Guest Column: More Than Ready For Caviar?

Guest Column: More Than Ready For Caviar?

28 May, 2013
– Lisa Barrett

More Than Ready. Image: Google Images

Australian newspapers have confirmed that a shortlist of six possible stallions has been whittled down for supermare Black Caviar. Black Caviar’s Managing owner, Neil Werrett, refused to be drawn on who the other candidates were, but he hinted that they could also be shuttle sires. Many wondered whether Black Caviar would be sent to Frankel, but that has been ruled out as quarantine restrictions in getting her there would be too restrictive. There is now frenzied speculation as pedigree buffs and fans alike speculate endlessly over just who would suit the “Wonder from Down Under”.

Names of many high profile stallions have been bandied around, though the owners have confirmed that they will not be using a first season sire like Frankel for Black Caviar. Many, including the writer feel that the champion shuttle sire More Than Ready, who is now based at Winstar Stud in Kentucky, USA would be the ideal mate for her.

More Than Ready is red hot at the moment, being the youngest sire in history to sire 100 Stakes winners, he also joined an exclusive roster of stallions like Mr.Prospector, Sadler’s Wells and Northern Dancer who have sired over 1000 career winners. An enormously talented and precocious colt, More Than Ready won two Group when he was just two years of age; the Sandford Stakes (Gr.2) & the Tremont Stakes (Gr.3). When he turned 3 he followed up with two further Group wins, including an electrifying victory in the King’s Bishop Stakes (Gr.1) in 2000.

Retired later in the same year after a 4th place finish in the Cigar Mile (Gr.1), More Than Ready quickly proved why he is such a brilliant sire, by achieving an unique double in getting dual hemisphere Group winners from his first two crops (Pluck, American Breeders Cup Juvenile winner who now stands at Vinery & multiple Australian Group winners: Sebring, More Than Joyous & Phelan Ready).

If that wasn’t impressive enough, he has also sired 15 Group One winners and 115 Stakes winners who’ve earnt more than $97 million in winnings for their sire. More Than Ready is considered one of the industry’s most reliable leading sires, not only was he Champion Juvenile Sire in North America in 2010, but he has averaged 19 two-year-old winners and seven two-year-old stakes horses each year since his freshman season at stud.

Much of More Than Ready’s ability as a sire comes from Southern Halo his sire, who was champion sire in Argentina (1994-2000 & 2004-2008), revolutionising the South American breeding and racing landscape, with 167 stakes winners include 56 group/Grade One winners and 16 champions. Even though Southern Halo was largely overshadowed by his illustrious sire, Halo, his contribution to the racing world was significant and thanks to More Than Ready, profound.

Black Caviar. Image:

KZN breeding is in the fortunate position of having the blood of this amazing sire right here in the province, through Traffic Guard (rated 123 Timeform) who stands at Summerhill Stud. The accomplished son of More Than Ready was a winner of 5 races for over $4 million in earnings. What makes his addition to the stallion ranks of KZN so exciting, is that he won over a variety of distances from sprinting to staying, and breeders are hoping that this filters down to his progeny, the first of which are due on the ground this season.

Black Caviar’s pedigree is made up primarily of speed machines on both sides: the great Australian sprinter Vain features twice on both sides of her pedigree. You can see echoes of the great Vain in Black Caviar’s 25 victories. Vain is an Australian racing icon, whose sprinting achievements in the late 1960s electrified the Australian racing scene. Just how brilliant Vain was shown in one incredible week in early spring of 1969; when he won the Champagne Stakes over 1600m race by an incredible 12 lengths, following that with another 12 length win in the 1400m Patinack Farm Stakes, and then a 4 length win despite carrying five extra kilos over weight-for-age in the Emirates Stakes 2 days later.

Go to her dam’s side and you see more evidence of the outstanding sprinting ability that Black Caviar has shown. Helsigne’s dam was Scandinavia, a lightning fast Group 2 winning daughter of the prolific Group wining stallion Snippets.

Black Caviar is a big, well-muscled mare (at 16.2hh) she will need to be mated to a stallion that is slightly smaller than her, and one which is likely to help her to throw a smaller foal as a maiden mare. At 16hh, More Than Ready fits the bill, and the combination of his variety and her speed should produce a potent combination, one which should hopefully emulate the best qualities of its pedigree at the track and in the breeding shed in the years to come.

Lisa Barrett
– Guest Writer

“Lisa Barrett”, her psuedonym, currently works at a stud farm in the KZN Midlands. She is absolutely and totally crazy about horses and every aspect of them. She is fascinated by every aspect of the racehorse business, especially pedigrees and would like to one day write a book on her favourite sire!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *