Pedigree Insights from Randwick

Randwick, Australia, hosted a rich meeting on Monday, which had its peak in the AJC Australian Derby and three more Gr.1 races. The quality of the races was not impacted by postponing the programme from Saturday and again it showed that Australian races belonged among the best, if not the very best, in the world. And the races brought a number of interesting insights for breeders.

Mongolian Khan, photo Randwick racecourse

AJC Australian Derby was won by the Chinese-owned Mongolian Khan with a mighty finish. He was the first horse since Bone Crusher in 1986 to win both the New Zealand Derby and Australian Derby. The son of Holy Roman Emperor is only the second – after the 2000 winner Fairway (Danzero) – winner of the Australian Derby in history who is from the Danehill line. Mongolian Khan is also so far the only horse by Holy Roman Emperor to have won a Gr.1 race over a mile and a half. That is if we leave aside the Indian Gr.1 races, since his daughter Smashing (out of a dam by Galileo) won the 2012 Indian Oaks (IND-Gr.1) and finished second in the Indian Derby (IND-Gr.1). As far as Mongolian Khan is concerned, the source of stamina is easy to find – the colt is half-brother of the gelding Young Centaur (Jeune), winner of the Gr.1 Wellington Cup over two miles.

An interesting pedigree is that of the Gr.1 Doncaster Handicap winner Kermadec, the seventh Gr.1 winner by Teofilo and his second Gr.1 winner (after the Queensland Derby winner Sonntag) born in the Southern Hemisphere. Given Danehill’s exceptional influence on Australian breeding it may come as a surprise that Kermadec is only the fourth Gr.1 winner in Australia whose sire is out of a dam by Danehill. Besides the above mentioned Teofilo’s daughter Sonntag they include the winner of the Queensland Oaks Tinto by Red Dazzler and, above all, the triple Gr.1 winner Moment Of Change, sired by Barely a Moment.
Kermadec is the first and only black-type winner whose pedigree contains blood of the current ruler of European breeding, Galileo, and the Japanese superstar of American origin, Sunday Silence. The combination of the blood of these two giants who felt most comfortably over longer distances and certainly were not (especially in the case of Sunday Silence) precocious, have not been realised too often and, therefore, cannot be looked upon from the perspective of “having produced just a single black-type winner”. This is confirmed by Kermadec, who is the only product by Teofilo out of a dam by Fuji Kiseki. Galileo himself has among his progeny just a single horse with the blood of Sunday Silence – the Irish maiden winner Space Telescope, later three-time winner over the hurdles. The reverse connection – Sunday Silence on the sire side, Galileo on the dam side – has produced one black-type horse placed in a Gr.2 race but I do not think you would be able to guess the place of birth. Brazil! The daughter of the sire Agnes Gold and unraced Estrela Rio (Galileo), Energia Galileo, placed second in the Gr.2 Premio Mariano Procopio. Even the reverse combination, however, is scarce in progeny. Japanese breeders had Galileo’s daughter Adored covered, without much success, by the most successful son of Sunday Silence, Deep Impact. It will be interesting to see the performance of the daughter of the two-year-old champion filly Maybe, foaled last year and sired also by Deep Impact.

The winner of the AJC Sires’ Produce Stakes (Gr.1) Pride Of Dubai represents one of the most successful combinations of Australia breeding today – that of Street Cry and Danehill’s daughters. This connection was discussed in detail in the article on the successful combination of Machiavellian and Danehill. Let us just remark that this combination of two individuals inbred to Almahmoud, or her daughter Natalama, shows, in the Street Cry x Danehill, a high 15% share of black-type horses of racing age and even 25% of runners.

The winner of the T.J. Smith Stakes sprint Chautauqua is the twenty-fourth Gr.1 winner by the recently pensioned Encosta de Lago (more in an older article) and only the third whose pedigree contains the influence of Danehill on the dam side. The sire of Encosta de Lago, Fairy King, is the full brother of Sadler’s Wells, whose son Galileo has fantastic score with the daughters of Danehill, but Fairy King was different in type from Sadler’s Wells, his influence in breeding was different and his progeny was successful over shorter distances that the progeny of his more famous brother. Encosta de Lago, despite equally strong influence of Mr Prospector on the dam side of his pedigree as Galileo, had just average results with daughters of Danehill — of 210 foals of racing age, only nine won a black-type race which is a lower share than the whole production of Encosta de Lago. But perhaps we should not focus too closely on the percentage of winners – more eleven horses by Encosta de Lago out of daughters by Danehill have placed in black-type races. Despite this it seems that a generation later, with Encosta de Lago’s sons at stud, the results of connection with Danehill’s blood are better: let us name the two-tie Gr.1 winner Zoustar, the son of Northern Meteor (Encosta de Lago) out of a dam by Redoute’s Choice, successful daughter of Northern Meteor Cosmic Endeavour who is directly out of a dam by Danehill, or the Gr.2 winner Moonovermanhattan by Manhattan Rain out of a dam by Flying Spur.
With granddaughters of Danehill, daughters of Danehill’s sons, Encosta de Lago has produced six black-type winners of whom, besides Chautauque, the current sire Delago Deluxe won a Gr.1 race but as far as percentage is concerned, the share of black-type winners reflects the share of black-type winners among all progeny of Encosta de Lago.

Among other group winners I chose the pedigree of the Kindergarten Stakes winner Furnaces by Exceed And Excel. His dam is the Gr.3 placed Heat Of The Fire by Strategic, one of five black-type horses inbred to Summoned (besides siblings Mystic Princee and Real Charm, Fixation and Jet Down On It). Summoned has never raced but proved to be a gem at stud, having produced five stakes winners including the champion Zeditave. She established a very successful family, both on the racecourse and in the sales ring. The family includes, among others, Gr.1 winners Norzita, the South-African champion Greys Inn, the winner of the T.J. Smith Melito, Zac Spirit successful in Singapore and many other group and listed winners.       

The pedigrees of other winners may also provide ideas for breeders. But on Saturday there is the second part of the famous meeting which will offer more four Gr.1 races and, besides great experiences from excellent races, will bring more inspiration for breeders and lovers of pedigrees. Let us look forward to it.

Miloslav Vlček

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