WHEN you combine the blood of champion sires, you'd like to think it would produce something special.
Encosta de Lago and Redoute's Choice may have been overshadowed by Fastnet Rock in the past 18 months but the pair are formidable stallions and, when they get together in a pedigree, the results have been encouraging, as have the Redoute's Choice and Last Tycoon (IRE) matings.
Posting his first black type win at Ascot last Saturday in the Group 3 WATC RJ Peters Stakes was Encosta de Lago stallion Maschino, whose dam is Group 3 winning Redoute's Choice mare Tahni Girl.
According to Arion Pedigree database, the Encosta de Lago-Redoute's Choice cross has produced eight winners from 12 starters, with Maschino the second stakes-winner, joining Admiration. Back the reverse way, Redoute's Choice over Encosta de Lago mares have produced six winners from seven runners, including Group 1 winner Musir, Group 2 winner Beneteau and stakes-winner Essington.
The Redoute's Choice-Last Tycoon cross has produced 27 runners for 21 winners and six stakes winners; of note is Group 1 winner Master of Design.
Redoute's Choice himself was a joint champion three-year-old in Australia/New Zealand in 1999-2000. Five wins - two at two - from 1100m to 1600m and winnings of $1,567,850 in the VATC Caulfield Guineas, MVRC Manikato Stakes, VATC Blue Diamond Stakes, CF Orr Stakes and Veuve Clicquot Stakes (all Group 1), second in the Group 1 MVRC Australia Stakes, third in the Group 1 VATC Futurity Stakes and Group 1 Vic Health Cup and fourth in the Group 2 VRC Ascot Vale Stakes.
He entered stud in Australia in 2000 and was champion Australian sire in 2005-06 and 2009-10, second in 2008-09 and 2010-11 and third in 2004-05, 2006-07 and 2011-12 and champion Australian sire of two-year-olds in 2004-05 and 2005-06.
The sire of 832 progeny to race, with 630 winners (75%), earnings of over $86 million, 95 stakes-winners and 74 stakes place-getters is now verging on the greatest producing home-bred stallion we have seen, helped by now sire sons such as Stratum, Not A Single Doubt, Snitzel, Nadeem, Bradbury's Luck and Queensland's next first season sire sensation Drumbeats, who has been supported with 230 mares in the past two seasons.
Look out for his yearlings in January, 2014!
Both Encosta de Lago and Redoute's Choice are moving into a stage of their careers where what their daughters work best with is becoming of real interest.
Encosta de Lago is the sire of the dam of 16 stakes-winners with Musir his lone Group 1 winner to date.
Of those 16, 10 are by Danzig line sires and seven of those involve Danehill, so there's probably something you can take from that as well.
Redoute's Choice is the sire of the dam of 13 stakes-winners led by Group 1 winner Sacred Falls, a son of Last Tycoon (IRE) sire O'Reilly.
Queensland stands the group-winning Drumbeats, who is a Redoute's Choice-Last Tycoon cross - a tall, correct individual who is an expected outcross for mares that have Danzig in their blood, usually from Danehill, and also the obvious cross back to the ever-reliable Star Kingdom.
But Encosta de Lago mares should be spared a thought for a visit if you aspire to own or breed stakes-winners.
Kerrod Smyth is principal of Laurel Glen Equine Centre, Alton Downs, and one of CQ's leading thoroughbred breeders.
Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.