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Posts Tagged ‘The Blue Lotus’

As you know, my mantra is “think b4 breeding”, hence the name of the blog as well as being my name Bee.

A lot of the magic of breeding and the challenges is to turn your thoughtfulness into a product that becomes what you wanted – or in some cases, not what you expected but a good result. For example, you may have bred for early speed, got a foal that turned into a “work in progress” but later went on to become a really good and fast aged horse. That’s not what you expected, but the underlying factors came through in the end.

So we are always trying to work with mother nature and our own knowledge and intuition, but there are no guarantees. Not even following a recipe is a sure signpost to success, because with horses both genetic and environmental factors create so many variables. More so than baking a cake. But I do think the analogy is useful because with cooking and with breeding, it is really hard to know from the outside what are important factors. Who would have said tiny quantities of salt and baking powder or chilli and garlic, for example, would transform a dish? And yet we know they can and do.

I’m right at the point (again) where a concept becomes reality – a breeding match on Tesio or wherever becomes a real living (if all goes well) foal on the ground. And after that, there is such a long, long road to negotiate successfully. But at least, there is a start and a reality rather than just a dream.

The Blue Lotus

The Blue Lotus with her Shadow Play filly foal

For me, today, it was a visit to Alabar NZ at Waiau Pa near Auckland, New Zealand.

This is the result of my breeding The Blue Lotus (Grinfromeartoear x Zenterfold) to Shadow Play, the second time I have gone for this particular match. The first is now a 2yo renamed as Blackened who last I heard was having time out after a very positive start in education. The new owner in Australia loves him, and his trainer is positive so far and is paying up for the 2yo races on what they see.

That’s one reason I was pleased to find today a very similar type of foal – sharp, energetic, streamlined. She reminds me a lot of the colt, who just loved to move and play and run. What will this filly turn into, well, who knows. It could be – like her Shadow Play relative over in America right now, Lady Shadow – a fantastic strong stayer. Judging by those long, long legs, she may take time to grow into her full size! But I won’t be setting any goals for her just yet. I’m so pleased to see her on the ground, looking lovely and long legged, and my mare all glowing with pride.

Step One is healthy foal on the ground, and a mare that is doing a fantastic job as mum.

Thanks to Alabar NZ, always a great team to deal with.

The Blue Lotus with her Shadow Play filly

The Blue Lotus with her Shadow Play filly

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Tough, tough, tough. Character and toughness are the best outcomes for Grinfromeartoear progeny. It doesn’t always happen. But he has super genetics as a sire, and if he gets the right match and strikes it well, you get exactly that – tough and good.

Massachussets is one place I haven’t seen, unlike the Bee Gees song of the same name. But I have watched videos of a good few races from Plainridge Racecourse in the state. For those of us who, like me, have to Google to find where some of these racecourses are located (and to be honest, where some of the states are) basically Plainridge is up and off to the right from New York city, on the eastern seaboard, and part of a group of states known as New England.

So yes, that’s on my list of places to visit one day. Geegees and haunting lyrics from the Bee Gees.

These days my point of interest is one special horse I knew as “Duncan”, a Grinfromeartoear gelding from my good mare Zenterfold and so a full brother to The Blue Lotus. I’ve blogged about him before because I’m really proud of his exploits in North America – low key but really consistent and paying his way with some stout performances. Like most Grins, getting better with age, character.

Destination Moon

Destination Moon, upstanding and strong type – as a yearling

In his latest race he was a very close second, but took a time of 1.51.3, which I believe is the fastest he has ever gone. His winning record is 1.52. So I am rapt to watch him doing a good job without a lot of pressure.  In the same race new comer Jay Bees Grin N another import from NZ and another Grin horse, still has to learn how competitive it is up there, and wisely didn’t press from the widest draw. But will find his mark up there well I reckon.

So although the time is not a shattering one, it is good and solid and what I bred the horse to do, and also good to see him performing and looking well for a stable that has picked him up and put some thought into him.

He’s repaying that.

Latest stats: US$37,000 this season so far and his total in America is $106,815 and with his NZ earnings added (in US$) $136,342. I’m proud of him.

In my next blog I will introduce his latest half-brother, his sister’s foal (just born) and her next potential foal – which may be a little outside the square but very exciting.

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The more I see this filly (out my window every day) the more I like what I see.

A Rocknroll Dance x The Blue Lotus yearling filly.

The Blue Beat

After her shower, looking gorgeous.

“Iris”, as we call her, moves easily, naturally and she has attitude but manners. She is starting to mature and understand things.

Last weekend, we brought the mums in from other paddocks for a wash, and then their yearling offspring at our home paddocks, also for a wash and brush. Lots of winter hair was shed, lots of enjoyment under the shower!

Below: The Blue Beat – finally got a registered name for this filly, and it is a cracker! The Blue Beat, the rock n roll song made famous in Australasia by our own wonderful Dinah Lee. “Come on and do the blue beat, the blue beat, and you’ll never be blue!” Hey, if you’re my age you will remember bopping around the living room to this song.

The Blue Beat

A Rocknroll Dance x The Blue Lotus

Below: The Blue Lotus, dam of The Blue Beat, Amazon Lily (3 wins, 6 placings from 13 starts) and Blackend (Shadow Play colt broken in well for Australian owner Domenic Martello) looking great and very much in foal with her next Shadow Play offspring.

The Blue Lotus

The Blue Lotus

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To be honest, I carry no expectations re the results, but this is a lovely story of 3 generations of the immediate family getting into the Silvers and Finals of 3yo filly Sires Stakes racing.

For those of us who have a passion for breeding, I just want to share this because I am super proud.

Zenterfold won the the Sires Stakes Fillies Silver 2003, for trainer Geoff Small and driver David Butcher. Her daughter The Blue Lotus got third in the Sires Stakes Fillies 3yo Final in 2010, albeit 8 lengths behind the wonderful quinella of Carabella and Bettor Cover Lover. With a good trip and tenacity, she held a clear third in front of others. David Butcher again the driver.

So it is stunning that the third generation Amazon Lily (Bettor’s Delight x The Blue Lotus), is in the same race final, this year. I am sure co-breeders Ken and Karen Breckon and Dom Zame will also be watching.

Whatever the results, I will be happy. Making finals at the high end of the game is an achievement.

Tip o’ the hat to trainer Ken Barron, co-trainer and driver Blair Orange, and those who are looking after her up north.

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Introducing my yearlings grown up and almost ready to go.

This time of the year is the “sneaky peek at the presents”. In this case not Christmas presents but the yearlings that will be up for sale in February 2016 – and it is a very interesting catalogue, thank heavens, after a drought for a couple of years.

Introducing you to my two yearlings, whom I have blogged about before as they developed.

It seems such a long time since I saw “Leo” (Shadow Play x The Blue Lotus) and Taffey (Rock N Roll Heaven x Zenterfold) as shy foals alongside their much loved mums.

Here they are now with only weeks to go before the yearling sale in February at Karaka. They are teenagers with personality and bodies that are well enough developed to show off type and character.

Luckily I have two lovely ones to put up and heartfelt thanks to the mares Zenterfold and her daughter The Blue Lotus.

The Shadow Play colt is well grown, athletic and has personality plus, a guy with a sense of play but wanting to have something to do. He will come up as a 2yo but if someone has the patience, he will be so much better as a 3yo. I love this colt. He is so interested in life, loves being around people and even not fazed by standing right outside our house rather than in a paddock. He is curious, learns fast, he thinks.

Here are two more personal photos for my blog followers about The Snow Leopard (Shadow Play x The Blue Lotus).

Similar for my filly from Zenterfold, will follow.

Kym Kearns

Preparer Kym Kearns with The Snow Leopard

The Snow Leopard

Leo aka The Snow Leopard, getting to know where we live.

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Went to see this filly foal last weekend and delighted with her, and lovely to see The Blue Lotus looking so good at Alabar. Thanks guys!

This is a lovely A Rocknroll Dance foal .

The Blue Lotus’s first foal is the Bettor’s Delight filly Amazon Lily – 3 starts, 2 wins. (Forget that last race. She was the only one willing to challenge the hot favourite leader until the last swoop, and paid the price.) Proud of her. The next foal is the Shadow Play yearling colt who is a stunning type with heaps of character, and off to the sales in February (Lot 100 at Karaka), and this filly is her 3rd foal.

Reminder – The Blue Lotus is a Grinfromeartoear mare – look what she is producing! There are some really nice Grin mares out there that deserve a chance with well matched sires.

Contact me on bee.raglan@xtra.co.nz if you want some ideas/advice/encouragement to breed from your mare.

Filly foal A Rocknroll Dance x The Blue Lotus

Filly foal A Rocknroll Dance x The Blue Lotus

The Blue Lotus

The Blue Lotus foal by A Rocknroll Dance – lovely type and he is leaving some very nice foals.

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The blue Lotus with foal

The Blue Lotus enjoys a carrot while her foal enjoys a rest.

Lovely to have The Blue Lotus back home with her Shadow Play colt foal at foot.

She’s back in foal to A Rocknroll Dance.

More photos below.

The Blue Lotus and Shadow Play colt a

The Blue Lotus with her Shadow Play colt 31 December 2014

Lottie loves carrots

May your 2015 year be as sweet as a carrot!

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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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The Blue Lotus as a foal

You’ve come a long way baby! The Blue Lotus as a little foal in 2007.

OK it’s time to announce a winner for the Match My Mare And Win A Share competition.

Boy was that hard to judge! There was a total of 25 entries, and from 17 individuals. This was a great result, as the entries required some research and thought rather than being a “pick the name” type competition. So many thanks to you all.

What I was looking for was thoughtful advice that gave me confidence your recommended sire will tick the important boxes for my mare The Blue Lotus (aka “Lottie”).

The word limit initially was about 400 words but many of you went well over that. Although I relaxed the rules around the length, I have factored in that those who tried to keep to the rules were at the disadvantage of not being able to fully outline the details of their reasoning, particularly in terms of the pedigree matching. Where they flagged up the key elements, I have taken that as enough without the detailed analysis others provided (sometimes over several pages!)

However very short entries (like just the name of a sire, or just a sentence or two) were pretty much scratched at the start or failed to line up behind the mobile arm and didn’t really take much part in the race.

Yes I have looked at it like a race. Hope you will enjoy the analogy!

The finish was a classic, with a group of four or five virtually crossing the line together – you could throw a blanket over them.

Very close behind was another group “all dressed up and nowhere to go” as Aaron White might say.

Plus one unlucky runner in great form who broke at the start (because his suggested sire was not available).

And finally there was an exciting outsider who ran on strongly from back in the field.

In the end the result came down to a photo finish between two very different entries – Brian Cowley (A Rocknroll Dance) who was race fit and excellent over the mile (325 words covered what the sire offers, what the mare offers, commercial factors, and two key pedigree influences), whereas Mark Wilkens (Shadow Play if Real Desire semen not available) took a roundabout route to get into the clear, flagging up about 6 or more potential options before boiling it down to two. With less driver indecision in the race he would have probably got the win!

So congratulations to Brian Cowley – the winner – with his recommendation of A Rocknroll Dance.

Regarding A Rocknroll Dance, he was not a sire I had lined up for The Blue Lotus, so my decision was not influenced by my own preferences. A tip o’ the hat to John Chew, Richard Prior and Adam Wilkinson who also made a good case for A Rocknroll Dance, with slightly different emphasis – Richard had more detail on the pedigree side of things, Adam on the insights into the type and temperament, and John on compatibility of lines. But overall, it was Brian’s entry on A Rocknroll Dance which wrapped it into a short but convincing package.

Second place by a whisker goes to Mark Wilkens who really engaged my interest with his easy-to-read outline of his own selection process which I thought showed a balanced analysis of several different factors, not just pedigree matching. His first choice of Real Desire was, by chance, a sire that I had also looked at for Lottie, but after checking with Alabar I confirmed that Real Desire semen is not available here at all. Luckily for Mark he had predicted that and offered Shadow Play as his substitute. Although Shadow Play is a sire I like and have already tried for The Blue Lotus (she is foaling to him in October), it was Mark’s overall approach, his analysis of The Blue Lotus’s pedigree and his balanced view of Shadow Play that appealed to me. He weighed up some of the other factors including the likely commercial demand for Shadow Play in a few years’ time.

Then was a wall of horses (entries) finishing very close up in this competition, and many of them showcased your ability to analyse bloodlines and match pedigrees at a level of detail and using formulas (such as Norman Hall’s) which I am not very familiar with myself. You guys rock! I really appreciated your entries, and I found them very interesting. The amount of research done on identifying the best pedigree matches was incredible – Kevin (McArdle and Badlands Hanover), Alana McKay (Rocknroll Hanover), Noel Eade (Art Major) and David Sinclair (Rock N Roll Heaven), your knowledge and detailed analysis in this area is fantastic and I take off my hat to you. It has given me heaps of food for thought, and identified some outstanding options for the future. My only comment is that although some of you included a double up of Artsplace (Darryl Lawlor for Western Terror, Noel for Art Major, David for Rock N Roll Heaven) you didn’t reassure me on that score, in spite of me flagging it up in my blog. But that’s a minor point.

Several entries (Darryl, Gavin Anderson and Kevin) suggested McArdle partly on the demonstrated compatibility of The Blue Lotus’s family with the Falcon Seelster line and the speed McArdle can inject into his very best, like the outstanding McWicked in North America. And there is the commercial link with The Blue Lotus’s half-brother Tintin In America. However as Darryl rightly says, McArdle is a hard one to pin down in terms of commercial appeal and although his percentages are consistently good overall for starters/winners, he still lacks the outstanding individuals he really needs in each crop. I agree, though, it is a tempting proposition.

However now I come to (almost) the complete outsider in the field of entries. Mike Finlayson put forward Tintin In America as his recommended match for half-sister The Blue Lotus. At first glance I thought “woops, a mistake here” – but I should have known better, as Mike is an astute breeder and sure enough he was making a very controversial but well thought out case for such close inbreeding. His entry kept popping up in my mind – not because I want to try it, or because he was suggesting a sire I had bred, but because it is a great example of fearlessly thinking outside the square and backing that up with good reasoning. Mike’s entry is the horse in the field that comes from a seemingly impossible position at the back to fly down the outside. So Mike Finlayson sticks a cheeky neck out on the line to get third place in the competition! Closer in breeding is something Charlie Roberts of Woodlands Stud is trying lately as well. And look at the pedigree of A Rocknroll Dance, with the double up to strong maternal influence Wendymae Hanover, although Mike’s proposed match is a lot closer than that. Half brother and half sister is still a step too far for me. Great, provocative entry Mike!

There are a few others I’d like to acknowledge and respond to:

David Sinclair’s first choice of Tell All didn’t even score up behind the mobile as Tell All (a son of Real Desire from a Jate Lobell mare) is only available to Australian breeders. However his recommendation coincided with my own discovery of Tell All as a potential sire for Lottie. Snap! A great entry. The match really got me really excited until I checked with Ron Burrell and found there was no chance at all of getting semen here. Tell All has done a good job so far as a sire in North America. In spite of the commercial question marks here, I would love to give it a go. David’s substitute runner was Rock N Roll Heaven and he advocated long and hard and well, but it just didn’t resonate with me in the same way as Tell All did.

Sam Langrope made a passionate and well thought out case for Lis Mara, which thoroughly entertained me. However Sam, I see Lis Mara as being similar in type to Grinfromeartoear – not really a sire of speed, even though he was very quick himself. The Cam Fella line seems to do that, leave sires who are extremely fast on the track but can’t seem to pass that on to their offspring consistently. Cam’s Card Trick/Bettor’s Delight being the obvious exception, but the maternal line plays a real role there.

Andrew Lewis put a plug in for Elsu which is definitely breeding back to the family, although not as closely as Mike suggested with Tintin In America. Elsu was a magic horse and leaves great “bread and butter” horses. Two things that didn’t convince me for The Blue Lotus – if I am looking to inject more speed into The Blue Lotus, I don’t see Elsu has providing that. And also the cross with Zenterfold and Elsu has been tried by Geoff and Aria Small, to get a lovely, big colt who did qualify at 2yo but never showed the real zip of speed needed to be competitive, even though given plenty of time, and had ongoing stifle problems. Commercially, it would be all risk and possibly little reward.

Colin Harris suggested Changeover (whom I love as a sire) but perhaps needed to convince me more about why the match would suit The Blue Lotus, compared to other options. I wouldn’t be adverse to that double up of In The Pocket as he appears in quite different parts of the pedigree. But having seen some of his yearlings, I wonder on type if he might duplicate the sort of scopey type that The Blue Lotus is?  He is definitely one I would keep in my mind, though.

Barry Abbott’s two entries were for Roll With Joe and Falcon Feelster. The Blue Lotus’s first foal is by Bettor’s Delight, just turned 2yo,  and Ken Barron reports on her very favourably so far. I think if I was going down that pedigree path I would return to the more proven, commercial brother rather than Roll With Joe. But Barry, your point about Falcon Seelster is a very good one, and has got me thinking. There are some lovely duplications there.

Graeme Whelan recommended Mach Three and mentioned Sportwriter. Although I agree with Mach Three’s quality, I needed more reasons why the match would be good. Same for Sportswriter –  the Jate Lobell maternal line could be a good match for a Grin mare, but there is that Artsplace double up that I want to be convinced about.

The complete outsider of the field, probably taking a short cut through the pylons, was Elizabeth Thorne-McKenzie from America, who is a huge Crazed fan. Yes, that’s Crazed the trotting sire. I know there are a few trotting mares who have been put to pacers for good results (I’ve blogged on Googoo GaaGaa and Blitzthemcalder as examples), but very few have gone in the other direction except where a pacing-bred mare turned out to be a natural and good trotter. So it is not something I would consider at all. However it raises an interesting point – that the maternal line of The Blue Lotus is rich with good trotting blood, and not that far back. Her great granddam is Now And Zen, a Chiola Hanover mare. The family of Zenith has left both trotting and pacing branches. And of course Zenterfold’s sire In The Pocket brings more excellent trotting blood via Tar Heel and Direct Scooter. There’s a locker-full of Volomite and Star’s Pride and Scotland blood there. But let’s pretend I was choosing a trotting sire for The Blue Lotus – I would not choose Crazed, Elizabeth, even though he was such an excellent horse and I am sure will be a great sire. I would go for something that resonates with the best trotting blood my mare’s family can offer – which for me would be looking at trotters with Chiola Hanover and Noble Victory (Star’s Pride/Scotland) blood, so I’d probably go to Muscles Yankee, Muscles Hill, Skyvalley, or even Continentalman.

Once again thanks to all participants in the great Match My Mare race.

The PDF of all entries that met the criteria is posted here (in the Articles page of my blog).

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Here’s a competition to test your skills in matching sires and mares.

I’d like your input into the next match with my mare The Blue Lotus, after she foals in October.

This is your opportunity to win a 5% share in the resulting foal – and no further contributions!

It’s also a way to have a bit of fun and get those little grey cells exercised.

The Blue Lotus mare

6yo The Blue Lotus enjoying TLC at Isa Lodge

The Blue Lotus is a Grinfromeartoear mare from my top mare Zenterfold (In The Pocket dam of Tintin In America, Destination Moon etc). Some more photos of her at the bottom of this blog, as well as one of her first foal.

She is probably 15.2hh, athletic build and has been heart scored at 120. She was 3rd in the 3yo Sires Stakes Fillies Final and has a best time of 1.56.6. She was retired with 2 wins and 5 places after only 15 starts due to a tendon tear.

The Blue Lotus’ first foal was a Bettor’s Delight filly, which sold for $26,000 at the yearling sales this year. (So if you do the maths, you can see that a 5% share in that foal would have resulted in a $1000-plus prize.) The Bettor’s Delight x Grinfromeartoear cross is the same as the good North American pacer Vegas Vacation, but probably the main driver for selecting Bettor’s Delight for The Blue Lotus was commercial, plus adding speed to a stamina type mare, and the fact that the syndicate members who made the choice both had good experiences with Bettor’s Delight progeny.

The Blue Lotus is currently in foal to Shadow Play, and I have blogged about why I made that choice and see the match as a good one. I would look closely at returning her to Shadow Play, if his performance as a sire of racehorses develops.

But I am definitely open to other ideas and would appreciate some thoughtful comments that may help me decide. Among other sires I have had a quick glance at are:

  • Western Ideal
  • Somebeachsomewhere
  • Jereme’s Jet (lovely cross but no longer available)
  • Well Said and others from the Western Hanover line. I am not sure about the double up of Artsplace that many of these bring)
  • Some of the locally bred sires.

But I am truly undecided and open to your suggestions – given that the sire you propose must be

  • available this coming season in New Zealand
  • be rated commercially or, if a new sire, the offspring be likely to rate commercially at yearling sales

I’m looking for thoughtful, well explained suggestions based on pedigree, type, statistics, or any other factor or mix of factors you want, so long as you explain your recommendation. No mysterious theories that you can’t share, please. It is the reasons you give for your choice rather than the sire you choose that I am most interested in. So don’t feel constrained by the ones I have mentioned above.

My overall goal is to breed the best racehorses I can. My aim would be to sell the resulting foal  profitably at the sales.

You can contact me if you wish to ask any questions about the mare or her family that may help you, but you can also search this information on my blogsite, as I have posted up quite a bit about Zenterfold, The Blue Lotus and others in the family like Tintin In America over the years.

Keep your suggestions to less than 400 words per sire if you can please and of course you can include a Pedigree Partner/Tesio chart if you want. (I am fairly relaxed about length if the entry is interesting and on topic).

One sire per entry, but you can put in more than one entry.

Get your ideas to me by end of July 2014.

How? By email to bee.raglan@xtra.co.nz, or you can use the response/comments facility at the bottom of this blog.

Any entries received as blog comments/responses will not be published until after the competition is closed.

Please include your full name, location and email contact.

If I feel there is a stand-out entry (whether I follow its suggestion or not) I will donate a FREE non-transferable 5% share of the 2015 foal, formalised on the ownership papers, and no further contribution to expenses is required.

I am not obliged to donate the prize if no entry meets the standard I am looking for.

I am not obliged to follow the recommendation of the winning entry.

By non-transferable share I mean the share cannot be sold to, shared or given to another party without my written consent.

The competition is open to all, from small-time hobby breeders to a stud farm or a breeding consultant.

All entries may be published, with names, on this blogsite after a decision is made.

 

“Think b4 breeding”

 

 

The Blue Lotus 2013

The Blue Lotus 2013

The Blue Lotus mare

The Blue Lotus aka Lottie wants a bit more attention please!

 

Amazon Lily by Bettor's Delight, the first foal from The Blue Lotus

Amazon Lily by Bettor’s Delight, the first foal from The Blue Lotus

 

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