Five-day Royal Ascot has brought, besides great races, a number of insights for breeders. This year’s meeting was not just about the first two black-type progeny by Frankel, it was a milestone for Choisir, the Australia-bred son of Danehill Dancer.
Royal Ascot plays an important role in Choisir's life. It was to Ascot that he set out in 2003 as a successful Australian sprinter to demonstrate the strength of Australia’s breeding and to launch a string of achievements by Australian horses in the races at Ascot. Ridden by Johnny Murtagh he won both Gr.1 sprint races, the King’s Stand Stakes, beating Acclamation and Oasis Dream, and the Golden Jubilee Stakes, beating Airwave. Seven years later it was the Royal Ascot again, where another Australia-bred horse, Choisir’s arguably the classiest progeny, Starspangledbanner, won his first race in the Golden Jubilee Stakes after his transfer to Aidan O’Brien’s yard. This year’s meeting brought another milestone in Choisir’s career, but not in the sprint races. The surprising winner of the Prince of Wales’s Stakes (Gr.1) My Dream Boat became the first Gr.1 winner whose dam is by Choisir.
Choisir launched his career at stud in Australia in 2003 and from next year shuttled to Ireland on the regular basis, first to Castle Hyde Stud, from 2008 to Coolmore. As most of the shuttle stallions of the Danehill line he is more valued in Australia where his fee is still around AUD 30,000, while in Ireland his fee has never exceeded EUR 12,500.
Choisir belongs among the most successful stallions of Danehill’s line, which is best attested by his 73 black-type winners including nine progeny successful in Gr. 1 races (Olympic Glory, Starspangledbanner, Obviously, Japonisme, Sacred Choice, Historian, Choice Bro, Luger and Kushadasi). Most of his black-type winners, around 65%, come from his stay in Australia where he covered 2,211 mares and produced 1,481 foals. The Australian Stud Book registers 211 daughters of Choisir at stud.
Given the number of daughters at stud in Australia, the current number of black-type winners out of dams by Choisir is a slight disappointment – his daughters have produced only six stakes winners. Half of them come from dams foaled in Europe where Choisir has much fewer progeny than in Australia. They include the above mentioned My Dream Boat, winner, prior to Ascot, of two Gr.3 and one listed race. Among the Australian progeny the best are My Poppette, last year’s winner of the Moonee Valley Fillies Classic (Gr.2), and Mr Utopia, the winner of the York Stakes (L). Looking at the table which includes all black-type horses out of dams by Choisir, even the placed ones, the horses foaled in Australia already predominate – of eight black-type placed progeny out of his daughters seven were foaled in Australia. Most of them are at the beginning of their careers and although there are – according to Quineline database – 207 runners out of Choisir’s daughters, the rather low number of black-type winners in their production is likely to grow.
Black type horses out of dams by Choisir
|MY DREAM BOAT (IRE) (Lord Shanakill)||G1, GB||Mr Prospector|
|MY POPPETTE (AUS) (Snippetson)||G2, AUS||Menow|
|FONTANELICE (IRE) (Vale of York)||G3, ITY||Danzig|
|MR UTOPIA (AUS) (Elusive Quality)||L, AUS||Mr Prospector|
|PRESSING (AUS) (Sebring)||L, AUS||Halo|
|PERSUASIVE (IRE) (Dark Angel)||L, GB||Try My Best|
|Brazuca (AUS) (Teofilo)||G1p, SAF||Sadler's Wells|
|Lizard Island (AUS) (Sebring)||G1p, AUS||Halo|
|Old Trieste (AUS) (Hinchinbrook)||G3p, AUS||Danehill|
|Fairy Star (AUS) (More Than Ready)||Lp, AUS||Halo|
|Fast Cash (AUS) (Change Forward)||Lp, AUS||Roberto|
|Kahouanne (FR) (Cockney Rebel)||Lp, FR||Nijinsky|
|Boom Box (AUS) (Domesday)||Lp, AUS||Roberto|
|Choose A Saga (AUS) (Real Saga)||Lp, AUS||Storm Cat|