BluebloodsPedigree AnalysisFoal-Sharing, the Reverse Shuttle and Sires to Watch

February 9, 2018Ken McLean

Caption: Street Cry (IRE) (Machiavellian-Helen Street by Troy)

One of the major tasks for stud managers is to attract the right mares and clients for young, first-season stallions. To fill a young sire’s book requires persistence, salesmanship and a strategy to attract mares with specific bloodlines and hopefully mares with above average performance.

Everyone knows how important it is for a first-season stallion to cover quality mares. In Kentucky, my friend John Prather assists management at WinStar Farm by contacting breeders who own the kind of mares who suit the farm’s stallion line-up. As a pedigree guru he has done a fantastic job which sometimes involves foal-sharing.

When I managed bookings to Storm Cat in his first year at stud at Overbrook Farm, the US bloodstock market was in decline and the initial fee of $30,000 perhaps prevented some breeders from booking mares. Storm Cat (Storm Bird-Terlingua by Secretariat) was the second best two year-old of his generation, going down by a head in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Stakes-Gr.1. A handsome horse with plenty of fast-twitch muscle fibre, Storm Cat was slightly offset in both knees and I needed to attract mares with sound knees for his first crop of foals.

To boost the number of mares booked to Storm Cat, I requested from William T. Young (owner of Overbrook) the opportunity to do some foal-shares with mares who I believed suited the stallion’s genotype. Mr Young agreed, and from only a limited number of foal share agreements, four stakes winners resulted in the stallion’s first crop, and his popularity soared thereafter.

Foal-sharing has many advantages for both the stud farm and the mare owner. It is not a new concept but it has advantages. Even if a stallion is syndicated, one could consider an alternate foal-share, where an agreement is drawn up whereby the farm owns one foal, and the mare owner secures one foal. It appeals to breeders who wish to own a foal outright and race it, and allows a farm to own outright a foal who can be sold as a yearling. So let’s look at the two popular ways one can use foal-shares:
• A legal agreement is drawn up between the provider of a stallion nomination and the mare owner which sets out a 50% ownership of any foal born, there being a time limit mentioned in case the mare goes barren first year. Normally a foal resulting would be raised and sold at public auction, but should one of the parties involved wish to retain the yearling, he or she would have 50 cents in the dollar with which to bid on auction day.
• A legal agreement is drawn up between the provider of a stallion nomination and the mare owner, which details an Alternate Foal Share, giving each participant the right to own 100% of a foal. This requires the mare to produce two foals in a time period, whereby each participant gets one foal. This works well when both parties wish to retain the foal. In most instances, the mare probably needs to own black type, is already a black type producer, or belongs to a strong black type producing family.

I’m certain that many major stud farms in Australia and New Zealand would appreciate mare owners contacting them to enquire about the possibility of foal shares with their stallions.

Working the budget
THE small breeder with just one or two mares may not need to consider foal shares but for breeders with budget constraints for stallion fees, for example, with 10 or more mares to be bred in a season, foal sharing makes a lot of sense. It frees up the chance to spend most dollars on more expensive sires for other mares, thereby aiding the selection process and reaching a list of final bookings.

The Australian thoroughbred industry is experiencing an upward demand for quality mares, racing stock, yearlings and foals. International owners and breeders are amazed at the prize money now on offer in Australia and they are serious about joining the ranks of racehorse owners. Of significance, syndicators have encouraged our younger generation to participate in taking a share in a racehorse at affordable investment. Syndication of yearlings is not a priority in North America or Europe even though it is extremely successful here. Australians and New Zealanders are passionate and love their horses. With promotion by registered syndicators to invite new people to share ownership in thoroughbred racehorses, the future looks exceedingly bright.

Our industry has many people to thank for the rise in popularity of thoroughbred racing and breeding. Our drug-free tolerance is a huge factor, the substantial lift in purses for city and country tracks another huge factor, plus the quality of bloodlines helped greatly by those stud farm owners who had the foresight to shuttle many of the best stallion prospects from overseas and make them available to breeders here. Also, we have two powerful auction houses in Australia and a powerful one in New Zealand, all with a code of ethics. They have encouraged buyers from many sources including Hong Kong. We can boast of a plethora of gifted jockeys and trainers, and race clubs try to look after the needs of owners. Fortunately, owners are registered only once on a national basis in Australia and New Zealand, which is sadly not the case in the United States.

Reverse shuttle sires
FOR many years I’ve waited patiently for Australian and New Zealand Group-winning stallions to shuttle to Britain, Europe, Japan and North America, the reverse shuttle. Our sprinter-milers are world class and offer exciting and proven genotypes for northern hemisphere mares.

Coolmore, Darley and Arrowfield Stud managements supplied high-class Group performers to stand at stud in Australia. Both Windsor Park and Cambridge operators did the same for New Zealand. Now it’s our turn to return the favours and shuttle some of our best stallions overseas.

I’ve always been a big fan of Darley/Godolphin’s stallion Street Cry (Machiavellian-Helen Street by Troy) who happens to be free of Northern Dancer. However, he does possess a double of the grey mare Almahmoud in Machiavellian’s dam. Almahmoud (by champion Mahmoud) was full of electricity, i.e. nervous energy. She became the dam of the little bay mare named Natalma who produced Northern Dancer. Street Cry was a tough Gr.1 performer and sired Group winners of both sex on turf and dirt. He inherited stamina from English Derby-Gr.1 winner Troy, an ancestor with impeccable pedigree whose zigzag goes back to Nasrullah.

Pride of Dubai
OF ALL the sons of Street Cry, the one who fascinates me most is Pride of Dubai (Street Cry-Al Anood by Danehill) standing at Coolmore (and reverse shuttling to Ireland). His first season fee in 2016 was set at $44,000 after he was forced to retire owing to injury and remains the same for 2017. Bred by Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Maktoum, he only had four starts for two wins and two seconds as a juvenile, but exhibited high class speed to become a millionaire earner and win the Blue Diamond Stakes-Gr.1 (1200m) and the AJC Sires’ Produce Stakes-Gr.1 (1400m).

Pride of Dubai has a pedigree pattern to make a very successful sire at Coolmore Stud. The fact his broodmare sire Danehill is 3×3 to Natalma shows this young stallion has four sources of Almahmoud and three of them come via Natalma. He is line bred to Native Dancer, Nearco, Hyperion, Princequillo, Mumtaz Mahal, and carries valuable sources of Tracery. Pride of Dubai should suit mares with a variety of strains including Star Kingdom’s descendants such as Biscay, Bletchingly, Kaoru Star, Marscay etc. I suggest he be put on your radar.

High Chaparral (IRE) (Sadler’s Wells-Kasora by Darshaan)

THE VRC Melbourne Cup-Gr.1 winner Shocking is a young stallion with an interesting stud future being a Gr1 winner of $3.8m. Standing in New Zealand, he is by Street Cry from Maria de Castiglia by Danehill, and therefor bred on a similar cross to Pride of Dubai. Please note his dam has plenty of stamina. We find Roberto in this pedigree pattern and of course, his strain has an affinity with that of Mr. Prospector. Roberto (English Derby-Gr.1 winner) sired Don Roberto, the sire of Shocking’s second dam.

I am a huge fan of Shocking and hope he covers enough quality mares to sire more Gr.1 winners to follow on from his 2016 NZ Oaks-Gr.1 winner Fanatic (dam by Groom Dancer). He was sound, with clean airflow and had enough speed to accelerate. Shocking, in my opinion, would be an ideal sire for breeders to consider a foal share, if made available. He needs to be on your radar now, before his fee increases, it’s $NZ12,500 plus GST in 2017 at Rich Hill Stud.

Hallowed Crown
GODOLPHIN’S young stallion Hallowed Crown is also a descendant of Street Cry. Winner of six of nine starts for $1,398,475 including the ATC Golden Rose Stakes-Gr.1 and Randwick Guineas-Gr.1, he is by Breeders’ Cup Juvenile-Gr.1 and Kentucky Derby-Gr.1 winner Street Sense (Street Cry-Bedazzle by Dixieland Band) from the well-bred mare Crowned Glory (Danehill-Significant Moment by Bletchingly).

The pedigree pattern of Hallowed Crown involves the Street Cry mix with Danehill. Of particular interest to me is the clever 4×4 duplication of tough Ribot horse His Majesty and multiple duplications of Almahmoud and her daughter Natalma. Crowned Glory was a talented filly and joint third on the 1999-2000 Australasian 2YO Classification. She won the VRC Bloodhorse Breeders’ Stakes-Gr.3 and was runner-up in the Golden Slipper Stakes-Gr.1 and third in the VATC Veuve Clicquot Stakes-LR. She also produced Gr.3 stakes winner and young Tasmanian based sire Needs Further (Encosta de Lago) and comes from the strong family of Lady Giselle (by Nureyev) who produced leading sire Zabeel. If one extends the pedigree of Hallowed Crown you will surely note the impact of champion Tracery, an important ancestor to reinforce.

Sons of High Chaparral
IT’S amazing how successful a sire of stakes winners High Chaparral (Sadler’s Wells-Kasora by Darshaan) was in New Zealand and Australia. This year he is represented by a number of sons at stud to continue his influence, namely So You Think (dam by Tights), Dundeel (dam by Zabeel), Alpine Eagle (dam by Zabeel), Shoot Out (dam by Pentire), Toronado (dam by Grand Slam) and Monaco Consul (dam by Star Way).

Monaco Consul won the VRC Derby-Gr.1 and ATC Spring Champion Stakes-Gr.1 and was third in the MRC Caulfield Cup-Gr.1. An attractive bay horse with a deep girth, he has an interesting pedigree and will suit mares with Nureyev, the three-parts brother to Sadler’s Wells, sire of High Chaparral. He also suits mares with Bletchingly, Mossman (to reinforce Klairon three times), Kaoru Star; and especially mares with Sir Tristram in their makeup (to reinforce famous mare Selene). Monaco Consul stands at Kingstar Farm, Denman, at a very moderate fee, and yet I believe he has the potential to sire high-class middle distance runners, and maybe classic contenders. All he needs is quality mares from strong female lines to shine. His dam Argante is half-sister to Military Plume (by Sir Tristram), eight wins and $929,530 including victory in the Australian Guineas-Gr.1.

DEWHURST Stakes-Gr.1 winner Teofilo (Galileo-Speirbhean by Danehill) is a proven sire of Group winners and he has done well at Kildangan Stud in Ireland before shuttling to Australia at Kelvinside for Godolphin/Darley. Standing 16.2 hands, he was Champion 2YO Colt in Europe and England, and is bred on the same cross as undefeated Horse of the Year, Frankel, who sired his first classic winner when his daughter Soul Stirring (from French Oaks-Gr.1 winner Stacelita by Monsun) won the Japanese Oaks-Gr.1 in May.

Teofilo’s locally bred Gr.1-winning sons Palentino (dam by Palace Music) and Kermadec (dam by Fuji Kiseki) are now at stud and his gelded son, Humidor (dam by Zabeel), winner of the Australian Cup-Gr.1 on March 11, is likely to win again in Group company. Frankel is the talking horse in Europe and Britain this year, so why not take advantage of the similarly bred Teofilo while he still shuttles to Australia? It makes good sense.

Published June 2017

Ken McLean



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