Black Caviar's First Mating: Is Redoute's the Right Choice?

Today brought the news of Black Caviar's retirement from racing. The big question now is which stallion will have the privilege of serving the great mare in her first season at stud?

But first, to reflect on Black Caviar's remarkable record, her unbeaten 25-race career included 15 group I victories and spanned six consecutive calendar years. She was the world's top rated sprinter in 2010, 2011, and 2012, and Australian champion sprinter and Horse of the Year in 2011 and 2012. She did win at the highest level in both hemispheres, her class pulling her through when below her best to capture the Diamond Jubilee Stakes (Eng-I) at Royal Ascot on her sole appearance outside of Australia.

Black Caviar is a daughter of Bel Esprit (AUS) (TrueNicks,SRO), a group I-winning sprinter/miler by Nijinsky II's Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. IT) victor Royal Academy out of the Desert Sun (by Green Desert) mare Helsinge. The family, which goes back to Love Song, a Danish-bred mare who captured that country's Oaks (Den-I) and who is fourth dam of Black Caviar, has been on fire of late. Black Caviar's half brother All Too Hard has won three group I races, including the Caulfield Guineas (Aus-I), and is very possibly the best 3-year-old of the current crop in Australia. The second dam, the group-winning and group I-placed Snippets mare Scandinavia, is also dam of Galaxy Stakes (Aus-I) victor Magnus (AUS) (TrueNicks,SRO); multiple group winner Wilander; and Scandiva, a group II scorer who was also runner-up in last weekend's Sires' Produce Stakes (Aus-I).

From a pattern standpoint, Black Caviar is notable in that her sire is out of a mare bred on a cross of Vain (one of the fastest sprinters seen in Australia) and Paul Mellon's Champion Stakes winner Silly Season, while Scandinavia, her granddam, is a Silly Season/Vain cross.

The good news as far as Australian stallion options are concerned is that the several Danehill line stallions rate highly in the TrueNicks Key Ancestors Report, which measures all male and female ancestors in Black Caviar's pedigree to identify ancestors to seek out or avoid in the pedigrees of stallions.

Champion sire Redoute's Choice (AUS) (TrueNicks,SRO), a son of Danehill, is an A nick and the top-rated horse by Key Ancestor Score. His dam gives linebreeding to Silly Season's son Lunchtime, and to Nijinsky II (who combines well with Lunchtime's grandsire, Tom Fool).

Danehill's latest superstar sire, Fastnet Rock (AUS) (TrueNicks,SRO), is responsible for Scandiva (out of Black Caviar's granddam) and would give an intriguing 3x3 inbreeding to Royal Academy. The nick rating is an above-average B and the Key Ancestor Score for this mating is second only to Redoute's Choice.

Exceed And Excel (AUS) (TrueNicks,SRO), fifth-rated by Key Ancestor Score (with a very positive number), is a Danehill who is enjoying a phenomenal season with his Australian 2-year-olds—his daughter Overreach and son Sidestep ran 1-2 in the Golden Slipper (Aus-I) April 6—and he's sired the speedy Wilander from the family.

Moving to a horse who is out of a Danehill mare, Sepoy (AUS) (TrueNicks,SRO) is the highest ever rated 3-year-old sprinter on the International Classifications. The hypothetical mating with Black Caviar rates A+ on TrueNicks and has a positive Key Ancestor Score.

At one point, there was suggestion that Black Caviar may be among the group of Southern Hemisphere mares that would visit Frankel, another out of a daughter of Danehill. He does have a positive Key Ancestor Score, but his TrueNicks rating does not inspire. A European stallion who has stronger appeal is Dubawi.

Should Black Caviar ever venture to North America, the wonder-mare would appeal with War Front (TrueNicks,SRO) or Tapit (TrueNicks,SRO), who has a turf grade I winner (Tapitsfly) out of a Nijinsky II line mare.

What are your thoughts on Black Caviar's first mating?

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