Posts Tagged ‘Zenterfold’

I’m breeding just two mares this year, Nostalgic Franco and Zenterfold. The other two (Dreamy Romance and The Blue Lotus) are having a year off. That gets them an earlier start next time, but it also takes some financial  pressure off.

Last blog I shared once again the simple formula that helps me work out these things. And one of the biggest considerations is “what is this breeding for?” The answer may be varied, complex, simple or even “I don’t know but I just want to do it!” But at least you have thought about the possible purpose – which can influence what sire you may choose from a number of sires with a suitable pedigree match, or how much money you spend, and so on.

Bee with Zenterfold May 2014

Bee with Zenterfold May 2014

For me, the aim with both these mares is to breed a foal that may be commercial enough to sell at yearling sales. That’s given me enough scope of sires to choose from, and with Zenterfold a wider range because she is a proven breeder of commercial foals and has a good track record of performers. In the past I have had the same aim, but selected a suitable sire from the borderline commercial sires in terms of yearling sales – Grinfromeartoear (x2) and Real Desire. I bred Tintin In America when McArdle was very new and unproven (which worked out well for me, less so for McArdle who has struggled to define himself as a sire). And last time I tried to go more commercial and more expensive with Rocknroll Heaven, only to come away with a lower return (but selling a really nice filly).

That’s all water under the bridge and winners on the track now. This time I am playing safer, with Art Major.  It is my most conservative selection ever, but also my most expensive. So there is risk involved for sure.

However there is a lot more to the equation than just the potential commercial appeal of a foal. The match still needs to be right on a range of other grounds – as the equation says: what the sire offers, what the mare offers, how that works in combination, and the effort that goes into developing a foal.

Art Major has several elements in his pedigree that I believe match really well with Zenterfold, and what I have learned about her breeding.

  • Starting with the top line, he is a son of Artsplace, as is Grinfromeartoear, and I was particularly pleased with the two foals I bred by Grin. So that gives me some confidence.
  • What I like even more is Art Major’s maternal side. Firstly, Nihilator is there sitting in exactly the same spot (as damsire) as he does for McArdle. I’ve blogged before about how I see a lot of Nihilator’s influence in Tintin In America (by McArdle) – type, physical and mental. So again, this element gives me confidence on past results.
  • Then on Art Major’s bottom line he brings in both The Old Maid – another strong connection for Zenterfold, and a beacon for many of my breeding decisions for the mare – and the great family of Romola Hal through one of her most current branches. I’ve done a whole series of blogs on that family which you can find by searching on romola hal in the blog search box.
  • Art Major also carries Shadow Wave in his maternal line through Big Towner, the sire of Rodine Hanover. I love the way Shadow Wave and The Old Maid seem to work together in a pedigree matching. And of course Zenterfold has both these influences in her own maternal half, through New York Motoring and Bachelor Hanover.
  • And finally, Art Major brings in Tar Heel through the mating of Tar Heel and Romola Hal. In Zenterfold’s pedigree Tar Heel also lies in really important places – as the damsire of In The Pocket and the grandamsire of New York Motoring.

As a bold type of horse physically, Art Major will hopefully add a bit of  size and scope into the equation too, and that is very important when you are selling a yearling.

Now going back to the “golden cross” concept, if you merely talked of an Art Major x In The Pocket cross, you would be ignoring some of the most important influences that arise from Zenterfold’s maternal family in the cross with Art Major! That’s why as breeders we need to look deeper than just “golden cross” statistics or marketing ploys.

Art Major x Zenterfold pedigree match

Art Major x Zenterfold pedigree match

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We are just about to officially click over to our official breeding season, 1 September.

Usually I have my breeding decisions sorted well and truly by now. I’ve studied, thought, mulled (with the help of a little vino), and I’ve looked at the sire and the mare naked in the paddock (them, not me of course). I’ve talked with a few people and mulled again, and then I trust my instincts and go for it. Basically, I work through the equation I have always put out there for breeders, not as an equation for glory, but as an equation for good results from what you have and where you want to go.

Breeding this way can still be incredibly exciting and outside the square. All it does is make sure you think things through – and make whatever decision you want! Breeding horses is something that gives us a sense of control over nature, while still being totally at the mercy of nature. Actually, we are just trying to get “in synch” with nature AND the market place. But nature is the best poker player you have ever sat round a table with…lol  And I am not sure that too many of us walk away from that poker table with a profit!

This is the formula I have always put up for breeders to use to make informed but personal decisions  (note: there is no subscription fee or theory you have to follow):

1 + 2 + = + $ + V + U + ?

Which translated means:

1  What the mare brings to the table, plus
2  What the sire brings to the table, plus
=  How those complement each other, plus
$  Your budget and what’s good value
V  The added value of how you raise the foal
U  Your goal – what you are aiming to succeed in, plus
?  An element of luck.


This year I am only breeding two mares – Zenterfold (to Art Major) and Nostalgic Franco (to A Rocknroll Dance).

I’ll blog on both of those breedings next time, as the Zenterfold one in particular ties in with the conversation we are having about the limitations of simple “golden cross” matches compared to looking at what might be driving things in the maternal lines.

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Sorry about the lack of blogging – still coming up to speed from being unwell.

The Australian yearling sales have started, and here in New Zealand we have only a couple more weeks before the Australasian Classic at Karaka (22 February) and the Premier at Christchurch (23 and 24 February).

This is a pressure time for all preparers, but to be honest if the ground work hasn’t been done then it is too late to make a silk purse from a sow’s ear. The canny buyers, usually trainers, will be focused on the underlying quality of the yearling, its conformation and pedigree, and what they see in their mind’s eye it will be like in another year or so. Those are not things you can turn around in the last two weeks.

Isa Lodge (the name Kym Kearns and I go under for our breeding) has two fillies and a colt headed to Karaka. All three have been raised at our home base, and it has been a pleasure to watch them develop. As always, Kym has done the hard yards of the preparation, and the horses reflect her skills and dedication. We are really pleased with them.

Lot 100 is a Shadow Play colt with heaps of character from my lovely mare The Blue Lotus. I love this colt. He is very sociable. He entertains himself with made up games, he’s intelligent and he can’t wait to have something more to do. He has a real zest for life, and my guess is that he’ll love racing. And that’s half the battle.

Lot 133 is a Rock N Roll Heaven filly from my top mare Zenterfold, so she is a half-sister to Tintin In America. This is the only filly from Zenterfold that has been offered at the yearling sales – she is genuinely for sale – and I think she’s a really nice racing proposition as well as having longer term broodmare value. She’s built like a brick sh**house, and has really quick reflexes. Very typical of the good Heaven fillies I’ve seen on the track, and potentially an early type.

Lot 115 is a Majestic Son filly from Kym’s mare Toggle. She’s an incredible yearling, lovely temperament, inquisitive, takes everything in stride. She’s a showy type in terms of looks, with a dark mane and a blonde tail. She seems a very professional youngster, well grounded, sensible. She’s got a really good trotting family behind her, and Majestic Son has given her a nice length and more height than her dam.

With the demise of the Harness Weekly, we’ve done almost no advertising this year – we feel many of the publications come out after the key buyers have long-listed and even inspected their preferred yearlings. We’ve focused more on having a good product ready to be inspected, hands-on, when buyers and trainers wanted to see them. We were delighted that PGG Wrightson again allowed smaller breeders in the Cambridge area to be part of the “buyers bus tour” of the major preparers/vendors in the Waikato area, by adding the Cambridge Trotting Track as a tour stop for presentation and inspection.  Almost all the top trainers were on that “bus tour”, and our lots did us proud.

Below are the posters we have developed for the yearling sale day promotions.

The Snow Leopard yearling pacer

The Shooting Star yearling pacer

Out Of The Box yearling trotter

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Lovely to see this young Rock N Roll Heaven filly hooning around the big rolling paddock at Breckon Farms when I visited this morning.

With her is dam Zenterfold – who enjoyed two apples and a good scratch.


Zenterfold with her Rock N Roll Heaven filly, nicknamed Taffey.

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There’s relief for me as the breeder as well as for the owners and trainers when a horse I’ve bred qualifies. I really want to produce horses that race well, not just ones that get a good price at the sales.

Thephantomtollbooth qualified at Alexandra Park this morning, and although he was fourth of four, it was all he was required to do. Job done.

Qualifying race Alexandra Park

Nice qualifying win by Rock N Roll Heaven-Party Girl Becqui 2yo filly Killer Queen, while Thephantomtollbooth sticks on 4th in a 28.3 last quarter. They were all well inside the qualifying time.

He’s a big handsome boy with a lot of condition on him, but Lincoln Farms like him and are prepared to take time.

Sweaty and heading for his hose down.

Sweaty and heading for his hose down.

His effort today follows in the hoofprints of all his other siblings – remarkably all 7 foals of racing age from the mare Zenterfold have now qualified as 2yos (as Zenterfold did herself).

She’ll get an extra carrot or two when I visit her and her Rock N Roll Heaven filly foal at Breckon Farms tomorrow.

Holmes Hanover filly qualifies too

As you know I enjoy noting when a horse pops up from the last crops of our favourite sires.  In the previous qualifying heat for 3yos at Alexandra Park today I was surprised and delighted to see a filly by Holmes Hanover win very nicely. The filly’s name is Wirreanda Piper, trained by Penny Fensom. There are only 5 Holmes Hanover progeny registered in New Zealand who are 2 or 3, and 4 others unregistered. Those were the last crops of the great sire who died in 2006.

Holmes Hanover 3yo filly Wirreanda Piper winning her qualifying trial 20 December 2014.

Holmes Hanover 3yo filly Wirreanda Piper winning her qualifying trial 20 December 2014.

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Here I am, born yesterday. It’s a funny old spring weather here in the Waikato.

One minute sun, next minute rain. It’s warm, then cold.

I’m just getting used to it, and hanging out with my Mum who is teaching me what to do.

Hello, world…

Zenterfold x RRHeaven day one

Filly foal from Zenterfold, day one. By Rock N Roll Heaven.

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Zenterfold is such a character. She’s a 14yo mare but sometimes she acts like a teenager hooning around the paddock or having a tantrum when she couldn’t see Rosie, the old pony in the neighbour’s paddock. Other times she is the mature mare who had “been there, done that” and resents having any company she can’t boss around. With people she is a sweetheart, loves attention and carrots, and is the best mum to her foals which makes our lives a lot easier.

This morning Kym was up early to get Zenterfold washed, “blow dried”, “pedicured” and loaded in the float.

Kym with Zenterfold Aug 2014

Kym with Zenterfold Aug 2014

I was up a little bit later to take the photos, say goodbye to my mare and feel the pride as they drove off in the float to Breckon Farms. (As my friend Richard pointed out, you can tell by the shoes in the photos posted in my last blog who does the hands-on work around here lol !!)

I still have to pinch myself that I have got a half-share in such a wonderful mare. She has delivered good looking foals that she stamps just as much as the sire, particularly in terms of temperament and competitive attitude.

Zenterfold is due in late October, so she still has a couple of months – such important months for the foal – before then. She is in familiar territory and familiar hands at Breckon Farms, where she always foals when she is down here in the Waikato.

In future blogs I want to look at some of the other modern branches of Zenterfold’s wider family, where they are at now, and talk to the breeders, owners and trainers who are involved in their development.

But for now, getting the mares to stud is a step to giving ourselves a break away from everything during September. They will be well looked after, and we can take a holiday from this wonderful passion and hobby as well as the “day jobs” that enable us to do it.

Zenterfold off to Breckon Farms

Zenterfold off to Breckon Farms

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Destination Moon December 2010

Destination Moon as a foal with dam Zenterfold

Blog readers will have followed the progress of The Blue Lotus’s brother Destination Moon from a foal (photo with mum Zenterfold) to a strapping yearling to a winning racehorse.

He was sold to North America earlier this year, and has now made a modest but winning debut in a $14,000 race at Harrah’s Philadelphia track for owners Diamond Creek Racing, trainer Linda Toscano, and driver Tim Tetrick.

For most of the race he was pocketed third back on the rail, but looked full of running, and when the horse on his outside dropped back he got space to pull out and easily catch and overhaul the two in front of him down the straight, winning by a good length or more.

Overall time 1.52.2, last half in 55.3 and last quarter in 26.4.

Good to know he has adapted to North America conditions.

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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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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.

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