Goodman on the hunt for finest pedigrees
Greg Goodman: "We want horses that the whole world might like"
Kentucky breeder on the hunt for finest pedigrees
By Martin Stevens 1:06PM 11 SEP 2016
TWO standout lots bred by Mt Brilliant Farm in Kentucky at next week's Keeneland September Yearling Sale demonstrate the stud's international approach: one is a Frankel half-brother to the former Mark Johnston-trained Hartnell, a wide-margin winner of the Group 2 Chelmsford Stakes in Australia earlier in the month, and the other is a Street Cry half-brother to this season's Belmont Stakes hero Creator out of Peruvian champion Morena.
Mt Brilliant owner Greg Goodman doesn't pay too much attention to suffixes, though. For him, a good horse is a good horse.
Asked why he has delved into European bloodlines to purchase Debonnaire, an 11-year-old winning daughter of Anabaa, along with a number of other well-bred mares, he says: "Forever and ever, Europeans have been coming to Kentucky and buying horses, and some of our great farms here have gone to Europe and bought horses.
"Over here we breed a lot of speed whereas you breed a little more stamina, but if you look at the horses we bought in Europe, 90 per cent of them go back to American pedigrees. Debonnaire is out of a Rahy mare, for example, and another of our mares, Desert Classic [the dam of Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf winner Wrote] goes back to Special and Rough Shod."
Goodman said it was also a temporary lack of top-end stallion talent in the US that encouraged him to breed in Europe.
"When we first started doing it we were really short of a few stallions here in America – we've come back substantially, but A.P. Indy had retired, Tapit was just making his way, a lot of the really top sires had gone, although Medaglia D'Oro and Street Cry were there," he says.
"But breeding in Europe gave us more options."
Goodman bought Creator's dam Morena when she was in training and had proved her Peruvian form stood up in America.
He says: "Michael Matz trains some horses for us, he had the horse and trained her for a Peruvian soccer player [Claudio Pizarro] who wanted to sell. She had run and placed in several Graded races.
"So I went with a friend of mine, Orrin Ingram, to Michael's barn to see the mare – she was beautiful so we bought her, left her with Michael and raced her on for a little while before we retired and bred from her.
"Orrin owns a third of her and he also has a third of Debonnaire as well. He's the only person we partner with on anything."
The international reach of Mt Brilliant Farm extended to the Magic Millions Gold Coast National Broodmare Sale in Australia this year, when Goodman bought two well-related mares – Golden Cropper, a daughter of More Than Ready out of a half-sister to Redoute's Choice, for A$650,000 and Darci's Dream, a daughter of Darci Brahma related to Danehill Dancer, for A$290,000.
"If we can find a good mare with a good pedigree we'll go anywhere for them," says Goodman. "Those families go back to old American pedigrees as well. That's what we look for – mares that work well where we buy them and might work coming back to America.
"We're not looking just to sell our horses just to Americans, or just to Europeans or just to Australians; we want horses that the whole world might like. Good horses can work anywhere."
And Goodman is convinced the half-brothers to Hartnell and Creator at Keeneland next week will work anywhere. He doesn't believe the Frankel colt – "a lot like his sire with a tremendous walk" – or the Street Cry colt – "more mature than Creator was at this stage" – should be pigeonholed as either dirt or turf horses.
"Using turf or dirt sires doesn't worry me too much," he says. "Number one, there's a lot of people who love turf horses in the US, and number two, there's so many European and Australians and Japanese who come over here to buy."
Hartnell's dam Debonnaire has a filly foal by Frankel at Highclere Stud who Goodman intends to race himself with the dam in Kentucky in foal to Tapit. Morena, meanwhile, has a Tiznow filly foal and is in foal to Uncle Mo.
After their yearlings have been sold at Keeneland there could be more good results in the ring for Mt Brilliant this autumn, as the farm is represented at Book 1 of the Tattersalls October Yearling Sale by Galileo colts out of Famous, a Group 1-placed sister to Mastercraftsman, and Gooseberry Fool, a Group 3-placed three-parts sister to Aussie Rules.
No-one could accuse Goodman of being insular in his approach to breeding and selling, leaving no excuse for international buyers to ignore the products of this cornerstone of American breeding.