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Posts Tagged ‘Live Or Die’

Bringing fillies to the yearling sales can be tricky, and more so when their sires are not amongst the top four or five. But this hasn’t stopped Anna Laxton, preparer and one of the vendors of three fillies heading for the Premier Yearling Sale in Christchurch. And on type and family connections, they are well worth a look. Two of them are by “old hand” Live Or Die, and the third is by “new boy” Tintin In America. In this blog I look at Lots 213 and 157.

Lot 213 Our Promise – Live Or Die x Good Looking Woman (Holmes Hanover)

Our Promise

Our Promise, Lot 213 Premier Yearling Sale, Christchurch

One that “ticks all the boxes” is Lot 213, a Live Or Die filly from the Holmes Hanover mare Good Looking Woman. That makes this filly a full sister to Livin It Lovin It who is doing a great job over in Australia (26 wins and $175,811 to date). Live Or Die is now 23 years old, and he has earned his reputation as a great value sire of tough raceway horses over many, many seasons. Many of those have ended up racing in Australia where their tenacity and durability has stood them in good stead.  We tend to forget Live Or Die has had a couple of $1m-plus foals – Divisive and Just An Excuse – as well as top horses like Bondy, Power Of Tara, Bold Cruiser and among the mares Elect To Live and Life Of Luxury. When you look at those names, you think of mental and physical toughness. He’s doing a great job as a broodmare sire too – Terror To Love, Ohoka Texas, Major Mark, Lizzie Maguire, Libertybelle Midfrew, Franco Ledger, Elusive Chick and even the trotter Escapee! So investing in a Live Or Die filly can pay dividends in the breeding barn as well as on the track.

Good Looking woman has produced 5 to the races for 5 winners from her 8 foals, and Anna Laxton describes this filly, named Our Promise, as a “tanky, good looking girl, tough – she should have been a colt!” She says the filly free-leg paces around the paddock all the time.

Lot 157 American Dame – Tintin In America x Carnival Banner (Christian Cullen)

American Dame

American Dame, Lot 157 Premier Yearling Sale, Christchurch

If Live Or Die is the “old hand”, then Tintin In America is very much a new kid on the block, but one who is doing enough from very small numbers to open a few eyes – and potentially a few buyers’ cheque books.

Anna Laxton’s father-in-law Peter Fry came across Carnival Banner, a unraced sister to the great Mainland Banner and Christian Banner, and half sister to Stunin Banner, Rocker Band, Return To Sender etc. He bred the mare to Rock N Roll Heaven, lost one but now has a 2yo filly by that sire (Called My Blue Heaven) in the care of John Hay. After that, the plan is to let the mare prove herself before going back to another highly commercial sire. So the next two foals have been by well-regarded but cheaper new sires Tintin In America and most recently Auckland Reactor.

Carnival Banner was an unraced and very big mare, about 16.3hh. Anna says some of that tallness is starting to come through in the Tintin In America filly – “she’s almost thoroughbred looking, she’s very beautiful and I think the best looking filly we’ve had.”

She’s also the only Tintin In America yearling in the sales – both Christchurch and Karaka days. That’s more about the pricing of Tintin as a sire for breed-to-race, and to attract enough mares to develop a reputation. He’s not yet a yearling sales sire – but this is very much a yearling sales filly. Named American Dame, her photo shows a well built, attractive filly who, like her illustrious close relations, could develop into a really strong 3 and 4yo. I have a similarly built Tintin In America filly myself (co-owned with Brian West) from a big Safely Kept mare who has developed nicely and qualified, but we have given her time to mature into her frame and develop some strength, and hopefully will reap the rewards. And Tintin In America fillies are certainly flying the flag, with Just Wantano and Aussie Vista in Australia, and American Flybye here in New Zealand.

With the family credentials for stamina and quality, and a sire that is adding speed, American Dame deserves her place at the sales. On type alone should turn a few heads towards the ring come auction time.

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One of the best things about writing this blog is the sharing of information and experiences.

Blog followers Brian Cowley and Mike Finlayson both emailed me following my blog about Dreamy Romance, my newly acquired broodmare who has Romola Hal’s Tar Heel daughter Romantic Hanover in her maternal line (4th generation).

Brian and Mike have both bred from Light Of The South (Live Or Die x Natural Talker) who has Romantic Hanover’s full sister in her maternal line (6th generation). And of course through Live Or Die she has yet another connection to Romola Hal, as Live Or Die’s grandam Miss Romeo Waverly is a daughter of the sire Romeo Hanover, a son of Romola Hanover.

First some comments from Brian, who currently owns and breeds from Light Of The South:

I read your blog about Dreamy Romance with great interest. As I’ve mentioned previously, I have a colt (Articulight) by Art Official out of Light of the South that is rich in Romola Hal blood, too. I’ve attached his pedigree. The mare has just foaled a colt to Ohoka Arizona. The Ohoka Arizona colt out of Light of the South looks like he might grow into a tall individual though it’s hard to tell from a photo taken when he was only a day old.   She is going back to Art Official. Articulight is nearing the end of his first preparation with Dean Taylor and he is pleased him. Articulight has some size about him and was quite headstrong at first but Dean worked patiently with him and he is much more responsive now. It would be nice to have qualifying behind him when he goes out but at this age time is the important factor.  Dreamy Romance is beautifully bred. It’s almost too good to be true to have a full sister to Romola Hanover so close to the mare. You are going to have an enjoyable time matching her with appropriate sires.

Light of the South with Ohoka Arizona colt

Light of the South with Ohoka Arizona colt Oct 8 2014 – photo provided by Brian Cowley

Articulight with Dean Taylor

Articulight with trainer Dean Taylor – photo provided by Brian Cowley

The PDF of Articulight’s pedigree can be viewed here: Articulight pedigree

Then I heard from Mike, who bred Light Of The South’s first foal, a filly by Art Major – which puts the cross to Romola Hanover at 5×6.

As Mike explains:

Have a look at Lyra Finn (Art Major – Light of the South) which I bred a few years ago. Was passed in at the Sales for $9K so I sent her to Ross Pike in Aussie to get her going. Didn’t amount to much so we gave her away as a hack. Could have brought her back to NZ and bred from her but we had too many mares……Interesting pedigree though. Bred back into the herd via a set of full sisters.This was just another experiment based on genetics rather than matching on type.. Let’s Talk Art is similarly bred and she did OK.

Lyra Finn

Lyra Finn as a yearling

Let’s Talk Art is the half sister to Light Of The South. She’s a 6-win ($48,525) 8yo mare by Art Major from Natural Talker. She is owned and bred by Mrs M E O’Brien and S A O’Brien. The O’Briens initially put her to Panspacificflight (slipped) and then to Bettor’s Delight. The Panspacificflight match would have been a return to more of the Romola Hal blood, as Panspacificflight shares a very similar maternal line to mare’s sire Art Major.

It is tempting to return to such fabulous genes. My breeding with Dreamy Romance will go in a slightly different direction, as I am more interested in finding genetic elements that click well with the Romola Hal line and with each other rather than duplicating the line itself.

But breeding back to great maternal lines is not to be scoffed at, even if all attempts don’t work out. It is a practice that has underpinned many of the most successful results in standardbred breeding over many years, just as much as line breeding to sires and outcrossing have played a role. As Mike Finlayson says, it reflects nature’s way of the top stallion breeding back into the herd.

Comments, other examples and ideas welcomed.

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