Screen Hero, Admire Moon and the Others

The highlight of the last weekend were the four international races in Hong Kong, the virtual end of the 2016 season. The most breathtaking experience, at least for me, was the excellent performance by the Japanese Maurice who took the main race, the Hong Kong Cup, in an excellent fashion. And he inspired this weekly column.

Screen Hero, photo JBIS

I will start by heaping some praise on our Position Query service. I like using it to search for stallions and mares whom I used to follow on the racecourse and then they disappeared in some South American country or other; same as I like to watch how the influence of former stars is disseminated in pedigrees of black-type horses, on what positions in the pedigree and in what countries they can be found. Maurice and Position Query inspired me, some months ago, to a column on the achievements of Carnegie’s daughters and they were inspiration this time too.

There is no need to discuss at length Sunday Silence and his exceptional success at stud in Japan. The Kentucky Derby winner, whose duels with Easy Goer belong among the racing epics, has become the most successful stallion ever to be based in Japan and his blood circulates in veins of most of the thoroughbreds to be bred in Japan. In short, the influence of the thirteen-time champion sire in Japan, the sire of 171 black-type winners (11% of foals of racing age) and the damsire of more 163 black-type winners, on breeding in this country is quite exceptional.

Maurice is by Screen Hero and he is his most successful progeny so far. But not only this. Looking at the pedigree of Screen Hero, the 2008 Japan Cup winner, who beat not just the legendary Vodka but also European runners Sixties Icon and Papal Bull, we will find out that his dam is the daughter of Sunday Silence. Screen Hero is thus one of the 163 black-type winners of Sunday Silence’s daughters but, above all, the most successful stallion whose dam is by Sunday Silence; and Maurice is the most successful thoroughbred by a stallion out of a dam by Sunday Silence. How does Sunday Silence fare as the damsire of stallions?

Under the impression of Maurice’s performance the achievements of stallions out of Sunday Silence’s daughters do not seem exceptional. Besides Maurice, the only Gr.1 winner is Gold Actor the winner of the Arima Kinen, also by Screen Hero. Two Gr.2 winners were produced by the Japan Cup and Dubai Duty Free winner Admire Moon, the sire of Hakusan Moon and Leo Active. A Gr.2 race was won, not in Japan but in the United States, by the progeny of the Wood Memorial Stakes winner Tale of Ekati, the mare Ekati’s Phaeton, the winner of the Davona Dale Stakes.

Stallion out of mares by Sunday Silence - sires of black type winners

Stallion (suffix), YOB Sire BT wnrs
  Admire Moon, 2003 End Sweep 8
  Screen Hero, 2004 Grass Wonder 5
  Tale of Ekati, 2005 Tale of the Cat 4
  Fusaichi Richard, 2003 Kurofune 1
  Vermilion, 2002 El Condor Pasa 1

As the table shows, so far five sons of his daughters have managed to produce a black-type winner at stud and these five sires have produced a total of twenty-two black-type winners. In the light of Sunday Silence himself and his sons this is a pretty low number but we should not forget about the time factor. The 1986-foaled Sunday Silence moves in the position of the damsire of stallions into the third generation already, where he is not to be found even on other positions as frequently as in the second generation. So far, his sons have produced a single stallion – the sire of a Gr.1 winner. It is the 2011 Dubai World Cup Victoire Pisa, the sire of this year’s Japanese 1,000 Guineas winner Jeweler. Much often can Sunday Silence be encountered among the sires of sires – successful damsires. In this position Sunday Silence has already produced 13 Gr.1 winners, including the Japan Cup winner Epiphaneia, the winner of the 1,000 Guineas at Caufield Yosei and the two-time Gr.1 winner in Australia Kermadec.

Most of the sires out of Sunday Silence’s daughters are at the very beginning of their career, such as the Japan Cup Dirt winner Vermilion. He had his second crop of three-year-olds on the racetrack this year and he was not much successful – he produced a single black-type winner, the Gr.3 Fairy Stakes winner Not Formal. She deserves attention though as she was historically the first group winner in whose pedigree we can find Sunday Silence twice.

A number of sons out of Sunday Silence’s daughters are yet to make their debut at stud. Probably the most interesting among them is Duramente, the winner of the Japan Derby in record time, the son of King Kamehameha out of the champion older mare in Japan Admire Groove, whose dam Air Groove was even the Japanese Horse of the Year. He is fully engaged for the next season and it can be expected that his partners will not lack quality. Outside Japan the most interesting horse is the winner of the Breeders’ Cup Mile Karakontie, who covered 113 mares during his first season at Gainesway Farm. We will see what the table of sons out of Sunday Silence’s daughters to have produced stakes winners looks in five years’ time.

Miloslav Vlček

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