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Sire legend’s South African legacy



Sons of Danehill are dominating the sires ranks in many of the world’s top racing nations. Stallions such as Fastnet Rock, Dansili, Redoute’s Choice and Exceed And Excel are creating their own dynasties, whilst another son of Danehill, Flying Spur, is broodmare sire of one of Australia’s hottest young sires, Sebring.

The Danehill male line has also enjoyed plenty of success and thrived in South Africa, with the great stallion’s descendants including a number of top-class Gr1 local performers. This powerful male line had a notable feature race double this weekend when sons Fastnet Rock and Rock Of Gibraltar were represented by new stakes winners in Ilitshe (Derby Trial) and Rich Girl (Strelitzia Stakes) respectively.

Danehill himself was well represented in South Africa. The son of Danzig had no fewer than 38 runners on local tracks – of which 28 won. His six South African stakes winners include champion filly Laisserfaire, Oaks winner Stormy Hill, and high-class stayer Meteor Shower. However, the best son of Danehill to race in South Africa was Toreador. Unlucky not to win a Grade One, Toreador was beaten a short head by Horse Of The Year Winter Solstice in the Gr1 Gold Challenge, before retiring to a successful stud career.

Danehill also left behind the useful filly Precious Julia – who went on to make history at stud. Precious Julia, who won three races herself, is the dam of Dane Julia (Caesour), the first South African bred filly ever to win a Group One race in New Zealand. Unbeaten in her first five outings, Dane Julia gained her place in the record books when winning the G1 New Zealand Breeders Stakes in 2009.

Another high-class South African galloper produced by a daughter of Danehill is Cask. Bred on the potent Sadler’s Wells/Danehill cross, the Fort Wood sired Cask won over R500 000, including the Gr2 Premier’s Trophy. Promising young Cape based sire Dan De Lago, winner of the Gr2 Gold Circle Derby, is another out of a mare by the Coolmore legend as is top-class filly Sidera.

Danehill’s smart stakes winning daughter, Petite Dane, is the dam of Listed Michaelmas Handicap winner Danish Silver, while the late stallion is also broodmare sire of former Thukela Handicap winner Lehaaf. Other smart SA runners out of Danehill mares include Galileo’s Destiny, Feel My Love, G1 filly Merlene De Lago, and Gr3 Prix Du Cap winner Winter Burst.

While Danehill daughter have left their mark in South Africa, their male counterparts have done even better.

From Redoute’s Choice to Flying Spur, Danehill Dancer to Dansili, the Danehill legacy is truly alive and kicking in South Africa.

Danehill’s champion son Oratorio, now based at Avontuur, is another son to made an impression on the local turf. From just a handful of South African representatives, Oratorio is already represented by six black type performers, including the recent dual feature race winning filly Orator’s Daughter.

Dansili has been sparely represented in South Africa, but four of his six runners have won. His best local runner is top-class filly Espumanti, winner of the Gr2 Ipi Tombe Challenge, and over R680 000 in prize money.

Rags to riches sire Danehill Dancer and his most famous son Choisir have both been represented by stakes horses in South Africa. Danehill Dancer’s SA runners include classy filly Berry Blaze, third in both the Gr1 SA Fillies Classic and Gr1 Woolavington Stakes, as well as stakes horses Destined to Be, Arabesque Dancer and Gr3 Final Fling Stakes winner Crimson Blossom.
Globetrotting sprinter Choisir has had 12 runners – nine of whom have won. They include speedy filly Choir Maiden and G3 winning filly Royalsecuritybaby (Strelitzia Stakes).

Champion sire Fastnet Rock left behind Gr2 Dingaans winner and promising sire Curved Ball as well as Ilitshe, while Flying Spur’s local runners include the top-class Mushreq, who was second in the Gr1 Golden Horseshoe and who has subsequently done well in Dubai, as well as the Gr2 performer Flying West, and Gr3 Cup Trial hero Flying Tristram.

However, Danehill’s greatest South African success has come through his sons Redoute’s Choice and Rock of Gibraltar.

A multiple champion sire, Redoute’s Choice is becoming an equally successful sire of sires, and broodmare sire. Sire of over 100 stakes winners to date, Redoute’s Choice’s local legacy includes Gr1 SA Derby winner Wylie Hall, Gr2 Astrapak 1900 victor Bishop’s Rock and current juvenile sensation Majmu. The latter is unbeaten in two outings to date, having won both the Ruffian Stakes and Gr3 Pretty Polly Stakes, despite losing ground on both outings, and Majmu looks something special in the making.

Redoute’s Choice is also the broodmare sire of this season’s promising 2yo Banaadeer (winner of the Storm Bird Stakes), while his son, Not A Single Doubt, produced the high-class former Gr3 Winter Guineas winner Castlethorpe. Second to Variety Club in the 2012 Gr1 Rising Sun Challenge, Castlethorpe’s 8 wins have netted connections in excess of R800 000 to date.

However, arguably, Danehill’s son to enjoy most success in South Africa was former Horse of The Year Rock Of Gibraltar.
“The Rock” has enjoyed huge success in this country, with his runners including no fewer than 10 stakes winners, including this season’s Gr2 Wilgerbosdrift Gauteng Fillies Guineas winner Arcetri Pink and the above mentioned Rich Girl. His other local runners include the Gr1 winners Europa Point and Seventh Rock, high-class Fillies Guineas winner Gibraltar Blue and Gr2 Victory Moon Stakes winner Perana.
Interestingly, Rock Of Gibraltar’s local stakes winners include stakes winners from 1100m (Sunshine Rock) to 2850m (Atyeb).

Rock Of Gibraltar, sire of over 90 stakes winners to date, also has a number of sire sons at stud in South Africa, including former Gr1 Gold Medallion hero Seventh Rock and G3 winner Rock Of Rochelle.

With Seventh Rock currently one of South Africa’s leading first crop sires, and Rock Of Rochelle’s first yearlings have sold up to R500 000 recently, there is no signs that this male line’s success will stop anytime soon.

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