Posts Tagged ‘New Zealand Cup 2015’

Last New Zealand Trotting Cup (for pacers) was won by the great Bettor’s Delight mare Adore Me. There were two others by Bettor’s Delight in the field – Tiger Tara and Arden Rooney.

This year Bettor’s Delight has doubled his representatives – in the field of 18 (including emergencies), he accounts for 33% of the field with 6 representatives. It is to be expected, and perhaps less than you might expect, from a sire that is so dominant and has bred so many foals in those years.

It might partly be a reflection of his own “brand” as a sire that leaves early types, adds speed, horses willing to get up and going. And sometimes the wear and tear of that in younger years can cut down the proportion of them who remain sound right through – although Bettor’s Delight has been marketed on his own soundness and bone density.

Take nothing away from the super sire, having six quality horses in the Cup is huge, and they are all winning chances. He should, and probably will, shine.

From a potential breeding perspective, it’s interesting to note that only 2 of the Bettor’s Delights remain entires – Tiger Tara (from Dream Away mare Tara Gold) and Ohoka Punter (from Christian Cullen mare Millwood Minisota). Both their immediate families are still young and relatively unproven. With Ohoka Arizona, he’s a descendant of Armalight and what a great mare she was and a Cup winner in her own right, but it is a damn hard family to  follow and overall has been more disappointing than you’d have hoped. For Tiger Tara, his dam Tara Gold is a half sister to Power Of Tara ($846,608), such a tough customer on both sides of the Tasman and in the USA. Their dam, and so Tiger Tara’s grandam, is Atomic Gold and much of this family has been in the safe hands of  Ray Anicich for many years, but after getting a Bettor’s Delight daughter of Atomic Gold (Tara’s Delight, foaling this year to A Rocknroll Dance) Anicich sold Atomic Gold to Pat Laboyrie, not far from where I live, and she has had a couple more foals. More on that another time.

I guess my point here is that these horses will need to win the Cup to really nail their credentials as a potential siring son of Bettor’s Delight. They are both wonderful colts, handsome, speedy (particularly Ohoka Arizona) and tough (particularly Tiger Tara). But as Gold Ace, another local son of Bettor’s Delight standing at stud, has found it needs more than that to capture the imagination and the analysis of breeders. Strong families and particularly consistent maternal lines are the springboard for breeding confidence in a sire as much as their individual performance. Or in my view, it should be. On that score you would tend to opt for Tiger Tara. This is also the family of Miss Jubilee, the mare the Ray and Diana Kennedy have had with some success including two Bettor’s Delight daughters Patch Maguire and Jessie Maguire who won over $50,000 and are both broodmares in Australia now.

But we are still struggling to come up with maternal lines of really solid demonstrable strength to back some of these top performing colts if they enter the “siring line”. It’s an interesting issue and one I’ll come back to.

Will Bettor’s Delight find a “downunder” bred siring successor?

Or will his legacy be as a super sire himself and great damsire?

The other colts in the field are Franco Nelson (by Christian Cullen from the No Regrets maternal line), Messini (by Art Major from Mesmerizing – this is an Australian family that looks deep and strong), Brilliant Strike (by Shadow Play, from the Woolley/Kerslake family of Tondeleyo, Adios Star, Bionic Chance et al., a great old family that has struggled to kick on in recent times until this lovely stayer came along), and finally Sky Major, (by Art Major, a stunning colt who could well win the Cup, and his dam was a good racing filly. The family may well be on the rise, or rather this branch of it, but again as a potential sire he would be relying mainly on his own merits and his sire Art Major, rather than the underpinning family record.)

Am I being harsh? Not really, it’s just the reality of how hard it is to make it as a sire even if you win the Cup. Ask Flashing Red. Or Iraklis. Or Il Vicolo. The brilliant and tough Changeover is making a good effort. Terror To Love is going to have his go.

Only Christian Cullen in recent decades has climbed that New Zealand Cup mountain and then gone on to conquer the siring peak as well.

It all adds another dimension to watching the NZ Cup tomorrow. Enjoy!

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