It can be a monumental challenge when a largely unheralded Studmaster with an unheralded stallion announce themselves to the breeding market in the shadows of having to compete with the firmly established "big boys" of thoroughbred breeding.
But even the "little man" eventually has his day in the sun and that day arrived for Jason Coutts and his Grassyards Farm ( situated at Mosgiel, just outside of Dunedin ) on Sunday 10 October 2021.
His well bred stallion Prince Of Brooklyn ( Magnus - Tristabeel, by Zabeel ) had just landed his first winner, but not in New Zealand where you would expect, but in Australia on a relaxing Sunday at Ballarat in the $35,000 Byerley Racing Club Maiden Plate over 1200m running 1:11.75 on a Soft 5 track in the hands of John Allen for trainers Mick Price and Michael Kent Jnr.
What made the result immensely satisfying was the fact that Brooklyn Boss ( 3g Prince Of Brooklyn - Zoe Brook, by Stravinsky ) was the very first racetrack runner for his sire and was on debut.
Nicknamed "Dynamite", Brooklyn Boss has an intriguing pedigree which could certainly pass as that of an all Cambridge Stud pedigree ( of days gone by when Sir Patrick Hogan was at the helm ).
It is often said when launching a new sire that it is especially important with the first crop to get them into reputable stables to maximise both their and the stallion's chances to enhance recognition.
We found no record of Prince Of Brooklyn in either the current 2021 Register Of Thoroughbred Stallions New Zealand nor for that matter in the 2020 edition but in the 2019 ( pre-Covid ) there he was in all his full splendour complete with full photograph and vital statistics on Page 53.
The words of Mick Price are once again immediately poignant when you look at the photograph "there's a lot of Zabeel about him", a phrase Mick had used previously when doing a voiceover for the Westbury Stud stallion Tarzino whom he had also trained.
And like Tarzino, Prince Of Brooklyn is also out of a Zabeel mare.
So what has/had happened to the stallion as he appeared to vanish from the public coalface in 2020 and 2021. Had he suffered the same fate as Zed once found himself in? Banished to the wilderness and serving station hacks and Clydesdales perhaps?
An email to Grassyards Farm asking these questions did not yield a response but we had noticed that during several Gavelhouse online auctions that "Grassyards" was an active bidder on several broodmares so perhaps Prince Of Brooklyn was still alive and Jason was endeavouring to find new mares for his stallion.
A check of the NZ Stud Book revealed Prince Of Brooklyn had covered 50 mares from 2017 through to 2019 ( 15 in 2017, 25 in 2018 and 10 in 2019 ) for a total of 23 registered foals to date and recording the wonderful Fertility Rate of 92.95% over the three covering seasons.
We were to find our answer confirming Prince Of Brooklyn's continued existence by browsing once again through the Gavelhouse online auction platform.
Their current online auction scheduled to close on 18 October 2021 has Listed as Lot 29 a Stallion Nomination to Prince Of Brooklyn, the seller being Grassyards Farm and the contact Jason. We had found our horse.
Delving into more detail on the Nomination it also states that "the full proceeds being donated to popular jockey Yong Chew who is currently battling throat cancer".
What a lovely touch from Jason and his family and we can only hope that this Stallion Nomination is well supported in a true spirit.
We will now have a quick look at Prince Of Brooklyn's pedigree to ascertain what he has to offer breeders' mares.
A perusal of Prince Of Brooklyn's direct maternal line of descendancy of the No 2 Family sees one name instantly clout us between the eyes, that of his 10th dam Entreaty ( 1920 ).
Entreaty is famously the dam of the legendary Phar Lap ( 1926 ) with Prince Of Brooklyn's 9th dam Raplis ( 1934 ) being a full-sister to Phar Lap ( Night Raid - Entreaty ).
Other top performers from this stirp of Family 2, which traces back some 31 generations ( for Prince Of Brooklyn ) to the taproot matriarch Old Thornton ( 1690's ), by Brimmer, include Fountaincourt ( a very capable miler turned 1983 Auckland Cup winner ), Blazing Saddles ( a brilliant sprinter and winner of the 1977 Blue Diamond Stakes ) and Research ( 3rd dam of Prince Of Brooklyn and no slouch herself being crowned the Champion 3YO in Australia in the 1988/89 season. Her victories included 4xGr1 events; the AJC Derby, AJC Oaks, VRC Oaks and the Flight Stakes ).
Pedigree-wise, Prince Of Brooklyn is effectively a product of the highly proven Danehill over Zabeel affinity being by Magnus ( a sharp grandson of Danehill ) and out of the lightly raced Zabeel mare Tristabeel.
He has a very well-balanced contemporary pedigree comprising a strong blend of both speed and staying presences which are ably confirmed by his 5-generation Tesio Dosage Profile Indicators which score the individual categories strongly at Brilliant ( precocity ) 12.0, Intermediate ( speed/sprinting ) 6.0, Classic ( class ) 21.0, Solid ( middle distances)1.0 and Professional ( ultimate staying distances ) 4.0 giving a very healthy overall Dosage Total of 44.0 points.
For those pedigree purists who deem inbreeding to be inclusive of the first 5 generations then Prince Of Brooklyn is inbred to Sir Ivor at 5x4x4 but desirably in sex-balance ( for maximum potential influence ).
His only other duplication occuring in his first 5 generations being a male double to Northern Dancer ( via Danzig and Nureyev ) which form part of his overall 5x6x6x5 linebreeding to Northern Dancer. The key point to note from this is that one of these presences is a female one through Northern Dancer's best racetrack daughter, Canadian wonder mare Fanfreluche.
This means that any mare bred to Prince Of Brooklyn with multiple male only lines of Northern Dancer can be bred to him with confidence safe in the knowledge that any resultant colt foal will be immune from the likely effects of what the late Jack Glengarry described in his book "Let's Breed A Champion Racehorse" as "plodder's syndrome".
We also see at the 6th and 7th removes ( generations ) of Prince Of Brooklyn's pedigree some excellent and thoughtful sex-balanced linebreeding to a number of highly influential and desirable forebears including the likes of Fair Trial 7x6, Big Game 7x7, Nasrullah 7x7x7x7 ( Glamour presenting the key female presence ), Princequillo 7x6x7, Native Dancer 7x6x7 and Grey Sovereign 7x7.
Looking to the future for Prince Of Brooklyn, and by no means an exhaustive list, it is easy to see that he could benefit from mares' offering male lines of Zabeel, Snippets, Bletchingly, Mr Prospector, Vain, Nureyev, Imperial Prince, Round Table, Val De Loir, Relic, Boucher, My Babu, Crepello and the broodmare gem Thong.
It also appears that he would be very receptive to mares' that can provide him with female lines of the forebears Danehill, Sir Tristram, Danzig, Lunchtime, Biscay, Raise A Native, Silly Season, Wilkes, Sir Gaylord, Star Kingdom, Ribot, Tom Fool, Court Martial and the broodmare icons Special and Rolls.
We will now return our attention to Prince Of Brooklyn's first winner Brooklyn Boss and see what his dam Zoe Brook had to offer the stallion.
The first thing we note is that Zoe Brook carries a powerful Cambridge Stud ( again from the days of Sir Patrick Hogan ) stamp being by Stravinsky and out of the Zabeel mare Thousand Veils ( who is perhaps best known these days as the dam of the Queensland based Snitzel stallion Perast )who in turn is out of the Cambridge Stud bred mare Forever Dancing ( Success Express - Kasimova, by Nijinsky II ).
Just to digress for a minute, we recently completed a second reading during lockdown of Sir Patrick Hogan's biography "Give A Man A Horse" where Sir Michael Fay relates the story of Forever Dancing and her Keeper yearling daughter Dancing Forever ( 2003 ) on Pages 389/390, the latter having put her foot through the floor of the float on route to the Magic Million Yearling Sales and sustaining severe injuries causing her withdrawal and repatriation to New Zealand where she would make a full recovery thanks to the wonderful treatment and sustained vigilance of the staff at Cambridge Stud.
Raced by Sir Michael Fay and Sir Patrick Hogan in partnership, Dancing Forever would go on to win 4 races.
Returning to Brooklyn Boss's dam Zoe Brook, her outstanding single pedigree feature is that she is 2x4 inbred to Nureyev in favourable sex-balance which allows her to offer Prince Of Brooklyn the male line of Nureyev ( Stravinsky ) that he is seeking. This is a "trigger presence" that also sees Brooklyn Boss carrying sex-balanced linebreeding to Nureyev at 5x3x5.
As both Prince Of Brooklyn and Zoe Brook are out of mares by Zabeel, it also means that Brooklyn Boss carries a close-up female double of Zabeel.
Both Sir Ivor at 6x5x6x5 and Northern Dancer at 6x7x7x6x4x6x6 underpin Brooklyn Boss's pedigree in favourable sex-balance with the latter ( as touched on earlier ) very important for any colt foal such as Brooklyn Boss ( now a gelding ).
Whilst adding a further female line of Mr Prospector resulting in Brooklyn Boss carrying a 5x5 cross-duplicated female double of this influential male forebear, we also note that Zoe Brook contributes a sex-balanced double of Nijinsky II. This is new blood for Prince Of Brooklyn and should be well-received by him, Brooklyn Boss being the benefactor at 7x5.
Zoe Brook also offers Prince Of Brooklyn a female line of the quality male presence Tom Fool via the latter's daughter Mrs Peterkin ( as found behind Success Express ) to balance his two male only lines of Tom Fool ( via Buckpasser and Silly Season ).
With quality male speed presences close-up in his pedigree through the likes of Danehill, Snippets, Vain, Bletchingly and Biscay we are not the least surprised that Prince Of Brooklyn's "first cab off the rank" is away to a flyer as his pedigree suggests he has the capability of leaving a precocious speedy early type like Brooklyn Boss or a talented staying type in the mould of his 3rd dam Research.
No doubt such versatility will be governed by the type of mare bred to him but given his pedigree let's hope Prince Of Brooklyn's future is deservingly progressive.
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