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Jakkalberry - future sire of middle distance and staying performers

Experienced Stud Master and Manager of Novara Park (just south of Cambridge) Ray Knight is looking back in order to chart the future.

Novara, in northern Italy, is where the legendary breeder Federico Tesio made his indelible mark on the bloodstock breeding world. Without Tesio, highly influential stallions Nearco (ITY) (Pharos [GB]) and Ribot(GB) (Tenerani [ITY]) would not have existed.

Knight has taken on the task of establishing widely travelled international Group One stayer Jakkalberry(IRE) (Storming Home [GB]) as a future sire of middle distance and staying performers, much as the stallion himself performed. The Gran Premio di Milano (Gr.1, 2400m) winner also scored at Group Two and Group Three level but his fast finishing third placing to Green Moon (Montjeu[IRE]) in the 2012 running of the Melbourne Cup (Gr.1, 3200m) is the performance that will most likely resonate with potential breeders. Splitting that pair was Fiorente (Monsun[GER]), who would take out the same race in 2013.

Another high quality performance was his third placing in the Sheema Classic (Gr.1, 2400m) behind the outstanding Cirrus des Aigles (Even Top)and St Nicholas Abbey (Montjeu[IRE]) at Meydan in Dubai.

Jakkalberry possesses stamina to burn and withstood a number of preparations during his 12 win career. He was not kept in cotton wool and took on the best stayers in the world on numerous occasions, often travelling between hemispheres to challenge his peers.

"Historically, it's what we do best in New Zealand - breed stayers." believes Knight.

"Entries for the rich spring races like the Caulfield Cup (Gr.1, 2400m) and Melbourne Cup (Gr.1, 3200m) plus the BMW (Gr.1, 2400m) and Queen Elizabeth Stakes (Gr.1, 2400m) in the autumn, were once dominated by New Zealand bred stayers, but recently, it has been Europe that has been the source for Australian trainers."

What goes around, comes around and Knight senses that the tide is about to turn back towards the New Zealand bred stayer.

"The weakening New Zealand dollar is going to make purchasing yearlings, ready-to-run graduates and proven racehorses more affordable, he said, "and the attraction towards proven European horses is beginning to wane.

"Traders in the Northern Hemisphere have become aware of the demand and have upped prices accordingly. What was, not that long ago, a formula to score in the rich races listed above is becoming more and more expensive.

"Besides that the depth of staying blood to be found in the New Zealand Stud Book seems bottomless. Even when sprinter-miler blood is added to the broodmare pool, the foundations have a long history. The slower maturing, patience-is-required blood keeps having its say when races that require strength and stamina are staged."

He went on to say that the success by Australian-breds in their big staying events is virtually nil. It is not uncommon to find no Australian-breds accepting in races of 2400 metres and beyond.

"While Star Kingdom (Stardust) and Danehill (Danzig) have been the two major influences on the Australian Stud Book during the last 60 years that influence has been confined to sprints, miles and the shorter middle-distance races. Jakkalberry is completely free of both Danehill and Danzig blood."

Jakkalberry represents a female family that has produced a number of leading stallions that have stood in New Zealand and they, too, have largely added to stamina that has always existed here.

Two of Jakkalberry's stakes-winning half-brothers, Awelmarduk (Almutawakel[GB]) and Kidnapping (Intikhab[USA]) succeeded at 2400 metres, the former an Italian Derby (Gr.1, 2400m) winner. His dam, Claba di San Jore (IRE) (Barathea[IRE]), didn't stop at two. She has also produced Group One stakes winner Crackerjack King (Shamardal[USA])) as well as his 2015 Italian Oaks (Gr.2, 2400m) placed listed stakes winner Joyful Hope.

Claba di San Jore's daughter Bois Joli (Orpen[USA]), a winner at 2450 metres, has been similarly busy and is represented by Circus Couture (Intikhab[USA]) and Celticus (Stroll[USA]), both Italian stakes winners in the current season.

Close relatives that have had sire success in Australasia include Cerreto(IRE) (Claude[ITY]) as well as Crest of the Wave(GB) (Crepello[GB]) and his half-brother Palm Beach (GB) (Pall Mall[GB[)).

Footstepsinthesand(GB) (Giant's Causeway[USA]), winner of The Two Thousand Guineas (Gr.1,8f) and sire of more than 40 stakes winners, is from the same female line, as is current Cambridge Stud resident Power (GB) (Oasis Dream[GB]), the 2012 Irish Two Thousand Guineas (Gr.1, 8f) winner.

Deep in the female pedigree appears one stallion that made a substantial contribution to the New Zealand breeding industry: champion sire and champion broodmare sire Summertime(GB) (Precipitation[GB]), sire of the great Sobig.

Jakkalberry's first foals appear this spring and will be much anticipated. For season two, Knight has been busy, travelling the country promoting the stallion and giving him the best opportunity to fulfill his potential.

Knight's challenge is not going to be easy. Success rarely is, but he has a plan and who's to say he won't change people's minds regarding the breeding of middle distance and staying types. He might be on to something.

- Lloyd Jackson


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