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Green Desert's Production Over Time

Photo courtesy Shadwell Stud

Distinguished 28-year-old Danzig stallion Green Desert was pensioned earlier this week. Sire of nearly 100 stakes winners, among them 14 group or grade I, he has already made a strong impact as a sire of sires. His best stallion sons include Cape Cross, Oasis Dream, Invicible Spirit, Volksraad, Desert Style, Shinko Forest, Desert Prince, Desert Sun, and Kheleyf (TrueNicks).

With an impressive 22 crops of racing age, Green Desert's stud record provides a good model of crop quality progression over time. This isn’t a scientific analysis by any means, but using Racing Post ratings from racingpost.com I estimated the handicap rating for each starter by Green Desert and averaged them for each crop. The chart below indicates that his best crops were bred in seasons 1, 3, 7, and 13. Interestingly, three of Green Desert's best stallion sons were bred in these years: Volksraad (1st), Cape Cross (7th), and Oasis Dream (13th).

(click to enlarge)

Note that ratings for current 2- and 3-year-olds stand to increase with more racing, but there is a general decline in handicap rating during Green Desert's later years at stud. His career average is a strong 80.8. (click to enlarge)

Clearly Green Desert was a top sire, but I can't help but wonder about his later-year decline in production. Did breeders abandon him due to age and/or fertility? Did his profile of mare change due to his success at stud? Are there age-related genetic factors at play? I'd be curious to hear your opinions.

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Racingpost (or Timeform) ratings are certainly a good tool for such analysis. Too bad we have nothing similar in the U.S. to aid in meaningful evaluation. The other variables mentioned (and, perhaps, others) which may have contributed to his decline are relevant, but as the years have passed I've become more inclined to embrace the idea that there can be genetic consequence to stallion age (but can vary from one stallion the next).  

sceptre 18 Aug 2011 9:04 PM

It would be really interesting to see the same analysis applied to other stallions who are or were breeding at a more advanced age--Dynaformer, Kingmambo, even Storm Cat come to mind. I wonder if there would be a similar result.

KG07 20 Aug 2011 11:18 AM

The less perspective one has, the more inclined are they to jump to erroneous conclusions. Those Green Desert stats demonstrate but a tiny piece of the "big picture"-and same (as those above) stat analyses for all stallions would still be far from enough to answer the question (is there genetic consequence to stallion age?). As noted, the variables are many (and can, themselves, differ from stallion to stallion), and may be of enough weight to "explain" what would otherwise appear as physiologic consequence. So, Ian, I'd suggest you not emabark on KG07's implied request. This industry is already far too prone to quick/knee-jerk conclusions based on small pieces of information. As evidence, look no further than the rush to judgement on the Lasix ban issue.

sceptre 20 Aug 2011 2:26 PM


Yeah, would be interesting to do similar stats on those stallions, although you couldn't get Racing Post ratings since most of their runners raced in North America. I'd guess Storm Cat and Kingmambo would look similar to Green Desert, and Dynaformer would actually be peaking later in his career, since he only recently became a commercial sire.

Like Sceptre alluded to, this is just a small piece of info meant to provoke discussion.

I think there's probably some physiologic aspects at play, but it also depends on when the sire peaks in popularity. Given the numbers, a stallion is more likely to sire good runners early in his career. Of course, this observation is helped by the fact that stallions that don't get good runners early won't get quantity or quality of mares later to help them sire good runners.

Ian Tapp 22 Aug 2011 10:50 AM

i would like to covering my thoroughbred mares,what is the very good stallion line for my hosrse,let me know,hamad

hamad 19 Apr 2013 9:46 AM

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