Archive for June, 2014

These are the fillies and colts selected by Ken McKay, his daughter Alana, and myself at the 2013 yearling sales, to create our “virtual stables” and see what happens. So now these horses are just ending their 2yo season (as at 29 June 2014). After posting these up, b4breeding blog followers Sam and Ray joined in with their selections.

Let’s see how we are all doing.

In terms of financial return, Ken’s clearly ahead at the moment, with Bettor Be Supreme earning over $45,000, plus a qualifier, but nothing else showing up yet.

In terms of strike rate to date, Sam is going great guns with 3 starters and another 2 qualifiers – but no winners so far.

And the rest of us have glimpses of potential to keep us hopeful!

As always, it shows how hard it is to pick “potential” and even harder to pay the bills early on. Very few horses are natural 2yos, and I think all of us will see more results on the board as they move into their 3yo season.

To look at virtual stable yearling selections and results from other years, just use my blog Search function and type in “virtual stable”.

Bee’s selections

Lot 15 Kurahaupo King (Live Or Die x Kurahaupo Charm)
Update: Name changed to Robbie Burns. Trainer Robert Dunn. 2 starts, 1 win $4,281 to date.

Lot 133 Classic Bromac (Mach Three x Classic Blue Jeans)
Update: Exported to Australia, not raced yet.

Lot 134 Hard N Fast (Christian Cullen x Black and Royal)Lot 133 Classic Bromac (Mach Three x Classic Blue Jeans)
Update: Owned by Terry McDonald. Not sighted yet.

Lot 10 Comekissmequick (Art Major x Inter Shape)
Update: Not sighted yet.

Lot 122 Classical Art (Mach Three x Art Lover)
Update: Owned by the Whitelocks and with the Purdon/Rasmussen team, but not sighted yet.

Lot 153 Santanna Jewel (Santanna Blue Chip x Cyathea)
Update: 3 starts for 1 third. $2,516 to date. With Telfer/Garlick team.

Ken Mackay’s selections

Lot 65 Tenacious Bromac (Bettor’s Delight x Tandias Courage)
Update: Qualified end of January. With Cran Dalgety.

Lot 145 Royal Loyal (Bettor’s Delight x Braeside Lady)
Update: Owned by the Whitelocks, and with Cran Dalgety. Not sighted yet.

Lot 173 Lightning Flight (Mach Three x Flight Of Fantasy)
Update: Not sighted yet.

Lot 107 Heart Stealer (Bettor’s Deight x Fight Fire With Fire)
Update: Not sighted yet.

Lot 109 Hartofdixie (American Ideal x Splendid Deal)
Update: Not sighted yet.

Lot 178 Bettor Be Supreme (Bettor’s Delight x Galleons Supreme)
Update: 6 starts, 1 win, 3 places $45,499 (third in 2yo fillies Sires Stakes)

Alana’s selections

Lot 84 De Tiger (Mach Three x Tigers Delight)
Update: Name changed to Shansdelight. Not sighted yet.

Lot 173 Lightning Flight (Mach Three x Flight Of Fantasy)
Update: Not sighted yet.

Lot 105 A Good Deal (American Ideal x Welcome Star)
Update: Exported to Australia. 2 starts, 1 win $3,420

Lot 128 Gotta Go Ice Lady (Gotta Go Cullect x Armbro Ice)
Update: Not sighted yet.

Lot 94 Trixie Bromac (Mach Three x Trapiche)
Update: Not sighted yet.

Lot 41 Verde Lima (Bettor’s Delight x Oaxaca Lass)
Update: A couple of trials and a workout late 2013. Not sighted since.

Sam’s selections

I did not even open up the book to look at the Australasian sale this year, only CHCH I focused on as usual but here goes.

Lot 142 Cut Loose (Mach Three x Cullerfillie)
Update: 2 starts, no places. $161. With Paul Kerr’s team.

Lot 56 Alta Ronaldo (Mach Three x Right This Time)
Update :4 starts, 2 places, $4624. With Purdon/Rasmussen team.

Lot 165 My Kiwi Mate (Bettor’s Delight x Classic Nymph)
Update: 2 starts, 2 places, $3036. With Brian Hughes.

Lot 25 Storm Maguire (Bettors Delight x Lethal Mee)
Update: Qualified for Cran Dalgety.

Lot 66 Mythulise Bettor’s Delight x Milagro
Update: Name change to Better Rose. Qualified for Barry Purdon.

Lot 41 Verde Lima Bettors Delight x Oaxaca Lass
Update: See above

Ray’s selections

My stable is based on pedigrees with successful sires from good families.

Lot 84 De Tiger (Mach Three x Tigers Delight)
Update: See above

Lot 98 Mc Ardle Star (Mc Ardle x Star of the Ball)
Update: Not sighted yet.

Lot 34 Otis Maguire  (Bettor’s Delight x Miss Jubliee)
Update: Name change to Better Scoot. A 1st and 2nd at workouts in Dec 2013, for Ken Barron.

Lot 113 Stopandstare (Art Major x Affairs Are Bettor)
Update: 2 trial wins in Nov 2013

Lot 150 Money On The Run (Bettor’s Delight x Christian Watch)
Update: Name change to Miss Daisy. 2 starts, no places. $1146, for Robert Dunn.

Lot 127 Bedouin Brogden (Bettor’s Delight x Bonny Brogden)
Update: Exported to Australia, not sighted yet.

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The Blue Lotus (Grinfromeartoear – Zenterfold – In The Pocket) is looking for a sire this coming breeding season.

Remember – the judging is done on the quality and amount of thought put into your suggestion, rather than whether or not I agree with the choice.

Don’t just tell me WHO, tell me WHY!!!

You can nominate any commercial sire – so long as he is available to NZ breeders. I’ve noted some I have considered briefly myself – you can choose one of these, if you want. They are no more likely to win than a sire I haven’t looked at. Because the competition is a way of showcasing thoughtful breeding decisions. There is no right or wrong answer.

The deadline is 31 July 2014. Join in the fun! Enjoy doing the research or having a go!

The prize is 5% share in the foal resulting from that 2014 breeding season match, with no further expenses to be paid.

If that seems a small percent, consider that The Blue Lotus’ first foal sold for $26,000 at the yearling sales this year, which would result in a prize value of about $1000.

I have received a good number of entries so far, and would love to have more. You can submit more than one for different sires – one sire per entry please.

See here for the conditions and details, and how to enter.

Match My Mare



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Many of you will have already spotted this blog about siring lines on the View from the racetrack grandstand blogspot posted in February this year – but the announcement today that Highview Tommy (son of Bettor’s Delight) will stand at Woodlands Stud has prompted me to revisit it and seek your views. And of course to share mine!

Take time to read his post, and mine, and send in your comments via “Comments” at the very bottom of this blog. (Update: already had a very interesting comment posted from Murray Brown, check it out).

It raises the question of when and if two of the top racehorse producing sires of recent times – Cams Card Shark (Bettor’s Delight) and Artsplace (Art Major)  – will have the ability to continue their siring lines into the future.

It is remarkable that after so long at the top of his game, Bettor’s Delight has so few sons (such as Kenneth J, Betterthancheddar, and now locally Highview Tommy) as candidates to take over that dynasty. I blogged on that myself in September last year.

Likewise Art Major, although less tried in New Zealand, has had plenty of time internationally to throw up more than Art Official as a candidate for the Artsplace succession so far. I mean candidates that grab the commercial interest of breeders as well as their admiration for past deeds on the track. Sires than gain traction and can hold their service fees.  Siring success is such a tough venture.

I can see Art Major’s fortune as a sire or sires changing locally if the crop of young Art Major colts racing here like Isaiah, Sky Major, Tiger Tara and Follow The Stars keep performing like they have done to date. But Kiwi breeders will want to wait a year or so until they show a step up to the Cups and Interdoms before getting too carried away.

The blog highlights the rise and rise of the Direct Scooter siring line, which only 15-20 years ago looked like it might be a goner. There’s the Matt’s Scooter / Mach Thee / Somebeachsomewhere line from the Northern Hemisphere and In The Pocket / Christian Cullen and Changeover giving every chance to the line in the Southern Hemisphere.

Another factor the “View from the racetrack grandstand” blog highlights is the increasing arsenal of the Western Hanover branch of Meadow Skipper’s line internationally – most strongly through Western Ideal / Rocknroll Hanover (neither of which had much influence directly here in New Zealand), most potently through the latter’s sons Rock N Roll Heaven and now A Rocknroll Dance who are both available in Australia and New Zealand.

And yet there are no guarantees, are there!

It would have been a brave person 15 years ago to predict that Western Hanover / Direct Scooter combination in ascendence now.

Siring lines turn up some lovely surprises. For example, the strongest Meadow Skipper line we have today was founded by Oil Burner whose one outstanding son at stud was No Nukes – no other son of Oil Burner reached anything like No Nukes’ siring success. (Downunder we had Oil Burner’s son Devil’s Adversary standing for about 10 years from 1992, and he got a couple of decent books but didn’t show up much and dropped right away).

In the same way, it only took one of No Nukes’ sons – Western Hanover – to open up a range of strong branches that are still evolving and sorting themselves out. Will the Western Ideal branch keep growing? Or will a “dark horse” like Shadow Play or Well Said turn out to be Western Hanover’s most successful siring son?

Cam Fella, born in the same year as No Nukes, appeared to have many more successful siring sons to carry on his legacy – Cambest, Camluck, Cam’s Card Shark, Presidential Ball…. and yet he is struggling now with just one descendant – Bettor’s Delight – as a top sire, and no proven inheritors yet.

What does this tell us? That it takes just one, just one, to turn a line’s fortunes around.

And that one “sire of sires” can come from the less-than-obvious sources.

As breeders, we have a role to play in all this. Thoughtful breeding and giving quality new sires an opportunity are two ways we can contribute.

In another 15 years we might be looking back and saying: “Well, you’d never have guessed a son of Mister Big would reignite the Artsplace line.” Or perhaps: “Cam Fella line was almost gone until those sons of Roll With Joe really stood up to be counted!” Or even: “So it’s the Changeover line rather than Christian Cullen that’s blossoming down here.”  Or in my own dreams: “Thank heavens for Tintin In America, keeping that Bret Hanover line alive, and his outstanding son Tantan has already left 50% winners to foals.”

What do you think?

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Bachelorette (RIP) – didn’t win the Harness Jewels but was such a tough classy mare. She died before she could leave any foals.

This is the second in the series I’m doing looking at New Zealand Harness Jewels fields in terms of their breeding.

This time I have gone back to the first “Jewels” held in 2007.  The winners of the 2007 mares Harness Jewels Diamond are now 11yo broodmares, and probably at a fairly critical point in their broodmare career when there are 2 or 3 foals of racing age. About now, breeders have their fingers crossed that something will have shown or start to show some real potential, as this makes the prospect of future breeding more likely to at least bring in some decent return on investment (if they are breeding to sell) or some optimism (if they are breeding to race themselves).

So look at this page for the detail I’ve put together on how they are doing as broodmares. You are invited to add information via comments/response or direct to me at bee.raglan@xtra.co.nz if you want.

Particularly if you have information about Lucy Thundercloud, who raced in that event and then went to North America with considerable success, and….. I’d love to know if she has had any foals and what has happened to her? I  don’t have access to USTA in that detail. Thanks! Add a comment to the blog if you have any information.

Another puzzle is Slick Lavra who appears not to have any progeny yet, in spite of doing so well after exported to Australia. Any ideas why?

But updates on how any of these mares and their progeny are going is welcomed.


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Quality mares are the foundation of the standardbred industry. Brilliance can come from anywhere, but long-lasting quality is something else.

Although we remember the names of the brilliant racehorses, often the really great maternal lines are built on the qualities of those mares who were not stars on the track. Many are good or very good performers, but may be retired to breed with a handful of wins and perhaps $20 – 40,000 to their name. These “middle range” mares, often from consistent families, prove to be a good breeding investment, whereas the stars can struggle to leave good performers, certainly in their first generation, and hardly ever leave one better than themselves.

4yo mares are one of my favourite categories of racehorses.  Their sires often include those who needed time and will eventually add real value as broodmare sires even if they lacked the flash of leaving fast enough 2yo colts. I’m thinking of Helena Jet and Whisper Jet (Jereme’s Jet) and Christy Breanna (Lis Mara), and Tactful Lady (McArdle) as examples, and even Chillyjustastrutter (Sutter Hanover) and Lauramegan (Tinted Cloud) as examples of mares with sires that are currently less fashionable but have real quality in their own maternal lines.

In the Harness Jewels 4yo Diamond the final field had 3 mares by Bettor’s Delight, but as you can see from those listed above, the breeding was very open apart from that.

I have done a “breeders summary” of the field, and will do several more, using the fields from Harness Jewels as small groups of good age performers. I will also look at the fields from some of the early Jewels fillies and mares races and see what has happened to those in terms of their breeding career.

Breeding summary 4yo Diamond – located under the Articles section which you can reach on the tabs across the top of my blog.


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Thanks to those who have entered already my “Match my mare and win a share” competition. Remember you are welcome to recommend a sire that I have used before or mentioned, they are not excluded. I am looking for the quality of your thinking about the match – put forward a thoughtful and interesting rationale for the sire you are suggesting. You can have more than one entry.

Harness Jewels – breeders missing from the programme

P.S. Cracker day at the Harness Jewels – brilliant sunshine, a couple of New Zealand records, some super finishes, and a good crowd. Congratulations to Harness Racing Waikato for putting on a fantastic event, and to the sponsors for supporting it.

Just one glitch – no mention of the breeders of the horses, either in the racebook, the pull-out booklet from HRNZ in the Harness Weekly, or during the announcements and presentations. Such a shame, as the horse only exists because some breeder somewhere put it together.

It is definitely time the Harness Jewels took a stronger lead in acknowledging the breeders – not so much with the proposed photo and presentation months from now, but on the day – at the very least, a mention in the notes.

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