Remembering Mozart

You will not find many thoroughbreds in the world who would have so much in common with the famous person they are named after. The brilliant sprinter Mozart was, same as the famous composer, endowed with exceptional talent. Unfortunately same as the Austrian genius he left this world sooner than he could show all of his talent.

The result of the Sunday Centenary Sprint Cup in Hong Kong is another proof of the statement above. The Gr.1 race was taken by the Irish bred Peniaphobia, sired by Dandy Man, one of five Mozart's sons at stud. Peniaphobia showed his class already last year when he won the Jockey Club Sprint - International Srint Trial (Gr.2) and then finished second to Aerovelocity in the Hong Kong Sprint (Gr.1). This victory, however, made him the first Gr.1 winner sired by one of Mozart’s sons.  

Mozart, son of excellent Danehill and unraced Victoria Cross, half-sister to the Kentucky Derby winner Sea Hero and Gr.1 winner Hero’s Honor, was put for sale at Tattersalls Yearling Sale, where he was bought for 340,000 guineas by Demi O’Byrne. Mozart, trained by Aidan O’Brien, showed from the first race that he was not a poor investment. He won his debut by easy eight lenghts from the future dam of Teofilo, Speirbhean, then went on to win the rich £400,000 Tattersalls Houston Sale Stakes (Class B). He closed the season by the fourth place in the Dewhurst Stakes behind Tobougg, Noverre a Tempest.

He started next season by the third place in Leopardstown 2,000 Guineas Trial Stakes over eight furlongs and he took the same place in the Tetrarch Stakes. He performed excellently in the Irish 2,000 Guineas where he finished second to Black Minnaloushe. This was Mozart’s last race over a mile. Shortening of distance did him well – he won his next race in the Jersey Stakes at Ascot over seven furlongs, same as two sprint peaks of the season – the Gr.1 July Cup over six furlongs and Nunthorpe Stakes over five furlongs which he won from the second Nuclear Debate by two lengths. His last race in the Breeders’ Cup Sprint was not to his liking but still he was rated the best three-year-old sprinter in Europe after the season.

He then left for stud. It was a remarkable year for Coolmore as Galileo launched his career at the same time. Mozart’s fee was set at 30,000 Irish pounds, Galileo was 20,000 more expensive. Mozart was much demanded in his first season and his first crop produced over a hundred foals of racing age. Unfortunately this was the last crop too – Mozart died in May next year.

His first and last crop included eight black-type winners whose eight per cent share among all foals of racing age equalled Galileo. The winner of the Middle Park Stakes (Gr.1), Amadeus Wolf, was the best of them, followed by the Gr.2 U.S. winner Rebellion and two Gr.3 winners Dandy Man and Stratham. More four horses by Mozart (Modeeroch, Biniou, Classic Punch and Absolutelyfabulous) won a listed race and another four (Amadeus Mozart, Prince Tamino, Johannes and Sunrise Safari) were placed in black-type races.

Five of Mozart’s sons went to stud - beside the four above mentioned group winners it was the winner of the handicap at Fairyhouse Rol’Over Beethoven, based in the Czech Republic. So far, three of them have managed to produce a black-type race – Dandy Man, Amadeaus Wolf and Rebellion.

Dandy Man, based at Ballyhane Stud, Ireland, with a fee of 6,500 euro, is the most demanded among Mozart’s sons at stud. He had 158 mares last year. Besides the above-mentioned Gr.1 winner Peniaphobia he is the sire of the Sandown Sprint Stakes (Gr.3) winner and the third in the Nunthorpe Stakes (Gr.1) Extortionist or the successful sprinter Parbold who has placed many times in black-type races, including the second place in the Coventry Stakes (Gr.2). By the sheer number of progeny - black-type winners Amadeus Wolf exceeds Dandy Man but the demand for him is decreasing. When he started at the Irish National Stud in 2008 his fee was 10,000 euro, this year at Haras Des Faunes, where he moved just before this stud season after two years at Haras de Saint Vincent, his fee amounts to just a quarter. He has produced five black-type winners at stud, the best of them being the winner of the Abernant Stakes (Gr.3) Hamza, who finished third in the Prix de l’Abbaye de Longchamp two years ago. The second group winner produced by Amadeus Wolf is the winner of the Hamburger Stutenpreis two years ago, Papagena Star. Caledonian Spring, Instrumentalist and Avabin are listed winners.

So far the last Mozart’s son - the sire of a black-type winner - is his richest earning son (won seven races and 816,277 dollars), the Darley-bred Rebellion. Should you find the connection Darley and a Coolmore sire odd, bear in mind that Rebellion was born at the time when Darley did not boycott Coolmore sires and their progeny at sales. Rebellion, successful on dirt and turf, moved, this season, from North Ridge Farm, Canada, to Hickory Tree Farm, U.S. Last year his daughter Bella’s Rebel won the Rainbow Connection Stakes.

Stratham, too, now based at Haras Nicanor, Argentina, served his time in the United States. It was in Argentina that his daughter Sexy Cash was born, second in the Classico Bayakoa (L) and so far the only black-type product by Stratham. It is worth mentioning that her damsire is Mozart’s once stablemate and the winner of the Irish 2,000 Guineas Black Minnaloushe.

Mozart’s sons have produced eight black-type winners and seven horses who placed in black-type races. Besides sons, however, Mozart has a number of daughters at stud, including the winner of the Cork Stakes and second in the Ballyogan Stakes Absolutelyfabulous, dam of the winner of the Irish 2,000 Guineas and, mainly, the Breeders’ Cup Turf Magician by Galileo. The English listed winner Hallelujah is another black-type horse, as is Strike Twice who won her black-type status in the U.S.

Most of Mozart’s daughters are at the beginning of their stud career and, among others, Absolutelyfabulous has two more horses by Galileo, full-siblings to Magician, who still wait for their racing debuts. Besides Dandy Man it is likely to be Magician who will spread Mozart’s blood in near future. Galileo’s son will start his stud career at Ashford Stud, U.S., and given the growing popularity of Galileo among American breeders much demand for him is to be expected. Let us believe that he and his progeny will take from Mozart only his talent.      

Miloslav Vlček

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