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Big Black Cat
01 Sep 19 12:32
Date Joined: 04 Oct 02
| Topic/replies: 965 | Blogger: Big Black Cat's blog
Looking for advice here please so all thoughts welcome. Most important factors please?

Looks, conformation and walk?
Record of the mare?
Depth of pedigree?
Stallion record?
Anything else?

Thoughts please?

Just as an example, would you buy a horse who's dam hasnt produced much, but has a deep pedigree, although is by a sire who hasnt produced any top class horses?
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Report roadrunner46 September 1, 2019 2:25 PM BST
entreat was sold for £14k in july 2016, the buyer was getting a cheverley park home bred from an exceptional bloodline, pivotal
whos dams have won over £26 million, plus the dams sire irish river, dams have won around £10 million. who knows how good that mare
looked in the sales ring that day? the buyer knew he was buying into a very strong pedigree with potential. and entreat was already covered by lethal force at time of sale. in this instance i would say it was depth of pedigree that was the most important factor.
Report Big Black Cat September 1, 2019 6:43 PM BST
Thank you RR. At the minute I'm in 3 horses in a very small way. One is a full brother to a group winner, and the others are either from well established families or from a mare who's produced a good animal.

I have limited funds and I want to maximise potential....thanks.
Report Formtwist September 1, 2019 7:27 PM BST
Although you are, I think, really looking at yearling purchases Roadrunner46 makes a good point that the record of the vendor - and I might add their integrity, is a notable factor and in my humble view as such a vendor a much more important one than stallion record. Also of course is the budget. Your first factor is certainly the best guide, if you are a good enough judge to see that, but I think for yearlings / foals the mare record (if there are enough offspring to make such a judgement) is much more important than back pedigree. Value and potential is often where the market flinches - May foals, older mares, slightly unfashionable sires.
Report Big Black Cat September 1, 2019 8:15 PM BST
Thanks formtwist. Yes they are yearlings. The ones I'm considering include 100 plus rated siblings. Appreciate the advice.
Report kincsem September 1, 2019 8:29 PM BST
Looks, conformation and walk?  Record of the mare? Depth of pedigree?  Stallion record?  Anything else?  Thoughts please?

You would get dozens of different answers.
You do not say if you are pinhooking a foal, buying a yearling to race, a broodmare for breeding, or if it is flat or jumps.

My hobby is pedigree analysis so I decided to buy a mare and breed a foal.
Before I bought the mare I looked at about 2,000 mare pedigrees at the Breeding Stock Sales in Nov/Dec 2017.
I compared all those mares to about 600 stallions and picked the best stallion/broodmare combination (my opinion).
Then I bought the mare.
As luck would have it she produced the foal she was carrying (now a filly yearling) but failed to get pregnant in 2018 and 2019, and is probably a write off.

I did the same in 2018, identified a broodmare/stallion match, then bought the broodmare, sent her to the selected stallion this spring, and she is pregnant.
My choice was on pedigree alone.  The buyer was told to buy at the sales if the mare looked ok, but I was not looking for a good physical specimen.
The first mare was unraced but had been a yearling sales topper (115k).
The second mare won a small race and was placed a handful of times.
Technically the second mare ran as a 2yo, 3yo, 4yo but only on 31st December as a 2yo, and on 5th January as a 4yo.

If you are buying at the yearling sales I think you would be interested in an analysis of mine from a 2014 yearling sale, 462 lots, 62 made a "profit" (race earnings minus auction knock down price) but before any training costs.
52 of the 62 profitable lots (before training costs) averaged just under Euro 18k profit each.  10 lots made Euro 261k average profit, but the top three lots made 74% of the earnings of the top 10 lots.
In plain English, experts bought 400 lots (of 462 yearling lots) that made a loss before any training or other costs.
My guess is the experts were not using their own money to buy.
It was a long process finding out the names of those unnamed yearlings and gathering their racing records.
I never found 130 of the 462 lots in the racing records.
Perhaps the 130 went on to fame and fortune in USA, AUS, HK, but my guess is they never set foot on a racecourse.

You are only told the Group winners in the advertisements.
I could give you a big list of poor runners by the top sires.
Did you know that Galicuix by Galileo, and dam of Galileo Gold (2000 Guineas winner rated 123) was rated 42, two races finishing 12th/12 and 10th/10.
Galicuix has four other offspring on the Racing Post website rated 87,87,85,78 - average of all runners is about 75.

I always know all the horses produced by the dam line of just about any horse running, or in pedigrees.
And I keep a rating for each horse if it ran, its best 3yo+ rating.
That gives me a quick idea of the strength or lack of it on a dam line, the weakest part of any pedigree.
I am not interested in catalogue black type.  Catalogues list horses who are only vaguely related to the horse on offer i.e a half sibling of the 4th dam.
The great Australian trainer Bart Cummings got the auction houses to put a blank page for notes opposite every sales lot in the catalogue.
On that page he listed the offspring of the dams that the catalogue did not list i.e. the duds.
Report Big Black Cat September 1, 2019 8:55 PM BST
Kincsem thanks for your very detailed reply. I'm aiming to buy into a yearling as I have already done. Lots of animals to choose from and I'd like to spend my limited funds wisely.

I am aware that Galileo gets lots of duds. Of course you only hear about the good ones.

I di have the pedigrees of all the candidates, and the RP is your friend when you are assessing bloodstock and broodmares.

Interesting that Mark Johnston never buys a horse unless its dam was rated above 90. Maybe hes onto something there.

Many thanks. Plenty to consider.
Report Big Black Cat September 1, 2019 9:55 PM BST
Just done a bit of analysis and the dam of my top choice has bred 6 foals, 5 winners. Two of the 6 were rated 100 plus, and the average rating of all progeny Is 86.

Interestingly enough, the most expensive yearling was by a v fashionable stallion out of an 80 rated mare.
Report kincsem September 2, 2019 12:07 PM BST
Mark Johnston must have been reading my posts. Happy
The higher the dam rating the higher the foal rating (on average).
But that is for a very large data sample.
You can not say that it applies to one dam and her foal(s).
See my post # 59 here
Unfortunately, everyone knows class dams might produce class foals, and you pay a lot extra.

If you are buying a yearling my opinion is a yearling colt loses value from the moment you buy it and ends with a nil value.
A yearling filly will probably have some residual value as a breeding prospect.
But for some reason the demand is for colts, and you pay much more.
People think they are buying a Derby winner.

What I would avoid is colts that have many sons of duplicated sires in their six generation pedigree. (1+2+4+8+16+32+64=127 ancestors).
I have done a lot of work on this and have stats that show the damage or benefit of different types of inbreeding.
The auction catalogue gives three generations (1+2+4+8=15 ancestors), too little imo to get an idea of what is in the pedigree.
I think between 87% and 90% of broodmares can not produce a good horse whatever stallion is used.
And that is if you pick the most compatible stallion for each broodmare (and almost always the stallion used is the most popular/commercial).
452 of 462 yearlings at the sale I analysed above did not earn enough on the racecourse to cover one year's training fees (and most ran for two or three years).

An update on the yearlings I followed from the Yearling Sales a few years back is that the third highest earner has now moved into top position.
He was exported to Hong Kong and made GBP 3.1 million, running as recently as June 2019.
He won five races in a row before he was exported, the last a 5 runner Listed race on heavy.
About the only way to make money from flat horses is to sell them abroad to Hong Kong or other high prizemoney areas.
A top racing official here in Ireland told me an agent will phone you making an offer shortly after your horse wins or places in a maiden/Listed/Group race.

A good way to assess a stallion is to list all his rated foals (their running rating) and compare those ratings to their dam ratings one at a time (assuming the dam ran and had a rating).
I did that for one sire and found his foals were on average 10 or 11 points below their dams.
His stud fee went from 50k to 4k over a decade.
His two biggest gainers over their dams both had the same pedigree feature (although I re-did the exercise for someone this month and another two of his foals appeared in the biggest gainers but did not have that feature).
Report NEVIS B September 14, 2019 10:50 PM BST
Perhaps an important factor is who actually owns the horse that is being sold!
Report sageform November 29, 2019 2:47 PM GMT
Winning families would be top of my list. Most of the owners of the very best mares breed to race but some like Meon Valley sell the colts.
Report i_agree_with_nick December 21, 2020 7:11 PM GMT
Interesting that Mark Johnston never buys a horse unless its dam was rated above 90. Maybe hes onto something there.

I think it's a case of the dam having a rating over 90 or having progeny rated over 90.
Report workrider December 23, 2020 11:29 AM GMT
Wow Kincsem that was brilliant, anyone thinking of buying at the sales should read it before buying .
Report ffaith January 17, 2021 3:38 PM GMT
Report Big Black Cat January 18, 2021 11:37 AM GMT
Just as an update to this-the example I used in my original post was by a NH sire out of a daughter of a European champion middle distance family, bred by a very very well known breeder.

I didn't buy him in the end.  He ran 3 times and was very very slow indeed.  He was subsequently sold, presumably as a NH prospect.
Report Big Black Cat January 18, 2021 11:43 AM GMT
That should have been out of a daughter of a Champion European middle distance filly.....
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