Opinion Piece: Time for a change of attitude – Bruce Perry

Too often we hear industry participants critising the depth of quality and the tiredness of the broodmare bands of many New Zealand breeders. Those same voices will be heard when the 2016 Karaka yearling sale catalogues are released at the end of November.

However; investing in international mares does not guarantee a correct yearling or a faster horse. Nor does it gaurantee financial reward. Purchasing young mares out of the Northern Hemisphere that appeal to the buyers of Southern Hemisphere yearlings is not a cheap exercise especially taking into account the strength of their own market.

This does not negate the importance of introducing new bloodlines but we need to continualy promote the quality of our existing families. Often the affordable Northern Hemispheres mares are from their second tier and/or are inferior physical types. As a consequence Karaka catalogue’s will continue to be filled with yearlings out of mares by NZ based sires, mares with NZ race form or mares decending from old colonial families.

Unfortunately some sales company representatives and buyers don’t appear to appreciate the international quality of a mare with a distinct New Zealand flavour. This mindset has not been helped by inferior marketing of the New Zealand thoroughbred.

Significant marketing opportunities are being missed which is impacting on the local breeding industry. Catalogue’s filled with yearlings out of mares by NZ based sires, mares with NZ race form or mares decending from old colonial families should be a major incentive for buyers to attend a yearling sale. For those still wanting quality international bloodlines, they are often there but primarily through the influence of Northern Hemisphere sires that have stood in New Zealand and Australia in the past.

It is raceday results that count and you only have to look at the results from the last two Saturday’s racing in Melbourne to highlight the quality of the NZ suffix.

Caulfield on the 17 October included:
  • Gr1 Caulfield Cup – 1st Mongolian Khan out of NZ mare from an old NZ family
  • Gr2 Tristarc S – 1st La Passe from the old NZ Belle family
  • Gr3 Ethereal S – 1st Dawnie Perfect out of a NZ Zabeel mare
  • Gr3 David Jones Cup – 1st Stratum Star out of a NZ Pins mare who was out of an O’Reilly mare.
  • Gr3 Moonga S – 1st Vashka out of a NZ Zabeel mare
  • Listed Gothic S – 1st Mahuta out of a NZ Zabeel mare

Moonee Valley on the 23 October included:
  • Gr1 Cox Plate – 1st Winx out of a Listed winning New Zealand mare by Al Akbar
  • Gr2 Crystal Mile – 1st Turn Me Loose out of a New Zealand mare
  • Gr3 G1x.Com.Au Stakes – 1st Coronation Shallan from the old NZ Citril family
  • Listed Crocket S – 1st Lake Geneva out of a NZ Stravinsky mare who is out of a Centaine mare.

The fact that the two stars of the spring, Winx and Mongolian Khan, have been produced by New Zealand mares should be a marketing dream for the New Zealand breeding industry. They are a major reason why buyers should attend New Zealand sales.

Vegas Showgirl, (dam of Winx) was a tough Listed winning NZ mare and Centafit (dam of Mongolian Khan) was an unraced daughter of Centaine. Her second dam was an unplaced daughter of Three Legs who was out of placed daughter of Imperial March but it is a family that keeps producing highclass gallopers.

Week after week we see top class international performances from racehorses with a direct link to New Zealand yet rarely is the connection marketed. You can’t expect to change peoples perceptions overnight but it needs to happen. The NZ suffix is synonymous with racehorses that have the ability to win at the highest level at various ages, distances and over a number of seasons. It doesn’t get any better than that.

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