An equine immortal, I often think of Black Caviar as a beautiful intelligent design – the true representative of her species in looks, size and abilities.
Black Caviar’s tap-root family belongs to 1-p. It, a founding family for Lord Astor of Astor studs (U.K.)
The underlying significance of the 1-P family branch was for some time perplexing until it was reasoned that her ancestral predecessor contributor came from King Tom (3m) a son of that blue-hen supreme, Pocahontas: a jumping gene cross-over established in the genetic mix and so enormously potent as transference to the strain.
Curiously the significant 1-P strain also echoes in Sunline’s maternal pedigree through Winkie, best known for being the dam-sire of the unforgettable Phar Lap. Winkie was a reasonably successful stallion with winners at all distances. The best Pilliewinkie (1919), a winner in New Zealand of the CJC Metrpolitan Handicap and Dunedin Cup, and in Australia of the 18 furlong Australian Cup, the VRC King’s Plate (16 furlongs), the 10 furlong Essendon Stakes, and other good races. Winkie is brother to One Thousand Guineas winner Winkipop.
The magnificent NZ sire O’Reilly (now deceased) where his maternal sire is that of Pompeii Court (USA) 1-P. Pompeii Court loved the mile distance. One of his victories (1982 Longacres mile) was a track-setting record.
*** 1-P strain, as a breeding value is overwhelmingly significant in the modern thoroughbred.
Pedigree aficionados may jump and down how, King Tom/Pocahontas (the DNA) is far too remote. Yet the point I wish to share is – these are primordial genes extraordinaire, carriers of quantum amassed energy.
Upon society’s progress, we come with the difficulty scenario, where racing/stud names of thoroughbred distract the ‘blood’ relationships of strains, where strains actually co-exist to co-jointly accentuate a genetic familiarity.
If ever an old pedigree wheel had been retained which as below, a ‘fan’ arrangement: how families folded into each other, the intricacies of families, as ‘strains’ would be far more appreciated.
Simply, by disregarding the recti-linear approach & to largely assess upon multi-dimensional layers as accumulated in Black Caviar’s genetic make-up, provides a freshened genetic landscape to ponder.
The main strains move into view & of prime consideration are 1-P, 9-C & 9 branches, 6-e & 6 branches and all 3 branches to those timeless individuals so named. Collectively, Black Caviar progressed from these ancestral prototypes.
Court Martial 1-p (5s x 6d). His sire, Fair Trial coming from a 9-c female line through Lady Juror.
John Hislop in his book Breeding for Racing describes Court Martial as “A beautiful horse of superb quality, truly made, sound and possessed of excellent limb. Though having a measure of stamina, speed was Court Martial’s forte, which is reflected in his stock.
1-P also through Hornbeam at 6th remove. He, the great grand-dam sire of Lunchtime, the sire of Snippets. Hornbeam was a son of Hyperion (6-e) and his maternal sire Nasrullah (9-c). Hornbeam was 1st Great Voltigeur Stk, 2nd St Leger, At stud in England then sent to Sweden. Hornbeam, the sire of St. Leger winner Intermezzo.
With impact, the complete representation of core-nucleus strains takes a representation by individuals within their collective families.
The 9-C strain at 6th remove, where Nasrullah via grand-dam Mumtaz Begum & her grandson Kurdistan, Migoli via his grand-dam, Mah Mahal, Tudor Minstrel via dam Sansonnet, Fair Trial via Lady Juror, Mahmoud are interlocking keys of genetic families.
Also of major importance is the 6-e strain, tracing back to Gondolette through Selene, dam of Hyperion and Pharamoud .
Myrobella (6-e) also traces through to Gondolette.
Silly Season (5d x 5d) sired by Tom Fool 3-j, an influential horse & sire (Buckpasser & Tim-Tam) but sadly not really highly optimized for his true breeding worth even with his highly notable race-track successes.
Yet here we are today, Tom Fool always appears in best, well-bred pedigrees. He was & is a key-maker.
n.b. (checkout Ouija Board (by Cape Cross) GB m. 2001, notice maternal family is highlighted by Silly Season & Court Martial). Boom!
Other sub-branches of the 3, 9 & 6 female families both contribute genetic ‘structure’ because they are core foundational relationships. Constructively at 7th remove upon the tail-female line, Right Royal 3-f, a French sire of inestimable strength but thought limited, as a stallion. He was the best two-year-old in France in 1960 and his wins included the Grand Criterium. He was the dominant three-year-old of his generation in Europe in the spring and summer of 1961, winning the Poule d’Essai des Poulains, Prix du Jockey Club and the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes.
Interestingly, Right Royal profiles in the same zone of pedigree for Dundeel – the New Zealand/Australian multiple G.1 winner and when Dundeel ran his final 400 metres of the Australian Derby, did so faster than Black Caviar in the 1200-metre T.J. Smith Stakes the same day.
Was it that Right Royal had a highly inheritable & necessary trait? I reckon so….
Right Royal is the 3-f family strain. His maternal pedigree is highly infused with 3 branches.
Right Royal (Fr) 1958
Black Caviar traces majorly to Gainsborough sire of sons Hyperion 6-e, Mah Mahal 9-c, Solario – 26.
Over 7 generations, Black Caviar’s pedigree has merged & re-emerged highly influential breeders. It is a distinctive pedigree at the front, and tight at the engine-room beyond.
(n.b. It is notable the range of Gainsborough still stamps many contemporary high-achievers but also somewhat declining in itself as Nearco overtakes (as a global cycle). Nearco seemingly underpins the global thoroughbred programs for young high-performing stock. Franco Varola (Typology of the Racehorse) noted Nearco’s sons developed a certain dislike of further training at the end of their three-old season and though mostly brilliant as a sire, Nearco was not consistent where not one of his sons took a win of a major weight-for-age race as a four-year old. However, what maybe more alarming and what can be suggested is that the thoroughbred ‘pool’ has disturbingly decreased, losing diversity and also with the loss of broodmares as the main economies shorten, alongside breeding sustainability.)
Genetic dominance, like key markers construct a potent balance which is evident as they navigate & circulate to originating lines.
To realize how ‘strains’ are dynamically revolving through inter-changing lines and also at best, assess how/where they strike may prevent unnecessary breeding and restore confidence.
There is a bygone expression: all things return to originating source – All the rivers run into the sea; yet the sea is not full; unto the place from whence the rivers come, thither they return again. Ecclesiastes 1:7
The annotation may seem too bewilderingfor the thoroughbred world, yet Nature herself, reveals such an order where bulb flowers with hybrid colouration can return to white and a grafted weeping maple emerges off-shoots, which if developed are not same.
Does it seem silly, to suggest Nature even with controlled-selective breeding is the truer, modernizer of breeding?
I would have no hesitation in saying those Sunline’s, Frankel’s and Black Caviar’s are prime examples of genetic dominance and of natural balance.
Selected for optimal speed, the thoroughbred has been on a long, inexact breeding journey: that of a threesome base of oriental-eastern progenitors.
The soul of better breeding is alongside Nature’s science upon a horse. The character of a true champion can be a natural freak or designed equally from the breeding equation.
You just need to know where the diamond in the pedigree lies…..
For more information/resources
The Thoroughbred Link – how efficient superior breeding for a champion is ultimately mastered.
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Later my view on…
Per Incanto – New Zealand’s Rising Star: a pedigree with an engine.
“There is the X-factor with this New Zealand sire which will surpass all expectation for a very long time to come. It has been commented where Indian Ridge and Ahonoora in their productive time, fired well beyond expectation.” a dynamic voice @ The Thoroughbred Link
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