Summerhill has been celebrating the value of the Mr Prospector lineage for years now, and it seems the Australians are, after a slumber, almost as long as Rip van Winkel’s awakening to his spectacular potential too.
John Barry writes: It’s probably fair to say that Mr Prospector has never really caught on in Europe and Australasia to the same extent that he has in America.
In the States he is close to ubiquitous, as was demonstrated at last year’s Breeders’ Cup meeting when all eight Grade One winners were descended from him, four in direct male-line. As for his standing in Europe, though, Coolmore inadvertently did him a gross disservice by over promoting the 1979 Futurity (now Racing Post Trophy winner) Hello Gorgeous so that when he proved himself to be a poor stallion it became hard to take sons of Mr Prospector seriously for the next decade or two.
Still, although Mr Prospector only sired one British Classic winner ( Ravinella , successful in the 1988 1000 Guineas), there have been plenty of great horses in Europe sired (mostly in America) by his sons. Zafonic, Celtic Swing, Dubai Millenium, Nayef and Hawk Wing spring immediately to mind, and nowadays the sons and daughters of Kingmambo on their own do enough to accord Mr Prospector the highest respect.
Stallion-sons of Mr Prospector have been even less numerous in Australasia, where the mantle of dominance has passed seamlessly from the Hyperion (mostly Star Kingdom) line to the Northern Dancer (mostly Danzig) line. However, from relatively few opportunities, Mr Prospector has proved himself to be a very effective sire of stallions whose stock are suited to Australasian racing conditions. To take 2002 as an example, of the 280 stallions in Australia advertised by the nation’s principal studs in that year, only four were sons of Mr Prospector: Bellotto, Fusaichi Pegasus, Lion Cavern and Mr Henrysee. This makes a startling comparison with the fact that, at the same time, 51 of these 280 stallions were by either Danzig or his son Danehill. While lacking in quantity, though, these sons of Mr Prospector certainly proved a source of quality, all four of them having sired at least one Australian Group One winner. To enhance further the record of sons of Mr Prospector in Australasia, we can add the likes of Rhythm siring (in New Zealand) the 2001 Caulfield and Melbourne Cup winner Ethereal, and two US-conceived grandsons - Umatilla and Tawqeet - winning a Karrakata Plate and Caulfield Cup respectively.
Following Saturday’s Blue Diamond Day at Caulfield, however, it might be fair to say that the son of Mr Prospector who is going to exert the greatest influence on the Australian turf will be Hussonet , whose sons Reaan and Weekend Hussler scooped the two big races, the Blue Diamond Stakes and the Oakleigh Plate.
Click here to watch the Blue Diamond Stakes 2008.
Click here to watch the Oakleigh Plate 2008.
A late starter down under, Hussonet was already aged 12 when he arrived at Arrowfield Stud, midway through his run of six consecutive Chilean sires’ premierships (2000 to 2005 inclusive). Despite a strong pedigree (his dam Sacahuista won the Breeders’ Cup Distaff in 1987, bred the European Group One winner Ekraar and is a grand-daughter of a Stakes-winning full-sister to the great racemare Shuvee ) Hussonet had begun his stud career in Chile because of his relatively ordinary form, neither of his two wins having come in Stakes company. He immediately, though, showed himself to be a very good stallion there, and it has been the same story in Australia.
Weekend Hussler , who has now won three Group One races, is a member of his first crop and Reaan is from his second. Both horses have interesting pedigrees which contain quite a lot of high-class stamina, and Hussonet appears to have injected significant speed into both. Reaan is a daughter of the Moonee Valley Oaks winner Ribe, a Danehill mare whose grand-dam Pontiac Lass was a Group Three winner in Sydney over 2400m. Weekend Hussler, the only Group One performer ever thrown by a daughter of Helissio, is a son of Weekend Beauty, a half-sister to Tasmanian Derby winner Phantom Thief and to Manion Cup (2400m) winner Saturday Fever.
It was very fitting that Hussonet should have confirmed his place in Australia’s major league on Blue Diamond Day, because the big race is sponsored by his home Arrowfield. Fittingly, this was the fourth consecutive year that the Blue Diamond winner has been conceived at Arrowfield (it is also, coincidentally, the fourth that the winner has been ridden by South Australian jockey Dwayne Dunn), following the successes of Flying Spur’s daughter Sleek Chassis in 2007 and two Redoute’s Choice colts, Nadeem and Undoubtedly, in 2006 and 2005. This quartet was preceded by the 2004 winner Alinghi; her sire Encosta De Lago made his mark on Blue Diamond Day again this year with the great feat of siring the first three home in the Group Two St. George Stakes: Princess Coup, Sirmione and Douro Valley.
Extract from Thoroughbred Internet