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A.P.Indy as a three-year-old in the 1992 Belmont Stakes and Breeders Cup Classic
(Footage : YouTube)
PART 1 : THE GROWING FOOTPRINT OF A.P.INDY
Frank Mitchell is revered for his observations of the bloodstock business. At one point the deputy bloodstock editor for what is arguably America’s most “read” racing daily, the Daily Racing Form, he’s also author of the authoritative books, Racehorse Breeding Theories and Great Breeders and their Methods: the Hancocks.
When Frank speaks, it’s worth listening, even if the observations of one individual are not necessarily biblical in every respect. In the latest issue of International Thoroughbred, he speculates on the rising influence of A.P.Indy not only as the ruling emperor of American stallions, but as arguably the most powerful force as an emerging sire of sires. While it’s almost inconceivable that anything could come to replace the almost perennial dominance in American racing of the Mr. Prospector and Northern Dancer strains, Frank Mitchell believes (and he advances some persuasive theories on the subject) that A.P. Indy is on his way to doing just that.
Mitchell’s analysis is not simply anecdotal by the way: he has at his disposal all of the facts and figures, and like Arrowfield’s John Messara, who is the pioneering example of what analysis can achieve in stallion selection, particularly in Australia, Mitchell has arrived at his conclusions after visiting the numbers. While knowing what to look for in a prospective stallion is one of the gifts the best stockmen are endowed with, especially when it comes to an understanding of the physical and pedigree requirements, the fact is, Messara has made an art of what previously appeared a strictly scientific process, and in his acquisition and establishment of Danehill in the first instance, and subsequently his three champion sire sons, Redoute’s Choice, Flying Spur and Danzero, Messara has scaled heights occupied by the likes of Lord Derby, Senior Tesio, Bull Hancock, etc.
Of course, analysis alone will not get you to the mountain top: you need a healthy dose of the best attributes which are reserved for the best stockmen, and you need to understand best how to match your stallions to their prospective mates, otherwise your plans will come to very little. None of these things can stand alone; and it’s the sum of these parts which sustain success in the stallion business in the longer term.
Before we leave the topic, let’s not discount the fact that A.P.Indy had already been an ominous influence on the affairs of racing in this country. For some time, there was a perception in Europe that he was strictly a “dirt” sire, and so the arrival in South Africa of his relatively ordinarily performed son, Camden Park, at David Hepburn-Brown’s Hemel and Arde Stud, was received with a modicum of scepticism. As it happens, Camden Park delivered up a world-class performer in Jay Peg in his first crop (interestingly bred on the cross of A.P. Indy from an Al Mufti mare (A.P.Indy is out of a half sister to Al Mufti,) and then in the very next crop, he gave us the Champion Two Year Old Filly, Consensual for the late Laurie and Jean Jaffee. Since then, there’s been a veritable stream of turf performers from A.P.Indy’s lineage, making our charge for A.P.Arrow a no-brainer.