Bloodlines In Racing
Australian thoroughbred bloodlines can be traced back to the first two or three stallions that were imported onto the continent from both Europe and America. Of course, these lines don’t play a part in racing performance today as they are way too far back in the past to have any effect. Current bloodlines do play a part, however, and placing a wager on a horse should be done with all knowledge in hand, including its pedigree and whether said pedigree has produced any winners.
There are a few common lines in Australian thoroughbreds that seem to produce winner after winner. Bearing in mind that stallions can have up to 100 foals a year, while mares can only breed one foal a season, it is obvious that the stallion lines will be better known. Also, as there are often so many foals by one stallion, checking the ratio of winners to mediocre horses is worth your time. Two well-known winners out of say 50 foals do not mean that the pedigree is necessarily successful.
Checking these statistics is not a difficult thing to do. There are many websites available for punters and pretty much any one else who wishes to check the pedigree of a thoroughbred. In the smaller races the sires and dams of the runners are not usually mentioned, only the actual horse’s name. This means that a bit of sleuthing work is needed to have a look at the horse’s pedigree.
Big Races Versus Small Races
Of course, the big, important races rely much less on bloodlines than the smaller ones. The horses in the Melbourne Cup or Cox Plate are proven athletes with many wins and a lot of prize money already in the bank. Their bloodlines can be interesting to look at, simply because it may give some information on an already existing line, or show potential for an unknown one.
Smaller horse betting races are where the proverbial wheat is separated from the chaff. These races, especially the maiden plates for two year olds, showcase young horses from all sorts of bloodlines. Often it is here that placing a wager on a horse with well-known parentage will be more beneficial than placing a wager on a totally unknown line or youngster. For example, Black Caviar’s first foal is due to start running this year. Placing a wager on her is a pretty good bet because of her mother’s proven performance. It is not guaranteed that she is going to be a super mare like her dam, but the chances are high that she will run well, and be a successful racehorse.
Dams and Sires
Until recently it was believed that foals get most of their talent and genetic makeup from their father or sire. That train of thought has changed, however, with most breeders agreeing that it is actually a 75% 25% split in favour of the dam. Sires are of course important, and due to their being more foals from a sire line than a dam line, there are more statistics to judge the quality of the horse as a breeding animal.