Posts Tagged ‘McArdle’

A bonus from my trip to the NZSBA breeders conference in Christchurch was the opportunity to visit Nevele R Stud and see Tintin In America, whom I bred, and some of his weanlings.

My visit was a lovely echo of my only other trip to Nevele R, which happened the year I decided to put Zenterfold to McArdle, which resulted in Tintin In America being born.

That day was just the same – raining, and the array of famous racehorses/sires standing in their paddocks with their covers on, looking just like any horse. I particularly recall Courage Under Fire (standing at Nevele R at that stage) who looked almost lost under his cover, being the small horse he is, as the rain poured down around us.

Tintin In America, Sire

Breeder Bee Pears with Tintin In America at Nevele R Stud, May 2013

That was about 8 years ago. Kym and I were shown around personally by Bob McArdle;  it was a fascinating tour with plenty of commentary by Bob, followed by a fairly robust discussion as we all sheltered in our Hilux ute and debated the merits of putting my mare Zenterfold to Falcon Seelster (which Bob advocated) or McArdle (which I was more interested in doing).

As history shows us, I stuck with McArdle.

So it was lovely last Saturday to come full circle and be standing alongside Tintin In America the sire, in the rain, at Nevele R all these years later.

Tintin retired very sore in one leg joint after super seasons as one of our top racehorses from 2yo to 4yo, and almost reaching a million dollars of earnings.

The good news is: he is very well in himself and full of attitude in the paddock, and very fertile in the barn. Thanks to Nevele R in doing such a good job in settling him in to his new career.

There’s no doubt what sticks in people’s mind about Tintin is his incredible acceleration and speed.  As he grew older he developed the strength to hold that sprint longer. At times, he appeared to be low flying down the home straight. That sort of acceleration is hard to come by.

He was a medium sized horse, but a first foal from a medium sized mare. From what I have seen, his foals are quite striking types of good size. I saw two at Nevele R and both had white blazes which could be their own family influences but I have also noted the blaze/snip influence in Tintin’s family. Interesting.

I’d love to hear from people who have foals/weanlings by Tintin. Email me at bee.raglan@xtra.co.nz and tell me about them.

Personally, I am negotiating a share in a well bred weanling filly by Tintin In America, and have leased another mare to put to him with a very interesting pedigree match. But more about those  at a later date.

I’m a careful and thoughtful breeder and I believe he’s worth a good punt as a sire.

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Tintin’s Ultimate Arma filly foal just days old. The white blaze is likely to come from the family as the mare has produced some white markings before, but don’t be surprised to see some blazes or stripes in other Tintin foals as it’s also in his genes courtesy of Shadow Wave. Think of Elsu and my own Destination Moon (see his page on this blogsite)

Tintin In America’s first foals are arriving – it was great to see the photo of Ultimate Arma’s gorgeous looking, leggy filly (photo) and Peter O’Rourke of Nevele R tells me the second of his foals on the ground is a ‘big strapping colt” in Australia that the breeders are thrilled with. So that might settle a few worries about Tintin leaving small foals! As readers of my blogs will know, I made that point some time ago. Tintin may be well suited to bigger mares, but more for the ‘kick’ he could give them than for any certainty that he will downsize them physically. I hope to keep you posted as more Tintin foals arrive.

I am the breeder of Tintin In America but I have no financial interest in him as a sire.

I say that upfront, because this is a plug for Tintin as a great option for breeders who are looking for exceptional speed and competitiveness in a sire.

Why? Because he offers a lot, and at an incredibly affordable price. Breeders who find  Bettor’s Delight,  Somebeachsomewhere or Rock N Roll Heaven out of reach for their mares have now got the option of going to a multi-Group 1 performer who raced at the top level as a 2, 3 and 4 year old, who possesses almost freakish high speed, has absolute determination to compete and win, comes from an outstanding family, and has a genetic structure that will allow many mares to potentially ‘click’ with him.

That’s 5 very good reasons to consider him right now. Add high fertility and you’ve got 6.

There have been few horses in recent years who possessed such a potent burst of high speed. Not just a quick sprint up the passing line, but extraordinary high speed that could be sustained over  200 to 300 metres, with never any hesitation or loss of gait. No wobbles, just woosh!

There are other good New Zealand-bred sires currently available in the “economy seats” that also showed precocious ability and speed as young performers – Gotta Go Cullect (his record as a 2yo was 1:57, and best winning time over his career 1:57), Gotta Go Cullen (1:58.3 and 1:57.3), and Ohoka Arizona (1:56.2 and 1:56.2).  Changeover (2:00.2 and 1:53.4) was not a natural 2yo type and more of a staying type,  but did form a terrific record over many seasons at  consistently fast times.

Tintin In America’s equivalent times are 1:55.9 as a 2yo, and 1:53.2 lifetime record. In fact over the 3 seasons he raced his record was 1:55.9 as a 2yo, 1:53.2 (in New Zealand as a 3yo), 1.56.3 (in Australia as a 3yo), and 1:54.1 as a 4yo.  In other words, his exceptional high speed was more than just a flash in pan as a 2yo. He carried that ability through the next two years, and developed the strength to carry his sprint further and further, and mix up his racing style to maximise his opportunities to use that speed to the best advantage. Credit here not just to trainer Geoff Small, but also to driver David Butcher, for the education that accompanied Tintin’s physical and mental development over that time.

What’s in his genes that explains that high speed factor?

Start with the immediate family. His dam is Zenterfold, who was very much an In The Pocket type of filly – medium height and slimline build with a very competitive attitude, and speedy. All her four wins were under a 2 minute mile rate and her best winning time was 1.56.6. She was good enough to win the Sires Stakes 3yo Fillies Silver.  She comes from a very talented family with a lot of depth and breadth to it.  Shining examples on various branches include Motoring Magic and Interchange, De Lovely and Copper Beach, Elsu of course, and closer to home Zenterfold’s half brothers Zensational, Zenad and the very talented Zenola Seelster (and doesn’t his turn of foot in the home straight remind you of Tintin In America). There is a mix there of sprinting types and staying types, but both types show the determination, will to win, and strength to hold speed that Tintin did.

Tintin as a young foal himself. Just loved to run, and to run fast.

Tintin was Zenterfold’s first foal – and all her other foals to date have qualified as 2yos.  Zenstar (Falcon Seelster) held a NZ record of 1.55.8 as a 2yo. The Blue Lotus (Grinfromeartoear) has a career best of 1.56.6 and was 3rd behind Bettor Cover Lover and Carabella in the Sires Stakes 3yo Fillies Final. The Grin colt I bred and sold at the 2012 yearling sales has been noted by trainer Gareth Dixon as a nice type showing up early and probably heading to the 2yo Young Guns series.

So that is why you can look at Tintin’s speed and competitive streak and have confidence it is not an isolated fluke. It’s very much in the genes.

I chose McArdle as the sire for a number of reasons. Tintin has become McArdle’s best Australasian performer to date, and McArdle will need a few more to rise above the ‘good percentages’ category as a sire. But that is not an issue when looking at Tintin as a sire. Where McArdle adds value to Tintin’s siring prospects and to breeders confidence, is the compatibility of his genes with Zenterfold.  Basically, the match is one which has increased the quality of Tintin’s genetic platform. Specifically, it underscores the speed attributes that Tintin’s dam provided through her In The Pocket connection and also (importantly) through her damsire New York Motoring. New York Motoring carries two high performing genes when it comes to raw ability and speed – Most Happy Fella on his y line and Shadow Wave on his x line. The branches of Tintin’s family that have proven to be strongest in terms of top performers are those that have New York Motoring in the mix – namely from the NYM mare Interchange (dam of Elsu, Falcor, Revonez, granddam of Copper Beach, great-grandam of De Lovely) and from NYM mare Zenola Star, dam of Zenterfold and Zenola Seelster and grandam of Tintin In America.

In McArdle’s pedigree I was not so interested in Most Happy Fella as a double up, but that his presence on McArdle’s maternal line would help ‘call’ to the Shadow Wave factor in Zenterfold’s pedigree.  I also liked the fact that McArdle’s grandam, Happy Sharon, a daughter of Most Happy Fella, was a very, very classy and fast racemare and a good producer from a range of sires. She was bred to Nihilator to get Lilting Laughter, McArdles dam, who got a couple of placings in her only 3 starts, but was a full sister to Smiley Face who racked up 42 wins and a best 1.53 in his career.  Nihilator mares have also done well With Shadow Wave, and that also gave me a sense of compatibility in this McArdle x Zenterfold mix.  Again, b4breeding blog readers will know that I hold Shadow Wave in high esteem as a factor in pedigrees through the maternal lines, and I was keen to tap into his contribution to Zenterfold’s genetic makeup.

In a previous blog I suggested some mares that I would like to see Tintin get, but the range that he would suit is very wide. What he provides is a solid genetic foundation, and plenty of opportunity to tap into that. You might want to avoid a son of In The Pocket as the sire, but then again the double up would not be in positions that would worry me genetically. Likewise (or in the reverse) I wouldn’t rule out Falcon Seelster mares. But both of those options may carry some degree of risk re too much mental assertivenesss. That’s all I would keep an eye on. Tintin had a very assertive, although not nasty, temperament – he is a sire that would have survived in the wild, to be sure!  This determination and mental focus on winning is a thread running through the family that turns the natural ability to run into racetrack performance.

Mares to consider include those by Badlands Hanover, Live Or Die, Life Sign, Holmes Hanover. I’ll be cheeky enough to say Mach Three, Artsplace and Bettor’s Delight mares too, and only worry about size with Bettor’s Delight mares if it is your mare’s first foal and she is a small type herself. Mares with Albatross in their maternal lines – any Royal Mattjesty mares out there? – or with Soky’s Atom in their maternal lines would be a good match. also Grinfromeartoear mares that were tough but need an extra bit of speed. Another to consider if you want to upgrade and have a chance to inject speed in – Peruvian Hanover. And are there still some Lislea mares looking for a chance? What about those P-Forty Seven mares you don’t want to pursue as racehorses? Pacific Fella mares for a number of reasons could be excellent with Tintin In America.

In Australia, you will have another whole range of mares who may fit some of the potential genetic or type factors I’ve touched on. And I’d love to hear from breeders who have gone to Tintin In America, what their mares are, and why they chose Tintin. Please post up as comments on this blog.

I wish you every success with your foals!

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Lot 140 Christchurch – Getting Closer, a filly from a McArdle mare bred to Courage Under Fire (Withdrawn)

Although withdrawn from the sales, this lot is worth discussing as it is only the second foal from a McArdle dam to show up in a yearling sales catalogue. (last year’s Lot 30 at Karaka was the first, and I’ll mention a bit about that at the end of the blog.)

In this instance, the McArdle dam is Roanne who was bred by Jack Smolenski from Laurent Perrier, and therefore a half sister to the top mare Lancome. Tony Barron bought Roanne at the 2007 yearling sales for $41,000 mainly as a potential broodmare investment. She’s part of Jack Smolenski’s Regal Guest family that regularly produces top performers from its branches, often the fillies showing up at group level.

At the time, the pedigree page shows Roanne’s half brothers The Phantom Guest and In Monaco as good performers but half sister Lancome was yet to start her wonderful career. Since then Laurent Perrier produced the talented Smo, also by Courage Under Fire. So in hindsight the purchase of a smallish McArdle filly in 2007 has turned out to be a very canny move.

Roanne was tried as a racehorse and showed some speed (taking a 1.59.2 winning mark, and 1.57.9 best placed time), but once the win was achieved Roanne was always going to be heading to a breeding career.

Tony Barron describes the choice of Courage Under Fire as Roanne’s first mating as “100% because of Lancome” – who is, of course, a Courage Under Fire mare. “At first I wondered about putting a smaller mare (Roanne) to a smaller sire (Courage Under Fire), but the result is a nice sized filly,” he says. “We bred the mare back to Courage Under Fire the next season and I was clear with PGG Wrightson that if the resulting foal was a colt, we would withdraw the filly from the sale.”

And that’s what has happened, and what Tony Barron describes as a very nice full brother (by Courage Under Fire from Roanne) born this season will be heading for the yearling sales next year.

McArdle has been a bit of a puzzle as a sire so far, and it seems a lot of his fillies need time (and that’s been the same with his colts too, in spite of a couple of precocious ones like Tintin In America).  

His own sire, Falcon Seelster, produced a handful of truly outstanding fillies in New Zealand – Coburg, Hot Shoe Shuffle, De Lovely spring to mind – but Falcon Seelster’s longer term reputation will be more for his colts, his overall quality and quantity of competitive foals and increasingly as a damsire.  (Already his damsire stats are equal to In The Pocket in terms of foals to winners). So it is quite possible McArdle will go the same way.

Having said that, there are some nice McArdle fillies like Elusive Chick showing up now, and that’s what McArdle really needs at this point in his siring career – a few more winners that go on to perform at the group level and excite us rather than just good overall percentages.  

There were only 7 McArdle fillies for sale in the 2007 yearling catalogue, 6 of them at Christchurch. Interestingly that $41,000 price that Tony Barron paid for Roanne that year was equalled by Lot 129 Zenardle (McArdle-Zenara), who was also from a longstanding good family founded on Zenover (grandam of Elsu and 4th dam of Tintin In America, so that filly had a strong Falcon Seelster/McArdle connection in terms of successful sires).

Zenardle had only one race start before embarking on her broodmare career, and she can claim the very first damsire credit for McArdle at the yearling sales. That was last year (2011) when a Bettor’s Delight filly from Zenardle was bought for $10,000 by Steve Clements of Brisbane Pastoral Company Ltd and is now an unraced 2yo in Australia.

So in both cases, these two McArdle mares (Roanne and Zenardle) were originally sold at the same yearling sales  in 2007 and for the same good price. They both come from strong old families that can produce top performers. They have both been put to quality proven sires, and both are smaller sires with reputations for speed and more chance of producing early types.

It will be interesting to follow them and their offspring  in the years to come.

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