Remembering Detroit

It was a sad day at Sweetenham Stud in May 2001 when after a complicated foaling one of the key dams of the famous stud’s stock, the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe winner Detroit, died. Her last foal, a filly by Entrepreneur, lived and was soon taken by a surrogate dam. Nobody could have foreseen that this orphan will in next few years become the most successful dam of all Detroit’s daughters.

The filly named Mennetou never raced but her great pedigree and the fact that she is not just the daughter of an Arc winner but also a ¾ sister to another winner of the most famous French race Carnegie, made her an attractive dam. Although her sire, the 2,000 Guineas winner Entrepreneur, failed to meet the expectations and was sold to Russia in early 2005, his daughter excelled at stud. Her first product, Capeability, four times runner-up on all-weather, did not exactly suggest a great future for his dam, but her second product, Danehill Dancer filly Obama Rule, brought Mennetou her first black-type triumph as a dam. Obama Rule won just a single race, but it was no smaller race than the Gr.3 Dance Design Stakes, in which she finished fourth a year later. The next product – Peach Bloom by Cape Cross – placed once in Spain and a year younger gelding Diamond Klitos won four races in Greece. Also Zeva, sold as a yearling for 180,000 guineas, managed to win, taking a maiden race in the United States.

The last progeny of Mennetou foaled in Europe before the export of the mare to Australia was the bay filly Osaila. Repetition of mating with Danehill Dancer, with whom Mennetou produced her first stakes winner, was successful and produced, again, a stakes winner. The filly bought by Al Shaqab Racing at Book 1 Tattersalls October Sale for 220,000 guineas, won the Gr. 3 Juddmonte Stakes and the rich Tattersalls Millions 2yo Fillies’ Trophy of 300,000 pounds. She closed her season at Santa Anita by the third place in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (Gr.1). She launched her three-year-old campaign by a triumph in the Gr.3 Nell Gwyn Stakes, was seventh in the 1,000 Guineas and then won the listed Sandringham Handicap at Ascot and was subsequently second in the Gr.3 The Oak Tree Stakes. She ended her racing career by the fifth place in the Sands Point Stakes.

A year and a half after Osaile Mennetou foaled another offspring, this time down under. After successful matings with Danehill Dancer, another of the Danehill's successful sons was selected for Mennetou. The mating with Fastnet Rock, repeated in next four years, gave birth, in August 2013, to filly Dawn Wall. The Chris Waller-trained filly won two handicaps in February this year and last Friday had her fist black-type race in the Gr.3 Kembla Grande Classic, which she won under Kerrin McEvoy by a half length.

She thus became the third black-type winner produced by Mennetou and she, at the same time, the most successful dam among Detroit's daughters. Not the only successful one though. The unraced Mayenne performed excellently as well, being the dam of a listed winner and the runner-up in the Gr.3 Princess Royal Stakes My Renee, but – above all – the granddam of the Gr.2 Ribblesdale Stakes and the runner-up in the Gr.1 Irish Oaks Banimpire. We will find black-type horses among the progeny of the listed winner Honfleur and the unraced mares Lamarque and Loire Valley.

Detroit belongs among those mares who, having performed excellent on the racecourse, were stars at stud too. Her most successful progeny Carnegie triumphed, same as Detroit, in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe and although he stayed beyond expectations as a stallion, he is successful through his daughters (see an older BTP Weekly Column). Another son Antisaar won the Gr.2 Prix Guillarme d’Ornano, Lake Erie took the Gr.3 St Simon Stakes. If we add the already mentioned listed winner Honfleur and the runner-up in the Gr.3 John Porter Stakes Wayne County, we’ll arrive at four black-type winners and one black-type placed horse of twelve progeny. Detroit, however, could transmit talent through her generally unraced daughters, of whom three produced a black-type winners and, as the dam of Banimpire My Renee shows, the talent can be borne by her granddaughters. We will be meeting the blood of Riverman’s daughter Detroit for a long time.

Miloslav Vlček

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