The Great Race Mare Breeding Curse.
Can Black Caviar escape the great race mare breeding curse and do what few champion mares have done? Produce a racehorse with ability approaching her own? For those who don’t know Black Caviar, she won all her 25 races, $7.95m in stakes, and was Australian Racehorse of the Year 2011,2012, and 2013. Certainly, a great race mare.
Is there a factor which hinders quality race mares producing outstanding racing progeny? A partial answer is in the scientific paper by A J Wlson and A Rambaut, Biol Lett 2008 Apr23; 4(2):173-175.After examining the outcomes of 554 active stallions producing 4476 foals, they concluded:
“Thus, while there are good genes to be bought, a stallion’s fees are not an honest signal of his genetic quality and are a poor predictor of a foal’s prize-winning potential.”
As most high-quality mares are sent to the stallions with the highest service fees this outcome is not surprising There are good commercial reasons for this breeding strategy. However, to produce quality offspring, the genes of Stallion and Dam should match well together. In order to illustrate the point lets look at Black Caviar’s record as a broodmare.
Black Caviar: Australian Breeding Record (Update October 2012)
Based on current information the PRI scores in the table mirror the performance on the racetrack. Black Caviar is off to a slow start with her two oldest offspring now retired with very modest racing results. The Snitzel filly is the pick of the bunch. It will be interesting to see how she performs if she gets to the racetrack. The good news for Black Caviar fans is that the proposed mating with Written Tycoon should produce a high class racehorse. The PRI score of the progeny is comparable with some of the highest ranking racehorses in my PRI library. I have assessed two horses with similar PRI scores. Between them had 24 starts, won 15 times and amassed $5.5m in stake earnings. If the Written Tycoon-Black Caviar offspring can reach this performance level, she has beaten the curse.
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