Posts Tagged ‘Mister Big’

Rangiora trials recently (Tuesday 22 September) had a few things to note for me, including the qualifying of Stroganoff, the Mister Big gelding from So Green bred and owned by the Beales, who won his previous trial earlier in the month by over 11 lengths (after going away in a gallop at the start and losing more than 15 lengths). The gallop that day meant he didn’t qualify, but this time he did it by 2.5 lengths in a Mile Rate: 2-05.5.

This is Mister Big’s fourth qualifier from 16 foals that have just turned 3 or 4yos. It’s an okay strike rate but one that needs to step up now that his crop of 18 2yos (only 7 registered so far) are coming into racing age. There are a few Mister Bigs lining up – Big Buddie (3yo gelding from the very good racemare Imagine That, breeder/owner Jim Dalgety) won his non-qualifying workout at Rangiora, also a couple of days ago, by a nose in a sizzling 2-06.3 Last 800m: 57.5 Last 400m: 27.3. Mister Big’s eye-catching yearling at the 2014 Christchurch sales, One Big Fella from Killarney who sold for $54,000 and is trained by Nigel McGrath, got to the workouts in June but he was always going to need a bit of time – it will be interesting to see how he goes this time in. He’s a half to Bondy.

Mister Big, sire

Mister Big, sire

Mister Big’s results are more impressive when you see the quality of his racetrack performers to date – Stroganoff seems to have a lot of talent, and Followthewind (an NZ filly from the Mach Three mare Whenua, breeders C J Barron,A R McDonald) is now racing in Australia and has achieved 5 wins and 5 places from just 10 starts and $31,665. And as mentioned Big Buddie looks to have ability.

Mister Big had bigger numbers in Australia, but again the oldest have only just turned 4yos, so still hard to tell how the biggest crop – his 3yos – will shape up as the season progresses. Two of his first crop in Mista Natural and Barooga Nellie have really good percentages of wins to date.

So in many ways it is like Tintin In America – really small numbers to build a reputation on, but promising signs from those who have made it so far.

Of course, it is all too late for Mister Big – he’s gone. He’s standing at Abby Stables in Ohio and whether he will ever be available downunder again, who knows.

But I will continue to follow his foals with interest. What a magnificent horse he was – and is – with one of the highest stakes earnings of all time.

Mr Feelgood, another champion son of Grinfromeartoear, remains available to both Australian and New Zealand breeders. He has similar breeding to Mister Big, being from a Jate Lobell mare, and as I have blogged many times his maternal line is incredibly classy. So I am grabbing that option this season and sending my Dreamy Away mare Dreamy Romance to Mr Feelgood, courtesy of Nevele R Stud who hold plenty of frozen semen (as does Equibreed NZ in the North Island).

To some extent, this was Mister Big’s issue here – direct competition with another stallion more familiar to us with very similar breeding and performance. With Smiling Shard in the mix as well for Alabar, something had to give. But Tip o’ the hat to a great horse and all the best to those who have his foals. Keep me posted if you have!





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As readers will know, over the past few years I’ve used the idea of a “virtual stable” of yearlings from the New Zealand yearling sales to track how hard it is to pick a good horse to buy at yearling sales and then to make something from it. The point being that those who do, regularly, deserved much credit. It has also been a way to encourage all breeders to take opportunities to look at a number of progeny from sires and families, and learn.

It has been a big part of my learning curve, and I try to attend sire parades, yearling, weanling and all aged sales when I can (work and budget allowing).

This year I journeyed south to Christchurch to view the two days of Premier yearling sales because the range of sires was greater than at Karaka’s Australasian Classic. (I’m still going to do a blog on the overall sale – mainly how sires fared. But I just need some time between day job, spraying paddocks, feeding out mares, cleaning out chook houses etc to do the numbers).

I ended up taking a less-than-virtual interest in one yearling, which I now have a quarter share in. His named is Father Frank, and he was lot 223, a Real Desire colt out of an Armbro Operative mare who is the grand-daughter of Our Stretto, the 35-win mare who performed very consistently in Australia in the late 1980s. Father Frank was bought by Frank and Ann Cooney for $12,500. He was one I had picked out for myself on type as much as breeding, and neither the Cooneys nor I have anything bad to say about the Real Desires. My own one (sold at Karaka) was a cracker of a yearling and I have much admiration for what the sire adds to the right mares. I approached the Cooneys after the sale to see if they would welcome my interest in him. Of course Frank co-trains and the Cooneys part-own the Real Desire racehorse Let’s Elope, whose run in the Auckland Cup was full of merit I thought, with a patient drive by Maurice McKendry allowing him to be (with Saveapatrol) the only horses really running on strongly behind Terror To Love and Adore Me in a 28.2 last quarter.

Two other yearlings in Christchurch interested me enough to make some serious enquiries – lot 142 Magnifico Denario, an Art Major filly from Averil’s Atom which makes her a half to Averil’s Quest. She went for $46,000 to

Lot 288 One Big Fella by Mister Big

Lot 288 One Big Fella by Mister Big

Australian buyers, which was outside the budget.  The other one was lot 288 (One Big Fella) an outstanding youngster by Mister Big from Falcon Seelster mare Killarney (dam of Bondy) also caught my eye enough in the parade to get him checked out. The only lot by Mister Big in the sales, he is a 20 December foal but very well put together and a lovely temperament. I wasn’t the only one taken by him – in the end he went to Nigel McGrath for $54,000.

So I’ve got 3 Christchurch yearlings for my virtual and not-so-virtual stable sorted.

Lot 36 Christchurch - Pacific Arden by Panspacificflight from Scherger Rein

Lot 36 Christchurch – Pacific Arden by Panspacificflight from Scherger Rein

Among many others from Christchurch that could easily have put their hooves in my stable were lot 31 (Freedom Fighter), a springy colt by Courage Under Fire from New York Motoring mare Rafiki, bought by Robert Dunn for $48,000; lot 36 (Pacific Arden), a lovely type of colt by Panspacificflight from 5-win Sir Vancelot mare Scherger Rein, bought by Brian Hughes for $17,000; lot 42 (Trusty Bromac), a Falcon Seelster colt from Badlands Hanover mare Taffeta Bromac, one of the Burgundy Lass family which sold for $11,000; and lot 128 (Al Coda), an athletic looking colt by Changeover from a Washington VC mare, bought by the McCutcheons for $21,000.

And for fillies, Lot 327 (Champagne Reign), an lovely alert strong filly by Christian Cullen from Camtastic mare Mainland Reign, which went for $60,000; lot 302 (Loren Franco), a good sized filly by Changeover from a Bettor’s Delight mare from a good branch of the Lancia family that was passed in to vendor’s bid at $6000 (reserve $12,000).  That was tempting! I liked lot 199 (Don’t Pass I’m Fast), an Art Official filly from Wingspread mare Fast Winger who has had 6 foals to race for 6 winners but the one that looked the most promising (Almost A Christian) died at 3. This was a bigger type of Art Officials, whose yearlings I thought generally were selling for less than they should because we struggle to like the finer but very correct type he is producing. Mind you, it was hard to get a line on buyer preferences for type, as some of the bolder types of Changeovers and Shark Gestures went for less than what I thought they were worth too. More on that later, when I look at the overall trends.

Another colt on breeding and type that I liked (and there were many) was lot 313 Goforjack out of the great mare Laurent Perrier. He looked big, boyish and a delightful racing prospect (photo bottom of this blog) but was sold to the Mitchells of Timaru for only $14,000.  A steal!

There were so many nice horses in Christchurch, a credit to preparers, and a bonus for the buyers who got many for less than cost. I had a feast of looking in Christchurch, and most of my picks are this time based on type alone. I took a lot of photos and I will share more and look at the new sires next week. “If dreams were horses, I’d have a stable…”

Please feel free to use the comment/response function to add your “tips” and “picks” of the yearling sales 2014. I will still keep tracking them as we go along.

Lot 191 Art Official filly don't Pass I'm Fast

Lot 191 Art Official filly Don’t Pass I’m Fast

Lot 313 Goforjack Real Desire colt

Lot 313 Goforjack Real Desire colt

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