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Entries in Shamardal (15)



Await The Dawn
(Photos : Summerhill Archives)

Stallion masters are always seeking out the next “big thing”

Mick Goss - Summerhill CEOMick Goss
Summerhill CEO
Let’s be frank about this, we wouldn’t be penning this note if there wasn’t a commercial advantage in it. But there’s a strategic message in it as well, for any breeder who’s looking for an “edge”. Stallion masters are always seeking out the next “big thing”, and in that cause, they’re trying to identify the source of the most likely lineage of pre-potency. Getting in before the word gets out, gives you a head start, not only from a financial perspective, but especially in providing your broodmare pool with fresh prospects for exploitation.

For a while now, we’ve been watching the first of the “Giant’s Causeways” to go to stud, commencing with Shamardal, who was one of his first outstanding racers to enter a breeding shed. Now ranked in the vanguard of the best European stallions, Shamardal was an instant hit, while his contemporary, the unbeaten Guineas winner Footstepsinthesand, has proven a very effective sire, after being a touch slow out of the starting blocks. Sharmadal’s tally of Group One winners already sits at ten, while Footstepsinthesand has a brace of them. Across the Atlantic, First Samurai is quietly carving a name for himself at Claiborne Farm with Group One performers of his own, mainly on the dirt, which speaks for versatility.

Just this past weekend, the former Dewhurst Stakes (Gr.1) hero, Intense Focus gave notice of a promising career when his first crop son, Astaire, was a game all-the-way winner of the Middle Park Stakes (Gr.1) at Newmarket. There aren’t many Giant’s Causeways at stud yet, so it might be early to be casting a judgment, but on this evidence, there are few exceptions we can’t at least call “respectable”. By comparison, Sadler’s Wells took what seemed like an eternity to blossom as a sire of sires, yet with Galileo, Montjeu, High Chaparral, El Prado and Fort Wood, you’d have to concede, he’s the “business” right now. Team Coolmore could not have wished for a better compliment to Giant’s Causeway’s early reputation of a sire-getter, and while his profile has obviously been enhanced by his own trio of American sires’ championships, these young stallions were conceived long before he made it to the mountaintop.

So here’s the commercial: a year ago we came agonisingly close to acquiring the splendidly bred and well-performed Viscount Nelson, but if we’d known then what we discovered subsequently, the one we’d have always preferred was Await The Dawn. It was just that at that particular time, Await The Dawn looked way beyond our reach. It is a sad statement on the value of our currency that we are unable to compete for the most accomplished of the world’s stallion prospects. We occasionally have to prosper through the adversity of others. A life-threatening illness put a line under the horse’s career; unfulfilled promise becomes the “kiss of death” in circumstances like these, and suddenly he was a possibility for the Summerhill paddocks. We weren’t alone in our belief that in Await The Dawn, we’d seen one of Europe’s best middle distance performers of his generation. The world’s most respected rating agency declared him a Group One winner in waiting, but the only ones waiting now are those of us who are trying to be part of the “second coming”.

Await The Dawn has attracted as good a book as we’ve known at Summerhill in recent years: he deserves it. The general consensus here is that he ranks with the best stallions we’ve been associated with, and that’s saying something in a line-up that’s stronger now than at any previous time in our history.

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Await The Dawn
(Photos : Summerhill Archives)

“…the secret will only be revealed at the tail end…”

For those who, like us have been “pricked” by the imminent arrival at Summerhill of Giant’s Causeway’s highly performed son, Await The Dawn, this article is of prime interest, but we’re afraid the secret will only be revealed at the tail end. Why?

Alastair Nicolson - At the onset of the hostilities of World War Two, film mogul Laudy L Lawrence made the wise decision to ship his prized mare Cosquilla, in foal to Prince Rose, from France to Ireland. Others, including Prince Rose himself, were less fortunate. One, a little yearling filly by Sickle out of Minnewaska, was captured by the invading Nazi forces in the dark spring of 1940. Small but redoubtable, she survived her journey well enough to win two races in Germany at three.

At the end of the War, The Squaw was repatriated and soon thereafter crossed the Atlantic, the property of Prince Dmitriy Jorjadze of Georgia, for a date with his pride and joy, the son of Prince Rose and Cosquilla who, as Princequillo, had carried his colours to victory in such prestigious events as the Jockey Club Gold Cup and Saratoga Cup. Prince Dmitriy loved life in the fast lane, powering his Mercedes-Benz SSK to victory in the 1931 Spa 24 Hours Grand Prix, covering 1,580 miles at an average of almost 66mph. By contrast, Herman B Delman’s designs were of a less speedy nature. Ladies’ shoes to be precise. But in 1949, his world was to change. Overlooking his previous limited success with forays into thoroughbred ownership, the ever optimistic Delman purchased the Prince’s yearling filly by Princequillo out of The Squaw. Having had second thoughts about selling her at Saratoga, Delman named the filly How and sent her into training with Princequillo’s former tutor, Horatio Luro. Expectations were distinctly low as she made her debut in a $6,000 claiming event at Saratoga against opposition with such inspiring names as Futile. Yet, everything had changed by the end of the year, when, with three wins from four starts, How was assessed joint top juvenile filly on the Experimental Free Handicap despite being untested in Stakes company. The following season, nine of her ten races were in Stakes, the highlights easy victories in the Kentucky Oaks and Coaching Club American Oaks, while, at four, she added the Ladies Handicap.

How produced her first foal on the 19th February 1955 at Normandy Farm, Lexington. Sadly, Delman lived to see her for only a few months before his death that October. By Sir Gallahad’s speedy son Roman, the filly was offered for sale at Keeneland the following summer and was purchased for $36,000 by Raymond Guest, the future owner of Larkspur and Sir Ivor who at that time raced under the moniker of Powhatan. The chief soon became so attached to his little one that he christened her Pocahontas. She soon displayed her precocity and class, rewarding him with a game victory in Saratoga’s Schuylerville Stakes over five and a half furlongs. Of the seven fillies rated above her on the Experimental Free Handicap was How’s full-sister Sequoia, who finished behind her cousin in the Schuylerville but gained revenge in emphatic style in the Spinaway Stakes. Indeed, another full-sister, Cherokee Rose, had by this time emulated How with victory in the 1954 Coaching Club American Oaks.

Pocahontas produced nine foals for Guest before her death in 1972. Five became Stakes winners. The most distinguished was a small, well balanced colt by Ribot aptly named Tom Rolfe, who earned the title of US Champion Three-Year-Old of 1965 with victories in the Preakness Stakes, American Derby and Arlington Classic and audaciously contested that year’s Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, finishing five places behind the imperious Sea-Bird. By Bold Ruler, Pocahontas’ second foal, Chieftain, won 13 of his 36 starts, garnering prestigious scores in a division of the Cowdin Stakes at two, the Governor’s Gold Cup at three and the Arlington Handicap at four. By Larkspur, Wenona won the Blandford Stakes for Vincent O’Brien, while Pocahontas’ final two foals, the Sir Ivor filly Lady Rebecca and the Reindeer colt Ahdeek were also Stakes winners, the former taking the Gr.3 Prix Vanteaux. Tom Rolfe and Chieftain both became high-class sires.

The former’s 665 foals numbered 48 Stakes winners, these featuring the 1970 US Champion Juvenile Hoist The Flag and the US Champion Turf Horses Bowl Game and Run The Gantlet. The sire of Alleged, Hoist The Flag developed into an outstanding stallion, as did Run The Gantlet, whose best were fine indeed: April Run, Ardross, Commanche Run, Providential and Swiftfoot. Chieftain sired 43 Stakes winners from his 491 foals, notably the US Champion Older Mare Cascapedia, the Kentucky Oaks heroine Lucky Lucky Lucky and the admirable millionaire Fit To Fight.

Furthermore, Pocahontas’ unplaced son by Sea Hawk, War Hawk was New Zealand’s Champion Sire in 1981. By Reindeer’s sire Santa Claus, the unraced Santa Paula produced Vaguely Noble’s Gr.1 Premio Roma hero Noble Saint and is grandam of Selkirk’s Gr.1 Matriarch Stakes and Gr.1 Beverly Hills Handicap heroine Squeak, but it is Lady Rebecca who has had the most enduring influence of Pocahontas’ daughters. By Lyphard, her son Alzao won the Gr.3 Premio Ellington before siring 93 Stakes winners in an honourable stud career, these including the Classic heroines Matiya, Shahtoush and Winona, the dual Gr.1 Champion Stakes queen Alborada, the fine miler Second Set and Deep Impact’s Gr.1 Rheinland-Pokal-winning dam Wind In Her Hair. Rated 101 by Timeform, Alzao’s full-sister Light Of Hope produced the Listed-placed pair Happy Heart and Maria De La Luz to the half-brothers Exit To Nowhere and Machiavellian. In turn, Happy Heart is the dam of two leading Australian fillies in Danehill Dancer’s Gr.1 VRC Oaks heroine Arapaho Miss and Hussonet’s Gr.1 MRC 1,000 Guineas runner-up Heartsareforlove, while Maria De La Luz’s regal daughter Minakshi continued her rise to stardom by becoming Giant’s Causeway’s son Footstepsinthesand’s fourteenth Graded and Group winner with success in Woodbine’s Gr.2 Canadian Stakes eleven days ago. Both Maria De La Luz and Happy Heart are inbred to Pocahontas via Lady Rebecca and Tom Rolfe, the latter’s son Hoist The Flag being the sire of Raise The Standard, grandam of Machiavellian and Exit To Nowhere.

In turn, Happy Heart’s fine daughter Heartsareforlove is inbred to Hoist The Flag. Indeed, Maria De La Luz is closely related to the Gr.2 American Derby ace Evolving Tactics, himself one of just five foals by Machiavellian out of daughters of Alzao. Alzao’s nine foals from mares by Hoist The Flag’s son Alleged feature three Stakes winners, notably the Gr.1 Beverly D Stakes and Gr.1 Diana Handicap heroine Angara, while his Gr.2 Grand Prix de Deauville victor Epistolaire and Gr.3 Grand Prix de Vichy scorer Bailador are out of granddaughters of Alleged. By Alleged out of a granddaughter of Chieftain, the Gr.1 Premio Vittorio di Capua hero Jurado set the ball rolling for the success of combining Tom Rolfe with Chieftain.

This has become a major factor in the success of the stallion career of Giant’s Causeway, whose third dam is Chieftain’s Stakes-winning daughter Imsodear. Eleven of  Giant’s Causeway’s Graded and Group winners are inbred to Pocahontas in this way, including the Gr.1 La Brea Stakes heroine Book Review, the Gr.1 Spinster Stakes queen Carriage Trail, the Gr.1 Norfolk Stakes hero Creative Cause, the dual Chilean Classic ace Giant’s Steps and the European Champion Juvenile Shamardal, the latter one of his 17 foals of racing age from Machiavellian mares. Further, Giant’s Causeway’s two Stakes winners from nine foals of racing age from daughters of Alzao feature the Queen’s Plate ace Mike Fox. Thus Minakshi’s astute owner/breeders, Amelie and Robert Ehrnrooth of Haras de Bourgeuville, sent their beloved Maria De La Luz to Giant’s Causeway’s unbeaten Gr.1 2,000 Guineas hero Footstepsinthesand. Minakshi’s birth in Normandy on 3rd February 2008 was her family’s return home. The rest is now glorious history.

Editors note: This story raises all kinds of possibilities for the mating of daughters of Mullins Bay and Kahal (both sons of Machiavellian) with Await The Dawn.

Extracts from European Bloodstock News



Frankie Dettori aboard Blue Bunting - Irish Oaks
Frankie Dettori celebrates Blue Bunting’s Irish Oaks victory
(Photo : The Guardian)

Irish Oaks

It’s been a tough year for Sheikh Mohammed’s Godolphin operation, with Coolmore and their associates sweeping all before them. Sunday things turned around for Sheikh Mohammed though, as Blue Bunting got up in the dying strides to take the Irish Oaks (Gr1) and grab the laurels by a nose. It doesn’t get much closer than that, though Coolmore-sired horses filled the next two places with Banimpire and Wonder Of Wonders.

The extent of the Irish domination of the European classic season thus far is apparent in the accompanying table, which reflects victory in 8 of the 10 classics in 2011.

Race Cheque Earners Sire
Epsom Derby (Gr.1) 1st Pour Moi Montjeu
  2nd Treasure Beach Galileo
  4th Memphis Tennessee Hurricane Run
Irish Derby (Gr.1) 1st Treasure Beach Galileo
  2nd Seville Galileo
  3rd Memphis Tennessee Hurricane Run
Epsom Oaks (Gr.1) 1st Dancing Rain Danehill Dancer
  2nd Wonder Of Wonders Kingmambo
Irish Oaks (Gr.1) 1st Blue Bunting Dynaformer
  2nd Banimpire Holy Roman Emperor
  3rd Wonder Of Wonders Kingmambo
English 2000 Guineas (Gr.1) 1st Frankel Galileo
  2nd Dubawi Gold Dubawi
Irish 2000 Guineas (Gr.1) 1st Roderic O’Connor Galileo
  2nd Dubawi Gold Dubawi
  3rd Oracle Danehill Dancer
English 1000 Guineas (Gr.1) 1st Blue Bunting Dynaformer
  2nd Together Galileo
Irish 1000 Guineas (Gr.1) 1st Misty For Me Galileo
  2nd Together Galileo

Bold denotes Coolmore Sires

Time was when Godolphin enjoyed their own dominance of the classic scene, but it was in the days when they still patronised the progeny of the Coolmore stallions in the sales ring. The “stand-off” has altered things somewhat, and while Dubawi and Shamardal put in an ominous run last year, they are notable by their absence this year. This can only be a temporary “blip” though, as they’re as decent a pair as there is, and we’re bound to see more of them and their runners in years to come.



Coolmore Stud Documentary 2011

Click above to watch the Coolmore Stud Documentary 2011
(Image and Footage : Coolmore)

“Who’s Who in the Zoo?”

The battle for international supremacy in the thoroughbred world has developed a real “one-round-to-you, one-round-to-me” look to it. Ever since the official declaration of war by Dubai’s ruler, Sheikh Mohammed, on their arch opponents, the Coolmore operation in 2006, some heavy punches have been traded.

The first three years undoubtedly belonged to Coolmore, and for as long as the dominance of their Emperor stallions, Sadler’s Wells and Danehill persisted, and for as long as this blood was denied to the Maktoums, it looked like one-way traffic (in Europe at any rate, the main theatre of battle). Nothing in the thoroughbred world though is forever, and with his strategies spanning both sides of the Atlantic, the emergence of Street Cry looked like pulling things back for “Sheik Mo”, though it has to be said, Coolmore still have on their hands, the champion sire of that realm, Giant’s Causeway. Enormous investment on the part of Dubai in the best prospects of their more recent generations in the United States, must have equipped Darley’s armoury in that part of the world with some real possibilities, but with the exception of Bernardini, who is an emerging force in his own right, the jury will have to wait. If we were in the tipping game, we’d have a few bob on Street Sense, the only horse in history to have won both the Breeder’s Cup Juvenile and the Kentucky Derby.

Back in Europe though, out of the blue came Dubawi and Shamardal for Darley, and they look like two of the best young sires around right now. Their supremacy with their first three year olds last year suggested an overwhelming dominance of the older division in 2011 Europe, but, we shall have to wait and see if that’s going to be the case. On the evidence alone, of this year’s three year old Classics, it seems the pendulum may have swung back Coolmore’s way, with four of the six “Guineas” contested in England, Ireland and France, falling to sons and daughters of Bill Oppenheim’s “best stallion in the world”, Galileo.

On Saturday, the Coolmore outfit’s dominance of this crop was as blantly evident as ever, in the renewal of the Investec Derby, in which Coolmore-connected horses landed first, second and fourth placings, though it should be noted the Queen’s third placed Carlton House is a son of Street Cry, gifted to her by Sheikh Mohammed. For the time being at least, the initiative lies in Ireland, though we suspect that Dubawi and Shamardal are that good, they won’t be lying down for long. Either way, it makes fascinating watching.



Victoire Pisa wins the Dubai World Cup

Victoire Pisa - Dubai World Cup (Grade 1)
(Photo : AP Photo / Kamran Jebreili)


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).

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

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