Here & Elsewhere

The Dubai Form

While the eyes of the racing world are currently focused on Dubai, and the preparations for the Dubai World Cup, it is worth looking back at the runners, and their subsequent performances, who competed in last year’s big race. Did the 2011 Dubai World Cup form live up to the promise, and prize money, of the big night?

Last year’s Dubai World Cup winner, Victoire Pisa (Neo Universe – Whitewater Affair), made just two unplaced starts before injury forced his retirement. Runner up in the World Cup, Transcend (Wild Rush – Cinema Scope) had much more success, winning two G1 Japanese dirt contests, including the Japan Cup Dirt.

Third place finisher in the World Cup was Godolphin’s Monterosso (Dubawi – Porto Roca). He has not started since last year’s race, and has been sidelined.

Fourth place finisher, Cape Blanco (Galileo – Laurel Delight) went on to great things in 2011. He won three G1 races in the US, and was eventually named Eclipse Champion Turf Male, before retiring to stud. Fifth place finisher, Gio Ponti (Tale of the Cat – Chipeta Springs) would go on to score in the G1 Shadwell Turf Mile , while sixth place finisher, Gitano Hernando (Hernando – Gino’s Spirits) took out the G1 Singapore Airlines International Cup.
While the seventh place finisher, Musir (Redoute’s Choice – Dizzy de Lago) has yet to win an international G1 event, he has enjoyed great success of late. Ending last year’s campaign with a fluent win in the G2 Topkapi Trophy, Musir is unbeaten in Dubai this year in two starts. He has won both the G2 Al Rashidiya and G3 Al Maktoum Challenge in 2012.

Last year’s eighth place finisher, Japanese Horse of the Year Buena Vista (Special Week – Biwa Heidi) also went on to bigger and better things. She won the 2011 Japan Cup, to make up for her unfortunate disqualification the previous year.

Ninth place finisher back in 2011 was the multiple G1 winner Twice Over (Observatory – Double Crossed). He added further to his tally of G1 success when beating stablemate, Midday, in the Juddmonte International.

Tenth horse home, Prince Bishop (Dubawi – North East Bay) went on to score at Listed level, and has won at the 2011/2012 Dubai Carnival.
The final four horses home in last year’s World Cup have, by and large, failed to distinguish themselves, although 13th home, Fly Down (Mineshaft – Queen Randi) did win a G2 race in Saudi Arabia.

While the 2011 Dubai World Cup winner  himself may not have been the most heralded of victors, there is no denying the remarkable quality of horse the race attracted. Hopefully, the form of this year’s race proves as strong!

Meteor takes off

Meteor Shower

The well bred Meteor Shower is certainly siring some eye catching stock. The well bred son of Danehill (he is an own brother to two international G1 performers in Spartacus and Johann Cruyff) had some eye catching youngsters on offer at the recent Cape Premier Yearling Sale (book two). He had only six mares in his first book, but judging on appearances, looks deserving of a greater chance at stud.

Two of his yearlings (conceived for fees of under R5000) made R65 000 and R165 000 – a handsome profit off such a small fee. Few sires in this current market would have achieved such a handsome profit margin.

Another sire whose offspring sold well (off a very low fee) at the recent CPYS was former G2 Astrapak 1900 winner Royal Air Force. The gigantic son of Jet Master (whose yearlings were conceived off a R5000 fee) had a filly make R110 000 and a colt reach R60 000 – which in a flat market and off such a low stud fee was a laudable achievement.

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Good start for ill-fated sire

While the current first season sires list (and juvenile sires list) is being dominated by the offspring of the brilliant young sire Trippi (End Sweep), another sire to have made a positive impression with his first crop is Stronghold. Now sadly deceased, Stronghold has had three runners to date – and all three have won!

This is a fine achievement for a stallion, who scored his biggest career victory (the G3 Supreme Stakes) as a 4yo. Stronghold was bred on the same Danehill/Mr Prospector cross which produced champion Australian sire, Flying Spur.
Unfortunately, Stronghold leaves behind just two small crops, having died earlier on in his stud career.

Danehill sons have had less success than expected (apart from Toreador) in this country, but Stronghold’s early runners suggest that but for his early demise, he might have changed that perception.

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G1 win glory for blue blooded mare Celigny

It was a good weekend for Maine Chance Farm, with their sire, Silvano, responsible for one of the joint sales toppers at the Cape Premier Yearling Sale (book two). The farm is also home to the blue blooded mare, Celigny, who is currently in foal to Oasis Dream’s G1 winning son, Querari.  Maine Chance purchased Celigny last year at the Deauville Summer Sale.

A daughter of the excellent US sire Mr Greeley (himself already the broodmare sire of such top horses as Closing Argument and Zazu), Celigny is a half-sister to Saturday’s G1 Las Virgenes Stakes winner, Eden’s Moon (Malibu Moon). It was a first G1 win for Eden’s Moon, who looks a leading contender for the G1 Kentucky Oaks later in the season.

Eden’s Moon and Celigny are out of the Giant’s Causeway mare, Eden’s Causeway. The latter is in turn a half-sister to three individual G1 winners, including Champion US Turf Male, Paradise Creek (Irish River). This is also the family of international champions David Junior and Theatrical.
Giant’s Causeway is looking like a potential champion broodmare sire. His first daughters are now just ten years old, and they have already produced three G1 winners in Eden’s Moon, Planteur (G1 Prix Ganay) and Evening Jewel (G1 Del Mar Oaks). When taking into consideration the number of world-class mares that Giant’s Causeway has covered since retiring to stud, he has every chance of outshining his sire, Storm Cat, as a broodmare sire.