Hugh Taylor

Hugh has shortlisted three pedigree pointers which punters may be able to take advantage of in the coming season.

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I’ve been trying to hunt down some possible pedigree angles, with racing’s resumption in this country hopefully just around the corner.

Spotting three-year-olds that are bred to improve for a step up in trip can still be a profitable approach, but in my opinion the market adjusts faster to this type of horse than was the case, say, ten years ago, at least in the case of horses sired by stallions with obvious stamina credentials.

However, one sire whose progeny might not be expected to do well when his sire tackle longer distances is DELEGATOR, yet the results are perhaps a little surprising.

Delegator won the Craven Stakes and was runner-up in the 2000 Guineas and St James’s Palace Stakes as a 3yo, but he won the 6f Duke Of York Stakes as a 5yo and probably looked the type of sire to be more of an influence for speed than stamina. That’s how his progeny have generally been campaigned, but maybe they should be tried over further more frequently.

At distances below 1m3f, the record of his progeny (three-year-olds and older) is 83 wins from 799 runs, a strike rate of 10.4% and a level stakes loss of 153 points, whereas at 1m3f+, their record is 27 wins from 163, a strike rate of 16.6%, and a level stakes profit of 115 points.

The figures over the longer trip are quite robust, with an actual over expected score of 1.62, and although one 66-1 winner did boost the profit total, there would have still been a profit backing all the runners at single-figure odds.

There have been some notable multiple winners over longer distances for some relatively “small” trainers – five wins each for Mark Usher’s Bird For Life and John Gallagher’s Iley Boy, four for Shaun Keightley’s Trouble Shooter, and three for James Eustace’s Envoy. It might prove worthwhile keeping an eye out for Delegator’s progeny when they tackle middle distances and beyond.

Delegator (right) finishing second in the St James's Palace Stakes in 2009.

Another sire for whom there’s potentially an angle for punters to exploit is FARHH.

He has produced plenty of good horses in his short stallion career to date, notably the Group 1-winning King Of Change and the high-class stayer Dee Ex Bee, but his progress has been hampered by his fertility issues.

However, that hasn’t prevented a notable pattern emerging amongst his stock – a lack of precocity, but strong development with time and experience.

Farhh has produced 10 wins from 84 two-year-old runners at a fairly modest 11.9% strike rate, but his 3yos have recorded 44 wins from 184 runners, a strike rate of 23.9%, and a level stakes profit of 39 points (A/E 1.38). His progeny tend to stay very well which has obviously helped with the solid numbers posted by his 3yos compared with juveniles.

Moreover, on racecourse debut Farhh’s progeny have a very moderate record, winning just 4 times from 52 runs. Things improve on their second run (8 wins from 47 runners, a 17% strike rate), but on their third, fourth and fifth runs combined Farhh’s progeny have a record of 28 wins from 97 runners, a 28.9% record and a level stakes profit of 35 points.

His fertility issues meant Farhh had six individual 2yo runners on UK tracks last year, but they are worth keeping an eye on, along with presumably a number that were unraced as 2yos. I think Farhh is an underrated sire in general because of the paucity of his runners, but they are likely to continue to be of interest in the right circumstances.

Finally, although this is going to be an angle that will only last for the next couple of years or so, I thought it was worth drawing attention to Coolmore’s use of DEEP IMPACT in recent years.

Sadly, Deep Impact had to be euthanized last year, but the record of his progeny with Aidan O’Brien from just a handful of runners has already caught the eye to a degree, and there are likely to be a few more Ballydoyle runners to come from the stallion’s final crops.

O’Brien has raced only six individual representatives of Deep Impact so far, but three of them won on debut, at odds of 9-2, 6-1 and 8-1, and that sextet produced a 2000 Guineas winner (Saxon Warrior) and a multiple Group One-placed filly (September), as well as an unbeaten Listed winner (Fancy Blue); the average official rating of the six horses is 104.

Following the success of Saxon Warrior, in particular, Coolmore were active in terms of sending some of their most choicely-bred mares to Deep Impact over the last couple of years, with the likes of Minding, Rhododendron, Maybe, Winter, and Hydrangea all reportedly visiting him in either 2019 or 2020.

How many of these matings result in progeny seen on the racecourse remains to be seen, but there’s every chance they will be worth waiting for.

Hugh Taylor
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