In a power-packed day of selling which featured six seven figure weanlings, it was champion Take Charge Brandi (Giant's Causeway) who delivered the biggest punch when selling for $6 million to John Sikura's Hill 'n' Equine during Tuesday's second session of the Keeneland November Breeding Stock Sale.
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Lemon Drop Kid
As is so often the case when a horse either dies or is sold, Duke Of Marmalade's record since has taken a marked turn for the better.
DUKE OF MARMALADE (IRE)
(Danehill - Love Me True)
Leading South African stud farm Drakenstein Stud has purchased Duke Of Marmalade from Coolmore Stud in a deal brokered by Blandford Bloodstock.
The top-class son of the great Champion sire Danehill, a five-time Gr.1 winner, was last year’s leading European Second Crop Sire of Stakes winners, outperforming the likes of New Approach, Henrythenavigator and Raven’s Pass in that regard. Duke of Marmalade is currently the leading third crop sire in the Northern Hemisphere by Stakes winners (twelve) and horses (nine).
Duke Of Marmalade was rated 132 by Timeform after enjoying a spectacular four-year-old campaign that included Gr.1 successes in the Prince of Wales’s Stakes at Royal Ascot, the Juddmonte International at York and the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot.
Drakenstein Stud’s owner Gaynor Rupert said: “I am absolutely delighted that a horse of the quality and calibre of Duke Of Marmalade is coming to Drakenstein Stud to stand alongside Trippi, Horse Chestnut, Philanthropist and What A Winter.”
Mrs Rupert added: “We went to see The Duke last week at Coolmore Stud and we loved him. He started quarantine yesterday and he will ship to Cape Town next month ready for the next Southern Hemisphere covering season. Given what his progeny has achieved on the track already and that he has 234 two-year-olds to race this season, I believe he is an outstanding addition to both the Drakenstein Stud stallion roster and the South African Stallion ranks.”
Duke Of Marmalade has sired 23 Stakes class performers to date, including Aidan O’Brien’s classy Venus De Milo, a Gr.3 winner of the Give Thanks Stakes who was also second in last year’s Gr.1 Yorkshire Oaks and Gr.1 Irish Oaks.
Blandford Bloodstock’s Tom Goff said: “I believe this is a landmark moment both for Drakenstein Stud and for the South African breeding industry. I cannot remember when a horse with so many of the high quality attributes that this stallion possesses went to stand in South Africa.”
Goff added: “He is a fantastic physical specimen and was a truly great racehorse by the mighty Danehill. He has a superb pedigree that was matched by his great turn of foot and he has made a hugely promising start to his stud career. I greatly look forward to seeing his progeny in South Africa.”
Duke Of Marmalade is a half-brother to Gr.1 Derby hero Ruler Of The World and hails from a top-class family of sires that includes Champion Sire A.P. Indy, Summer Squall, Al Mufti and Lemon Drop Kid, who have all sprung from the foundation mare Lassie Dear, herself a profound influence on South African breeding.
Extract from European Bloodstock News
Watch Ruler Of The World winning the Chester Vase
(Image : The Times - Footage : Almaged KSA)
“Have you ever been to Chester?”
Mick Goss Summerhill CEOThe racecourse is one of those follies that sprang from England’s most creative period, shaped from the bowl of an ancient Roman harbour with an intimacy from its one mile round course that is matched only by the Champs de Mars in Port Louis. And as only the British would, on race days the contestants march ceremoniously through the heart of the city to what the early Britons christened the “Roodeye”. My grandfather always said: “If you’ve never raced at Chester, you’ve never raced at all,” and that’s probably true of what all English fans would say. At this time of the year, Chester holds two of England’s time-honoured Derby trials, the Chester Vase and the Dee Stakes, the former arguably the more successful in the deliverance of Derby aces, though South Africans will remember that it was his victory in the Dee Stakes that secured former Champion sire, Royal Prerogative’s passage to Cape Town.
Among the Vase’s celebrities of the modern era are Henbit, who went on to a six length end-to-end triumph in the “big one”, and Shergar, the Aga Khan’s ill-fated champion who remains to this day Epsom’s favourite son. In 1989, Old Vic waltzed off with the Vase, and followed up with stunning victories in the French and Irish equivalents. Summerhill has its own recent connection with the event in the race’s imperious winner of its 103rd renewal, Golden Sword, who subsequently chased the world champion Sea The Stars to just over two lengths in the Investec version of the Derby.
While he’s not quite what his name suggests yet, Ruler Of The World was this week’s hero of the Vase. It is so, that he has taken longer than his illustrious half-brother, Duke Of Marmalade, to create an impact on the track, but on this occasion he looked as if he was ready to make up for lost time, with a power-packed display. Remember, the race is staged within the narrow circumference of an old sailing boat harbour, so the straight is less than 300m, which meant our hero had to conserve his jet fuel ‘til they’d straightened. In a matter of strides he hit top gear, and drew clear for an emphatic fourth win for Aidan O’Brien’s Ballydoyle yard in the past six years. In the saddle, Ryan Moore mentioned he was still a bit green, but once he got a hold of the horse, he lengthened really well. Part-owner, Paul Smith, added: “Aidan thinks quite a lot of him. He’s been working well at home, but we thought he might still be a little babyish. I think with the tight-turning track and the crowd, it was a good choice, and it paid dividends.”
A facile seven-and-a-half length victory by last year’s Champion Stateside juvenile, War Pass (in what was admittedly a confidence-boosting allowance race in which he started at odds of 1-20), capped a memorable day for trainer Nick Zito and owner Robert LaPenta who find themselves with two of the favourites for the Kentucky Derby.
In the previous race, the same combination saw Cool Coal Man cause a minor upset in the Grade Two Fountain of Youth Stakes; a win that put him in line to become the first winner since Thunder Gulch in 1995 to win there and then take the Kentucky Derby.
Click here to watch the Fountain Of Youth Stakes 2008.
Only Zito will know deep down which of these (or even the promising Fierce Wind whom he handles for a different owner) is the more likely to land the Roses in May (he’s hinted the two unlikely to take each other on before then and will probably run just the once before Churchill Downs), but it must be a remarkably good feeling to have a barn that contains such sophomore talent in the early part of the year.
About War Pass, Zito said: “He’s unbelievable. That’s what we wanted for him. Three weeks from now (in the Tampa Bay Derby on 15 March), it will be a little tougher.”
War Pass, of course, is a horse whose future is already known, irrespective of what happens this spring and early summer. The son of Cherokee Run has a brass nameplate being polished for him at Lane’s End Farm in Kentucky where he will stand upon his retirement.
Whether that deal, which was announced in November after his heroics in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, will have any affect on how his connections manage his campaign this year will be interesting to observe. A leading Graded-Stakes victory as a three-year-old will obviously do no harm to an already stellar Curriculum Vitae but that will not necessarily need to be the Kentucky Derby - and all the pressure such a race brings with it; especially if the barn has other stars with fewer miles on their legs and Stallion barns still to find.
Not that Cool Coal Man will struggle to find offers of a retirement home. He is by the highly desirable Lane’s End sire Mineshaft and his Fountain of Youth win was a fourth in a short career which has already seen him amass more than $300,000.
Cool Coal Man is a Lane’s End sales graduate purchased by LaPenta for $200,000 as a yearling. LaPenta thought enough of Cool Coal Man that he opted to buy back the colt for $850,000 at last year’s Fasig-Tipton breeze-up sale in Florida. The win on Sunday already makes that look like a piffling amount of loose change.
Out of the five-time winning Rubiano mare, Coral Sea, Cool Coal Man also has a half-sister of Stakes standard running this year in the shape of the Lemon Drop Kid filly, Kathleens Reel whose sister Lemon Queen was placed in France. The immediate family appears adroit at producing runners around the world (Coral Sea has produced winners in Japan and England) but it is Coral Sea’s dam, South Sea Dancer, who will be of greater interest to pedigree enthusiasts and potential stallion managers: she is a sister to Champion filly Northernette and, even more significantly, the influential sire Storm Bird.
Extract from Thoroughbred Internet