Successful Breeding “nick”

National Assembly

National Assembly

What are the most successful “nicks” in the SA stud book? There are a number of well known matings, which have been successful, notably, on more than a few occasions.

While, in my view, nicks need to be taken with a pinch of salt, they are an interesting and helpful way of studying pedigrees.  So what are some of more famous nicks to have succeeded locally? One of the best known is National Assembly onto Golden Thatch mares.

This mating has resulted in 4 stakes winners including Gr1 winning sprinters Bold Thatch and Historic Lady, Prix du Cap heroine Golden Shina and Gr3 Dream Come True as well as the stakes placed runners Gathering Stars, Lady Acton, Sister Nation and the very fast Poly Nation.

When mated to Emerald Princess, a daughter of Golden Thatch’s own brother Thatching, National Assembly produced Gr3 Winter Guineas winner Irish Assembly. His son, National Emblem, sired the stakes winner Catwalk Cutie from a Golden Thatch matron.

Top KZN sire, Kahal, has built up an impressive record with daughters of Northern Guest. That mating has combined to produce 14 individual black type performers – which is an eye catching result.

Amongst the 14 are champion Bold Ellinore and her talented full brother Emperor Napoleon, recent Gr3 Camellia Stakes winner Eastern Greeting and Gr2 Emerald Cup victor The Mousketeer.

Leading sire Silvano has built up a good record with Al Mufit mares. This cross has produced two of his very best performers in Equus Champions Bold Silvano and Kings Gambit, as well as the stakes performers Galanthus, Kings Cross, and Silvan Spirit.

Champion sire Western Winter has done well with Dancing Champ mares. This nick has resulted in no fewer than six stakes winners: Reveille Boy, Swartland Weston Blaze, Winter Diamond, Winter Weather Yard-Arm, as well as the stakes placed Autumn Frost.

What is particularly striking about the Western Winter/Dancing Champ nick is that there are only 15 foals, of racing age, born from this particular mating. This means 40% of the foals born from this nick are feature race winners. A few years ago, Sportsworld did well when mated to daughters of his fellow Daytona Stud resident Elliodor.

This mating produced nine stakes horses, including feature race winners Gay Regina, Olympic Gold and Tastevin. However, this mating was done many times, and the statistics are not particularly good. Same patterns, which look good on paper, just don’t yield the expected results. One such example is the Tiger Ridge/Al Mufti cross, which has been done numerous times, and is yet to produce a major performer.


French 2000 Guineas Latest Star Descendant Of Legendary Mare

Pretty Polly

Pretty Polly

Style Vendome (Anabaa), winner of Sunday’s Poule D’Essai des Poulains (French 2000 Guineas), is the latest in a long line of top-class performers and G1 winners descended from the great racemare, and hugely influential broodmare, Pretty Polly.

One of 14 individual G1 winners sired by Anabaa (Danzig), Style Vendome, who has now won five in a row, is a descendant of Pretty Polly’s important daughter Molly Adare. The latter’s daughter Brazen Molly, in turn, produced the dam of one of the greatest racehorses ever to grace the British turf – Brigadier Gerard.

Other top-class performers tracing their origins back to Molly Adare include Ladycross (Yorkshire Oaks), Crimea II (Cheveley Park Stakes), Inkerman, Pardao (San Juan Capistrano Invitational Handicap), and Val D’Erica (Champion filly inItaly).

Pretty Polly, unbeaten in nine starts at two, herself was ranked as the greatest British filly of the 20th century by leading historians Tony Morris and John Randall in their book A Century of Champions. She won 22 of her 24 starts, including 3 British classics, and won 15 races in a row.

Top-class horses who trace back directly to the great mare include leading sire Nearctic (sire of Northern Dancer), champion Swains and Fantastic Light, and leading British sire Great Nephew (sire of Derby winners Shergar and Grundy).

Pretty Polly made her mark in South Africa through her descendants champion sire Sybil’s Nephew, highly successful sire Preamble II and tap root mare Sister Sublime. Champions tracing back to Sister Sublime include Mazarin, Roland’s Song and successful sire National Emblem. Another local champion to trace back to this legendary champion, was the ill-fated Vodacom Durban July winner Eyeofthetiger.


Local Sires AWD

South African breeders have a fairly wide range of stallions to choose from in terms of pedigree. But what of SA’s top sires dosage results? Which of the top ten commercial sires currently active at stud have progeny with the longest AWD (Average Winning Distance)?

Top SA sires Silvano and Fort Wood have an AWD of 1700 and 1600 respectively. At first glance, this seems lower than would be expected for stallions best known as sources of stamina and classic excellence. But both Silvano and Fort Woodhave, on occasion, produced the odd 1200-1400m specialist.

In contrast, speed influence Var’s progeny have an average winning distance of 1100m, with sires such as Kahal and Captain Al striking out at 1449m and 1322m respectively. Versatile champion Western Winter, who has sired Gold Cup winner Reveille Boy and top sprinters Warm White Night and What a Winter, has an AWD of  1441m.

Star filly Cherry On The Top’s sire, Tiger Ridge, has also shown himself to be a versatile sire. His’ stock’s average winning distance is 1,332m, while top sire Dynasy’s stock’s average winning distance is 1,596m.

It could be worth noting the sire with the longest AWD distance in the top twenty on the SA general log, currently, is Silvano, who is narrowly ahead of Spectrum. The latter’s progeny have an average winning distance of 1727m.


Approach ties to local mare

Unbeaten sensation Dawn Approach, devastating winner of the recent QIPCO 2000 Guineas, has ties to a locally based broodmare. Hansea, dam of this season’s useful 2yo Sea Cat, is a great granddaughter of the important broodmare Kittiwake.

The latter, in turn, is the fourth dam of current Investec Derby favourite (quotes of) Dawn Approach – unbeaten in seven starts to date. In fact, Hansea’s second dam, Sea Wake, is a full-sister to Dawn Approach’s third dam, Kittihawk Miss.

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