Group Double for Northern Trick Family

Thirty-three years ago the three-year-old daughter of Northern Dancer, Northern Trick, dominated the top races of the French season and it brought her the title not just of the top three-year-old filly in France but also the best rated three-year-old filly in Europe. She excelled at stud too – the family she had founded has produced an English classic winner or champions in the United States and Brazil. Now the family won a group double, including a Gr. 1 victory, in just four days.

Cloth of Stars in Prix Ganay

The successful time of Northern Trick's family started at Sandown on Friday with the four-year-old chestnut Ulysses winning the Gr. 3 Gordon Richard Stakes from Deauville by a length and taking his second group victory. On Sunday, he was followed by another four-year-old, Cloth of Stars, who defended his victory in the Prix Ganay from Zarak's challenge.

Both colts are great grandsons of Northern Trick but there is much more they have in common. Their dams, the Oaks winner Light Shift and the once placed (at two) Strawberry Fledge, the daughters of Kingmambo, are full sisters and the sires of the two, Galileo and Cape Cross, are sons of the excellent Urban Sea. And as can be seen, Northern Trick fares very well with the two of the most important dams in today’s pedigrees, Urban Sea and Miesque, in the pedigrees of both winners.

Northern Trick, bought by Stavros Niarchos as a yearling for USD 530,000, started racing at three but in none of her six races was worse than second. From her four triumphs let us name victories in the Prix de Diane, Prix de la Nonette or Prix Vermeille (where she beat, among others, the Epsom Oaks winner Circus Plume) and she closed her career in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, where among strong competition she lost only to the winner Sagace. At stud she produced seven winners, best of them being the Prix Impudence winner Onda Nova and the listed placed Evocatrice.

Her chances to establish a successful family were significantly supported by the fact that of twelve progeny that Northern Trick produced, eight were fillies. Naturally each of them was given a chance at stud and half of them have managed to produced a black-type progeny. Evocatrice (the dam of Edouna) and Lady Windley (the dam of Our Teddy and Talwin) produced “only” listed-placed progeny, the other two daughters, however, can boast repeated production of group winners and champions.

Machiavellian’s daughter Creature du Ciel, placed at three and four in France and the U. S., was not seen as a potential producer of champions by the market. When she was offered at the November sale in Keeneland in 1996, in foal with Silver Hawk, she was bought by Three Chimneys Farm as an agent for USD 60,000. Next spring her filly Giorni d’Amore was foaled, but this unraced mare was her last progeny foaled in the United States. TNT Stud, Brazil, became her new home, where she produced two local Gr.1 winners – Nonno Luigi, who won the Grande Premio Associacao Brasileira dos Criadores e Proprietarios at two and then tried to run with little success in the United States, and mainly Jeune-Turc, who won two Gr.1 races and, above all, became the three-year-old champion colt and later the best older horse.

The most successful daughter of Northern Trick, the one whose grandsons inspired this column, was Shirley Heights’s daughter Lingerie. She didn’t show high class either on the racecourse – of twelve races she only placed seven times – but at stud she was a jewel indeed. And a widely travelled one for that matter – Stavros Niarchos sent her to partners in five different countries. The first of them was Japan, where she went to partner Hector Protector and Sunday Silence. With the first one she produced Limnos, the winner of the Prix Foy (Gr.2) and Prix Jean de Chaudenay (Gr.2), as well as Shiva, the winner of the Tattersalls Gold Cup (Gr.1) and the best rated older mare in England. The partnership with Caerleon in Ireland produced the winner of the Prix Solitude and the third in the Gr.3 Prix d’Harcourt Burning Sunset, later a very successful dam who produced, among others, the winner of the Prix d’Harcourt Smoking Sun, the listed winner Zhiyi and also the runner up in the Gr.3 Prix d’Aumale Ikat, the dam of the two-time U.S. champion and the winner of the Breeders’ Cup Turf Main Sequence. A successful dam was produced by her partnership, in the Dalham Hall Stud, with Machiavellian. The product of this connection, Molasses, was unraced, but at stud she produced the winner of the Gr.3 Prix d’Hedouville and Gr.1 placed Magadan.

Lingerie spent most of her racing career in the United States, where Stavros Niarchos chose for her his own-bred Kingmambo. With him Lingerie produced four horses. The first of them Erewhon placed in a listed race; the second was the aforementioned winner of the Epsom Oaks, Light Shift, the dam of Ulysses. A year after Light Shift Lingerie gave birth to another daughter by Kingmambo - Strawberry Fledge, once placed in France but today mainly the dam of the recent Gr.1 winner Cloth of Stars. The last product of Lingerie by Kingmambo, the dam Light Blow, won a single race as a three-year-old and her first progeny, now the four-year Mind Shift, was sold as a yearling for USD 400,000. He has not raced so far, as have his two younger siblings, who are already of the racing age.

We don’t know much about her stud career but even if it fails, it won’t damage the great reputation of Lingerie, the most successful dam out of the champion Northern Trick. She has already become one of those racing champions who have managed to establish a top family. And even with her it is the case that her daughters fared better at stud than she did.

Miloslav Vlček

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