Posts Tagged ‘Auckland Reactor’

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

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It’s Alabar NZ stallion parade this Sunday 15 September at 1.30pm. I attend every year because it is a huge opportunity to look more closely and judge more accurately some of the factors you may want to put into the mix when you decide on a match for your mare. And how different they are. As the parade unfolds you see the tall and the smaller, the stocky and the slim, the handsome and the plain. You know each one has fantastic credentials as a racehorse and often already as a sire. Success comes in many different packages!

My interest this time will centre on seeing Big Jim (for the second time), Majestic Son in the flesh, and also to see Auckland Reactor for the first time since I was amongst the crowd cheering him at Cambridge races.  I always had the impression of him being quite a big lanky horse, but my understanding is that he is medium sized at 15.2h.  One of the best looking horses I’ve ever seen is his sire, Mach Three, who will also be parading.  He’s stamped his length of body and great gait on a lot of his foals, but many of them don’t inherit his good looks when they are young and initially that counted against him at the yearling sales. But his record has turned that around.

Talking of Auckland Reactor, how much money has gone into that advertising campaign to jog memories of his “x factor” and his speed and help us overlook the failures in his career management and the niggling doubts many people have had about his mental toughness? It shows just how much a sire’s career can be helped by owners with a wad of money to back their investment!  In a previous blog I talked about the “fashionable” new sires, and how that is a hype created just as much by the need for studs and owners to get a return and grab a niche in a competitive market, as any innate ability of the sire or even their ability to capture imaginations as a racehorse. The marketing of a sire is aiming at future buyers as well as current breeders. The foals will sell if the hype about a sire catches on. If buyers don’t buy, the breeder support can quickly fall away.

Like most of advertising, is it all about creating perceived needs rather than having a product that will meet those needs.

So breeders, it is up to us to pretty much disregard the hype and look at what is best for your mare and your aims in breeding.  Sift the advertising and the advertising for the real information you need.

That is why the opportunity to see these horses in the flesh is one to grab if you can. See these horses for yourself and talk to the people at Alabar who are closest to these wonderful sires. Graeme and his team at Alabar are refreshingly upfront about sharing insights and information.

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It looks like shaping up as a battle of the Mach Three sons, in the same way that several sons of Christian Cullen are going head-to-head as sires in New Zealand.

Auckland Reactor vs Sir Lincoln. If you look at these things as a contest.

Both have very impressive records, but struck niggles and health issues that led to lost opportunities at critical moments.

Sheer brilliance with flaws, vs talented professional with niggles.

It’s a bit like trying to compare Lady Gaga and Adele. Or Brad Pitt and Colin Firth. lol

The temptation is to go with the one you most admired on the racetrack. But as a breeder, my focus won’t be on a close examination of their race or stakes statistics but more on the attributes they showed,  and even more importantly family genetic strengths PLUS what would suit my mare in regard to both of those things.

Let’s have a quick squizz at these two boys. The Direct Scooter sire line legacy here is via In The Pocket, and mainly his son Christian Cullen. In North America the Direct Scooter sire line has survived through Matt’s Scooter, and mainly his son Mach Three.

The sons of Mach Three are in the same position of sons of Christian Cullen – exciting prospects, some already showing huge potential but – a bit like the story of In The Pocket himself – it will depend on the opportunities they get, including whether the mares on offer (geographically and at the time) are what each one needs to really establish himself as a top sire.

The Direct Scooter line has a reputation for leaving speed, often early speed. Some people call it a “hot headed” line, but that’s probably the flip side of having an injection of “want to go”.

Mach Three raced very successfully as a 2yo. And of course with a reputation as a horse with early speed himself, he would attract many mares looking for exactly that quality: speed – which they may not have in large doses themselves. It’s not surprising, then, to find lines with toughness coming up in his mares’ pedigrees – Live Or Die, Cam Fella and his sons, and Beach Towel of course. None of these horses were slow, but their mares tended to be more staying types, tough types rather than sprinters. Falcon Seelster mares also fall into that category – as a generalisation.

Auckland Reactor did not race as a 2yo. But in the next year won the Sires Stakes 3yo Final against Fiery Falcon, Benny Mac, Cavalier, Ohoka Arizona and Steve McQueen. He would have been a big lanky 2yo and wisely not pushed.

Sir Lincoln raced but did not win as a 2yo, but was well represented in the Young Guns Heats of his year – with a 3rd, 4th, 4th, and 6th to the likes of Smiling Shard, Five Star Anvil and Devil Dodger before firing off his 3yo season with a win in the Sires Stakes 3yo Final. His 3yo opposition including Courage To Rule, Smiling Shard, Russeley Rascal, Gomeo Romeo and Kotare Mach.

Auckland Reactor won 11 of 11 starts as a 3yo. Sir Lincoln won 8 of 18.

Auckland Reactor has a reputation of brilliance, and the ability to be super-fast. But did he sometimes win more by dominating through his reputation? Did others sit back in awe and let him get his way? And when he was challenged, was there sometimes a weakness? At times there were nagging doubts, and in this industry the critics are quick to pounce if a champion turns out to have hooves of clay sometimes.

Sir Lincoln has a reputation of strength, but his niggles meant there were times when he underperformed in races, and disappointed. There was always a reason. But he didn’t stamp his dominance on top fields in the way you really wanted him to do. He is an extremely handsome, well conformed horse, but lacks the dashing, exciting aura that Auckland Reactor had.

Do either of them come from a family strong enough to give thoughtful breeders reassurance?

That’s the big question. If Sir Lincoln’s dam Clare De Lune (by Beach Towel) clicks so well with Mach Three – the same Mach Three x Beach Towel cross of Somebeachsomewhere – that is one thing to ponder on. Her filly Lincoln’s Megastar won just last night, first up and impressive. But Clare De Lune’s lack of real success with any other sire leaves me asking some important questions. Is this a family going places, an engine room that is cranking up power? Or is it serendipity – a happy coincidence of a specific nick that works well, a narrow window of opportunity that may relate to a particular mix rather than compatibility with a wider pool of sires and (for Sir Lincoln) mares?  Clare De Lune’s first foal by Bettor’s Delight could not get a win in 48 starts. And the 2012 foal to Rocknroll Hanover is her only other live foal deviation from Mach Three to date. Even though there may well be non-genetic reasons for these outcomes, one thing breeders do look for (or should look for) in a mare is her ability to leave successful foals by several different sires which indicates what some call a “double copy” mare, or perhaps a mare that is calling some important shots in the genetic roll of the dice and really adding value.

Ray Chaplin from equineexcellence.biz in Australia has looked at the same issue for Somebeachsomewhere and his super son Captaintreacherous (by an Artsplace mare) and has a warning for breeders who are latching on to copying that as the next generation cross. Copying successful matches may not be the oracle it appears. You can get a copy of his very interesting article by contacting him at equineexcellence.biz – the link is on my home page.

An interesting note is Cam Fella appearing in both Sir Lincoln’s pedigree and Somebeachsomewhere’s pedigree in a similar role.  (Mach Alert, Mysta Magical Mach and others also has Cam Fella but in a different position so in my humble view maybe not contributing in the same way. )

Auckland Reactor’s family has a stronger look to it in terms of producing qualifiers and winners. Atomic Lass had wide ranging matches for progeny and overall deserved her prize as Broodmare of the Year. That is exactly the “double copy” type indicators I was referring to above.  There are a couple of active branches of Atomic Lass’s family now from her fillies, and Tony Parker is doing a great job in managing this family’s fortunes – although I wonder if the success of Auckland Reactor and the subsequent matching of several different mares from the wider family to Mach Three is more for commercial reasons or pedigree matching reasons or a combination of both. Personally, I believe each branch starts to add complexities to the equation and it is not as obvious as going to the same sire. Having said that, the October Brown filly by Mach Three from the Badlands Hanover sister to Auckland Reactor (Twilight Beauty) looks a promising type. Devil Dodger, May Fly and Silence Is Golden (a beautiful Grinfromeartoear mare who will be the best producer from this family I predict) are others recently or currently making their name. And Mr Parker is an extremely astute breeder!

Where would I go – Sir Lincoln or Mach Three? I imagine the price difference will not be great. Sir Lincoln will be marketed on his “Somebeachsomewhere” cross and his handsome conformation. Auckland Reactor on his brilliance and fantastic public aura.  It’s a choice I delight in seeing, two classy customers with something to offer, both of which individual breeders need to assess carefully in regards to their own mares – rather than their own preferences for the horse they saw racing.

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