Day At The Track

600 to Bettors Delight - 'Absolute rubbish!'

07:55 AM 21 Oct 2010 NZDT
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Bettors Delight - during his racing days
Bettors Delight - during his racing days

Harness racing super sire in the making "Bettors Delight" looks set (in the current 2010/2011 breeding season) to challenge his own record of 546 mares that he bred in the 2006/2007 breeding season. That year he bred 345 in New Zealand and 201 in Australia.

546 is the most mares ever served in one breeding season to any stallion in Australia and New Zealand.

Bettors Delight also bred 451 mares in the 2008/2009 breeding season and that number is also the second highest number of mares ever bred in Australia and New Zealand in a single breeding season.

The stallion Live Or Die bred 435 mares in the 2001/2002 breeding season to rank third on the list of most ever mares bred in one breeding season and fourth on the list is Vance Hanover who bred 403 in the 1984/1985 breeding season and then followed Holmes Hanover fifth on the list with 397 bred in the 1993/1994 breeding season.

When put to Andrew Grierson of Woodlands Stud of the rumours of Bettors Delight serving 600 mares this year, he replied "that is absolute rubbish," and Grierson stressed to Harnesslink, that it was simply not true. He said the 12-year-old stallion as of October 13 had 223 bookings in New Zealand and 168 across the Tasman. Thats a total of 391 bookings.

Notwithstanding Grierson's comments, one could safely say that Bettors Delight still seems set to serve another massive book of well over 400 again, with 391 mares already booked 21 days into the official breeding season as of todays date.

The likely large number must be a concern for the commercial breeding sector and the massive numbers will also likely increase the debate about the narrowing gene pool in Standardbreds in Australia and New Zealand.

In the United States each stallion is now limited to 150 mares a season, whereas in the southern Hemisphere it is currently self regulated.

With a ring around of the major studs in New Zealand this week most studs reported a slower than usual start to the season with the climate, earthquakes and increased competition having a definite impact this season.

John Devlin, of Woodlands Stud, did comment on other stallions at the stud farm. "American Ideal is not far off being fully booked at 200 but Pegasus Spur could do with a little bit more patronage. As for Crazed (frozen semen) he is getting bookings from the knowledgeable trotting breeder," Devlin said. Devlin suprisingly said Bettors Delight had received a full book but couldn't confirm numbers.

NEVELE R STUD'S Ged Mooar reported:

"This season is proving to be pretty tough going compared to the previous three or four seasons, where our numbers of mares served were very good. The economy and the general state of the industry with reduced stake levels and many breeders receiving less than previous year's returns at the 2010 Yearling Sales seem to be the main reasons.

There have also never been so many stallions available for the breeder in a very competitive market place throughout Australia and NZ.

"Many breeders we have contacted are yet to decide stallions for their mares and we are hopeful we'll pick up mares in the next couple of months to add to the numbers we already have booked. "At this stage it looks like our mare numbers to stallions will be down in NZ in 2010 from 2009.

In Australia there are encouraging signs and we're on target to pick up on numbers from 2009 which were down on the previous year, so to get back in line with 2008 will be a good result.

"Our new resident stallion Changeover has been received extremely well by breeders and this reflects in his booking numbers. He is not far off being closed for the 2010 season with our aim for his book at 250 mares.

Live Or Die who had a fantastic season in Australia in 2009-10 is also been well supported throughout Australasia and this year it looks like he will serve more mares in Australia than New Zealand for the first time," Mooar said.

Target numbers for Australasia at this stage:Badlands Hanover - 180; Changeover - 250; Falcon Seelster - 80-100; Lis Mara - 100 his third season which is often the most difficult season to attract numbers. McArdle - 180-200; P Forty Seven - 70-80; Live Or Die - 250.


Stallion Station reported that bookings for the top horses was good with Mach three and Courage Under Fire being close to full, with strong interest for Mister Big and Art Official and Major in Art.

"After our Open Day last Sunday, which created a lot interest and our bookings have gained momentum. In particular Auckland Reactor who arrived late for Stud Duty was a source of much interest from breeders. He is being offered at $4,000 for this week as a promotion, the other Stallions were well received as well, said Stallion Station's Danny Boyle.

"There has also been high demand for Royal Mattjesty and our new sires Mr Big and Art Official.

We have been a bit quieter than last season but that's to be understood with the snow, earthquake, and economic climate."But in saying that we are on the way up and it's heartening to know that there is excitement in the New South Wales industry which is pouring a lot of money into harness racing. That will have a positive impact here," Boyle said.

After further investigation Harnesslink was able to reveal Stallion Station's latest figures: Mach Three 182, Major In Art 130, Courage Under Fire 152, Mister Big 105, Art Official 75, Royal Mattjesty 45, and Riverboat King 55.


Meanwhile Just le Lievre of Wai Eyre Farms said that given the climate and earthquake their stud was "comfortable with where they were at currently. "

Our super sire Christian Cullen is at 103, while Stonebridge Regal is at 75 and rising. Gotta Go Cullen (30) is also proving popular and some nice deals are currently in the pipeline. These numbers will increase as the breeding season develops," Le Lievre said.


Alabar Stud's Graeme Henley had the following to say:

"The numbers we are serving in Australia are pretty much in line with last year. Our numbers in New Zealand are definitely down on last year but I'm not yet sure if this means there will be considerably less mares bred in New Zealand or if breeders are just still to make up there minds - maybe a bit of both.

"I know a lot of breeders are still to decide as they are a bit overwhelmed by the choice of stallions. If the numbers are down, the upside will be that it should put more value on the foals that are bred."

Art Major and Grinfromeartoear are both full again.

Our new stallion Shadow Play will be closed shortly. We are also getting good numbers to Real Desire on the strength of the reports on his first two year olds and also to Santanna Blue Chip and Gotta Go Cullect on the quality of their first foals.

"Elsu will again also serve a good book of mares but how they race between now and the end of November will tell whether or not he serves the numbers he has up until now," Henley said

By Duane RANGER (editor)

VIDEO.......DARLIN'S DELIGHT - (Bettor's Delight's best US mare - winner of 34 races and $3,024,304)

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