SA’s stars strongly represented at Keeneland
A number of South Africa’s former top racemares are represented on the Keeneland September Sale.
The Zimbabwean bred, Ipi Tombe (Manshood), was one of the best females ever to race in South Africa. Just once beaten in SA, Ipi Tombe won the G1 Vodacom Durban July, prior to embarking on a spectacular, unbeaten overseas campaign.
A disappointing broodmare to date, Ipi Tombe has produced just two minor winners from four runners. She has a bay colt by leading US sire Medaglia D’Oro on the September Sale.
Another globetrotting sensation from Southern Africa was Irridescence (Caesour), who famously down the great Ouija Board to win the QEII Cup. The mare, a multiple G1 winner in South Africa, was also runner up in both the G1 Falmouth Stakes and Beverly D Stakes.
Irridesence netted nearly one million pounds in career earnings during her career and her first foal, Exothermic (Empire Maker) is a winner
She has a colt by the recently deceased sire Dynaformer, one of the greatest sires in the world of the past two decades.
Dynaformer, sire of over 100 stakes winners including this season’s high-class performers Point of Entry and Thought Worthy, is also sire of a half-sister to SA sire Antonius Pius (whose first local crop are two this season). The pair are out of G1 Yorkshire Oaks winner, Catchascatchcan,
There is also a Tale of the Cat half-sister to young KZN sire Spanish Harlem – the pair being out of 1000 Guineas winner Sleepytime (like the dam of champion sire Fastnet Rock, Sleepytime is by Royal Academy).
Coup for the Karoo!
Top racehorse, and blue blooded young sire, Main Aim recently arrived at David Southey’s Southford Stud. David is impressed by the horse’s overall quality, saying of him, “He is a very handsome bay horse, standing 16 hands (and a bit!) with great presence, plenty of scope and good legs (short cannons). He has a super temperament and is a pleasure to handle, though very much a stallion.”
Maim Aim was a top-class racehorse, who achieved a Timeform Rating of 123 , which saw him rated above such high-class racehorses as G1 winners Varenar (Rock of Gibraltar), Art Connoissieur (Lucky Story), Fuisse (Green Tune), Alandi (Galileo), Duncan (Dalakhani) and Pressing (Soviet Star).
The horse won or placed in no fewer than nine stakes races, and won the G3 John O’Gaunt Stakes twice. Main Aim also ran second to Fleeting Spirit in Britain’s sprint championship – the historic G1 July Cup. In that race he defeated such champions as J J The Jet Plane, Takeover Target and Paco Boy.
His sire Oasis Dream is one of the finest sons of the great sire Green Desert at stud, and has sired a host of G1 winners, including the 2012 Irish 2000 Guineas winner Power. Other G1 winners sired by Oasis Dream include Breeders Cup winner Midday as well as the likes of Prohibit (King’s Stand Stakes), Arcano (Prix Morny), and Tuscan Evening (Gamely Handicap).
Main Aim’s dam, Orford Ness, is a G3 winner by leading sire and broodmare sire Selkirk (the latter is the broodmare sire of very promising young sire Mount Nelson). He is half-brother to three stakes performers, and hails from one of the best families in the stud book. This is the family of Mr Prospector and Seattle Slew – two of the greatest, and most influential sires, in North American history.
The sire is bred on the same Danzig/Sharpen Up cross that produced world leading sire, and promising sire of sires, Danehill Dancer.
Well travelled sire’s lasting legacy
Former champion 2yo Dehere (Deputy Minister) clocked up more air miles than most humans. He began his stud career in North America, prior to shuttling to Australia . He was then sent to Japan, returned to the USA, and ended up finally in Turkey!
A good sire, who achieved fairly consistent results despite his travelling around, Dehere (sire of over 70 stakes winners) has also left a lasting mark on the breed through the deeds of his broodmare daughters.
Dehere is best known in South Africa as the damsire of G2 Dingaans winner and young sire Oracy (Zabeel).
He is also the maternal grandsire of dual Breeders Cup Sprint winner, and promising young sire Midnight Lute (Real Quiet), Florida Derby winner Take Charge Indy (A P Indy), Golden Slipper winner Forensics, and two South Australian Derby winners in Kidnapped and Rebel Raider.
Dehere (bred on the same Deputy Minister/Secretariat nick which produced G1 winner and promising sire Go Deputy) is also the broodmare sire of So Many Ways (Sightseeing), the most accomplished 2yo filly racing in the USA at the present. So Many Ways is unbeaten in three starts, and won the G1 Spinaway Stakes last time out.
Dehere’s sire Deputy Minister is one of the world’s great broodmare sires – with his daughters having produced over 200 stakes winners.
Deputy Minister’s sons, Salt Lake, Awesome Again, Silver Deputy and Dehere, are all the broodmare sires of at least one G1 winner – a dynasty which shows no signs of slowing.
The list of North America’s top sires (by lifetime average earnings index) is not one which contains many surprises. It is striking, however, that just three are male line descendants of the dominant and ubiquitous Northern Dancer. It also gives pause for thought when taking into account that only five of the top ten sires (by AEI) upgrade their mares.
Leading the charge is Darley’s outstanding sire, Street Cry. The former World Cup winner has had seven crops to date, from which there have come 13 G1 winners. A promising sire of sires, Street Cry has a lifetime AEI of 2.43.
Street Cry just nabs Smart Strike as the leading US sire by AEI. Smart Strike, who has twice been champion sire in the US, has a AEI of 2.41 – and he upgrades his mares (his CI is 2.07).
This is truly a remarkable achievement for a sire who has strong claims to being Mr Prospector’s best sire son. To date, Smart Strike has produced 86 stakes winners, and 12 G1 winners.
Third on the list is one of the hottest sires in the world at the moment, Tapit. Not only is the grey third on the AEI list (he has an AEI of 2.37), Tapit is upgrading his mates – his Comparable Index is 1.37. Among the mares Tapit covered in 2012 was the great Zenyatta – a clear sign of his increasingy desirability with US breeders.
The top ten list is completed by Empire Maker, Distorted Humor, Awesome Again, Medaglia D’Oro, Bernardini, Mineshaft and Unusual Heat. The last is a 22yo son of Nureyev (whose record as a sire of sires has been somewhat unfairly maligned) who has spent his entire career in California, where he has done exceptionally well from limited opportunities.
A P Indy’s influence is prevalent in this list – with two sons in the top ten (Bernardini, Mineshaft) and a grandson (Tapit).