Posts Tagged ‘Life Sign mares’

Update: Have received the photos from Sara and also a very recent result from Lady Moonlight’s first foal – one start, one win, you can’t do better. Check the race result at the bottom of the blog and thanks to Dot “Sherlock” Schmidt for picking that up.

Just a wee heads up – I have been very crook with a virus last week, and it has knocked me over. I hope to be better this week but it will take time. You can always pick up discussions via “Comments”.


The question

A few blogs ago I asked the question, who is going to be the inheritor of the In The Pocket siring line? And I took a closer look at some of the potential heirs including sons of Christian Cullen. Blog reader Ted Sieper rightly pulled me up for not mentioning Raging Bull. Dot Schmidt also came in with the comment that maybe we should try to get one of the well bred North American sons of Christian Cullen, from the brief stint he had over there as a sire.

Ragin Bull sire

Raging Bull as a racehorse, for trainer Cran Dalgety.

If you look at his pedigree, Raging Bull already fits that bill.

So why is he flying under the radar of too many breeders?

I wish it was a puzzle to know but it is a common dilemma. Using a rugby analogy (instead of my usual cooking ones) – the conservative nature of breeders, trainers and buyers makes it very hard for any new young flanker to slip past the “tight five” they are facing – Bettor’s Delight, Mach Three, American Ideal, Art Major and still in there Christian Cullen.

Raging Bull was one of several hugely talented youngsters who dropped out for various reasons and never had the opportunity to prove what they could do on the track in the long term. Alta Christiano falls into that category too. They didn’t get the time to really embed themselves in our imagination.

Raging Bull himself was an extremely talented 2yo and 3yo, but injured himself in the suspensory. He was tried again very briefly in 2014 by trainer John Parsons but the old injury quickly flared up, and he is now a sire. As that Harnesslink article points out,

Since Raging Bull disappeared off the harness racing scene, we have worked out just how good the only three horses that have ever beaten him are – Christen Me, Smolda (x3), and Ideal Scott.

The third problem for Raging Bull is that he wasn’t picked up by any of the main studs. Nevele R and Alabar already had their own sons of Christian Cullen standing (though neither have stepped up enough in the end). Woodlands is already committed to Bettor’s Delight son Highview Tommy as their “local boy” at the cheaper end. And Raging Bull would have had even less traction and more low end competition in Australia. He did however get huge support from Robert Famularo and his resources at Cavalla Bloodstock, who was not afraid to send quality mares to him.

He now stands at Craig and Nicky Kennedy’s stud “The Oaks”. Craig describes the stallion as a lovely type with a temperament like his father’s, whom he worked with as a sire at Wai Eyre. Raging Bull had 30 mares in his first year at Dancingonmoonlight, a small handful at Barra Equine last year and 10 this year at the Kennedys.  Craig Kennedy says they are not expecting much more until some of his foals hit the track – “He has to show he’s worth going to.” An advantage, he notes, is that even with his very small numbers this year, most of them are mares with a bit of breeding or racing performance behind them.

“When we got him to stand, I heard from owners of his foals and there was not one bad comment.”

Raging Bull stood at $1500 this season.

As a sire, he’s not a wild gamble. He is a calculated bet based on credentials.  He is an extremely well bred horse, being by the best pacing sire we have had in New Zealand in recent years – Christian Cullen – with some super North American maternal breeding that includes Galleria, who retired as the richest and fastest pacing mare of all time. What is there not to love?

His maternal family being USA based is perhaps less known by many breeders here except for Galleria. And I count myself amongst the ignorant, when he was on the scene as a race horse. Yet the more I looked at his pedigree credentials, his record and his potential crosses, I  consider him “on paper” as one of Christian Cullen’s best chances to carry on his line. With his own Christian Cullen and Artsplace influences, he is available at just the right time for many well bred New Zealand mares to cross back into two lines that are now well-embedded in a lot of good mares, or to outcross from mares from No Nukes or other Direct Scooter lines. Often for a sire, the timing is wrong – but not in this case.

I haven’t seen him in the flesh yet, but I believe Michele Carson in her interview with me, who described him as one of the finest looking horses she has seen. She saw him in a box without knowing what colt he was. He just stood out.

Sara Smith on the yearlings – Lot 264 and 412

There are two yearlings from his first crop  in this 2016 Premier sale in Christchurch by Raging Bull, both colts, and also a third colt from his Western Ideal half sister San Rafaella which I’ll look at in a later blog. All of them come from proven families, and when you add in the credentials of Raging Bull, I would hope these colts get a lot of interest.

Both lots are prepared by Sara Smith (Famularo) of Dancingonmoonlight Farm on behalf of Cavalla Bloodstock, so I rang her to find out what they were like “in person”.


Lot 264 Getarattleon (colt)

Raging Bull x Lady Moonlight – Sands A Flyin
Breeder/owner: Cavalla Bloodstock
Preparer: Sara Smith, Dancingonmoonlight Stud

2nd dam Sirius Flight, 3rd dam Direct Flight.

Raging Bull x Lady Moonlight yearling colt

Raging Bull x Lady Moonlight yearling colt

Sara describes this yearling as a standout. “He’s colty, a bigger type, makes his presence known.” She says he is one of the those colts that people may not mark down in the catalogue but when he parades they go “Oh wow, who is that?”

What sticks out to me in this pedigree is that it is both familiar downunder but also USA proven. At a really good level. The grandam of this filly was the wonderful Pacific Flight who raced here so well then absolutely made her mark in the USA as a great winning, tough, fast and durable mare. She left one good foal over there called Droppinthehammer ($323,617). Her daughter by The Big Dog is Sirius Flight, and she achieved 5 wins in the USA and went under 1.55 there. Brought back here she had the Bettor’s Delight colt Malak Uswaad who did very well both here and later in the USA.

All of this family goes back to Significant from the remarkable Black Watch family, one of our best quality families in New Zealand.

Lady Moonlight’s first foal is by Santanna Blue Chip, and qualified/trialed in some fast times before being exported to Australia late last year.

Lot 412 Boy George (colt)

Raging Bull x Soul Sister – Presidential Ball
Breeder/owner: Cavalla Bloodstock
Preparer: Sara Smith, Dancingonmoonlight Stud

Dam a half sister to Carabella.

Raging Bull x Soul Sister yearling colt

Raging Bull x Soul Sister yearling colt

Sara describes this colt as very well put together, muscular, not overly big, but very even in growth and conformation.

Being from a half sister to the absolutely stunning Bettor’s Delight mare Carabella, this colt could get quite a bit of interest.

The USA factor comes in because their dam Andress Blue Chip is North American bred  (Artsplace x Athens Blue Chip, an On The Road Again mare) and is a half sister to some very well performed USA horses including Athena Blue Chip, a World Champion by the Cam Fella sire Goalie Jeff. You can see it all in the catalogue entry. (Just a very short aside, Goalie Jeff comes from the same maternal line as McArdle’s .)

Soul Sister is an unraced mare by Presidential Ball. Presidential Ball is proving to be a good damsire and outcrosses this pedigree to balance up a 3 x 3 to Artsplace. Although she was unraced, Soul Sister carries quality genes. Look at the quality of sires who contribute to her maternal line. Presidential Ball, Artsplace, On The Road Again, and her 3rd dam was by hardly-known sire Super Wave (a son of Shadow Wave) but who was one of Shadow Waves best sons. Beyond that it continues with Bret Hanover and then Duane Hanover who of course appears twice in Artsplace’s own pedigree – as Abercrombie’s damsire, and in Miss Elvira’s maternal line.

Plenty to like about these two colts and their sire.


Race code:  BHC20011601    Stakes: $6,360    Gait: PACERS    Class: 2YO


1st BLUE MOON RISING NZ Add to Blackbook

Owner(s): H Harper, D W Harper
Breeder(s): S A (Sally) Smith

Track Rating: GOOD

Gross Time: 2:05:3, Mile Rate: 1:56:6

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