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Henrythenavigator: his first book includes some star names

  PICTURE: Edward Whitaker  

Big Brown's dam set to visit Henrythenavigator

BIG BROWN's breeder Dr. Gary Knapp has confirmed that Mien, the dam of the Kentucky Derby winner,will be covered by Henrythenavigator in 2009.

A four-time Group 1 winner this year, Henrythenavigator was retired to Coolmore's Ashford Stud in Kentucky after signing off his racing career with a gallant second in the Breeders' Cup Classic.

His first book is also reported to include Belmont Stakes heroine Rags To Riches and multiple Group 1 winner Peeping Fawn.

Boundary, the sire of Big Brown, was retired from stud duties at Claiborne Farm in 2005.

Mien, a nine-year-old daughter of Nureyev, has a three-year-old filly by Horse Chestnut, a two-year-old filly by Touch Gold, a yearling filly by Belong To Me, and this year she was covered by Stormy Atlantic.

Explaining his decision to send the mare to Henrythenavigator, Knapp said that Equix analysis, a service that uses pedigree research and a horse's physical information to provide breeders with optimum matings for their mares, was used - just as it was for the mating of Boundary and Mien in 2004.

"The Equix analysis indicates that mating Mien and Henrythenavigator will produce a foal that will have a high probability of being a biomechanically efficient racehorse," he said.

"The pedigree resulting from that mating will have a pattern of inbreeding to Northern Dancer which occurs regularly in the principal runners produced by the sire of Henrythenavigator. And since this is Henrythenavigators first year, that's the best information we have to guide us with regard to inbreeding.

"Of course, there are a number of breeders who prefer not to practise inbreeding but my attitude is that if superior traits are evidently possessed by a stallion - observable by the performance of his principal runners - then we as breeders may be well advised to stamp those traits.

"Finally, this pedigree will also have crosses to significant female families. In this pedigree thereis inbreeding to both Special and Rough Shod."

Knapp, who owns Equix, issued a commercial offer to European breeders. In 2006 Equix measured approximately 50 British and Irish stallions, and that information is now being used by some US breeders who send mares across the Atlantic to be bred. 

"If mare owners in Britain were interested in using this information to assist in planning their matings, all they would have to do is have their mares measured," he said.





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