Cunco-Frankel’s First…

Back in January 2014, I wrote about Frankel’s first foal who was subsequently named Cunco (a town in Chile). As a yearling he was led out of the ring at Tattersalls in October as unsold at 280,000 guineas . He made history today by becoming the first runner for Frankel in a six furlong maiden at Newbury. Fans of Frankel will be encouraged by Cunco’s debut performance in which despite greenness he showed a nice turn of foot to win snugly  and afterwards he received some favourable comments from his jockey Robert Havlin and his trainer John Gosden. He should improve significantly for the run and I thought in light of his performance it was interesting to re-read my original article in which I wondered about the possible effects of so much inbreeding. No need to worry it seems !

The original article is shown below

 

Can you have too much of a good thing?

Frankel’s first foal was born on the 11th of January.  The dam Chrysanthemum was a Group 3 winner trained by David Wachman for Coolmore connections. In truth, in terms of racing performance and pedigree Chrysanthemum was no more than a middle ranking member of Frankel’s stellar first book of mares.

However what is far more interesting is the pedigree cross it represents.  We are by now, well used to seeing variants of the  Sadler’s Wells (and sons) by Danehill cross , the cross that reached its pinnacle with Frankel himself. It has proved hugely successful with Galileo alone having sired  8 Group 1 winners out of Danehill mares. Chrysanthemum is by Danehill Dancer out of a daughter of Sadler’s Wells and it begs the question can you have too much of a good thing?

Sadler’s Wells and Danehill are the giant names of European breeding in recent decades. Coolmore achieved considerable success with the likes of Horatio Nelson (Danehill ex Imagine), Peeping Fawn (Danehill ex Maryinsky and Chevalier (Danehill ex Legend Maker) bred on this cross.  Given the number of high class broodmares they possess with both names in the pedigree it is perhaps unsurprising that they are considering doubling up what has worked in the past.

They would have been encourage by the results to date for Teofilo (Galileo ex Speirbhean by Danehill) who is similarly bred to Frankel. Teofilo has made a good start to his stud career highlighted by Group 1 success for Parish Hall  (ex Halla Siamsa by Montjeu) and Irish Derby success  with Trading Leather who is out of a Sinndar mare and thus has another cross of Danzig as does Voleuse Des Coeurs (ex Vadorga by Grand Lodge). This new foal is just gone a little further in terms of duplication.

This foal will have Sadler’s Wells 3X3, and Danehill 3X3.  In the first 6 generations Northern Dancer’s name appears 5 times and he appears once more in the 7th generation. Given that Danehill features 2 crosses of Northern Dancer’s dam Natalma, her name appears 8 times in the pedigree! If this was  a human we would be appalled, even if it was a pedigree dog we would be concerned yet when it comes to our friends the thoroughbreds we just think it’s interesting!  As regards the question, whether you can have too much of a good thing,  we will obviously just have to wait until he finishes his racecourse career to answer that one…

Frankel's first foal
6 generation pedigree

Mawatheeq-far from the Height of Fashion

It’s probably a sign of old age, but I’m finding it harder to distinguish between many of the less famous Arabic named horses. Mawatheeq was one such horse (incidentally the name means treaty or treaties), however an impressive series of results for his progeny in recent weeks, had me revisiting the record books.  I suspect that given time, Mawatheeq will rise to a more prominent position in the stallion world from his current lowly position.

Recent Results

The table below show the last six runners by Mawatheeq all of whom finished first or second. It’s a brave or foolish person who ascribes too much significance to such a sequence in early season maiden races but it does offer hope of a profitable season. In particular Mulkeyya’s debut run at the Curragh was most promising. This 25 runner maiden was won by the 106 rated The Warrior, and Mulkeyya’s performance gave hope of black type before season’s end.

List of Mawatheeq’s Recent Runners in UK and Ireland

The performance of the three year old runners is in contrast to his first two year old runners in 2014, which consisted of only 2 winners (one in Italy and one in Hungary) for the season. In Britain there were no winners from 13 runners. However, bearing in mind his own race career and that his first book consisted of only 42 mares, that lack of success is less surprising.

Mawatheeq’s Race Record

The bare facts of Mawatheeq’s career are underwhelming,showing a solitary stakes win from a 9 race career. Trained by Marcus Tregonig, he was unraced at two (reportedly due to injury), won two of his four starts at three (a maiden and a handicap), before blossoming in the Autumn of his four year old career. After a disappointing four year old reappearance in April, he won a Doncaster handicap in September before making a big leap forward with an impressive victory in the 12 furlong Group 3 Cumberland Stakes. The upward trend continued when on his seasonal bow he finished runner up in the Champion Stakes to Twice Over. It wasn’t the strongest ever field for a Champion Stakes but he still had the likes of classic winners Sariska and Fame and Glory behind him. With such an improving profile, his five year old career promised much, but proved anti-climatic consisting of a solitary run, when well beaten in the Prince of Wales’s Stakes Stakes at Royal Ascot. A recurrence of his two year old injury, saw the end of his track career and he was retired to Shadwell Stud.

Stud Career and Sales

Mawatheeq’s initial stud fee was a modest £5000 which dropped to £4000 and is now listed as private (but not in the Galileo sense of the word- more the too embarrassed to disclose sense) so we know that the mares he was covering were a modest bunch. This lack of quality is reflected in a yearling average that was just over 6000 guineas for his first two crops. He has struggled for patronage possibly due to a bias against staying sons of Danzig,as conventional wisdom would have us believe that Danzig’s really good sire sons were sprinter/milers (eg Green Desert,Danehill, War Front). In the case of Mawatheeq there was no need for Shadwell to trumpet their restricted books as you can take it they didn’t need to turn away hordes of disappointed mare owners :). Incidentally the aforementioned Mulkeyya (ex Rifqah) might be one of the best bred mares that he covered being a descendant of Allegretta.

Pedigree

Mawatheeq’s pedigree is a match for any stallion’s. He is from the last crop of the great sire and sire of sires Danzig and his female line is dripping in black type.  His dam Sarayir (by Mr Prospector) was an unbeaten stakes winning two year old, rated highly enough to make her three year old reappearance in the 1000 Guineas. That she failed to add to her reputation at three hardly detracted from her paddock valley as she was a daughter of the Queen’s Height of Fashion. Height of Fashion was top rated British Two year old filly of 1981 with victories in the Fillies Mile, and May Hill Stakes to her credit and she added a Princess of Wales’s Stakes to her record at three (in which race she broke the track record held by her half brother Milford). She was sold for an undisclosed amount (but estimated at the time to be between 1.4 and 1.8 million) after the Princess of Wales’s Stakes to Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum, in whose colours she ran poorly in both the King George and Yorkshire Oaks. Ultimately though, she proved to be a real bargain for the Sheikh as she became the dam of dual classic winner Nashwan Gr1x4 (by Blushing Groom), Nayef G1X4(by Gulch), Unfuwain G2 (by Northern Dancer), Alwasmi G3 (by Northern Dancer) and Mukddaam L (by Danzig) all of whom had stud careers with varying degrees of success. This success was hardly surprising as Height of Fashion’s dam Highclere was herself a winner of a 1000 Guineas and French Oaks and Highclere’s grandam Hypercium also won the 1000 Guineas. Other branches of the family have provided the likes of Japanese superstar Deep Impact (a great grandson of Highclere).

Mawatheeq’s dam Sarayir did her bit for the family tradition by producing Ghanaati (by Giant’s Causeway) who also won the 1000 Guineas and Coronation Stakes. In addition she is the dam of Rumoush (by Rahy) who was a listed winner and a good third to Snow Fairy in the 2010 Oaks. This is undoubtedly one of the best family’s in the stud book.

Conclusion

As one of the last sons of Danzig from a stellar family, one might have thought that Mawatheeq would live up to his grandams name as the Height of Fashion. However his initial book of only 42 mares, despite a modest fee of £5000, tells you all about the market prejudice against late maturing types. In addition he didn’t correspond to the market expectation of a good Danzig sire being best at middle distances and standing 16 1 ½ . His solitary stakes success at no more than Group 3 level also counted against him. His results to date are still very modest with no stakes performers but the early results for his three year olds are relatively promising and it will be interesting to see if his offspring continue to improve with age. On pedigree he has everything you would like to see in a stallion and at such a lowly fee he might just prove a bargain for any patient breeders, not too concerned about the yearling market.

Mawatheeq’s Page

mawatheeq's pedigree

See below for a promotional video of Mawatheeq by Shadwell

 

 

2014 End of Season Awards- ‘The Victors’

Now that the European season is almost over, it’s time to hand out my end of year awards (The Victors)

1. Stallion of the year: Galileo who else? It’s easy to take for granted his year on year domination, but it really is extraordinary. This year so far he has sired another Derby winner in Australia, classic winner Marvellous, Group 1 winners Tapestry and Adelaide. Amongst his older horses Noble Mission has earned the right to stop being referred to as simply Frankel’s brother. More significantly the pipeline looks incredibly strong with Group 1 winning two year olds in Gleaneagles, Together Forever and Found and an even more exciting prospect in John F Kennedy. He does have all the advantages of the best mares and large books but he keeps producing the goods in a way few stallions in history could match.

2. Flop of the Year: Fastnet Rock. Just to show that Coolmore don’t always get it right. Sensational in Australia, Coolmore reverse shuttled him and patronised him with some of their elite mares. He had a slow start with his European two year olds in 2013 but we waited and waited for them to burst onto the scene in 2014 but it never really happened. The Coolmore boys recognised the game was up and sold a job lot of 9 of his yearlings to the Australian OTI syndicate. He has fallen far short of expectations (I would have expected at least 2 Gr 1 winners from that book of mares) and no tears will be shed if he doesn’t return to Ireland.

3. Breakthrough sire of the year: Kodiac. When he retired to stud in 2007 Kodiac had a modest race record with no Stakes wins to his name and his best run being a fourth in the Prix Maurice de Gheest. However he had plenty to recommend him on pedigree being a son of Danehill out of a classic winner in Rafha who was the dam of rising stallion Invincible Spirit. His initial fee was €5000 and that dropped in year 3 and year 4 to €4000. Plenty of winners started to follow and after a proliferation of two year old winners in 2013 his fee reached €10000 in 2014. This year, since the beginning of the season he has been an unstoppable force with his two year olds and more importantly some have demonstrated considerable quality notably. The highlight for Kodiac was the speed machine that is Tiggy Wiggy and for good measure Kodi Bear stepped up on his previous runs to come second in the Dewhurst. In addition the 3 year old Coulsty won a group 3 as did the 6 year old Jamesie. His recent sales results include a large number of six figure sales and he is set for a very significant and justified fee hike in 2015.

4. Second Crop Sire of the Year: Le Havre. Hard to call this award as it could have gone to Sea the Stars, Mastercraftsman or Le Harve. Sea the Stars had a huge amount to live up to being one of the outstanding horses of the era, being a half brother to Galileo and having covered an outstanding book of mares. He has not disappointed having sired a superstar filly in Taghrooda, and a scintillating winner of the German derby in Sea the Moon as part of a very impressive haul of 10 stakes winners. Mastercraftsman had a lesser book of mares than Sea the Stars ((althought not a bad book of mares given his initial fee was €20000) but surpassed expectations by delivering two classic winners in Kingston Hill and the Grey Gatsby. However my selection is Le Havre who despite having won a Prix du Jockey Club was retired at a fee of just €5000. He has repaid his supporters in spades with a dual classic winner in Avenir Certain, a Group 2 winner in Auvray and the high class Le Hoguette amongst 6 stakes winners. He has earned the right to much bigger and better books in 2015.

5. First season sire of the year: Lope de Vega. For most of the season I had the name Starspangledbanner pencilled in for this award. He looked like he had the makings of a fine stallion getting a pair of impressive Royal Ascot winners in The Wow Signal and Alexander Anthem from a depleted first crop (due to fertility issues). However although The Wow Signal added a Group 1, the lustre has slightly faded from this pair and no other stakes winners have emerged. In contrast the offspring of Lope De Vega have really come good as the season progressed and he can already boast of four Group winners headed by recent Dewhurst winner Belardo, backed up by Italian Group 2 winner Here Look and a pair of Group 3 winners in Burnt Sugar and Royal Razalma. In addition Endless Drama put up a most impressive performance when winning today at Naas as he towered over his rivals in every sense. Given that Lope de Vega was better at three when he emulated his own sire Shamardal by winning the French Guineas and Derby Ballylinch Stud must be hopeful that his momentum will continue. Lope de Vega retired at a fee of €15000 and stood for €12500 for the past two years but a big hike is to be expected.

6. Performance of the Year: Sole Power in the Nunthorpe Stakes. Sole Power is a standing dish in the top sprints and won the Nunthorpe back in 2010 (at which time I wrote about his pedigree (http://www.montjeu.com/archives/295). His winning performance in this year’s edition really had to be seen to be believed as he showed remarkable acceleration against high class sprinters.  Enjoy it for yourself here

 

2012 Stallion fees-where is the value?

“Price is what you pay, value is what you get” , said Warren Buffett the legendary stock market investor. He made his money through value investing, essentially he believed the market prices often overlooked intrinsic value and therein lay opportunity. I couldn’t agree more when it comes to 2012 stallion fees. Below are some stallions that I feel represent good value at their listed fees for 2012.

1. Manduro (2002 Monsun ex Mandellicht by Be My Guest) 2012 fee €10,000

Manduro was a superstar on the track, rated world champion in 2007 when he was unbeaten in five starts from 1 mile to 12 furlongs. That year he won 3 group 1s (the Prix d’Isaphan, the Prince of Wales and the Prix Jacques le Marois) and most likely he would have won the Arc only for injury. Although he was technically a champion German 2 year old, he was nobody’s idea of a two year old sire. It is therefore very encouraging that he sired a group 1 winner in Mandean (ex Summertime Legacy by Darshaan). Impressively he came very close to a second Group 1 winner in his first crop with Bonfire (ex Night Frolic by Night Shift). He retired to stud at a fee of €40000 and it was €15,000 in 2011 so it was very surprising to me that after such a promising start it was dropped to €10,000. I suspect it will not be available at such a price in 2013 and he represents real value and a good opportunity for most Irish breeders to tap into a different sireline.

2. Big Bad Bob (2000 Bob Back ex Fantasy Girl by Marju) 2012 fee €6000

There is no use in trying to understand how Big Bad Bob has become a successful stallion. A very modest race career of which the highlight was winning a Group 3 in Germany wouldn’t have breeders queuing for his services. The fact that his sire Bob Back ended up as a dual purpose sire also didn’t suggest that Big Bad Bob was destined for success on the track. He does possess plenty of quality links in his distaff side but it was still surprising that he found a berth at stud. He was effectively a private stallion for Windflower Overseas Holdings (Cristina Patina) and reputedly free outside covers were available. However his results to date have been very impressive considering his very limited books to date (in quantity and quality). His percentages for runners to foals, winners to foals and stakes winners are all more suggestive of stallions covering at a multiple of his fee. Trainers like him and this should be of benefit in the sales ring and he is one of the few Roberto line representatives available to Irish breeders. It is clear that he upgrades his mares, and he seems to deliver soundness judging by the numbers of his offspring that actually reach the track. Nothing succeeds like success and breeders should judge him on his results.

3.Kendargent (2003 Kendor ex Pax Bella by Linamix) 2012 fee €4000

If you are looking for the next Big Bad Bob it might just be Kendargent. He was a non-stakes winner and his best performance was when fourth in the Prix Jean Prat. However he got his chance at stud and he is making the most of it. With his first crop of two year olds he had only five representatives on the track but three won including Group 2 winner Restiadargent (ex Restia by Montjeu) and Group 3 winner Kendam ex Damdam Freeze by Indian Rocket). He is a legacy of the Grey Sovereign line and an outsource for most mares. I would hope that he might get enough chances to prove he is not just a flash in the pan and at the price it is hard to complain. Incidentally if you want to use a different son of Kendor with a much more high profile racecourse career then Champion Stakes winner Literato (ex La Cibeles by Cardoun) is also available for a very modest €4000- but of course he has yet to have any runners which greatly tempers enthusiasm.

4. Medicean (1997 Machiavellian ex Mystic Goddess by Storm Bird) 2012 fee £8000

It looked for a time like Medicean was about to become an important sire in the UK after early success with the likes of Dutch Art and Nannina. His fee reached £30000 for the 2007 and 2008 seasons. Since then he has stumbled a little but his fee has reacted and at £8000 I think there are reasons to think he might represent some value at that price. Firstly the offspring of those heady days are now expected to make their mark, particularly as many of Medicean’s offspring (just like himself) improve with age. His son Dutch Art also just enjoyed a very good first season with his two year olds. His overall stats at 4% stakes winners are solid rather than spectacular but he is a decent stallion who might see a bounce in the coming years.

5. Discreet Cat (2003 Forestry ex Discreet Account by Private Account ) 2012 fee $12,500

I certainly don’t profess to be an expert on US racing but I am surprised by the fee for Discreet Cat which seems very reasonable. He was a really exciting horse who won his first 6 starts impressively before flopping as favourite for the Dubai World Cup and he was never the same again. He retired at a fee of $30,000 and had 11 winners with his first crop of two year olds, albeit from a large crop (107 named foals). However he has started 2012 very well with Out of Bounds (ex Unbridled Elaine) winning a Grade 3 and Discreet Dancer (ex West Side Dancer) winning a minor race impressively. Both horses are now quoted in top ten in the betting for this year’s Kentucky Derby. Even if neither horse graduates to major success he is fairly priced and there is very considerable potential upside in using him this year.

6. Birdstone (2001 Grindstone ex Dear Birdie by Storm Bird) 2012 fee $10,000

If Discreet Cat is about potential then Birdstone has been there and done that. A remarkable first crop saw him sire two classic winners in Summer Bird (ex Hong Kong Squall by Summer Squall) and Mine that Bird (ex Mining My Own by Smart Strike) and seven stakes winners from a crop of only 66 foals.  Since then he has gone incredibly quiet with only one other stakes winner and his stud fee which climbed to $30000 has dropped back to $10,000.  However his number of foals is modest by modern standards with a total of only 204 named foals in his 2006-2009 crops and his 8 stakes winners still leaves him on 4% stakes winners. He is recommended for anyone in the States who claims to want a shot at a classic horse on a budget. He was a triple Grade 1 winner,winning the Champagne Stakes at two, thwarting Smarty Jones triple crown bid in the Belmont and following up in the Travers. I suspect had he not won the Belmont over 12 furlongs he might have had a higher stud fee but such is the insanity of modern fashion. His sire Grindstone was a Kentucky Derby winner and his sire Unbridled was a Kentucky Derby winner. What more can US breeders want for $10000?

Arc day 2011- A new French fashion?

The French have a reputation for being fashionable. Sunday was Prix de l’Arc day- Europe’s finest single days racing with seven Group 1 races. The results were a breath of fresh air and a delight to those people who love to see diversity amongst the stallion ranks. We have come to expect top class European racing to be dominated by the Danzig and Sadler’s Wells branches of the Northern Dancer line. On Sunday, these lines were eclipsed by a less fashionable branch of the Northern Dancer line and even more pleasingly, five of the other winners were not from the Northern Dancer line.

Nijinsky- a better Arc day than in 1970

The Nijinsky sireline had a big day on Sunday. Nijinsky famously lost his unbeaten record in the 1970 Arc to Sassafras. He subsequently sired one winner of the race in Lammtarra and two of his sons Green Dancer (sire of Suave Dancer) and Caerleon (sire of Marienbard) sired winners of Europe’s premier all-aged race.  The impressive victory of Danedream (f. by Lomitas ex Danedrop by Danehill) saw another victory for his sireline as Lomitas is a son of Nijinsky’s Irish and French St Leger winning son Niniski.  Alas Lomitas died last year so he will not benefit from this victory.

Another grandson of Nijinsky sired a big winner when Kasbah Bliss (g. by Kahyasi ex Marital Bliss by Double Bed) won the marathon Prix du Cadran . In addition Nijinksy’s son Royal Academy is the broodmare sire of Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere winner Dabirsim (c by Hat Trick ex Rumoured by Royal Academy). The cap off the day, Nijinsky’s grandson Generous was broodmare sire of Prix de L’Opera winner Nahrain (. by Selkirk eg Bahr by Generous). All in all it was a welcome reminder of the positive influence of the last triple crown winner.

Super Sunday Silence

Dabirsim’s win in the Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere was another reminder of the possibilities of the Sunday Silence line. It is mystifying to me that the major European studs have not acted to secure a truly top class son of Japan’s greatest ever sire to make available an alternative sireline.  The possibilities were already shown by Divine Light who sired Natagora winner of the Cheveley Park and 1000 Guineas.  Lanwades (in the UK)  stand Vita Rosa and Darley France stand Layman, but neither could be considered amongst the best of the Sunday Silence’s as racehorses.

Dream Ahead

Dream Ahead (c. by Diktat ex Land of Dreams by Cadeaux Genereux) won his fifth Group 1 when edging out Goldikova in the Prix de la Foret. It was subsequently announced that he will be retiring to Ballylinch Stud in County Kilkenny Ireland at the end of the season.  His sire Diktat is now in Spain but if properly priced Dream Ahead should prove popular. For people who care about these things it is significant that if you go back 22 generations you will find that Dream Ahead’s sire line traces to the Godolphin Arabian, so he represents a good chance to continue that line in Europe.

Tangerine Trees

Tangerine Trees (g. by Mind Games ex Easy to Imagine by Cozzene) was a somewhat fortuitous winner of the Prix de l’Abbaye as the fast finishing Sole Power looked to be the best horse on the day. Tangerine Trees represents another sireline that has fallen out of fashion namely the Forli line which was once so popular down around Ballydoyle. However the reason why Mind Games is unfashionable is that he was a truly dreadful stallion with terrible percentages.  Thankfully he is now retired from active service.

Elusive Kate- Can’t escape Mr P.

Elusive Kate (f. by Elusive Quality ex Gout de Terroir by Lemon Drop Kid), could hardly be considered unfashionable being a daughter of Elusive Quality who stands at 50,000 USD and who is a stallion who is popular on both sides of the Atlantic. Elusive Kate has Mr Prospector on both sides of the pedigree as Elusive Quality traces to Mr Pr via Gone West and Lemon Drop Kid is a son Kingmambo by Mr P.  The prominence of Mr Prospector is not nearly as pronounced in Europe as it is in the States.

Nahrain for Varian

Nahrain (f. by Selkirk ex Bahr by Generous) just defeated her half sister Announce (f. by Selkirk ex Hachita by Gone West) in the Prix de L’Opera. In winning she gave her trainer Roger Varian the first of what are likely to be many Group 1 wins. The veteran Selkirk is from the Sharpen Up line and has now sired 14 Group 1 winners, 10 of which are fillies and again although he could never be called unfashionable he perhaps never got the credit he deserved.

Conclusions

Sunday’s results do not mark the end of the domination of Europe by the Sadler’s Wells and Danzig lines.  However it is a useful reminder to European breeders and buyers that there are a lot more ways of breeding a top class racehorse than through the ultra fashionable sire lines. As the French might say vive la difference!

Stowaway revealed

 Jumps sires are often dead or infirm by the time their merits become apparent.  Stowaway has just turned 17 so given average luck he should be active for another 4 or 5 years (hopefully more).  His merits are now becoming abundantly clear and National Hunt breeders should be placing him near the top of their lists when planning their future matings. Use him before we lose him is my advice.

Statistics

Stowaway is currently lying in 70th position in the Anglo-Irish jumps list with earnings of around £100,000. He has had 7 winners from 23 runners (30%). In 2009/2010 he finished in 170th position with total earnings of £76,648 and 3 winners from 22 runners (14%). In 2008/2009 he finished in 218th position with total earnings of £57,513 and 5 winners from 21 runners (24%).  “So what?” , would be most people’s response to these figures. However in this case the statistics tell an incomplete story. His winners to runners percentages are not particularly great but they mask the quality of some of the individuals that are now coming through. In addition the mares he initially covered were extremely modest as you would expect from a covering fee of €600.  Also Stowaway did not commence stud duties until 2001 so his oldest progeny have just turned 9.

Shark Hanlon and Stowaway

January 23rd 2011 saw Stowaway record a major double at Leopardstown. Hidden Cyclone (ex Hurricane Debbie by Shahanndeh) was a good winner of a Grade 2 Novice hurdle over 2 1/2 miles.  He was introduced into the betting for the Neptune Novices Hurdle at Cheltenham but his trainer John Joseph aka ‘Shark’ Hanlon feels that in time he will make a top class staying chaser. Shark Hanlon also trained the bumper winner Mart Lane (ex Western Whisper by Supreme Leader) who is also under consideration for Cheltenham.  Mart Lane is a full brother to the best horse sired to date by Stowaway in Western Leader (ex Western Whisper by Supreme Leader) who has won four times including a Grade 2 hurdle, prior to running second at Aintree in the Sefton hurdle.  All of these horses were bred by Ronnie O’Neill who stands Stowaway in Whytemount Stud in Kilkenny and who was the primary supporter in the early years. For good measure Stowaway Pearl (ex Kelly’s Pearl by Miner’s Lamp) won at Thurles on the 10th February and he is also trained by Shark Hanlon who has been key to the rise of Stowaway.

Stowaway race record

Stowaway was first seen on the racecourse as a two year old in October 1996, when he made a winning debut in a mile maiden at Newcastle for trainer Michael Jarvis. The potential he showed that day meant that he was transferred to Godolphin for the rest of his career.  He was beaten on his reappearance at three but then stepped up in class to win the Group 3 Gordon Stakes at Goodwood over 12 furlongs. He followed up in August by winning the Group 2 Voltigeur Stakes from Derby runner-up Silver Patriarch. The St Leger is the traditional target of Voltigeur winners and it was talked about for Stowaway but he failed to make it to Doncaster and in his absence the classic was won by Silver Patriarch. The Champion Stakes saw him return to action that season. He did respectably, finishing fourth behind Pilsudski over a trip short of his best but still finishing ahead of the likes of Derby winner Benny the Dip and Group 1 winners Revoque and Bijou D’Inde.

 Stowaway spent the winter in Dubai and made a winning reappearance in the Dubai Sheema Classic at Nad Al Sheba.  However this was before that race attained graded status. Alas this also proved to be  his last racecourse appearance. His career finished with a record of four wins from six runs and he had proven himself to be amongst the best of his generation. However it was also a career that seemed to fall short of its potential. He seemed an ideal candidate for the St Leger but never got the opportunity to compete in that classic. He never got the opportunity to run beyond 12 furlongs and he seemed a likely sort to improve with age but we never really saw that assumption tested. In addition he never raced on ground worse than good, but race reports filed after his maiden indicate that he had a high knee action so he should have been suited by softer ground.

Stowaway’s Pedigree

Sire: Slip Anchor

Stowaway is a son of the runaway 1985 Derby winner Slip Anchor.   Slip Anchor did not follow on from his sire  and grandsire in throwing a Derby winner but he compiled a reasonable record from his time at stud. From 586 foals he had 302 winners(52%) and 28 (5%) stakes winners.  His best offspring included Oaks, Irish Oaks and St Leger winner User Friendly (ex Rostova by Blakeney), Italian Derby winner and Irish Derby runner-up Morshdi (ex Reem Albaraari by Sadler’s Wells), Italian Group 1 winner and Hardwicke Stakes winner Posidonas (ex Tamassos by Dance in Time) and Melbourne Cup runner-up Give the Slip (ex Falafil by Fabulous Dancer).  His best offspring weren’t precocious, stayed well and tended to be durable. The average winning distance of his offspring is a very high at 12.4 furlongs.  Slip Anchor’s stud fee began at £30,000 in 1987 before dropping to £25000 in 1989, £20000 in 1990. He was available at 3-4k throughout the noughties before his retirement from stud duties in 2007.

Dam: On Credit

On Credit, the dam of Stowaway showed high class form in France. She won as a juvenile, won twice over 10 furlongs at three and was twice runner-up in editions of the 11 furlong Group 3 Prix Fille de L’Air. She is also a half sister to Falafil (by Fabulous Dancer) the dam of the previously mentioned Give the Slip (by Slip Anchor). At stud she is also the dam of Credit-A-Plenty (by Generous) who was runner up in the Group 3 Park Hill Stakes.  Stowaway’s grand-dam Noble Tiara was twice a winner( over 10 and 12 furlongs) from nine starts she made as a three year old. This was her only season to race but aside from winning she placed fourth in both the Prix de Flore (Gr3) and Prix de Royallieu (Gr3). On Credit was a daughter of French Guineas winner, No Pass No Sale a son of Northfields. Slip Anchor worked well with Northfields and from only 7 horses bred on this cross they included Slicious (ex Precious Jade) winner of a Group 1 Premio Roma and Anchorite (ex Elysian) who was a high class two year old.

The secret of Success

Stowaway’s success has taken people by surprise.  At the time of his arrival at Whytemount Stud in 2001, it had been three years since he had set foot on a racecourse. Understandably there weren’t big queues of breeders to use this forgotten horse. His initial crop sizes numbered 30 with many of these mares being provided by the horses new owner, Ronnie O’Neill.  Following some success he secured 120 mares in 2009 and this rose to 200 mares in 2010 at a heady €1000 service fee. His fee for 2011 is listed as private, but even if the fee is trebled or quadrupled it may still represent value.

Understanding his success may be easier than we think.  It is well to remember what a high class racehorse he was and it is certainly likely that we never saw the best of him.  Physically he is a big good looking bay. His sire is a potent influence for stamina and the Mill Reef line is responsible for plenty of high profile National Hunt sires.  He has covered mostly moderate mares and made the most of his opportunities.  There is no secret to his success apart from his own abilities.

Nicks and the future

Stowaway seems to throw winners to all sorts of lines.  An unfamiliar name that occurs a lot amongst his offspring as broodmare sire is Shahanndeh (Assert ex Shademah by Thatch) who was a half brother to Sharastani who previously stood at Whytemount Stud and was the sire of many of his earlier mates.  Apart from Presenting the Irish national hunt stallion scene is dominated by sons of Sadler’s Wells. Given the success enjoyed on the flat by crossing Sadlers Well’s and Shirley Heights line mares it seems natural that many of these mares will be tried with Stowaway. His first 3 figure sized crop are now yearlings so it will take a few years to make an impact on the track. In the meantime, breeders should take advantage of his availability and I am confident that he will be highly placed on the sires table throughout the mid to late years of this decade.

STOWAWAY (GB) 1994

Slip
Anchor (GB) 1982
Shirley
Heights (GB) 1975
Mill
Reef (USA) 1968
Never
Bend (USA) 1960
Milan
Mill (USA) 1962
Hardiemma
(GB) 1969
Hardicanute
(GB) 1962
Grand
Cross (GB) 1952
Sayonara
(GER) 1965
Birkhahn
(GER) 1945
Alchimist
(GER) 1930
Bramouse
(FR) 1936
Suleika
(GER) 1954
Ticino
(GER) 1939
Schwarzblaurot
(GER) 1947
On
Credit (FR) 1988
No
Pass No Sale (IRE) 1982
Northfields
(USA) 1968
Northern
Dancer (CAN) 1961
Little
Hut (USA) 1952
No
Disgrace (IRE) 1976
Djakao
(FR) 1966
Exbury
Grace (FR) 1970
Noble
Tiara (USA) 1981
Vaguely
Noble (GB) 1965
Vienna
(GB) 1957
Noble
Lassie (GB) 1956
Tayyara
(IRE) 1975
Targowice
(USA) 1970
Shahla
(IRE) 1968

Firm Conclusions about Royal Ascot 2010

Royal Ascot 2010 provided enough material for a book, never mind a blog entry. Trying to summarise the five days racing comprising 30 races, 7 group 1’s and 7 group 2’s is difficult. I went to the trouble of looking at the ninety placed horses over the meeting and comparing the results against the number of runners for each sire. The results are shown below and include a few surprises.

Sire Placed Horses Total Runners
Galileo  6  17
 Danehill Dancer  5  12
 Singspiel  5  9
 Rock of Gibraltar  4  7
 Cape Cross  3  9
 Choisir  3  4
 Dansili  3  7
 Exceed and Excel  3  11
 Oasis Dream  3  12
 Dubawi  2  6
 Green Desert  2  7
 Medicean  2  6
 Pivotal  2  8
 Silvano  2  2
     

 Galileo top of the charts but ..

Galileo emerges as top of the lists for placed horses but even more so for runners. I would not say he had a particularly good Royal Ascot. Age of Aquarius (ex Clara Bow by Top Ville)ran a fine race in the Gold Cup (20 furlongs) and he was followed home by Purple Moon (ex Vanishing Prairie by Alysheba). Mikhail Glinka (ex Lady Karr by Mark of Esteem) just touched off Theology ( ex Biographie by Mtoto) in the 16 furlong Queens Vase.  These quality stayers are worthy of admiration but breeders are not paying c.175k for Galileo’s services in the hope of getting such a stayer. Galileo’s list of placed performers was completed by Gile na Greine (ex Scribonia by Danehill) who ran a fine second in the Coronation Stakes and Gallic Star (ex Oman Sea by Rahy) who was third in the Ribbesdale.

Danehill Dancer

Danehill Dancer had a good Royal Ascot. Lilly Langtry (ex Hoity Toity by Darshaan) was a good winner of the Coronation Stakes and he produced a promising two year old filly in Memory (ex Nausicaa by Diesis) who won the Albany stakes (Gr 3).  Quadrille (ex Fictitious by Machiavellian) was placed in a listed race and Imposing and Himalya were placed in handicaps. Better still his reputation as a sire of sires was significantly enhanced through the exploits of Choisir and another unfashionable sire son Monsieur Bond had a runner placed in the Queen Mary Stakes.

Singspiel still producing the goods

Singspiel also had five horses placed but from only nine runners. Singspiel’s offspring really love fast ground and he again emphasised why he is regarded as a fillies sire with a 1-2 in the Ribbesdale Stakes through Hibaayeb (ex Lady Zonda by Lion Cavern) and Eldalil (ex White House by Pursuit of Love). Recent reports indicate that his stud career may be at end due to declining fertility and if so he will be sorely missed as he was a great value stallion.

Rock of Gibraltar- yet to find his level

Rock of Gibraltar had a good Royal Ascot but his achievements tend to be slightly below the radar.  Society Rock (ex High Society by Key of Luck) was a fine second in the Golden Jubilee and Jacqueline Quest (ex Croquette Rouge by Croco Rouge) showed her Guineas run was no fluke by finishing third in the Coronation. In addition Rock Jock (ex Perfect Touch by Miswaki) was third in the Jersey Stakes (Gr 3) and London Stripe (ex Agenda by Sadler’s Wells) was second in the King George handicap. He is a decent stallion but his fee needs to come down from €22500 to around €15000.

Choisir – stallion of the week

What a difference a week makes. Like most people I had totally written off Choisir and the fact that he was no longer shuttling to the Northern hemisphere was a blessing. Now I’m not so certain anymore. Starspangledbanner (ex Gold Anthem by Made of Gold) was extremely impressive in the Golden Jubilee and in the Wokingham, Laddies Poker Two (ex Break of Day by Favorite Trick) showed herself to be much more than just a handicapper. For good measure the two year old Reckless Reward (ex Champagne Toni by Second Empire) was second in the Norfolk (Group 2) and his only other runner at the meeting, Stimulation (ex Damiana by Thatching) ran a career best when a close fourth in the Princess of Wales over 10 furlongs.

Dansili- almost the stallion of the week

With three winners Dansili had a fine week. Harbinger (ex Penang Pearl by Bering) was impressive in the Hardwicke Stakes and is capable of winning at Group 1 level. Strawberrydaiquiri (ex Strawberry Morn by Travelling Victor) was a game winner of the Windsor Forest Stakes and Dandino won the King George handicap.  With his better crops coming on stream his place at the top table is assured.

Oasis Dream and Dubawi- the run continues

It was also a good week for the winning producing machine that is Oasis Dream. Approve (ex Wyola by Sadler’s Wells) won the Nofolk Stakes(Gr. 2)  and Rainfall (ex Molomo by Barathea) won the Jersey Stakes. Similarly Dubawi showed his class and versatility.  Monterosso (ex Porto Roca by Barathea) continued his improvement and put himself in line for a tilt at the Irish Derby by winning the 12 furlong King Edward Stakes and Afsare (ex Jumaireyah by Fairy King) also showed improvement to win the listed Hampton Court Stakes.

Exceed and Excel

Exceed and Excel has built his reputation as a sire of two year olds. He didn’t do that reputation any harm by having three two year old’s placed in the course of the meeting.

Sireline of the week

This goes to Danehill. Four of his sons did well namely Danehill Dancer, Rock of Gibraltar, Exceed and Excel and Dansili. In addition Danehill Dancer’s son Choisir had a stellar week.

Disappointment of the week

We always keep an eye on Montjeu’s offspring. He had 12 runners over the week and none of them finished better than fifth. We can only blame the firm going.