Dalacine Stud on the outskirts of Palmerston North is pleased to announce the arrival of the Grade One winning stallion Helmsman who will join resident sire Gone For Real for stud duties in 2008.
Helmsman is by the champion racehorse and successful sire El Gran Senor, considered after Nijinsky to be Northern Dancers next best racehorse son. As a racehorse Helmsman was a talented individual, at two years he won on debut over 1200m at Newbury and by seasons end was Highweighted colt in Ireland. Helmsman developed into a high class miler best suited to firm turf surfaces and won 6 races from 1200m to 2000m including Group One, Group Two and Group Three races. Helmsman raced successfully in England, Ireland, Canada and the USA, winning or placing in 13 of 17 stakes races during his 22 race career and amassed earnings in excess of US $1.3 million dollars. Helmsman represented the USA in the 1996 Breeders Cup mile in which he finished 6th behind world record holder Da Hoss and Spinning World. Helmsman's graded stakes victories include the Strub Stakes, GR1, San Fernando Stakes,GR2 and the Volante Handicap GR3.
At stud Helmsman has got off to a flying start siring champion Canadian 2 year old Rare Friends, a winner of 12 races and $769 771 in prize money. Helmsman has sired stakes winners and stakes placed horses with successive crops including the Kentucky bred stakes winning filly Emerald Earrings a winner of 10 of her 23 career races earning $478.866. With six crops of racing age Helmsman has sired 261 foals of racing age, of which 222 have raced, 163 have won, including 9 stakes winners (icluding restricted SW's) and a further 13 stakes placed horses. Helmsman was California's leading freshman sire in 2001 and has been a consistent upgrader of mares bred to him each season as measured by AEI/CI indices. Helmsman has fashioned a reputation for siring good looking sound stock, adept to both dirt and turf surfaces, which train on. With 84.5% runners to foals Helmsman ranks 16th of all stallions in the USA on the Bloodhorse Magazines "Stallion Durability" table. Helmsman is a handsome horse with outstanding conformation. When racing he was described as a "strapping three year old". He has been responsible for sales toppers at various sales in the USA, which is what yearling consignors are looking for.
Helmsman shares a pedigree profile not dissimilar to that of leading New Zealand sire O'Reilly. O'Reilly's sire is Last Tycoon, a son of Try My Best, out of a mare by a grandson of Round Table. Helmsman is by El Gran Senor, the full brother of Try My Best, out of a grand daughter of Round Table. Breeders may remember Marju, a highly successful sire internationally and in Australasia. Marju is also bred along these lines, being by Last Tycoon out of a grand daughter of Round Table. The Last Tycoon horse Towkay is another sire from the sire line having success at stud in New Zealand. El Gran Senor became a very successful son at stud of Northern Dancer returning an amazing 14% stakes winners to foals. Being a grandson of the mighty Northern Dancer means that Helmsman represents an opportunity for breeders to breed closer to that source of excellence.
"The prospects of Helmsman with the New Zealand broodmare population looks most exciting, it could be a matter of being at the right place at the right time" enthuses Grant Irvine. "We have seen what works with Helmsman with his USA bred crops, now he will be exposed to locally developed New Zealand bloodlines, for example those of Centaine and Sir Tristram. Centaine mares, which have blended so well with O'Reilly could add an interesting dimension to matings involving Helmsman" continues Grant Irvine. Another intriguing development on the Australasian bloodstock scene has been the ever increasing influence of the mare Best In Show who is the grand dam of El Gran Senor and Try My Best. Best In Show is also the grand dam of prominent sires Umatilla, Hurricane Sky, Masterclass , and Xaar. Best In Show's latest superstar descendant is Redoute's Choice whose dam Shantha's Choice is a grand daughter of this highly influential mare. With all these pedigree factors there should be ample opportunity for breeders to mate him creatively.
"In keeping with our commitment to make breeding accessible for all breeders at a time when good proven sires are being priced out of reach for many breeders Helmsman will stand at a service fee of only $5 750 plus GST this season" concludes Grant Irvine.
"Helmsman is one of the mosthighly-regarded horses in the country"