Posts Tagged ‘Interdominions’

Big day at Menangle today, but rather than analyse the form or predict the race tactics, I’ll just give a quick overview on the breeding side of things.

Here is a gathering of many of the top horses in Australia and New Zealand and they are performing at staying distances.

That’s a true test of a horse.

What appeals to me is that, in spite of the dominance of some sires over the years, the fields for these sorts of races always display a range of breeding choice.

So although the Chariots of Fire will be a cracker of a race over the mile, half of that field is either by Bettor’s Delight or Art Major.

But in the staying races, it is a lot more evenly spread.

In the Interdominion Final, there is a 14 horse field, with 3 Bettor’s Delights, 2 Art Majors, 2 Courage Under Fires, and the rest have just one representative – Washington VC, Dream Away, Falcon Seelster, Christian Cullen, Famous Forever, Mach Three and Western Terror. Or looking at it in terms of siring lines – the Cam Fella line has 5 runners representing it (Bettor’s Delight, Washington VC and Famous Forever), the Direct Scooter line has 4 (Christian Cullen, courage Under Fire and Mach Three), the Abercrombie/Artsplace line has 3 (Art Major, Dream Away), and the others are from the No Nukes/Western Hanover line (Western Terror), and Bret

Seel N Print (Falcon Seelster 6yo from a Go For Grins mare) was an outsider when winning his interdominion heat but has $406,000 to his name and a good draw in the final.

Seel N Print (Falcon Seelster 6yo from a Go For Grins mare) was an outsider when winning his interdominion heat but has $406,000 to his name and a good draw in the final.

Hanover/Warm Breeze line (Seel N Print).

On the maternal side, there is a mix of deep families and families that have popped up a brilliant one almost from nowhere. However there are some quality damsires adding value here: Soky’s Atom (Im Victorious, Wartime Sweetheart), In The Pocket (Livingontheinterest and The Gold Ace), Safely Kept (Keayang Cullen, Smolda, Caribbean Blaster), Falcon Seelster (Mach Beauty and did have the first emergency Franco Nelson), plus Fake Left (For A Reason), Bookmaker (Forever Gold), DM Dilinger (Restrepo) and Go For Grins (Seel N Print).

Overall, the message for breeders from top staying races is that so-called golden crosses are really about statistics for larger populations of horses. They don’t help us predict which horses will rise above the rest and become an Interdominion champion. And they don’t necessarily work for particular families and mares.

The NSW Oaks field today also throws up a wide range of sires. Bettor’s Delight and Art Major have 2 each in the 10-horse field, and sheer weight of numbers of foals means that should be no surprise. But one of the favourites will be the McArdle filly Nike Franco, out of the great staying Badlands Hanover mare Nearea Franco who belongs to the Shy Ann family. There’s also a Live Or Die filly, a Jereme’s Jet filly, a Troublemaker filly and yes, even a Flashing Red filly.

The NSW Derby is a little different. Art Major has 3, Christian Cullen has 2, so that is half the field. But after that you get a good smattering of others with 1 each – McArdle, Bettor’s Delight, American Ideal, Jereme’s Jet, and Julius Caesar, the much less commercial brother of Christian Cullen.

There are many breeders and owners whose aim is still to breed horses that can win those classic staying races – the oaks, the derbies – and who love seeing their horse given the time to mature into a potential cup and interdominion type.

History shows that the interdominion and major cups winners can fly the flag for sires and families that would struggle to get a bid at the yearling sales!

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