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!!!
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