Great Verdict in Kenilworth

The Sunday meeting at Kenilworth, South Africa, included 4 group races, two of them classified as Gr.1 with prize money of million rands. In the L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate the four-year-old gelding Legal Eagle, the last year’s winner of the South African Derby, won against the odds. More expected finish was that of the Maine Chance Farms Paddock Stakes for fillies, taken by two lengths by the second favourite Smart Call, for whom either it was not her first achievement in a Gr.1 race. The pedigrees of the winners are quite different but they have one thing in common – in both there is the influence of the Australian mare Great Verdict.

Smart Call, photo Liesl King

The granddaughter of a pillar of Australian breeding at Biscay, Great Verdict, did not belong among the mares who took the audience by exceptional performance. Despite not running in black-type races her career was not poor. She won three race in Australia over short distances and went to stud with earnings of nearly 20,000 dollars. She was the daughter of Summoned, an unraced mare whose sixteen products made it to the racecourse and thirteen of them managed to win. This shows that Summoned was a good dam. However, if we look at her progeny close, the adjective “good” will soon by replaced for a much stronger one. Six of her progeny won in the stakes, one was placed and four daughters who did not win black type provided this honour for their progeny or the progeny of their progeny.

Among the progeny of Summoned, the Australian three-year-old champion Zeditave, was the most prominent, the five-time G1 winner and later a successful sire. His full brother Square Deal won the Gr3 Blue Diamond Prelude for colts and geldings, his sister Zedagal, later a successful broodmare, won in the same race for fillies. His half-brother Alannon won in the G3 Rubiton Stakes and although he was just a single season at stud, he managed to produce the two-time Australian champion sprinter Falvelon. His half-sister Pampas Fire won a group race, namely G3 Debutante Stakes at Caufield but she was much better at stud. Her daughter Cloister, who also won the Debutante Stakes, produced at stud the winner of the G1 Winter Stakes Melito, and another daughter, Summary, not remarkable on the course, confirmed the quality of the family by producing the champion three-year-old-filly on New Zealand, the filly Shikoba. A G1 winners can be found among the grandsons and granddaughters of Summoned – see for instance the Australian champion three-year-old-filly Norzita, the granddaughter of Dulcinea, fourth in the Silver Jubilee (L), the daughter of Summoned.

Although many of the achievements mentioned above were yet before the Summoned family in June 2000, the mares of the family were quite decently priced. This was confirmed by Great Verdict, in foal to Zabeel, for whom R. Bruss of South Africa paid at the William Inglis & Son Ltd Australian Broodmare Sale 370,000 dollars. Three months later the mare gave birth to her third progeny who was later named Horse Chestnut – this was in the U.S., where the mare arrived for the sire Horse Chestnut.

Greys Inn is the only black-type horse among the progeny of Great Verdict, but an impressive one indeed. He raced from three to five, won six times overs distances from 1,200 to 2,400 metre and became the champion three-year-old in South Africa. As a three-year-old he shone indeed and he even became the first horse in history to win the SA Classic, SA Derby and Durban July. The last race, the peak of the season in South Africa, he took with 2 ½ lengths, the longest margin in the last 25 years. As a four-year-old he won the Dubai City of Gold Stakes, finished second in Hong Kong after a bad trip behind Vengeance of Rain in the Queen Elizabeth II Cup (G1). The Saturday winner Legal Eagle is his third G1 winner (after Royal Bencher and King of Pain) and sixth black-type winner in his production.

Besides Greys Inn Great Verdict produced two more winners but Good Judgement, the daughter of the South African Triple Crown Winner Horse Chestnut, did not belong among them. She never raced but at stud she is another successful dam of the exceptional family. So far she has produced four winners, first three by Strike Smartly, the Canadian Gr2 winner, the full brother of the U.S. champion sire Smart Strike. In 2010 Good Judgement was covered by the debuting sire Ideal World by Kingmambo, the French listed winner of a great pedigree. The son of the winner of the Prix Jacques le Marois (G1) and the runner-up in the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf (G1) Banks Hill comes out of an excellent family of sires, as the dam Banks Hill is the full sister of Dansili, Cacique and Champs Elysees. It is with him that she produced her best progeny so far, the filly Smart Call, who showed excellent class as a three-year-old when she won the Ipi Tombe Challenge (G2) and Woolavington 2000 (G1). The Saturday triumph in the Paddock Stakes is her second win in G1.

Ideal World, with the above mentioned G1 winner Smart Call in his first crop, could soon rank himself among the excellent sires of the Hasili family. So far he has seven progeny who have won or placed in black-type races and it should be mentioned that five of them, including Smart Call, come out of dams from Sadler’s Wells's line. Pedigree of Smart Call is built on the successful combination of Kingmambo and Sadler’s Wellse, but it is also the result of a combination of two exceptional broodmares, the Irish Hasili who is the granddam of the sire and the Austratilan Summoned, of whose family Smart Call is the fifth G1 winner.

Miloslav Vlček

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