It is interesting, although no doubt coincidental, how some years see more than one influential stallion born.
In 1981 the foal crop included Sadler’s Wells, Darshaan, El Gran Senor and Rainbow Quest, writes Sarah Whitelaw.
Twenty years earlier Northern Dancer and Raise A Native had been foaled. Lyphard, Halo, Roberto, Sharpen Up, Riverman and High Top were all in the Class of 1969.
And then there is the year 1977, which counts all of Danzig, Nureyev (both by Northern Dancer), Fappiano (Mr Prospector) and Kris S (Roberto).
Danzig, unbeaten in just three outings, began with a stud fee of $20.000, which would eventually rise to $250.000, backed up by three US sire championships. Danzig’s 21 official champions include Chief’s Crown, Dayjur, Pas De Reponse, Anabaa. His Breeders’ Cup winners Chief’s Crown, War Chant, Lure, and Dance Smartly. And his US classic winners Danzig Connection (Belmont Stakes) and Pine Bluff (Preakness Stakes).
Danzig’s notable sire sons include Danehill, Green Desert and War Front, as well as Anabaa, Hard Spun, Polish Precedent, National Assembly, Belong To Me and Langfuhr.
Today, the Danzig male line occupies the headlines through the exploits of War Front, Redoute’s Choice, Invincible Spirit, Cape Cross, Oasis Dream, Sea The Stars, Fastnet Rock, Dansili, and Exceed And Excel.
Danzig’s daughters have produced more than 200 stakes winners, among them Kentucky Derby winner (and sire) Fusaichi Pegasus (Mr Prospector).
Nureyev, first past the post in all of his three career outings, but demoted from first place in the 1980 2000 Guineas, also made the grade as a stallion, despite not enjoying the best of fertility and breaking a leg in 1987. His 130 stakes winners include champions Miesque, Zilzal, Theatrical, Soviet Star, Fasliyev, Stravinsky and Epsom Oaks winner Reams Of Verse.
While not an outstanding sire of sires, Nureyev’s successful sire sons include Theatrical (sire of more than 20 G1 winners), Polar Falcon (sire of Pivotal, whose 100+ stakes winners include French Gr1 winner and sire Siyouni), Stravinsky, Soviet Star (sire of Australian sire of sires Starcraft), Caesour and Unusual Heat.
As broodmare sire of Kingmambo and Zabeel, Nureyev has ensured his presence in top flight pedigrees for decades to come. In the wings may be champion Golden Horn, whose dam is inbred to Nureyev. French classic winner Ervedya (Siyouni) and recent Derby winner Jon Snow (Iffraaj) are others inbred to him.
Kris S, one of the best sons of Roberto, sired Breeders’ Cup winners Action This Day, Prized, Soaring Softly, Brocco and Hollywood Wildcat, and is damsire of Breeders’ Cup winners Zenyatta (Street Cry), Life Is Sweet (Storm Cat), Sweet Catomine (Storm Cat) and War Chant (Danzig). He is also responsible for Epsom Derby winner Kris Kin, St James Palace Stakes winner Dr Fong, and G1 sire Arch.
Arch is sire of Breeders’ Cup Classic winner and sire Blame, and is broodmare sire of champion and hot young sire Uncle Mo (Indian Charlie), as well as Kentucky Derby winner I’ll Have Another (Flower Alley).
Kris S is represented locally with sire Philanthropist, whose first local crop includes She’s A Giver, Sail and Singapore Sling.
Fappiano, who died at age thirteen, proved himself to be one of the best sire sons of Mr Prospector and one can but speculate what he might have achieved in a longer innings at stud. His Kentucky Derby winning son Unbridled was a top class sire whose Breeders’ Cup winning son Unbridled’s Song got Breeders’ Cup winners Liam’s Map, Midshipman, Unrivaled Belle (dam of top filly Unique Bella, who is inbred to Unbridled), Unbridled Elaine and current superstar Arrogate.
Unbridled’s Gr1 Belmont Stakes winning son Empire Maker is sire of Gr1 winner Bodemeister (whose first crop includes Gr1 Florida Derby winner Always Dreaming), and Pioneerof The Nile.
The latter’s first crops include Triple Crown winner American Pharoah and Classic Empire, both also Breeders’ Cup race winners. Current US champion sire Tapit is out of a mare by Unbridled.
Fappiano’s champion sprinter Rubiano is broodmare sire of leading sire War Front (by Danzig). The unbeaten Gr1 Pacific Classic winner Candy Ride (Ride The Rails) is descendant of Fappiano.