Do Champion Race Mares make Champion Broodmares ? (Part 5)

The performance of great race mares as brood mares is always an interesting topic for conversation.that Can a mare with exceptional race performances translate that to her foals? The question always comes up when a great race mare is put up for auction at the conclusion of her racing career. Such is the case for Arcadia Queen. It is reported that the mare was purchased by Arrowfield Stud for $3.2m. On balance I would say the purchase was worth it, but let’s look at some data.

Arcadia Queen b m (Pierro – Arcadia)

Race Track Performance

Arcadia Queen had sixteen starts for 8 wins, 2 seconds and 2 thirds for stakes of $3.99m. She won three G1 races which included the MacKinnon Stakes at Flemington. Any horse that wins that race at odds of 5/2 is a substantial race horse.

Arcadia Queen-great race mare

Six Generation Female Index (6GFI)

This measures at 10.0% which means that one out of ten horses in the female line is a SW. Close up in the pedigree we have both a Derby winner (Arcadia Dream) and a winner of the Oakleigh Plate Keltrice). This shows the “versatility “of the pedigree and gives breeders plenty to work with.. The mare Arcadia (Redoute’s Choice – Antique) is the dam of four SW. These factors suggests that Arcadia Queen could be a success at stud.

Stallion Selection

Pierro has plenty of broodmare daughters. however, their progeny are too young to have been tried on a race track. Hence, he is an unknown quantity as a broodmare sire. The recent family led by Arcadia have been successful with Pierro> Lonhro> Octagonal; Domesday>Red Ransom>Roberto; and Kheleyf>Green Desert>Danzig. Obviously this is the place to start.  I am Invincible is considered a possible choice. In my analysis, the progeny would have a PRI score of 66.3 giving an AEI of $6k. This is not the stuff of Champions and suggest the pot of gold looks to be elsewhere. Perhaps there is a lesson in what follows.

Black Caviar: The Great Race Mare Breeding Curse (Up dated)

In August 2020 I posted part 3 of the series “Do Champion Race Mares make Champion Brood Mares?” The mare we discussed was Black Caviar and the updated story is told in the following Table.

                                      Black Caviar Breeding History

According to my calculations, Written Tycoon is the hope of the team in this case.  Another chapter in the performance of great race mares as brood mares will be written. Good Luck!


Do Champion Race Mares make Champion Brood Mares? (Part 3)

 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.

Can Black Caviar break the curse?

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.

Do Champion Race Mares make Champion Broodmares? (part1)

There has been plenty of discussion on this matter. As we approach the next breeding season it might be time to revisit the topic. Much of the discussion revolves around the different views on what a champion is and what is a success or a flop.However,what can’t be denied is that the progeny of champion Australian and NZ race mares fail to earn much when tried as racehorses.

Firstly we are talking about an overall champion horse. A mare that has succeeded at the highest level each year for at least 3 years.  Not a 2yo champion, nor a 3yo champion, there will be one of those every year. We are talking about a mare that has successfully tested herself in open company against others who aspire to be called champions.

How many of the champion mares are there?

Information published and attributed to  Arion, states that there were 306 mares of champion level in Australia in the period 1938-2008 (70 years). This means that on average there were 306/70 = 4.37 in Australia in any year. Extrapolating this data to the present and given that a champion’s career should go at least 2 years (and in my view 3 years) this means there are 2×4.37 = 8.74 or 3×4.37 = 13.11, champion mares running around today.

We have Winx but who are the other 10 or so? If a definition of a champion is suspect then the conclusions drawn from it are equally suspect. There has to be winner of each of the 73 G1 races currently on offer in Australia but that does not make the winner a champion. Remember Andy Warhol “… in the future everyone will be world- famous for fifteen minutes.”

We all wonder about the future

Well what is a flop?

The simple test is that if the horse does not recover its sale price (or its market value if not put into the ring) it is a flop.  Some may argue about residual value but that is conjecture.

In order to examine the issue further we examined the progeny of five mares of the 21st century. Their champion status cannot be questioned. They won the title of Australian or New Zealand horse of the year.The stake money earned by their progeny appears in the table below.

*Ethereal has been added to the list, she was runner-up to Sunline as Australian Horse of the Year. There can be no doubt she was a champion.

How do we interpret the results?.

The results hardly support the view that champion race mares throw champion progeny. A couple of the mares are still producers but the signs aren’t promising.The average of $27,000 per foal is very poor. It makes my own modest attempts of 19 named foals winning an average of $47,000 looking good. My mares cost less than $10,000.  These progeny aren’t cheap. $1.3(NZ) would have bought you the Stravinsky-Sunline colt at the 2017 sales. Why do Champion Australian and NZ race mares fail to become Champion  broodmares? We shall discuss this at a later date and make comments about why it is so..