Inbreeding to Sadler’s Wells

Urmentera, two-year-old son of Cosmic, won the Gran Premio Estrellas Juvenille at San Isidro on Saturday. The Gran Premio was one of the six Gr.1 races of the mega meeting at the racecourse. A day later, a two-year-old Only Me, sired by Pour Moi, finished second in the listed Grangecon Stud Stakes at the Curragh. Who do these two-year-olds have in common? Beside the fact that they both come from first crops of their sires and both are their first black-type progeny, both are inbred to the legendary Sadler’s Wellse.

Sadler’s Wells’s influence on thoroughbred reading is so profound that it was just a matter of time before first successful horses appeared on the racecourse, who have Sadler’s Wells in their pedigree twice. A horse inbred to Sadler’s Wells placed in a black-type race for the first time on March 18, 2006, when the three-year-old Saronis finished third in the Prix Rose de Mai at Saint-Cloud. The first black-type victory was achieved by the Australia-bred Upstaged when she took, half a year later, the listed Thomas Elder Stakes at Morpethville and the first Gr.1 victory was achieved by a horse inbred to Sadler’s Wells in early July 2008 when Kamsin won the Deutsches Derby.

As the statistics of Blacktypepedigree show, twenty-seven thoroughbreds inbred to Sadler’s Wells have won a black-type race, not including the two horses by Kamsin who have also won a black-type race but it is just their sire who is inbred to Sadler’s Wells.

The table shows that it is a rather varied line-up of horses in whose pedigrees the influence of Sadler’s Wells is borne by the stallion’s different sons and daughters. From the twenty-seven black-type winners, 14 are inbred through two sons, there is a sex-balanced inbreeding in 13 and no black-type winner has ever been inbred to Sadler’s Wells through his two daughters. Among his sons, the influence is born most frequently by In The Wings (10x), Montjeu and Galileo (6x), El Prado (4x) and Barathea (3x).

Sadler’s Wells is, first and above all, the carrier of classicity, his progeny matured with age and found their optimum predominantly on longer distances. Nevertheless, even inbreeding to him does not preclude a successful career at two. From this perspective, what is very interesting is the pedigree of the two-year-old Only Me who is inbred not just to Sadler’s Wells but also to his one time racecourse rival Darshaan, a stallion with whose daughters Sadler’s Wells was exceptionally successful but who was rather a carrier of staying dispositions and was not especially characterised by precocity. But it is not just Only Me. Two of five Gr. 1 winners inbred to Sadler’s Wells achieved a Gr.1 triumph in two-years (Parish Hall, Urmentera) and a full third of black-type winners inbred to Sadler’s Wells won a black-type race at two. Although black-type winners include stayers such as Samuel, Vent de Force or Nichols Canyon, inbreeding to Sadler’s Wells is not an automatically entry ticket to stayer races.

Black-type winners inbred to Sadler's Wells

Horse YOB Class Inbreeding
Kamsin (GER) 2005 G1, GER 4m x 4m
Parish Hall (IRE) 2009 G1, GB 3m x 3m
Kitten’s Dumplings (USA) 2010 G1, USA 3m x 3f
La Porotita (CHI) 2009 G1, CHI 3m x 3m
Urmeneta (ARG) 2012 G1, ARG 3m x 3m
Vagabond Shoes (IRE) 2007 G2, USA 2m x 4m
Samuel (GB) 2004 G2, GB 3f x 4m
Divisidero (USA) 2012 G2, USA 3m x 4f
Vent de Force (GB) 2011 G2, GB 3m x 3m
Dona Sarita (CHI) 2009 G2, PER 2m x 3f
Gatewood (GB) 2008 G3, AUS 2m x 3f
Samba Brazil (GER) 2009 G3, GER 3m x 4m
Rehn’s Nest (IRE) 2010 G3, IRE 3m x 3m
Skipper (VEN) 2011 G3, VEN 3f x 3m
Opera Gal (IRE) 2007 L, GB 2m x 3m
Shujoon (GB) 2004 L, FR 3f x 3m
Nichols Canyon (GB) 2010 L, GB 3m x 4m
Upstaged (AUS) 2002 L, AUS 2m x 3f
Calling Out (FR) 2011 L, FR 3f x 4m
Halong Bay (FR) 2005 L, ITY 2m x 4m
Granny Mc’s Kitten (USA) 2011 L, USA 3m x 3f
Murano (IRE) 2009 L, FR 3f x 3m
Burberry (SAF) 2005 L, SAF 3m x 3m
Saint Sophia (SAF) 2010 L, SAF 3m x 3f
Momento de Alegria (BRZ) 2011 L, BRZ 2m x 4m
Great Page (IRE) 2013 L, IRE 3m x 3m
Nordic Flight (GER) 2012 L, GER 3m x 4f

In future, as the influence of Sadler’s Wells shift to further generations, the number of black-type winners will naturally grow. Frankel could be a strong impulse to whom breeders sent many mares with the influence of Sadler’s Wells in their pedigrees. But we will have to wait one more year for this.

Miloslav Vlček

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