2010- the year of Montjeu?

The future looks very bright for Montjeu. We commented on St Nicholas Abbey after his win in the Beresford and he then followed up with a very impressive performance in the Racing Post Trophy. He was priced at 5/2 for Epsom which was understandable given the manner of his success and the fact that Montjeu’s previous Derby winners Authorized and Motivator both also triumphed at Doncaster. One week later and Montjeu produces another potential superstar when Jan Vermeer put up a superb front running performance in Criterium International at Saint Cloud. Joshua Tree had earlier won the Group 2 Royal Lodge meaning that Ballydoyle is host to three top two year old colts by Montjeu. In all cases the horses have what you might call ‘upper middle class’ rather than stellar pedigrees…

St Nicholas Abbey-pedigree.

Leaping Water, the dam of St Nicholas Abbey was unraced. She was by Sure Blade who won a QEII over a mile. However like many sons of Kris, he was a disappointing sire with Needle Gun being his only really top class performer.  Leaping Water is already the dam of Grammarian (by Definite Article) who was a dual Grade 2 winner in the States. She is also the dam of Cascata (by Montjeu)who won on her debut last year for Luca Cumani but has failed to build on it this year. Interestingly she cost 95,000 Guineas as a yearling compared to St Nicholas Abbey who cost 200,000 guineas.

St Nicholas Abbey’s granddam Flamenco Wave was a top class 2yo winning the Moyglare Stakes for John Oxx but she failed to train on. At stud she has been a major success becoming dam of Group 1 winners Starborough (by Soviet Star), Aristotle (Sadler’s Wells) and Ballingarry (Sadler’s Wells). Given the family’s success with Sadler’s Wells the decision to choose Montjeu was hardly surprising. It has now paid off handsomely and I expect St Nicholas Abbey to follow in the hoofprints of Motivator and Authorized and gain Epsom success.

Jan Vermeer pedigree

Jan Vermeer never passed through a sales ring but on pedigree his price would have been unlikely to exceed the 200,000 guineas paid for St Nicholas Abbey. His dam Shadow Song won over 11 furlongs in France and Jan Vermeer is her first foal. She is by Pennekamp who won the Dewhurst and Guineas but he disappointed as a sire and to date he hasn’t made much impact as a broodmare sire.  Shadow Song is a half sister to Midnight Air who was a top class 2yo. Midnight Air retired as the winner of the May Hill Stakes but she was also first past the post in the Fillies Mile before being demoted to last by the stewards . Their dam Evening Air was unraced and her dam Nellie Forbes only raced twice. Going further back Jan Vermeer’s 4th dam Comely Nell was also unraced but it didn’t stop her entering the history books as the dam of Bold Forbes who won a Kentucky Derby and Belmont Stakes in 1976.

Montjeu vs Galileo

 Jan Vermeer and St Nicholas Abbey have shown comparable levels of form. That said I believe the turn of foot shown by St Nicholas Abbey to quicken from last to first was more impressive than the all the way success of Jan Vermeer.  Talk of St Nicholas Abbey being a Guineas contender is far from fanciful. I for one would love to see such a success as I think it would end the debate over who is a better sire -Montjeu or Galileo. Currently Montjeu has a major gap on his cv with his failure to sire any top milers but apart from that I rate his overall achievments more highly than those of Galileo.   Montjeu has outperformed Galileo in the major classics, despite smaller foal numbers and lesser mares. He has also significantly outperformed Galileo in the Southern Hemisphere. However fashion and Coolmore have dictated that a sire like Galileo who can also sire the occasional top miler and the occasional top 2yo is to be given top billing. Even after his breakthrough success in 2005 Montjeu had to play second fiddle to Sadler’s Wells.  There is no shame in that but from 2006 onwards he has been competing somewhat unsuccessfully with Galileo for the elite mares. That to me is a shame as I think Montjeu deserves to be regarded as the best stallion in Ireland. Hopefully 2010 will prove that point.

JAN VERMEER (IRE) 2007 c b

Montjeu
(IRE) 1996
Sadler’s
Wells (USA) 1981
Northern
Dancer (CAN) 1961
Nearctic
(USA) 1954
Natalma
(USA) 1957
Fairy
Bridge (USA) 1975
Bold
Reason (USA) 1968
Special
(USA) 1969
Floripedes
(FR) 1985
Top
Ville (IRE) 1976
High
Top (IRE) 1969
Sega
Ville (USA) 1968
Toute
Cy (FR) 1979
Tennyson
(FR) 1970
Adele
Toumignon (IRE) 1971
Shadow
Song (IRE) 2002
Pennekamp
(USA) 1992
Bering
(GB) 1983
Arctic
Tern (USA) 1973
Beaune
(FR) 1974
Coral
Dance (FR) 1978
Green
Dancer (USA) 1972
Carvinia
(FR) 1970
Evening
Air (USA) 1982
J
O Tobin (USA) 1974
Never
Bend (USA) 1960
Hill
Shade (USA) 1965
Nellie
Forbes (USA) 1977
Secretariat
(USA) 1970
Comely
Nell (USA) 1962

 

ST NICHOLAS ABBEY (IRE) 2007 c b

Montjeu
(IRE) 1996
Sadler’s
Wells (USA) 1981
Northern
Dancer (CAN) 1961
Nearctic
(USA) 1954
Natalma
(USA) 1957
Fairy
Bridge (USA) 1975
Bold
Reason (USA) 1968
Special
(USA) 1969
Floripedes
(FR) 1985
Top
Ville (IRE) 1976
High
Top (IRE) 1969
Sega
Ville (USA) 1968
Toute
Cy (FR) 1979
Tennyson
(FR) 1970
Adele
Toumignon (IRE) 1971
Leaping
Water (GB) 1990
Sure
Blade (USA) 1983
Kris
(GB) 1976
Sharpen
Up (GB) 1969
Doubly
Sure (GB) 1971
Double
Lock (GB) 1975
Home
Guard (USA) 1969
St
Padina (GB) 1966
Flamenco
Wave (USA) 1986
Desert
Wine (USA) 1980
Damascus
(USA) 1964
Anne
Campbell (USA) 1973
Armada
Way (USA) 1976
Sadair
(USA) 1962
Hurry
Call (USA) 1960

3 thoughts on “2010- the year of Montjeu?

  1. That’s a good question TARPPPP and one for which I don’t have the answer . Some people have speculated that the
    fillies don’t have the quirks that a lot of his better
    colts seem to have and that the brillance and oddness go together. John Dryden wrote 300 years ago “great wits
    and madness sure are near allied, thin partitions do their bounds divide”. He could have been talking about Montjeu’s offspring!

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