News of the much anticipated clash of two of the current ‘Greats’ of the racetrack - Invasor and Discreet Cat - in this year’s Dubai World Cup has certainly had the media pack busy this week.  Invasor (Candy Stripes), the highest rated horse in the world in 2006, triumphed in both the Horse of The Year and Older Male categories, taking both awards by a wide margin in the US.  Shadwell’s Argentinian-bred runner is the first South American-bred horse to take the overall title. In an exceptional season, he landed a quartet of Gr.1 victories,
which were crowned by the Breeders’ Cup Classic.

Meanwhile, at the forthcoming Melbourne Premier Sale in Australia, two yearlings from a relatively small consignor have revealed links not just to Invasor but also to a couple of Champions of the South African turf as well. 

Six degrees of separation as they say …

Bloodstock expert Brian Russell released the following article earlier this week:

2006 World Champion’s relations in Melbourne catalogue      

Two relations of Invasor, the four-year-old Argentinian bred colt who has topped the World Thoroughbred Rankings for 2006 following four successive Group 1 victories in the USA, culminating in November with his appearance in their richest event, the $5million Breeders’ Cup Classic, are in the catalogue covering the William Inglis Victorian Premier Yearling Sale set down to be held on March 4, 5 and 6.

Both on account of Glentree Downs, Modewarre near Geelong, they are a colt by 2004 champion American sire Elusive Quality, a Darley shuttler, out of Ernestina, a Melbourne winner by the Sir Tristram sire El Qahira, and a filly got by another Darley visitor, Grandera, from the Rory’s Jester winner Bromista.

Both bred by prominent Victorian breeder Ted Cockram and Mrs S.J. Cockram, Ernestina and Bromista are half-sisters, being from Ishkra, an Argentinian Group 1 winner who started her stud career in New Zealand. She is by Cipayo, an Argentinian bred grandson of the English stamina influence Alycidon and is a sister to the top performers IIustrador (three Group 1’s in South Africa - the South African Guineas, Gold Cup and Rothmans July Handicap), Indalecio (Argentine Derby), Agapanto (third in the Group1 South African Derby Futurity) and Vladimir (five wins South Africa; second Group1 Turffontein Golden Bowl and third Group1 Natal Derby).

Ishkra was a three-quarter sister to Queen Victory, the grandam of Invasor, both of them being by Cipayo and from daughters of a mare called Twins, a name that suggest she may have been a twin. She went back in her family seven generations to the incomparable Pretty Polly, ancestress of many greats of racing and breeding.

Invasor’s dam Quendom is a sister by the Nasrullah line sire Interprete to Reina Victoriosa, a mare who has produced two American stakes winners to the Vinery Stud, Hunter Valley shuttle sire More Than Ready.

Foaled on August 3, 2002, Invasor has credentials that make him a horse of the world. He was bred in Argentina, did his early racing in Uruguay, claiming their Horse of the Year title at three, a year his successes included the Uruguay Derby and Gran Premio Jockey Club, and was then sold to Darley’s Sheikh Hamden Maktoum.

After running him once unsuccessfully in Dubai, Maktoum sent Invasor to the United States early last year and had the joy of seeing him blossom into world champion. He raced four times for the four Group 1 wins, including the Breeders’ Cup Classic, taking his career record to nine wins from ten appearances and earnings to just on US$4million.

Invasor is by Candy Stripes, a Blushing Groom French Two Thousand Guineas second who has sired 55 stakes winners from use in Argentina. He has gone close to providing a world champion in successive years, being represented in 2005 by Brazilian foaled Leroidesanimaux, the winner during the year of Group1 races in Canada and the United States.

Also a Group 1 winner in the USA in 2004 and earlier a Group1 second in Brazil, Leroidesanimaux was annointed the best miler of 2005 in the World Rankings. He is at stud in Kentucky.