Montjeu- the fillies sire?

Everyone knew that Montjeu’s fillies are considerably less desirable than his colts. His tally of one Group 1 winning filly (Montare) compared to 15 Group 1 winning colts in the Northern Hemisphere tells its own story. In addition the Racing Post reported that his top 31 performers by Racing Post Rating were all male!

However three races at today’s so called ‘Future Champion’s Day’  might have changed a few perceptions in that regard and given good cheer to any owners of a Montjeu filly or broodmare.

Parish Hall

First up came the victory of Parish Hall (Teofilo ex Halla Siamsa (by Montjeu) in the Dewhurst Stakes to give Montjeu his first Group 1 winner as a broodmare sire.  Halla Siamsa was no great shakes as a racehorse winning only a 10 furlong heavy ground Fairyhouse maiden and never being tried in Stakes company. Her mating with Teofilo resulted in a 3×3 cross of Sadler’s Wells and given that Teofilo is by Galileo out of a Danehill mare then all of the big stallion names at Coolmore are close up in the pedigree. Jim Bolger said the winner was comparable with his previous winners (Teofilo, New Approach, Intense Focus), however to me it wasn’t the strongest Dewhurst. I would currently rate the winner more like Intense Focus than the other two. We never got to find out how far Teofilo would have stayed but it seems a fair bet that Parish Hall will stay 12 furlongs next year.

Never Can Tell

In the following race Never Can Tell (Montjeu ex Shaanara by Darshaan) proved a determined winner of the Cesarewitch. Although not a stakes race it is one of the most fiercely contested handicaps of the year.  If kept in training she should be able to pick up some black type next year and people will comment on the supposed Montjeu-Darshaan nick which gave us Derby winner Pour Moi.

Wadingthe Urban Sea Legacy keeps on going

In the following race Wading proved an impressive winner of the Rockfel Stakes. She is now around 12-1 for both the Guineas and the Oaks, and I think the Oaks price might represent good value.  Wading is the first foal of Cherry Hinton who retired still a maiden after a five race career in the Summer of 2007. However that doesn’t quite tell the full story as she was fifth in the Oaks and runner up in the Group 3 Blue Wind Stakes. Cherry Hinton’s dam is of course the truly remarkable Urban Sea (who I previously wrote about at ). This year her final foal Born to Sea (by Invincible Spirit), began his career in the best possible fashion by winning the Listed Blenheim Stakes on his debut and he looks a real Guineas prospect for next year. It is not inconceivable that Urban Sea’s son and her granddaughter could both land classics next year. That would be a fitting tribute to the mare who has only Hasili as a rival to the title of greatest modern broodmare and it would be a nice feather in the cap for Montjeu who to date has been a relative disappointment with his fillies.

Postscript: It never rains but if pours. Exactly one week after I wrote this article, Montjeu trebled his tally of Grade 1 winning fillies.  In the space of just over an hour, Miss Keller (2006 Montjeu ex Ingozi by Warning) won the 10 furlong EP Taylor Stakes at Woodbine and later in the evening Sara Lynx (2007 Montjeu ex Steel Princess by Danehill) won the 12 furlong Canadian International. Miss Keller started her career in Ireland with John Oxx where she won twice before shipping across the Atlantic. She was already a Grade 2 winner prior to Sunday’s victory. Miss Keller has a very nice pedigree that has consistently thrown up stakes performers. Her dam Ingozi was a listed winner, her second dam Inchmurrin was top class winning the Group 2 Child Stakes as well as finishing runner up in Royal Ascots Coronation Stakes as well as finishing 4th in the EP Taylor Stakes that her granddaugher subsequently won. In addition Inchmurrin should survive in many pedigrees as she is the dam of Inchinor (by Ahonoora) who did well as a stallion having won at Group 3 level and finished runner up to Zafonic in the Dewhurst.

Sara Lynx also comes from a high class family and coincidentally also passed through the ring for 60000 guineas. Her dam Steel Princess won three times including the Group 3 Prix Cleopatra over 11 furlongs at Saint Cloud. The second dam Champaka (by Green Desert) was unraced but third dam Fleur Royale (by Mill Reef) won the Group 2 Pretty Polly Stakes and was runner up in the Irish Oaks. She is also the dam of Casey Tibbs (by Sadlers’ Wells) who found a berth at stud in South Africa.  Fourth dam Sweet Mimosa (by Le Levanstall ex Feemoss) won the French Oaks and is a sister to outstanding stayers Le Moss and Levmoss (who also won the Arc).

Conclusion: Harold Wilson famously said that ‘a week is a long time in politics’. Well it seems it is also long enough to help prompt a significant shift in our thinking about stallions. Montjeu’s lack of success with fillies seemed hard to rationalise but now perhaps it could be seen as a statistical aberration and the achievement gap between his offspring of different genders may continue to narrow over time.

WADING (IRE) 2009 f b

(IRE) 1996
Wells (USA) 1981
Dancer (CAN) 1961
(USA) 1954
(USA) 1957
Bridge (USA) 1975
Reason (USA) 1968
(USA) 1969
(FR) 1985
Ville (IRE) 1976
Top (IRE) 1969
Ville (USA) 1968
Cy (FR) 1979
(FR) 1970
Toumignon (IRE) 1971
Hinton (GB) 2004
Desert (USA) 1983
(USA) 1977
Dancer (CAN) 1961
De Nom (USA) 1968
Courier (USA) 1979
Ivor (USA) 1965
Dee (USA) 1968
Sea (USA) 1989
(USA) 1978
Prospector (USA) 1970
(USA) 1971
(GB) 1978
(GER) 1967
(GER) 1969

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