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Posts Tagged ‘No Nukes’

Many of you will have already spotted this blog about siring lines on the View from the racetrack grandstand blogspot posted in February this year – but the announcement today that Highview Tommy (son of Bettor’s Delight) will stand at Woodlands Stud has prompted me to revisit it and seek your views. And of course to share mine!

Take time to read his post, and mine, and send in your comments via “Comments” at the very bottom of this blog. (Update: already had a very interesting comment posted from Murray Brown, check it out).

It raises the question of when and if two of the top racehorse producing sires of recent times – Cams Card Shark (Bettor’s Delight) and Artsplace (Art Major)  – will have the ability to continue their siring lines into the future.

It is remarkable that after so long at the top of his game, Bettor’s Delight has so few sons (such as Kenneth J, Betterthancheddar, and now locally Highview Tommy) as candidates to take over that dynasty. I blogged on that myself in September last year.

Likewise Art Major, although less tried in New Zealand, has had plenty of time internationally to throw up more than Art Official as a candidate for the Artsplace succession so far. I mean candidates that grab the commercial interest of breeders as well as their admiration for past deeds on the track. Sires than gain traction and can hold their service fees.  Siring success is such a tough venture.

I can see Art Major’s fortune as a sire or sires changing locally if the crop of young Art Major colts racing here like Isaiah, Sky Major, Tiger Tara and Follow The Stars keep performing like they have done to date. But Kiwi breeders will want to wait a year or so until they show a step up to the Cups and Interdoms before getting too carried away.

The blog highlights the rise and rise of the Direct Scooter siring line, which only 15-20 years ago looked like it might be a goner. There’s the Matt’s Scooter / Mach Thee / Somebeachsomewhere line from the Northern Hemisphere and In The Pocket / Christian Cullen and Changeover giving every chance to the line in the Southern Hemisphere.

Another factor the “View from the racetrack grandstand” blog highlights is the increasing arsenal of the Western Hanover branch of Meadow Skipper’s line internationally – most strongly through Western Ideal / Rocknroll Hanover (neither of which had much influence directly here in New Zealand), most potently through the latter’s sons Rock N Roll Heaven and now A Rocknroll Dance who are both available in Australia and New Zealand.

And yet there are no guarantees, are there!

It would have been a brave person 15 years ago to predict that Western Hanover / Direct Scooter combination in ascendence now.

Siring lines turn up some lovely surprises. For example, the strongest Meadow Skipper line we have today was founded by Oil Burner whose one outstanding son at stud was No Nukes – no other son of Oil Burner reached anything like No Nukes’ siring success. (Downunder we had Oil Burner’s son Devil’s Adversary standing for about 10 years from 1992, and he got a couple of decent books but didn’t show up much and dropped right away).

In the same way, it only took one of No Nukes’ sons – Western Hanover – to open up a range of strong branches that are still evolving and sorting themselves out. Will the Western Ideal branch keep growing? Or will a “dark horse” like Shadow Play or Well Said turn out to be Western Hanover’s most successful siring son?

Cam Fella, born in the same year as No Nukes, appeared to have many more successful siring sons to carry on his legacy – Cambest, Camluck, Cam’s Card Shark, Presidential Ball…. and yet he is struggling now with just one descendant – Bettor’s Delight – as a top sire, and no proven inheritors yet.

What does this tell us? That it takes just one, just one, to turn a line’s fortunes around.

And that one “sire of sires” can come from the less-than-obvious sources.

As breeders, we have a role to play in all this. Thoughtful breeding and giving quality new sires an opportunity are two ways we can contribute.

In another 15 years we might be looking back and saying: “Well, you’d never have guessed a son of Mister Big would reignite the Artsplace line.” Or perhaps: “Cam Fella line was almost gone until those sons of Roll With Joe really stood up to be counted!” Or even: “So it’s the Changeover line rather than Christian Cullen that’s blossoming down here.”  Or in my own dreams: “Thank heavens for Tintin In America, keeping that Bret Hanover line alive, and his outstanding son Tantan has already left 50% winners to foals.”

What do you think?

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In my last blog I looked at the pedigrees of some of Shadow Play’s first racing age crop winners in North America, and found that he appears to enjoy mares carrying plenty of the same good genetic influences that he has himself.

Now I’ll take a quick look at what mares he received in his seasons so far in New Zealand and specifically the cross with my mare The Blue Lotus who is Grinfromeartoear-Zenterfold, and therefore a half sister to the very good pacer and now sire Tintin In America.

Any analysis/comments for the Australian mares would be interesting – send to me, or add as a comment.  Richard, my Australian colleague, has also done analysis of the maternal families that Shadow Play’s North American winners have come from so far. That’s not an area I know much about at all so I will bring you more of his comments in another blog.

Shadow Play has had two crops in New Zealand to date so they have (as at 1 August) just become 2yos and yearlings.  On HRNZ database it records 27 live foals (19 in the first year and 8 in the next) although I can count only 25 foals listed as progeny.

Pedigree-wise, Shadow Play would be playing in quite a different pool of broodmares than in North America.

Artsplace mares are scarce as hens teeth here, so the Artsplace connection would come through his sons, not his daughters, unlike the rich tap of Artsplace mares he has accessed in North America.

New Zealand also does not have so much No Nukes influence in our maternal lines.  Probably one of the most successful sires in New Zealand who have No Nukes as a damsire is Washington VC, a son of Presidential Ball who flies under the radar for many of us because he is basically only available to lower South Island/Southland mares – he is the sire of very good horses like Imthemightquinn, Foreal and Georgetown. We’ve had Riverboat King with a No Nukes damsire and there are a decent number of Riverboat King mares around, but none so far as a match for Shadow Play. Live Or Die is from the No Nukes/Oil Burner sire line and carries Breath O Spring as well, but as yet no Live Or Die mares have been matched with Shadow Play here. Tinted Cloud, the In The Pocket son, has No Nukes as his damsire and Race Time-Breath O Spring on his maternal line, and there is one match so far between a Tinted Cloud mare and Shadow Play – and of course that will have the Direct Scooter double up as well. For many others the No Nukes connection will be as the sire of Western Hanover, which brings in a probably too close a cross for most breeders with Shadow Play being a son of Western Hanover sire The Panderosa. (I think in Australia there will be many more mares with Artsplace as their sire and with No Nukes in their pedigree).

However New Zealand mares do have a lot of other things to offer Shadow Play that he seems to enjoy – plenty of Adios, plenty of Tar Heel (who of course crossed so well with Adios himself and traces to Rose Scott, the full sister to Scotland).  Plenty of other links to Old Maid/Spinster/Scotland blood. A couple of our early sires U. Scott (a son of Scotland) and Light Brigade (a son of Spinster) tap into this fantastic old blood, and yet another very good sire and damsire here Bachelor Hanover in the 1970s was a son of The Old Maid.

Shadow Play’s damsire is Matt’s Scooter, and Matt’s Scooter is about the only Direct Scooter influence you find now in North America. New Zealand mares can also offer Direct Scooter througha different stunningly  successful branch  – In The Pocket, his mares and his successful sire sons, and also through some other sons of Direct Scooter who stood here (mainly OK Bye and to a much lesser extent Deal Direct and Tinted Cloud). In The Pocket brings both Direct Scooter and Tar Heel into the picture up close.

Our other hugely influential sires of recent times – Holmes Hanover and Falcon Seelster – also have pedigrees that have are interesting with Shadow Play. Holmes Hanover bring Tar Heel , Adios and The Old Maid, and Falcon Seelster brings Warm Breeze (Shadow Play’s grandamsire) and therefore Good Time and Breath O Spring/Scotland/Spinster, and also a couple of doses of Adios.

Shadow Play is not the only sire that has or will relish the way New Zealand mares can deliver these influences!  That is one reason why our breeding stock have been well regarded – their genetic structure is often deep with quality.

A quick look at the mares Shadow Play has had here to date indicate that Shadow Wave is also present, in spite of a lack of No Nukes. Mares by Elsu, New York Motoring, Artiscape and Pacific Rocket are all bringing Shadow Wave in via the dam (Peaches N Cream) of New York Motoring or his full brother Happy Motoring, and in future we have an increasing number of commercial mares who have the Shadow Wave-Golden Miss combo in their maternal lines.

None of this will necessarily give the mares a “golden cross” with Shadow Play, but it is food for thought for breeders. As always, type, temperament and Shadow Play’s own ability to be a successful sire must be there as well. The jury will still be out on that for another year or so. It is interesting that he got so few mares here to date, and that the link to our mares (particularly Direct Scooter and Warm Breeze connections to In The Pocket and Falcon Seelster) were not picked up on so much in the marketing or by breeders so far.  His first crop success in North America will probably deliver him a much better book this season.

The Blue Lotus match

OK now to my own mare. You can use Tesio or whatever system you have to look more closely at this if you want, but here is a snapshot.

The Blue Lotus is a Grinfromeartoear daughter of Zenterfold (In The Pocket), and a full sister to the promising Destination Moon. So she carries heaps of the blood we have seen in Shadow Play’s most successful foals. The resulting foal would also be 4×4 to Direct Scooter – that’s the closest cross.

Here’s Richard’s summary and comments on the match:

Direct Scooter is 4 x 4 and reinforced, which is great. She has some great old Spinster type influences fairly prominent on her strong heart lines that will connect to Shadow Play, quite nicely. Shadow Wave is further reinforced with a couple more doses. The mating also brings Albatross into play quite strongly and is reversed 5 x 5 , I think this is a very important connection. Sampson Direct’s kid sister, Dottie Hal also comes into the mix to reverse the Sampson Hanover affect. I really think that Lottie’s speed influences are coming from the Direct Scooter/Spinster aspect of her pedigree and a mating with Shadow Play could see another dose of extreme speed injected into the foal from a totally different and new influence, NO NUKES.

For me, genetically this feels a very balanced match which reinforces quality genes rather than outcrossing to completely new blood. I like the presence of siblings Touch Of Spring, Race Time and Storm Damage all bringing Breath O Spring into the equation. And Zenterfold brings in The Old Maid via Bachelor Hanover.  There are 4 duplications of Shadow Wave in the background, two via Oil Burner in Shadow Play’s pedigree, and 2 via other lines (Shifting Sands and Peaches N Cream) in The Blue Lotus’s pedigree.

The Blue Lotus is a good sized mare and was a tough, gutsy type of race horse. She has been heart-scored and is well above average in that department.  Although she took a 1.56.6 record, I am looking for speed and athleticism to add to her, and that is also what Shadow Play may offer.

Her first foal is by Bettor’s Delight for The Blue Lotus Syndicate and will be entered into the 2014 yearling sale at Karaka in the Breckon Farms draft.

Shadow Play – The Blue Lotus cross

Shadow Play x The Blue Lotus

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