Most people know only one thing that Tesio said and that was about the Derby finishing post. But.. The GREAT Federico Tesio was against sending a mare to a stallion too many times. His rule was ‘Include a few close inbreedings, a few complete outcrosses, one or two proven blood affinities, and one or two crosses which it is felt could become nicks, in the annual mating list’. If you have a mare and send it to a great stallion X, then continue to send it to that stallion you may have success. But if you wish to continue the family and develop it you are constraining your choices for the future if you keep sending it to X. That is especially the case if X is a great sire himself and sires a great sire Y. Let’s suppose X was Sadler’s Wells. Few would argue he was a great sire. He himself has sired two great sires in Galileo and Montjeu, amongst others, and they’ve sired sires. Now two mares I’ve followed are Phantom Gold (owned by the Queen) and Hellenic (owned by Ballymacoll) and they had a fair old time with Sadler’s Wells.. From 1997 to 2005 Phantom Gold was sent to Sadler’s Wells 5 times. The first mating in ’97 produced the Oaks 2nd Flight of Fancy so one could understand the temptation to go back to him and go back to him they did in 2002 to2005. Strangely they were all fillies except one, and at one time all four fillies were at the Royal Stud (they’ve sold 2 now). When it came to the mating of those fillies they could not then go to Galileo or Montjeu (well they could but it would be very close in-breeding) and even going to Galileo’s great son Frankel would probably be felt to be a bit close. The ‘best’ Phantom Gold mare has been Daring Aim (who was by Daylami)! A more extreme example is Ballymacoll’s Hellenic. Her first foal in 1992 was by Sadler’s Wells and called Election Day. He took his time to get going and won his first race as a 4yo: he later won a Group 3 and finished 3rd in the Ascot Gold Cup. They tried again with Sadler’s Wells in 1994 and the 1995 foal was Greek Dance who was more forward than his elder brother and actually ran in the 1998 Derby as a 5-1 chance but finished unplaced. He later won a Group 1 in Germany. The next important Sadler’s Well foal was Islington who won 4 Group 1’s and was probably the best 10-12f filly of her generation. A year later came her full-sister Olympienne, who never made it to the races. In all Hellenic was mated with Sadler’s Wells 11 times. By 2011 Ballymacoll had 3 mares of identical breeding in their stud and they still have them. It is worth noting that the best ‘Hellenic-family’ mare in the stud has actually been Desert Bloom, who is a daughter of Desert Beauty who was by Green Desert out of Hellenic. Her first three foals were winners and the 3rd one was Fiorente (by Monsun). This mare can be covered by Galileo or any of his sons but the rest of the sisters can’t. [And what a shame Hellenic was never sent to Monsun (or Islington sent to him for that matter)]. Just for information Desert Bloom has a 2yo colt by Fastnet Rock and a filly foal by Redoute’s Choice: she visits Cacique in 2015 (so all inbreeding to Danzig: added in edit). It is understandable that Ballymacoll wanted to replicate Islington or indeed Greek Dance but by continually sending Hellenic to Sadler’s Wells they closed off future opportunities and to my thinking some development of their family My own belief is that in these cases stud owners sometimes underplay their own part (their mare) in the result of a mating. If it’s successful it must be the sire they think so continue with that sire, when really it would have been more interesting to have sent Hellenic to other sires. She had a 100% Northern Dancer motherhood and was sent to Sadler’s Wells 11 times and Galileo, Green Desert, Danehill (producing the Group 1 winner Mountain High), Royal Academy and Caerleon once each. Great mare but wouldn’t they prefer now to have daughters of Hellenic to send to Galileo or his sons? To me this is evidence once again of the wisdom of Tesio. As I said in a previous article it’s easy for me to say that!