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Posts Tagged ‘New Zealand pacing sires’

It was hard enough competing as a racehorse. Now they are competing in an even more high risk game – being a sire.

You have to be successful, have all the right connections and be very good looking, preferably good natured in the breeding barn, highly fertile and with the ability to stamp your kids with the only your best qualities and none of your poorer ones. Ideally you should leave precocious 2yos who not only perform brilliantly but are sound enough to continue their winning way as 3yos and later become all aged champions.

As our New Zealand Tui beer adverts say, “Yeah, right.” Which translated means: Really?? Not!

We ask a lot. And some horses – remarkably – deliver.

To bring ourselves down to earth, I’ve taken a look at six sires who came on to the New Zealand scene recently, and how their progeny are performing so far – Santanna Blue Chip (see blog about his return to the racetrack but also my blog about his NZ foals), Gotta Go Cullect, Gotta Go Cullen, Ohoka Arizona and then Changeover, Shadow Play and Art Official (whose oldest race crops are only 2yos).

American Ideal

American Ideal at Woodlands Stud. (Photo Bee Pears)

And then I’ve added into the mix American Ideal, whose oldest crop is 5yos, as a bench marker, a sire that came with high recommendations but been given time to find his feet, and who has not to date been an outstanding sire of 2yos in New Zealand but is building a more secure reputation for quality and percentages.

I think we are so quick to judge new sires – and so few can deliver the multiple 2yo standouts that we desire as proof of their ability. So this blog isn’t comparing these sires in a negative way at all. I have a lot of admiration for each of them, and I have chosen a sample which I believe have potential to establish themselves.

Remember that we are only half way through our racing season and with 2yos and 3yos more are qualifying, racing, winning every week – so this is a snapshot in time. Out of date probably before I even publish it!

My point is how hard it is for a new sire to get traction – and it reflects the other side of the coin from the old sires I wrote about last time who got established, contributed hugely and are still gaining our respect, getting winners and even producing new foals, long after they have passed on.

The many reasons for early success can relate to

  • the types of mares a sire gets (ironically a very speedy sire may end up getting slower/heavier types of mare looking for an injection of speed)
  • the type of breeder/owner who supports the sire (smaller breeder/owners using less pricey sires may not feel under as much pressure to try their progeny as 2yos compared to the more commercial trainers/owners with horses bought at the yearling sales, for example), and the early development of the foal may well be managed differently even at the weanling/yearling stage
  • a sire may stamp his progeny with some precocious factors – great natural gait or the conformation, growth pattern and mental maturity that can help a horse to go early rather than needing time to grow
  • the sheer weight of numbers of foals or the lack of them.

I’ve added the breeding of these sires, as several of them are New Zealand breds and therefore will not be very familiar to some overseas readers of my blog – but these are racehorses and family lines that come with a heap of credentials “down under” and are forging a great revival in locally bred sires at the moment.  Of course they will need to sort themselves out over the next few years, but it is an extremely positive sign for New Zealand breeding. A mix of top quality sires and racehorses from overseas, plus top quality sires from our own particular breeding stock. (I’ve listed a couple of links at the bottom of this blog for those who want to know more about where the new breed of New Zealand standardbred pacing sires are coming from).

Gotta Go Cullect at Alabar

Gotta Go Cullect at Alabar

Gotta Go Cullect – Christian Cullen x Elect To Live (Live Or Die)

  • Live foals 2010 (currently 3yos) 125
  • 2011 (currently 2yos) 96
  • Qualifiers to date (approx mid season) 32 (including 4 x this season’s 2yos)
  • Starters 22
  • Winners 8

Gotta Go Cullen – Christian Cullen x Sparkling Burgundy (Butler BG)

  • Live foals 2010 (currently 3yos) 29
  • 2011 (currently 2yos) 38
  • Qualifiers to date  9 (including 2 x this season’s 2yos)
  • Starters 3
  • Winners 0

Ohoka Arizona – In The Pocket x Millwood Krystal (Falcon Seelster)

  • Live foals 2010 (currently 3yos) 84
  • Live foals 2011 (currently 2yos) 25
  • Qualifiers to date   21
  • Starters 12
  • Winners 5

Santanna Blue Chip

Santanna Blue Chip at Alabar (Photo by Bee Pears)

  • Live foals 2010 (currently 3yos) 65
  • Live foals 2011 (currently 2yos) 52
  • Qualifiers to date  24 (including 3 x this season’s 2yos)
  • Starters 13
  • Winners  4

2yo crop only:

Changeover – In The Pocket x Chaangerr (Vance Hanover)

  • Live foals 2011 (currently 2yos) 160
  • Qualifiers to date   11
  • Starters 1
  • Winners 0
Art Official at Alabar

Art Official at Alabar (Photo Bee Pears)

Art Official (Art Major x Naughty Shady Lady (Falcon Seelster)

  • Live foals 2011 (currently 2yos) 49
  • Qualifiers to date 0
  • Starters 0
  • Winners 0

Shadow Play (The Pandersosa x Matts Filly (Matts Scooter)

  • Live foals 2011 (currently 2yos) 19
  • Qualifiers to date   2
  • Starters 0
  • Winners 0

American Ideal – Western Ideal x Lifetime Success (Matts Scooter)

American Ideal has foals racing who are also 4yos and 5yos, but for this exercise I’m just focusing on his current 2yo and 3yo crops.

  • Live foals 2010 (currently 3yos) 59
  • Live foals 2011 (currently 2yos) 80
  • Current qualifiers who are 2yo and 3yo   29 (including 2 x this season’s 2yos)
  • Current starters who are 2yos or 3yos   21 (all 3yos)
  • Winners  16

On type of the sire, I would’ve expected Gotta Go Cullect to have had more foals qualifing st 2yos – he was an early runner himself and is a medium sized, athletic type. Whereas I’m interested that Changeover has had a few 2yos showing up and several trainers are commenting on the natural gait and willingness of his progeny. His yearlings looked to me to be more scopey, even rangey types that might need time, and Changeover the racehorse was certainly one that just got better and better. So he is leaving some qualities (including “gait speed”, a great asset)  that will definitely help him get traction as a sire. Those are two local sires who certainly have had the numbers on the ground and will be looking for some flagship progeny over the next 12 months. Ohoka Arizona was more of a speedy 2yo type himself and is doing okay as a sire to date, but will need to have his initial big crop really step up now as 3yos to keep attracting the mares. Shadow Play will be helped by his overseas success – and he got a much better book this year in ew Zealand. Art Official has a much larger crop of yearlings on the ground than his current 2yos, and that will give him a chance to hang his hat here. He is another that will be helped by overseas results.

The newer sires have a way to go, and it will be interesting to see what sort of credits and reputation they will have built by the end of the current season.

I’ll keep an eye on it.

The stats are all via HRNZ’s Info Horse database, but the opinions are my own.
For more information about the development of New Zealand siring lineups over recent years try this previous articles of mine (in the Articles tab at the top of the blog):

https://b4breeding.com/articles/nz-bred-sires/

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