Both Epsom classics offered great races and exceptional performances, both by the impressive Oaks winner Enable and the mightily surging Wings of Eagles. As always they offered a number of interesting issues to discuss for breeders. As far as Enable was concerned, many comments and remarks concerned the success of Nathaniel’s first crop, as well as the fact that this stallion beat his rival on the racecourse, the invincible Frankel. Enable’s pedigree, however, offers much more, including a close 3x2 inbreeding to Sadler’s Wells, and this was the very first time this inbreeding was successful in a Gr.1 race.
Each successful and influential sire becomes, over time, the target of inbreeding and Sadler’s Wells is not – and given his exceptional influence cannot be – an exception. Our database includes a total of fifty-seven black-type winners inbred to Sadler’s Wells, but in four of them just one of the parents is inbred to the Coolmore giant, so that the real number is fifty-three horses. The first stakes winner, inbred to Sadler’s Wells, was foaled – according to our database – in 2002 in Australia. The filly Upstaged, daughter of In The Wings (Sadler’s Wells) and granddaughter of mare Ikebana (Sadler’s Wells) won the Thomas Elder Stakes (L) at Morphetville on November 7, 2006. The first Gr.1 winner was not foaled in Ireland or England either but in Germany, where the bay colt Kamsin won the Deutsches Derby in 2008. The classic winner, 4x3 inbred to Sadler’s Wells, is by Samum, whose dam, exceptionally successful broodmare Sacarina, is the daughter of Old Vic (Sadler’s Wells) and the dam Kapitol is the daughter of the Irish Derby winner Winged Love by In The Wings.
We will find inbreeding to Sadler’s Wells in pedigrees of eight Gr.1 winners but until the triumph of Enable in the Oaks, none was so close. The above mentioned Kamsin is 4x3 inbred, the winner of the Turf Classic Divisidero 3x4, the Hong Kong-based Sir Andrew 4x3 and the winner of the Dewhurst Stakes Parish Hall 3x3, same as the U.S. filly Kitten’s Dumplings, Chile-bred La Porotita and Urmeneta foaled in Argentina. In the pedigree of half of them (Enable, Divisidero, Sir Andrew and Kitten’s Dumplings), the inbreeding is sex-balanced, in the second half inbreeding is meditated through sons of Sadler’s Wells.
Although Enable is historically the first Gr.1 winner inbred to Sadler’s Wellse 3x2 (or 2x3), similarly narrow inbreeding can be found in the pedigree of five more black-type winners. The most famous of them in Europe is arguably Gatewood, Galileo's son, whose granddam Las Flores is the daughter of Sadler’s Wells and who won five stakes races and placed in eight more, or another progeny of Galileo, the triple listed winner Opera Gal, whose dam is the daughter of Barathea (Sadler’s Wells). Thanks to the successful performance of the Tattersalls Gold Cup (Gr.1) winner Powerscourt, we’ll find a similarly narrowly inbred stakes winner in Chile - the Gr.2 winner Dona Sarita, Powerscout’s son Soy Bacan (out of a dam by Sadler’s Wells’s son Dushyantor), had four stakes places, including third place in the local Derby. The already mentioned Upstaged is 2x3 inbred to Sadler’s Wells, the English listed winner We Are Ninety is 3x2 inbred.
It is symbolic that the first Gr.1 winner with such a narrow inbreeding to Saddler’s Wells arrived at Epsom. The three local Gr.1 races (Derby, Oaks, Coronation Cup) have been for years dominated by Sadler’s Wells’s blood and this year only confirmed it. Among horses who placed on first three positions, only the Coronation Cup runner-up Frontiersman lacks Sadler’s Wells’s in the pedigree, of the remaining eight seven are grandsons (granddaughters) or great grandsons (great granddaughters) of Sadler’s Wells in the direct line, only the third in the Oaks Alluringly is the granddaughter of mare All Too Beautiful by Sadler’s Wells. It is at Epsom that we are likely to see more successful horses inbred to Sadler’s Wells. This year, besides Enable we could see inbreeding to Sadler’s Wells (although not as close as in the case of Enable) even in the pedigrees of the runner up and fourth the The Derby, Cliffs of Moher and Eminent. Simply put, Sadler’s Wells belongs to Epsom and inbreeding on him seems to be a successful way to get a sufficiently mature and staying horse for the local Gr.1 races over a specific course that has tested the English thoroughbred for centuries.