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Sunday Silence

JAPANESE STALLIONS : Heirs to the Throne...

deep impact horse
deep impact horse

Deep Impact

(Photo : Great Horses)

Deep Impact, Symboli Kris S, Daiwa Major, Neo Universe

Japanese stallions continue to duel through their progeny’s accomplishments for the title of successor to Sunday Silence as the nation’s predominant sire. Deep Impact, Symboli Kris S, Daiwa Major and Neo Universe, all have indicated they might at least vie for the crown.

Thoroughbred Daily News writes that Deep Impact has left his mark all over the Japan Racing Horse Association’s select sale for the second consecutive year. The Triple Crown winner generated about 20 percent of last year’s gross with his first crop, and has been connected to many high-priced horses this year, either by siring them or being related to them through the female family.

Horsemen generally believe that Deep Impact’s second crop appears to be superior to his first, said JRHA spokesman Naohiro Goda. Deep Impact is known for siring athletic and balanced offspring, many of whom have lovely heads and eyes.

Neo Universe is perhaps the stallion that horsemen are talking about the most. With two male Classic winners from his first crop and the final Japanese Classic race still to be run, this striking son of Sunday Silence already has accomplished something no other sire has been able to do in Japan. This year, Neo Universe covered about 250 mares at the Shadai Stallion Station, more than any other Japanese stallion. “He is such a fantastic stallion,” praised Teruya Yoshida, who runs the nation’s leading stud with his brothers and knows Sunday Silence’s sons as well as anyone. “His foals look so smart; they have a sharp expression and refined heads, and he’s good to mate with any kind of mares”.

deep impact video link
deep impact video link

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Deep Impact in the Japan Cup 2006

Teruya Yoshida declares JRHA Sale opener "AMAZING"

lot 65 Rock Of Gibraltar out of My Katies
lot 65 Rock Of Gibraltar out of My Katies

Lot 65 by Rock Of Gibraltar out of My Katies (Sunday Silence)

(Photo : M MacDonald)

Japan Racing Horse Association July Select Sale

Day 1 Yearling Session

One word echoed over and over again around the Northern Horse Park pavilion, following Monday’s opening session of the Japan Racing Horse Association select sale. “Amazing” was the near universal assessment of breeders and consignors who had feared what might happen during the yearling session of Japan’s benchmark sale of young horses, in the wake of the nation’s worst recession since World War II.

The Thoroughbred Daily News reports that when the gavel went down and the last yearling, was led out of the ring, 122 horses had been sold from 156 offered, and the gross of ¥2,699,400,000 exceeded by 15 percent last year’s total of ¥2,347,600,000 for 105 yearlings sold. The average was down only about one percent to ¥22,126,230 ($232,907), and the clearance rate of 78.2 percent improved dramatically from last year’s 69.5 percent.“These are amazing results,” declared JRHA Vice Chairman Teruya Yoshida, owner of Shadai Farm in his traditional post-session analysis with the Japanese media. “I am very surprised - it’s far better than I thought it would be. Generally speaking, before the sale began, all the consignors were very pessimistic, but after only a few lots had gone through the ring, I started to smile and now I’m laughing,” he added. “This is a very healthy market; good horses sold for good money.”

Three colts crossed the magic threshold of ¥100 million (or more than US$1million) with a son of Rock of Gibraltar, out of the superlative Sunday Silence broodmare My Katies (Jpn), being sold for ¥145 million (US$1,526,315) to Big Red Farm owner Shigeyuki Okada.

The colt (Lot 65) is half brother to Japanese Horse of the Year, Admire Moon, who won the G1 Dubai Duty Free and the G1 Japan Cup, consigned by Katsumi Yoshida’s Northern Farm, which sold all three top yearlings.


admire main ap arrow

Grant Pritchard-Gordon, one-time anchor man in the organization of the famed Prince Khalid Abdullah and Juddmonte Farm operations, and founder of Badgers Bloodstock, is as recognisable as the best men in racing.

Among his many achievements, he was also central to the deal that secured his boss his breeding interests in Danehill, and which led to the production of the likes of Dansili, Champs Elysees, Banks Hill, Intercontinental, Cacique and Stronghold.

When “Badger” goes on record; write it down. This is what he said this week about Summerhill’s latest stallion prospects!

“So you obviously needed more excitement and work in your life. Well, you have certainly pushed the boat out this time! I have to admit that you have excelled yourself again in locking into yet another great bloodstock connection with the Yoshida family! Any sons of AP INDY and SUNDAY SILENCE will be a welcome addition to the stallion ranks of South Africa… and being such good racehorses as well must increase their chances of success. I am sure that the team behind AP ARROW will give him every opportunity”.

ADMIRE MAIN : Africa's First Son of Sunday Silence

admire main africa rss

Many people appear to think this is not a sensible time to be investing in assets of any kind, let alone racehorses. Yet in the annals of the Goss family, it’s only a matter of history repeating itself. When Pat Goss snr found himself in the winner’s circle in the aftermath of St Pauls’ victory in the 1946 Durban July, he immediately set out to acquire a son of the world’s pre-eminent stallion at the time, Hyperion, applying the entire first prize to the purpose.

Just a month ago, the Summerhill contingent returned to the farm from a triumphant National Yearling Sale. Within a matter of weeks, they’d applied the entire proceeds (and then a bit) to the acquisition of two new stallion prospects, one of which, A.P.Arrow, was the subject of this column a fortnight ago.

In another ground-breaking event in a long-standing history of “firsts”, the nation’s leading breeders have teamed up with Japan’s perennial Champion establishment, Shadai Stallion Station and Northern Farm, in bringing this continent its first son of Sunday Silence. While it would insult his fame to repeat the detail of his achievements here, it’s fair to say, Sunday Silence has had as profound a breed- shaping impact on the evolution of the thoroughbred as any stallion of the modern era.


yoshida fammily battle

Waging battles on two fronts that took them down to the proverbial finish line last year, brothers Teruya and Katsumi Yoshida continued to dominate racing in Japan unlike any other familial dynasty in the world.

Thoroughbred Owner & Breeder reports that for the fifth consecutive year, Katsumi Yoshida’s Northern Farm scooped the title of leading breeder with 617 runners garnering 310 wins and earning the equivalent of a mind-boggling £54,088,324. Northern-bred runners included three champions: juvenile filly Buena Vista, sprintermiler Sleepless Night and dirt horse Kane Hekili.

SUNDAY SILENCE : The Undying Legacy

Sunday Silence
(Photo : Jockey Site)

There’s a battle royal on the boil between the respective farms of the Yoshida brothers in Japan, Shadai Farm and Northern Farm for the Breeders’ Championship of the nation.

These two giants of the Japanese domestic breeding scene have been banging it out, hammer and tongs, for years now, with Northern Farm leading the march for five consecutive seasons. However, it seems this year, they have their hands full with brother Teruya Yoshida’s Shadai, who leads the list by a relatively comfortable margin at the time of writing. The last couple of weeks have witnessed something of a turnaround though, and this weekend’s Satsuki Sho (Japanese 2000 Guineas) was the best illustration of the saying “it’s never over till the fat lady sings”.

While the hot favourite for the event, the hitherto unbeaten Logi Universe (by Neo Universe, by Sunday Silence) went off a warm favourite, he had no answer for the closing rush of his paternal half-brother Unrivalled (also by Neo Universe) who prevailed by 1,5 lengths from another grandson of Sunday Silence (by Special Week,) Triumph March. Given his interminable dominance, it may have seemed surprising the third horse across the line Selun Wonder, was not descended in male line from the “Emperor” of Japanese stallions, but the “wonder” arises at the revelation: that his dam is by none other than, (you must have guessed it,) Sunday Silence himself. The first two across the line were both bred by Northern Farm, and strung together more than ¥180 million in the process. As a matter of curiosity, both descended from Northern Dancer-line mares, in the one case ex a daughter of Sadler’s Wells, the other a mare by Dancing Brave.

It’s perhaps something of a commentary on how slowly we occasionally react in this country to the obvious, that we have as yet no son of Sunday Silence in our stallion ranks, especially as the youngest of his remaining progeny at the races is now six years old. That’s something we intend to remedy at Summerhill, so we would advise our readers to keep on reading.

Japan Breeding Industry shows dramatic downsizing

Agnes Tachyon
(Photo : Mikiko Ueda)

In tandem with a decline in the economy, the breeding industry shows a 34% drop in the number of mares being bred since the peak of 1992.


Michele MacDonald writes in Owner Breeder that in a remarkably parallel arc to the grim economic downturn, breeding in Japan has contracted. With statistics showing that Japan’s economy shrunk at the end of 2008 more than at any time since 1974, the Japan Racing Association reported that the nation’s registered foal crop was only about 6,800, which marks the lowest number since 1974.

Since Japan produced 10,309 foals to hit its peak in 1992, production has plunged 34%. The number of stallions has also fallen by more than half; 603 in 1991, the year the largest foal crop was conceived, to 281 in 2008.


Of that group, 104, or 37%, had been imported, with breeders relying on America more than any other country. Perhaps most interestingly, ten of the 281 stallions standing in Japan last year covered about one-fifth of the nation’s 11,360 mares that were bred, and each of those ten, all of whom stood at the Yoshida family’s Shadai Stallion Station, was bred to more than 200 mares.


Six of the ten most active stallions are sons of Sunday Silence, including the three leaders, Agnes Tachyon, Daiwa Major and Fuji Kiseki, thus further concentrating the blood of Japan’s all-time most significant sire, whose daughters also remain a big part of the breeding pool.


Agnes Tachyon has made a bid to be his sire’s successor after earning his first leading sire title in 2008, with Fuji Kiseki second in last year’s rankings by progeny earnings.


However, some challengers are emerging, with Japanese Derby winner King Kamehameha ranking as leading freshman sire last year and Symboli Kris S, the leading first-year sire of 2007, standing atop Japan’s 2009 general sire list up to early March.

SUNDAY SILENCE : The New Buzzword

sunday silence stallionSunday Silence
(Photo : Pagesperso-Orange)

Japan’s greatest sire, Sunday Silence, is making his presence felt more than ever in Europe, with another two sons due to stand there this season. Legolas is headed for France, as is Bourne King, a Grade Two placed maternal grandson of Sun Princess and a half brother to Japanese Derby winner, Fusaichi Concorde. They join Agnes Kamikaze, Great Journey, Millennium Deo, Samson Happy and Rose and Cavalier among other sons of Sunday Silence standing in France, and they follow the departure of Divine Light, sire of last year’s 1000 Guineas heroine, Natagora in his first European-bred crop. Divine Light was prematurely sold to the Turkish Jockey Club, a major coup for that jurisdiction.

What would South Africa give for a son of one of history’s greatest stallions? Watch this space.