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A Few of My Favorite Things

Bluetongue and John SingletonInspired by the news that a palomino filly would be offered for sale at Keeneland (and she is a nice color, although her family would not inspire awe from a racing perspective), I began looking into the origins of the color in thoroughbreds. But just as I was about to start digging more deeply into whether Darcy’s Yellow Turk was really an Akhal-Teke (or Turkoman), I got sidetracked – I wondered what had become of the lovely white Zabeel filly born in 2006.

It emerges that she was sold at auction earlier this year, and for quite a tidy sum, too – AUS $270,000. While her unexpected color (the result of a chestnut dam and a famously bay sire) no doubt provoked more interest than your average yearling might have garnered, her bloodlines are no novelty – she’s a ¾ sister to two-time Australian Horse of the Year Might and Power. (Incidentally, Might and Power now resides at Living Legends – it’s a bit like our own Old Friends). This article suggests that the white gene expressed in the filly descends from the dam of Hyperion, Selene (and Selene, in turn is by Chaucer – making her part of one of my favorite families), and eventually traces it back to the Darley Arabian. (I would submit that she has so much of the other foundation sires showing up in her pedigree as well, though, that it would take more than a little hard-core research to pin the color on any one of them – if, indeed, they were one of the carriers).

But enough about genetics and historical research (actually, I’m of the opinion you can never have too much of either pursuit, but time is short today) – what is the filly up to now? She was purchased by John Singleton (and a few friends), who also part-owns the Magic Millions horse sales firm, and she will be taking part in one of his more recent business ventures – promoting Australian craft-beer brewers Bluetonguenow her namesake:

Singleton and Johns plan to use the filly in a marketing campaign for Bluetongue beer in the Newcastle and Hunter Valley areas. Singleton’s bloodstock manager Duncan Grimley confirmed that the name ‘Bluetongue’ was being sought for the filly, and proceeds associated with her career will be donated to charity.

Indeed, she seems a filly after my own heart – she even enjoyed the beer, according to ‘Singo’:

“She actually didn’t like the Bluetongue early and I thought ‘well I hope she’s not a (Tooheys) New drinker,” he said, “but then, ‘boom’, she took that big swallow and I knew she was one of us.”

A small aside – while in general I am not a huge fan of Australian beer (even of the craft variety), it seems Bluetongue (the brewery, not the horse) is aiming to follow the Coopers model, and I do recommend Coopers Dark Ale or Coopers Sparkling Ale on a hot day). Of course, if it’s great Antipodean beer you are after, I suggest looking across the Tasman Sea for a Moa Noir – or you can ignore the Southern Hemisphere distinction entirely and just enjoy one of these, regardless of origin.

But back to the horse — Bluetongue is now in training and seems to be coming along nicely so far. There are plans to involve some racing clubs in her career and I would be very curious to see if overseas fans could get in on the action. In any case, I’ll be keeping an eye out for her – and for ‘her’ beer.

1 comment to A Few of My Favorite Things

  • Keith - Triple Dead Heat

    Great post! Talking about beer while distracting me with horse talk is pretty much a dream…

    Now if only Woodbine would get a hold of that 30 Top Beers list.

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