Posts Tagged ‘Romola Hal’

It is a big deal for me (as a small time breeder) to take on a new mare. However I couldn’t resist this opportunity that I stumbled across when checking out the Canterbury Standardbred Mixed Sale results after I got back from holiday.

One of the many mares passed in at the sale was Dreamy Romance, a 12yo big (16h) Dream Away mare who never raced and has progeny by Julius Caesar, Tuapeka Knight and Klondike Kid. Her damsire is No Nukes.

It’s only when I looked deeper into her pedigree and her progeny that I saw something that was very appealing and, as they say, worth a wee punt.

Fifth on her maternal line is the great mare Romola Hal – she sits in the same spot on Art Major’s maternal line and appears in the pedigree of many top horses. Read here a Harnesslink article from 2008 that provides an overview of the Romola Hal/Romola Hanover family. Romola Hanover also pops up in the maternal pedigree of Live Or Die and others via her son Romeo Hanover. It’s a classic family now, one that was famous in its day and is coming alive again thanks largely to the efforts of Romola Hanover’s grand-daughter Rodine Hanover. See a previous blog of mine here

Dreamy Romance’s fourth dam is Romantic Hanover, a full sister (by Tar Heel) to Romola Hanover.

I have got my work cut out to bring this branch of the great family alight, but there is more hope than it looks like at first glance.  Dreamy Romance’s dam is Romantic II so that makes her a half sister to the good racehorse Roymark and to Rachel Romance, the dam of the tough under-rated Beyond The Silence, winner of the The Air Vanuatu Holmes DG Handicap Pace on Friday night (beating Pembroke Benny and Easy On The Eye) and also winner of the Auckland Spring Cup in September.

Also the mare’s two Tuapeka Knight colt foals both qualified at 2yo, and trainer Kirsten Barlcay likes what she sees in the big Klondike Kid 3yo filly who is coming up to qualify. Owner/breeder Bill Keeler last sent Dreamy Romance to American Ideal for a 2yo filly that he is jogging up currently and really likes.

Bill got Dreamy Romance from Sir Roy McKenzie when he was tidying up his estate and cutting back on his stock. Although unraced, she had jogged up well and was a good pacer herself, but hopes of qualifying and racing were dashed by a re-occurring hoof abscess.

This season I hope to get her in foal to Big Jim (see pedigree match below). There are many compatibilities in the match that I really like, apart from the obvious double ups. Sonsam (4×5) is interesting and sent me to John Bradley’s wonderful book Modern Pacing Sires Lines to find out more about that horse.  The obvious danger is that both the mare and sire are tall horses, but from what I’ve seen Big Jim is leaving athletic types and not heavy boned types. In the years ahead I would like to try some quality smaller sires that match well with her pedigree, including Bettor’s Delight who seems to be crossing well with Dream Away mares (e.g. Tiger Tara) and Rock N Roll Heaven who is a very nice match with this mare.

Dreams are free – well, this one was not expensive at all and will be a new adventure for me as a breeder.

The mare will be at Macca Lodge, not far from her present home.

Big Jim x Dreamy Romance

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The news that Captaintreacherous is retiring to stand at stud will create a lot of interest among breeders and studs in Australasia. I imagine there is already a lot of action behind the scenes to negotiate rights to him “downunder”. You would imagine Empire Stallions might have the inside draw for that race, as they stand his sire Somebeachsomewhere, and of course both father and son are standing at Hanover Farms in America.

For me, the most appealing thing about Captaintreacherous (in terms of his pedigree) is that he is a son of Worldly Treasure, rather than that he is a son of Somebeachsomewhere. See my previous blog about his maternal family which is an exciting branch of the great Romola Hal clan.

Another son of Somebeachsomewhere with an outstanding maternal line is the new kid on the block at Macca Lodge in New Zealand, Net Ten EOM (which translated means “payment ten days after end of month”). He shares his maternal line with the excellent sire Well Said, and it has class all over it. Many top performing fillies like his dam Glowing Report and her dam Grand Lady struggle to duplicate their success in the breeding barn, but this maternal line is one where performance in both departments is deep. He is available for just $3000, and although he only raced 17 times, almost entirely as a 3yo, he took a record of 1.49.4 and raced under 1.50 three times, before retiring with an injury. Definitely worth a look.

Of course Macca Lodge also stands Panspacificflight, who like Captaintreacherous is from a branch of Romola Hal, in fact from a full sister to Art Major’s dam.


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Among the awards presented today by the United States Harness Writers Association (USHWA) is a 2013 Broodmare of the Year award to Worldly Treasure:

The pacing broodmare of the year, Worldly Treasure, is the dam of world champion Captaintreacherous p,3,1:47.1 ($2,973,286). Worldly Treasure herself was no slouch on the track, taking a 2-year-old mark of 1:53.1 en route to earning $97,923. She hails from a strong maternal family, as her full sister is the outstanding pacing mare Worldly Beauty, who was a two-time Dan Patch Award winner with nearly $2 million in career earnings.
They are both out of World Order p,3,1:53 ($267,205), whose dam was Rodine Hanover p,2,1:54 ($231,630)-the dam of Real Artist p,3,Q1:51 ($424,94) and the grand-dam of Art Major p,4,1:48.4 ($2,727,224), Perfect Art p,3,1:51 ($629,122) and Panspacificflight p,3,1:50.3 ($368,843). She is also owned by White Birch Farm of Allentown, NJ.

See here for full report on all the awards

This is a maternal line (Romola Hal) which, for me, is really ranking up there with the all-time greats like Golden Miss, Spinster/Old Maid and Roya McKinney and her sisters. I’m talking about “engine room” power that endures and adds value.

Check out also my blog about Somebeachsomewhere crosses of gold and Captain Treacherous (the section down the end titled “Credit should go to strong maternal lines”. Often sires/sirelines get most of the credit for a great horse (“the brilliant son of …..”) whereas the maternal line may not get much of a mention. And yet, think how many shots a good sire has at leaving great progeny compared to a maternal family through broodmares – foal by foal, year by year.

This is one maternal line that is popping up in so many top-level cross-references that it is getting the recognition it richly deserves. Yet another branch of it leads to Sands A Flyin, which makes for some interesting crosses with Sands A Flyin mares and some of the very good sires from the same family, although it hasn’t been tried much as yet – more breeders are trying for a connection via the Mach Three-Beach Towel cross (Sands A Flyin being the son of Beach Towel of course), and are patronising Mach Three and his full brother Extreme Three in significant numbers. It’s an interesting thing to ponder on – which my blog on the Somebeachsomewhere crosses of gold canvases. Comments from readers and breeders welcome!

Other links

Worldly Beauty – Odds On Racing’s Legend Horse of the Month for September 2013

Comments from breeder White Birch Farm on World Order, their “foundation mare”

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