A year ago, on April 23, the two-year-old Washington DC won, as the very first progeny by Zoffany, a maiden race at Tipperary. He thus launched a season for the debuting Coolmore stallion in which six of his progeny won black-type races and Zoffany became the first-crop champion sire. This weekend, on the other side of the world, another Dansili’s son, Zacinto, had a similarly impressive start as two of his progeny made two listed wins in a single day.
Bred by the famous Juddmonte Farm, Zacinto belongs to one of the best Juddmonte’s families. His great granddam Modena, an unraced daughter of Roberto, was half-sister of Zaizafon, the dam of Zafonic and Zamindar, successful full brothers and later excellent stallions. Modena herself produced fourteen horses, eleven of whom ran and each won. Excellent performers were namely the champion three-year-old colt in Ireland, the winner of the Champion Stakes (Gr.1) and Eclipse Stakes (Gr.1) Elmaamul and the champion two-year-old filly in England and later the winner of The Oaks (Gr.1) Reams of Verse, who is the granddam of Zacinto. Besides them Modena produced six more black-type winners and listed-placed Midsummer which went down to history of racing thanks to her daughter Midday, six-time Gr.1 winner, successful, among other races, in the Yorkshire Oaks or the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf (Gr.1). It is Midday who could add to the fame of the family – her first progeny, Galileo’s son Midterm, is the favourite of The Derby.
The granddam Reams of Verse was not such a successful dam but even she produced two stakes winners – Many Volumes, the winner of the listed Gala Stakes at Sandown and Eagle Poise, the winner of the Valedictory Stakes (Gr.3) at Woodbine. Zacinto’s dam Ithaca won her debut in an impressive way and in her second race she was second in the Prestige Stakes (Gr.3). At three she took two third places in listed races. Zacinto is her most successful progeny but all of her four progeny who raced won.
Zacinto, trained by Sir Michael Stoute and ridden in all eleven races by Ryan Moore, launched his racing career by an eight-length victory in a maiden race at Goodwood. After a truly impressive start he was called by Irish Field a “proper Group One horse” and his performance was assessed by 10:1 odds for next year’s 2,000 Guineas. He confirmed his talent in the very next race in the Champagne Stakes (Gr.2) where – albeit still a little green – he finished second by a neck. Unfortunately this was for a long time his last race – due to a shin problem he did not race until August next year when he won by a head the listed Thoroughbred Stakes over a mile at Goodwood. Then he finished second in the Celebration Mile (Gr.2) behind Delegator, who was disqualified due to doping and Zacinto was declared the winner. He beat Delegator, this time on the racecourse, in the next race in the Gr.1 Queen Elizabeth II Stakes (Gr.1), where he himself was beaten by Rip Van Winkle and finished second. He closed the season by eleventh place in the Breeders’ Cup Mile at Santa Anita. He stayed in training for next two seasons (albeit as a five-year-old he raced just once) but was not that successful.
After retirement from the racecourse he was bought in 2012 by Inglewood Stud, New Zealand, and the stallion went down under. There he was given a very good opportunity. In the first season he covered 91 mares, in the next seasons 77, 79 and last year 66. In his first crop he has 59 progeny of whom eight have raced so far. Two of them won, both in listed races. The first victory for Zacinto was achieved in mid April by Ugo Foscolo who took by 3 ¾ lengths his debut at Rotorua. The second Zacinto’s winner is Zigwig who achieved his first win in a listed company – won easily by 3 ½ the Berkley Stud Champagne Stakes (L) at Riccarton Park. Just 15 minutes later Ugo Foscolo won his second race when he took the Hamilton Vets Quine Stakes, registered as Star Way 1100, by a short neck.
Both Zacinto’s listed winners were bred by Inglewood Stud where celebrations could erupt not just because of the great start of their stallion Zacinto but also because the achievements of their products. It is too early to say whether Zacinto becomes the Zoffany of New Zealand. One thing is certain though – he had an excellent start.