Posts Tagged ‘Art Official’

Update: How did I go? (See original blog below)

I kicked off the night with a Lis Mara quinella  which I actually missed in terms of putting my money where my mouth is, but for the purposes of this blog we’ll treat it as a 1ew bet on both Music (Lis Mara x Radio River) who paid $11.10 and $1.90, and Aveross Brachole (Lis Mara x Gth Aveross) who paid $4.80 for a place. Race 3, Romanite (Art Official x Roman Tear) came 2nd and paid $1.60. Race 4 Nek Time (Gotta Go Cullect x Braithwaite) hung on for 3rd and paid $2.20. I was bullish about Carrickmannon (Lis Mara x Harper Road) and Cullect A Guiness (Gotta Go Cullect x Charlotte Lea) in race 7 but 5th and 7th was there lot in a fast paced race.In race 9 my heart was with the winner (Ashton K, Grinfromeartoear x Spicey) but my 1ew bet went on Easy Rider (Art Official x Divine) and Chasing Shadows (Gotta Go Cullect x Impact’s Legacy) but they couldn’t get into the race and finished 9th and 10th.

At Alexandra Park I also started on a good note with Culinary Delight (Lis Mara x Culinary Affair) finished 3rd and paying $3.10, then in Race 2 Van Mara (Lis Mara x Van Sera) rattled home for 2nd and paid $2.60. In Race 6 Jaccka Mara (Lis Mara x Marianna Jaccka) and Tazzy’s Devil (Lis Mara x Tas’s Pocket) didn’t fire, and Wimbaliri (Gotta Go Cullect x Festina Lente) was scratched.

So all in all, I “invested” $24 and won $27.30.

Just for fun let’s compare how I would’ve gone if I had bet 1ew on all the Bettor’s Delights running at those two meetings. There were 23 starters, 9 of them paying a dividend. I would have invested $46 and collected $31.90.

So all in all, thank you to the lesser sires for taking care of me!

Original blog post:

Tonight I’m watching races in hindsight, and betting against the odds.

This breeding season in New Zealand three sires are no longer on offer, and in all cases their departure has been predictable, although in two cases it has been very low key.

Lis Mara, Gotta Go Cullect, Art Official.

All have different stories to tell. Lis Mara was initially promoted as speed, but the impression we have of the whole Cam Fella line in New Zealand is not that – and I’ve blogged on this before. So he had to make breakthrough early results that countered our intuition (like Bettor’s Delight has done was a descendant of Cam’s Card Shark) or we were always going to put him in a different category. LisMara progeny were almost always needing time, and not enough really delivered at the top end even if you did wait. For all our love with Most Happy Fella in Smooth Fella and New York Motoring etc, Cam Fella line has always struggled to get a foothold in these shaky isles.

Art Official, lovely looking and well bred, and our connection with Falcon Seelster in his maternal line should have rung happy bells – but he has struggled to get early performers (that so-high bar we set) and also he leaves a much more varied type of foal than his sire, they are not Art Major lookalikes and I think that is what everyone was hoping for – at a cheaper price.

Gotta Go Cullect, touted early on as the “heir apparent of Christian Cullen” and boy, did he look the part – athletic, proud, bred to be fast and tough. And he did get very decent books and has left some nice performers, but the clock ticked on and not enough really stood out, and suddenly he became more of a Live Or Die sire prospect i.e. genuine, but take time to strengthen, some have high speed but the actually percentages of top quality horses are not enough for a top sire. Take nothing away from what he will add to a mare’s pedigree. He will be one of those that shows up like an Adios Butler in pedigrees of good horses down the line. I also wonder if his early retirement (from injury) as a racehorse went against him. In the end we wanted him to duplicate his own type and early speed, so it is possible the type of mares he got were not adding much of that themselves. And maybe his own genes were more about toughness than genetically carried speed factors.

Cut to the chase, tonight I’m doing some sentimental betting but for a reason.

I like to show respect to all those sires who stand here – such a hard ask to survive and thrive in this competitive environment. These are three horses who were excellent on the racetrack and bred to be that way. They carry good genes but how that is expressed as sires (and in our broodmare pool) is another thing. Frankly the fact they have gone is not a mark against them, but just an acknowledgement of how hard it is for any sire to break into the longterm stallion market.

Tip o’ the hat to these three horses.

Both Art Official and Lis Mara will continue to stand back in North America, and I understand Gotta Go Cullect has been sold to Australia.

Tonight I am going “one each way” on all the progeny of these three sires racing at the good meetings at Addington (Christchurch Met) and Alexandra Park (Auckland).

Putting it out there now, and so far only two races done while I’ve been blogging, for a 2nd with Romanite, the Art Official 4yo gelding, and a 3rd from Culinary Delight, the 5yo Lis Mara mare.

What else is coming up? Not sure about scratchings but…

At Alex Park we have Race 2 Van Mara (Lis Mara), Race 6 Jaccka Mara and Tazzy’s Devil (both Lis Mara, although I must confess my bigger bet of 5ew will be on American Flyebye the Tintin In America filly), Race 8 Wimbaliri (Gotta Go Cullect). At Addington we have Race 4 Nek Time (Gotta Go Cullect), Race 7 Carrick Mannon (Lis Mara) and Cullect A Guiness (Gotta Co Cullect), Race 9 Easy Rider (Art Official) and Chasing Shadows (Gotta Go Cullect.


Read Full Post »

One of the best things about writing this blog is the sharing of information and experiences.

Blog followers Brian Cowley and Mike Finlayson both emailed me following my blog about Dreamy Romance, my newly acquired broodmare who has Romola Hal’s Tar Heel daughter Romantic Hanover in her maternal line (4th generation).

Brian and Mike have both bred from Light Of The South (Live Or Die x Natural Talker) who has Romantic Hanover’s full sister in her maternal line (6th generation). And of course through Live Or Die she has yet another connection to Romola Hal, as Live Or Die’s grandam Miss Romeo Waverly is a daughter of the sire Romeo Hanover, a son of Romola Hanover.

First some comments from Brian, who currently owns and breeds from Light Of The South:

I read your blog about Dreamy Romance with great interest. As I’ve mentioned previously, I have a colt (Articulight) by Art Official out of Light of the South that is rich in Romola Hal blood, too. I’ve attached his pedigree. The mare has just foaled a colt to Ohoka Arizona. The Ohoka Arizona colt out of Light of the South looks like he might grow into a tall individual though it’s hard to tell from a photo taken when he was only a day old.   She is going back to Art Official. Articulight is nearing the end of his first preparation with Dean Taylor and he is pleased him. Articulight has some size about him and was quite headstrong at first but Dean worked patiently with him and he is much more responsive now. It would be nice to have qualifying behind him when he goes out but at this age time is the important factor.  Dreamy Romance is beautifully bred. It’s almost too good to be true to have a full sister to Romola Hanover so close to the mare. You are going to have an enjoyable time matching her with appropriate sires.

Light of the South with Ohoka Arizona colt

Light of the South with Ohoka Arizona colt Oct 8 2014 – photo provided by Brian Cowley

Articulight with Dean Taylor

Articulight with trainer Dean Taylor – photo provided by Brian Cowley

The PDF of Articulight’s pedigree can be viewed here: Articulight pedigree

Then I heard from Mike, who bred Light Of The South’s first foal, a filly by Art Major – which puts the cross to Romola Hanover at 5×6.

As Mike explains:

Have a look at Lyra Finn (Art Major – Light of the South) which I bred a few years ago. Was passed in at the Sales for $9K so I sent her to Ross Pike in Aussie to get her going. Didn’t amount to much so we gave her away as a hack. Could have brought her back to NZ and bred from her but we had too many mares……Interesting pedigree though. Bred back into the herd via a set of full sisters.This was just another experiment based on genetics rather than matching on type.. Let’s Talk Art is similarly bred and she did OK.

Lyra Finn

Lyra Finn as a yearling

Let’s Talk Art is the half sister to Light Of The South. She’s a 6-win ($48,525) 8yo mare by Art Major from Natural Talker. She is owned and bred by Mrs M E O’Brien and S A O’Brien. The O’Briens initially put her to Panspacificflight (slipped) and then to Bettor’s Delight. The Panspacificflight match would have been a return to more of the Romola Hal blood, as Panspacificflight shares a very similar maternal line to mare’s sire Art Major.

It is tempting to return to such fabulous genes. My breeding with Dreamy Romance will go in a slightly different direction, as I am more interested in finding genetic elements that click well with the Romola Hal line and with each other rather than duplicating the line itself.

But breeding back to great maternal lines is not to be scoffed at, even if all attempts don’t work out. It is a practice that has underpinned many of the most successful results in standardbred breeding over many years, just as much as line breeding to sires and outcrossing have played a role. As Mike Finlayson says, it reflects nature’s way of the top stallion breeding back into the herd.

Comments, other examples and ideas welcomed.

Read Full Post »

The omens were not good when Art Official, who stands at Alabar Stud in south Auckland, had no representatives at the North Island’s Australasian yearling sale at Karaka. That surprised me, especially as his first crop of racehorses in North America had some good 2yo representatives. Simply, he is not viewed to be commercial enough. His pricing indicates that reality – he initially stood at $6000 at Stallion Station in 2010, but that was reduced to $3750 when he moved to Alabar  the following season and remains around there, which is more realistic. As a racehorse he was superb, and he is by a Falcon Seelster mare which is something New Zealanders can strongly relate to. She is the full sister to the million dollar winning mare Shady Daisy, but overall the maternal family is not as strong as some. In each generation there seems to be a standout, but other siblings are well behind that.

I think the change in Art Official’s pricing structure is also a reflection of the growing popularity of Art Major here (after several seasons where Australians loved him but New Zealand breeders and trainers were in two minds about him and he had small crops here). So like some other sires, there is an element of the son competing with the father, and that’s an arm wrestle that Art Major appears to have won.

If he was absent at Karaka, he was well represented in Christchurch yearling sale, where he had 11 yearlings, with the result of 7 sold, 3 passed in on vendor’s bid, and one that got no bid at all.

His average was $10,714 and the top price was $25,000 for Lot 235 Hashtag, a colt from a Live Or Die mare who was a bigger, bolder type.

The next in terms of price was $16,000 for a nice filly Lot 199, bred and prepared by Ray Beale at Oamaru. Again, a bigger, bolder type of horse. And the next best price after that was $11,500 for Lot 324, an attractive colt. (See photos below).


Lot 235 Hashtag an Art Offical colt

Lot 235 Hashtag, an Art Offical colt that sold for $25,000

Lot 199 Art Official filly from Wingspread mare

Lot 199 Art Official filly from Wingspread mare

Lot 324 Art Official colt from a New York Motoring mare

Lot 324 Art Official colt from a New York Motoring mare

To be honest, overall the Art Officials were not yearlings that caught my eye as a group in the same way the Changeovers did.  The “sire stamp” I could see (without examining yearlings in any detail for correctness issues) was a more elegant type of yearling, and by that I mean a finer boned horse, one whom you might see as racy and correct, but with an unknown factor in terms of strength, (whereas with Changeover, you can see more potential strength, but perhaps lacking the fineness.)

What do you think? I’d love to hear what you make of Art Official yearlings and 2yos that you have had something to do with, bred, bought or are training. Please add a comment to this blog or email me (check my email address on the About Isa Lodge page).

Photos below, a couple of the other Art Officials at the sale who went from less or were vendor buy-backs:

Lot 184 Art Official filly from Christian Cullen mare

Lot 184 Art Official filly from Christian Cullen mare

Lot 81 Art Official colt from Sokys Atom mare

Lot 81 Art Official colt from Sokys Atom mare

Read Full Post »

It was hard enough competing as a racehorse. Now they are competing in an even more high risk game – being a sire.

You have to be successful, have all the right connections and be very good looking, preferably good natured in the breeding barn, highly fertile and with the ability to stamp your kids with the only your best qualities and none of your poorer ones. Ideally you should leave precocious 2yos who not only perform brilliantly but are sound enough to continue their winning way as 3yos and later become all aged champions.

As our New Zealand Tui beer adverts say, “Yeah, right.” Which translated means: Really?? Not!

We ask a lot. And some horses – remarkably – deliver.

To bring ourselves down to earth, I’ve taken a look at six sires who came on to the New Zealand scene recently, and how their progeny are performing so far – Santanna Blue Chip (see blog about his return to the racetrack but also my blog about his NZ foals), Gotta Go Cullect, Gotta Go Cullen, Ohoka Arizona and then Changeover, Shadow Play and Art Official (whose oldest race crops are only 2yos).

American Ideal

American Ideal at Woodlands Stud. (Photo Bee Pears)

And then I’ve added into the mix American Ideal, whose oldest crop is 5yos, as a bench marker, a sire that came with high recommendations but been given time to find his feet, and who has not to date been an outstanding sire of 2yos in New Zealand but is building a more secure reputation for quality and percentages.

I think we are so quick to judge new sires – and so few can deliver the multiple 2yo standouts that we desire as proof of their ability. So this blog isn’t comparing these sires in a negative way at all. I have a lot of admiration for each of them, and I have chosen a sample which I believe have potential to establish themselves.

Remember that we are only half way through our racing season and with 2yos and 3yos more are qualifying, racing, winning every week – so this is a snapshot in time. Out of date probably before I even publish it!

My point is how hard it is for a new sire to get traction – and it reflects the other side of the coin from the old sires I wrote about last time who got established, contributed hugely and are still gaining our respect, getting winners and even producing new foals, long after they have passed on.

The many reasons for early success can relate to

  • the types of mares a sire gets (ironically a very speedy sire may end up getting slower/heavier types of mare looking for an injection of speed)
  • the type of breeder/owner who supports the sire (smaller breeder/owners using less pricey sires may not feel under as much pressure to try their progeny as 2yos compared to the more commercial trainers/owners with horses bought at the yearling sales, for example), and the early development of the foal may well be managed differently even at the weanling/yearling stage
  • a sire may stamp his progeny with some precocious factors – great natural gait or the conformation, growth pattern and mental maturity that can help a horse to go early rather than needing time to grow
  • the sheer weight of numbers of foals or the lack of them.

I’ve added the breeding of these sires, as several of them are New Zealand breds and therefore will not be very familiar to some overseas readers of my blog – but these are racehorses and family lines that come with a heap of credentials “down under” and are forging a great revival in locally bred sires at the moment.  Of course they will need to sort themselves out over the next few years, but it is an extremely positive sign for New Zealand breeding. A mix of top quality sires and racehorses from overseas, plus top quality sires from our own particular breeding stock. (I’ve listed a couple of links at the bottom of this blog for those who want to know more about where the new breed of New Zealand standardbred pacing sires are coming from).

Gotta Go Cullect at Alabar

Gotta Go Cullect at Alabar

Gotta Go Cullect – Christian Cullen x Elect To Live (Live Or Die)

  • Live foals 2010 (currently 3yos) 125
  • 2011 (currently 2yos) 96
  • Qualifiers to date (approx mid season) 32 (including 4 x this season’s 2yos)
  • Starters 22
  • Winners 8

Gotta Go Cullen – Christian Cullen x Sparkling Burgundy (Butler BG)

  • Live foals 2010 (currently 3yos) 29
  • 2011 (currently 2yos) 38
  • Qualifiers to date  9 (including 2 x this season’s 2yos)
  • Starters 3
  • Winners 0

Ohoka Arizona – In The Pocket x Millwood Krystal (Falcon Seelster)

  • Live foals 2010 (currently 3yos) 84
  • Live foals 2011 (currently 2yos) 25
  • Qualifiers to date   21
  • Starters 12
  • Winners 5

Santanna Blue Chip

Santanna Blue Chip at Alabar (Photo by Bee Pears)

  • Live foals 2010 (currently 3yos) 65
  • Live foals 2011 (currently 2yos) 52
  • Qualifiers to date  24 (including 3 x this season’s 2yos)
  • Starters 13
  • Winners  4

2yo crop only:

Changeover – In The Pocket x Chaangerr (Vance Hanover)

  • Live foals 2011 (currently 2yos) 160
  • Qualifiers to date   11
  • Starters 1
  • Winners 0
Art Official at Alabar

Art Official at Alabar (Photo Bee Pears)

Art Official (Art Major x Naughty Shady Lady (Falcon Seelster)

  • Live foals 2011 (currently 2yos) 49
  • Qualifiers to date 0
  • Starters 0
  • Winners 0

Shadow Play (The Pandersosa x Matts Filly (Matts Scooter)

  • Live foals 2011 (currently 2yos) 19
  • Qualifiers to date   2
  • Starters 0
  • Winners 0

American Ideal – Western Ideal x Lifetime Success (Matts Scooter)

American Ideal has foals racing who are also 4yos and 5yos, but for this exercise I’m just focusing on his current 2yo and 3yo crops.

  • Live foals 2010 (currently 3yos) 59
  • Live foals 2011 (currently 2yos) 80
  • Current qualifiers who are 2yo and 3yo   29 (including 2 x this season’s 2yos)
  • Current starters who are 2yos or 3yos   21 (all 3yos)
  • Winners  16

On type of the sire, I would’ve expected Gotta Go Cullect to have had more foals qualifing st 2yos – he was an early runner himself and is a medium sized, athletic type. Whereas I’m interested that Changeover has had a few 2yos showing up and several trainers are commenting on the natural gait and willingness of his progeny. His yearlings looked to me to be more scopey, even rangey types that might need time, and Changeover the racehorse was certainly one that just got better and better. So he is leaving some qualities (including “gait speed”, a great asset)  that will definitely help him get traction as a sire. Those are two local sires who certainly have had the numbers on the ground and will be looking for some flagship progeny over the next 12 months. Ohoka Arizona was more of a speedy 2yo type himself and is doing okay as a sire to date, but will need to have his initial big crop really step up now as 3yos to keep attracting the mares. Shadow Play will be helped by his overseas success – and he got a much better book this year in ew Zealand. Art Official has a much larger crop of yearlings on the ground than his current 2yos, and that will give him a chance to hang his hat here. He is another that will be helped by overseas results.

The newer sires have a way to go, and it will be interesting to see what sort of credits and reputation they will have built by the end of the current season.

I’ll keep an eye on it.

The stats are all via HRNZ’s Info Horse database, but the opinions are my own.
For more information about the development of New Zealand siring lineups over recent years try this previous articles of mine (in the Articles tab at the top of the blog):


Read Full Post »

Sharing these photos I took, with a word or two that sums up what these sires expressed as they paraded at Alabar on Sunday.

And guess what? I was lucky enough to draw the free service to Gotta Go Cullen/Great Success/Elsu – more of that later.

(We missed Elsu who paraded first, but have included a photo I took of him in a parade 2012)

Art Official – lovely conformation, very correct

Art Offical Alabar 2013

Art Offical – Alabar 2013

Auckland Reactor – athletic and supple

Auckland Reactor Alabar 2013

Auckland Reactor –  Alabar 2013

Big Jim – height and reach

Big Jim Alabar 2013

Big Jim – Alabar 2013

Majestic Son – powerful and lithe

Majestic Son alabar 2013

Majestic Son -Alabar 2013

Great Success – strong and square

Great Success - Alabar 2013

Great Success – Alabar 2013

Gotta Go Cullect – on-his-toes show-off with great conformation

Gotta Go Cullect - Alabar 2013

Gotta Go Cullect – Alabar 2013

Mach Three – stunningly handsome professional

Mach Three - Alabar 2013

Mach Three – Alabar 2013

Elsu – classic character

Elsu - Alabar 2012

Elsu – Alabar 2012

Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: