Malhub, Labeeb, Solskjaer, Way West and Hobb Alwahtan have all been newsworthy in the past few days. And not just for football scores either.
At the last week John Ferguson purchased a son of King’s Best for USD425,000. Consigned by the Irish National Stud, the colt is out of an unraced half-sister to Summerhill’s own 2002 Golden Jubilee S. (Eng-G1) winner Malhub (Kingmambo).
“He’s a very nice horse and is related to a group one winner,” Ferguson reported post-sale. “He’s a very athletic colt and a good example of a King’s Best.”
The legacy of Labeeb lives on in more than just the memories of those who managed him day-to-day. He has left a magnificent crop of foals at Summerhill, and results continue to accrue to his progeny from the few years he stood at stud in the United States. Last week it was his 6yo daughter LA REASON in the spotlight. She went down by just half a neck in the Gr 3 Turfway Breeders’ Cup Stakes.
Most of you will be familiar with the Sheikh’s ‘Wonder Horse’ Dubai Millennium whose glorious career canvassed 9 wins in 10 starts and whose awe inspiring victories included the 2000 Gr 1 Dubai World Cup and an 8-length whitewash of the opposition in the Gr 1 Prince Of Wales’s Stakes at Royal Ascot. World Horse of the Year, European Champion Miler at three, European Champion OIder Horse at four, and Timeform rated 140, Dubai Millennium tragically died of grass sickness during his first season at stud . His sole crop of 54 foals includes the Gr 1 winner DUBAWI. Last weekend the Gr 2 PRIX DANIEL WILDENSTEIN at Longchamp saw ECHO OF LIGHT (b h 4 Dubai Millennium – Spirit of Tara by Sadler’s Wells (USA)) add additional black type success to his ill fated sires record. Dubai Millennium’s 3/4 brother and 6-time winner HOBB ALWAHTAN - stands his first season at Summerhill in 2006.
THE ‘TWO HILLS ‘
SOLSKJAER’s namesake scored 2 goals over the weekend … our boy scored a few more in the breeding shed. ‘Horses for courses’ as they say …
Meanwhile, the well worn phrase that accrues to and SOLSKJAER’s sire - “What if he was still alive?” - received mention yet again last night as more than 20 local and international guests sat down to dinner at Hartford House and reflected on the international race results for the weekend.
The horse in question is, of course, Danehill but even as one could pause to wonder “what if…” equally his legacy strengthens by the day through the endeavours of his sons.
Last weekend Danehill sired 4 graded stakes winners at Ascot’s Festival of Racing including both Gr 1’s. Not forgetting 2 graded stakes winners in Australia, while his sons produced 8 graded stakes performers in Australia, New Zealand and Europe.
In the past 2 days his sons have yet again been entrenching the ‘sire of sires’ title. In Australia it was the season’s first black type race for 2 year olds and a son of first crop sire (and 7 time Group 1 winner) Rock of Gibraltar took the honours. Across the ocean in France it was Rail Link, a second crop son of Juddmonte’s Dansili, who won the prized Gr.1 Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe at Longchamp. Not to be outdone, In the Gr.1 Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere Aidan O’Brien’s Holy Roman Emperor (Danehill) another Gr 1 victory to August’s victory in August’s Gr.1 Phoenix Stakes, with an easy (and easing down) 2 length win with connections reporting that he may now head for the Gr.1 Dewhurst Stakes. Of note, another grandson of Danehill - VITAL EQUINE (by Danetime) ran 3rd in the same race.
Also in Europe (this time In Germany), Creative Mind (by Danehill Dancer) ran 2nd in the LR GROSSER PREIS DER DR DUVE INKASSO. In Ireland OSTERHASE (by Flying Spur) ran 2nd in the ABERGWAUN STAKES [Listed] at Tipperary. In Italy GOLDEN DYNAMIC (by Danetime) won the PREMIO RUMON [Listed] at Capannelle (PROJECT DANE by Dane Friendly running 3rd) .
In Hong Kong the HK$2.3m National Day Cup (Gr 3) saw GREEN TREASURE (by Danehill) run 3rd whilst in the United States, ARTISTE ROYAL also ran third in the Gr 1 CLEMENT L HIRSCH MEMORIAL TURF CHAMPIONSHIP STAKES at Santa Anita.
The European and Australasian Sires Chart sums it up. For the current season (1st August to 30 September incl.) Danehill and his sons Danehill Dancer and Dansilli are ranked 1,2 and 10th respectively on the GB, France, Ireland and German chart. In Australia and New Zealand (1st August - 27 September) Commands (by Danehill) has secured the lead in the general sires list with Redoute’s Choice (by Danehill) 2nd, Danehill himself 3rd, and sons Flying Spur, Lion Hunter and Danzero 4th, 11th and 18th respectively.
As the European Bloodstock News reported this morning “Danehill’s juveniles also include the Gr.1 Ascot Fillies’ Mile heroine Simply Perfect. Thirty of Danehill’s 1,082 named European-sired foals aged three and over have triumphed at the highest level, as have forty of his 1,119 live Antipodean foals of the same age.”