Monsun as we don’t know him

The former German champion sire and once the most expensive stallion in Europe outside Ireland, the deceased Monsun, came into the centre of attention thanks to Almandin’s triumph in this year’s Melbourne Cup. The sire of three of four last winners of the Melbourne Cup scored over the weekend in a rather unusual role for him – as a damsire of two-year old horses.

Monsun is a stallion who needs no lengthy introduction. Sire of 112 black-type winners (15% of foals of racing age) came into prominence mainly as the source of stamina, the best proof of which are not just three Melbourne Cup winners (besides Almandin Fiorente and Protectionist) but also the Gold Cup winner Estimate, three Deutsches Derby winners (Samum, Shirocco a Schiaparelli), the King George winner Novellist, the Grosser Preis von Baden winner Getaway and others. Although some of his progeny, such as the winner of the mile Prix du Moulin de Longchamp (Gr.1) Maxios or the Prix Jacques le Marois (Gr.1) winner Manduro were able to win over shorter distances, Monsun went down to history as the source of staying power.

He performs a similar role as a damsire, but this weekend brought a number of results that are quite different than we were used to in his case. His granddaughters Really Special and Kazimiera, both bred by Darley, managed to take first two positions in the listed Montrose Fillies’ Stakes. This was not the first time that progeny of Monsun’s daughters took first two positions in a black-type race. Last year, for instance, Guiliani and Ajalo took first two positions in the Grosser Dallmayr-Preis Bayerisches Zuchtrennen (Gr.1) and three years ago Lucky Speed and Tres Blue took two first positions in the Deutsches Derby, but this was the first case of one-two finish outside Germany and for the first time ever in a race for two-year-olds.

Another milestone in the career of Monsun’s daughters came a day later when the Criterium de Saint-Cloud (Gr.1) was won by the chestnut Waldgeist, the son of the Prix Penelope (Gr.3) winner Waldlerche, half-sister of the winner of the English St. Leger Masked Marvel. It was for the first time when a horse out of Monsun’s daughter won a Gr.1 race at two.

Monsun’s daughters have produced so far fifty black-type winners. Waldgeist rounded the number of Gr.1 winners to ten on Sunday, but a day later Guignol started the next ten by winning the Grosser Preis von Bayern. Monsun’s exceptional influence on the peak of the German season the Deutsches Derby, represented by three winners and three runners-up, is confirmed by his role of a damsire. His daughters already produced three winners (Pastorius, Lucky Speed and Sea The Moon) and two who placed second in the biggest German classic race. Same as Monsun’s progeny, the products of his daughters are most successful over longer distances – the average winning distance of his grandsons and granddaughters is 10.4 furlongs. Most of them were successful at three or later, but six of them won a black-type race at two, half of them (besides Waldgeist also brothers Pastorius and Parthenius) were successful in group races.

The results of Monsun’s daughters and their distance preferences are related to the fact that German breeders are not afraid to cover Monsun’s daughters by stayers. Most opportunities with them was given to Tiger Hill, the two-time winner of the Grosser Preis von Baden over 2,400 metres. With him they produced 32 foals of racing age, six of which, including the Gr.1 winner Sortilege, won a stakes race. Less successful was the combination with much shorter Dashing Blade, which has produced a single black-type winner of fifteen foals of racing age. It needs to be said though, the the single black-type winner was none other than Sirius, the winner of the Grosser Preis von Berlin (Gr.1).

The line of Sadler’s Wells’ son In The Wings has been recently much popular and used in Germany. The sons of this stallion perform excellently with Monsun’s daughters. Adlerflug has produced just fifteen foals of racing age, but four won a black-type race; Soldier Hollow performs well too, having produced three black-type winners of fifteen foals of racing age. Monsun’s daughters did not fare badly with another Sadler’s Wells’ son Sholokhov who – before moving to Glenview Stud, Ireland, as a NH sire – produced in Germany twenty-two horses with Monsun’s daughters and three of them won a black-type race.

We will find Monsun’s daughters, however, also outside Germany and there they are partnered to stallions with shorter distance optimum than at home. They perform well, among others, with the miler Rock of Gibraltar, with whom they have already produced three black-type winners of thirteen foals of racing age. The two Darley-bred fillies mentioned above who dominated the Montrose Fillies’ Stakes, show another ways to use Monsun’s daughters. The winner is by Shamardal and she is his third stakes winner of nineteen products out of Monsun’s daughters, the second is by Dubawi, who has produced – besides her – two black type winners of just eight products with Monsun’s daughters.  

Four years after the stallion’s death his progeny still excels on racecourses. The sire of the once dominant Blandford's dynasty has not produced an equal successor (this may be changed by Maxios or Novellist), nevertheless he has left a permanent trace.

Miloslav Vlček

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