Cavalryman Charges to Glory

Since the change in distance of the Prix de Jockey Club, the Grand Prix de Paris has assumed the mantle of the ‘real’ French Derby. Run on Bastille Day, this years Grand Prix de Paris was a weak affair and the winning performance of Cavalryman would have to be rated well below the Derby winning performances of Sea the Stars and Fame and Glory. The field comprised only 8 runners, half of them were trained by Aidan O’Brien and there were no previous Group 1 winners in the field.

 In the end it was a triumph for Sheikh Mohammed who owned the winner and third and their respective sires.  It also served as a reminder of the glory days of Godolphin.

The winner Cavalryman is by Halling (the name of a Nordic folk dance according to wikipedia) who was an early star for Godolphin. Cavalryman is a belated first Group one winer for Halling who incredibly had 12 Group 2 winners before finally breaking through at the top level. Interestingly in his previous run in the Prix Greffulhe he was defeated by the unbeaten Cutlass Bay who is another son of Halling and may also prove Group one class.

Hallings pedigree and race record:

Halling was a sound, top class individual. His sire Diesis was a champion two year old who won the Middle Park and Dewhurst. Diesis was a full brother to an ever better horse in Kris. At stud Diesis’ earned a reputation as fillies sire and sired three Oaks winners in Diminuendo, Ramruma and Love Divine. Apart from Halling his best colt was Elmaamul who although a generally disappointing sire is responsible for Muhtathir who has started very promisingly in his stud career.

Halling’s dam Dance Machine was a winner of the Sweet Solera Stakes at two. Despite his parents precocity, Halling was unraced at two and made his debut in July 1994 for John Gosden. However it wasn’t until his fourth race, a lowly Ripon handicap that he got off the mark. He never looked back and by October 1994 he was an impressive winner of the Cambridgeshire. This victory saw him leave John Gosden for Godolphin. He wintered in Dubai notching 3 modest victories at Nad Al Sheba before he was next seen in July’s Eclipse Stakes. He caused a modest surprise by making all and leaving the likes of Singspiel, Red Bishop, Muhtarram and Eltish in his wake.  He followed up a month later in the Juddmonte International where he was impressive in defeating Bahri.  That victory represented his eight consecutive victory.

He was then targeted at the Breeders Cup Classic where he met another horse in the midst of a long winning streak- Cigar. However he totally failed to run to form and was eased up in the straight.

He wintered in Dubai and was Goldolphins primary hope in the Dubai World Cup. However he once more failed to handle dirt or mighty Cigar.

Back in Europe and on turf, he won a very weak renewal of the Prix D’Ispahan run on very soft ground. He went on to record a second win in the Eclipse defeating Bijou D’Inde and Pentire under another front running ride. He then won his second Juddmonte International again making all. His swansong was the Champion Stakes, where in a vintage renewal he was defeated by Bosra Sham with Timarida in third. He finished his career as the winner of 12 of his 18 starts including 5 Group ones. He had proven himself a top class, courageous performer, who could make all or come from behind. Surprisingly he was never asked to race beyond ten furlongs but there were grounds for suggesting that it would have been within his compass.

Halling’s stud record:

Halling’s stud career has been marked by misfortune and mismanagement but he has still compiled a very respectable record. From 480 foals of racing age he has had 361 starters (75%), 240 winners (50%) and 38 (8%) black type winners. His offspring average winning distance is 10.4 furlongs which clearly indicates the stamina that he transmits. Unsurpisingly precococity is not his forte but he has consistently delivered top runners without ever managing a superstar. His first crop included a pair of Group 2 winners in Dandoun and Chancellor as well Foodbroker Fancy who won the Lupe and finished second in the Sun Chariot.

He has sired classic horses including The Geezer who was second in the St Leger to Scorpion and Something Exciting who was second to Eswarah in the Oaks. Norse Dancer finished third in the 2000 Guineas and fourth in the Derby along with a host of other Group 1 placings. Along with Coastal Path he is probably the best son of Halling to date and he is now at Wood Farm Stud in the UK for £2500.

There are a number of top stayers to his credit primarily Coastal Path, Franklins Gardens, Mkuzi and Bauer who came within a nose of winning last years Melbourne Cup.

Halling was sent to stand in the United Arab Emirates in 2004 and spent three seasons there as part of an experiment by Sheikh Mohammed. He is now back in the UK standing at £8000 but such a move cannot have helped his prospects. Halling seems to work with horses from all backgrounds and he is no doubt is opened up to a huge number of mares by only having a single strain of Northern Dancer and that in his fourth generation (fifth generation of any foal). For those who believe in nicks it is worth noting his success with Danzig mares as this has produced the Group 2 winning brothers Boscobel and Cutlass Bay as well as Group one placed Age of Reason.

Damside.

Cavalryman’s dam Silversword was also trained by Andre Fabre for Sheikh Mohammed. She was talented and was placed second in the 12 furlong Group 3 Prix de Royaumont.  She was a daughter of recently deceased Highest Honor who like Halling won the Prix D’Ispahan. Silversword is already the dam of Finity (by Diesis) a three parts sister to Cavalryman who finished third in C L Weld stakes. Cavalryman’s granddam Silver Cobra is also the dam of Double Honour (a sister to Silversword) who finished second in a Goodwood Cup before embarking on a jumping career that saw him run in a Grand National. Silver Cobra is by the Roberto horse Silver Hawk who finished third in the Derby. Interestingly Halling has previously combined with Roberto to produce Mkuzi a multiple stakes winner for John Oxx. Cavalryman’s pedigree is an outcross for the first five generations. 

Conclusion.

The Grand Prix de Paris was Cavalrymans’s first effort at 12 furlongs and he clearly improved for the step up in trip. He is still lightly raced and Andre Fabre has indicated that he may target him for the Prix de l’Arc. At the moment that may seem fanciful, but if he takes after Halling it would be unwise to rule out significant further improvement as he matures. Furthermore Fabre has an exceptional record in the Arc and on that basis he is a horse worth considering come Paris in October.

 

CAVALRYMAN (GB) 2006 c b

Halling
(USA) 1991
Diesis
(GB) 1980
Sharpen
Up (GB) 1969
Atan
(USA) 1961
Rocchetta
(GB) 1961
Doubly
Sure (GB) 1971
Reliance
(FR) 1962
Soft
Angels (GB) 1963
Dance
Machine (GB) 1982
Green
Dancer (USA) 1972
Nijinsky
(CAN) 1967
Green
Valley (USA) 1967
Never
A Lady (IRE) 1974
Pontifex
(USA) 1967
Camogie
(IRE) 1969
Silversword
(FR) 1993
Highest
Honor (FR) 1983
Kenmare
(FR) 1975
Kalamoun
(GB) 1970
Belle
Of Ireland (GB) 1964
High
River (FR) 1978
Riverman
(USA) 1969
Hairbrush
(USA) 1970
Silver
Cobra (USA) 1986
Silver
Hawk (USA) 1979
Roberto
(USA) 1969
Gris
Vitesse (USA) 1966
Copperhead
(USA) 1979
Hawaii
(SAF) 1964
Basin
(USA) 1972

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *