Posts Tagged ‘Gotta Go Cullect’

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.


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Update: Both horses ran at the Cambridge track last night, after elect To Go made it into a much more suitable field in the Waikato meeting that was brought back from Sunday to thursday in a move to help find a space for the flooded out Forbury Park meeting. Elect To Go ran an exciting 2nd after being awkwardly placed 4 back on the inside, coming with an eyecatching run wide. View video here. Souvenir Glory had even less luck in the running, having to drop back from the 7 draw and just ran around nicely at the back of the field, and will be ready for next time.

Original blog:

The last month or so has been really enjoyable with a range of horses we have either bred or bought as weanlings showing up at the track.

Kym’s Elsu mare Souvenir Glory – 2nd at Cambridge. Thanks to a nice drive from Kyle Marshall she got handy on the pace, and ran home very well wider out. It was a gutsy effort. She starts again this Thursday at Cambridge. It was an Elsu quinella. Just an interesting by-note: The talented 2yo Emily blunt, a Rock N Roll Heaven filly bred and owned by Cambridge breeder Pat Laboyrie, has had an eye-catching second and then win at the Nelson meeting lately – in its first two starts. She’s by Pat’s nice 6-win Elsu mare Matai Mies. Nothing wrong with those good Elsu mares!

Elect To Go – 2-length win at the workouts at Pukekohe by the Gotta Go Collect x Innsbruck weanling Kym and I bought from the Alabar draft at the 2011 weanling sale. Never been pushed along when young, although she did qualify as an early 3yo with Kym as trainer. We’ve sent her to Geoff Small now to see what she’s got, and it looks like she’s got enough to be competitive. She is the half sister to mare Sovereign Faith, who has done a good job here and over in Australia (11 wins from 51 starts lifetime, $72,234). She’s nominated for the first race at Alexandra Park this Friday, but her draw of 7 is a head-scratcher for trainer Geoff in a tough field for a maiden.

In the trot qualifier trial at Pukekohe on the same day, Angus Fogg (Angus Hall x Sun Isa) qualified comfortably for trainer Derek Balle. A gorgeous looking big gelding, he’ll be another we will follow with as much passion and interest as the current owners! Read about him here and his pedigree here. Sun Isa is currently in foal to Angus Hall.

In North America we continue to follow the adventures of Destination Moon (Grinfromeartoear x Zenterfold) and Driving The Dragon (Sutter Hanover x Shark Alert), the latter, like Souvenir Glory and Elect To Go, was a purchase from the Alabar draft at weanling sales. Both continue to put their hooves in the till.



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Gotta Go Cullect had just 4 yearlings at the sales this year, selling for $13,000, $12,000, $7,500 and one passed in on a vendor’s bid of $5000 with a reserve of $10,000. That’s an average of lots sold of just over $10,000, and overall not a bad result compared to some of the other newer sires. His service fee affordability probably meant those who sold yearlings were close to breaking even, and expectations would have been realistic I think.

Like Art Official he stands at Alabar in the North Island but he had no representatives at the North Island yearling sale at Karaka. That is definitely a reflection on how he is viewed commercially by top end breeders and buyers who are the core of the Karaka sale.

The only photo I got on the day is this one of Lot 62, a nice strong type of colt from a Safely Kept mare who got the top price of $13,000. He’s being led around by Ken Spicer who is quite a tall, solid bloke, so you can get an impression he’s a bigger, bolder type of yearling and quite appealing to buyers. See his promotional photo at end of the blog.

Below the photo I do a quick summary of Gotta Go Cullect’s siring career to date. I think he’s filling a great niche in the breed-to-race market, but unless his 3yos really put the foot down on the accelerator, I can’t see many more of his yearlings turning up at the yearling sales. The recent performing families that get good prices would be taking a commercial risk to go to a sire that is not really priced for top-end sales. For example, Lot 49, the only filly, was an attractive yearling and is also the half sister to Lochaburn, the 3yo colt by Christian Cullen who has so far chalked up 8 wins from 12 starts. The mare, Suzy’s Delight is back in foal to Christian Cullen now, which makes a lot of sense commercially for breeder Mike Stratford.

Lot 62 Gotta go Cullect colt by Safely Kept mare

Lot 62 Gotta go Cullect colt by Safely Kept mare

Of the sons of our great sire Christian Cullen who stand at stud, Gotta Go Cullect has received the most support from breeders so far. He has had four good books of mares and now has just over 220 live foals at age 2 or 3, i.e. racing age.

As I’ve mentioned before in my blog late January (New sires trying to gain traction) not many of his foals to date seem to be racing or winning as 2yos; they seem to need a bit more time to develop than you might have expected from a sire whose own sire and dam were both precocious, tough youngsters.

Gotta Go Cullect’s stats are now 45 qualifiers and 11 winners (and I see there is some action over in Australia with some of his Australian born progeny, but I’m not going to delve into detail on that at this stage). As a sire, Gotta Go Cullect is hovering around 20% qualifiers to live foals, and 5% winners to live foals to date (bearing in mind that his oldest are only 3).

Breaking his stats down a bit more:

  • He has 78 registered foals born in NZ who are currently 2yos. Of those,  there are 6 starters (7.6%), no winners.
  • He has 108 registered foals born in NZ who are currently 3yos. Of those 25 are starters (23%), 11 are winners (10.8%).

Of course the season has not finished yet and these figures will change over the next 4 months. But there is a bit of a trend which, as I say, is indicating that in spite of his own breeding and own track performance (4 wins from just 5 starts as a 2yo), Gotta go Cullect is not showing up as a sire of precocious horses. Well, he’s like most sires in that way. And like most sires trying to make their mark, he will need to counter that by coming up with half a dozen eye catching 3yos who show up at premier race nights rather than on the grass at Rangiora. Royal Counsel is certainly helping the cause with a very good win in the Southern Oaks recently.

One of the best and first to race here was his son Offtocullect who was exported to Western Australia and has 3 more wins to add to the 4 he got here in NZ and a 1.57.7 MR. He got one of his wins as a 2yo, but so far none of this season’s 2yo Gotta Go Cullects have managed a win. Offtocullect is the sort of horse that catches the attention of future buyers and gives a bit of confidence. Alabar NZ is selling a full sister to Offtocullect at their weanling sale on 30 May. The dam is Shazza’s Dream, a Pacific Rocket mare from the useful Marika/Russianero family.

Lot 49 Gotta Go Cullect filly from Washington VC mare. She's a half sister to the very talented Lochaburn.

Lot 49 Gotta Go Cullect filly from Washington VC mare. She’s a half sister to the very talented Lochaburn.

Lot 62 Gotta Go Cullect colt from Safely Kept mare

Lot 62 Gotta Go Cullect colt from Safely Kept mare. Same yearling as in the photo I took on the sales day.




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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):


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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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These sales are a great opportunity for those looking for value. They lack the hype of the yearling sales and therefore both the vendor and the buyer are likely to have more realistic expectations.

At these sales you can also see some of the new sires’ foals in larger numbers than many of us might normally – especially in the North Is where Alabar uses this sale rather than the more risky yearling sales to showcase and move on its young stock. The Alabar inspection day is on Saturday 5 May, and there were plenty of people taking advantage of that last year.

I’ll be particularly interested in looking at Shadow Play’s and Santanna Blue Chip’s weanlings, and checking if some of the other sires are starting to show any signs of ‘throwing to type’ that I noticed from prior weanling and yearling sales.  The filly by Santanna Blue Chip out of Alta Magari looks striking in the photo, but there is nothing like seeing these little ones in the flesh. Overall, the Santanna Blue Chips look very nice types. I’m not an expert judge at all (far from it!), but I like to get an overall impression built up from as many individuals as I can see, rather than base my views on a few horses I might know.  At the inspection day,  I can ask the Alabar crew about the weanling’s dam to find out what she might have added to the mix – they are a really helpful, friendly team up there.  Of particular interest to me will be the Gotta Co Cullects, as I am so impressed by the sire and his weanlings/yearlings to date and now have a half share in a filly we picked up at last year’s weanling sale and is breaking in nicely.

In the all aged category, the 2yo Grinfromeartoear filly Provocative could be a good sneaky bid if you want something ready to run – she was unwanted at the yearling sale last year in spite of being a nice type (I recall her in the ring and wondered why she was not attracting more bids, but the Grins aren’t sexy at the sales), and was bought back by the Barlows for about $9000 – and they persuaded Linda Hamilton to take her, with Steven Argue doing the breaking in and training. She qualified nicely enough as a 2yo at Franklin, long before many of the other pricier sales yearlings have made it to the track. Grins tend to need time and can be a little one dimensional in their racing until they mature mentally and strengthen, but those that have natural ability can hold speed and are tough minded – and this filly is from the same family that produced Charge Forward and Covert Action, both Grins of course.  The pedigree match refers in some really nice ways to great mares Breath of Spring, The Old Maid and therefore Spinster, and Grin’s Storm Damage damsire provides the close up footnote to those – one of the things I really like about Grin from a genetic perspective, pulling older references back into the pattern (see my blog on fairisle knitting!)

The South Is sale is much more oriented to broodmares with a bit of a clean out occuring.  I would be interested in getting comments from those in the South Island who can assess some possible nuggets amongst those horses on offer.

More from me – and hopefully others who want to comment – after the Alabar inspection day and sales days.

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