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Who Will Buy? | Superfectablog v3.0

Racehorses in History

June: Fairy Chant
b. 1937
Why: A champion at 3 and 4, Fairy Chant won the Beldame twice. She was in the money for 26 of her 42 races.

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The epidemiologists are still on the job in Australia, and they need to be — equine influenza has spread to two breeding farms in the Hunter Valley. Given that the virus is most dangerous to newborn foals and elderly horses, this is especially problematic and could easily scupper the plans under discussion to send some Australian mares from similar facilities to Kentucky to breed to stallions including Dynaformer, Point Given and Smarty Jones (although other arrangements that involve breeding mares already in Kentucky on Southern Hemisphere time would presumably be unaffected at this point).

Of course, local studs are hoping to work the situation to their advantage by offering special lease agreements and other deals to encourage breeders who cannot get to the shuttle stallion of their choice to consider their studs (including the not-terribly-photogenic unraced half-brother of Smarty Jones, Sippin’ Bourbon, although there are other options).

But will breeders really go for the ‘local’ product? Bill Saunders, writing in the Virtual Form Guide, thinks it’s not so simple:

Even the much vaunted boom for colonial non-shuttling sires will be limited by mare owner’s reluctance to either use what they may see as an inferior product, or risk infecting their mares with EI by sending them away.

There are no easy answers for the breeding and horse export industries. Maybe this is the way that the current boom in bloodstock values comes to an end. Not with an economic depression as most would have thought, but with real losses caused to large numbers of industry participants by a totally unforseen epidemic.

Of course, it seems that the epidemic in question was not quite so unforeseen — there were warnings three years ago when the quarantine procedures were modified. Oops.

But hey, it seems Jazil is available for all your breeding needs; rather than lose another allowance race ‘risk injury’ he’s off to the farm at Shadwell too. Hopefully his sister will remain in training…

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