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Guest Column by Lisa Barrett: It’s All In The Connections

In today’s Thoroughbred Daily News (TDN) Bill Oppenheim discusses his Apex review on leading AB and C European and North American runners. It’s a bit of a complicated method of working out just how successful stallion’s runners are, but it certainly is worth the effort. According to Bill Oppenheim’s website, the Apex runners are the Annual Progeny Earnings Index which measures how well the progeny of the subject stallion do in 17 categories across the board. This is achieved by measure the frequency by which a stallions runners achieve top results and feature in the top 2% of earners each year. North America uses the barrier of $110 000, so any horse that earns that amount from the track is classified as an “A runner”, the next barrier is $75 000 “B runners” and the next 4% at $50 000 are “C runners”. If you combine the percentage figures, you come to 8%, and these horses are called “ABC” runners.

How potent a stallion is measured by how many “A” runners he has in a year, if its two percent, according to the calculations it equals an Index of 1.00, which is average, the higher the index, the better the stallion is at transmitting his genes to his progeny. If he manages 6% then he achieves an index of 3, which is considered good. If a stallion has mainly “C” runners, then 4% equals 1.00, and if you combine the lot, the 8% equals 1.00, which again means a figure of more than 3 is good.

Of course Galileo leads the field of ABC runners with 61 individual ABC runners in the seven countries covered by this list (North America, Canada, Britain, Ireland, France, Germany and Japan) in 2014 Galileo comfortably lead the table of ABC runners, however the picture is a bit different in 2015. Even though Galileo led the table of ABC runners in 2015 with a total of 28 “A” runners and over 50 individual Group One winners, he has one Northern American superstar stallion hot on his heels.

Tapit has been a revelation on the North American breeding scene, and in 2015, he demonstrated just why he is such a force to be reckoned with. According to Bill Oppenheim’s calculations and APEX table of ABC runners, Tapit is only one runner behind Galileo in 2015 with 60 ABC runners. The table below is taken from today’s TDN and demonstrates just how close Tapit is to Galileo, and could even possibly overtake him this year if his runners perform well at highest Group One level.

North American/European Union SIRES with 10+ A RUNNERS in 2015

SIRE                                A                B             C                    ABC

GALILEO 2003 IRE       28              14           19                 61

TAPIT 2006 KY             26               11          23                 60

What is encouraging especially for KZN is that several of the provinces stallions sires feature on the list of top ABC runners: Galileo has a connection through his striking son, the lovely grey The Assayer, who is based at Yellow Star Stud. Tapit has a connection to this province’s hottest new “kid on the block” Noble Tune through his dam Tap Your Heels who is a daughter of Unbridled, Noble Tune’s paternal grandsire. Scott Bros’ Gr1 Middle Park Stakes winner Crusade also hails from damline of Unbridled through his second dam.

Tapit has been a revelation to breeding in North America, champion sire of North America for the past two consecutive years. During his years at stud, Tapit has produced: 70 Black type winners winners, 149 Black type horses, 17 Group One winners who’ve generated $86 million in earnings, 43 Group Stakes winners, 11 millionaires, six Champions and five Breeders’ Cup winners. Some of his top earners of 2015 include Tonalist, Untapable, Frosted and Constitution. In spite of his moderate race record, he only recorded one Grade One victory in the Wood Memorial to his name, the son of the great Pulpit is a classic example of the best of the potent A.P.Indy/Mr.Prospector cross.

Another KZN farm, Summerhill Stud stallions sires feature quite prominently in the list, with Traffic Guard’s sire More Than Ready coming in at 13th on the list of sires with more than 30 ABC runners, Dubawi sire of newest stallion addition to the Summerhill ranks, Willow Magic, comes in at impressive 5th on the list. The “iron horse” Giant’s Causeway, sire of the late Summerhill stallion, Await The Dawn and the Scott Bros stallion Eightfold Path, comes in at 7th on the list.

What Oppenheim’s list shows is that we are lucky enough to be blessed with many top class stallions in this province, themselves the product of even better sires. It can only auger well for future breeding and racing not only in this province, but hopefully the whole of South Africa.

“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!

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One Comment

  1. Tapit and Pulpit’s major success keeps leading back to La Troienne.
    Rutherienne a double
    Purge a line
    Mr Speaker numerous lines
    Power Broker – Numbered Account (California Chrome’s dam inbred to Numbered Account)
    Corinthian – Buckpasser
    Sky Mesa – female line of Busanda
    Untapable – Lalun
    Tonalist – Buckpasser
    Constitution – Seattle Slew and Forty Niner

    Incredible how successful this really is

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