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Posts Tagged ‘Alta Christiano’

Another son of Christian Cullen joins the siring ranks, and that makes 6 of his sons at stud to date – and 3 of those are from the Rosehaven maternal family.

Those 3 sires are

  • Gotta Go Cullen (from Sparkling Burgundy, and 4th dam Rosehaven’s daughter Nancy Iola)
  • Stunin Cullen (from Vicario, a half sister to Sparkling Burgundy)
  • and now Alta Christiano (from Right This Time, who traces back to Nancy Iola’s half sister Black Watch).
Aberfeldy when she was 31

Aberfeldy when she was 31, with Ken Breckon

The Rosehaven family has been a dominant force in New Zealand breeding for decades, and breeders Sandy and Jan Yarndley established many of its branches and sold many progeny through the yearling sales at very good prices. Right: Picture of Aberfeldy (daughter of Black Watch) in 2009 when she was 31. Lovely article about her and a painting of her on Harnesslink 2006.

A trait of the family seems to be prolific breeding and long life – Rosehaven had 12 foals, Black Watch had 16, Aberfeldy had 18, Nancy Iola had 10, Burgundy Lass had 15, Vicario 10, Sparkling Burgundy 12 to date, Corbie 15 to date, which is a credit to the way these mares have been handled. Black Maire already has 9 foals on the ground and she’s only a 15yo.

The sheer numbers of branches and foals, plus the Yarndley’s preference for proven sires, and the quality of the family’s genes has led to a good many very top performing horses arising from the Rosehaven line – far too many to list here but they include the tough older mare Coburg,  the speedy fillies Megaera and Ciccio Star, the sensational Lauraella, the wonderful racehorse Il Vicolo.

In recent times, some of the branches haven’t kicked on much at all, but others have – and hence Alta Christiano brings the line back into the spotlight.

This branch of the family has been under the astute breeding eye of Tony Dickinson (Alta Breeding Co Ltd). Alta Christiano’s dam was the Fake Left mare Right This Time (now dead), and one of her daughters Alta Camilla (by In The Pocket) has already left the very handy son of Jereme’s Jet called Alta Jerome (currently 4 wins from just 11 starts, the last one just a week ago at Forbury Park). Another of her daughters (by Elsu) has been reitred from a pretty average racing career and bred to Mach Three.

When you compare the Rosehaven maternal line with some of the great maternal lines – like Golden Miss and Romola Hanover – that are powering great racing colts and sires, you can see how hope springs that Rosehaven blood can do the same here and produce one or more champion sires.

It wasn’t Creegan (a Smooth Fella son of Black Watch).

It wasn’t Il Vicolo (a Vance Hanover son of Burgundy Lass).

Gotta Go Cullen is struggling for numbers, with just two winners (but 20 qualifiers) from 123 live foals to date, although only about half of that number are of racing age.

Stunin Cullen has been reasonably well received with over 60 mares in his first season, so he has a chance.

Or could it be Alta Christiano?

 

PS Alta Christiano was one of my virtual yearling stable picks in 2011 (just had to brag…)

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