Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘The Blue Lotus’

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

Read Full Post »

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).

Read Full Post »

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

 

Read Full Post »

Tonight I paid the bill for the working fee for my mare Zenterfold. That’s for her current season, and she is in foal to Rock N Roll Heaven.

But the flip side of paying bills is what this lovely mare delivers. Because an hour later I watched her 3yo son, Destination Moon, win very well at Alexandra Park – his second win in his last two starts. That makes his record now 3 wins and 3 seconds from just 10 starts. He’s owned by Rosslands (Kerry Hoggard), trained by Steven Reid and Simon McMullan, and driven by Josh Dickie.

And then tomorrow I will be watching as Kym Kearns (who raises and prepares my foals) load his half brother yearling, Thephantomtollbooth, onto the float and we will be heading to the yearling sales in Auckland.

Neither Destination Moon nor ThePhantomtollbooth are by expensive sires – Grinfromeartoear and Real Desire respectively – but they are sires I chose for their compatibility with Zenterfold, in type and pedigree.

Same with Tintin In America, her first and (so far) best foal by McArdle.

I don’t breed “the best to the best and hope for the best”. I breed a 4 win mare who showed an incredibly determined and competitive attitude and a ton of sprint speed, to the sires that I believe add the most value and help produce the type of foal I’m looking for. One that will perform very well on the track. And with amazing help from Kym in raising and educating them, I try to give them every chance to fulfil their potential.

A ton of credit goes to the mare Zenterfold and the quality branch of the family she is forming.

Bee with Zenterfold

Bee with Zenterfold

I breed Zenterfold alternatively with Geoff and Aria Small, and the spacing of every other year is great – it gives me time to think and see the results from my last choice, and it also takes off some of the financial pressures for a small-time breeder.

Zenterfold is a lovely horse to have around. She can be bossy with other horses, but she loves interaction with humans. She’s a fantastic mum. She has a McArdle colt on her at the moment, for Geoff and Aria, and when that foal is weaned Zenterfold will be heading down here (Cambridge) as usual. She’s a shuttle mare, and I think she knows and kind of enjoys the routine now.

I’m really looking forward to seeing her again.

Thephantomtollbooth is Lot 39 at Karaka (prepared by Isa Lodge), and Zenterfold’s daughter The Blue Lotus has a very nice Bettor’s Delight filly  Lot 34 (prepared by Breckon Farms) in the same sale. The Blue Lotus is a full sister to Destination Moon and was placed 3rd in the 3yo Sires Stakes Fillies Final behind Carabella and Bettor Cover Lover, before she got a minor tendon tear early and was retired to stud.

All the best to everyone who is preparing, selling and buying yearlings at the moment, in Australia and New Zealand.  The mood feels more positive than the last couple of years.

I will blog again in a week, after attending both Karaka and Christchurch sales.

Read Full Post »

Oh yeah, baby. It’s business time. And what many breeders are hoping over the next few months is that their mare will get “in conchord” with the stallion of choice.

Thanks to artificial insemination, chilled and frozen semen and different breeding seasons in north and south hemispheres, our mares and breeders have more options and less stress (and often less costs) than the thoroughbreds. But even so, we know that decisions made now can play a major part in future prospects for us (return on investment, meeting our aims whatever they are) and our mares (increasing their value and the family’s reputation, the risks of breeding). 

So I imagine right now there are many breeders who (after putting out the recycling and cleaning their teeth) are settling down in bed to study the register of standardbred stallions, or the latest newsletter from one of the studs, or perhaps something they found of interest on the web…or like me might take John Bradley to bed for a little flick through the pages. Yes, it’s business time! (For those who wonder what the hell I’m talking about, a little google on Flight of the Conchords, lyrics It’s business time will give you the reference.)

My biggest tip to those who are looking to breed, is to work out what your aims are, what you want to achieve. Without this focus you are sailing without a compass. If you really want to get a stunning price at the yearling sales, or if your goal is to breed a NZ Cup winner, or to breed an affordable bread-and-butter- racehorse for you and your friends to enjoy, then you need to be clear about that BEFORE you make your breeding choices.

That’s the b4 part of b4breeding (as well as being my name Bee) because I’ve learned from even my limited experience how important it is to have clear goals and work towards them. My goal for the mare Zenterfold, for example, is to keep enhancing and building the reputation of the family for delivering very high quality performing progeny. That means my focus is on breeding the best possible racehorses (male or female) that I can, not just the quickest commercial return for myself at the yearling sales. Hence, why my choice of sires so far for this wonderful mare may have some people scratching their heads. Unproven McArdle when he first arrived? Grinfromeartoear twice? Why not Bettor’s Delight and Art Major? (Both of which have credentials for this mare).

While it is lovely to have the choice of so many good sires, choice can be confusing unless you have goals.

The next thing you need to think about (after your own goals) is your mare. Because she, more than anyone else, has the information you need to make a good decision on a sire. Listen to her, look at her, read her record, know her strengths and weaknesses, and be honest about her credentials. And be good to her. If she is worth breeding from, she is worth looking after – before and after “business time”.

The Blue Lotus just born

The Blue Lotus a few days after being born – not pretty but real

I’m lucky (or is that unlucky) this year because I have no choices to make. My mare Zenterfold is already in foal and her next turn lies with Geoff and Aria Small, so I don’t even have to think about suitable sires. Her Grinfromeartoear daughter The Blue Lotus has a first foal deal with the small group of owners who leased her for her racing career. They’ve made the decision to go to Bettor’s Delight and then she returns to me after her first live foal. It’s been a good arrangement that takes the pressure of me financially for the racing period, which I could not afford to do on my own,  but gives those who front up with the money (the leasees) for racing seasons a ‘sweetner” in getting the first foal to sell (or not) from the horse when she retires. It’s all built into the written agreement.

The Blue Lotus qualified as a 2yo, same as all Zenterfold’s progeny to date, and raced very well as a 3yo for a couple of wins and her main claim to fame is a third in the Sires Stakes Fillies Final, chasing home those fantastic fillies Carabella and Under Cover Lover, which makes third place, running on but lengths behind, a lot sweeter! However after a tear in a tendon, she was retired as a broodmare. What she showed in her racing career was grit, toughness, competitive streak… and that’s worth it’s weight in gold. In conformation and size, she took after Grin, and in temperament and speed (1:56.6) I can see Zenterfold.

The next foal from Zenterfold I bred was also from Grinfromeartoear, but a completely different type – quick, early type (Destination Moon now with Gareth Dixon). Which reminds me of Jack Glengarry’s advice: if a mating makes a big appeal employ it at least twice in case the union didn’t fire in the first instance. Given the nature of genetics, it is sound advice, so long as the mix is well founded to start with. I’ve been lucky enough to get a big, strong mare and a quick looking young colt because the sire (Grin) had attributes that click with the mare regardless of particular individual type and the sex of the foal.

It’s a fascinating business – and at “business time” as breeders we are challenged to do more than just tick the boxes. The best steer we can get is to be clear about WHY we are breeding, and WHAT our mare needs.

To be honest, we are spoilt for options for globally known sires once we have have sorted out our own end of “the business”.

For a really interesting, readable account of “business time” with stallions and mares (mainly thoroughbred but includes a chapter or two with really up-close-and-personal observations on Western Hanover, Sierra Kosmos, The Panderosa, Big Towner and others), I recommend “Stud – adventures in breeding”, by Kevin Foley published by Bloomsbury 2002, a “strange and seductive” (and detailed) account of breeding stallions.

You may need to explain to your spouse/partner/occasional friend why you can’t put it down at bedtime!!

Read Full Post »

« Newer Posts

%d bloggers like this: