Could the Real Stars Be Under the Radar?

Tara Madgwick - Sunday July 19

The upcoming Magic Millions National Broodmare Sale has investors all over the country salivating over the smorgasboard of elite mares on offer, but are some of the real stars flying under the radar?

Our series of stories on Breednet detailing the performance of the most expensive mares in the country has generated plenty of interest, but as one reader pointed out Black Type mares are not the only ones producing Group I racehorses and expensive yearlings.

Stallions given a place at major commercial farms are required to have a certain level of Black Type performance to warrant that opportunity, but the performance bar for mares is set a lot lower with many minor winning, placed, unraced and even unplaced mares given a chance at stud.

Their lack of success on the racetrack can often be counterbalanced by some hidden genetic magic that can come to the fore with the right mating.

Of the 38 stallions standing in Australia this spring for a service fee of $25,000 or more, 16 of them, or 42%, were bred from mares with no Black Type and are listed below in alphabetical order.

Alabama Express, All Too Hard, American Pharoah (USA), Better Than Ready, Capitalist, Dundeel, Exceed and Excel, I Am Invincible, Pierro, Russian Revolution, The Autumn Sun, Toronado (IRE), Trapeze Artist, Written Tycoon, Yes Yes Yes and Zoustar.


Australia's most expensive sire I Am Invincible is from an unraced mare.

Among those stallions are I Am Invincible, Dundeel, All Too Hard and The Autumn Sun, whose dams were unraced, American Pharoah (USA), whose mother raced twice with no success, Trapeze Artist whose mother placed once from six starts and Golden Slipper winner Capitalist, whose mother won once from 15 starts.

Black cats might produce black kittens, but you don’t necessarily need a Black Type mare to produce a Black Type performer or indeed a champion sire.

You also don’t necessarily need a Black Type mare to produce an expensive yearling.

Of the ten yearlings that sold for $1million or more at the 2020 Magic Millions, five were from mares with no Black Type and one of them, a $1.1 million Redoute’s Choice colt, is the second foal from Gresset, who had three starts in country Victoria and never got close to placing.

There were also a further two seven figure yearlings sold at Inglis Easter from non-Black Type mares.

I guess the point of this story is to give hope to breeders with limited resources and to encourage more potential buyers to think outside the square and not be put off by a lack of Black Type.

Email us at if you wish to share a story of a not so successful race mare that made amends at stud.


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