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“Darryl Sherer’s Pedigree Page”

The sweat had barely dried on Dunaden when a text arrived from a very helpful colleague who resides in Hong Kong with his ever-expanding family. For the sake of confidentiality he shall remain nameless, but his text was asking how many other good horses had been bred on the Nicobar / Kaldounevees cross.

Of course, the witty texter already knew the answer but clearly sought to exacerbate what was already an impossible task in the midst of an impossibly busy week. The beauty of Dunaden is that there is no obvious reason why he is a good horse and that is what is so wondrous about thoroughbred pedigrees.

Just as it is always easy to find a reason why a specific horse can run, sometimes there are examples that simply make you throw your hands up, reach for the white flag and cry ‘I surrender’.

So MRB, there is a bottle of obscenely priced Shiraz waiting to be drunk in December, but even if there is no apparent magic cross or pattern at work, there is no doubt that Dunaden is a very good stayer and more, seemingly, on the horizon. I can at least claim a small moral victory over my tormenter however as Dunaden is bred on a proven cross, as we will reveal later.

Sold for €1500 as a weanling at the 2006 Arqana December Breeding Stock Sale in Deauville, Dunaden is by the good miler Nicobar (GB), a son of Indian Ridge, who stands in France at a fee of €1000 ($1320).

Nicobar himself is well-bred and he was well-travelled. Beginning his career in England, he raced in France and Italy before finishing in North America with Ron McAnally. Along the way he won four stakes, notably the Sandown Mile (Gr2, 1 mile) and the Premio Emilio Turati (Gr2, 1600m) as a four-year-old.

By the plebian-bred Indian Ridge, who was a cracking good sprinter trained by David Elsworth and an even better sire, Nicobar’s dam Duchess Of Alba is by the King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes winner but disappointing sire Belmez (El Gran Senor), and won her only race over 14 furlongs. Nicobar’s granddam is the English and Irish Oaks winner Juliette Marny (Blakeney), a sister to the English St Leger winner Julio Mariner.

Bred by Comte E Decazes, Dunaden is from the small first-crop of Nicobar and his second-crop has his only other stakes-performer, the Grade 1 placed jumper Indian Daudale who is, wait for it, bred on a similar cross to Dunaden, being out of a mare by Kaldoun (Caro), the sire of Dunaden’s broodmare sire Kaldounevees, himself a Group winning miler.

Dunaden’s dam, La Marlia was unraced and from five foals to race she has Dunaden and one other winner, whose sole victory came in a minor race over 2200 metres.

Dunaden is the first stakes winner in the family for five generations but his immediate family is not devoid of some useful runners. His granddam La Rotunda is unraced and his third-dam Sugarberry is by Comrade In Arms (Brigadier Gerard). The first real semblance of stakes form comes with Dunaden’s fifth dam.

He has no inbreeding in his 1st 5 generations and traces to Terre de Sienne (Alcantara), a half-sister to Bruleur, who is also the ancestress of Epsom Oaks winner, Blue Wind, Deutsches Derby winner All My Dreams, the English St Leger winner Bollin Eric and Colisee (Fr), a son of Delirium (Panorama) who stood in New South Wales from where he sired the 1968 Villiers Stakes winner Domino King and the 1967 Queensland Cup winner Right Formula.

Extract from ANZ Bloodstock News