The concept of a sire of sires is one of the most confused in breeding. In the most specific sense, it is a stallion whose many sons include a large number who are widely successful to at least sporadically noteworthy. That definition points out the unique athletic quality and genetic density of Northern Dancer.
The norm is far different. Most good stallions get only one son who is a good sire, perhaps only a goodish sire. In the usual course of things, that sort of progression leads nowhere, and nearly all the major sire lines converge on a few individuals.
The sire line represented by Tiznow is one of the imponderables, however. This is the Man o’ War extension of the male line of West Australian (by Melbourne), the first English Triple Crown winner in 1853. This is the great surviving branch of the Matchem male line, which goes back two further generations to the Godolphin Arabian, born in approximately 1724, and thence into the mists of time.
In American of the 20th century, Man o’ War and his sons kept a certain breadth to this line of horses, much as Hurry On did in Europe, but the wider distribution and vastly larger overall population of blooded horses in the last 75 years has had the ironic effect of narrowing the male lines available to breeders.
Tiznow has been fighting this trend, like his notable grandsire Relaunch and his sire In Reality, for the duration of his stud career. Tiznow’s most effective sons to date have been Tiz Wonderful and Colonel John. The former was a wonderful success as a graduate of an in-training sale and sire of some smashing young horses of similar build and potential; in all, Tiz Wonderful has sired 25 stakes winners and Colonel John 20. Both, however, are now at stud in Korea.
And for Tiznow to carry on in the male line, clearly a young stallion would have to stand out from the crowd, both early and with consistency. One prospect for this mission is a freshman sire of 2018, Strong Mandate.
As difficult as the prospect is to become a leading sire, Strong Mandate has the immediate benefits of being a very good-looking horse and a notably talented racer, winning the Grade 1 Hopeful Stakes as a 2-year-old, when he also placed third in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile.
Those accomplishments earned the robust bay a place at stud at Three Chimneys in Kentucky, and there the young sire has had large books of mares with good credentials. His first crop of foals, yearlings of 2017, were received with whoops of enthusiasm at the sales last season, averaging $78,528 for 53 yearlings sold.
The young stallion’s popularity with his first-crop yearlings put him among the elite of the 2017 crop, and that situation has improved this year. The sire’s first-crop juveniles in training have averaged $247,000 from 11 sold to date.