Nicking tricks: what works with Written Tycoon?

Kristen Manning of Thoroughbred Daily News Australia New Zealand takes a deep dive into discovering the nicking trends that work with our Champion Sire, Written Tycoon.

Two seasons ago Written Tycoon was crowned Australia’s Champion Sire, a significant achievement on several fronts. Firstly, he is not a member of the Danehill (USA) sireline – one which has dominated the charts since that great horse’s first of nine titles in 1994/95.

Secondly, he is the grandson of another Champion Sire; Last Tycoon (Ire) achieving that feat in 1993/94 and thirdly he was the first Victorian-based stallion to lead the way since Century in 1978/79.

Last Tycoon (IRE)

And, he has lovely historic links to another Victorian star with his third damsire Better Boy (Ire) the Champion Sire on four occasions between 1965 and 1977. He loves more Better Boy strains too – but more on that later.

Bred in Queensland by Daandine Pastoral, Written Tycoon was secured for $50,000 by Grahame Begg at the 2004 Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale.

“I was very keen before even laying eyes on him,” Begg told TDN AusNZ. “I loved his pedigree, I knew how fast his sire was, he was from a strong Woodlands Stud family – and I knew the stud, he was coming off a good farm.”

“I was very keen before even laying eyes on him (Written Tycoon). I loved his pedigree, I knew how fast his sire was, he was from a strong Woodlands Stud family – and I knew the stud, he was coming off a good farm.” – Grahame Begg

Upon seeing Written Tycoon for the first time, Begg knew he had to take the horse home.

“He was simply a magnificent specimen,” said Begg.

“A big, long, rangey horse with great skin,” is how Begg described the bold chestnut, years later still in awe of a unique trait, his skin so healthy that he never grew a winter coat.

“And, now when I look at the Written Tycoon progeny, the ones I want are those with that same great coat,” he said.

Begg has enjoyed success with the breed training the now Widden Stud-based, G1 Blue Diamond S. winner Written By, who was bred by his father Neville and is excited about that horse’s yearling full brother, describing him as an absolute belter.

Written By | Standing at Widden Stud

On Written Tycoon who displayed immediate ability, Begg commented: “He was a very, very good horse” and showed enough toe to justify a crack at the Magic Millions but Begg decided to stay close to home and concentrate on a G1 Golden Slipper campaign.

Debuting with a barnstorming victory at Randwick in January 2005, Written Tycoon added to his juvenile resume the G2 Todman S. but an outside gate put pay to his Slipper chances. Lightly raced at three and four, he was out of the winner’s circle but he did finish second in the G3 San Domenico S. in which fellow future stallions Snitzel and Stratum were next home.

Retired to stud in 2007, Written Tycoon was solidly supported at a fee that has breeders drooling in retrospect and his career has been a varied one.

CropAgeFoalsWinners To RunnersStakes WinnersG1 Winners

Table: Written Tycoon’s winners broken down by crop

The sireline

Written Tycoon’s four-time Group 1-winning grandsire Last Tycoon was the first Northern Dancer-line horse to secure an Australian Champion Sire title. He fared well in both hemispheres – eight Group 1 winners in the Northern Hemisphere and 10 in the Southern Hemisphere.

Written Tycoon is one of his 24 male-line descendants to sire stakes winners, with the others to have sired multiple Group 1 winners being O’Reilly (NZ), Marju (Ire), Alamosa (NZ), Towkay and Bigstone (Ire).

O’Reilly (NZ)

Written Tycoon’s sire Iglesia, a Flemington track-record holder over 1200 metres (earned when recording a big win in the G2 Standish H.) died young having stood for six seasons. With 289 (63.5 per cent) of his progeny winners; 11 at stakes level including the G1 Winter S. winner Nova Star.

The pedigree

Written Tycoon has that much sought-after ability to make the most of his strengths, as shown by how well he performs when the best horses close up in his pedigree are duplicated.

Let’s start with Marscay, damsire of his sire Iglesia; comparing his overall record as a line-breeding subject to Written Tycoon’s success with his duplication.

SireWinners To RunnersStakes Winner Ratio
Written Tycoon/Marscay73.70%5%

Of the nine stakes winners line-bred to Marscay, four are by Written Tycoon (another by his sire Iglesia) and one is by his son Capitalist. Two of the three Group 1 winners with a Marscay cross feature Written Tycoon, Captivant and Tycoon Tara.

Written Tycoon’s legendary second damsire, Vain, is also duplicated in the pedigrees of two of his Group 1 winners: Ole Kirk and Pippie.

SireWinners To RunnersStakes Winner Ratio
Written Tycoon/Vain70%4.10%

From his Victorian base, Written Tycoon’s third damsire, Better Boy, was highly successful and is still prominent in local pedigrees. Just short of 20 per cent of Written Tycoon’s stakes winners are line-bred to Better Boy – which indicates that Victoria is just the right fit for him.

SireWinners To RunnersStakes Winner Ratio
Better Boy54.40%1.80%
Written Tycoon/Better Boy70.80%8.30%

Written Tycoon’s dam Miss Entertainer (Vain) has as her closest duplication a 4 X 4 cross of the multiple Group 1 winner My Babu (Fr) – sire of Better Boy and also of Milesian (Ire), damsire of Written Tycoon’s damsire Kenmare.

Written Tycoon absolutely relishes further My Babu strains with another 14 of his stakes winners line-bred to him; that’s 27.4 per cent of his stakes winners.

Even with stallions who are not duplicated as often as other more prolific horses, Written Tycoon fares well. Such as Kenmare’s sire Kalamoun.

SireWinners To RunnersStakes Winner Ratio
Written Tycoon/Kalamon68.10%2.80%

Meanwhile, just short of half of Written Tycoon’s stakes winners boast a cross of the US Horse of the Year and Hall of Fame member Buckpasser (USA), damsire of his great-grandsire, Try My Best (USA).

With Try My Best and Danehill being bred on the same Northern Dancer (Can)/Buckpasser cross, it is interesting to study how Written Tycoon does with Danehill.

Overall there have been 37 stakes winners – including six Group 1 winners – combining Written Tycoon and Danehill with a strike rate of 63.4 per cent and a stakes winner ratio of five per cent.

Broodmare SireWinners To RunnersStakes Winners
Danehill Dancer12/153
Darci Brahma2/21
Exceed And Excel9/131
Fastnet Rock21/264
Flying Spur26/315
Honours List16/211
Not A Single Doubt7/92
Redoute’s Choice31/431
West Point6/61

Table: Written Tycoon and the Danehill-line cross

Best In Show (USA) (Traffic Judge {USA}) appears a force for Written Tycoon whose has sired nine stakes winners line-bred to her. Two of those have Redoute’s Choice as their second damsire – the G1 Manawatu Sires’ Produce S. winner Luna Rossa (NZ) and the G3 Typhoon Tracy S. winner Written Dash. They are amongst the eight winners from just 12 runners bred this way.

Meanwhile, Group 1 winners Written By (Blue Diamond) and Booker (Oakleigh Plate) are 6 X 6 Best In Show via Umatilla (NZ) as are the Listed winners Hot Dipped and Banquo. This Written Tycoon/Umatilla cross boasts an excellent 22.2 per cent stakes winner strike rate.

Another horse of note in regards to Written Tycoon’s success is the high-class broodmare Rosy Legend (Fr) (Dark Legend {GB}) whose G1 Irish Derby-winning son Sayajirao (GB) is the second damsire of Last Tycoon. His full brother, the G1 Epsom Derby hero Dante (GB), pops up on occasions and six of Written Tycoon’s stakes winners carry a strain – as does his G1 Champagne S.-winning grandson Captivant.

Captivant | Standing at Kia Ora

And any discussion regarding the success of an Australian stallion is not complete without touching on Star Kingdom (Ire) who is 3 X 4 X 5 in the pedigree of Iglesia’s dam Yodells (Marscay). There are further strains in eight of Written Tycoon’s stakes winners – appearing via Todman (full brother to Noholme II, grandsire of Yodells’ dam), further Noholme IIPlanet KingdomKaoru StarTattenham (full brother to Biscay, grandsire of Iglesia’s dam) and as the damsire of Baguette.

The future

Written Tycoon has made an exciting start as a sire of sires with his first three sons to stud – CapitalistRich Enuff and Winning Rupert – all represented by stakes winners. He also has Written By, Dirty WorkOle Kirk and Finance Tycoon, who are in the beginnings of their career in the breeding barn, while Capitalist is represented by three this season – Captivant, Profiteer and Cappact.

It is still early days for Written Tycoon as a broodmare sire but from his first 104 runners there have been 48 winners including the dual Listed winner Pancho (Dissident).

Article courtesy of Thoroughbred Daily News Australia New Zealand, written by Kristen Manning