Sign up to the TDN daily edition

Enter your details below to subscribe to the TDN Australia & NZ daily edition.

Like mother, like daughter?

5 min read
There have been 15 Group 1-winning mares who have gone on to produce a Group 1-winning daughter in Australasia since 1989. John Boyce takes a look at the statistical relationship between champion racemares becoming champion broodmares.

There is nothing more reaffirming than seeing the great race mares of our time go on to produce a son or daughter that is just as good. Unfortunately, it’s a rare occurrence.

Sires, of course, have a numerical advantage. With well in excess of 100 foals every year, they are much more likely to hit the jackpot. If a mare produces ten foals in her lifetime, she will have done very well. But as research shows, a mare’s probability of producing a major winner is probably even more restricted.

Great racehorses statistically tend to come early in a mare’s career, though there are plenty of major exceptions to this rule. So it’s so important to give a mare the very best of opportunities early on.

Can a Champion produce a Champion?

There is that vexing feeling that truly great mares do not always produce the goods at stud. Those that can compete at the very highest level – the Winx and Black Caviars of this world – will certainly find it almost impossible to replicate themselves. But we shouldn’t be surprised about this. After all, a Winx and a Black Caviar are once-in-a-generation racehorses.

"Great racehorses statistically tend to come early in a mare’s career, though there are plenty of major exceptions to this rule." - John Boyce

Research does back up the theory that a mare doesn’t have to be outstanding on the track to be a good broodmare. The correlation that exists between the racing ability of a dam and the racing ability of her sons and daughters is perhaps the strongest one of all in a pedigree. You can plot a very close relationship between the two – that is, right up to a point.

G1 Golden Slipper, Estijaab is one such example, being out of G1 winner, Response

Which all goes to prove how special it is when we find G1-winning mares that are capable of producing a G1 winner. Just imagine the euphoria if Winx gave the racing world another Winx.

SUNDAY JOYSunday SilenceMORE JOYOUSMore Than Ready128
TRACY'S ELEMENTLast TycoonTYPHOON TRACYRed Ransom124
EPISODEScenicFIRST SEALFastnet Rock122
CAMARENADanehillCAMARILLAElusive Quality121
CAMARILLAElusive QualityGUELPHExceed And Excel120
JOIE DENISEDanehillTUESDAY JOYCarnegie119
RESPONSECharge ForwardESTIJAABSnitzel118
DANELAGHDanehillDIZELLEZabeel117
MISS FINLANDRedoute's ChoiceSTAY WITH MEStreet Cry117
BINT MARSCAYMarscayBOLLINGERDehere115
FAYREFORMTightsPERFECT FITElusive City114
JOIE DENISEDanehillSUNDAY JOYSunday Silence113
MARQUISEGold And IvorySHOWER OF ROSESZabeel113
SHE'S ARCHIEArchwayMAY'S DREAMNew Approach112
DIZELLEZabeelPINOTPierro111
UNEARTHLYZabeelINVESTDehere109

Table: All G1-winning fillies foaled since 1989 that have produced a G1-winning daughter (scroll right on mobile to see full list)

Our table, highlights all G1-winning fillies foaled since 1989 that have gone on to produce a G1-winning daughter in Australia and New Zealand.

The very best fillies – those say rated 130-plus by Timeform – don’t do any better as broodmares than some of their lower-rated counterparts. My own research suggests that when a mare is good enough to be rated 120, she’s already optimally qualified to be a top broodmare, all other things being equal (which they never are). Adding another three, five or seven lengths to her ability will not statistically increase her chances of producing a top horse.

"The correlation that exists between the racing ability of a dam and the racing ability of her sons and daughters is perhaps the strongest one of all in a pedigree." - John Boyce

The Queen producer

Pride of place must go to the Danehill mare Joie Denise, who produced two G1 winners in Sunday Joy (Sunday Silence) and Tuesday Joy (Carnegie). Joie Denise’s G1 success came in the Queenland Oaks and her Timeform rating of 113 – a full 21 points behind Winx’s best – reflected the fact that she had to compete outside Sydney and Melbourne to win at G1 level.

Sunday Joy is one of two G1 winners by Joie Denise, a G1 winner herself

Coincidentally, her daughter Sunday Joy was also rated 113 after her success in the Australian Oaks at Randwick. Joie Denise’s second G1 winner was cut from a different cloth. Not only was she much speedier than her sister and mother, she was simply more talented as her victories in the Coolmore Classic, Ranvet, BMW and Chipping Norton suggest. Her four G1 successes form 1,500m to 2,400m earned her a Timeform rating of 119.

Remarkably, Sunday Joy also went on to produce her own G1 winner in More Joyous – perhaps the best racehorse of all on our list. The highest-rated Australian horse by More Than Ready, More Joyous (128) – inbred to Halo, proved to be an outstanding filly who won no fewer than eight G1s, culminating with a brilliant treble in the autumn of 2011 in Sydney – the Queen of the Turf, the Doncaster and the Queen Elizabeth.

"Remarkably, Sunday Joy also went on to produce her own G1 winner in More Joyous – perhaps the best racehorse of all on our list." - John Boyce

More Joyous

Just as More Joyous was a G1 winner out of a G1 winner, who was in turn out of a G1 winner, so too was the fabulous Exceed And Excel filly Guelph, who earned a Timeform rating of 120, following her Sires’ Produce and Champagne victories at two and her Flight Stakes and Thousand Guineas wins at three.

Guelph is out of Camarilla (by Elusive Quality) who was victorious – like her daughter – in the G3 Blue Diamond Prelude and the G1 Sires’ Produce. Though she won only one G1, Camarilla was rated 121 by Timeform, one point higher than her daughter and four clear of her own dam, the 116-rated Danehill mare Camarena, who bagged her G1 in the Queensland Derby.

G1 winner Guelph has already foaled a stakeswinner, with her first foal Encryption winning the Black Opal S.

Also worthy of mention is the 124-rated Typhoon Tracy, who won ten of her first 13 starts and amassed a total of six G1 victories during her career. She is a daughter of top-class four-time G1-winning South African sprinter Tracy’s Element.

So, among all the horses born in the past 30 years in Australia and New Zealand, there have been only 16 G1-winning mother and daughter combinations. At least these duets are still happening: last season’s Golden Slipper heroine Estijaab is a daughter of dual G1 winner Response.

What are the odds Winx will be joining this elite list in the not-too-distant future?