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Issue 9, May 2009

STARCRAFT: The Arrowfield Stud stallions is one of the many options for breeders looking to breed a stayer.

Anyone what a stayer? Who said we don’t have the opportunity to breed a stayer in Australia? In fact, such an opportunity has probably never been greater with a wealth of highclass staying stallions shuttling to Australia the like we haven’t seen before. In the distant past, the best we could afford were poorly performed brothers to champions, or second-tier Stakes-winners who had no commercial value in the UK or USA – although it must be said we did pretty well out of the unraced pair Noble Bijou and Mellay, as well as the likes of Zamazaan, Alcimedes, Agricola and Oncidium, all well-bred “BGrade” gallopers in Europe, who made a significant impact at stud in the southern hemisphere. The shuttle phenomenon, coupled with the global influence of the breeding conglomerates of Irishman

John Magnier’s Coolmore and Sheikh Mohammed’s Darley, has seen a dramatic change in the quality of stallions covering mares in our world – now we have access to not only the best bloodlines, but also the very best horses – stallions that the studmasters of the past could only dream about. Just look at the new stallions coming to Australia next spring – the sensational 2008 Epsom Derby (2400m) winner New Approach (by Galileo, Darley), the unbeaten superstar Teofilo (by Galileo, Darley), Danehill’s last great son Duke Of Marmalade and the world’s best “miler” of 2008 Henrythenavigator (by Kingmambo) – both at Coolmore. Darley also is bringing out the 2007 Epsom Derby winner Authorized (by Montjeu). Other young champion stayers or middle distance stars standing in Australia

and New Zealand include Coolmore’s Dylan Thomas (by Danehill), Windsor Park’s High Chaparral (by Sadler’s Wells), Independent Stallions Artie Schiller (by El Prado) and Denon (by Pleasant Colony), Darley’s Dubawi (by Dubai Millennium) and Bernardini (by A P Indy) and Yarraman Park’s Trotamondo (by Hussonet), just to name a few. Throw in the locals Reset (by Zabeel, Darley), the improving Don Eduardo (by Zabeel, Haunui, NZ), Golden Snake (Danzig, Bombora Downs) and Arrowfield’s AJC Derby winner Starcraft (by Soviet Star) and we have a smorgasbord of young stallions for those hoping to breed a distance runner. Of course, the wealth of prizemoney on offer for stayers far outstrips what a sprinter can earn … it just takes longer for pay day. DANNY POWER

The underrated sire Magic Albert (by Zeditave) has earned another tick for Australian-bred stallions following the impressive Group 3 Doomben Classic (1600m) win last Saturday of his son Za Magic. Magic Albert will stand his eighth season in 2009 at Arthur and Harry Mitchell’s Yarraman Park, Scone, at a fee of $13,750 (inc. GST). The handsome chestnut has never been more commercial, and he is likely to cover an upgraded book this spring in the knowledge that the Mitchells are going to back him with some of their select broodmare band. Magic Albert has had to earn his stripes, and the fact he is a son of Zeditave from a Salieri mare, means most mares will cross with him – especially with a mare with a drip of Star Kingdom blood (check out MA’s list of winners on the – the SK factor is evident). Za Magic has a most interesting pedigree. His dam Zab Watch is a daughter of champion sire Zabeel from Watching (by Marceau (SK line)) from the champion mare Surround (by Sovereign Edition). It’s pleasing to see a descendant of Surround approaching the highest level. Surround – the 1976 Cox Plate winner at three – left one Stakes winner, the Listed Frank Underwood Stakes (at Rosehill) winner Bowral (by Danzatore) from only eight named foals, although her son Frame (by Sir Tristram) looked a superstar before his death at two in 1983.


Stravinsky to play on in NZ Good news from the famed Cambridge Stud in New Zealand is that the highlycommercial stallion Stravinsky will stand this coming season. Stravinsky (by Nureyev) hasn’t stood at Cambridge since 2006 – EI forced him to locate at Coolmore (Australia) 2007 and last year, after shuttling to Japan for the northern hemisphere breeding season, he was unable to return because of further EI restrictions on horses coming out of Japan. Sir Patrick Hogan has set Stravinsky’s service fee at NZ$35,000 (plus GST), which is tremendous value for such a quality, proven stallion. Importantly, Stravinsky will cover only 110 mares, which will ensure the value of any future yearling is held up due to the scarcity of the stock – unlike some other stallions who will cover more than 200 mares. The value in Stravinsky is mirrored by the demand for his stock at the sales – at the NZ Premier Yearling Sales, Stravinsky has averaged NZ$182,770 (2007) and NZ$169,886 (2008). Worldwide, Stravinsky is the sire of seven Group 1 winners (overall 54 Stakes winners). His southern hemisphere stars include NZ champion speedster Keeninsky, dual Oaks winner Serenade Rose and Hips Don’t Lie. Stravinsky has been a tremendous sire of fillies – this season Miss Maren and Kirvinsky are two of his daughters to win at Stakes level, while his son Oratorio is doing a great job with his first crop in Western Australia.

GOOD OLD RED: Red Ransom, pictured at Vinery, is having his best season.

Verglas value Fillies by the Ireland-based stallion Verglas, who stood in WA for two season, have had a jump in value after his son Silver Frost won the Group 1 Poule d’Essai des Poulains (1600m) –the French 2000 Guineas – on Sunday Verglas, a top class racehorse who won the 1996 Group 3 Coventry Stakes (for 2YOs) at Royal Ascot, stood at Alwyn Park Stud in WA in 2003 and 2004 before being secured by the Irish National Stud to stand in Ireland from 2005. The interest in Verglas grew after he was announced the leading first-season sire in France in 2003. Silver Frost is from his first Irish-bred crop. Verglas holds extra interest in that he is a son of the leading French stallion Highest Honor and a grandson of the former Arrowfield Stud stalwart Kenmare (by Kalamoun), who also was a leading sire in France. The grey Kenmare died, aged 24, in retirement at Arrowfield in 2001 after covering mares from 1988 until 1997 (he also shuttled some of that time). Kenmare is the sire of the Australian-bred Group 1 winners Baryshnikov, Keltrice

and Kenvain – all successful sires – and the AJC Oaks winner Kenbelle and South African star filly Joie de Grise. Verglas sired 143 live foals in his two seasons in WA from which he left three Stakes winners – Spirited One (gr m 2004, ex Voodoo Belle, by Canny Lad), Verossi (gr g 2004, ex Virtuose, by Palace Music) and Sheenasaidgrey (gr g 2005, ex Classic Lady, by Raveneaux). Silver Frost is the first foal of Hidden Silver, a mare by Anabaa (by Danzig).

No holding the Ransoms It has taken a long while for Australians to warm to the internationally successful sire Red Ransom, but right now “old Red”, aged 21, is red hot. Red Ransom (by Roberto) sired his third Group 1 winner of the season when Duporth (br c 2005, ex Staging, by Success Express) won the BTC Cup (1200m) at Doomben. RR’s other two Group 1 winners this season are the unbeaten filly Typhoon Tracy (2005, ex Princess Tracy, by Last Tycoon) and Onemorenomore (2006, ex Palia, by Last Tycoon). Importantly for breeders,

Red Ransom has hit a commercial high – at least for demand – at the yearling sales. The key point is that Australian broodmare owners took a while to realise that sending a plain mare to the Vinery-based Red Ransom – who is a plain stallion in anyone’s eyes – resulted in a plain, sometimes unappealing yearling. Red Ransom needs a good looking, athletic mare to achieve the results he is now getting. Attractive mares Staging and Palia are perfect examples of the type of quality mare Red Ransom requires. Red Ransom – free of Northern Dancer blood and a wonderful outcross – will cover a limited book of 80 mares at a fee of $66,000 (inc GST). He has sired 91 Stakes winners, 11.5 per cent of his career winners.

Murphy’s is off the mark Last year, trainer Rick HoreLacy made a prediction that the former sensationally fast juvenile Murphy’s Blu Boy was a stallion to watch. HoreLacy, a very good judge of a yearling, paid $20,000 for a MBB filly from the Marauding mare February Lass at the 2008 MM Summer Sale. Murphy’s Blue Boy sired his first winner when Trust Me Im Blonde (ex Brown Biscuit, by Fraar) won by five lengths at Benalla last Sunday. Murphy’s Blu Boy is by Blu Tismani (by Afleet, by Mr. Prospector) and was labelled by jockey Damien Oliver as being as good as any 2YO he had ridden when he won the 2003 Group 3 Blue Diamond Preview (1000m) at Caulfield (by 7lens), but injuries curtailed the colt’s career. The stallion, who has a cross of Mr. P over Northern Dancer, Star Kingdom and Sir Tristram, stands at Baerami, Hunter Valley, NSW – his 2008 fee was $5500 (inc GST). DANNY POWER

The Breed  

Breeding commentary May 13, 2009

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