Click above to watch Beauty Parlour winning Poule d’Essai des Pouliches (Gr1)…
(Image : Racing Post - Footage : Satos)
SUNDAY SILENCE (USA)
Halo (USA) - Wishing Well (USA)
It’s a genetic tragedy that Japan is so far away. For decades, Sunday Silence’s complete domination of the Japanese Sires’ logs was something of an international secret. Breeders spend their lives searching for strains that can breathe new vigour into the bloodlines at their disposal, and it’s taken more than those decades for the international community to awaken to the value of Sunday Silence and his tribe.
It’s not entirely surprising, as American breeders rejected him as a stallion prospect when he first went to stud, overlooking his phenomenal racing class because of a few engineering flaws. He was off-set in the knees, his hocks trailed a little and he was leggy and up in the air, not your quintessential American racehorse. But there was something he had that few horses of his generation and those around him possessed, and that was his sheer class, his ability to quicken, and the one element without which you cannot do in this game: guts. He had that in the abundance of a lion, and he revealed it time and again at the races.
The consequence of his isolation in Japan has meant just a tentative flirtation on the part of breeders elsewhere with his sons as stallion prospects. America’s Walmac International embraced a single one of his top racing sons, Hat Trick, and Kirsten Rousing’sLanwades Stud provided Vita Rosa with an adoptive home in the United Kingdom, though he had already been despatched to Italy for the 2012 breeding season. The Australians played hooky with a couple of them for a while, notably John Messara’sArrowfield Stud, which took on Fuji Kiseki (sire of the South African champion mare, Sun Classique) but even they have given up on this precious source of classic stamina and battle-ready durability.
Messara was smart enough though, to recognise the opportunity of obtaining the exclusive rights to send ten mares annually on southern time to the super-sire, and yielded from that relationship, an Australian Classic winner in Sunday Joy, dam of the current champion older mare, More Joyous.
It seems like the breeding countries which are less in the international spotlight have seen a gap here, and it’s all credit to the French that the unbeaten champion two-year-old colt of last season, Dabirsim, is a French-foaled, American-conceived son of Hat Trick. While the Wildenstein family is probably more famous for its trade in the art world, in racing circles and especially in France, they’re revered for their racehorses. They too, spotted the opportunity which Messara had embraced a decade earlier, and have been patronising sons of Sunday Silence in Japan. This past weekend’s winner of the French 1000 Guineas, the Poule d’Essai des Pouliches (Gr1) was won in emphatic style by the hitherto unbeaten Beauty Parlour, a daughter of Sunday Silence’s masterpiece, the dual Horse Of The Year, Deep Impact. Judged on his early figures, Deep Impact could well be rivalling his own sire’s staggering numbers, with 18 Group winners already including, Gr1 Oka Sho (1000 Guineas) heroines Gentildonna and Marcellina, the Gr1 Yasuda Kinen ace, Real Impact, and the Japanese Champion Juvenile Filly, Joie De Vivre. And now of course, he has his first European Classic winner in Beauty Parlour.
Outside of a handful of people whose understanding and admiration of racehorses extends beyond our local boundaries, like Bridget Oppenheimer, Michael Roberts, Winston Chow, Peter Fenix, the Hong Kong Breeders Club, Ronnie Napier, Rupert Plersch and the boys at Backworth, there are not too many South African breeders beyond the Summerhill family who appreciate that right here on our doorstep, we have an exceptional son of Sunday Silence in Admire Main. Joint second top-rated colt of his Classic generation, and despite the prejudice against those that earn their stripes beyond Europe, rated 120 lbs by Timeform, Admire Main was a vastly talented athlete who pretty much annihilated everything that entered his sights in his first four starts (all of them at Stakes or Group level). It took a tendon injury to stop him in the Japanese Derby, where he was beaten just a neck by the season’s champion three-year-old. There won’t be many of them as a result, but when they get to the races, be sure of one thing: they won’t be stopping when the whips come out down Turffontein’s murderous straight.