Ratings Generated in 2014
Featured Stallion

Undervalued New Zealand Sires

Azamour is an undervalued stallion in Europe, and at NZ$12,000 looks remarkable value in New Zealand. A champion older horse in England and a group I winner at a mile, 1 1/4 miles, and 1 1/2 miles, he has 18 stakes winners in his four crops, including English champion 3-year-old filly Shankardeh, French Oaks (Fr-I) victress Valyra, and eight stakes winners. There are plenty of options that can be employed in New Zealand, as he's done well with Blushing Groom (including Rainbow Quest); Caerleon and other Nijinsky II; Green Desert; and several different branches of Mr. Prospector. He's also out of a mare by Lear Fan (who has Lt. Stevens, the brother to Thong, from whence stem Sadler's Wells, Nureyev, Fairy King, et al), and he's by Night Shift, a brother to the famed mare Fanfreluche, ancestress of Encosta de Lago (AUS) (TrueNicks).

Bachelor Duke ($8,000) is by Miswaki, who seems to have done better as a sire of sires in New Zealand and Australia, with Bachelor Duke and Umatilla, than elsewhere in the world. Winner of the Irish Two Thousand Guineas (Ire-I), Bachelor Duke also has a classic pedigree as he's out of Gossamer, who is by Seattle Slew out of Lisaleen, a mare closely related to Sadler's Wells, Fairy King, and Nureyev. He is sire of six stakes winners including the group scorers Shuka, Single Minded (out of a mare by Zabeel, who brings in Nureyev), Obsession (who also has Nureyev), and Keyora (out of a mare by Fairy King). Bachelor Duke also has five other stakes-placed horses with Sadler's Wells, Fairy King, or Nureyev in the dam.

Bred on something of a reverse cross to Bachelor Duke is Captain Rio (GB) (TrueNicks), who is by Pivotal (grandson of Nureyev) out of a mare by Miswaki. He stands at $7,000. He has 19 stakes winners, including the VRC Oaks (Aus-I) heroine Brazilian Pulse, co-highweight New Zealand filly Il Quello Veloce (who has Nureyev's close relative Yeats), and five other group/graded winners, including the intriguingly-bred Art Beat (out of mare by Peintre Celebre, a parallel Nureyev/Raise a Native cross to Captain Rio), who has Nureyev/Nureyev/Sadler's Wells 4x3x3.

International campaigner Ekraar, who stands at $10,000, is a son of Red Ransom, who is now proving a useful sire of sires with the late-lamented Red Clubs, Charge Forward (AUS) (TrueNicks), and Domesday (AUS) (TrueNicks). He's proved capable of getting "the big horse" with Shez Sinsational (a four-time group I winner in Australia and New Zealand), Captain Cook Stakes (NZ-I) winner Ekstreme, and New Zealand Derby (NZ-I) captress Habibi. It bodes well for his prospects that Habibi is out of a mare by Dansinga (a son of Danehill) and Ekstreme is out of a mare by Danehill's brother Anziyan, while he also has a stakes winner out of a mare by Zabeel.

Falkirk is a son of Tale of the Cat (TrueNicks,SRO), who is another who is making a minor impact "down under" as a sire of sires, with not only this one but also Real Saga and Purrealist. The group II-winning sprinter looks a decent play at $8,000 on the basis of a first crop that produced five stakes winners, including the Concorde Handicap (NZ-II) scorer Durham Town, group victor Jaggard, and Hong Kong Derby (HK-I) hero Fay Fay. It's interesting to note that Falkirk has three stakes winners from seven starters out of mares by Centaine (giving inbreeding Vain).

Another Red Ransom, Handsome Ransom, stands for just $5,000, which looks pretty reasonable considering he is a top 12 sire this year. He mostly has classic influences in his dam (he's out of a mare by Mill Reef) but took the Black Opal Stakes (Aus-III) as a 2-year-old. He's sired stakes winners from six to 12 1/2 furlongs, his best including Manawatu Cup (NZ-III) scorer Ransomed; Rememba Howe, who took the Gold Trail Stakes (NZ-III); Wellington Stakes (NZ-III) captor Weissmuller; and Fat Kid, successful in the Queen Elizabeth II Cup (Sin-II) in Singapore.

Machiavellian's son No Excuse Needed (GB) (TrueNicks), a multiple group-winning miler in England, looks a standout here at $6,000. He has 16 stakes winners, including champion 3-year-old filly Daffodil, whose trio of group I stakes include the Australian Oaks (Aus-I) and New Zealand One Thousand Guineas (NZ-I), and group scorers No Excuse Maggie, Justanexcuse, Grand Dancer, and Take the Rap. Daffodil and four of his other stakes winners are from only 33 starters out of mares by O'Reilly (NZ) (TrueNicks), a very healthy 15% stakes winners to starters.

Read about undervalued Australian sires here.

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In 2008 I took a trip to Ireland and was part of a horse racing tour there. One of the stops along the way was at the Gilltown Stud where Azamour was one of the first stallions showed to us (where we saw Dalakhani as well)... of that trip which included seeing horses such as Galileo, Sadler's Wells, Invincible Spirit, etc., Azamour was one that stuck in my mind. In 2008 he was a physically beautiful specimen - absolutely gorgeous.

Tiz Herself 29 Jul 2013 4:40 PM

I've spent the past 16 years as an owner, breeder and buyer in New Zealand & produced many Stakes winners. Azamour & Ekraar are the only 2 on TrueNicks' list whom I think are good value for money. However, Capt. Rio, Falkirk, N. E. Needed (his Daffodil surely owed her talent to her top female line) and H. Ransom have all have many chances but most of their foals have disappointed & shown lack of class.

NZ's best younger sire is Darci Brahma while good value sires under $10,000 include $7,000 Guillotine and Istidaad, a splendid but ridiculously unfashionable $2,000 stallion despite siring many Group SWs from bad and badly bred mares like millionaire Ginga Dude (whose dam was rescued from a dog food factory) and champion Justa Tad.  

There is much more to breeding Stakes winners than crossing names of stallions in distant generations. Environment,handling & training, veterinary care, the dams and feeding are more important than paper nicks of stallions. Durham Town and Habibi are both well trained by the very talented Logans, a better explanation for their Gr.1 victories than males names in half a pedigree.

Danehill's full brother Anziyan (broodmare sire of Ekstreme) was one of NZ's worst stallions despite his great brother.

waikato 30 Jul 2013 5:50 PM

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