Posts Tagged ‘sire lines’

Hindsight is a glorious thing.

And in hindsight we will be able to sort out the strange situation we have at the moment where a sire like Grinfromeartoear, who is not a glamour boy in the siring ranks, now has 3 sons at stud in the southern hemisphere*, while Bettor’s Delight, who has been incredibly popular and serving big crops here for 6 years has had only Kenneth J and now this season Betterthancheddar borrowed from the northern hemisphere and having a go downunder in a truly commercial way – and of course his brother Roll With Joe.

Kenneth J  has had reasonable but not large foal crops so far – there was a huge lack of interest in New Zealand (4 live foals), but more traction in Australia with 63 foals in his first season, 51 in his 2nd season and 49 in his 3rd season for a total of 163. So the earliest foals have only just turned 3yo, and it is hard to tell yet what those results mean. He’s had 18 starters from his first crop of 63, for 6 winners. The 6 in Australia who won as 2yos cover a range of earnings from $4,625 to $82,544  – the latter being a filly called Im Bella Jay, from Belturbet (a Barnett Hanover mare out of Chivasso, a New Zealand bred Save Fuel mare.  Chivasso is of course the dam of NZ very good mare Donegal Delight by Bettor’s Delight).

Check out some other sire lines here: Mach Three now has Auckland Reactor and Sir Lincoln as local representatives, as well as access to Somebeachsomewhere.

Both Christian Cullen and Courage Under Fire (by In The Pocket) were exceptional racehorses and sires, but look at the differences when it comes to sons at stud. Christian Cullen has already got several “options” at stud, while the Courage Under Fire has only got a freshman sire about to start. Courage Under Fire is an oddity – and yet not unlike Bettor’s Delight in this debate – such a remarkable horse and sire, but has taken many years to get just one son, Lanercost, finally standing at stud. For all the very good horses he has left, none have had breeders drooling at the prospect of sending their mares in that direction. And like Bettor’s, some of his best have been geldings. Compare that with Christian Cullen who has half a dozen options (not all will make it) but the range of potential inheritors is at least maximising Christian Cullen’s chances of leaving a successful son at stud.

What makes a siring line get traction with breeders?

Is it breeder/buyer perception in a commercial sense? (In which case why has Grinfromeartoear got the jump on Bettor’s Delight?)

Is it the domination of the dad that make it hard for the sons to compete? (In which case why have Christian Cullen sons been so willing to line up as sires as soon as possible, while Bettor’s Delight sons have held back?)

Is it the quality of the potential sire as a racehorse that make the difference?

That is an intriguing question, when you look at Bettor’s Delight.

What an amazing sire. And yet if I ask the question: So which of his outstanding sons in NZ, now 3, 4 5 or 6 years old, would you name as potential sires….what names spring to mind? (Even taking geldings into account?)

Highview Tommy, an entire? A racehorse I love and his owners do too. Gutsy little guy, proven. But a sexy sire that would attract mares? An inheritor of Bettor’s Delight’s mantle as a sire here? I can’t see that happening commercially.

Border Control and Five Card Draw are the only real contenders in New Zealand to date – and woops, both are geldings.

It is an interesting puzzle. Why some sires produce a legacy of sires. What will happen with the siring line of Bettor’s Delight?

Then again, numbers are not everything. Some of the most potent sire lines have held on by a single (sometimes relatively unfashionable) sire.  While others have had to spawn many in the search of a successor. Life
Sign is a good example of that, a fantastic sire who has struggled to leave a son/s to carry on his line. Real Desire has that chance and I personally like him a lot, but he has a battle now to show it, given his “here today, gone tomorrow” history as a sire in New Zealand.

But I still find it unusual for such a hugely successful sire, with such large numbers of foals on the ground, to have yet to produce a potential successor in this part of the world.

Perhaps, in the end, it is horses for courses. Some are just amazing sires.

And that is enough.

Having said that, I will check out Betterthancheddar in a blog soon. He’s got a pedigree that will intrigue many breeders here.

* Mr Big, Mr Feelgood, Smiling Shard – plus his own continuin performance as a sire!

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