Archive for October, 2021

It’s 7 years since I bought my own U7 family member, Dreamy Romance, a broodmare in a dispersal sale. I blogged about her and my own dreams soon after – Romola Hal line mare is my next big project.

Last year the mare was put down after developing a large growth on her knee which made her acutely lame. She was an 18yo and the option to put her back in foal was not fair to her. So I made the call.

In this last blog in the series, I’ll recap on what has happened over the past five years and my own efforts to keep a quality U7 family going Down Under.

Dreamy Romance left three foals from my breeding efforts. The first two matches, I wanted to go back to the U7 “well” as best I could. Art Major’s service fee was far above what I could afford. Panpacificflight, Big Jim and Sportswriter were the other options, and I gravitated to Big Jim who impressed me when I saw him at the Alabar stallion parade. The pedigree match added three U7 influences: his sire is Western Ideal (Leah Almahurst), and his dam’s pedigree contains two links to Abbie Dodge. My mare was a big girl and Big Jim a tall stallion, but I felt his athleticism would balance the potential risk. What I got was a beautiful, big black filly in 2015 named My Big Romance who loved food far above any aspect of exercise or training! She qualified, and even won a trial, but basically she didn’t want that life, and thanks to Amber Hoffman we found her a home doing what she really loved – getting attention, looking beautiful and earning ribbons at shows.

The second foal I got from Dreamy was by Mr Feelgood, a horse I saw win The Little Brown Jug and continue to race at the elite level here and in Australia. Although not viewed as a very commercial sire in New Zealand, his semen was available here at a very affordable price, and his pedigree gave me exactly what I was looking for – Leah Almahurst close up on his maternal line. And from a stallion who had a finer build but heaps of stamina. The result is now a 4yo mare called My Feelgood Romance, who is medium build – No star but could win a few races, says the now owner/trainer Kirstin Barclay – but she has also been a real trouble magnet with knocks, injuries etc always interrupting her preparations. The fastest she’s gone is 1.58.7 for the mile at Winton for a decent 5th in her last start which was back in December 2020 and that was only her third race day start. I know Kirstin feels in no hurry as Dreamy’s foals have usually taken a bit of time to strengthen up and show their best. So fingers crossed we may see her back on track at some stage, and regardless she’ll be an interesting broodmare and could kick start this line again.

The next foal from Dreamy Romance was a match I flagged up in my original blog, Rock N Roll Heaven. Instead of going to the U7 well, it has a No Nukes / TMI match and also contains a double up to Sonsam. He’s a smaller sire too, although he can leave all sizes of foals. The resulting colt, which I co-own with Kirstin, is a nuggety nice looking yearling called My Rocky Romance who has been broken in and now doing his next prep, all good so far.

I should add there was also an American Ideal filly from Dreamy Romance for breeder Bill Keeler, but she went sore during her early training and is now being bred from by Tom Kilkelly. With the availability now of some very classy (and not expensive) U7 family stallions, I wonder if one of them could be an option for her?

To be honest, the two best performers from Dreamy Romance were further back in her breeding career and also bred by Bill Keeler. They have both done their later racing in the USA – and with some very consistent results as tough older horses: Rainbow Romance (gelding) and My Rona Gold (mare), and the latter has posted some good times and results in her career overseas. Their breeding is totally removed from any connection to U7 or indeed to highly rated sires – their sires are Knight Rainbow and Klondike Kid.

Breeding is definitely not as simple as U7 + U7 = Success. That’s what keeps us fascinated.

Just a last note to those who have followed these U7 posts, I see Tasmcmanian’s son Taroona Bromac (see Part 3 of the series) got a very close up second at Menangle last night at very juicy odds – turning his recent form around. Today at Timaru we have Twilight Bromac, the 3yo Art Major gelding from Tasmcmanian, in race 4.

Well, that completes this B4breeding blog burst on the U7 family Down Under. I wish you all the best in the current breeding season whether it is getting mares in foal or safely landing their foals. May you have every success and enjoy the moment.

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