damsire Quest For Fame through her son Green Dancer, blood which has been to Complacent's own sire Authorized who features Vallee Dansante, a half-sister to Green Dancer, as his granddam.
What influence then does this balanced female linebreeding have for Tobias?
With Alora perhaps not so much but the same cannot be said for Green Valley. Why?
Green Valley is by significant staying influence Val De Loir. Val De Loir also features prominently in Zabolta's sire Zabeel through another daughter Valderna, granddam of Zabeel.
To maximise Val De Loir's influence in Tobias we need to find a male line, a son of Val De Loir, to "trigger" the three female lines of Val De Loir in Tobias's pedigree.
Looking for a male line of Val De Loir can be like looking for a needle in a haystack but low and behold, we find one in the pedigree of Complacent's own sire Authorized through the latter's sire Montjeu where the latter's granddam Toute Cy is by Tennyson, an elusive son of Val De Loir.
And through this very same source have we not uncovered the very secret ( reason ) why Tavistock ( a son of Montjeu ) succeeded so well over Zabeel mares or those featuring his presence producing the likes of Werther, Tarzino, Tavago, Toffee Tongue, Tavidream, Hasselhoof, Gobstopper and Pacorus to this same key genetic connection.
This is just more great evidence to convince us that the world could become Tobias's oyster especially when it comes to tackling the ultimate distances with maturity.
Having stamina is one thing but having a "turn of foot" to accompany it is another, just ask Great Sensation, Il Tempo, Castletown or perhaps even Kiwi!
A quick perusal of Tobias's Tesiopower Dosage Report indicates a horse possessing a very versatile Aptitude Profile with the following scores over his first five generations.
Brilliant 5.5 ( natural precocity including speed )
Intermediate 3.0 ( sprint inheritance )
Classic 22.0 ( class of his male forebear inheritance )
Solid 3.5 ( stamina indicator up to 2400 metres )
Professional 6.0 ( stamina indicator 2800/3200 metres and beyond )
The big question with Tobias, will he be retained in New Zealand or is he destined for potentially greater things offshore?
Either way, he will still be flying the flag for his sire Complacent and that cannot be changed.
Every time there is a sudden or unexpected stallion announcement either during the breeding season or at the end of it, I find myself scurrying to the pedigree to formulate some early thoughts on what mares' ( genetically ) might suit.
I do this because now is the era of instant communication and my next conversation or email just might be from a breeder who may ask for my thoughts on what mares' the stallion may suit.
Whilst it is impossible to conjure an answer on the spot for every mare, without individual analysis, I find it does pay to have a shortlist of ideas which can be shared upon that initial communication with a breeder.
This situation has just evolved in the last couple of weeks with firstly Te Akau's talented young colt Cool Aza Beel succumbing to suspensory issues closely followed by trainer Michael Pitman announcing the retirement of his top class sprinter Sensei after cracking a sesamoid bone.
Whilst I will touch only lightly on Cool Aza Beel, I will go into a little more detail with Sensei and a mare I was asked to look at on Gavelhouse back in April 2020 for one of my loyal client's.
At this time both future stallion's have yet to be placed for the 2021 breeding season but let's hope they find a place in New Zealand as I see them both as welcome additions to our local stallion ranks.
Firstly though to Cool Aza Beel.
He will be well-placed in New Zealand stallion ranks joining both Embellish and What's The Story as sons of the great Savabeel to stand at Stud in New Zealand.
A quick look at his maternal pedigree reveals an outstanding Australian speed influence led by an appealing sex balanced double to the epitomy of speed in Vain.
He also carries the "Special" pattern in sex balance as well as a female double to Without Fear and male doubles to both Hail To Reason and Nijinsky II so mares with opposite sex lines of these presences are of immediate appeal.
Cool Aza Beel's damsire line is full of good bullets including the likes of Testa Rossa, Red Ransom, Bletchingly, Whiskey Road and Vain.
It is in this area that a real opportunity arises for those breeders fortunate enough to possess a mare by Ekraar or Roc De Cambes as it enables you to breed a horse on a 4x3 reverse-sex cross to Red Ransom, a rare cross for New Zealand but one which occurs in a highly influential position in a pedigree. These two broodmare sires ( Ekraar and Roc De Cambes )are also seen as being very receptive to a mass infusion of Australian speed blood which Cool Aza Beel promises to deliver.
And now to Sensei.
Without doubt we never saw the very best of Sensei on the racetracks of New Zealand for one reason or another, his trainer Michael Pitman quite candid in his reasoning that he could never find a flint hard racing surface even during a golden Summer.
Sensei will bring welcome new blood to the New Zealand thoroughbred genepool especially through his sire Dream Ahead, a son of Diktat.
Diktat is a grandson of the highly influential mare Park Appeal hence providing an instant genetic connection with any mares' featuring the presence of Iffraaj, Cape Cross or even Great Britain.
The fact that Dream Ahead, once possessing a Time Form rating the equal of the great Frankel, is also bred on a 5x4 reverse-sex cross to Balidar just adds further genetic fuel to mares' by Iffraaj or those carrying Cape Cross or Great Britan presences being of serious consideration for a date with Sensei.
And even a little further down the track the future looks good for Sensei with mares' by Turn Me Loose, Jon Snow, Wyndspelle, Almanzor and even Ribchester joining in on the above bloodline compatibilities.
It doesn't end here either as Sensei has the female line of Special via Fairy Bridge so will also be looking for mares' with the male line in Nureyev to complete the highly proven "Special" pattern.
He also has a rare male line of Tamerett in her son Known Fact which should strike accord with all those mares' holding the presence of Gone West who's dam Secrettame is a half-sister to Known Fact.
The daughters of other sires holding the presence of Gone West such as Ghibellines, Mongolian Falcon, Vespa and even Ten Sovereign's are also well placed genetically to excel with the blood of Sensei.
A lot of the above is for the future but for now let's return to the present.
As I alluded to earlier on, back in April 2020, a long time loyal client now based in Southland asked Premier Pedigrees to have a look at some possible stallion matches for a mare listed at the time on Gavelhouse by the name of Sacred Delight ( Iffraaj - Capacia, by Cape Cross ).
From memory, our top stallion recommendation was Rip Van Winkle ( alive then but to die only a few months later in August at the very onset of the breeding season ) but my client was not to purchase the mare anyway. She was instead purchased by Michael Roustoby and headed to the lush pastures of Putaruru where Michael has continued to race her.
With Sacred Delight's pedigree firmly etched in memory and looking for an Iffraaj mare to "test-mate on paper" with Sensei utilising Tesio I could not have achieved a better pedigree match even if I had asked for one.
Sacred Delight, by Iffraaj, carries a sublime damsire line featuring Cape Cross, Tale Of The Cat, Sir Tristram, Sovereign and Hermes.
Bred on a close-up but favourably sex-balanced 3x3 reverse-sex cross to broodmare bluehen Park Appeal ( this also doubling as a Rasmussen Factor ), this acts as a huge compatibility factor with the blood of Sensei's grandsire Diktat, adding a third sibling in Arvola, a half-sister to Pastorale and her half-brother Cape Cross, the latter two appearing in Sacred Delight.
All of this would add up to Sacred Delight's foal by Sensei carrying a 5x4x4 Rasmussen Factor to Park Appeal. This mirrors how legendary Northern Hemisphere mare Urban Sea was utilised the pedigrees of some recently very well-performed horses in Europe. Oh la la!!!
And with Pastorale being by Nureyev, this also facilitates the completion of the "Special" pattern as mentioned earlier above.
If the female duplications to Park Appeal and Special are not enough, a third one surfaces to Tamerett through her son Known Fact ( in Sensei ) and daughter Secrettame ( in Sacred Delight's sire Iffraaj ).
So there is very strong overall genetic affiliation in this proposed mating particularly via the blood of Sensei's grandsire Diktat and that of Sacred Delight's own sire Iffraaj but Sacred Delight takes this one step further by having a maternal linkage also to the blood of Diktat.
In the case of Sacred Delight, she also offers the key male sex-balancing line of Park Appeal through her damsire Cape Cross, a son of Park Appeal.
And male sex-balancing would also be to the fore in this proposed mating. Leading the way here is a resultant 5x4 sex-balance to Green Desert via daughter Sahara Star ( granddam of Dream Ahead in Sensei ) and son Cape Cross ( damsire of Sacred Delight ) as well as a 4x5x6 sex-balance to Mr Prospector ( through son Woodman and son and daughter Gone West and Yarn in Sacred Delight ).
For good measure, and those seeking some stamina application, Sacred Delight's two female lines of Balidar, both through Irish Oaks victor Balidaress, are well placed to feed back to the blood of Sensei where his own sire Dream Ahead is bred on a 5x4 reverse-sex cross to Balidar through the latter's daughter Balidaress ( once again ) and son Young Generation.
This culminates in Sacred Delight's Sensei foal carrying sex-balanced 7x6x6x6 linebreeding to Balidar.
A sublime genetic mating indeed.
As a closing remark on Sensei, it is noted that he descends directly from the maternal family which includes Canny Lass as his granddam.
This makes him a soughtafter target also for any mare carrying the presence of Canny Lad ( a full-brother to Canny Lass ) in her pedigree.
Since this article was written on 3 January 2021, a subsequent press release on 15 January 2021, has announced that Cool Aza Beel will stand at Stud at Newhaven Park, Boorowa, New South Wales for the 2021-22 season, joining another ex Te Akau horse in Xtravagant. With no Danehill in his pedigree, Cool Aza Beel should be well-suited to the Australian broodmare genepool.
One of the forebear influences that we have admired here at Premier Pedigrees has been the impact made on the thoroughbred breed by Native Dancer.
His influence remains today even if beginning to get a little further removed in pedigrees.
He is best represented through just a small group of elite horses which include the likes of Raise A Native, Shenanigans, Natalma, Dancer's Image, Kauai King, Dancing Cap, Hula Dancer, Native Charger, Atan and Dan Cupid.
From this elite handful his influence was to spread far and wide.
His best son Raise A Native was to sire Mr Prospector whilst his daughter Natalma produced Northern Dancer later giving rise to the famed Northern Dancer / Mr Prospector cross with Native Dancer being the common denominator.
Another daughter Shenanigans produced Ruffian who some still consider the best filly ever produced in America whilst his son Dan Cupid sired Sea-Bird who many considered as the best racehorse in Europe in the 20th Century.
"The Grey Ghost" of Sagamore was born in 1950 and developed into a massive horse, standing 16.3 hands and weighing more than 1100 lbs.
On the racetracks of North America he was not only imposing but also surprisingly precocious, winning 21 of his 22 races at 2 and 3 years old at distances from 1000 metres through to 2400 metres. This led to mirror-like comparisons with the great Man o' War, again with split camps, the Native Dancer fans claiming he won one more race than Man 'o War.
His only defeat was a narrow one, beaten a half head by Dark Star but it happened to be in the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs. It also denied Native Dancer the glory of becoming the first horse to win the Triple Crown as he picked up both the Preakness and Belmont Stakes.
Crowds warmed to his endearing racing style of getting well back in the running early and thundering home. This is how he gained his fan club.
With the advent of television corresponding with the rise of "The Grey Ghost" Native Dancer was to become horse racing's first equine TV star as his racing style endeared viewers of the new medium and introduced them to the sport.
But he also had what is best described as a "pounding galloping action" and this was to take it's toll on his feet giving him recurring lameness, forcing him to be retired at the beginning of his 4 year old season in 1954.
It was here that he drew a number of detractors, many of whom were quick to label that he was passing on these same traits to his progeny.
His son Raise A Native was an outstanding 2 year old before injuring himself, and his son Mr Prospector was a top sprinter until he fractured a sesamoid bone.
Ruffian ( damsire Native Dancer ) broke her leg in a match race with Foolish Pleasure in 1975, Go For Wand ( great grandsire Northern Dancer ) fractured her right cannon bone in 1990, the great Barbaro ( Mr Prospector in the 3rd generation of his dam ) succumbed to laminitis after breaking three bones in his right hind leg in 2006 and Eight Belles ( Raise A Native in three different positions in her pedigree ) broke both her front forelegs in the 2008 Kentucky Derby.
The racing world can be very unforgiving at times and a lot of these tragic events had the finger pointing at Native Dancer as once again being the common denominator.
Thankfully, there are experts out there that provide some sort of balance in defence, one of these being pedigree researcher Hermann D Lammey who says "It's unfair to blame a single ancestor for breakdowns and injury", referring to a couple of Raise A Native's better track progeny, Point Given and Flower Alley, as having both stamina and soundness, pointing to other factors such as nutrition, track surface, animal care, training or just a bad step at an unusual angle as more likely contributing factors in these breakdowns.
As a then new stallion at Stud in North America it is perhaps a little surprising that Native Dancer would never go on and win a Sire's Premiership, finishing 6th in 1965 and 2nd in 1966, the only two years he was to finish in the top ten. He left both sprinters and stayers, producing 44 Stakes winners ( from 14% of foals ).
But without doubt, Native Dancer's overwhelming legacy in the last 50 years or so has been the male lines of Northern Dancer and Mr Prospector that have come to dominate worldwide bloodlines ensuring his name will remain ever present in the vast majority of pedigrees even today.
Premier Pedigrees would now like to relate it's own personal story on Native Dancer.
Back in early 2006 in the lead-up to the May NZB National Weanling Sales we were supplied with a list of weanlings by then Whangaparaoa enthusiast Mr Alan Stuck to sort out which weanling we considered the best on pedigree.
Our top selection was Lot 129, a bay filly by Elusive City from Culburra Beach, an Australian bred mare by boom Western Australian staying sire Scenic.
No nonsense from Alan as he snapped her up for $15,500+gst.
He placed her with John Miller ( then Waiuku based ) and as Dasoudi she raced 19 times for 6 wins, 4 seconds and a third earning $142,050 at distances from 1200m to 1600m, winning on all track conditions from Good to Heavy.
She won her only trial at Cambridge on 22/9/09 and then won on debut at Counties on the 14/10/09 in the hands of Troy Harris.
Acquiring light black type in finishing 2nd in the Group 1Thorndon Mile ( beaten a half-length by Booming ), Dasoudi also went on to finish an unlucky ( blocked ) 3rd in the G 1 Haunui Farm Classic WFA before her eventual sale to Australian interests.
So what attracted Premier Pedigrees to her pedigree?
For starters, we looked at Culburra Beach's pedigree. This told us that she was bred on a 4x4 reverse-sex cross to Raise A Native. This provided the mare with not only a focussed breeding core but also a likely potential "engine room".
Her other influencing feature was her prominent sex-balanced lines of Northern Dancer at 3x4 in the mare's pedigree.
These two most prominent pedigree features amounted to a substantial bloodline under-pinning to Native Dancer.
So now, how does this all feed back from Culburra Beach to Elusive City?
We start with his two most prominent favourably sex balanced lines of Mr Prospector at 3x4,a forebear not present in the pedigree of Culburra Beach. So big tick here.
These two lines of Mr Prospector in Elusive City means he carries two male only lines of Raise A Native.
For these to take effect in the foal ( Dasoudi ) as an influence we need to find a female sex balancing line of Raise A Native in Culburra Beach and she duly provides this courtesy of his daughter Where You Lead ( granddam of Scenic, sire of Culburra Beach ).
And for good measure, Culburra Beach addsa new line of Raise A Native in the latter's son Exclusively Native.
This all means Alan's foal named Dasoudi carries sex balanced linebreeding to Mr Prospector at 4x5, Norther Dancer at 5x5x4x5 ( with Dancers Countess providing the all important female presence as dam of Culburra Beach's damsire Paris Prince ) and to Raise A Native at 5x6x5x5.
And in putting the jigsaw together, of all these prominent presences in Dasoudi's pedigree, who do we find as the common denominator and baseblood lynchpin? You guessed it....Native Dancer, sex-balanced at 6x7x7x7x5x6x6x6x7 with Elusive City providing five presences and Culburra Beach four presences.
Although Native Dancer is beginning to get a little further back in pedigrees these days he is one to capitalise on where the opportunity avails as he provides speed and a turn of foot, and if lucky, a pinch of versatility at both distances and track conditions.
We see the mating of Culburra Beach with Elusive City as either very astute or very fortuitous with the latter's immersion in lines of Native Dancer and although this stallion is no longer available to New Zealand breeders we will be keeping a close eye moving forward on the progeny of Turn Me Loose who is another young stallion we have identified as having a very liberal sprinkling of Native Dancer running through his veins.
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 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???
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.
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.
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.
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.