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Posts Tagged ‘Shadow Play’

I haven’t visited him yet, but thanks to Graeme Henley at Alabar I can see what he’s like- good size, athletic type, lovely head.

By Shadow Play (check the match here). The Blue Lotus is the daughter of Zenterfold.

Now The Blue Lotus is getting served by A Rocknroll Dance, thanks to the competition I ran for blog followers earlier this year to choose her next match.

The Blue Lotus

The Blue Lotus with her Shadow Play colt foal, 15 November 2014

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I never knew they had harness racing in Argentina!

A 3-year-old son of Shadow Play was victorious in the elimination and final of the Nacional Cup at the Hipodromo de Cintra in Cordoba province, Argentina.

His name is Chucaro Acero Blue Chip. You can google that for a bit more information, although the link I liked best was this one (and I don’t speak the lingo)

Check out his pedigree here, and he doesn’t have any of the Shadow Wave / Adios double ups that I mentioned in a previous blog, but his maternal line is quite a classic of course with Lismore sitting there on the very bottom line.

 

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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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The latest foal from Betterthancheddar’s dam Lady Ashlee Ann (see my last blog) to hit the tracks and win is by Shadow Play, a brown colt named High Flier who was sold in the Harrisburg 2012 sale to Dr Ian Moore for $37,000. That seems quite a cheap price for a colt from such a good family?

Dr Ian Moore

Dr Ian Moore, enjoying the progeny of Shadow Play, a horse he owned and trained.

Dr Ian Moore was the owner/trainer of Shadow Play and a big fan of the horse, and ended up buying several at Harrisburg.

The most successful to date is the very good Arthur Blue Chip, which he bought for $135,000.

For those of you who have read my previous blogs about Shadow Play, I have to say neither High Flier nor Arthur Blue Chip’s dams carried any Shadow Wave in their pedigrees! Darn! lol

High Flier contested the 2013 OSS Grassroots series for an 8th, 6th and 5th result, but then went on to get his first win at Grand River Raceway, winning by over 13 lengths in 1:57.6.

Like most of the family, time will be his friend. I’ll keep an eye on his progress.

For those who, like me, missed them first time around, here are a couple of article that talk about Dr Ian Moore, Shadow Play and the progeny he bought.

Harnesslink article Shadow Plays for real! 

USTA News: Moore having fun with his Shadow Play freshmen Thursday, July 18, 2013 – by Sandra Snyder

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Shadow Play’s first qualifier in the Southern Hemisphere is the chestnut filly Lettuceplayginger, in Australia.

It’s interesting to see once again the predominance of Shadow Wave references in Shadow Play’s progeny to date. I blogged about this earlier, re Shadow Play’s qualifying and racing offspring in North America and then about what might suit him in New Zealand.

This filly is chokka with Shadow Play references, and also the Golden Miss line which has been so influential in the engine room of sires like Art Major, Real Desire, Grinfromeartoear, and the click with Breath O Spring/Old Maid and Good Time. so in terms of pedigree she is off to a damn good start.

Her dam Rollon Rodi is by Aces N Sevens who has No Nukes as his damsire and hence connections back to both Shadow Wave and Good Time (and then back to Nedda Guy). Aces N Sevens also has the Big Towner mare Town Tramp as his dam, so that brings in Shadow Wave again via Tiny Wave (who interestingly also goes back on her maternal lines to Nedda Guy).

Then the grandam of Lettuceplayginger is Remember Rodi, a very good Australian racehorse (1.57.4, 18 wins, $78,271 in the late 1980s and early 1990s), by Hilarion (a Meadowlands Pace winner) who brings Shadow Wave in again as his damsire, as well as that marvellous Golden Miss line via his sire Strike Out.  She’s a lovely broodmare who has left some nice racehorses by beautifully compatible sires like Grinfromeartoear (Grinforseymour) and Panorama (Rollon Seymour) as well as the very good Fake Left colt Rollon Bigred ($343,903).

There’s a New Zealand connection too – Remember Rodi’s dam Dorana Star is a daughter of Bachelor Star (a son of Bachelor Hanover) who is part of the family of Adio Star that produced Bionic Star who in turn produced one of my favourite mares in New Zealand’s racing history, Bionic Chance (18 wins,  $323,630).  Dorana Star produced not much else – but I notice that Remember Rodi and the colt she had by Hilarion were both chestnuts – no surprise since Hilarion’s sire Strike Out was a chestnut and his damsire Shadow Wave was also chestnut.  Not just that, Bachelor Hanover was also a chestnut!

So the chestnut filly Lettuceplayginger is carrying on a good line of colour and talent, and her breeders have chosen well in selecting Shadow Play as her sire.  It will be interesting to see how she develops.

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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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Looking for ‘clicks’ in a new sire can be dangerous.  And even hindsight can be tricky with established sires. Mainly because we focus our analysis of the pedigrees on a sire’s top foals rather than say 20 of his average foals or perhaps his bottom 20 foals that never succeeded as racehorses.  It’s something I’d like to do one day.  Or if it has been done, i.e. a sort of “control group’ experiment, I’d be very interested to know about it.

But having said that, I’m going to focus on the pedigree of Shadow Play’s American winners in this blog.

Richard, one of my blog friends, has been conversing with me about Shadow Play. This is a sire that is making a bold debut in North America and has a pedigree that could match well with some of our mares.  I’ve been seriously considering him for my Grinfromeartoear mare, and Richard is doing the same for his Bettor’s Delight mare.

I’ve looked at the pedigrees of 17 of Shadow Play’s American winners to date. I haven’t done detailed analysis, just a quick look to see if there anything that stands out. (Note: Names and some additional information on these foals has been added to the bottom of this blog, 30 July)

Shadow Play

Shadow Play – looking for Shadow Wave

Two things stand out for me:

  1. Of those 17 winners,  6 have Artsplace has the damsire (another 3 have Artsplace as the grandamsire). And yet I’m not sure the volume of Artsplace “nicks” tells us too much yet, after all, the proportion of Artsplace mares available to a promising sire will be high and a high speed sire from the Western Hanover line would be flagged as a good match for those breeders who want that Artsplace/Western Hanover line cross.
  2. This is one of those sires/families that loves getting “more of the same” blood and specifically an uncanny amount of doubling up with No Nukes and Shadow Wave.

It’s that 2nd point of interest I want to focus on, because it is intriguing. While Shadow Wave is an influential sire, he’s not an especially common one. In commercial families he is present usually via No Nukes/Oil Burner or Big Towner, or in the best of the Golden Miss family.

But in the pedigrees of these 17 mares, Shadow Wave comes in from a range of directions.

The total number of times Shadow Wave appears in those 17 dams’ pedigrees is 22  23 times.

10 of those are via No Nukes.

That leaves another 13 Shadow Wave connections, 4 of which are via Big Towner.

All Shadow Wave’s credits except one are as a damsire.

In 7 of those 17 dams, Shadow Wave appears TWICE in their pedigrees.

And of course that’s not counting the fact he appears twice in Shadow Play’s own pedigree. So 7 of the 17 winning foals have Shadow Wave 4 times in the first 7 generations.

What makes this unusual is that Shadow Wave is not a sire like Meadow Skipper, Cam Fella, Albatross who had much larger numbers of foals and became sires of sires which means they appear quite often in these sorts of numbers in the pedigrees of horses.  Shadow Wave was not a ‘go to’ sire. He had a total of 524 foals over 14 years at stud, many of them in his last few years.  Just to compare, Meadow Skipper had 1267, Albatross 2642, Abercrombie 1816 and Bret Hanover (like Shadow Wave a son of Adios) had 1724 foals.  Artsplace must be close to 2000. Shadow Wave left very few sons who became sires, and none were particularly successful. So he is popping up almost entirely as a damsire.

Very interesting.

The pedigrees of these 17 Shadow Play foals are packed with goodies, certainly packed with the influence of Adios through two very different sons. Shadow Wave, like Bret Hanover and Adios himself, like having ‘their best blood returned to them’, as they say.  Shadow Play seems to be carrying on that tradition.

Those of you who know my blogs will recall that I sometimes use cooking as a way of describing my approach to breeding and pedigree analysis.

In terms of recipes, I see these Shadow Play foal pedigrees as a “chicken three ways” sort of dish or a dessert that uses white chocolate mousse, dark bitter chocolate base and grated chilli chocolate on top. Initially you sort of think “oh, way too much of a good thing.” Then you start to eat it and think “Yum”.

Shadow Play’s maternal line includes Warm Breeze (Bret Hanover-Touch Of Spring) which brings in Good Time-Breath O Spring and the classic Old Maid/Spinster/Scotland connections. So does No Nukes’s maternal lines through Tar Heel and Gogo Playtime.  Shadow Play will enjoy getting those influences returned from the mares he gets – .

It works both ways – those mares with No Nukes/Oil Burner/Shadow Wave/Adios in their pedigrees seem to love getting what Shadow Play offers.

And look at the great families Shadow Play is getting to play with:

  • Two of his progeny (Shadowbriand and Shark Festival) are out of mares who are from the wonderful Rodine Hanover family (both those mares are from the No Nukes mare Romanticize).
  • Arthur Blue Chip’s dam is a grand-daughter of Tarport Cheer.
  • Shadow Place’s great grandam Loving Proof is, I think, a full sister to Camtastic.
  • Play It Again Sam – that maternal family is one I mentioned in my last blog about the Meadowlands damsires – He’s from a daughter of Orchid Island, who is a full sister to Island Fantasy and a great producer.
  • Reasonable Force – the grandam Shady Katie is a half to the great mare Shady Daisy (by Falcon Seelster).
  • Of interest to NZ breeders, Book Babe’s greatgrandam is No Secrets (Oil Burner-Treachery) who is also the greatgrandam of Attorney General, who stands at stud here, and has a very talented 2yo filly Imhisdaughter (from an Artiscape mare) starting her racing career. Attorney General is a son of Falcon Seelster. Falcon Seelster is of course by Warm Breeze, who features in Shadow Play’s maternal pedigree. Falcon Seelster also appears as Imhisdaughter’s greatgrandam. Of course Imhisdaughter’s damsire Artiscape carries Shadow Wave through Happy Motoring.
  • That’s just some of them I can spot at a glance, I will have missed others.

It sure helps if a sire can get some well bred mares that bring something to the table – especially if they come with the goodies he likes.

All of the above makes me think again about whether I can resist the match with The Blue Lotus, as that pedigree would have some of the elements I see producing good results here.

I’ll look closely at that in my next blog soon, as well as some comments from Richard “across the ditch in Australia”, and a look at the very different overall broodmare pool that Shadow Play will be accessing in New Zealand and also in Australia.

Additional information/names

The 17 winning foals of Shadow Play I looked at are: Book Babe, Shadowbriand, Alibi Seelster, Shark Festival, Reasonable Force, Brookdale Shadow, Lady Shadow (grandam is by Dallas Almahurst, a full brother to Oil Burner), Play It Again Sam, Performing Art, Shadversary, Twin B Spy, Skippin By, Shadow Place, Courageous C, , Yoselin Seelster, Nefertiti Bluechip, and Arthur Blue Chip (the only one whose dam doesn’t carry any No Nukes/Oil Burner/Shadow Wave in her pedigree).

The damsires are: Artsplace (6, plus 3 as grandamsire), Cam’s Card Shark (3), Bettor’s Delight (1), Jate Lobell (1, plus 3 as a grandamsire), Armbro Operative, Camluck, Blissful Hall, Life sign, Intrepd Seelster, Abercrombie (all 1).

No Nukes and Big Towner appear 2 times as grandamsires.

Confessions of a Shadow Wave lover. Yes, it’s true, I love this old guy. And for good reason. Check out my blog about Shadow Wave and his influence as a damsire and in my own mare’s family.

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A great sunshiney day and a good turnout at Alabar’s Waiau Pa property.  You’d have to be a bigger risk taker than I am to pinhook in the current economic climate, particularly weanlings that are from okay but not recently performing families, and you would need to look for potential to develop into a standout individual over the next 10 months, regardless of breeding. That’s a real gift! However weanling sales do offer the opportunity for owner/trainers to pick up something at a very reasonable cost and have a go. The cheaper initial cost takes some of the pressure off and gives leeway to let them develop at their own pace. Kym (who has an eye for young horses and their potential that I will never have) has bought three weanling fillies from the Alabar draft over the past couple of years, and all are developing nicely. It was interesting to see their half sisters/brothers as part of this year’s weanling draft.

I did my usual first walk around the weanlings “blind” i.e. picking out what appeals on type before I know what the breeding is.  I don’t judge on size until I can check the foaling dates, as there were some very early and several late foals in the mix.

Lot 32 weanling sale at Karaka 2012

Lot 32, Art Major-Heather Laurique filly

Overall, I came up with number 32, an Art Major filly out of Heather Laurique as my top choice – she’s a December foal and so lacks size but was attractive, nicely proportioned, lovely neck and head. She had a spring and energy about her – an athletic type (photo).  I would not normally seek out Art Majors as a personal preference, so it was interesting to find I’d picked her! At the other end of the spectrum in looks, but almost as appealing to me, was number 8, a Real Desire filly out of an American bred mare. A late October foal, she was already showing size and had good strong body and legs, but I reckon she will go through a tall and lanky stage before maturing and probably not a truly early type even though she might get up and running at 2. Compared to 32 she was a plain type, but from the brief encounter I would say she’d have a good temperament.  Number 4 is the Santanna Blue Chip filly out of Alta Magari I mentioned in my last blog – she was smaller than I expected although not a late foal – the dam’s influence perhaps, but very correct.

Lot 21

Lot 21, Shadow Play-Dunbeath colt

Of the colts, I’d take home number 16, a lovely compact but strong looking Grin, and number 21 a Shadow Play out of a Falcon Seelster mare. But there were several colts – and particularly some of the Santanna Blue Chips – that were very appealing.

In fact the overall impression of the Santanna Blue Chip weanlings was  favourable. I thought they looked good correct types, straight in the leg, decent length of body and upstanding.

Lot 25 Shadow Play – Esha colt

Shadow Plays were also on my list to check out on type – overall they looked a finer,  perhaps athletic type. Not leaping out at me in the same way that most of the Santanna Blue Chips did. Number 25 was a stockier, more solid type and an earlier foal than some of the other Shadow Plays. He has thrown in markings to his damsire Elsu (including a blaze) and perhaps Elsu mares will give a bit more ‘solid body’ to their foals.

The sale itself is on this Sunday 20 May when offerings from Woodlands and others will join these weanlings – and of course some mixed aged horses/broodmares.

We are not buying this year, and I may not make it to Karaka this time, but I welcome any comments and observations from those who do.

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