What Stallion Suits Her Best?
Unbeaten superstar Black Caviar is at present sitting on the sidelines as her owners contemplate a possible comeback after a good long spell or retirement and a visit to one of Australia’s leading sires, but if they choose the latter path, the big question will be which stallion is chosen for the champ.
A decision on her future is likely to come in September following the Australian Horse of the Year Awards and if it is retirement, then every stallion master in Australia will be wanting Black Caviar to walk in their gate.
On pedigree, she has all the options open being by the Royal Academy (USA) sire Bel Esprit from Helsinge, whose first three dams are by Desert Sun (GB), Snippets and Vain.
A pedigree like that means obvious champion stallions such as Redoute’s Choice and Fastnet Rock will be under consideration and both would guarantee a pedigree that would scream sale-topper if the resulting yearling ever went to public auction, but would either deliver a type?
Black Caviar is a very big and powerful mare and Redoute’s Choice and Fastnet Rock are both sires that have been known to throw the odd ‘big ugly boat’ or two when mated with bigger mares, so type might be some concern, although in saying that let’s not forget the current yearling from Helsinge, a Redoute’s Choice filly, did make $2.6 million at Easter this year and was neither big, ugly or a boat!
For pedigree students, a mating to Fastnet Rock would pick up a close 3 x 3 double cross of Royal Academy, who is also the sire of his dam Piccadilly Circus, so is that necessarily a good thing?
Line breeding to Royal Academy is virtually untested, with just two named foals in the world bred that way, one of them a winner in India, however line breeding to his dam Crimson Saint has been highly successful producing 31 stakes-winners including two of Fastnet Rock’s Group I winners in Foxwedge and Irish Lights, so quite possibly it’s a positive.
Working down the list of the most expensive sires we come to More Than Ready (USA), Lonhro, Street Cry (IRE), Encosta de Lago and High Chaparral (IRE).
The first three are all highly commercial top class sires representing very different sirelines that would offer an outcross to Black Caviar’s predominantly speedy pedigree, which features three lines of Northern Dancer.
More Than Ready and Lonhro in particular, frequently produce a lighter boned more refined individual and either could prove a good foil for her bulk and sheer physical strength.
Street Cry has been a popular pick for superstar mares in recent years with Typhoon Tracy going to him last year and Miss Finland the last two years, so Black Caviar would certainly fit in with his profile, while Encosta de Lago, who was once the top pick for retiring superstars has probably passed his commercial zenith at age 19, but would hardly be seen to be a poor choice if he did happen to get the nod.
English Derby winner High Chaparral would be seen as a physical polar opposite to Black Caviar, his elegant stayer’s physique in total contrast to her powerhouse sprinter’s frame.
The real question of bringing together opposites is whether the genes can find any common ground on which to build an effective racehorse or whether you just end up with a horse that’s too slow to sprint and lacks the stamina to stay… we’ve all seen them.. a lot of them in fact! Neither one thing or the other.
High Chaparral’s charismatic son So You Think may well be seen as a better option than his sire, given he falls more into the miler category rather than that of stayer.
An absolutely top class racehorse with 10 Group I wins against some of the best performers in the world, So You Think had brilliance to match his stunning good looks and for punters and racing fans the idea of a romantic match between So You Think and Black Caviar may well be seen as one made in heaven.
The stallions we have mentioned are just the tip of the commercial iceberg and the Black Caviar connections may well be considering many other varied options as the world truly is her oyster and just because a stallion has a big service fee doesn’t always mean he’s the right one for the job.
Send us your thoughts firstname.lastname@example.org on who would be a perfect partner for Black Caviar if she retires to stud.