THOROUGHBRED MARE MATING
A few notes on how hard it is to breed a good thoroughbred.
1 Your mare needs to be able to match stallions that are available and preferably you can breed for either sex, as fillies and colts most of the time require different line breeding.
2 Check out nicks, are the ones stated correct? as I find more often than not, they are caused by a lot of certain stallion broodmares going to a stallion standing at the same stud, also they normally only list named foals, what about the ones that don’t make it that far? Taking our best racehorse of the 21st century FRANKEL, It is stated that Galileo nicks with Danehill , the only line-breeding you get with this is Native Dancer and Hyperion and believe me, this alone doesn’t make a good horse, let alone a champion, The 2nd Dam sire of Frankel is Rainbow Quest gives balanced line-breeding to Raise a Native and Menow, The 3rd dam sire Stage Door Billy has balanced Princequillo . The 4th dam sire Roan Rocket gives balanced Deux Pour Cent and the 5th dam sire
Persian Gulf gives Bahram balanced. So you can see that a full 7 generation pedigree contributes to the makeup of a champion.
3 Do not inbreed, taking Frankel again as an example Galileo is by Sadler’s Wells and your dam is by Danehill so you decided to mate your mare on this cross however if your 2nd dam was by Sadler’s Wells this would create inbreeding and I have found most inbred horses in the modern era do not stand up to rigorous racing, yes there are always exceptions to the rules but in the main you get problems doing this.
4 To understand Mendel’s law, refer article written on this web site, you should always carry the matings out until you get two foals of the same sex
5 Being born lucky helps, then you might get away with changing stallions regularly.
6 Why is a stallion given all the credit when the mares have contributed to the success? Top stallions are one who can dip into the genetic pot and keep coming up with fewer unwanted genes than other stallions and passing on a greater proportion of his genes which go to making up a successful racehorse. When looking to breed, it is not sufficient to regard the sire and the dam as the ultimate we need to look at the potent horses in a 7 generation pedigree and double up on these. If we get it wrong a constitutional weakness is introduced, it may manifest in any one of 100 different ways and once there, may take a few generations to eliminate. We may end up with horses which have bad joints, bleeding,broken-windedness or unstable central nervous system etc.
7 Harold Hampton stated there are so many variables in the 4th, 5th 6th and 7th generation to look for such as balanced line breeding, different line breeding for colts and fillies, 3/4 crosses plus full brother and sisters. And with proven sires, a common denominator that the stallion is crossing with, this is what I look for in my suggested matings, I also consider Chromosome charting plus what characteristics or Phenotype of the horses that are being duplicated have. Which overcomes the problem being told by clients my mare is small, so can you pick a stallion with some size about him.
8 As an example re the different ways of breeding for a colt and filly, is that for a colt you need a son and daughter of a stallion and if you look at the pedigree of Buffering you will note he is line bred to Prince John (the stallion) to a son Speak John on the top male line and in the dam the tail dam line goes to a dam named Magazine by Prince John , and for a filly being bred to 2 Daughters of a stallion or to a sire and dam of a mare, when I do pedigrees for clients I try to find stallions that give both types of breeding in the pedigree so it covers if you get a colt or a filly but sometimes this is not possible due to the stallions available doesn't have opposite strains of what your mare has in her pedigree.
9 Stay away from getting 2 sons of a sire close up in a pedigree as this doesn't help but may hinder in a colts pedigree and 2 daughters of a mare in a filly seems to have no good effect on racing ability even though writers have said it does with Best In Show and Eight Carat. refer articles below.
10 In 6 generations there are 126 horses, in 7 this doubles to 252 and in the eighth, there are over 500, so if you go to the eighth generation you need a lot of the same horses with the correct breeding to have an influence, which is very rare to find.
HOW MANY LIFETIME STARTS WILL THE HORSE YOU BRED HAVE?
When viewing the NZ Stallion Register 2017, we found that the stallions have averaged 15 lifetime starts each, with Pure Champion having the most starts at 50. Yet the champion stallion for three consecutive years before being taken over by Savabeel (14 lifetime starts) the now deceased O’Reilly only started 6 times, the problem I see is that commercial breeders need to breed attractive horses with pedigree pages full of fashionable names that look good in the sales ring, yet they are light boned, therefore susceptible to breaking down.
Dr Larry Bramlage, a prominent equine veterinarian out of Lexington, said that the mid-20th-century racehorse was "a bit more angular, narrower-chested, with tendencies toward being knock-kneed, a similar conformation to human distance runners. Today, if you take the breed as a whole, they are broader chested with tendencies toward being bowlegged and pigeon-toed much like human sprinters. All fast human sprinters tend toward bow-leggedness."
LINE BREEDING TO A SUPERIOR ANCESTOR
TULYAR In 1983 I was asked to do a mating for a mare, and accordingly I studied all her ancestors and noticed that her dam’s sire was Rousseau’s Dream, this sire was by Tulyar and I saw that he had 13 starts for 9 wins and the high Annual Timeform Rating of 134, which in 1952 made him the highest rated horse of the year. When Tulyar retired he held the record for prize money by a British horse and it took another 6 years for it to be broken by Ballymoss.
Therefore I decided that it might be good to find a female line of Tulyar in the correct position to linebred 4F x 4M, I came up with the stallion Three Legs, when my client rang to book the mare in, he was told that Three Legs was fully booked. And so the mating was never done as my client gave the mare away to another stud. A few years later it was to be proved that I had been on the right track, as a son of Three Legs named Lord Triad stood at stud for $500 and in 1989 he was mated to a mare called Bevalan. The resultant foal was named Covered’ N’ Grey. A very tough mare, she raced 73 times for 24 wins and $342,000 in stakes. She was linebred to Tulyar 5F x 5F and by far her sire’s best progeny.
Another stallion called Fantasy Life stood for around the same stud fee and carried Tulyar through his sire Honest Pleasure. The 1986 mating to the mare Clef, whose dam was Jazz by Rousseau’s Dream, son of Tulyar, produced the horse named Play On. He was, therefore, linebred 4F x 4M to Tulyar. I believe he may have been the only horse sired by this stallion to win a race.
Play On turned out to be a group 3 winner of 8 races and over $600,000 in prize money and among his wins were the Cambridge Derby Trial and the WRC Mumm Champagne 3YO Gold rush Final he also ran fourth to Surfer’s Paradise in the NZ Derby. I wonder if the mating I had proposed to Three Legs been carried out as he was commercial and proved to be a superior sire result in a better racehorse? I believe this assists in proving that it is neither the stallion nor the mare that creates a good horse but is directly the result of what ancestors you breed to.
Due to Mendel’s law of genetics, that states in 4 same matings there will always be a dominant and a recessive gene and there is no way of knowing which mating will bring through the dominant genes, this answers the statement I hear a lot (he was a good horse but his brother was useless)
If you are lucky, you may wish to do the mating just once and hope you get the dominant genes, with my findings the dominant genes seem to come in the first two foals of any mating if they are of the same sex. Examples are Nacho Man was the 3rd foal but first to Mr Nancho, Anabandana was the 6th foal and second mating to Anabaa she had a full brother called Forthwith 2 wins 37K, this pedigree line breeding suited a filly better, Black Caviar was the first foal, Sunline was the second foal, but first mating to Desert Sun, Makarpura Star was the first foal and only mating to
Does a double up of a mare giving two daughters have any effect on racing ability?
BEST IN SHOW I will try and keep this simple, as to cover all my findings would require a novel.
The double up of Best in Show shows up over 250 named foals, there are 5 x .G.1, 3 x G.2 and 5 x G.3 a total of 13 Group winners, 4 of these 5, G.1 winners are by Redoute’s Choice with a further 4 in the G.2 and G.3’s that over 40% .Redoute's Choice brings in line-bred to Fair Trial 6M x 7m.6F, Alibhai 5F x 6M ,Menow 6M x 6F War Admiral 7F x 7M , Pharamond 7M x 7F,7F,
Hyperion 6F,6M x7M,7M,7M,7F,7M and Mahmoud 6F,7F x 7F,7M with all this line breeding he just needs broodmares to have more of these sires in the correct positions to produce good horses.
I believe this line-breeding of Redoute’s Choice shows why he was a multiple G.1 winner and now a champion sire.
Checking this out, Redoute's Dancer has in his Dam Sire El Gran Senor, the sires Alibhai, Menow,
War Admiral and Hyperion. then 3 of the others, Master of Design, Bonaria and Dariana are all out of mares by Last Tycoon who also has in his pedigree, Alibhai, Menow and Hyperion.
Heavenly Glow, the last of the 5 G.1 winners shows Hyperion 6F x 7F,7F,7F but 3 daughters of this sire lined up like this in any mare is quite rear.
Every other group winner has reasons why they were good and I believe it had nothing to do with the mare Best in Show, I welcome readers to check this out.
EIGHT CARAT has been doubled up in a mating over 350 times and has not produced a group one winner, there are 4 G.2 winners, Altar filly by Commands out of an Octagonal mare 3F x 3M,
Rain Affair is bred on the same cross and Obsequious is bred on a reverse cross by Lonhro a son of Octagonal out of a Commands mare this is 3M x 4F, plus Washington Heights who has line breeding to Nasrullah and Nearco, The 2 x G.3 winners were Wink and a Nod by a son of Kaapstad named Mcflirt out of a Danewin mare 3M x 4F and Quilate who has balanced daughters of Nashua and Klarion.
Viking Ruler was also a stallion that was used to double up the Eight Carat, I remember a mare called Happiness Rules that was inbreed to Sir Tristram 3F x3M as well as Eight Carat 4F x 4M,
I thought to myself surely this horse won’t stand up to the rigours of racing, it did, running 12 times and winning a race, albeit a 10K maiden over 1600 on a dead 6 in just under 1.39.
HOW OLD IS TOO OLD FOR A STALLION
An article I read that stated most group winners in Europe Including England and Ireland come from stallions aged between 4 and 9 years old, then the second group between 10 and 16 had less success and after this age the success rate dropped off dramatically, so I thought I would check the last different 100 Group one winners in New Zealand from 2013 to January 2019 and the last 100 different group one winners in Australia to see if this is mirrored in Australasia, my findings are as listed.
Stallions aged 4 up to and including 9-year-olds at time of service had 51 % of group one winners in New Zealand and 55% in Australia.
Stallions aged 10 up to and including 16-year-olds at time of service had 40% in New Zealand and 41% in Australia
stallions aged 17 and over at the time of service were 9% in New Zealand and 4% in Australia.
Of the 103 stallions that I list as standing at stud this year 9 are aged 17 or over, 3 of the top 6 in stud fee charges are in this group.
of the 417 stallions that I list as standing at stud this year, 31 are 17 or over, 5 of the top 14 stud fee charges are in this group.
Broodmare owners forget that when a stallion produces a Derby or an Oaks winner when they book their mare into that stallion he is 4 years older when he covers your mare and could very well move into the older bracket.
HOW OLD IS TOO OLD TO BE A BROODMARE
As mentioned in my article how old is too old to be a stallion, Secretariat’s dam was 18 same as his sire when he was born,
I agree with nature, that it is harder to get old mares in foal and percentage wise according to statistics you have less change of breeding G1 winners, but it can be done.
the percentage of Group one winners as per their age is 48% aged 5 to 9 years old, 41 % 10 to 16 years old and 11% over 17 years of age
DOES AGE BETWEEN THE STALLION AND THE MARE MAKE A DIFFERENCE OR VISE VERSA.
Checking on the last 100 group one winners in NZ, it was found only 11 were with an age gap of 10 years or more years apart, 23 had a gap of 6-9 and 66 were 0-5 years gap.
LINE-BREED AN UNWANTED MARE TO AN UNWANTED STALLION AND PROVE IT WORKS
In May 1983. Harold Hampton showed me and his nephew Gene a horse that was in the weanling sale that had no dam winners or foal winners in four generations. (Refer catalogue page below) Then he said that the line breeding will come through and this horse will win races, so we brought him for $300 and called him Elbero. He won his first trial and his second race but was relegated due to interference. He started favourite more times than any other horse except Waverley Star that year due to running places constantly, before he brought up another win that gave the family, the first official winner in as stated before four generations. After this I decided to track down his sister Babylon Queen, who had 10 starts for one placing, she had been banned from racing, as she was double bleeder, so I looked at what would be a good mating, however it had to be non- commercial to prove the point that you can get winners from nothing if the breeding is right.
I purchased the mare for $400 and sent her off to Chief Hagen; she slipped the first and missed the third year, however, the second mating which was the only mating Chief Hagen covered that year produced a colt I named Swift legend, He trialed as a 2-year-old he got bumped from pillar to post and ended up with a touch of sesamoiditis. Out for 12 months, he returned to win his first trial by three lengths after missing the jump and being last out in a large field of sixteen and then in his first start on a track that nearly saw him scratched when the skies opened up, he ended up winning. This gave Chief Hagen his first winner in five years and my mare’s family it’s second winner. Sold to Singapore, he went on to win more races up there. I got another colt by My Boy Shane another very non-commercial sire and then the mare died in foal so I sold this colt to Korea and he went on to win 4 races.
With only 2 foals from Babylon queen in five years and paying for feed, vet bills and grazing I was hopeful for better luck next time. I did a few more matings with a mare or two, however, I suffered more bad luck, on one occasion I lost a foal three days after birth due to a freakish accident, as a microlight flying low over the stud farm where my foal was, caused it to take fright and it got caught up in the fence and had to be put down, also that Christmas my yearling colt that I had bred and reared got sick and my vet, an equine specialist for many years, told me that my colt had a bone disease and would have to be put down as well and what made it worse they both were not insured. The vet did an autopsy at no charge as he had not seen this disease before, so that’s how unlucky I was and the reason I made the remark about Makarpura Star hurting himself. So I gave up breeding and turned to selecting horses out of sales and matings for other breeders.
Below is the Catalogue page when we brought Elbero