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.

No mystery here.

The Prix Morny was expected to see Cranford Cliffs prove himself a superstar.  Instead he finished only third behind narrow winner Arcano.  Arcano is now unbeaten in three runs after winning a Newmarket maiden and the Group 2 July stakes also at Newmarket.  His win wasn’t visually impressive and more improvement will be required if he is to be considered a serious Guineas prospect for next year, although the time of the race set a new track record.

 We are still learning about Oasis Dream and Arcarno’s dam Tariysha was unraced. She is by the outstanding performer Daylami who apart from Irish Derby winner Grey Swallow failed to live up to expectations at stud and is now plying his trade in South Africa. It is early days to assess him as a broodmare sire but he is also broodmare sire this Summer of Group winner Summer Fete (by Pivotal). 

Arcarno’s granddam Tarwiya was a very useful filly for John Oxx at both two and three years of age. At two she had eight runs (unusual for a John Oxx inmate), she took five runs to break her maiden but by the end of the season her cv included wins in a Listed race, the Group 3 C.L Weld stakes and a second place in the Group 1 Moyglare stakes.  She failed to win at three but did manage a very respectable third to Marling in the Irish 1000 Guineas. At stud she has produced a few winners but nothing of significance. One of her non-winning daughters Tahara is the dam of Godfrey Street who won a Flying Childers. Given the pedigree, a price of 90,000 Guineas seemed right when Arcano was offered at the Tattersalls October sales. It is a nice balanced pedigree with the only inbreeding being Mill Reef 4×4 and the Northern Dancer 4X5 that appears in Oasis Dream’s pedigree. Given the way Arcarno stayed on to win, connections might be tempted to step him up to 7 furlongs for the Dewhurst or alternatively they may target the Middle Park which his sire won in 2002.

Arcano is the Spanish word for mystery but there is no mystery about the source of his talent. Oasis Dream has been the story of the Summer, producing a multitude of Group winners across a range of distances.  Twelve months ago it was clear that the best sire in Britain was Pivotal followed by Dansili- now Oasis Dream has overtaken Dansili and Pivotal’s position is under threat.  As the table below shows, since the start of July, Oasis Dream has sired the winners of 10 Group races. He has had three Group winning Two year olds (Misheer, Arcarno and Showcasing), Midday and Arcarno were Group 1 winners and Aqlaam and Main Aim were runners up in Group 1’s. It is a remarkable sequence of success and these results were produced from crop fees of £25000 to £30000.  Recession or not, I expect him to stand for c.£60k next year, he has large crops in the pipeline, he seems to work with all sorts of distaff lines and it seems that only premature death can stop him becoming a hugely significant European sire.


Date Horse age sex  Race and distance Dam (broodmare sire)
 23/08/09  Arcano 2 f  Prix Morny Gr 1 (6f)  Tariysha (Daylami)
 23/08/09  Lady Jane Digby 4 f Walther Jacobs Gr 3 (10f)  Scandalette (Niniski)
 19/08/09  Showcasing 2 f Gimcrack Gr 2 (6f)  Arabesque (Zafonic
 18/08/09 Monitor Closely 3 c Great Voltigeur Gr 2 (12f)  Independence (Selkirk)
 16/08/09  Mullein 4 f Flying Fillies Stakes lstd (6f)  Gipsy Moth (Efisio)
 16/08/09  Sri Putra 3 c Prix Guillaume D’Ornano Gr 2 (10f)  Wendylina (In the Wings)
 01/08/09  Midday 3 f Nassau Stakes Gr 1 (10f)  Midsummer (Kingmambo)
 11/07/09  Tuscan Evening 4 f Royal Heroine Mile  Gr 2(8f) The Faraway Tree (Suave Dancer)
 11/07/09  Aqlaam 3 c Summer Mile Gr 2 (8f)  Bourbonella (Rainbow Quest)
 09/07/09  Arcano 2 c July Stakes Gr 2 (6f)  Tariysha (Daylami)
 08/07/09  Misheer 2 f Cherry Hinton Stakes Gr 2 (6f)  All For Laura (Cadeaux Genereux)


ARCANO (IRE) 2007 c b

Dream (GB) 2000
Desert (USA) 1983
(USA) 1977
Dancer (CAN) 1961
De Nom (USA) 1968
Courier (USA) 1979
Ivor (USA) 1965
Dee (USA) 1968
(IRE) 1991
Brave (USA) 1983
(USA) 1969
Princess (USA) 1974
(IRE) 1985
Reef (USA) 1968
(IRE) 1975
(IRE) 2002
(IRE) 1994
(IRE) 1985
Reef (USA) 1968
(FR) 1971
(IRE) 1989
(USA) 1978
(FR) 1981
(IRE) 1989
(GB) 1972
(GB) 1961
Palace (GB) 1961
(IRE) 1984
On Wood (IRE) 1976
(GB) 1977