Inglis Great Southern Sale (Part2)

The Inglis Great Southern Sale has been moved to July 4th – 5th because of the Covis situation in Victoria. This will give buyers and sellers more time to scan the catalogue. I have selected two weanlings of interest, Lots 82 and 208. In my next post (Part 3) I will address the pedigrees of two broodmares in foal, Lots 463 and 499. Firstly, a word about the two broad strategies of breeding racehorses – breeding to sell or race.

Breeding to sell

If you want to breed a horse to make money the strategy is very simple. Go and buy a G1 SW mare off the track and put her to a top stallion. Remember these mares are not cheap. Nor are service fees for top stallions. You don’t need to know much about horses or breeding-just plenty about money management and return on investment.  When put in a Sale as a yearling, buyers will pay big money for the progeny especially if it looks strong and healthy.  If you have followed my posts, you will understand that this type of mating approach rarely produces a horse that will recover its purchase price in earnings. However, once the purchase has taken place that is no longer the breeder’s concern. From a buyer’s point of view there have been some catastrophic failures.

Eight Carat: Super broodmare of five G1 winners

If the breeder is very lucky, he could purchase a mare who turns out to be a great producer. There aren’t too many of these around

  • Helsinge’s (Black Caviar, All Too Hard)
  • Eight Carat (Diamond Lover, Kaapstad, Marquise, Mouawad, Octagonal)
  • Urban Sea (Melika, Galileo, My Typhoon, Sea the Stars)

Breeding to Race

If, however you want to breed a horse that will win races you need to examine the pedigree of the mare and consider access to a stallion with compatible blood lines.  This should be done before purchase. Good planning will considerably improve your chance of success. Things to look for in the mare are the strength of the pedigree, history of racetrack performance of the mare and her immediate family, and breeding performance if any. Any genetic problems that may be passed to the offspring should also be looked for.

When buying a mare, you should ask yourself why is this mare in foal?  Is it the result of a carefully crafted breeding plan? Or is it an opportunistic event where the seller hopes that a pregnant mare will sell for a higher price more than a barren one. The real cost of the offspring to you will be a minimum of $20,000 before the hammer falls at the auction. Will the sale recover this money?  Purchasing a mare in foal requires considerable investigation. You need to decide if the foal is either going to sell well if you take that option. Or the foal’s pedigree suggests it should be a winner. A PRI score will help you there.

To provide additional information to answer the question is the pregnancy an opportunistic event we can look at the covering sires in the Inglis Great Southern Sale. There are 47 sires and 29 of them have never sired a SW.  Eight have sired less than 10 SW.  It can be said that only 10 stallions are established sires. You can draw your own conclusions.

Do Champion Race Mares make Champion Broodmares? (Part 2)

The Breeding Performance of Let’s Elope

We are investigating the phenomenon or myth of the nexus between champion race mares and champion brood mares. The breeding performance of Let’s Elope can provide some insight. A gifted racehorse that had her moments of fame in the spring/autumn 1991-1992. Four G1 victories: Caulfield and Melbourne Cups, McKinnon Stakes and Australian Cup. She went to America but her exploits there did not reach that of her Australian deeds. She began her stud career in America.  Let’s Elope visited  consecutively the best available stallions from the three most influential sire lines of her time. There is nothing better than Danzig, Storm Cat and Seeking the Gold (Mr Prospector). Her breeding record is set out below:

How do we interpret these results? 

Firstly the six runners all won at least one race. I have a mare that also has six winners out of six runners, but she was purchased for $3750. Looking at the list of stallions served by Let’s Elope it is not a case of the best to the best, more like the best to Superstars! There are only two SW (G2) wins in the progeny so you would have to say the breeding failed to deliver. A contrary view has been expressed. The PRI scores show that these stallions were unlikely to produce serious winners.These scores are calculated after the event and the information may have been different in 1996-2008. However, it is my experience that once the data reaches a statistical significant level, the PRI values don’t change much. 

What would we expect?

A useful bench mark for a champion mare at stud is Urban Sea (Miswaki-Allegretta). Urban Sea won the 1993 Arc de Triomphe, She produced 7SW who amassed 26 SW between them including 14 G1 in America, France, England and Ireland.  One of her sons,.Sea the Stars also won the Arc  and Galileo is another son with two Derbies and super sire status. to his credit.

Uran Sea resting in Ireland

Closer to home we could mention Toltrice (Matrice-Tolaldo) who between 1972-1974 won 7 races graded then as Pr. Included was all the fillies classics in Melbourne in 1972 and the G2 Phar Lap stakes in Sydney 1973. It is my recollection that she was third in the Doncaster in 1974. Toltrice produced 5SW who won 16 Black type races between them including a G1. Toltrice was the dam of two separate winners of the Memsie Stakes, Tolhurst (1980) and Almurtajaz (1989).. G1 status is now held by the Memsie Stakes.Very impressive.