Bloodstock & Breeding

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28 May 10 19:14
Date Joined: 04 Jun 07
| Topic/replies: 83 | Blogger: Nobetterjockeyridingtoday's blog Coolmore.

Please be patient with me folks, this is a genuine enquiry.  I know there are plenty of times when people are trying to look smart when opening threads and attempting to trap others in making fools of themselves... this really isn't one of them.

So, I have a very very limited understanding of the breeding and bloodstock world.  For my flat bets I'll look at a horse's relations, record of sire for specific age groups, distance and going preferences but that's it really.

Anyway, while looking at the Coolmore page the other day and watching old footage of some of their horses winning big races, something struck me - where's the focus on females in the bloodstock and breeding world?

For example, is it not in the Coolmore interest to keep mares and use them as breeders for their star colts?  Again, apologies if this seems daft a thing to say but it is a genuine enquiry, and something I'd like to know more about.  Another example that intrigues me is the number of times I look up a horse's dam and see that it raced maybe 2/3 times, showed no form and yet mated with a very successful colt.

Therefore, what I guess I am asking is - in the B+B world is the mother's form and line of ancestry not so important?  If not...errrr, why not?

Hope that respondents take this message in the spirit in which it's intended.

I'm just curious to find out more.

Many Thanks
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Report potentialmillionaire May 28, 2010 9:00 PM BST
It's funny how we get drawn in to this game and I'm glad to see a new recruit.
Working backwards. Rudimentary genetics will tell you that each racehorse may have picked up his individual traits from either parent, so your supposition is correct. Obviously we all have our pet theories as to which stallion or mare is more dominent over certain points of inheritence and you'll pick those up as you go along and develop your own theories which may be as useless as mine - but we're an opinionated bunch!
Stallions will mate with anything between 15 and 300 mares a year - maybe the average is about 70 - 80 so really that is why the commercial emphasis is skewed to the stallion. They are the cash cow, obviously, and there are few enough of them for everyone to be able to get a handle on. The thousands of mares tend to get a bit ignored as there are too many to follow easily - ofcourse us doting owners know everything about our own and how they are all world beaters naturally!
Stallions have to be very well credentialled therefore to earn their harem and accordingly mares not as much. Mediocre race mares will need a lot of virtues, mainly of pedigree and Physique (confirmation)to earn a trip to a star stallion mind you.
All the big stallion stations do indeed keep teams of very nice mares to try and breed their next champions, but opening their stallions to outside breeders is what keeps their profile high in Monte Carlo and Barbados and keeps them well stocked in Bollinger!
Hope that's a help, but fire away as and when, as someone will have an opinion, rest assured.
Report Nobetterjockeyridingtoday May 29, 2010 10:16 AM BST
Thanks for taking the time to offer such a considered response.

I'll start with one question if I may...

Given the ammunition that the major owners have, and I'll use the Coolmore group again as an example, why don't that particular organisation use their mares more?  Surely there's a financial advantage in using their superstar stallions with their own mares and then raising the progeny rather than going to yearling sales etc and spending a lot of money? 

Once again, thanks for your reply.
Report potentialmillionaire May 29, 2010 3:08 PM BST
I know that Prima Donna, Rip van Winkle et al will step in soon but I'll keep plugging away. . .
It's an expensive old game this at whatever level you dabble. In a way it's just like the bookie who takes your money and then lays some of it off elsewhere.
Most horses are slow, however much money you throw at their production. The Coolmore/Darley type players will use their best stallions extensively, 20 or 30 of their own mares will visit each of the Galileo, Montjeu types. However the income from the sale of stallion nominations each year is where the money is made and once a horse is established that is what keeps the whole show on the road. Any time the stallion is covering a home mare, that is a gamble - and with not great odds! So however high class your coupling it'll never be the guarantee that the cheque from an outside breeder represents.
Once a horse has got through the hurdles of conception, birth and early growth and has made a sale, it's a lot clearer to onlookers as to how the union has turned out. Therefore the players can also go looking to outside sources for the next racehorse - let the breeder take  some of the gamble.
Also and perhaps most importantly with the mega operations, to buy offspring of your own stallion creates another customer, inflates his sales figures gives us breeders confidence (largely unfounded mind) and ensures we all go piling into their stallions the following year.
Good luck!
Report RipVanWinkle May 29, 2010 3:45 PM BST
Coolmore do not need to advertise there mares as the stallions have done enough on the track to get enough mares advertising mares wont really help get mares either.

One of the reasons Coolmore do not advertise there mares or put themselves down as breeders is because they have there mares spread out under different business names but all are still owned by Coolmore. This may be done for a number of reasons, one which has become very common is a mare owned by either Magnier, Smith or Tabor being put down as being owned by eg. Quay Bloodstock which is owned by Coolmore. The progeny of these mares may be sold in the sales to one of Coolmores agents eg. Demi O'Byrne and can then be eligable for sales races which can be used to give there stallions a better chance of being champion sire this happened with Lillie Langtry last year. Alot of the very well bred horses in say Tattersalls yearling sale are owned by Coolmore of are done as a foal share which Coolmore will by out the rest at the sales

It is not known by the public how many mares the Coolmore group own but one thing for sure is that the own way more than what they will ever tell you.
Report Prima Donna May 30, 2010 7:08 PM BST
Rip Van,you are so right.
Report Prima Donna May 30, 2010 7:08 PM BST
Rip Van,you are so right.
Report potentialmillionaire May 30, 2010 8:41 PM BST
Rip van, has thrown another angle into the mix, the foal share. The stallion owner provides the stallion, the mare owner sends a nice mare and they share the result. These often then go to the sale and one partner is able to buy out the other. The advantage to the stallion master is that he can maybe buy a cracking horse at 1/2 it's actual value because 50% is theirs to begin with.
This was the case with Lillie Langtrey.
Rip Van, do you really think they enter horses for sale specifically to qualify for the valuable sales races? That seems a very expensive way of doing things, particularly if they get run up by outside buyers. Do you not think they would be better off buying that type, as while I appreciate the rich pots are very useful to their statistics it's such a long shot, with 25 others entered by Hannon (plenty by their own sires anyway) to beat!
P.S Nobetterjockey. Ripvan is very right about the complications of the Coolmore breeding programme, if you are really new to the game, I'd come back to that particular conundrum a bit later as wrinkled gits like me haven't got the hang of it all yet!
Report RipVanWinkle May 30, 2010 9:39 PM BST
It is unreal how smart Coolmore actually are know other stud can outsmart them only the sheiks can outbid them which actually happened on a couple of stallions in the last few yearsMischief

Foal sharing is not something i am really up to date on as we try to stay away from it as it is easy to fall out with people when doing foal shares.

But Coolmore do put horses through the sale they own that i know. It can be clearly seen when you look at the goffs million mile last year Utrillo was bread by a Coolmore group and sent to goffs and sold for 280000 and then aimed at the sales race.
Report Nobetterjockeyridingtoday May 31, 2010 1:01 PM BST
Really enjoying these posts everybody.
Report potentialmillionaire May 31, 2010 10:55 PM BST
I'm glad you're getting some good from this - I hope we aren't alienating everyone else!!!
Report June 1, 2010 9:29 AM BST
This is going slightly "off subject" but, with the tax changes in Ireland I think you will see (or perhaps I should say "not see") several changes in the Coolmore structure whereby purchases and ownership (racehorses,stallions and mares)will be from operations based in healthier locations from a financial perspective.
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