Indices measuring the business done at Keeneland over the past fortnight trail sparks and smoke. Pondering the state of the market before the September Sale, it had been clear that to maintain the arc set by Fasig-Tipton's summer yearling sales would require something fairly historic.
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It seemed so typical of the strange fortunes governing our sport that we should have been made to wait so long for a Triple Crown winner, only for another one to turn up three years later in the very same barn. On the face of it, that coincidence will now be compounded as Justify (Scat Daddy) joins American Pharoah (Pioneer of the Nile) at Ashford for his own attempt to parlay historic capacities, on the track, into an equivalent impact on the breed.
Act Of War’s sire, Dynasty, 5th in the world among grandsons of Sadler’s Wells.
Galileo reclaims the money title; with just 10 days left in the year, he has 2016 progeny earnings of an incredible $30,082,927, and once again leads all six black-type categories, with 39 BTW, 71 BTH, 30 GSW, 54 GSH, a mind-blowing 14 Group 1 winners (by comparison, Dubawi, Tapit and North America number two sire Curlin have five each), and 24 G1H. Dubawi is second in Europe, with the earners of $17,886,202.
We hear plenty about Galileo (Ire), and rightly so. He is the stallion of our generation whose influence will be discussed by pedigree aficionados for decades, if not centuries, to come. For as much as I'm glad to be alive and writing about breeding under his reign, I've long harboured a preference for Galileo's erstwhile stablemate Montjeu (Ire), who was lost to us almost five years ago.
With the pace at which the European bloodstock community entered the home stretch of its gruelling autumn-winter cycle still full of running, we were starkly reminded of the contrasting fortunes of those who transact across open borders and the shackles with which local horsemen have had to contend for decades in getting our bloodstock between provinces, let alone across borders.
"The one thing that never ceases to amaze me, is how things have turned out for the Irish-based racehorse breeding business Coolmore, and its international agencies, Ashford in the USA and the Hunter Valley’s Coolmore Australia." - Mick Goss / Summerhill CEO
My grandchildren will tell you I’m “old” but next to the subject of this note, I’m still in the kindergarden. By my reckoning, Des Scott will be 90 next birthday. He was a junior at Durban High School in 1940, my father’s last year, which calls for some respect. Des earned that a long time ago though, through his dexterity as a businessman and in our game, as an exemplary owner of racehorses. This weekend, he achieved a new milestone as the breeder of an English Group One winner, Rivet, who catapulted himself into contention for the juvenile colts’ championship with a knock-out blow in the season-ending Racing Post Trophy (Gr.1).
Nureyev was bred by Seth Hancock at Claiborne Farm. Like his father and grandfather before him, Hancock had an impressive stallion roster of his own to choose from at a time when his barns were decorated by the likes of Mr. Prospector, Nijinsky, Secretariat, Round Table, the former South African champion Hawaii and Forli, but also like his ancestors, he acknowledged a good horse on another farm’s roster. Nureyev’s mother, Special, who was bred to Northern Dancer in 1976
Long before he became the world's first (and only ever) to command a million dollar stud fee and a yearling sales average in the vicinity of $3million, Northern Dancer had a few more tests ahead of him.
There were many oddities in the story of Kelso. For one thing, he was a perfect gentleman but he was named for a lady. Mrs duPont was actually hoping for a filly when she bred Maid Of Flight to Your Host, as she wanted to name it for a friend, Kelso Everett, whom she considered the most perfect hostess she’d ever known.
You’ve heard us say before that the stallion barn is the soul of Summerhill. The Gosses have been chasing stallions for the best part of a century now, and in many respects our lives on the turf have been shaped by them. As a family, our first real taste of the potency of a stallion’s influence came courtesy of Teddy’s grandson, Asbestos II, sire of my grandfather’s diminutive Durban July hero, St Pauls, yet it wasn’t until almost four decades later that Northern Guest was destined to launch a veritable nation.
People waste countless hours debating whether thoroughbred racing is a sport or a form of gambling, when the answer is simple: it’s both. Without wagering, the economic fuel behind the racing game, the raising of horses would be the preserve of wealthy eccentrics, as if they were breeding champion orchids or poodles. Without the emotional impact the sport has on gambling, racing would be little more compelling than jai-alai or slot machines, just another form of generating numbers and payoffs.
Underlying the dominance wherever it rests in our sport, is generally a matter of the locality of the great stallions, and right now the reigns of the Sadler’s Wells tribe through Galileo, Montjeu, High Chaparral and now Frankel, as well as Danehill and Dubawi have anchored the crown firmly within the island nations of Ireland and England, in that order.
With the word “plagiarism “very much in vogue in American politics at the moment, let me start with an acknowledgment: the article you are reading is the work of our old friend, Andrew Caulfied, one of the foremost authorities on bloodstock and pedigree analysis, and a regular contributor to the world’s most widely-read e-daily, the Thoroughbred Daily News.
The importance of highlighting positive stories that come out of the Thoroughbred industry was the theme of the night during the Darley Flying Start Conference on Thursday evening in Lexington. "Good News Gold".
Horsemen the world over hold strong views on how best to breed a decent horse, and while the traditional need for a good individual will rank high on the list, the one indispensable ingredient at the top of most people's lists, is pedigree.
Ogden Mills Phipps, known to everyone in the horse racing world as "Dinny," died April 6 at New York-Presbyterian Hospital in New York City after a long illness. He was 75.
You couldn’t have drawn it up any better. Champion Nyquist (Uncle Mo) with the lead as they turn for home. Fellow unbeaten Mohaymen (Tapit) breathing down his neck on the outside... But that’s where the dream GI Xpressbet.com Florida Derby showdown came to an end.
While the eyes of the South African racing public may be firmly fixed on Classic weekend, across the Atlantic another drama is playing out between Saturday's Florida Derby favourites, two horses who also happen to be the main contenders for the Kentucky Derby.