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I wrote the following piece at the retirement of Elvstroem.  In it, I examined some lines that I thought would be most likely to be a success with one of the more high profile retirements in Australia in the last decade.  It is important to look back over past successes and failures to see if we are on track with our analysis of the thoroughbred.  Here is the article


The horse who was named after a Danish Gold Medal winning Olympina was scintillating in his win in the 1400m Group 1 Orr Stakes.  The addition to his resume of the prestigious sprint race would have pleased his new syndicate of owners who have just seen his value increase.  Elvstroem will stand at stud at Blue Gum Farm in Victoria in the forthcoming season after his tilt on the international stage.

The stallion has dosages of [0.46/2.11] [11-24-26-0-5] which is in the staying range, but is also frequently in the range found in many versatile performers.  We will notice from his individual ratings that he has high ratings through all categories apart from the Solid area.  The true stamina ratings allow him to perform over distance, while the abundance of speed no doubt contributed to his Orr success.  Looking at his pedigree we see an interesting balance of current chefs in Danehill (by Danzig), Marscay (by Biscay who is by StarKingdom) and Zamazaan.

Elvstroem’s pedigree is a five generation outcross and the first duplications are represented by a 6f,6m x 6m cross of Hyperion which is the only one in his six generation pedigree.  We also see that Silent Witness who is currently claimed to be the world’s best sprinter has an outcross pedigree so perhaps this is a trend that we need to keep a close eye on.  A little further back in the pedigree we see a strong influence of the brothers Pharos and Fairway, both sons of the influential mare, Scapa Flow.  In addition we also see a number of strains of the mare, Mah Mahal and interestingly one is through Pherozshah, the product of a mating between Mah Mahal and Pharos, the sire of Pharos and Fairway.  Hyperion who is one of the major male influences in the pedigree is himself a son of the famous mare, Selene resulting in a blending of some of the most important female lines within Elvstroem’s pedigree.

Elvstroem’s dam, Circles Of Gold [0.67/2.23] was a Group 1 winning mare and we see that her son was bred with a similar dosage index to herself.  Circles Of Gold was also represented by a six generation outcross pedigree.  Another successful relation is the Golden Slipper winner Polar Success [1.26/12.60] who is bred very much on speed lines rather than the staying balance of Elvstroem and his dam.  This would indicate that we should not be afraid to send speed mares to Elvstroem.  The pedigree of Polar Success is also a six generation outcross.

Although the outcross pedigree appears important in the family, Ain’t Seen Nothin’ [0.50/2.53] is a quality runner from the family who is bred 4mx3m to Sir Ivor.  Equally importantly, she also has a duplication of another great female influence in Almahmoud.

Elvstroem has a lot to offer to breeders no doubt, but I suggest that the family history shows that we need to be relatively careful when choosing the right mares for him.  His best progeny will most likely be in a similar mould to himself in terms of dosages although the right speed families will produce some good sprinters as his Orr Stakes success underlined.  The ideal mares are also possibly to produce offspring with an outcross pedigree although these will not be the easiest to find.  Alternatively another strategy would be to breed quite strongly to one particular influence in Elvstroem’s pedigree.  There should be a lot of thought with linebreeding strategies, and most should try to reinforce the strong female influences within the pedigree.

As a general indication, mares with a strong Sir Tristram influence could easily be considered.  In Victoria, the Sir Tristram son, Greig may have some suitable daughters in close proximity.  Octagonal and Zabeel are more likely to sirelines that we should be pursuing, although we need to ensure that there are also strong speed lines within the pedigree.  This is unlikely to include Danehill or Danzig influences that we find in many of these stallion’s daughters.  Jeune is a different stallion line that could also have some suitable daughters among his speedier progeny.  From the speed stallions, Rory’s Jester no doubt will provide some daughters who will be suitable matings for Elvstroem reinforcing the influential mare, Rose O’Lynn as well as StarKingdom factors.

In hindsight, we can look to see whether I was close to the mark.  Elvstroem certainly hasn't set the world on fire to date, siring only 8 stakes winners to date.  These eight tell an interesting story though, and luckily would suggest that my article was at least on the right track.

Of the eight stakes winners, only three did not include Star Kingdom in their pedigree.  More importantly, Shanghai Warrior was out of a Rory's Jester mare.  Brilliant Bisc sees Sir Tristram prominent in her pedigree, but significantly with the presence of speed influences Century and Vain also included.  Instalment is out of a daughter of Octagonal, a son of Zabeel in a pedigree that also includes Vain.  Viking Hero accordingly is out a daughter of Zabeel with Star Kingdom also present in the pedigree of the dam.  Yet another of his stakes winners, Go The Knuckle is out of mare by the speed influence Zedative in a pedigree represented by a 5 generation outcross.  Another key feature is that none of these stakes winners include either Danehill or Danzig in their pedigree exactly as suggested all those years ago.


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