Summerhill Broodmares
Summerhill Broodmares

“Wherever you go these days, you hear breeders and bloodstock advisors telling you to concentrate your buying-power on “Black type” performance in the selection of mares at the expense of all else, and while that’s all very well, in life, it’s always a matter of what you can afford.”

Mick Goss - Summerhill CEO
Mick Goss - Summerhill CEO

Mick Goss

Summerhill CEOLike no other business I know, racing abounds with “urban legends”. It’s partly the product of the mystique (or the lack of understanding) that surrounds the breeding of racehorses, and it’s partly a matter of “personality” (or the colour of the game’s characters). Whatever it is, we’re not short of theories or opinions, and the events of the past fortnight have served to explode a couple of the myths.

One of these is that old mares are incapable of producing good horses; another is one which is gaining traction at the moment, and that is that commercial appeal in mares is the strict preserve of Group winners. And then, we have the old “hardy annual” which has its deep-rooted genesis way back in the late 1960s, when Sir Ivor burst onto the British Classic scene with stunning victories in the Guineas and the Derby, quickly followed by Nijinsky’s plunder of their Triple Crown. Both these horses represented what the pundits of the time called American “speed”, and breeders throughout Europe were quick to jettison their top mile-and-a-half performers for their new Stateside cousins, when prospecting for stallions.

The first of the events to highlight the nonsense of some of these theories was the Ready To Run Sale a fortnight ago. The best-performing mares at the sale in terms of prices fetched by their progeny, (at least as far as the Summerhill draft was concerned,) were the oldest ones, and they also happened to be among the lesser-performed during their racing careers. Wherever you go these days, you hear breeders and bloodstock advisors telling you to concentrate your buying-power on “Black type” performance in the selection of mares at the expense of all else, and while that’s all very well, in life, it’s always a matter of what you can afford. Black type “costs”, simple as that, and it’s not everyone who can afford it when their stud operations are still in their infancy. The one thing you do need on your side though, when you’re short on cash, is to be long on patience and the instinctive skills involved in selection. If you’re not able to afford racing class, you have to be particularly circumspect in evaluating what you’re buying, and later on when you’re retaining fillies for stud, on what you’re keeping. And unless you’re in an awful hurry, remember that building families can be a long (and sometimes frustrating) exercise; in the end though, when the plan comes together, there’s no greater reward.

Our “bankers” in the broodmare department at the Ready To Run were a quintet of dear old ladies who’ve been part of the Summerhill scene for the best part of two decades or more. A modestly performed bunch whose credentials, if you didn’t know otherwise, might’ve been questioned in terms of their eligibility for a stud which has stood at the head of the nation’s breeding affairs for the past nine consecutive seasons. The truth is, these ladies have been as fundamental an ingredient in earning those championships as anything else, hence their current commercial appeal. We won’t bother our readers with a dissertation on each, because the facts are plain to see from the table below, other than to say that they all serve to remind us that when it comes to selection, a good eye and a good mind can be just as good as a big chequebook.

MARE DATA 2013

BLUSHING SUMMER

Jallad - Cape Summer (Harry Hotspur)

1994 - unplaced

Progeny

Name

Sire

DOB

Sex

Price

(ZAR)

Progeny

Earnings

(ZAR)

1999

Bashful Badger

Badger Land

08/09

f

65,750

2000

Brock

Badger Land

14/08

c

170,000

254,300

2001

Eze Village

Fard

13/11

c

45,000

2002

MAJESTIC SUN

Kahal

25/10

c

90,000

395,480

2003

Red Carnation

Russian Revival

20/10

f

70,000

152,520

2004

SUN CITY

Kahal

16/10

c

260,000

501,575

2005

Sun Emperor

Labeeb

03/11

c

170,000

378,725

2006

Libalele

Labeeb

17/11

c

200,000

2007

Beau Solei

Kahal

12/11

c

280,000

2008

Miss K

Kahal

04/11

f

400,000

313,943

2011

Mababala

Trippi

12/09

f

325,000

2013

Visionaire

2.010,000

2,062,293

Total Cash

Generated

4,072,293

VANISH

Coastal - Cahard (Lyphard)

1992 - 3 wins, R103,838, at 3 to 4, 2000m, placed 6 times

Progeny

Name

Sire

DOB

Sex

Price

(ZAR)

Progeny

Earnings

(ZAR)

1999

Alias

National

Emblem

13/10

c

90,000

36.785

2000

DISAPPEAR

Muhtafal

14/10

c

160,000

941,780

2002

Evanesce

Kahal

20/09

f

60,000

199,250

2003

Mystic

Albarahin

30/10

c

90,000

670,375

2004

Masithela

Kahal

28/10

f

250,000

2007

Chekeche

Kahal

15/10

f

475,000

260,650

2008

Sithela

Malhub

25.08

c

60,000

135,175

2010

Casha

Stronghold

05/09

f

240,000

50,000

2011

Trust The Pink

Mullins Bay

15/09

f

200,000

2012

Visionaire

04/10

c

1,625,000

2,294,015

Total Cash Generated

3,919,015

COUSIN LINDA

Badger Land - Cousin Lucy (Foveros)

1997 - 1 win, 1 place 1300m C Laird 1999 NYS R190,000

Progeny

Name

Sire

DOB

Sex

Price

(ZAR)

Progeny

Earnings

(ZAR)

2002

Prime Directive

Muhtafal

26/08

c

475,000

403,080

2003

REBEL KING

National Emblem

24/09

c

210,000

2,043,510

2004

Ntabankulu

Muhtafal

08/10

c

w/d

73,995

2005

Relative Value

Jallad

11/10

f

120,000

2007

Uncle Tommy

Kahal

24/08

c

2,400,000

792,515

2009

REBEL QUEEN

Kahal

21/10

f

280,000

437,200

2010

Cousin Anne

Kahal

12/10

f

320,000

2011

Close Relative

Kahal

23/11

f

500,000

4,305,000

3,750,300

Total Cash Generated

8,055,300

NORDIC AIR

Northern Guest - Laughing Music (Luthier)

1989 - 2 places

Progeny

Name

Sire

DOB

Sex

Price

(ZAR)

Progeny

Earnings

(ZAR)

1994

Saint-Andre

Salaadim

27/09

c

132,385

1995

Blazer

Desert Team

10/01

g

22,848

1999

ICY AIR

Jallad

12/02

m

60,000

1,264,905

2000

Hager

Fard

12/02

c

50,000

2003

Nordic Red

Muhtafal

18/09

c

475,000

234,855

2004

Mntwana

Fort Wood

26/10

f

675,000

2005

Gagasi

Malhub

31/10

f

110,000

2006

Clemo

Jallad

10/12

c

160,000

38,750

2007

ICE AXE

Solskjaer

11/12

c

375,000

1,100,000

2011

Kosava

Kahal

12/09

f

500,000

2,405,000

2,793,743

Total Cash Generated

5,198,743

GARDEN VERSE

Foveros - Wild Hyacinth (Royal Prerogative)

1991 - unraced

Progeny

Name

Sire

DOB

Sex

Price

(ZAR)

Progeny

Earnings

(ZAR)

1996

Desert Bloom

Desert Team

24/09

c

33,000

42,438

1997

Full Spectrum

National Emblem

27/09

m

150,000

209,655

1998

Enchanted Gift

Northern Guest

24/09

c

n/s

39,450

1999

Prima Versa

Jallad

10/01

g

110,000

312,875

2000

Sonnet

Personal Hope

10/01

m

150,000

24,150

2003

SPRING GARLAND

Rambo Dancer

28/10

f

180,000

576,480

2004

IMBONGI

Russian Revival

26/10

c

150,000

8,800,000

2006

MAHUBO

National Emblem

10/09

c

900,000

1,500,000

2007

Victory Garden

Solskjaer

09/09

f

1,500,000

42,600

2008

The Planter

Solskjaer

03/10

c

3,173,000

11,547,648

Total Cash Generated

14,720,648

For the record, when Nordic Air went to stud, she had little to recommend her as a non-winner, except for a one-time winning own sister, the fact she was a daughter of Northern Guest, in whom we had faith but whose prowess as a major broodmare influence was as yet unknown, and a French Classic-producing maternal grandsire in Luthier. There were no IcyAirs, Ice Axes, or Amphitheatres on her “page” yet: that was up to her and her sister, Great Attraction.

Garden Verse was a cripple with a severely dropped hip when she was returned to the farm to offset a debt, and was run out with the cows till she was strong enough to face service. These days, it takes an accountant a morning to tot up her accruals. Blushing Summer was small, Senor Santa was a distant cousin, and in age when the internet was a mile away, if you didn’t know your pedigrees, you wouldn’t have known that the “July” winners, Sea Cottage and Naval Estcourt, were lurking in the fifth generation.

As for Snooty Lady, though her mum could run a bit, she was shockingly engineered “up front”; “Snooty” herself was a winner of one (a modest Wednesday maiden on a wet day in a Western Cape winter) and there was no Angus, Dignify or Distinguished to speak of among her siblings. But she was a daughter, by now, of Northern Guest.

Were it not for the recommendation of Charles Laird (whose judgement in these matters has always mattered,) Cousin Linda may have gone elsewhere. Which, given a grand total in progeny sales of R4,305,000, would’ve been a helluva pity, as we would’ve been owing Standard Bank that much more these days!

The other highlight of the week, was a topic we alluded to on Tuesday under the heading “Sssh… Silence Please”, where in passing, we made mention of the Northern Hemisphere’s leading sires and Group winners in 2013, and the enormous impact sons of Sunday Silence were having on racing, not only in his native Japan, but wherever they’re found in major racing countries across the globe. Destined to take his second Japanese Sire’s title in a few weeks’ time, with his first runners only now approaching the end of their four-year-old careers, Deep Impact (by Sunday Silence) was a Japanese Triple Crown winner (including their St Leger over 1 7/8 miles), who went on to Group One success at two miles. He joins Galileo (the world’s leading stallion measured by Group winners again this year), the American-based Kitten’s Joy, the German stallion Monsun and the much-missed Montjeu (all winners over a mile and a half and/or beyond) among the planet’s most celebrated sires in this department this year.

I should add that while our regular attempts at inducing breeders to respect their credentials and make use of the likes of Golden Sword, Admire Main and Await The Dawn on our own roster, were partly aimed at overcoming the commonly-held prejudice against 2400m horses as well as enhancing their commercial prospects, this evidence should serve once-and-for-all, to dismiss a three-decades notion that to breed a good horse, the best resort is to seek out the sexiest sprinter/milers; the truth, as the facts now attest, is that “class” is the only measure this game really respects, whatever the propaganda may say or the salesring may pretend.

The moral of the story? Don’t be afraid in your selections, to use old mares, do not fear the non-winners or the one-time maidens in your broodmare band, and above all, have the courage of your instincts to patronise the classic racehorse in your stallion choice, as long as he was a good one and found a “gear” at the right time in a race.

Summerhill Stud Logo
Summerhill Stud Logo

Enquiries :

Linda Norval +27 (0) 33 263 1081

or email linda@summerhill.co.za

www.summerhill.co.za

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