Black Tide No Longer Just Deep Impact’s Brother

An excellent run was performed by the four-year-old Kitasan Black in the richest race of the Japanese calendar, the Japan Cup, in Tokyo on Sunday. The last-year’s Saint Leger winner took the biggest achievement of his career by running front to finish and beating a number of Japanese stars. The Sunday victory was not the peak of his career for him but also for his sire Black Tide, until now recognised just as “the brother of Deep Impact”.

Alzao’s daughter Wind In Her Hair, the granddaughter of the 1,000 Guineas winner and the excellent dam Highclere, whose progeny include, among other horses, the winner of the Princess of Wales’s Stakes Milford or the two-year-old champion filly in England and later a quite exceptional broodmare Height of Fashion, was a very fertile dam. She gave birth to her first four products in the United States and Ireland, more eleven products were foaled in Japan, after she was bought, in 1999, by the mighty Northern Farm of Katsumi Yoshida.

The first progeny of the Aral-Pokal (Gr.1) winner and the runner-up in the Epsom Oaks was the bay mare Glint in Her Eye, foaled in 1996 and sired by the two-year-old champion Arazi. She earned just a thousand dollars on the racecourse but has produced the Sandown Mile (Gr.2) winner and the runner-up in the Queen Anne Stakes (Gr.1) Jeremy, the sire of the top hurdler Our Conor. Also the next four products out of Wind in Her Hair were mares. Thunder Gulch’s daughter Veil of Avalon, the winner of the Gr.3 De La Rose Handicap, sold as a yearling at Tattersalls Houghton Sale for USD 261,000, went to a bid, in November 2002 at Keeneland, for USD 1.25 million and next year went to Japan, as did her daughters Mashhuur and Supreme Goddess, foaled in the United States and in England. So far the most successful product of this branch of a major family is the chestnut L’lle d’Aval, the son of Veil of Avalon, who won two Japanese listed races and placed third in the Gr.1 NHK Mile Cup.

Also the third daughter of Wind In Her Hair, Seeking The Gold’s daughter Lady Blond, was sold to Japan. She, too, was not lost in the Land of the Rising Sun, namely thanks to her son Gold Blitz, the two-time winner of the Gr.3 Antares Stakes, and successful also in the Teio Sho, locally labeled Gr.1, internationally as listed. Her grandson Tizona, the winner of the Marguerite Stakes, was also successful in a listed race.

The last product of Wind In Her Hair not born in Japan was her sister by Woodman – Stars In Her Eyes, foaled in Ireland. A mare not too much successful on the racecourse was sought by Japanese breeders to whom she paid her due by producing the listed-placed Danon Passion and the mare Pleasant Breeze, the dam of the listed winner Platina Voice.

In Ireland Wind In Her Hair was covered by Danehill and the mating produced, in Japan, Like the Wind. The maiden mare has a progeny of ten already, four of her daughters went to stud but the family has not produced a stakes horse so far.

In Japan, Wind In Her Hair could expect the same as most of the imported mares, namely those kept by the Yoshida brothers – Sunday Silence and his sons. Wind In Her Hair arrived in Japan in 2000, so for the first three seasons she could partner Sunday Silence directly, after his death in 2002 she was covered by his sons Agnes Tachyon and Dance In The Dark. The connection with the blood of Sunday Silence was exceptionally successful. His first product was the sire of Kitasan Black, Black Tide. The winner of three races of twenty-two races scored in a Gr.2 race by taking the Fuji TV Sho Spring Stakes over 1,800 metres and placed in two next group races.

A year later Wind In Her Hair gave birth to her most successful product – Deep Impact. The colt, awarded many titles including the Horse of the Year, was beaten just once in Japan (in the 2005 Arima Kinen by Heart’s Cry), winning the remaining twelve races, seven in Gr. 1. He tried his luck in Europe too but finished third in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe and was later disqualified due to detection of a substance which is permitted in Japan but not in France. This did no harm to his credit among Japanese breeders and Deep Impact belongs even today among the most demanded stallions. He has occupied the top championship level since 2012 and it is now certain that he became the true successor of his famous sire.

In 2003 Wind in Her Hair gave birth to another son by Sunday Silence – On Fire. He raced just three times, won once, finished third two times, including the Gr.3 Tokyo Sports Hai Nisai Stakes. He, too, was given a chance at stud and in his first season, in 2007, he covered as many as 153 mares and he had a triple-digit number of partners the following year, but only a single one of his progeny won a black-type race and the demand for him dropped sharply. Last year he had just twelve mares.

The series of four sons was closed in 2004 by New Beginning by Agnes Tachyon, the winner of the listed Hopeful Stakes. Next came Verthandi, the two-time winner, followed by Land’s Edge, the maiden daughter of Dance in the Dark, now a successful dam thanks to her Gr.3 placed daughter Roca.

Black-type horses by Black Tide

Name BM Sire Class
KITASAN BLACK, c, 2012 Sakura Bakushin O G1W, JPN
T M INAZUMA, c, 2010 Danzig G2W, JPN
TAGANO ESPRESSO, c, 2012 King Kamehameha G2W, JPN
MEINER FROST, c, 2011 King Kamehameha G2W, JPN
SHINY GIRL, f, 2011 Afleet LW, JPN
Bendicion, f, 2010 Commander in Chief G1p, SIN
Komet, c, 2012 Afleet G2p, JPN
Prince Pesca, c, 2010 Brian's Time G2p, JPN
Black Onyx, f, 2014 Chief Bearhart G3p, JPN
Feel the Smart, c, 2011 Chief Bearhart G3p, JPN

Black Tide raced until seven and went to stud two years after Deep Impact. Although his career was very good, the Japanese breeders produced many Gr.2 winner by Sunday Silence and a stallion with a similar career would have hade a very difficult position among the many Gr.1 winners by Sunday Silence. Black Tide, however, benefited from the achievements of his brother and, therefore, same as On Fire, he was in no shortage of partners. He had 150 mares the first season, 143 the second. Even then their numbers did not decrease, contrary to On Fire. Last year, he had the most number of mares so far – 194. He has had 398 runners so far, of whom 238 (59.8%) won, 84 at two. His progeny earned a total of 3,649,057,500 yens and his AEI is 1.11. Gradually he has improved his position in the championship – from the 56th position in 2013, when he had the first three-year-old, he has soared to the twelfth position this year.

His performance at stud is not comparable to than of Deep Impact, but there is a major difference in the quality of the mares. So far he has produced five black-type winners, more five of his progeny placed in black-type races. Kitasan Black was his most successful product well before the Japan Cup and his excellent performance only cemented this position. Besides him group races were won by T M Inazuma, who won the Daily Hai Nisan Stakes (Gr.2), Tagano Espresso, who won the same race two years later, and Meiner Frost, a Gr.3 winner, who finished third in the Tokyo Yushun (Derby).

If we look at the dams of Black Tide’s black-type progeny, we’ll find out two interesting things. The first one is that no one has won or placed in a stakes race; the second that they include just two mares who were imported to Japan. This is in a stark contrast to dams of Deep Impact’s best progeny and only confirms what has been said above, that he lags behind his brother Deep Impact in the quality of his partners. This is quite natural. Deep Impact showed considerably higher class which he proves at stud and it is only natural that he gets the best mares. Kitasan Black, however, shows that even Black Tide is able to provide an exceptionally classy product and that he is much more than just the brother of Deep Impact.

Miloslav Vlček

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