Breeders need to be Nostradamus
It might be the middle of winter in the Southern Hemisphere but it is the middle of summer in the Northern Hemisphere and attention turns to 2yo racing.
The next generation of pacing sires, including the likes of the Americans Lather Up and Bettors Wish and local stars Ohoka Punter, Franco Nelson, Poster Boy, Ride High, Soho Lanika, Soho Tribeca, The Storm Inside, Lazarus, Ultimate Sniper and his full-brother Ultimate Machete either have their first crops hitting the track in 2023 or are due to begin racing in 2024.
Bettors Wish, whose first Australian foals will appear in the 2024 yearling sales, has his first American crop of 39 foals racing now and already has six winners and four of them have gone better than 1:54.
Lather Up, whose first Australian crop were sold at the 2023 yearling sales and will commence racing in 2024, has already produced 18 2yo winners from his first US crop of 82 foals including Hundred Dollar Man 1:51.8 $62,800.
Ohoka Punter, six 2yo winners from a first crop of 36 foals, Lazarus, six winners from 40 foals and Ultimate Machete with four winners from his 41 2yo foals are in the Top 20 2yo Sires on Harness Racing Australia’s early lists for this season.
The now defunct Rock N Roll World (pictured) heads the list of first crop sires with his first Western Australian crop of 83 foals which have produced eight juvenile winners.
Those trainers and potential owners heading to a yearling sale in 2024 looking for the next superstar and trying to predict which one has the special ingredient to become a star should spare a thought for the breeders of those yearlings.
Breeders faced similar agonising choices two years earlier when deciding on which stallion best suited their particular mare and, in many respects more importantly, which stallion would produce yearlings that buyers would want to bid on.
Unlike buyers who can see exactly the type of yearling they are bidding on the breeder is flying blind when it comes to first season sires and has to take a punt that their prediction, and ultimately selection, of the next in-demand stallion is correct.
Breeders literally need the predictive powers of Nostradamus combined with the luck of a multiple Lotto winner to have their yearlings in the right place at the right time to attract attention.