The Sires Delivering More than Speed on Speed

Tara Madgwick - Sunday February 17
Impressive Group winners for High Chaparral's champion sons So You Think and Dundeel on Saturday highlight the need for diversity in our stallion rosters and give hope for breeders who think about more than producing a five furlong speedy squib that can win before Christmas.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not bagging two year-olds or sprinters, they generate a lot of excitement and can win a lot of money, think Everest and Golden Slipper, but there are other races to win and plenty of them over a little further, so let's take a look at some stallions that aren't just speed merchants.

I'm not talking about breeding stayers, I'm talking about breeding versatile horses with diverse pedigrees that can perform over more than one distance.

So You ThinkThe loss of stallions such as High Chaparral (IRE) and Street Cry (IRE) was a real blow for Australian breeders looking for a little stamina and diversity so it's pleasing to see the emergence of So You Think and now Dundeel as the types of sires that can potentially fill that void along with Pierro.

He did win a Golden Slipper and was the Champion 2YO, but I think all evidence would suggest Pierro is breeding more to his pedigree than his race record with an honour roll bristling with high class three year-olds headed by Levendi, Pinot and this season's superstar Arcadia Queen.

So You Think and Dundeel are the two very best sons of Epsom Derby winner High Chaparral and have been given their chance by two of the best farms in the business in Coolmore and Arrowfield.

They weren't 'stayers', that's a misconception, they were outstanding racehorses with a turn of foot that carried them to a collective 16 Group I wins, some of which were over longer journeys.

DundeelWinx has won four Cox Plates, do we call her a stayer? No, we call her the best horse in the world.

So You Think and Dundeel have been given the opportunity to succeed with big books of quality mares and that turn of foot is now being seen in their offspring.

A week ago, Dundeel sired undefeated two year-old Castelvecchio to score a barnstorming win in the $2million Inglis Millennium over 1200 metres and then on Saturday he sired The Inevitable to win the Group III VRC CS Hayes Stakes over 1400 metres at Flemington.

So You Think put his name in lights at Randwick with his outstanding filly Nakeeta Jane downing the big guns in the Group II ATC Light Fingers Stakes at 1200 metres, while his progressive four year-old You Make Me Smile ran his rivals off their legs with a front running win in the Benchmark 88 event over 1300 metres.

PierroSo You Think, Dundeel and Pierro are all Danehill free making them easy to mate and very attractive for broodmare owners looking to get away from the inevitable double up of Danehill.

They certainly hit the mark with mare owners last spring. Pierro covered his biggest ever book of 228 mares at Coolmore a fee of $88,000, while his barn mate So You Think also set a new benchmark for himself covering 225 mares at a fee of $44,000.

Dundeel also held his own at Arrowfield in what can be a tricky fifth season at stud for a young sire covering 147 mares, his second biggest ever book, at a fee of $27,500.

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