Rose of Jericho Still in Boom

Only a handful few of those who were present or watched the event online would forget the electrifying atmosphere that spread over Tattersalls hall during the 2013 December Mares Sales when the chestnut broodmare Dancing Rain entered the sales ring. The Oaks winner, in foal with Frankel, entered the quiet hall to leave when the majestic sum of 4 million guineas flashed on the screen. The price, paid by John Ferguson on behalf of the Sheikh Mohammed, was greatly contributed to by the excellent family established by Rose of Jericho.

Dancing Rain at Tattersalls, photo Tattersalls

Rose of Jericho died sixteen years ago but her blood is still seen around, most recently this Saturday at Randwick, Australia, where the four-year-old, New Zealand bred Azkadellia won the AUD-million The Coolmore Legacy Queen Of The Turf Stakes (Gr.1). She is by Shinko King, one of Rose of Jericho’s three sons who have managed to produce a Gr.1 winner.

The unraced Rose of Jericho, half-sister to the Singapore Queen Elizabeth II Cup (L) winner Zind, produced a total of twelve foals. Seven of them raced, six won, of these four in black-type races and one placed in a stakes race. This in itself is an impressive record, even more interesting, however, are the results of her progeny at stud. Although history knows many successful dams – founders of families and dams of sires, there are not many of those whose five progeny, both sons and daughters, could produce a Gr.1 winner at stud. Rose of Jericho is such a case and her achievements are only emphasised by the fact that the five progeny are by four different sires.

The very first foal set the standard high for Rose of Jericho. Archway, the winner of the Greenlands Stakes (Gr.3) and Testimonial Stakes (L) was the 1991 best three-year-old sprinter in Ireland. He was at stud in Ireland and in Australia and his performance Down Under was much better. Although himself a sprinter, his progeny was successful mainly over longer distances – see, for example, the winner of the Australian Oaks (Gr.1, 12f) Grand Archway, winner of the Australian Cup (Gr.1, 10f) Roman Arch, winner Feltex Carpets Oaks (Gr.1, 12.5f) She’s Archie or the winner of the AJC Oaks (Gr.1, 12f) Rose Archway. Rose of Jericho is likely to have contributed to distance preferences of the best Archway’s progeny, or rather the influence of her sire Alleged, the double winner of the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe.

The same influence is likely to surface in Rose of Jericho’s second progeny, Dr. Devious. Sired by the sprinter Ahonoora he won the Dewhurst Stakes as a two-year-old, at three won the Epsom Derby and Irish Champion Stakes, finished second in the Irish Derby behind St. Jovite. He launched his stud career in Japan from where he returned back to Europe after four years, namely to Coolmore, Ireland, from where he travelled to Italy after five years. At stud he did not confirm Tesio’s claim about the importance of the Epsom Derby for thoroughbred breeding but he belonged among the best stallions in Italy. His best product was the three-time Gr.1 winner Collier Hill, whose triumphs include the win in the Irish St. Leger, and the winner of the Prix de l’Opera (Gr.1) Kinnaird.

The third named progeny of Rose of Jericho was above mentioned Shinko King. Sired by Fairy King and sold to Japan, he won, among other things, the Takamatsunomiya Hai (Gr.1) sprint and finished third in the Hong Kong International Bowl (Gr.2). He was not much successful at stud in Japan, but quite the opposite was his performance in New Zealand, where he shuffled regularly and where he produced a total of five Gr.1 winners, including the winner of the New Zealand Derby (Gr.1) C’Est La Guerre.

While Rose of Jericho’s three sons who produced a Gr.1 winner belonged among the best horses of their years, both her daughters, dams of Gr.1 winners, never raced. The Japan-based Rose of Suzuka, the dam of eight progeny, acquired fame through her son Suzuka Phoenix, an eight-time winner who earned nearly 450 million yens on the racecourse and whose biggest achievement was the win in the Takamatsunomiya Kinen (Gr.1). The stallion has been at stud in Japan since 2009 and his best product so far is the winner of the NHK Mile Cup (Gr.1) Meiner Ho O. The family established by Rose of Suzuka in Japan furhter develops and has produced, among other horses, the runner-up in the last-year’s Kyoto Kinen (Gr.2) Suzuka Devious.

The record of Rose of Jericho’ progeny, producers of Gr.1 winners, is closed by Indian Ridge's daughter Rain Flower, the dam of the Epsom Oaks and German Oaks winner Dancing Rain. She is not, however, the only black-type horse among Rain Flower’s progeny. The listed St Hugh’s Stakes were won by the two-year-old Sumora by Danehill, who entered history as the dam of the unbeaten two-year-old champion and Gr.1 winner Maybe, whose first product, a filly by Deep Impact, could make her racing debut this year.

Although it has not produced a Gr.1 winner so far, the family of Band of Angels, the second daughter of Rose of Jericho, does not perform poorly either. The unraced Alzao’s daughter is, among others, the granddam of the Gr.3 winner and the third in the New Zealand 1,000 Guineas (Gr.1) Awesome Planet, the dam of the runner-up in the Australian Cup (Gr.1) Awesome Rock.

Oddly enough the worst performance at stud among Rose of Jericho’s daughters was by the one who had a racing career, and among her sons by the one who had the most successful sire. Sadler’s Wells's son Royal Court, the winner of the stayers’ Ormonde Stakes (Gr.3), was bought on retiring for 21,000 guineas by Polish breeders at the December Sale in Newmarket but was not much successful at stud in Poland. His progeny, such as the winner of a Gd3 steeplechase in Italy Shirley or the third in the famous Czech chase Velka Pardubicka Juventus, were successful mainly over the fences. The daughter Breeze Hill, the last product of Rose of Jericho, raced initially without much success in Ireland, then was sold for 150,000 guineas as a horse-in-training to New Zealand where she won a minor race over 2,100 metres. At stud she has produced so far three winners outside black-type; two progeny by Galileo foaled in Ireland await their racing debuts.

Whether any of these is successful in black-type races and whether even the fourth daughter of Rose of Jericho will follow her most successful half-sisters is to be seen in a few months or years. But even without it the family achieves great results and we can just look forward to what Maybe, Dancing Rain or – in the same way as the previous ones – some of the unraced mares of this family achieve at stud.

Miloslav Vlček

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