Three Time Melbourne Cup Winner Makybe Diva Produces a Winner

Over the course of our years covering sports and racing, it has become patently obvious that a great performer’s offspring seldom live up to the achievements of the parents.

Great performing thoroughbreds have, at best, produced mediocre descendants, so far as racing results are concerned.

Black Caviar’s first offspring, Oscietra is a case in point.

When you look at the horses that have been the most productive breeders, the sort winning Sire or Dam of the Year accolades, you often see abbreviated racing careers and desultory results. Breeders put great effort into combining lines in hopes of producing a champion, but the x factor is always a part of the equation.

Makybe Diva inhabits that sort of territory. The three-time Melbourne Cup winner and 15-time winner, despite having a pedigree laden with some of the most famous northern hemisphere names, has had little success passing her racing genes along to her progeny.

The Diva did recently buck the above conventional wisdom (we accept conventional wisdom as the price of otherwise having no wisdom) did contribute half the DNA that resulted in Surrey, a debut winner at Matamata on Wednesday.

The sire was Ireland’s High Chaparral, a considerable racer in his own right. He was sent to stud after his campaign as a four-year-old after he had won 10 of his 13 starts and placed in the other three.

Based on racing records, it would seem a reasonable expectation that Makybe Diva and High Chaparral’s offspring Surrey will win every race, rather than winning a maiden as a five-year-old. Surrey is a gelding, so that branch of the line stops with him.

The other foals by Makybe Diva since she was sent to the shed in 2005 have done nothing, including one by Lonhro named Taqneen. That six-year-old from 2011’s crop won two races from 35 starts, and those were Victorian picnic races at Merton and Balnarring.

With human athletes, competing in the shadow of a famous predecessor has definite psychological impact, but it is doubtful that thoroughbreds give such matters much consideration.

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