Posts Tagged ‘Armbro Invasion’

Following on from my last blog, I want to look more closely at Armbro Invasion mares (or more particularly mares with Armbro Invasion in their maternal line) as a potential good cross with Quaker Jet.

Like Quaker Jet, Armbro Invasion has a potent cross of Super Bowl over a Speedy Count mare which resulted in a real quality mare – in Quaker Jet’s case it was Armbro Glamour, and in Armbro Invasion’s case it was the super filly/mare Delmonica Hanover. You can use Classic Families descendants view to see how prolific and successful Demonica Hanover and her daughter Delmegan were as broodmares as well. Down under we know them through Armbro Invasion, but ironically he was one of Delmegan’s less performed offspring, earning only $13,226 compared to her most successful daughter Armbro Temple who won $406,901.

Now just a couple of things to note here:

  1. Both Speedy Count and Delmonica Hanover/Delmegan come from the same root family (U16, Nelly)
  2. Armbro Temple is the only one of Delmegan’s performing offspring to be sired by Garland Lobell. Garland Lobell introduces the Goddess Hanover line to this family through his grandam Genya, who is a daughter of Ayres (son of Arpege). Garland Lobell also brings in the great Dean Hanover again, and Dean Hanover was the sire of Goddess Hanover.

This is just one example I’ve come across where these three elements – Super Bowl, Speedy Count and the Goddess Hanover family seem to throw up some absolutely top line results.

Armbro InvasionAs a sire Armbro Invasion was more noted for producing tough older types rather than speed, which is why he has been such a good counter to Sundon. We know that French sires can also be more later developing, tough types. And this is why perhaps looking for mares with Armbro Invasion as their grandam sire and an injection of more American type speed since would be wiser.

So if you have a mare that has Armbro Invasion in her maternal line and has also got some speed genes added in more recently, Quaker Jet is definitely worth a look.

The same applies to Count Bay mares – Count Bay was by Speedy Count from a Star’s Pride mare (Star’s Pride the sire of Super Bowl of course) and Count Bay’s dam Baynie is a daughter of Ayres.

Looking through Harness Racing NZ’s great Info Horse database, there are many examples of Armbro Invasion crossed with sires that carry the Goddess Hanover family in their genes, and the results certainly don’t knock your socks off! But those sires were, again, not speed sires and not particularly well proven sires in general: Thanksgiving (via Ayres), Elma’s Lad (via Cassin Hanover), Straphanger (via Texas), and Monkey Bones (via Texas twice and Ayres). Of course Monkey Bones is a son of Andover Hall, and died when his siring career was probably starting to gain some traction.

What is more important with Quaker Jet, I believe, is that the Super Bowl and Speedy Count elements are there, and the quality of that combination in both his pedigree and in Armbro Invasion’s. Both of these were renown as fast horses themselves as youngsters. While Super Bowl is much more widely known as a super sire, Speedy Count has developed more a reputation for quality from smaller numbers.  Another of his siring sons, apart from Count Bay, was the very successful Canadian sire Dream Of Glory.

The successful nick of Super Bowl and Speedy Count is well noted, and what Quaker Jet offers is a double dose from a fantastic maternal trotting family, and Armbro Invasion another dose from another very good trotting family.

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I was doing some research recently for a blog reader who has an Angus Hall mare he wants to breed from. What sire might suit? As always, I probe into the mare’s own pedigree and type, and try to identify the things that you would want to reinforce or build on, and the things that might be weakness to counteract.

It all led me, quite excitedly, to one of the French sires offered by Haras Des Trotteurs (loosely translated as The Trotters Stud Farm) which is doing down under breeders a huge favour by negotiating good deals to give more consistent access to frozen semen from top French sires.

Quaker Jet

French sire Quaker Jet

The sire that came up as a great match for the mare was Quaker Jet, a son of Love You but perhaps more importantly a grandson of the great Coktail Jet.

The thing that struck me most when looking at Quaker Jet’s pedigree is how beautifully balanced it is, to the point, almost, of in-breeding. He reminds me of pacing sire He’s Watching in that regard. I described that sire’s pedigree as “a perfect Easter Egg” and like Quaker Jet he offers huge opportunities to add fuel to the fire or to out-cross for “hybrid vigour”. But you have to think a bit.

Quaker Jet is 2 x 2 to half siblings Coktail Jet and Delmonica Jet, so the mare Armbro Glamour appears 3 x 3 in his pedigree, in the maternal line of his sire (Love You) and in the maternal line of his dam (Jenny Jet). Both Coktail Jet and Delmonica Jet were very well performed horses – Coktail Jet legendary at almost $2m EU, and Delmonica Jet 6 wins and over $100k EU.

But wait, there’s more! as they say in the “infomercials”.

Go back further in Armbro Glamour’s pedigree and you find a lot of really lovely influences that could add a lot of value to certain mares in this part of the world. The timing of Quaker Jet is almost perfect. Armbro Glamour comes from the incredibly important trotting family of Goddess Hanover. In this case, Cassin Hanover (a Hoot Mon daughter of Goddess Hanover, and so a sister to Arpege). Yes, this is the family of Angus Hall, Andover Hall, and Conway Hall, as well as Texas. Ayres and many others. And it is a family equally well known and highly regarded in Europe and North America. It is a family that likes finding itself again, but also has some well discovered “clicks” with sires/families like Speedy Count and Super Bowl.

But what does this mean for New Zealand and Australian trotting breeders?

It is great news. As I said, the timing is really good. Although we look to American sires to add speed to our down under trotting families, there is growing recognition that European sires (especially those with a dose of historical American breeding) will really enhance the quality of our trotters in the long term. Already some sires – like Love You – have caught the imagination. They may not be so much sires of speedy 2yo trotters, but they are sires of class and have the ability to strengthen and improve our mares.

And for breeders, that is gold. Well, gold at the end of the rainbow. But we all know that you have to keep building a stronger and stronger foundation to maximise the likelihood of consistent successful breeding. Looking at what works well with these bloodlines, I see strongly the influence of Speedy Count and of Super Bowl adding value when it counts, and folding back into the family in the pedigrees of some of the best offspring in modern times.

What is exciting is that we have some lines already here that could do well to look at Quaker Jet as a cross – older lines (such as Count Bay mares, Straphanger mares), as well as newer ones from the “Hall” brothers, particularly Angus Hall but in future Andover Hall. Some of these mares are at or will be reaching breeding age. Look at the potential there! Goddess Hanover is a driving force in those brother’s pedigrees, through Texas on their maternal line linking with Genya Hanover (a daughter of Ayres) on their sires maternal line.

Then let’s go wider. As I mentioned, this Goddess Hanover family clicks well with itself but also with Speedy Count and Super Bowl – those are the intersections that seem to really step up to another level. Not every time, but enough to make us sit up and take notice.

So here is a popular broodmare sire that is putting his hoof in the air for a chance with Quaker Jet – Armbro Invasion. Look at his pedigree, particularly his maternal line – and you will see a heap of added values to this match.

I will go into the detail in the next blog. But keen to hear from people who have thought about this and already acted on it.


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Tip o’ the hat to long-term trotting sire Armbro Invasion who died recently of a heart attack at 27 years of age.

Harnesslink carried an article which reminds us of the top quality trotters he produced over many years.

The most recent highlight was Stig winning the 2013 Rowe Cup at the great age of 11. A hugely popular victory.

Armbro Invasion is best remembered as a sire for consistency and durability of his own siring record and the qualities of his progeny. His New Zealand statistics reflect that. His first crop was born in 1993 and he’s had over 800 live foals here over those 18 years. His time at stud was in parallel to the great Sundon, and the cross has been well used as a blend of durability and speed.

Just looking over the past 10 years his starter to winner ratios have been hovering around the 2:1 – 3:1 mark annually.
2005 (86/40), 2006 (92/47), 2007 (81/41), 2008 (79/38), 2009 (80/50), 2010 (84/37), 2011 (80/44), 2012 (57/26), 2013 46/24) and so far this season 41/17.

That’s why a lot of owners and trainers enjoyed his trotters – if you have a starter, you have a good chance of a winner.

He was never known as a producer of early types or high speed, but once they got going they were often tough and durable. His youngest crop here (before he moved to Australia) are now 3yos, and one recent qualifier I will be watching is the filly Rattle (Ambro Invasion – Scuffle) who is a grand-daughter of the great Tussle, one of my favourite racemares ever.

He’s done a great job as a broodmare sire too – one of his best known credits here is Charlemagne, the dual Jewels winner bred by Tony Dickinson of Alta Lodge and owned/trained by Colin Butler in the Waikato.

Armbro Invasion’s own breeding was tops – by Speedy Crown from the great mare Delmegan (by Super Bowl) who won $469,593, and his grandam was Delmonica Hanover (by Speedy Count) who was a sensational racehorse winning $832,925.

His family is an interesting one to track on Classic Families database (free access on Peppertree Farm website) to see how other branches of his great dam and grandam have fared both in America and Europe.

Armbro Invasion was by no means the best performer of Delmegan’s foals. His own record is only 14 starts from 2 to 4yo and a total stakes of only $13,226. These days he would probably never be given a chance at stud!

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