Linngari - Indian Ridge

No owner-breeder can be totally happy when a mare or filly culled from their broodmare band goes on to shine for her new owner. The practicalities, though, are that quite a few fillies and mares have to be sold simply to keep an operations numbers manageable, especially so if the breeder is keen to keep adding new blood to the genetic pool. In reality, occasionally letting something worthwhile slip through the net is the best way of ensuring that demand stays high and that the surplus mares and fillies achieve maximum value.

In which case, the Aga Khan can expect fierce competition for his superfluous fillies and mares later this year. In recent years the Aga Khan Studs have sold Lidana, a 3-year-old daughter of Kings Best, for €38,000 at Goffs 2008 November Breeding Stock Sale; Darkova, a 3-year-old Maria’s Mon filly, for €16,000 at Arqana's 2011 Breeding Stock Sale; and Hazariya, a 12-year-old broodmare, for €480,000 at Goffs 2014 November Sale. In the space of less than two months, sons of these three mares have accomplished an extraordinary sequence of major successes. Hazariya’s colt Harzand won the G1 Derby and G1 Irish Derby, Darkova’s son Almanzor took the G1 Prix du Jockey-Club and now Lidana’s son Mont Ormel has won the G1 Grand Prix de Paris, with all three highlighting the latent Classic potential of the Aga’s wonderful families. Although the Grand Prix de Paris doesn’t officially carry Classic status, it could be considered a truer equivalent to the Derby and Irish Derby than the Prix du Jockey-Club.

Mont Ormel’s dam Lidana showed that she stayed an extended mile and a quarter after gaining her only win over seven furlongs as a juvenile. She shares the same sire, the G1 2000 Guineas winner King’s Best, as the Derby and G1 Arc winner Workforce, the G1 Japanese Derby winner Eishin Flash and the G1 Irish St Leger winner Royal Diamond. The idea that there must be stamina in Lidana’s pedigree is supported by the fact that her versatile half-brother, Summerhill-resident Linngari, won the G1 Grosser Dallmayr Preis Bayerisches Zuchtrennen over a mile and a quarter, even though he was by the sprinter Indian Ridge. The most obvious source of stamina is Kahyasi, sire of Mont Ormel’s second dam Lidakiya, a useful winner at up to a mile and a half. Considering that he won the 1988 Derby and Irish Derby, Kahyasi probably didn’t receive the respect he deserved from breeders other than the Aga Khan. The Aga, though, reaped some impressive benefits from his stallion, including Zainta (G1 Prix de Diane), Khalkevi (Grand Prix de Paris), Vereva (Prix de Diane) and Enzeli (G1 Gold Cup at Royal Ascot). Enzeli wasn’t Kahyasi’s only Group 1 winner over two and a half miles, as he also sired that grand gelding Kasbah Bliss, who numbered the G1 Prix du Cadran among his many successes. Kahyasi, of course, eventually earned considerable respect as a sire of broodmares, principally through the exploits of Hasili, a Broodmare of the Year whose first six foals all won at Group 1 or Group 2 level. Several other daughters also excelled, producing the likes of that exceptional filly Zarkava and the Group 1-winning fillies Again (G1 Irish 1000 Guineas) and Promising Lead. For the record, with Kahyasi as her sire and Doyoun as her broodmare sire, Lidakiya was bred to the same pattern as Zarkasha, the dam of Zarkava.

Reverting to Linngari, he was all fact, no fiction. The all-male powerhouse with the speed, the strength and the stamina to swamp the swiftest at their game, mix it with the master “milers”, and mince the middle distance mob in a European Group One. On the way, he carved out a new definition of the international racehorse with Black type performances in 8 different countries on 4 different continents. Excellence is within the grasp of most of us; greatness is the preserve of the few. The transition between good racehorse and good stallion is a chasm as deep as the Fish River Canyon; Linngari straddled it in his stride. Last season, from far fewer opportunities, he split the rising stars in the French firmament, Le Havre and Siyouni, for Three-Year-Old earnings. In 2016, Garlingari has galloped to a brace of Group victories, while in South America, his runners have chalked up another three Group Ones on their pedigree pages.