Posts Tagged ‘Captaintreacherous’

The Blue Lotus

The Blue Lotus (Grinfromeartoear x Zenterfold) in foal to Shadow Play and getting a wash at Isa Lodge yesterday.

My last two blogs have deliberately reversed the usual sire x mare breeding notation in the title of the blog. That’s for a reason. For me, the mare plays such an important role in terms of her genetic structure (what she brings to the table), and how good she is as a broodmare (her ability to conceive, carry and deliver a healthy foal, and her ability as a mum, because the foal will have 1000% more to do with her than with the dad!) Her own history will also come into the equation – what she has left so far, what issues if any are there, what in her family is showing up now or could be showing up later…

So I know and respect the conventions for breeding notations which put the sire and his pedigree double-ups first.

But that’s not the same as making a decision about breeding.

For me, once you have a potentially good or good broodmare, she must have the strongest say in your choice of sire.

It is easy to latch on to a sire that you like.  There is such a line-up of well-performed, handsome horses coming to a siring career each year. There is also a handful who have conquered the challenges and become “the chosen ones”, our proven sires like Bettor’s Delight and Art Major. And then another market of the “repêcharges” – sires both new and established who are carving out a specific career for themselves – Badlands Hanover has been a master of this, Live Or Die also successful, Grinfromeartoear finding his niche nicely over the years, and the new guns like Sunshine Beach, A Rocknroll Dance, Sportswriter, Auckland Reactor, Sir Lincoln and Tintin In America trying to get a foothold in a very competitive race.

Sometimes, when your budget doesn’t extend to the top commercial sires, there are rich selections amongst these “been there, done that” sires and the “going places if you let me” sires. They offer incredible value for money if you have done some thinking about why you are breeding and what your mare needs.

The one to give you the best answer about that isn’t me.  It’s your mare.

Treat her right. Do the thinking. Make the choice. And then look after her interests each step of the way – through the 11 months and 11 days and beyond.

In a very real sense, breeding is not a partnership of Sire x Mare, but more about how well you as a breeder can find the best mate for the mare. That’s actually what many of us breeders are about, what keeps us going. Some might be pimping for sheer profit, but most of us are searching for something deeper than that – a sire that suits our mare, and then a foal that goes on to be a really good racehorse!

Bingo! (Has that name been taken??)

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So Captaintreacherous is going to be available down under, via Empire Stallions.

Surprise! Not. About a year ago most of us were thinking along those lines anyway, my blog here.

Captaintreacherous at Empire Stallions

It is great news. I love his pedigree and his quality. Whether that will convert into being a great sire and taking the Somebeachsomewhere sire line into the future, only time will tell. But he will get every opportunity I think.

His maternal family is of course Romola Hal, and I’ve recently completed a series of blogs on that (just use my blog search “Romola Hal” to pull those up). What an extraordinary maternal line for producing sires and potent broodmare sires and broodmares, as well as damn good racehorses.

In America, strongly backed by Hanover Farms, Captaintreacherous got 140 mares at US$15,000, so it will be very interesting to see how he is positioned here.

Will cost make any difference? He’s bound to be desirable – but if he heads into the $9,000+ market here which is highly likely, then that will cut out many of us who have to make hard decisions about a handful of mares, and these days a choice of one high priced sire may very well mean other mares go to $5000 or cheaper sires or are given a break for a year.

And as an unproven sire on the track, he is a risk for a several years, in terms of progeny performance (although not necessarily such a risk for selling progeny from good mares). We know in New Zealand how his own sire has taken time to get traction, and I am not sure if that has even happened yet to the extent that might have been expected. Personally, I see Captaintreacherous as a much sounder breeding prospect here than his sire, simply because there is more in his maternal line that can connect with what we have here. The timing of his arrival with the growing number of quality mares from the wider “herd” of U7 (Miss Duvall) and an increasing number of Western Hanover line mares being available, is another plus for Captaintreacherous. So while there is a risk going to him, I think his commercial appeal (e.g. for the more elite mares and for yearling sales) will be greater than his own sire and give his grandad Mach Three a run for his money as well.

There is the frozen semen factor too – that will be a big factor in how quickly his reputation gains a hold.

Frustrating, isn’t it, that at this time of the year several key studs including Empire have still got a “TBA” against their sires’ service fees. So while I am excited about seeing Captaintreacherous available (and hopefully in New Zealand as well as Australia) it is a real shame these announcements don’t come along with key information like how much the service fee is and who will be the agents in other places (particularly with frozen semen which requires skill and knowledge at the delivery end). He may be booked out or close to it before we know what price we might have to pay. It is not a good commercial model, certainly not one that is used by others industries or in retail unless you are in a straight out bargaining situation.  Breeders have to plan finances in advance just like anyone else. I can understand that our northern and southern hemispheres are “out of whack” in terms of breeding and racing seasons, and that negotiations are sensitive and take time. But Captaintreacherous has already served a season in North America, so it is not like he has just come off the track and his career is undecided. Surely if the announcement can be made, the price has been agreed?

(Update 7 July 2016: Buried down the bottom of the news item on their website (but not included in the enewsletter announcement I received) is the announcement that “His frozen semen is available in Australia for $10,000 including GST and in New Zealand $10,000 plus GST, payable by April 1, 2017.” However the need to get their website updated as all the service fees are showing TBA and Captaintreacherous is not yet on the list.) 

Alabar has got its service fees sorted . Nevele R is still “TBA” on its stallions although the recently announced Muscles Mass has been announced at $7,000.

I’m sure other service fees will be announced soon. But while many are likely to stay pretty much the same as last year, it is still important for breeders to know as early as possible if there are any likely adjustments up or down. In this environment, every thousand dollars makes a difference and cannot always be pulled like a nice white rabbit out of the hat.

Congratulations to Empire for sealing the deal and making such a great horse available down under!

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The news that Captaintreacherous is retiring to stand at stud will create a lot of interest among breeders and studs in Australasia. I imagine there is already a lot of action behind the scenes to negotiate rights to him “downunder”. You would imagine Empire Stallions might have the inside draw for that race, as they stand his sire Somebeachsomewhere, and of course both father and son are standing at Hanover Farms in America.

For me, the most appealing thing about Captaintreacherous (in terms of his pedigree) is that he is a son of Worldly Treasure, rather than that he is a son of Somebeachsomewhere. See my previous blog about his maternal family which is an exciting branch of the great Romola Hal clan.

Another son of Somebeachsomewhere with an outstanding maternal line is the new kid on the block at Macca Lodge in New Zealand, Net Ten EOM (which translated means “payment ten days after end of month”). He shares his maternal line with the excellent sire Well Said, and it has class all over it. Many top performing fillies like his dam Glowing Report and her dam Grand Lady struggle to duplicate their success in the breeding barn, but this maternal line is one where performance in both departments is deep. He is available for just $3000, and although he only raced 17 times, almost entirely as a 3yo, he took a record of 1.49.4 and raced under 1.50 three times, before retiring with an injury. Definitely worth a look.

Of course Macca Lodge also stands Panspacificflight, who like Captaintreacherous is from a branch of Romola Hal, in fact from a full sister to Art Major’s dam.


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Among the awards presented today by the United States Harness Writers Association (USHWA) is a 2013 Broodmare of the Year award to Worldly Treasure:

The pacing broodmare of the year, Worldly Treasure, is the dam of world champion Captaintreacherous p,3,1:47.1 ($2,973,286). Worldly Treasure herself was no slouch on the track, taking a 2-year-old mark of 1:53.1 en route to earning $97,923. She hails from a strong maternal family, as her full sister is the outstanding pacing mare Worldly Beauty, who was a two-time Dan Patch Award winner with nearly $2 million in career earnings.
They are both out of World Order p,3,1:53 ($267,205), whose dam was Rodine Hanover p,2,1:54 ($231,630)-the dam of Real Artist p,3,Q1:51 ($424,94) and the grand-dam of Art Major p,4,1:48.4 ($2,727,224), Perfect Art p,3,1:51 ($629,122) and Panspacificflight p,3,1:50.3 ($368,843). She is also owned by White Birch Farm of Allentown, NJ.

See here for full report on all the awards

This is a maternal line (Romola Hal) which, for me, is really ranking up there with the all-time greats like Golden Miss, Spinster/Old Maid and Roya McKinney and her sisters. I’m talking about “engine room” power that endures and adds value.

Check out also my blog about Somebeachsomewhere crosses of gold and Captain Treacherous (the section down the end titled “Credit should go to strong maternal lines”. Often sires/sirelines get most of the credit for a great horse (“the brilliant son of …..”) whereas the maternal line may not get much of a mention. And yet, think how many shots a good sire has at leaving great progeny compared to a maternal family through broodmares – foal by foal, year by year.

This is one maternal line that is popping up in so many top-level cross-references that it is getting the recognition it richly deserves. Yet another branch of it leads to Sands A Flyin, which makes for some interesting crosses with Sands A Flyin mares and some of the very good sires from the same family, although it hasn’t been tried much as yet – more breeders are trying for a connection via the Mach Three-Beach Towel cross (Sands A Flyin being the son of Beach Towel of course), and are patronising Mach Three and his full brother Extreme Three in significant numbers. It’s an interesting thing to ponder on – which my blog on the Somebeachsomewhere crosses of gold canvases. Comments from readers and breeders welcome!

Other links

Worldly Beauty – Odds On Racing’s Legend Horse of the Month for September 2013

Comments from breeder White Birch Farm on World Order, their “foundation mare”

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