Why Hard Style Rico Will Be A Huge Hit At Stud

IT wasn't so much the way Hard Style Rico smashed his rivals to win the Melbourne Cup that will endear him to broodbitch owners in his new career.

David Brasch

6 December 2020

IT wasn’t so much the spectacular way Hard Style Rico smashed his daunting rivals to win the Group 1 Melbourne Cup that should have endeared him to broodbitch owners in his new career.

Not that the Cup victory could be downplayed in any way. “Rico” was simply devastating in the way he put superstars like Simon Told Helen to the sword.

But, it was the fact he ended his race career with a 28.90 Sandown track record to add to the record he had already set at Shepparton.

The son of Bella Infrared-Bella Rico retires with career stats of 40 starts for 21 wins and seven placings taking with him earnings of $627,000.

Along the way he also picked up the Silver Bullet, was second at Group 1 level in the Maturity and a finalist at that supreme level in the Australian Cup, National Derby and Silver Chief, toss in finals berths in four Group 2s and 3s and its a record to brag about.

That’s what the stud game is all about … bragging rights.

The 28.91 Sandown track record Hard Style Rico set when retiring in a blaze of glory is as big a boast as there could be.

That’s because once a dog breaks a track record, he puts a HUGE tick into the plus basket of his stud credentials.

Champion sires “generally” have been track record breakers. The list includes such legends as Chief Havoc, Temlee, Black Top and in more recent times, Brett Lee, Collision, Fernando Bale, Barcia Bale … you get the picture.

So, will Hard Style Rico make it at stud?

Like all great race dogs retiring to an entirely new occupation, nothing is guaranteed. Many a great racetrack performer has faded into obscurity in a highly forgettable stud career. There are numerous reasons for that.

Being in the right place at the right time to take advantage of innumerable highly suitable broodbitches is one way to become a success. That could certainly be Rico’s advantage. There are many, many bitches around in these time for him to be compatible.

And, there is also the success at stud of Fernando Bale and Aussie Infrared upon which we can base our expectations for Rico.

Both those sires are sons of US imports, Fernando by the stud failure Kelsos Fusileer, and Aussie Infrared, like Rico, by the US racetrack great Bella Infrared who unfortunately died young.

Any reasonable student of bloodlines will know instantly that both Fernando Bale and Aussie Infrared have proven Group results in their offspring when the matings saturated the blood of their mothers.

In both cases,  it stands out like dogs’ b…s.

So, with that in mind, how will we mate Rico to help him not only become a successful stud dog, but a stud great.

First, like Fernando and Aussie Infrared, we will virtually forget trying to link the bitches he mates to his sire Bella Infrared.

Which leaves us with utilising the best attributes of his fabulous damline via his mother Bella Rico (Stagger-My Path Princess). 

Bella Rico’s sire Stagger, he of the remarkable race winning career, is by Primo Uno and traces to the very same damline as Brett Lee. But he also carries a cross of Head Honcho in his damline. This is also the damline of Peter Rocket.

What is VERY obvious is that Fernando Bale’s dam Chloe Allen is also bred on the Primo Uno/Head Honcho cross. So, that makes it imperative for daughters of Fernando to be mated to Rico. And, they are everywhere.

Bitches with Brett Lee are also everywhere just waiting to be mated to Rico.

Stud dogs like Cosmic Rumble and Lochinvar Marlow have Brett Lee very close up in their pedigrees.

This factor cannot be emphasized enough.

And, it makes for daughters of Zambora Brockie to be potentially ideal mates for Rico. That’s because Brockie’s direct damline has Trendy Leigh, the litter brother to Brett Lee, sitting firmly as the sire of his second dam. AND, Brockie is also in-bred to this very same family. His sire Nitro Burst runs to the same damline.

Zambora Brockie bitches will be special mates for Rico also because the US influence in their pedigrees, Bella Infrared and Flying Stanley have a strong common link.

Puzzle Prize (damsire of Stagger) is a litter brother to Knockabout Wok the damsire of Knocka Norris and Elite Oriental. Bringing in these speed dominant sires should put in great pace for Rico’s progeny. Aston Dee Bee daughters will be particularly suited.

And, so will bitches by Barcia Bale. If we look at the direct damline of Rico we will see a cross of Pure Octane, the famous half brother to Hallucinate and Where’s Pedro. Combining them has always been successful, particularly Hallucinate and Pure Octane (i.e. Mepunga Hayley).

Where’s Pedro is damsire of My Bro Fabio, a stamina influence, who will do when his daughters are mated to Rico because he is bred along the same cross as Bella Rico.

Looking further down the pedigree of Rico, we come to Path To Power a fine race dog and handy at best stud dog. But, Path To Power is a litter brother to Witch Magic the second dam of leading sire Fabregas. Putting a daughter of Fabregas to Rico will bring in these littermates 4×4 into the resultant pedigree and strongly positioned to impact.

With the saturation of daughters of Fernando, Barcia, Zamboria Brockie, My Bro Fabio Fabio and Fabregas all around the country, the potential supply of suitable mates for Rico appears endless.

It could very well make him a stud success, even a great one.