LE MAGAZINE - The fusion of French and US bloodlines proves successful
The 2018 season proved to be a ground-breaking one as it marked the first time that a US sire, TM Fred Texas, had sired the leading French three-year-old and namely Marid.
The previous PA horse by a US-born mother to dominate his generation in France was Munjiz in 2005.
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Emmanuel Cessac, the Haras de Thouars supremo, told us: "It is easy to fathom why the fusion of two different bloodlines, and namely when the stallion Amer is crossed with French mares, that there exists a basis for obtaining very good results. However, in the current context, there aren’t many solutions in place designed to bring about new outcrosses. However, the availability of US bloodlines represents a rare opportunity. Furthermore, it’s a way of bringing speed and precocity to the party. It’s one of the reasons for why the Haras de Thouars has welcomed into its ranks stallions of the calibre of Aim South (Burning Sand) or TM Fred Texas (Burning Sand). We are also acting as a distribution facility as regards the semen samples of Big Easy (Burning Sand) and RB Burn (Majd Al Arab). The success of the first products of TM Fred Texas is remarkable and very encouraging. You could be forgiven from thinking that this dirt horse would be incapable of generating turf performers. However, that’s not the case and his progeny have proved to be very successful on grass. The standout example is Marid (TM Fred Texas), the world’s top ranked three-year-old of 2018. The importance of US bloodlines have also been important when tracing the evolution of the English thoroughbreds and trotters."
Burning Sand and the speed factor. Todd Moak is the breeder of several high profile PA horses in France such as TM Fred Texas (by Burning Sand out of a mare which is three-parts French) and TM Thunder Struck (Majd Al Arab x Burning Sand x ZT Ali Baba).
The former won three Gr1 PAs races on dirt, one at Meydan and two in the US. However, he
also looked at home when tried on grass after suffering a narrow defeat in the Qatar Cup - Prix Dragon (Gr1 PA) in France. TM Thunder Struck, twice third in the Prix Dragon, was also second in the Dubai Kahayla Classic (Gr1 PA) on the dirt at Meydan. He was tried on turf in Qatar where he won the Qatar National Day Trophy (Gr2 PA) and the Qatar International Cup (Gr1 PA). Todd Moak is also the owner of the stallion Burning Sand,
a leading light of the US-breeding world, and very much a dominant influence in his native homeland. He said: “The main attributes which Burning Sand repeatedly transmits to his stock are a competitive nature, agreeable disposition and speed, at both short and long distances. My experience is mostly with French crosses or straight French ones. He is a natural outcross for most mares. I wouldn’t classify myself as a dirt-orientated breeder. It’s just that there are so few turf races for Arabians in the US, that it’s impossible to tell how they will adapt until they are shipped to countries where they have opportunities to race on the turf. Burning Sand horses generally love to run, so it does not surprise me that they do well on any surface. I have focused on blending the best blood possible. Runners by this stallion have competed at the highest levels in the US and abroad. Most of our races are at a mile or less. Burning Sand runners have proven that longer distances aren’t a problem. As far as precocity is concerned, I don’t have a general sense of that when it comes to US horses. It varies according to the objectives of different owners and trainers. In order to succeed in the US, speed, athleticism and quality conditioning are called for. Quality conditioning by skilled professionals is of the utmost importance. When it comes to breeding from daughters of Burning Sand, I tend to use Majd Al Arab, as was the case with TM Thunder Struck. However, I must mention that daughters of Burning Sand are producing top quality runners around the world with stallions of varying pedigrees. That’s great to see! The most recent development in the legacy of Burning Sand is the phenomenal success of the runners sired by TM Fred Texas (Burning Sand ex Queen Kong), and including those out of daughters of Burning Sand."
The French influence in the US. Dianne Waldron is the breeder of several horses which have distinguished themselves on turf at international level. One such example is Fryvolous (a son of Dormane out of an US mare), a dual Gr1 PA winner in his country of origin, and
later successful in the Dubai Kahayla Classic (Gr1 PA) on the dirt at Nad Al Sheba, and in The National Day Cup (Gr1 PA) (turf) at Abu Dhabi. Rb Burn (Majd Al Arab), having opened his account in the US, went on to shine in France under the care of Élisabeth Bernard where he was second to Muraaqib (Munjiz) in the Qatar Total Arabian Trophy des Poulains (Gr1 PA) at Saint-Cloud. Subsequently exported to the United Arab Emirates where he was trained by Éric Lemartinel, he captured the world’s richest prize for Purebred Arabians, the
Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan Jewel Crown (Gr1 PA), which carried a purse worth the equivalent of € 1,200,000 in 2016. He was demoted to second by the stewards for causing interference in this race in 2018, which entailed Muraaqib being awarded the race. RB Torch (TH Richie) landed the Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan Day Cup (Gr3 PA) on the grass at Abu Dhabi. When switched to the dirt at Meydan, he took the Bani Yas (Gr2 PA). Dianne Waldron told us: "The main quality that I believe American bred Arabian race horses bring to European breeding is speed. I have had tremendous success crossing the distance running French horses with the 'hot blooded' American lines. I truly believe that turf is an easier surface, and a more natural one, for a horse to run on – so to go from dirt to turf to me is easier than going from turf to dirt. The goal of my breeding program is to produce excellent race horses that win. That takes care of all breeding objectives. My programme has been successful all over the world, both on turf and dirt. I never consider anything else when planning our matings, except what I can cross to create a faster and a better athlete overall. The influence of Burning Sand when crossed with US mares, and the large number of resulting foals and their ability to sprint, is truly what has dominated most breeding programmes in the US. I believe this happened by accident and not by design. I have always bred to produce fast horses that could hold their speed a mile and over. If they are fast enough, they can also win over furlongs. I believe that the qualities required of a horse to succeed on the track in America are the same as any place in the world. Most of our races are over six furlongs, so the ability to sprint is an advantage. However, the more lucrative races are over longer. So back to what I said, a fast horse that can hold the speed is what is best. French bloodlines have certainly had a tremendous influence on American breeding. Most of my recent Darley champions have French blood in their pedigrees. They have all been suited to both dirt or turf."
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