Posts Tagged ‘Western Ideal’

Jereme’s Jet is an example of a sire with good credentials and now some very solid performance statistics, who could not get a foothold as a commercial shuttling sire. His last season here was 2012, and he’s not likely to be back.

The reasons are mixed, and he is one of many sires who have found the challenges of shuttling too difficult. I will have a look at those challenges of shuttling in my next blog.

Jereme's Jet 2011 NZ

Jereme’s Jet at the NZ Alabar 2011 stallion parade – bookends of a big shoulder and a big bum.

Jereme’s Jet stood for 4 seasons in New Zealand for a $6,000 service fee. He is a lovely strong looking individual, with a big shoulder and bum – bookends – on a 15.2hh body, so he is compact but looked the type of sire that could produce speedy earlier types. I’ve seen him personally a couple of times at Alabar stallion parades.

His credentials are very good. His main selling point is his own speed – consistently fast – and he raced from 2yo to 4yo which gives more confidence of durability, toughness. So on type – very fast, compact, not big but built like a brick sh**house as we say – Alabar and the sire’s owners must have been hoping he would eventually fit the same siring mould as Bettor’s Delight.

On the so-so side of the equation, Jereme’s Jet’s maternal family is not that strong and certainly not well known here. His dam was an outstanding racehorse with Jereme’s Jet and his full brother Ohubetterbelieveit by far the best of her progeny to date. Back further, there is a solid family but nothing that really stands out.

Also Jereme’s Jet is a son of Western Hanover and, apart from Badlands Hanover who has build a very fine reputation here over 14 years, New Zealand has had little experience of the Western Hanover line, and some of those who have ventured here have not been successful at all (Red River Hanover, P Forty Seven). His best son Western Ideal has been available only as frozen semen and often at a high price, so has only had a handful of “boutique” foals here (from 15 foals now aged 2 and 3, he has had 5 starters for 3 winners). However Western Ideal’s son American Ideal is gaining in popularity each year and had the backing of the Woodlands Stud broodmare band to help him in those first awkward years when he got only around 70 or 80 mares – now he is regularly getting well over 100. Same for Western Ideal son Rocknroll Hanover who, after a very slow start (again due to frozen semen and high service fee) is now getting around 50 mares, still with frozen semen but at half the original asking price.

So overall, New Zealand has been more successful hunting ground for sires from the Artsplace line rather than sons of Western Hanover, and Western Ideal’s own sons are the main flag carriers of the Western Hanover line.

What’s interesting about Jereme’s Jet is that he hasn’t left many 2yo speedy types at all, if any. But his statistics get a lot better as his foals develop. In fact, they are impressive for a sire that had an average of less than $10,000 across both New Zealand yearling sales this year. At the Australasian sale (Karaka) he had just 5 yearlings for sale, with 3 selling (average $$5,500) and 2 passed in on vendor’s bid. One of those was Peter Fraser’s colt Lot 89 Campora which was bought back at $17,500 – it’s a full brother to Vapour who is now doing well in Australia.  At the Premier sale (Christchurch) there were 9 lots on offer. 6 sold (average $10,833) and 3 were passed in on vendor’s bid.

Let’s review Jereme’s Jet siring stats to date: (remembering the season is not over yet)

His current 2yos   43 live foals   3 starters (7%)   1 winner (2%)
His current 3yos   55 live foals   31 qualifiers (56%)  20 starters (36%)  12 winners (21%)
His current 4yos   87 live foals   54 qualifiers (62%)   45 starters (51%)  33 winners (37%)

Just to put this in context, here are the equivalent stats for American Ideal’s current 4yos born in New Zealand in 2009:
His current 4yos    61 live foals   32 qualifiers (52%)  25 starters (40%)  18 winners (29%)

And yet American Ideal has been given the time to establish his reputation, solidly. His annual numbers of mares is now well over 100. Whereas Jereme’s Jet is gone. And like Jereme’s Jet, American Ideal foals on type were perhaps expected to go earlier than they do. In reality, both sires are leaving foals that get better and stronger with time.

Just to put both those sires in perspective, Bettor’s Delight currently has 52% of his 2009 crop as winners. That shows both how remarkable he is as a sire, but also the increased opportunities for a sire with big books and quality mares. It is a hard market to crack.

Jereme's Jet filly

Lot 117 Karaka yearling sale 2014, the Jereme’s Jet filly sold to Adam Wilkinson for just $10,000

In terms of yearling sale prices, Jereme’s Jet was reasonable well received with his first crop at the 2011 sales, with several selling in the $15,000 to $40,000 range. The following couple of years show a slide so common in the first few years as sales buyers wait to see how the yearlings look, how the 2yos perform. So few buyers wait to see how the 4yos turn out. Those that do were rewarded at the yearling sales this year with some very astute buys of some very good looking Jereme’s Jet yearlings. The photo in this blog shows Adam Wilkinson’s purchase for just $10,000 at the Karaka sale – from a Soky’s Atom mare, the same cross as Whisper Jet ($60,000 from 15 starts, 4 wins to date).

So Jereme’s Jet moved very quickly into the breed-to-race-and-sell category, rather than a commercial “sales-type” sire. That probably suits the type of horse he is leaving. However his service fee couldn’t reflect that change without the owners obviously struggling to break even on the shuttle arrangement. His departure is a no-brainer in business terms, and judging by the relatively low fertility (hovering under 70% after his first season here) maybe the horse didn’t thrive on the demands of shuttling.

Helena Jet is, of course, his outstanding New Zealand representative today and embodies the qualities of the sire – she’s attractive, has character, and is strong – and yes, she is getting faster as she gets older.

It’s the consistency of his starters that I like. When I look through the race form book, I’m always interested to see the Jereme’s Jets. They usually don’t have a lot of starts but the formline reads well. For a small bettor like me, they are a great bet. I’ll do a squizz back sometime in the future and see how his stats are tracking when his youngest foals have reached the end of their 4yo season, here and in Australia.

So this is a tip o’ the hat to a sire that I really like and seriously considered.

Jereme’s Jet now stands at Ivy Lane Farm in Indiana at US$3000.





Read Full Post »

Looking through the 2013 New Zealand yearling sales catalogue, there is a real mix of outcross, close bred and in-between pedigrees on show, which is great. It’s hard to tell if they reflect what breeders are deliberately trying, or more a match based on other preferences (commercial status of the sire, type, previous siblings etc)  that just happened to end up like that.

There are three yearlings, all fillies, from the wonderful USA Lismore family in the Woodlands draft (on behalf of Charlie Roberts). One of which has a very unusually close double up (in this case to the sire Western Ideal). Inbreeding is not something we often see now in New Zealand, so I was interested to find out what was behind it.

In this blog I’ll look at those three lots, and in the following blog I’ll check out an example of the other extreme, Lot 48 at the Australasian yearling sale, an outcross with a strong “colonial” flavour bred by Bryan and Marilyn Macey.

Line breeding US style

Charlie Roberts of Woodlands Stud fame had the opportunity to buy two affordable fillies from the wonderful Lismore family some years ago – Lismurray with a broken shoulder and Lisgarden with a slightly crooked leg – and bring them to New Zealand.

Lot 37 is a daughter of Lismurray called Lisconnie who is a Western Ideal mare. Charlie Roberts has bred her to Woodlands’ American Ideal, who of course is a son of Western Ideal. So that makes Lot 37 2×2 to the sire, and double ups so close on the siring line are unusual these days. Lisconnie’s previous foals were by Artsplace (I’m) Lisart now racing in Australia, and then by Bettor’s Delight for Red Sky Night who has just qualified at Cambridge this month.

Charlie Roberts’ reasoning behind selecting American Ideal as the next sire for Lisconnie is simple – if you are line breeding, breed to the best stallions in the pedigree and to the best stallions available. Not surprisingly, he rates American Ideal and Bettor’s Delight as the best.  He believes there is no problem about breeding so close (what would generally be regarded as inbreeding) so long as the horses are the best quality.

It is an interesting thought, and one that has thrown up some exceptionally good results in history – but also some disappointments. My own concern would be more about type.  In Lot 37 the pedigree is packed with horses that can leave types that we don’t recognise as sheer speed influences – Abercrombie, Cam Fella, Western Ideal himself can tend to leave bigger strong, tough types. However both the female lines have Albatross, and American Ideal does throw Matt’s Scooter into the mix.

It’s a risky breeding that Charlie Roberts is very relaxed about, and I guess he’s in a better position than many of us to experiment if he so chooses.  As they say,  the proof of the pudding is in the eating. And some of us may end up eating our words, while Charlie is eating the pudding!

There was a forum thread about this particular foal and similar close breeding later last year (although I don’t agree with this foal’s cross being described as 2×3 rather than 2×2 – if Tesio says 2×2 that’s good enough for my small brain!)

Lot 45 is Lisdargan’s filly also by American Ideal. Lisgarden is by The Panderosa, which makes this foal 3×3 to Western Hanover, again on the siring lines. And again, you get the double up of Albatross on the female lines.

And then finally Lot 53, a filly by Bettor’s Delight from Lismurray, who is a Presidential Ball mare, so that brings a 3×3 to Cam Fella, again on the siring lines. The filly will be a full sister to Lisharry who is now pushing the $70,000 mark in combined earnings here and Australia.

These lots all have a very strong American influence, of course.  As I said before, Charlie Roberts has followed his belief in going to “the best” and went to the best NZ bred sire of the time, Christian Cullen, with two of these mares but the results have been a bit disappointing to date, he says.

While the Lismore family is a fine one, we only know it here  from Lislea and Lis Mara as sires, who have not yet set our mares on fire although Lis Mara needs to be given a bit more time. The NZ families Charlie is creating from the two fillies he bought are the other connection to that family. There is plenty of room for the family reputation to improve in this corner of the world, and I think Charlie Roberts is enjoying that challenge.

Read Full Post »

This blog continues looking at the two new sire sons of Western Ideal that are being offered to New Zealand breeders this year.

Both Alabar and Nevele R have taken a punt on a son of Western Ideal for the coming breeding season – Big Jim for Alabar and Vintage Master for Nevele R.  How do these two new siring sons of Western Ideal compare? In the previous blog I looked at Vintage Master on pedigree and type and suggestedwhat mares might suit him. Now it’s Big Jim’s turn.

Big Jim is a big black stallion who will be sold as a sire on his speed, particularly his precocious 2yo speed. Whereas Vintage Master couldn’t win a race at 2 and take a record of only 1.57.4 as a 2yo, Big Jim not only won plenty of 2yo races but took a time of 1.49.2. But as we know, sires with great speed themselves may or may not leave it in their progeny.

What gives Big Jim hope in this regard is the strength of his maternal line. He has the medium sized, very fast Big Towner as his damsire, and on both his maternal lines goes back to the speedy trotting mares Nedda Guy and Nedda (see my blogs on them).  His dam Bold Pink reflected that breeding in her own ability, taking a mark of 1:51.6 herself and leaving four sub 1:55 foals, although Big Jim is by far the biggest earner in stakes. The strength of his maternal genetic structure is, in my view, similar to Vintage Master. It’s very good proven quality, solid rather than spectacular. His dam, grandam and great-grandam all won over $100,000 in stakes, in some decent times, and all produced good performers from a range of sires – a sign of quality heart genes being passed down the female line.

However he was not sound, and in the end niggles forced his retirement before the end of his good 3yo season. It appears the problem was in his ankles and was found to be bone bruising, and started to cause problems even before the end of his 2yo season. Whether the soundness factor is something breeders will take into consideration is uncertain – we do tend to rate speed so highly these days and be willing to take the consequences. People will say: genes don’t get sore. That’s true, and I don’t know enough about what might cause bone bruising in ankles to make any comment on whether it signals anything more than the pressures of racing on a young physical skeleton.

There’s been little doubt in Canada where his first book is full and closed.

Big Jim in full flight

He is a big powerful stallion. In terms of mares here who may suit Big Jim, I would look for pedigrees that would be compatible with his Big Towner factor. I think Big Jim could be very compatible for Falcon Seelster mares, for type and genes, as would Christian Cullen mares be. Also Elsu mares, but for a different reason than Falcon Seelster. Going outside the square,  Dream Away mares could be okay, especially smaller ones – there’s a double up to Sonsam which I don’t mind at all and he added value/speed into both sires’ maternal lines. Big Towner of course has my old mate Shadow Wave lurking close behind, and that opens up mares from the quality maternal lines of Shifting Sands such as Grin, Red River/Rustler Hanover –  although many of these were bigger mares and it will be a while before we see if Big Jim stamps his size.  Mares with plenty of Albatross and Meadow Skipper blood will find Big Jim an option, but Big Towner (an outcross sire with no Meadow Skipper) again provides a way of avoiding just too much of a good thing.

And yes, Art Major mares (eventually) would be a very interesting match.

At $4500 Alabar have, like Nevele R with Vintage Master, gone for a price that is affordable for breeders without attracting too many ‘back paddock mares’ desperate for a miracle.

As you can see from this and my previous post, I’m seeing these sires less in terms of the Western Ideal factor, and more in terms of what their overall pedigree might find compatible in our likely broodmare pool, particularly how breeders might build on the strengths in these sires’ maternal lines, which are well structured and have shown speed.

I’d be happy to have any comments from others on what they think of this approach and what matches they think might work.

Read Full Post »

Both Alabar and Nevele R have taken a punt on a son of Western Ideal for the coming breeding season – Big Jim for Alabar and Vintage Master for Nevele R.

Although very good horses in their own right, and both with solid pedigrees, I think a major influence in bringing these sires to New Zealand is also the success of American Ideal (at Woodlands) and of Rocknroll Hanover (by frozen semen) over the past couple of years.

If the Western Ideal sire line is the next big thing, then a stud needs to have one of his top sons on their books, otherwise they can’t offer what breeders appear to be looking for.

Western Ideal

But are New Zealand breeders attracted to American Ideal because of the Western Ideal factor and what is a successful trend in North America? I’m not sure. Western Ideal himself was offered here by frozen semen (via Nevele R) for a couple of years but there wasn’t a lot of interest, perhaps because of the price but also because Western Ideal is not one of those racehorses who reached globally to capture our Kiwi imagination. I would say the attitude to him is more one of huge respect but not excitement – and the lack of familiarity with Western Ideal as a racehorse or a sire (as well as the frozen semen factor) could have made breeders wonder: “Will this be a wow factor for buyers at the sales? Is it worth the price and the risk?”

However American Ideal’s growing reputation through the type of progeny he is leaving and his strike rate (23 starters for 15 winners in 2012), means a market has potentially developed for sons of Western Ideal standing here at affordable prices (compared to Rocknroll Hanover’s top priced frozen semen which is on a different tack).

So how do these two new siring sons of Western Ideal compare? I haven’t seen them in the flesh so I’m relying on photos and reports for that side of things.

They have both taken after their sire in having size (Western Ideal was over 16 hands), which is also the case with Rocknroll Hanover, although American Ideal is medium sized and is tending to leave medium sized foals. Perhaps that is the influence of American Ideal’s damline, which might also be a steer for breeders.

Both Vintage Master and Big Jim have strong maternal lines that could be complemented by broodmares here.

But as racehorses they were very different – Vintage Master tough, tractable, performed best at 3yo, kept going through to the end of the 5yo season.

Big Jim, very speedy 2yo and consistently fast in top races, mentally mature, retired due to soundness problems.

I’ll take a closer look at Vintage Master’s pedigree and what might suit him now, and turn to Big Jim in my next blog. These are, of course, just my views and based on a number of factors, research and thought – not pushing any particular barrow, sire or stud.

Vintage Master

Vintage Master took time to develop – he wasn’t a naturally early type and his fastest time 2yo was his qualifying one of 1:57.4. He matured in his 3yo season to win the Cane, Adios, Bluegrass and Tattersalls (and the bulk of his earnings), and the next couple of years he performed well as a tough pacer with enough grit and versatility to keep winning well-staked, if not top, races. I understand he wasn’t quick off the gate but had strength to hold his speed and, I would guess, the temperament to be very tractable in his racing. He accumulated over $2 million total career earnings but in terms of really top races it was that burst as a 3yo that really set him up. He retired sound after his 5yo season.

Vintage Master – strong maternal line

What I like about Vintage Master’s pedigree is his very well performed maternal line that carries proven speed performers. I think the size of Vintage Master meant he would always take time to find his speed, but it’s good for breeders to see where the speed is and figure out how they might reinforce it through mares with potentially compatible genes and/or type. Specifically Vintage Master’s dam has produced 4 winners from 5 foals and all of those winners have taken <1.55 marks. The fastest earliest is a three quarter brother (interestingly by American Ideal) who paced 1.50.4 at 2yo.

Vintage Master’s grandam is Napa Valley, a sister to the excellent racemare Silk Stockings – who of course appears in Live Or Die’s maternal pedigree. Napa Valley (by Most Happy Fella) was a good racemare herself, and half of her foals turned into <1.55 winners. Two of her fastest were by Storm Damage, the son of Breath O Spring and damsire of Grinfromeartoear.

So when looking for a type of mare that might suit Vintage Master, I’d look for maternal lines in particular that include some of these top quality elements – and Live Or Die and Grinfromeartoear mares would stand out for me.

I’d also look for Most Happy Fella in the maternal lines of sires that could add a bit of speed as well – so Mach Three and McArdle mares would fit that bill. Or looking back a bit, if anyone has still got Road Machine, Pacific Rocket mares around, they might be worth a try if they showed some speed themselves or come from a family that did.

Mares by In The Pocket would also help keep that ‘smaller, quicker’ type that I think this sire (and the Western Ideal line in general) will need. On type alone, many Courage Under Fire mares could suit Vintage Master.

Nevele R have positioned him in the $4000 price range which is trying to attract reasonable quality and numbers of mares. It is a tough ask at the moment for a sire we don’t know much about. But it doesn’t compete with their top line latest edition Well Said (by Western Hanover) who is priced at $8000 and will be marketed as a speed sire.

The more I look into Vintage Master’s pedigree, the more I think he could offer something here in that medium price range that would particularly suit breeders with good but not “sales” mares who are wanting a sire that will add value and are not obsessed with producing very early speed.  He’s unlikely to upgrade slow mares from poor families, and very few sires can. But he could do well with smaller or medium sized mares with the right pedigrees and type for him.

Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: