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DUNKIRK HEADING FOR EAST STUD, JAPAN

Grade 1 Belmont Stakes and Grade 1 Florida Derby runner-up Dunkirk (Unbridled’s Song - Secret Status, by A.P. Indy) has been purchased for an undisclosed price by the Japan Race Horse Agency and will stand at East Stud on the Island of Hokkaido, Japan beginning in 2015.

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WORLD WAR III

coolmore vs darley
coolmore vs darley

“In a game in which the principals all compete in the same profession, and where success and failure are both logged in the press every day, swirling envies always abound.”

For those of us who think that excellence in the racehorse breeding business, is vitally dependent upon the regular refreshment of one’s productive bloodstock, the annual retirement to stud of the world’s top performers is a matter of fundamental interest. For as long as we continue to believe that imported parent stock is superior to our local stuff, what happens in the Northern Hemisphere will remain the focus of our greater attention. After all, it has been thus ever since South Africans took breeding seriously, and the future fathers of our own prospects will be drawn from the ranks of the stallions that excel in those realms.

The bells of success have forever tolled for those that command the heights of the stallion business, and for close on three centuries, that hegemony rested with the English aristocracy, endowed as they were with the spoils of Empire. The curtain-call on Britain’s dominion over 40% of the earth’s surface, coincided with the rampant American economy of the 1940s, and the irresistible money of the latter’s industrialists soon transferred the pendulum of stallion power to the other side of the Atlantic.

Enter the son of a battling Irish farmer and his utterly gifted father-in-law trainer, backed by the riches of a football pools heir, and the 1980s spawned the emergence of a new force in the Emerald Isle. Given the economics of the time, Ireland was the most unlikely of places to champion a European resurgence, but when it comes to horses, only the ignorant would be foolish enough to ignore her horsemen.

John Magnier, Vincent O’Brien and the Liverpudlian Robert Sangster brought a new meaning to the word “genius,” and while knowing that the best racehorse (and hence, stallion) prospects were to be found in North America was, for them, the easy part, their knack in picking and funding the choice lots was what set them apart. Thus Coolmore was born, a temple to the glories of Vincent O’Brien’s masterpiece, Ballydoyle, the mysteries of which had fired the pens of journalists for five full decades.

The Japanese have long been the masters of imitation, so it wasn’t long before their own “genius”, the late Zenya Yoshida, cottoned on and developed a dominance of his own in his homeland, perfecting it by urging his domestic authorities to rewrite their racing programme to suit the discards of a European model which had served British and French racing so well for so long.

But back to centre court. Within a decade, the Irish-based triumvirate faced an onslaught from a hitherto unimaginable source with limitless pockets. Oil was the new world monetary system, and with their exposure to the intoxication of racing that comes with an aristocratic British education, the four sons of Dubai’s ruler of the time, succumbed to the charms of the sport. Magnier and Co. suddenly had a match on their hands, and before they could say “Jack Flash”, the Arab connection were the senior protagonists, if only from the perspective of what they could spend not only in the United States, but in their pursuit of the best produce of the best stallions already enthroned at Coolmore.

What has become of a rivalry that grew out of the internecine battle for racing supremacy in Europe, has been well-visited in these columns. In a nutshell, the balance of power at the racecourse ping-ponged between these two battalions, the one propelled by what seemed like a “bottomless pit”, the other by the instincts that belong only to those whose talents spring from generations of association with horses. Yes, measured by the standards of a former era, the Irish contingent had “cash”, but the resources at the disposal of Sheikh Mohammed et frère were on a scale no-one had seen or even contemplated before. The fact that the Irish were competitive at all, is the best testimony to our home-coined adage that when it comes to racehorses, a good eye can be just as good as a big cheque book.

In a game in which the principals all compete in the same profession, and where success and failure are both logged in the press every day, swirling envies always abound. The Arabs obviously had their reasons (the grapevine suggested they felt that the flow of the financial largesse accruing from their “mutual” patronage, was pretty much one-way traffic in favour of the “green” team) but out of the blue, the Maktoums decided about 8 years ago, that they would henceforth suspend their support of the Coolmore stallions, as well as their progeny in the sales ring. As the biggest buyers of thoroughbreds the world had known, in almost every other conceivable instance, this would’ve been the death knell for any operation, even one of Coolmore’s scale. After all, it didn’t only mean the withdrawal of their patronage of the stallions themselves, but it was a signal to all commercial breeders who continued their support of the Magnier stallions, that they could no longer count on Maktoum money to drive their prices. In short, it was a declaration of war, a war which has raged on for 8 unrelenting years, at considerable cost to the “boys in blue”, as the Maktoum contingent has come to be known.

It is one of the truisms of the game, that owners can be harder to train than horses, and when money and horses start to run, avarice and resentment are often not far behind. Ever since horses became a currency of their own, nothing has been quite the same. History has always served as a good teacher in circumstances like these, and for anyone plotting a strategy, a glance at the stallion logs of the moment would’ve made worthwhile reading. Sadler’s Wells had already racked up a world record sequence of 12 sires titles (he made it 14 in the end;) on either side of these, the Coolmore stallions, Caerleon and Danehill had their turns (Danehill was on the threshold of a “run” of his own, too,) and the European “top ten” seldom included fewer than seven or eight Coolmore incumbents. If you wanted to remain in the vanguard of European racing, the quick answer was that you had to stay with the Coolmore stallions. The Maktoums didn’t, and since that day, their challenge has “fizzled” to a trickle of its former formidable glory. That’s not going to change any time soon either, not until they “own the farm”.

Meanwhile, already ensconced at Coolmore were the successors to Sadler’s Wells; Danehill, his son Danehill Dancer, Montjeu and High Chaparral, aspiring champions the lot, as well as the inimitable Galileo, most people’s idea of the world’s best sire of the present era. To a man, they are products of a single lineage, the genesis of which lay in the early recognition of Northern Dancer as the “daddy of them all”, long before the rest of the world woke up. By contrast, the very ample ranks of Darley stallions in Europe, are populated by just a handful of quality proven stallions: Dubawi (a son of their own prematurely-deceased Dubai Millennium), Shamardal and New Approach, ironically the products of two Coolmore-owned horses, Giant’s Causeway and Galileo. In a sense, this is akin to “sleeping with the enemy”, and only serves to highlight the cost of that fateful decision to an operation whose ratio vivendi is centred entirely on the frequency of its visits to the big race winner’s podium, and blighted this year by two very unwelcome but much publicised charges for the possession and administration of quantities of illegal medications.

The one thing you can’t do though, is underestimate the ambition and determination of Dubai’s ruler: what Sheikh Mohammed wants, Sheikh Mohammed gets. In the wake of the “declaration of war”, he set out to corner the American stallion market by acquiring the top four performers of the three-year-old generation of 2007; together with his exceptional homebred, Bernardini, a cool $200 million laid claim to the Kentucky Derby star, Street Sense, Hard Spun and Any Given Saturday. Then he reached into a rich vein of genetic quartz, and brought home the exalted sire, Medaglia D’Oro. While the reigning champion of America, Giant’s Causeway (three titles 2009, 2010 and 2012) resides at Coolmore’s Ashford operation, Bernardini looks every bit the successor to his own illustrious father, A.P. Indy, and Medaglia D’Oro remains a force, though not with quite the zest he enjoyed at the height of his “heady” acquisition.

If the penny hasn’t already dropped, this is the background to the world of stallion supremacy, and why, in that battle, the only two parties that matter (in the Northern Hemisphere at least) if only because of the financial and genetic resources at their disposal, are Coolmore and Darley. Yes, there are pockets of genuine resistance (Juddmonte’sDansili and Oasis Dream and the immense but as yet unknown presence of Frankel) Claiborne’s War Front (Danzig’s successor, they say) and down South, the exceptional influences of Redoute’s Choice and, can-you-believe-it, another continental champion for Coolmore, Fastnet Rock. But the reality is, for the foreseeable future at least, these two leviathans of the industry, as diverse in their character as a lion and a hippopotamus, are likely to define the course of things.

Just four years ago (a few months after the fall of Lehmann Bros.) American studs announced the fees for their top new retirees: Curlin ($75,000), Big Brown ($65,000) and Henrythenavigator ($65,000). Since then, only four Northern Hemisphere stallions have stood for $50,000 or more, all in Europe, and two of them veteran “Australians”: Fastnet Rock, shuttling at an “opener” of €35,000 (+-$50k), and in an act of unusual daring most likely engineered by his own bloodstock chief, Georges Rimaud, the Aga Khan took on Redoute’s Choice at €70,000. The other two, arguably the two best European racehorses of the past 30 years, reinforced both the Aga Khan’s new-found entreprenurial verve as well as Prince Khalid Abdullah’s place at the main table of international breeding’s greatest players. Sea The Stars retired to Gilltown Stud for €85 000, while Frankel joined the Juddmonte roster at £125 000. Most betting men will tell you, the Europeans got the best end of that bargain, and looking at the prospects for 2014, it’s another case of “odds-on” Europe.

Top of the European “pops”, at least from a pricing perspective, is Coolmore’s aptly named Declaration Of War, given the theme of this report, who comes at a solid €40,000 (+-$55,000). Coolmore have obviously identified his sire War Front, as the reincarnation of his own father, Danzig, and as a font of future prospects, as they’ve done a fistful of business with that stallion’s principal Joseph Allen, and this fellow combines a “Giant’s Causeway” constitution and mind, with an enviable “milers” record for his place at the top of the stud fee tree.

It is a sad reflection though, on the role which fashion plays in the setting of stud fees, that as admirable a racehorse as Camelot should kick off at just €25,000. It is all the more mystifying since his own sire Montjeu, Galileo and High Chaparral, all giants of the stallion firmament, were like him, Derby winners. His “sin” obviously rests in the extended distances at which he excelled, while Dawn Approach, who like Camelot, was also a winner of the Group One Two Thousand Guineas at a mile, starts life at €35,000. Dawn Approach’s redemption rests in the fact that, unlike our Derby hero, he failed in the Derby, suggesting that his forte’ was at the shorter trips. Damn good miler that he was, there wasn’t €10,000 worth of stud fees between him and Camelot as racehorses. End of story.

Besides having displayed his prowess in Group One company at a mile, Camelot had the added distinction of crushing his Derby adversaries by five, in faster time than any of his mighty Ballydoyle predecessors, Nijinsky, Sir Ivor, Roberto, The Minstrel and High Chaparral, all stellar stallions in their own right. Here was an athlete with the precocity of a Champion Two-Year-Old, the speed to win a Guineas at three, and whose owners were the first since Nijinsky’s Charles Engelhard with the courage and the enterprise to allow a colt of his talents a crack at the Triple Crown. His pedigree spoke of “Elegance” and the “Enforcer”: by Montjeu from a Kingmambo mare, out of a daughter of Danehill, Camelot had done exactly what it said on the “tin”. When it came to the extended trip of the St Leger, the third leg in the “crown”, things just unravelled. One of the brutal truths of the game, is that when things seem almost too good to be true, they almost certainly are. All seemed so well in the world. It only took one race to change it.  And, it only took a horse called Encke, who’s not been seen or heard of since, to do it. That was Camelot’s sin.

Mercifully, the Coolmore team knows better. While Declaration Of War heads their freshman roster pricewise, it is Camelot’s honour to decorate the cover of their newly-released stallion brochure for 2014.

Dawn Approach aside (enigmatic he may be, but on his day, a world class performer with a big shot at Darley,) we’re not departing Europe without a word about Al Kazeem, recently syndicated among the “who’s who” of European breders for duty at The Queen’sSandringham Stud. The son of Sheikh Mohammed’s highly accomplished Dubawi, this debonair entertainer debuts at a fee of £18,000 (+-$30,000). Horses like Al Kazeem are an inspiration. In the simplest way, they symbolise the highest of athletic virtues, rock solid minds and massive physical appeal. It is always dangerous to get too anthropomorphic about horses, but given the calibre of those who’ve invested in him, there’s always mystique in the thought of how such a tough character will fare when he moves to the sultan’s life at stud.

The profiles of American debutants for 2014, is somewhat lower than that of their European counterparts, and appears to herald a subtle fall from grace of Kentucky, not long ago the undisputed capital of world thoroughbred breeding. Nice enough horses they certainly are, but in Orb, Paynter, Point Of Entry, Oxbow, Shanghai Bobby and Take Charge Indy, there’s little among those names to shiver the timbers of European breeders. The one horse who might’ve stirred some emotions across the waves were it not for his “non-event” at Ascot, is Animal Kingdom, the Kentucky Derby ace who, for a stretch of three months earlier in the year, bestrode the world as its highest-rated middle distance performer. He opens at Darley for a mouth-watering $35,000.

Hot off a nail-biting second in the 2012 Breeder’s Cup Mile, Animal Kingdom carried the colours of his breeders, Team Valor to victories in a brace of Group Ones in the opening months of the year, including a crushing defeat of an international line-up in the $10 million Dubai World Cup. South Africa’s Robin Bruss has previously engineered international transactions involving major racehorses and stallions, and one of his more celebrated achievements was the acquisition of the former Chilean champion sire, Hussonet, for duty at John Messara’s fabled Arrowfield in Australia.

Here Bruss was again, coupling Team Valor’s Barry Irwin with Arrowfield in a deal that saw Animal Kingdom go to “post” for the world’s richest race, in their joint ownership. A visionary in the Magnier class, Messara has always been pretty nimble when there is business to be done, especially when a “shrewdy” like Irwin has marked his card. Animal Kingdom’s World Cup was one of those moments when triumph is so complete, vindication so unarguable.

As he’d also demonstrated so often in the past, Sheikh Mohammed is seldom too far out of range when there’s the scent of a good horse in the vicinity, and he too, was quick to pounce in the World Cup aftermath. Few horses have gone to Royal Ascot with such expectations, and with the combined powers of two of the world’s great marketers and the money of one of the world’s richest men behind him, Animal Kingdom arrived in England carrying the aspirations of three different countries. The racehorse is such a symbol of hope and vitality though, that when they go down, as Animal Kingdom did before the eyes of the world at Ascot, the flame is so instantly extinguished, it comes as a choking shock, even in the remembrance. Otherwise, he should’ve been standing for $50,000 or more.

One race: that’s all it takes. Success governs everything in racing. It always has. And it always will.

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STORM IN A TEACUP

Storm Cat
Storm Cat

Storm Cat

(Photo : Paulick Report)

“The truth is that Storm Cat would currently enjoy a huge lead on the broodmare table if he received credit for the tremendous results achieved this year by his daughters’ Japanese runners.”

When it comes to hit rates in this country, there’s never been any sireline more effective than Storm Cat’s. Var, Tiger Ridge, Black Minnaloushe, Mogok, Tribal Dance, they all speak eloquently for their heritage, hence the presence at Summerhill of Brave Tin Soldier and Await The Dawn.

Andrew Caulfield - During his racing career, Storm Cat was pretty good at coming out on top in a close finish, showing the sort of spirit which was to become a feature of his progeny’s success story. He won his second start by a neck and three starts later he pushed his nose ahead of Danzig Connections to take the GI Young America Stakes. Unfortunately, he couldn’t quite repeat the display against Tasso in the GI Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, when he led virtually everywhere but the finish line.

Storm Cat appears to be involved in another very tight finish this year, this time in his role as broodmare sire, and I use the word “appears” advisedly. According to the Blood-Horse on December 9, the former Overbrook star ranks second to A.P. Indy, with Storm Cat’s total of $14,635,997 lagging just $42,365 behind his rivals.

But, the small print includes “as supplied to The Blood-Horse by The Jockey Club Information Systems, Inc., earnings exclude monies from Japan and Hong Kong.” (Note: TDN sire lists also do not contain earnings from Japan or Hong Kong). I mentioned my puzzlement over this arbitrary exclusion in a TDN piece nearly two years ago: “I guess that this is done because the prize-money in those countries is deemed disproportionate to that in the majority of other countries and can therefore slant the statistics,” I suggested.

Statistics from the International Federation of Horseracing Authorities confirm that prize-money in Hong Kong and Japan are at a different level. The average prize-money per race in 2012 was equivalent to €110,947 in Hong Kong and €45,851 in Japan, whereas the figures for the U.S. and Canada were €16,136 and €20,013, respectively. But Hong Kong and Japan aren’t the only countries capable of distorting the figures. The average for the 320 races staged in the United Arab Emirates equated to €103,865. Yet, inconsistently, these races are included in the Jockey Club’s figures.

This year, Darshaan ranks third on the table behind A.P. Indy and Storm Cat, but he owes nearly $3.5 million (virtually a quarter of his total) to the UAE exploits of Sajjhaa. Similarly, the 15th-ranked Acatenango owes $6 million of his total to Animal Kingdom’s victory in the G1 Dubai World Cup. Meadowlake and Arch are other substantial beneficiaries from the World Cup meeting.

If a daughter of Storm Cat had supplied the winner of one of these fabulously rich prizes in Dubai, the stallion would have been given the credit, but not if the victory came in Japan or Hong Kong. It doesn’t make sense! Perhaps it would be preferable if The Jockey Club provided two tables, one all inclusive and the other without Japan, Hong Kong or the UAE.

The truth is that Storm Cat would currently enjoy a huge lead on the broodmare table if he received credit for the tremendous results achieved this year by his daughters’ Japanese runners. He currently ranks fourth on Japan’s table of broodmare sires, thanks principally to Kizuna (Jpn) (Deep Impact) (G1 Japanese Derby), Ayusan (Jpn) (Deep Impact) (G1 Japanese 1,000 Guineas) and the excellent Lord Kanaloa (Jpn) (King Kamehameha) (a Group 1 winner in the Takamatsunomiya Kinen, Yasuda Kinen and Sprinters Stakes). With support from their fellow group winners Hiraboku Deep (Jpn) (Deep Impact) and Red Spada (Jpn) (Taiki Shuttle), they have built a total of ¥1,922,941,000, which I believe equates to $18,658,470.

Of course, Storm Cat also received a boost of around $1.1 million when Lord Kanaloa thrashed an international field of sprinters to record his second success in the G1 Hong Kong Sprint Sunday. In the process, the son of King Kamehameha improved his career figures to an impressive 19-13-5-1. Add all this to the earnings of Storm Cat’s daughters’ earnings elsewhere in the Northern Hemisphere and you arrive at a staggering total of more than $34,000,000. Not bad for a year’s work!

Of course Storm Cat’s broodmare daughters have also had something of a banner year in the U.S., enjoying the limelight via the likes of Close Hatches, Sahara Sky, Honor Code, Global View, Govenor Charlie, Tapicat and Noble Tune. Now the name of the very promising Streaming can be added to the list, following her triumph in the GI Hollywood Starlet Stakes on only her second start.

The last few weeks have seen some spectacular prices for young Group 1-winning fillies and mares, such as Chicquita (Ire) (Montjeu) (€6,000,000), Dancing Rain (Ire) (Danehill Dancer) (4,000,000gns) and Immortal Verse (Ire) (Pivotal) (4,700,000gns). The sky would probably also be the limit were Streaming ever to be offered for sale. After all, she is a granddaughter of Better Than Honour, the brilliant broodmare whose price soared to $14 million when she was offered at Fasig-Tipton in 2008.

Streaming’s dam Teeming repaid less than $70,000 of the $1,500,000 she had cost as a weanling, but she won three of her four starts as a 4-year-old. Although not in the same class as her Belmont Stakes-winning siblings Rags To Riches (A.P. Indy) and Jazil (Seeking the Gold), she is making amends as a broodmare, Streaming being her fifth winner from five foals. There are similarities between Teeming’s pedigree and that of Rising Tornado, the dam of this year’s two-time Grade I-winning filly Close Hatches (First Defence). Both are daughters of Storm Cat and both have the celebrated Best In Show as their third dam. Also, their respective Grade I winners in 2013 were sired by members of the Mr. Prospector male line, Close Hatches being by First Defence and Streaming by Smart Strike.

As a son of Mr. Prospector, Smart Strike had obvious appeal as a mate for Teeming. For a start, Jazil was sired by another son, Seeking the Gold, and Kingmambo, Jade Hunter and Miswaki are other sons of Mr. Prospector with a Grade I winner to their credit from the Best In Show family.

Smart Strike also sired that good filly Denomination, a four-time Grade III winner at up to a mile and an eighth in France and the U.S., from another Storm Cat mare. The Smart Strike/Storm Cat partnership also has another talented juvenile filly this year in the shape of Fascinating, beaten only half a length by She’s A Tiger in the GI Del Mar Debutante and a length by Secret Compass in the GI Chandelier Stakes.

Extract from Thoroughbred Daily News

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THE WOW FACTOR

Chicquita Goffs
Chicquita Goffs

Chicquita sets all-time record (€6 million) for any horse sold at auction in Ireland

(Photo : Goffs)

“At €6 million (around R87 million!), Chicquita had set

an all-time record for any horse sold at auction in Ireland”

There’s been a lot of ambitious talk in sporting circles this week, Chad le Clos laying down the gauntlet for Michael Phelps’ world records and Olympic medals, and Jake White prophesying that the Sharks would win the Super 15. The former has time on his hands, and the latter has a record, so both predictions are believable.

At the tender age of 21, Le Clos already boasts an Olympic victory over Phelps, while White picked up a lost-looking Springbok team and took them to World Cup glory in 2007. What he did with the Brumbies last year was almost in the same league. That said, in the world of racing, we’re not talking about ambitions, we’re citing realities. The sales ring at Goffs was in in thrall when the Irish Oaks winner Chicquita entered the ring on Friday, and she didn’t disappointment. Peter and Ross Doyle (“regulars” in South Africa at Summerhill) locked horns in a protracted battle with James McHale, with the Doyles eventually prevailing for a “very good long-term client”. The Classic heroine was the last into the ring in Australian Paul Makins’ draft, and echoing the audacious bidding style of Makin himself, McHale leapt straight into the fray, opening the bidding at €3 million. In a game of high-stakes ping-pong, Doyle exchanged fire with McHale tucked out of sight on auctioneer Henry Beeby’s right, where he was responding to telephonic instructions. Questioned in the wake of the sale as to why he should sell a filly of such enormous distinction, Makin, famed for his sense of sales ring theatre, said he was “selling on the sizzle”. At €6 million (around R87 million!), Chicquita had set an all-time record for any horse sold at auction in Ireland, and as far as our memories serve us, this is an European record for a filly-in-training.

The sobering thing is, with that sort of dosh, you could buy up most of our valley (not including Summerhill of course!) but it just goes to show what this game can do to a rich man’s pocket.

On the other side of the world, the Yoshida family’s Shadai Stallion Station is on the verge of a new world record. A glance at the latest stallion rankings in Japan tells us that no fewer than 14 of the top 15 in the list are resident at the farm, a level of dominance we don’t recall anywhere, not even at Ireland’s Coolmore Stud. Given the size and wealth of Japanese racing, it’s an astonishing achievement, even allowing for the fact that the Yoshidas have been in business for many decades, and have been the dominant force for most of that time. Given that ten of those fourteen are sons of Sunday Silence, the challenge for Shadai going forward, has to be the discovery of the next great foil for this enormous vortex of the blood of the greatest influence any stallion has ever exerted on a domestic sires list.

#

Stallion

Sire

Earnings ¥

Earnings ZAR

1

Deep Impact

Sunday Silence

4,506,918,000

450,657,220

2

King Kamehameha

Kingmambo

4,093,532,500

409,321,842

3

Symboli Kris S

Kris S

2,158,270,000

215,810,440

4

Daiwa Major

Sunday Silence

1,972,601,500

197,245,015

5

Kurofune

French Deputy

1,895,512,500

189,536,706

6

Heart’s Cry

Sunday Silence

1,841,644,500

184,150,320

7

Manhattan Cafe

Sunday Silence

1,822,471,500

182,233,167

8

Gold Allure

Sunday Silence

1,758,607,000

175,847,207

9

Stay Gold

Sunday Silence

1,756,026,500

175,589,176

10

Neo Universe

Sunday Silence

1,736,135,500

173,600,229

11

Fuji Kiseki

Sunday Silence

1,722,446,500

172,231,434

12

Agnes Tachyon

Sunday Silence

1,510,891,000

151,077,507

13

Jungle Pocket

Tony Bin

1,357,251,000

135,714,686

14

South Vigorous

End Sweep

1,186,658,500

118,656,745

15

Zenno Rob Roy

Sunday Silence

1,147,318,000

114,722,997

Editor’s note:Deep Impact’s daughter Gentildonna further cemented her sire’s status as the reigning “king” of Japanese stallions, when she made history on Sunday at the Tokyo racecourse by becoming the first horse (and filly) to win back-to-back runnings of the notoriously tough Japan Cup (Gr.1). This win takes Gentildonna’s earnings to 1 billion Yen, and makes her the third most successful female racehorse of all time behind Buena Vista (1.39 billion yen) and Vodka (1.35 billion yen).

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YOSHIDA'S LEGACY

Yoshida Family Legacy
Yoshida Family Legacy

“It just highlights how precious the genetic influence of Sunday Silence

has been in the elevation of Japan as a world power in the production of racehorses.”

We’ve just posted an ad for the Sporting Post updating the performances of Admire Main’s two-year-olds. It just highlights how precious the genetic influence of Sunday Silence has been in the elevation of Japan as a world power in the production of racehorses. But it’s just the tip of the iceberg. Have a look at the numbers in the tables below, and for a moment reflect not only on the Breeder’s log, but on the leading sires (general) and the two-year-old sires. The top farm belongs to Katsumi Yoshida, son of the legendary Zenya Yoshida, who founded the original Shadai Farm. Northern Farm is touching R800 million (yes, 800 million) in earnings, while brother Teruya’s Shadai Farm is in second with 670 million. The family’s conglomerate farm Shiraoi has accumulated close to R225,000 million, and their magnum opus is last year’s Horse Of The Year, Orfvere. Now have a look at the leading sires, which is remarkable for the fact that every one of the top ten is based at the Shadai Stallion Station, which the three Yoshida brothers own together. No fewer than seven of them are sons of Sunday Silence (names in bold), while once again the dominance of the Shadai Stallion Station is clear in the two-year-old sires log, the first 8 being based there.

Coolmore has long been the dominant stallion operation in Europe, and their numbers are staggering, but when it comes to total dominance of a nation’s breeding affairs, Shadai and the Yoshida family stand alone. Getting back to Admire Main, he is here courtesy of the generosity for which the Yoshidas are well known, but also as a product of their long term view of business. For them to have parted with a horse of his immense talent and of his impeccable breeding, tells you firstly how strong they are in other representative sons of the line at the Shadai Stallion Station, but also of their determination to ensure that the Sunday Silence legacy is spread around the world. And just as Galileo is doing by comparison with his own phenomenal sire, Sadler’s Wells in Europe, Deep Impact is having just that, a very deep impact on the affairs of Japanese racing. He looks at this stage, a serious threat to Sunday Silence’s own record.

2012 JRA Leading Breeders

2012 jra leading breeders
2012 jra leading breeders

2012 JRA Leading Sire

2012 JRA Leading Sire
2012 JRA Leading Sire

2012 JRA Leading Sire of 2-Year-Olds

2012 JRA Leading Sire of 2-Year-Olds
2012 JRA Leading Sire of 2-Year-Olds
japan horseracing
japan horseracing

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DEEP IMPACT SERVES NOTICE

World Ace by Deep Impact
World Ace by Deep Impact

World Ace (JPN) - The Kisaragi Sho (G3)

(Photo : Japan Racing Association)

THE KISARAGI SHO (Group 3)

Kyoto, Turf, 1800m

5 February 2012

The naming of racehorses is quite an involved process, because no two horses in the same country, are allowed the same name. It’s further complicated by the fact that the names of previous greats are reserved in perpetuity (including the greats from abroad), so that no horse can aspire to being a “Sea Cottage” again, for example.

It’s an arguable proposition that the most appropriately named horse in the world right now is Deep Impact, multiple Horse Of The Year in Japan, and now looking the likely stallion successor to his own great sire, Sunday Silence. There are parallels in what Deep Impact is doing in emulating his father in the European version of Galileo and Sadler’s Wells, yet it was a brave man who bet on either of Sadler’s Wells or Sunday Silence having anything remotely resembling themselves in any one of their sire sons.

Galileo has already surpassed the achievements at the same stage of Sadler’s Wells (and let’s not forget, Sadler’s Wells won a record 14 premierships in Europe), and while Deep Impact has a long furrow to plough yet before we can call him the “second coming”, he couldn’t have gotten off to a better start. The Champion Sire of Juveniles with his first crop in his native Japan, and threatening his barnmate King Kamehameha, with usurping his mantle at the head of their stallion log as his sophomores turn three, Deep Impact served notice again this weekend that his first runners were no fluke.

At Kyoto on Sunday, the first of the three-year-old classic trials, the Kisaragi Sho (G3) was a warning not only to his colleagues in Japan, but to the world at large, that Deep Impact has arrived, and he is here to stay. The race was “trifected” by his three sons, World Ace, Historical and Veiled Impact, the first two bred by Katsumi Yoshida’sNorthern Farm, and the third by Teruya Yoshida’sShadai Farm. In the case of the winner, World Ace, his victory by 2,5 lengths was a compliment to his breeding. He’s out of a mare called “Mandela”, and he ran like he knew it.

The other Group race on the card was another endorsement of Sunday Silence. First and third past the post were both grandsons, and reminded us again how lucky we are in our international friends. The best son of Sunday Silence of his generation in Japan, Admire Main is here courtesy of the Yoshida family.

japan horse racing
japan horse racing

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A FORCE FOR RECKONING

Workforce wins Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe
Workforce wins Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe

Click above to watch the 2010 Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe

(Image : Zimbio - Footage : Dubai Racing)

“WORKFORCE HEADING TO JAPAN”

I first met Teruya Yoshida, the present master of his family’s famous Shadai Farm, when we were fellow speakers at an Asian Racing Conference in India in 1995. As we embarked on our aeroplane, he asked me about several aspects of my speech relating to South Africa. In the course of the conversation, we got onto the topic. Starting with his father, of how Zenya had so influenced breeding affairs in Japan to the degree that it had become a world force. I probed him on the subject of what instigated their purchases of the mile and a half winners of the English Derby, the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes and the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, which were fundamental elements in the Shadai stallion band. Teruya was quick to respond. For centuries, these races were the proving grounds for the great stallions of Europe, but since the advent of the likes of Sir Ivor and Nijinsky from America, the emphasis among European breeders was on speed. These “Derby” types, whose metier was a mile and a half, and which had served as the foundations of the breed for so long, became surplus to their requirements.

In other words, the Japanese simply stepped into the space so long occupied by the best breeders in Britain, Ireland and continental Europe. However, the Japanese needed as a result to re-write a race programme which would suit the progeny of these horses, and so they came to revere the 2400m plus event as the testing ground for the best horses in Japan. At a time when the third leg of the British Triple Crown, the St Leger (contested at 2800m or a mile and three quarters) had so lost its lustre that few horses which had completed the Guineas / Derby double, even bothered to subscribe for it, the Japanese developed a new and healthy respect for the winner of their St Leger, and even for those horses that excelled in their Group Ones at 3000m, such as the excellent Sunday Silence stallion, Manhattan Café. The key is class, and most good horses, whatever their stamina attributes, have the speed that goes with it. Witness Americain, last year’s winner of the Melbourne Cup, who despite being beaten in this year’s event, still posted the best speed figures in the race.

That the strategy worked, is evident in the many fine Japanese horses which grace the racetracks of the world today, and which are undoubtedly, by any measure, world-class.

No surprise then, that the highest rated horse in Europe last year, the runaway hero of the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes, Harbinger, was bought by Shadai when his career came to a sad and abrupt end after the King George. And now we have the news that the English Derby and Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe ace, Workforce, is the next excellent horse to leave British shores for Japan. Yoshida commented “the sire line of Kingmambo is enjoying success in Japan, as seen in the favourable results by King Kamehameha. The maternal line of King’s Best is also very good (that of Galileo and Sea The Stars). His performance as a racehorse was extraordinary. Not only the record breaking victory in the Derby, but also the fact that he drew clear of his field, these were keys in deciding the purchase”.

That the moment Teruya and I alighted the aircraft in India has turned out to be fortuitous, is evident in the relationship we have forged with his brother, Katsumi and his Northern Farm. The only son in Africa of Japan’s greatest-ever stallion, Sunday Silence, (great by the standards of any country anywhere), Admire Main is here courtesy of that meeting.

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SUNDAY BREAKS HIS SILENCE!

Sunday Silence Racing Video
Sunday Silence Racing Video

Click above to watch a Sunday Silence racing montage…

(Image : Jockeysite - Footage : OneTrueMedia)

“The potential of the Sunday Silence Sire-line”

One of the ongoing mysteries of European and American breeding is why there has been no significant enthusiasm among breeders for exploring the potential of the Sunday Silence sire-line. Surely this will now have to change subsequent to the outstanding Prix Morny victory of the exciting colt Dabirsim, a member of the first-crop of the US-based Sunday Silence stallion Hat Trick, writes John Berry for Thoroughbred Internet.

Judged on his results in Japan, Sunday Silence, who headed there on his retirement from a racing career which had seen him land five Grade 1 races as a three-year-old in 1989 including the Kentucky Derby and the Breeders’ Cup Classic, could arguably be regarded as both the greatest sire of racehorses and the greatest sire of sires of the modern era anywhere in the world. He dominated Japanese breeding throughout his career, and now - nine years after his death from a heart attack brought on by laminitis at the tragically young age of 16 - his sons are collectively showing a similar level of dominance. Arguably the greatest of the many great racehorses which he sired was Deep Impact, a member of Sunday Silence’s penultimate crop who is now, with his oldest offspring aged three, shaping up as if he might be the best of them all at stud too.

Obviously, the best of Sunday Silence’s sons remain at stud in Japan. The economic strength of Japanese racing and breeding means that it would be surprising if their owners were tempted to send them elsewhere. However, there are and have been so many good sons of Sunday Silence in Japan, and there are so many major investors in European and American breeding, that it remains hard to understand why so few Sunday Silence stallions have headed to Europe or America - particularly bearing in mind the success achieved from extremely limited opportunities by the few who have come.

The sire-line descending from Sunday Silence’s grandsire Hail To Reason remains very popular in Europe, but largely through Roberto, rather than Sunday Silence’s sire Halo. Europe’s champion three-year-old filly Blue Bunting is merely the latest star to advertise the merit of the veteran Roberto stallion Dynaformer; while Canford Cliffs, a male-line descendant of the Hail To Reason sire, Stop The Music, has been another great recent advertisement.

It is a similar story in America, where Sunday Silence is notably under-represented in Kentucky. However, surely both European and American interest in the Sunday Silence sire-line will pick up now that the US-based Sunday Silence stallion Hat Trick is responsible for the colt who appears the best juvenile seen out in Europe so far this summer. Dabirsim, a US-conceived but French-bred son of the Walmac Farm (Kentucky) sire Hat Trick, was most impressive at Deauville in stretching his unbeaten run to four with an easy victory in the Group 1 Prix Morny over 1200m, and if he ends up being as good as he currently looks, then the Sunday Silence line will surely start to make up for lost time in Europe.

Although Sunday Silence never left Japan once he had arrived to begin his stud career as a five-year-old in February 1991, he does have some sons and daughters dotted around the world who were foaled elsewhere, even if obviously they were all conceived at Shadai Stallion Station. Arrowfield Stud principal John Messara was astute enough to come to a deal with the Yoshida family which saw 28 high-class mares covered to Southern Hemisphere time and taken back to Australia in-foal. This project yielded several good horses including the top-class racemare Sunday Joy and the very talented international galloper Keep The Faith (who was bred in partnership with the late Sheikh Maktoum Al Maktoum and who is now back in the land of his birth, standing at Swettenham Stud in Victoria). Other stallions to result from this venture were Any Given Sunday (who sired only 18 foals in his tragically brief stud career at Mountmellick Stud in Victoria, but got the Queensland Derby and Oaks victrix, Riva San, from his one tiny crop). Sheikh Mohammed also bought some nominations to Sunday Silence, a project which yielded the US-foaled Layman, who raced with success for him in Europe firstly in the Sheikh’s own colours and then for Godolphin - while another product of Sunday Silence to star for Godolphin was the 2004 1000 Guineas runner-up, Sundrop, who was bred in Japan by Yukiko Hosakawa before being bought by Sheikh Mohammed.

The vast majority of Sunday Silence’s sons, though, were bred and raced in Japan. Hat Trick is a member of this vast majority, although he differs from most in having raced outside Japan on one occasion: he ended his four-year-old season in 2005 by representing Japan in that year’s Hong Kong International Meeting in December, where he won the Hong Kong Mile, beating the locally-trained The Duke by one and a quarter lengths. Among those farther in arrears was another Japanese-trained Grade 1 winner, Asakusa Den’en, as well as the English-trained Group 1 winners Court Masterpiece and Rakti. Hat Trick, who was trained by Katsuhiko Sumii and raced by Oiwake Farm, had preceded this victory with a Grade 1 success in his homeland, having landed the Mile Championship at Kyoto three weeks previously.

Hat Trick raced until the age of six before retiring at the end of the 2007 season. Although he had won a total of eight races, including those two top-level contests as well as two Grade 2 events, he was not one of Sunday Silence’s more obvious stars, and thus found himself surplus to requirements at Japan’s leading stallion stations - which tells us all that we need to know about just how many good Sunday Silence stallions there were already at stud there. Hence he found himself heading to America, where he took up stud duties at Walmac Farms in Kentucky.

Extract from Thoroughbred Internet

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NOTHING QUIET ABOUT SUNDAY SILENCE

Dabirsim winning the Prix Morny
Dabirsim winning the Prix Morny

Click above to watch Dabirsim winning the Prix Morny (Gr1)

(Image : Racing Post - Footage : Dubai Racing)

DABIRSIM

PRIX MORNY (Group 1)

21 August 2011

Japanese breeding was revolutionized by the arrival of Sunday Silence, as good a sire as there was in the world. Not only was he the perennial champion sire in all categories in his adopted country, but his sons now occupy six of the ten top spots on the Japanese General Sires’ list. The likes of Deep Impact, Neo Universe, Zenno Rob Roy, Manhattan Café and Fuji Kiseki have set Mount Fuji alight, and this weekend it was the turn of his Group One-winning miler, Hat Trick, based at Walmac Farm in Kentucky.

Hat Trick’s unbeaten son, Dabirsim took his tally to three, from three when he flattened the best of Europe’s juveniles by three lengths in the Prix Morny (Gr1) at Deauville Sunday, and as arguably the fastest juvenile in that part of the world, he now has his sights set on England’s Middle Park Stakes (Gr1) at Ascot in October. Traditionally run at Newmarket since its inauguration in 1866, the Middle Park moves for the first time in its history to the Queen’s course on the edge of Windsor Forest, alongside the castle by that name.

The Sunday Silence tribe have all-conquering records across the world, and those that work at Summerhill, will tell you his outstanding son, Admire Main, has thrown us a couple of “pearlers” again this season.

summerhill stud, south africa
summerhill stud, south africa

For more information please visit :

www.summerhill.co.za

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TRIBUTE TO ADMIRE MAIN'S BLOODLINES

Admire Main Race Videos
Admire Main Race Videos

Click above to watch Admire Main’s race videos…

ADMIRE MAIN (JPN)

Sunday Silence (USA) - Promotion (JPN)

Moneyweb’s founder, and South Africa’s Number One financial journalist, Alec Hogg, is a keen Summerhill blogger. He’s also a periodic contributor, and shortly you’ll be hearing from him on his observations of our Winter School, in which he was a participant for the full three days. Meanwhile though, he’s an ardent fan of Admire Main, and is planning to use the stallion again this season. Alec has an advantage of course, as he’s our neighbour, so he gets to see Admire Main whenever he wishes, and he has another advantage in being able to see his foals. Alec’s a research genius, if he’s nothing else, and he knows Admire Main was one of the best racehorses of his generation, and that he’s a son of one of the world’s most desirable influences.

This week, after scouring the results of the Japanese Yearling and Foal sales, he reported that a weanling half brother to Admire Main had made R4,5million at the auction, an astonishing sum, given that he was a son of the somewhat out-of-fashion Chichicastenango. No doubt, his price reflected memories of Admire Main’s spectacular run up to the Japanese Derby of his year, in which he won his first four races including a Listed, a Group 3 and a Group 2 in that order, by devastating margins. This reminds us of a piece from the new Summerhill Sires Brochure (to be released soon) which reads:

Democracy - The worst form of government. Except for all the others.

Meritocracy - Everyone’s idea of a good thing, of which Admire Main is the best example. There was nothing democratic about him. He took the spoils in his first four starts, by a combined 23½ lengths.

summerhill stud, south africa
summerhill stud, south africa

For more information please visit :

www.summerhill.co.za

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JRHA SELECT SALE OPENS WITH RECORD HIGHS

Katsumi Yoshida - JRHA Select Sale
Katsumi Yoshida - JRHA Select Sale

Lot 51 Deep Impact - Air Groove consigned by Katsumi Yoshida (inset)

(Image : TDN / Japan Racing Association)

“SHOOT TO THE MOON”

Summerhill’s connection with the Yoshida family in Japan is well publicised in the presence on the farm’s Stallion Roster of the highly performed racehorse, Admire Main.

Yesterday, it was Japan’s turn to announce it’s economic revival at the JRHA’s Yearling Sale.

In the few minutes it took for a statuesque filly to take several graceful pirouettes around the Northern Horse Park sale ring Monday, the Japanese bloodstock industry burst back into life. The daughter of Horses of the Year Deep Impact (Jpn) (Sunday Silence) and Air Groove (Jpn) (Tony Bin {Ire}) had been groomed for this moment virtually since she had been born at Katsumi Yoshida’s Northern Farm. She did not disappoint, bringing a Japanese yearling record bid of ¥360 million ($4,390,244) from prominent agent Nobutaka Tada’s Globe Equine Management Co. Ltd. at the opening session of the Japan Racing Horse Association’s select sale of yearlings and foals.

Perhaps the best news for the JRHA is that the filly was not alone in the spotlight. A half-brother to 2007 Horse of the Year Admire Moon (Jpn) (End Sweep) by current leading sire King Kamehameha (Jpn) (Kingmambo) also smashed the previous record yearling price of ¥250 million set in 2007 when he went to Takaya Shimakawa for ¥260 million (US$3,170,731).

With the two top-priced yearlings adding turbo power, the overall sale results zoomed upward to a Japanese yearling session record gross of ¥4,726,000,000, a remarkable increase of 49.6% from 2010’s languid session total of ¥3,157,100,000. The clearance rate improved from 80.8% in 2010 to 84.5%, with 197 yearlings sold from 233 offered.

The average price of ¥23,990,000 leaped up by 31.5% from last year’s average of ¥18,249,133, all the more significant since the overall JRHA sale results had declined for four consecutive years. The vibrant trade was expected to make national news as a sign that Japanese confidence is returning after the earthquake and tsunami disaster in March.

“I was expecting the sale figures to be down, so it was a very happy mistake,” said Yoshida, who bred and consigned the two toppers. “This market is very healthy and that is good for the horse industry.”

As Japanese sales continue to shift toward yearling and 2-year-olds and away from the traditional concentration on foals, the quality of the yearlings on offer, both in pedigree and conformation, “was much better than before,” Yoshida observed.

Sticking with his decision to sell the filly out of Air Groove, the 1996 Yushun Himba (Japanese Oaks) winner who missed catching European champion male Pilsudski (Ire) (Polish Precedent) by a neck in the 1997 Japan Cup, proved difficult.

“I didn’t want to sell her; I wanted to keep her,” confided Yoshida.

Even though he well knew the quality of the filly, who is a three-quarter sister to 2004 champion older mare Admire Groove (Jpn) (Sunday Silence) and a half-sister to a pair of Group 2 winners, the price she demanded in a market that strongly prefers colts was a surprise.

“I never expected so much in this economy,” said Yoshida’s son, Shunsuke, general manager of the huge Northern Farm operation and their international roving ambasador. He added, “When she was born, we decided we wanted her to be a star at the sale. Physically, she is very nice. She is the 10th foal out of Air Groove, but she is bigger than the others. Her brothers and sisters had strong temperaments, but she is very relaxed and has a good mind.”

“I liked everything about her: her eyes, elegance, beauty, movement - she had everything,” declared Tada, who also praised the filly’s composure. “She can pose; she can see the cameras and she knows how to behave. She’s like a supermodel.”

Extract from Thoroughbred Daily News

japan horseracing
japan horseracing

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VODKA PRODUCES FIRST FOAL BY SEA THE STARS

Video tribute to racehorse, Vodka
Video tribute to racehorse, Vodka

Click above to watch a video tribute to Vodka

(Image : Fin Powrie - Footage : YouTube)

SEA THE STARS (IRE) - VODKA (JPN)

Seven-time Group 1 winner and highest-earning female racehorse of all time Vodka (Jpn) (Tanino Gimlet (Jpn)) has given birth to her first foal, a brown colt by champion Sea the Stars (Ire) (Cape Cross (Ire)).

The foaling occurred Monday morning at 9:55 am at the Aga Khan’s Studs in Ireland, where Sea The Stars stands since being retired to stud last year. The colt is reportedly a “lovely strong foal, with good scope,” and both individuals are doing well. Mr Yuzo Tanimizu’s mare will return to Sea The Stars this season.

Extract from Thoroughbred Daily News

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THE POTENCY OF PEDIGREE

Victoire Pisa wins the Dubai World Cup
Victoire Pisa wins the Dubai World Cup

Victoire Pisa - Dubai World Cup (Grade 1)

(Photo : AP Photo / Kamran Jebreili)

NORTHERN DANCER, MACHIAVELLIAN

AND DANEHILL

Pedigree students and readers of these columns will recall our various pieces on the “Machiavellian Factor”, and the strategic reasoning behind our introduction to the Summerhill genetic fold of the influences of Northern Dancer, Machiavellian and Danehill. We are not going to regurge all that now, other than to say there was a purpose behind it, and that the events which unfolded as the Japanese swept the Dubai World Cup on the weekend, have served to reinforce the course we embarked upon.

Victoire Pisa’s nation-building victory in the world’s richest race, added credence to another pillar of our thinking, with the introduction of the Sunday Silence element into the debate. Besides the fact that the continent of Africa was bereft of the influence of this, one of the world’s greatest strains, we had in mind the alchemy which the Halo tribe (from whence Sunday Silence descends) has displayed in combination with the descendants of both Machiavellian and Danehill.

Followers of these things know Andrew Caulfield, and they know him as one of racing’s most astute commentators on pedigree. He wrote thus in Friday’s Thoroughbred Daily News.

Way back in 1970, Sir Michael Sobell’s homebred filly Boulevard showed considerable potential in winning her first three races, notably defeating Hecla and Super Honey in the Princess Margaret Stakes at Ascot. Hecla went on to give the peerless Mill Reef a hard time in the Imperial Stakes, while Super Honey later found only the triple Classic winner Altesse Royale too good for her in the 1000 Guineas. Whereas her rivals flourished, Boulevard failed to build on her excellent start after being transferred to France.

Her chances of making amends as a broodmare weren’t helped when this half-sister to the top-class Sun Prince produced only four foals for Ballymacoll Stud.

However, each of her two daughters has exerted an influence on no less a race than the Dubai World Cup. Boulevard’s younger daughter, the Classic-placed Riverman filly Waterway, is the second dam of the impressive 2002 World Cup winner Street Cry. And now her elder daughter, the Nassau Stakes third Silken Way, ranks as the second dam of Neo Universe, sire of the hugely welcome 2011 World Cup hero, Victoire Pisa.

Victoire Pisa has proved admirably tough and versatile. Officially ranked joint-third among the Japanese 2-year-olds of 2009, when he won his last three starts, he received the top ranking of 121 among the Japanese-raced turf 3-year-olds of 2010, just ahead of his old rival Rose Kingdom and the outstanding English filly Snow Fairy. Now, he is unbeaten in two 4-year-old starts, one on turf and one on Tapeta.

His impressive record stands at eight wins from 13 starts.

In winning last year’s Satsuki Sho, he provided Neo Universe with his second successive winner of this Japanese equivalent to the 2000 Guineas, following the success of Unrivaled in 2009 - a year that also saw Logi Universe, another colt from Neo Universe’s first crop, land the Japanese Derby. To come up with three Classic-winning sons in his first two crops represents a considerable achievement on Neo Universe’s behalf, even allowing for the fact that these crops totalled more than 300 foals.

I first pointed out the stallion’s potential in these pages in December 2008, writing : “Keep an eye out too for Neo Universe, who provided Sunday Silence with his fifth victory in the Japanese Derby in 2003, when he also won the 2000 Guineas. Neo Universe’s first 2-year-olds raced in 2008, and he appears to have an excellent prospect in Logi Universe, an unbeaten winner of two Japanese Group 3 events, including the Radio Nikkei Hai Nisai Stakes three days ago.”

I went on to make an observation which has taken on more significance since the emergence of Victoire Pisa : “An interesting aspect of Neo Universe’s pedigree is that he is by a son of Halo and his dam Pointed Path is a granddaughter of Boulevard. Street Cry is another hot young stallion out of a granddaughter of Boulevard and he, too, has Halo in his pedigree, as the broodmare sire of his sire Machiavellian. It looks as though Logi Universe’s breeders were intent on strengthening the links between Neo Universe and Street Cry, as the youngster’s second dam is by none other than Machiavellian (creating 3x5 to Halo).”

Victoire Pisa has a high-class daughter of Machiavellian as his dam, so he is inbred 3x4 to Halo, America’s champion sire of 1983 and 1989 (thanks to the Kentucky Derby triumphs of his sons Sunny’s Halo and Sunday Silence).

In addition to Logi Universe and Victoire Pisa, another with two lines of Halo is the exciting young stallion Shamardal, who is out of Street Cry’s sister Helsinki. Shamardal, who has Halo is his fifth and fourth generations, was represented over the weekend by Dunboyne Express, winner of the G3 Leopardstown 2000 Guineas Trial. Others inbred to Halo include the high-class Australian filly More Joyous (3x3) and the major Japanese winners Asakusa Den’en (a half-brother to Victoire Pisa, inbred 3x4) and Danon Chantilly (3x3).

PEDIGREE

VICTOIRE PISA (JPN), Colt, 2007 

VICTOIRE PISA (JPN)

Neo Universe (JPN)

Sunday Silence (USA)

Halo (USA)

Wishing Well (USA)

Pointed Path (GB)

Kris (GB)

Silken Way (FR)

Whitewater Affair (GB)

Machiavellian (USA)

Mr Prospector (USA)

Coup de Folie (USA)

Much Too Risky (GB)

Bustino (GB)

Short Rations (GB)

Extract from Thoroughbred Daily News

Japan Thoroughbred Breeding
Japan Thoroughbred Breeding

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DUBAI WORLD CUP : VIVA JAPAN

Admire Main by Sunday Silence
Admire Main by Sunday Silence

Admire Main

(Photo : Summerhill Stud)

“IGNORE THE JAPANESE AT YOUR PERIL”

If ever a country needed a morale booster, it was the Land of the Rising Sun, and nothing could’ve been more timely than the closing burst of Victoire Pisa in the dying strides of the world’s richest horse race, the Dubai World Cup, on Saturday evening. Sensing a crawler of a pace, jockey Mirco Demuro sent his horse to the head of affairs, where he joined his fellow countryman, Transcend, and it was going to take a very good horse to beat these two once they turned for home, as they were bound to have plenty in reserve when it mattered most. In the wake of the tsunami which hit Fukushima earlier in the month, here was a country desperate for good news, and the son of Neo Universe could not have served up a better tonic for his ailing people.

The spectacular victory of the Crusaders over the Sharks at Twickenham on Sunday evening, was another telling example of the impact natural disasters have on the spirit of a nation. Featured as a home game for the men from Canterbury, the New Zealanders delivered their greatest ever performance to take the laurels 44-28, and they did it against a Sharks side that was just as valiant in defeat.

There were some good horses behind Victoire Pisa on Saturday, not the least of whom was the highest rated middle distance horse in Europe, Twice Over, who’d put up such a blinder in the third round of the Al Maktoum Challenge, a few weeks before, and looked a cinch for the laurels with the scratching of South Africa’s Bold Silvano. Twice Over was not alone among the vanquished however; they included American Grass Champion, Gio Ponti, Irish Derby winner, Cape Blanco and Japanese Champion, Buena Vista.

“The image of Japan has recently been darkened, and the people have been put down, but, thanks to the invitation of Sheikh Mohammed, we were able to come here for the Dubai World Cup and give some smiles to the Japanese people,” trainer Katsuhiko Sumii said through an interpreter of his troubled homeland.

We’ve said it often enough, but you ignore the Japanese at your peril. They’ve cornered the market in quality stamina horses, entering the gap the Europeans and the British were once famous for, when they eschewed those that had traditionally forged their breed. These were the horses that could stay the true test of a properly run mile and a half, in the wake of was popularly known as the “American invasion”, headed by the likes of Sir Ivor and Nijinsky in the 1970’s. Since then, Japanese horses have run proud the world over, and this was by no means the first time they’ve shone at the Dubai World Cup meeting.

Pedigree pundits will ask themselves who the hero’s sire, Neo Universe is, and the answer is axiomatic. He’s yet another Japanese Guineas and Derby winning son of the legendary Sunday Silence, which provides South Africans with of an idea of the source of our enthusiasm for our own Admire Main.

Victoire Pisa’s breeder, Shadai Farm, is the founding property of the celebrated Yoshida family’s remarkable turf holdings on Hokaido in Northern Japan, and while our affiliations with the family come via Katsumi Yoshida’s Northern Farm, Admire Main himself is a graduate of the Shadai Stallion Station.

Japan Thoroughbred Breeding
Japan Thoroughbred Breeding

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"A BILLION SURE AIN'T WHAT IT USED TO BE"

japanese thoroughbred breeders championship by michael nefdt
japanese thoroughbred breeders championship by michael nefdt

The Japanese Breeders’ Championship

(Image :  OCW/SHorse/JRArch)

THE JAPANESE BREEDERS’ CHAMPIONSHIP

Those were the words of Texan oilman, Nelson Bunker-Hunt when his silver empire collapsed in 1987, forcing his bankruptcy and the sale of his breeding stock, which had earned him five Eclipse Awards as America’s Champion Breeder.

We turn now to a billion of a different kind, half of which and more is what it takes to win a Japanese Breeders’ Championship. Readers will have seen our piece yesterday on the state of affairs a week ago, and here we illustrate the subtle change at the top of the log following Saturday’s Arima Kinen (Gr1). What hasn’t changed is the family origins of the leaders : it’s simply a matter of one Yoshida replacing another. In South African terms, the margin would be material, irrecoverable at this time of the year. In Japanese terms however, you can see just how close things are, and there are still a couple of days left. This must surely be a world record in terms of the intensity of the battle, the earnings of the two protagonists, and the narrowness of the margin.

Japan Racing Association

Purse Rating / Breeder

#

Breeder

# of start

(head)

# of start

(race)

win

(head)

win

(race)

Total Purse

(ZAR)

Recent Winner

1

Shadai Farm

740

3362

279

393

594,728,478

Victoire Pisa

2

Northern Farm

701

3178

259

353

593,326,739

Rose Kingdom

3

Shiraoi Farm

230

1161

70

103

145,792,899

Aliseo

4

Chiyoda Farm

170

744

39

53

86,020,072

Birdie Birdie

5

Shimokobe Farm

150

674

40

48

85,288,768

Dasher Go Go

6

North Hills Management

104

484

33

44

84,441,884

Transcend

7

Big Red Farm

143

668

37

45

64,917,464

Meiner Kitz

8

Mishima Farm

67

367

21

26

43,628,478

Meisho Beluga

9

Oiwake Farm

90

392

21

26

42,742,391

Golski

10

Yanagawa Farm

64

369

25

33

42,156,522

Kopano Gingu

Courtesy of JRA 28 December 2010

Japan Racing Association

Leading Sire

#

Stallion

# of start

(head)

# of start

(race)

win

(head)

win

(race)

Total Purse

(ZAR)

Recent Winner

1

KING KAMEHAMEHA

313

1551

129

179

269,224,348

Rose Kingdom

2

FUJI KISEKI

283

1262

89

119

178,989,130

Kinshasa no Kiseki

3

SYMBOLI KRIS S

296

1381

90

118

172,785,072

Aliseo

4

KURUFUNE

299

1492

112

154

171,916,304

Whale Capture

5

MANHATTAN CAFE

269

1130

79

111

166,108,623

Gestalt

6

AGNES TACHYON

252

1028

79

101

155,602,101

Reve d’Essor

7

SPECIAL WEEK

237

1104

67

83

150,924,275

Buena Vista

8

SAKURA BAKUSHIN O

245

1156

86

107

145,624,058

Grand Prix Boss

9

NEO UNIVERSE

239

1067

64

96

135,115,000

Victoire Pisa

10

JUNGLE POCKET

220

950

55

74

126,197,029

Jaguar Mail

Courtesy of JRA 28 December 2010

Japan Racing Association

Leading Sire of 2 Year Olds

#

Stallion

# of start

(head)

# of start

(race)

win

(head)

win

(race)

Total Purse

(ZAR)

Recent Winner

1

DEEP IMPACT

74

187

34

41

38,916,159

Real Impact

2

SAKURA BAKUSHIN O

51

159

19

24

26,539,783

Grand Prix Boss

3

KING KAMEHAMEHA

82

213

30

32

22,667,391

Belshazzar

4

AGNES TACHYON

57

133

18

21

22,511,812

Reve d’Essor

5

FUJI KISEKI

56

139

22

23

19,847,319

Sadamu Patek

6

HEART’S CRY

50

131

16

18

18,074,855

Win Variation

7

KUROFUNE

51

147

13

16

18,475,145

Whale Capture

8

JUNGLE POCKET

74

191

11

12

15,968,551

Magical Pocket

9

MANHATTAN CAFE

52

125

16

19

13,945,580

Shonan Mighty

10

NEO UNIVERSE

73

185

12

13

13,604,928

All As One

Courtesy of JRA 28 December 2010

japan horseracing
japan horseracing

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JAPAN BREEDERS' CHAMPIONSHIP : INTERNECINE COLLISION

Victoire Pisa winning the Arima Kinen in Japan
Victoire Pisa winning the Arima Kinen in Japan

Click above to watch Victoire Pisa winning the

Arima Kinen (Gr1)

(Photo : Racing Post)

“IT’S OPEN WARFARE…”

The Yoshidas have long been the dominant force in Japanese breeding. That’s clear from their latest statistics, which have three family entities at the head of breeding’s affairs, and each and every one of the top ten sires on the General and Juvenile Sires’ logs, residing at their Shadai Stallion Station.

For all that though, when it comes to the Champion Breeders title, it’s open warfare. And it’s about as tight at the top as you can get, the lead changing with the passing of each weekend.

Last weekend, Katsumi Yoshida’s Northern Farm (with whom we have Admire Main,) grabbed the lead for the first time in 2010, overcoming a huge mid-year deficit, only to have older brother, Teruya’s Shadai Farm take the Group One Arima Kinen on Sunday with Victoire Pisa. And you might’ve guessed it, 2nd and 3rd were Northern Farm graduates.

This was the position last week : we’ll provide an update tomorrow on the latest from the “Land Of The Rising Sun,” and the domain of the late, great Sunday Silence.

Editor : Just have a peek at the earnings schedule, converted to Rands (ZAR). Imagine we could play for those stakes!

Japan Racing Association

Purse Rating / Breeder

#

Breeder

# of start

(head)

# of start

(race)

win

(head)

win

(race)

Total Purse

(ZAR)

Recent Winner

1

Northern Farm

694

3097

254

346

575,991,001

Rose Kingdom

2

Shadai Farm

731

3281

274

383

569,617,489

Victoire Pisa

3

Shiraoi Farm

228

1132

67

99

142,932,656

Aliseo

4

Shimokobe Farm

149

662

40

48

85,027,939

Dasher Go Go

5

North Hills Management

104

473

32

43

84,034,688

Transcend

6

Chiyoda Farm

168

723

36

50

83,376,705

Birdy Birdy

7

Big Red Farm

143

652

37

44

61,903,701

Meiner Kitz

8

Oiwake Farm

88

386

21

26

42,601,234

Golski

9

Yanagawa Farm

64

365

25

33

41,923,803

Kopano Gingu

10

Mishima Farm

67

358

20

25

41,891,945

Meisho Beluga

Courtesy of JRA 20 December 2010

Japan Racing Association

Leading Sire

#

Stallion

# of start

(head)

# of start

(race)

win

(head)

win

(race)

Total Purse

(ZAR)

Recent Winner

1

KING KAMEHAMEHA

308

1520

128

177

262,431,785

Rose Kingdom

2

FUJI KISEKI

283

1232

87

116

175,713,280

Kinshasa no Kiseki

3

SYMBOLI KRIS S

292

1354

89

117

171,244,848

Aliseo

4

KURUFUNE

298

1459

109

148

166,986,938

Whale Capture

5

MANHATTAN CAFE

266

1106

77

109

163,911,393

Gestalt

6

AGNES TACHYON

251

1006

76

98

153,748,766

Reve d’Essor

7

SPECIAL WEEK

236

1085

65

80

143,911,684

Buena Vista

8

SAKURA BAKUSHIN O

244

1127

85

105

143,395,138

Grand Prix Boss

9

JUNGLE POCKET

213

917

52

71

121,713,570

Jaguar Mail

10

NEO UNIVERSE

235

1042

63

93

117,913,425

Victoire Pisa

Courtesy of JRA 20 December 2010

Japan Racing Association

Leading Sire of 2 Year Olds

#

Stallion

# of start

(head)

# of start

(race)

win

(head)

win

(race)

Total Purse

(ZAR)

Recent Winner

1

DEEP IMPACT

73

169

33

37

33,550,653

Real Impact

2

SAKURA BAKUSHIN O

51

154

19

24

26,483,962

Grand Prix Boss

3

AGNES TACHYON

56

122

15

18

21,035,051

Reve d’ Essor

4

KING KAMEHAMEHA

77

200

29

30

20,502,903

Tsurumaru One Piece

5

FUJI KISEKI

55

129

21

22

19,382,656

Sadamu Patek

6

HEART’S CRY

46

121

14

16

16,497,315

Lift The Wings

7

KUROFUNE

50

139

11

13

15,040,421

Whale Capture

8

JUNGLE POCKET

67

174

9

10

14,518,578

Magical Pocket

9

MANHATTAN CAFE

49

111

14

17

12,761,176

Shonan Mighty

10

NEO UNIVERSE

70

172

12

13

12,249,347

All As One

Courtesy of JRA 20 December 2010

japan horseracing
japan horseracing

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COLD WARS, HOT WARS AND THE JAPANESE BREEDERS CHAMPIONSHIP

cold wars hot wars and the japanese breeders championship pi
cold wars hot wars and the japanese breeders championship pi

“All’s fair in love and war”

So they say, provided the game is played according to the Queensberry Rules. We’ve always said that the South African Breeders’ Championship is one of the tightest competitions in the thoroughbred world, and that’s because only six farms have aspired to the title in all of recorded history. 

But the closest contest in the world right now, rests with the Japanese, and the intriguing thing is the three principal protagonists. The 31st December will hail the champion, and there is very little separating the top two, Shadai Farm of Teruya Yoshida, and his brother Katsumi’sNorthern Farm. Yes, there is a difference R34 million keeping them apart, but this is a bagatelle in the context of totals of the order of half a billion in each of their respective earnings. Earlier in the season, they were separated by several hundred million, but a late charge by Northern Farm sees the battle going right to the line, and amazingly, the third in the contest also happens to be a Yoshida family entity.

We’ve said this before, but it’s worth another look. The stallion lists (reproduced here) are the starkest reminder of the extent of the Yoshida dominance of the Japanese domestic breeding scene, with all ten on the General Sires log and the first ten on the Two Year Old Sires; log, being residents of the family’s Shadai Stallion Station.

From a dim and distant past, Japanese breeding has almost singlehandedley been catapulted into the world of breeding superpowers by the Yoshidas and its anyone’s guess as to how long their monopoly on the country’s racing affairs can be maintained. The manifestation of a Darley stallion station in the Land of the Rising Sun by Sheikh Mohammed one poser for the future, but it’s our bet that the name Yoshida will stick like a barnacle to their leader boards for decades to come.

2010 JRA Purse Rating / Breeder

Breeder

# of start

(head)

# of start

(race) 

win

(head) 

win

(race) 

total purse

/ZAR 

recent winner

SHADAI FARM

681

2945

250

345

532,778,861

Eishin Flash

NORTHERN FARM

662

2768

229

303

498,693,028

Buena Vista

SHIRAOI FARM

217

1017

64

89

133,744,003

Aliseo

SHIMOKOBE FARM

145

621

39

47

81,903,973

Dasher Go Go

CHIYODA FARM

160

645

30

41

73,961,994

Daiwa Barbarian

NORTH HILL MANAGEMENT

99

445

29

38

72,274,963

Ernestly

MBIG RED FARM

140

584

37

41

58,384,933

Meiner Kitz

YANGAWA FARM

61

335

23

31

40,856,072

Kopano Gingu

OIWAKE FARM

86

356

21

26

40,158,171

Oro Meister

MISHIMA FARM

64

329

18

22

39,800,825

Meisho Beluga

2010 JRA Leading Sire

Breeder

# of start

(head)

# of start

(race) 

win

(head) 

win

(race) 

total purse

/ZAR 

recent winner

KING KAMEHAMEHA (N)

296

1354

116

155

223,768,741

Apapane

SYMBOLI KRIS S

279

1225

85

111

163,660,420

Aliseo

FUJI KISEKI (S*)

271

1130

80

100

156,093,403

Kinshasa no kiseki

KUROFUNE

285

1320

102

136

152,742,354

Bateau d’Or

MANHATTAN CAFE (S)

251

991

71

97

147,846,477

Getstalt

AGNES TACHYON (S)

231

910

69

89

143,038,906

Kopano Gingu

SPECIAL WEEK

226

990

60

74

133,322,114

Buena Vista

SAKURA BAKUSHIN O (S*)

232

1012

77

89

126,391,079

Dasher Go Go

JUNGLE POCKET (N)

194

815

48

64

112,776,612

Jaguar Mail

NEO UNIVERSE (S)

217

941

58

84

105,471,214

Victoire Pisa

2010 JRA Leading Sire of 2yo

Breeder

# of start

(head)

# of start

(race) 

win

(head) 

win

(race) 

total purse

/ZAR 

recent winner

DEEP IMPACT (N)

51

100

24

25

20,857,121

Real Impact

SAKURA BAKUSHIN O (S*)

40

105

13

14

15,395,652

Grand Prix Boss

KING KAMEHAMEHA (N)

65

141

18

19

13,900,225

Tsurumaru One Piece

HEART’S CRY (S)

32

67

12

14

12,813,043

Meisho Naruto

FUJI KISEKI (S*)

43

91

14

14

12,753,598

Admire Sagas

AGNES TACHYON (S)

39

78

10

11

12,095,502

Reve d’Essor

JUNGLE POCKET (N)

49

115

6

7

10,811,844

Magical Pocket

MANHATTAN CAFE (S)

34

69

12

14

9,956,447

Shonan Mighty

KUROFUNE

38

94

6

8

9,848,351

Marumo Seila

NEO UNIVERSE (S)

52

116

8

9

9,523,763

All As One

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YOSHIDA FAMILY : THE WORD IS DOMINANCE, WITH A CAPITAL "D"

yoshida family japan horseracing
yoshida family japan horseracing

“JAPAN HORSERACING”

Seasoned international racegoers all know Sunday Silence. His exploits as a stallion are legendary, and while his dominance of the Japanese racing scene was total, his progeny have raced and bred with distinction in almost every jurisdiction our sport is played. A glance at the bookings for his son Admire Main, is an indicator of the admiration international horsemen have for Sunday Silence; most of the outside mares booked to this accomplished racehorse, belong to breeders whom you’d expect to be subscribers to the Thoroughbred Daily News.

Most people know that Admire Main is at Summerhill because of our relationship with the Yoshida family in Japan, a dynasty of breeders who have so completely dominated Japanese racing in the past three or four decades, that they are the one name that automatically springs to mind when you think of racing in that part of the world. For that matter, they are one of the few families anywhere, whose name crop up in any legitimate conversation about history’s great breeders.

A glance at the stats for the current Japanese season completes the story. The first three on the Japanese log right now, Shadai Farm,Northern Farm and Shiraoi Farms are all Yoshida entities. For what it’s worth, their earnings are converted to South African Rands, and you will notice that between the three of them, they’ve amassed in excess of R1 billion this season. On the leading sire’s log, all tenof the top ten are based at Shadai Stallion Station and the same applies to the top ten juvenile sires.

It’s a remarkable story about the remarkable enterprise of a remarkable family.

2010 JAPAN RACING ASSOCIATION

PURSE RATING / BREEDER

#

Breeder

# of start

(head)

# of start

(race)

win

(head)

win

(race)

Total Purse

(ZAR)

Recent Winner

1

SHADAI FARM

651

2662

229

313

498,393,014

EISHIN FLASH

2

NORTHERN FARM

625

2502

201

256

426,975,550

APAPANE

3

SHIRAOI FARM

210

933

58

77

120,993,774

ALISEO

4

SHIMOKOBE FARM

134

573

37

44

78,512,908

DASHER GO GO

5

CHIYODA FARM

148

591

29

39

69,784,586

DAIWA BARBARIAN

6

NORTH HILLS MANAGEMENT

96

410

26

34

61,705,847

EARNESTLY

7

BIG RED FARM

136

527

36

40

56,469,628

MEINER KITZ

8

OIWAKE FARM

84

328

19

24

37,767,730

ORO MEISTER

9

YANAGAWA FARM

61

316

22

28

37,364,237

KOPANO GINGU

10

MISHIMA FARM

60

292

15

19

33,392,787

MEISHO BELUGA

2010 JAPAN RACING ASSOCIATION

LEADING SIRE

#

Stallions

# of start

(head)

# of start

(race)

win

(head)

win

(race)

Total Purse

(ZAR)

Recent Winner

1

KING KAMEHAMEHA

277

1216

108

139

198,019,818

APAPANE

2

SYMBOLI KRIS S

261

1116

77

99

149,746,469

ALISEO

3

FUJI KISEKI

263

1046

72

89

144,631,131

KINSHASA NO KISEKI

4

KUROFUNE

278

1209

97

127

140,282,536

BATEAU D’OR

5

MANHATTAN CAFE

238

905

67

89

140,075,019

GESTALT

6

AGNES TACHYON

220

844

65

84

134,638,573

KOPANO GINGU

7

SPECIAL WEEK

219

919

57

69

117,403,265

GUENA VISTA

8

SAKURA BAKUSHIN O

222

903

69

77

113,172,285

DASHER GO GO

9

JUNGLE POCKET

175

731

47

61

105,169,400

JAGUAR MAIL

10

NEO UNIVERSE

200

843

53

75

97,844,495

VICTOIRE PISA

2010 JAPAN RACING ASSOCIATION

LEADING SIRE OF TWO-YEAR-OLDS

#

Stallion

# of start

(head)

# of start

(race)

win

(head)

win

(race)

Total Purse

(ZAR)

Recent Winner

1

HEART’S CRY

23

46

12

14

11,801,519

MEISHO NARUTO

2

DEEP IMPACT

35

58

14

14

11,468,413

RED SAINT

3

KING KAMEHAMEHA

49

94

13

14

10,292,787

TSURUMARU ONE PIECE

4

AGNES TACHYON

31

54

8

9

9,624,525

REVE D’ESSOR

5

FUJI KISEKI

36

66

10

10

9,294,685

ADMIRE SAGAS

6

JUNGLE POCKET

32

72

6

7

9,087,320

MAGICAL POCKET

7

SAKURA BAKUSHIN O

32

73

8

8

9,071,754

SUGINO ENDEAVOR

8

NEO UNIVERSE

38

75

5

6

7,027,107

ALL AS ONE

9

TANINO GIMLET

43

81

6

7

6,919,590

MIENER GIBSON

10

MANHATTAN CAFE

27

49

10

10

6,336,371

CAFE RAPIDO

Statistics Courtesy of JRA

japan horseracing
japan horseracing

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JAPAN'S SHADAI FARM ACQUIRES HARBINGER

harbinger racehorse
harbinger racehorse

Harbinger

(Photo : Racing International)

JAPAN SWOOPS : THE REST WALLOW

We all know it, the Japanese brought us Toyota, Nissan and Sony, and Shadai Farm gave us Sunday Silence. We’re more interested in horses though, and the Sunday Silence story is a compelling one. As good as he was in earning himself the status of America’s Horse Of The Year, when it came to his retirement to stud, Sunday Silence was blacklisted by American breeders.

It was said that he was too slight, too light of bone, it was said he was crooked in the knees and trailed his hocks. In fact, he was condemned for every possible reason, despite the fact that he was the best horse, by far, of his generation. Frustrated by the lack of appreciation his colleagues exhibited for the horse, Arthur Hancock III took the next best option: he sold the horse to Japan’s most famous breeder, Zenya Yoshida of Shadai Farm. The Japanese have an appreciation for a horse with the stamina to go 2400m, and the ability to beat all-comers, whatever his make or shape.

History tells us this was one of breeding’s most successful gambles, and Sunday Silence went on to wow the rest of the world with a succession of exceptional performers. They ran at two, they ran short and long, they ran on the turf and the dirt, and they excelled at home and abroad. There were simply no limits for the Sunday Silences, and those of us who have them, should cherish the moment. Summerhill’s acquisition of Admire Main in a venture with Shadai Farm is an expression of its appreciation of this great stallion’s legacy. Admire Main’s record may be uniquely Japanese, but the Sunday Silence story is universal.

This week’s announcement of the acquisition of the world’s highest-rated racehorse, once again highlighted the Japanese propensity for a good deal, as well as their appetite for risk, as Shadai Farm outpointed the world in acquiring Harbinger. After suffering a career ending injury following his emphatic win in Ascot’s King George VI & Queen Elizabeth II Stakes (Gr1), has been sold to stand in Japan.

According to Highclere Thoroughbred Racing’s website, the deal to sell the four-year-old to the Shadai Group “values the horse as one of the highest-priced transactions in recent times”. Director John Warren explained, “There were a number of top stud farms from both home and abroad involved in the negotiations, and there was a very strong bid to keep the horse in England. Unfortunately for the British bloodstock industry, the final bid from the famous Shadai Group, where Sunday Silence stood, was far too strong to be able to compete.” Harbinger is currently in recovery following the condylar fracture he sustained to his near-fore cannon bone at the start of last month when being prepared for York’s Juddmonte International (Gr1).

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