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NASD: The Best Is Yet To Come?

4 min read
Despite a slow start to his career and a number of books to lower quality mares, Not A Single Doubt managed to build a reputation as one of the best stallions in Australia. John Boyce takes a look at his career percentages of stakes winners to runners and determines the best is yet to come from the retired stallion.

The retirement due to ill health of Arrowfield’s Not A Single Doubt is a loss to Australian breeding, even at the age of 18. A Listed winner who was also Group 3 placed, Not A Single Doubt had nevertheless shown a decent level of form, earning a Timeform rating of 121 in a 10-race career.

Although he never won at Group level, Not A Single Doubt was the best racehorse among eight stakes winners in his sire’s brilliant first crop. His Timeform mark is also not that far below his sire’s Group 1-winning sons, The Autumn Sun and Snitzel, who were assessed at 126 and 125 respectively.

Not A Single Doubt

That said, he also relied on the Arrowfield brand to attract enough mares to give himself the opportunity to progress. And covering as he did at a fee of $13,750 (inc GST) for his first five seasons certainly garnered him enough mares on which to build a reputation.

And build a reputation he certainly has. Since he went to stud only four other Australian stallions have sired more stakes winners than his current total of 69 – Fastnet Rock, his stud companions Redoute’s Choice and Snitzel, plus Darley’s Exceed And Excel. And typically they all stood at much higher services fees than Not A Single Doubt.

EXTREME CHOICE2013CExtremelyHussonet
SCALES OF JUSTICE2012GBeymatillaUmatilla
SAMADOUBT2013GIsadoraGold Fever
CLEARLY INNOCENT2011GNo PenaltyZabeel
MIRACLES OF LIFE2010FDazzling GazelleMore Than Ready
SINGLE GAZE2012FRedaluca's GazeIntergaze
MIGHTY BOSS2014CBullion MansionEncosta de Lago
SECRET AGENDA2012FNegotiateRed Ransom
GOOD PROJECT2011CEuchreFinal Card
QAFILA2015FZighy BayTapit
KENEDNA2013FMiss DodwellFalbrav

Table: Group 1 Winners by Not A Single Doubt

Predictably, the poorer quality of Not A Single Doubt’s early mares did act as a brake on his career. It took him until his fifth crop to sire a juvenile Group winner and the best his first four crops could muster was half a dozen Group 3 winners. It was that fifth crop that opened his Group 1 account, containing as it did Blue Diamond heroine Miracles Of Life.

Three years later Extreme Choice became the second Group 1-winning juvenile among a career total of 25 stakes-winning 2-year-olds when he too won the Blue Diamond.

"69 stakes winners make up 7.8% of his runners, which is a brilliant score for a sire that started out where he did." - John Boyce

Not A Single Doubt has clawed his way up the ladder, profiting from ever better mares along the way. His 69 stakes winners make up 7.8% of his runners, which is a brilliant score for a sire that started out where he did. The expectation of his mares was much lower in that they produced only 4.6% stakes winners with other sires.

It’s the same story when we judge him using Group winners. Again he’s more than doubled an expected score of 2.1% to 4.7%. But the real clincher metric that demonstrates the Arrowfield stallion’s potency is the percentage of stakes winners to runners he gets from elite mares.

To be classified as elite, a mare must be among the best 15% in the land when assessed by her race record, pedigree and produce record.

Predictably, Not A Single Doubt didn’t see many of these mares during the early part of his career and it’s only in latter years that he’s covered significant numbers of good mares. But he’s now got to the point in his lifetime where 152 (17%) of his runners are from elite mares.

And these elite mares have produced 20 of his stakes winners at an excellent rate of 13.2%. To put that number in context we can compare it to his sire’s 13.7% or indeed Snitzel’s 12.7% – both also outstanding scores.

Not A Single Doubt

True, there are material differences in the quality of the stakes winners sired by all three, again no doubt explained by his poorer early mares. Redoute’s Choice’s 157 stakes winners have an average Timeform rating of 111.4, compared to Snitzel’s 110 for his 94 stakes winners and Not A Single Doubt’s 109.4. Additionally, the best 10 runners by Redoute’s Choice have an average Timeform rating of 124.6 compared to Snitzel’s 122.1 and Not A Single Doubt’s 120.7.

All things being equal, we ought to see some of Not A Single Doubt’s best runners in the coming seasons. His story is clearly not yet at an end.