Win Legend, A Son of Sunday Silence Successful in India

You will not find in history many cases when a sire has an impact on breeding in a racing-developed country as it happened with Sunday Silence and Japan. The thirteen-time champion sire in Japan, together with his sons, has dominated, with the exception of two-year-reign of King Kamehameha, the local championship for twenty-one years and just last year, the top ten sires included eight of his sons. This weekend, the Sho-Shinzan Kinen (Gr.3) winner Kyohei became the third group winner inbred to Sunday Silence.

Angel Dust wins Bangalore Derby, photo The Hindu

The examples of the huge influence of Sunday Silence, who blood is now best represented by the champion of the last five seasons Deep Impact, are many indeed. Outside Japan, however, the achievements of Sunday Silence’s blood are rare, if we leave aside Japan-bred horses and their raids in foreign countries. There are many sons of Sunday Silence at stud all across the world but most of them failed. Divine Light had an excellent start in France, producing in his first crop the two-year-old champion filly and the 1,000 Guineas winner Natagora, but besides her he has produced a single listed winner and was sold to Turkey. The most successful son based outside Japan is today Hat Trick, the Japan champion miler based on the Gainesway Farm, U.S., and shuttling to Argentina. The sire of the two-year-old French champion Dabirsim, the winner of the Jamaica Handicap (Gr.1) at Belmont Park King David and more three Gr.1 winners in Argentina, is perhaps the classiest son of Sunday Silence based outside Japan and, among other things, provides an answer to the question why Sunday Silence’s sons struggle to score major success in the world.

There is a country, however, which currently enjoys a number of achievements by the progeny of the son of the great Sunday Silence. It is India where the grey Hall of Famer, the runner-up in the last year’s Indian 1,000 Guineas (IND-Gr.1), won the Calcutta Derby Stakes and became the second Gr.1 winner by the stallion Win Legend. It needs to be added that Indian races belong into the Part II of Blue Book, and thus have only the listed qualification, but this does not lessen the stallion’s success at stud there.

Win Legend confirms the fact that only rarely do classy sons of Sunday Silence get away from Japan. Win Legend raced at two and three, won three of eleven races over seven furlongs, placed in more four races and the crown of his career was the victory in the listed Aoi Stakes. His pedigree, though, is excellent. The dam Shinko Nobby, bought by Osamu Yasuda as a yearling at Keeneland for USD 325,000, placed in three group races in Japan, but above all she is the granddaughter of the excellent dam Where You Lead, the dam, among others, of Rainbow Quest, Blushing Groom’s son, whose pedigree is based on the same foundation as the pedigree of Nashwan's (Blushing Groom) daughter Shinko Nobby.

Win Legend arrived in Indie in 2010 as the second son of Sunday Silence at stud in India, and in fact as a replacement. The first son was imported in India by Dashmesh Stud Farm who bought the Wetheimer family bred Sunday Doubt, born in the U.S. The French listed winner, however, died prematurely and left just a single crop of progeny. This included, however, three group winners (Royal Blue Star, Practicallyperfect and Sunday Storm), the winner of the Calcutta St Leger Royal Blue Star moreover finished third in the Calcutta Derby Stakes and Practicallyperfect second in the Golconda Oaks. After Sunday Doubt died in 2008, it was no wonder that Dashmesh Stud Farm looked for another Sunday Silence’s sons and got, a year after the death of Sunday Doubt, again through France, Win Legend who was in 2010 one of the twenty-two first-time sires at stud in India.

Leading Freshman Sire in India 2014 has, so far, produced eight black-type progeny, four of whom won a black-type race, two were successful in Indian Gr.1 races. It is worth mentioning that both the local Gr.1 winners, Angel Dust and Hall of Famer, are, same as the runner-up in the Balgalore Oaks (IND-Gr.2) Talladega, out of dams by Elusive Pimpernel. This legend of the Indian racing, the winner of twenty-two races of twenty-three starts, including the Indian Derby, considered by many to be the best horse in Indian history, was the first horse in India to exceed the 10 million Rs purse and after the end of his racing career he was based at the same stud where today Win Legend is based. The same stud housed the former sire Gainesway Farm, the winner of the Prix Prix Jean Prat Local Talent, who was at Dashmesh Stud Farm in between 1998 and 2005 and whose daughters produced with Win Legend the winner of the South India 1,000 Guineas (IND-Gr.2) Aika Aika Aika and the third of the Bangalore 1000 Guineas (IND-Gr.2) Let There Be Light. The damsire of the remaining two black-type progeny of Win Legend out of Indian bred mares, Smoking Bell a Industrialist, is Green Forest, who after his stay at Jonabell Farm is based at Dashmesh Stud Farm too.

Classic winners in two first crops speak strongly indeed for Win Legend. The breeding in India does not play a major role globally and we will not meet its products outside India but the local set-up of sires commands respect and to succeed among them, as Win Legend has, is no easy task.

Miloslav Vlček

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