Breeder and former vice-president of France Gallop, Michel Henochsberg, who died last Friday, certainly left an indelible mark on thoroughbred breeding. Henochsberg purchased the Lombard mare Allegretta for just $55 000 from the Keeneland November Sale, and she went on to change the face of the stud book.
No fewer than ten Gr1 winners trace back directly in female line to Allegretta, as does the Gr1 sire, Tertullian. Major races won by Allegretta line descendants include the 2000 Guineas, Epsom Derby (twice), King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes, Irish Oaks, Arc de Triomphe, Irish Derby, Prix Jacques le Marois, Irish Champion Stakes, Eclipse Stakes, Tattersalls Gold Cup, Prix Du Jockey-Club (French Derby), and Juddemonte International – among others.
Allegretta’s greatest offspring were 2000 Guineas winner and champion sire, King’s Best (Kingmambo) and Prix de L’Arc de Triomphe winner and outstanding broodmare, Urban Sea (Miswaki).
Her daughters, Allez Les Trois (Riverman) and Anzille (Plugged Nickle) produced the Gr1 winners Anabaa Blue (Prix Du Jockey Club) and Anzillero (Deutschland Preis), while Allez Les Trois is also the second dam of Gr1 Prix Jean Prat winner, Tamayuz (Nayef), with another member of this family being recently retired Gr3 Greenlands Stakes winner, Mustajeeb (Nayef). Both Anabaa Blue (Spirit One) and Tamayuz (G Force) are Gr1 sires.
Yet another daughter of Allegretta to leave behind a gifted son was the stakes placed Turbaine (Trempolino). The latter’s son, Tertullian, (by Miswaki and a brother in blood to Urban Sea) was Germany’s Champion Sire in 2014, and his top progeny include the Gr1 winners, Guiliani (Grosser Dallmayr-Preis) and Mawingo (Doomben Cup).
However, it is through Urban Sea and, to a lesser extent, King’s Best, that Allegretta is likely to continue to exert an influence on the thoroughbred for generations to come.
King’s Best, whose Investec Derby winning son, Workforce, was Japan’s third leading first crop sire last year, is currently himself standing alongside his son in Japan. To date, the 2000 Guineas winning, King’s Best, one of the best sire sons of Kingmambo, has nearly 100 black type performers, with his tally of stakes winners including eight Gr1 winners. A sign of King’s Best’s versatility as a sire can be seen in the fact that his Gr1 winners include top flight winners over 1300m (King’s Apostle) and 2800 (Royal Diamond). He is also enjoying increasing success as a broodmare sire, with his daughters having already produced the likes of French 1000 Guineas winner, Ervedya (Siyouni), and Gr2 winners, Karaktar (High Chaparral), Kinglike (Exceed And Excel) and Kiram (Elusive City).
Given the tremendous success that Kingmambo enjoyed with Sadler’s Wells, it comes as no surprise to see that some of King’s Best’s top performers, Workforce (Gr1 Investec Derby, Gr1 Arc de Triomphe), King’s Apostle (Gr1 Prix Maurice de Gheest) and Creachadoir (Gr1 Lockinge Stakes) were produced by Sadler’s Wells line mares.
While King’s Best has been a successful sire in his own right, his success does not approach that of Galileo, (Sadler’s Wells), the son of his half sister, Urban Sea. One of six sons of Urban Sea to stand at stud (another son proved infertile), Galileo has dominated the European sires list for the past decade. One of just a handful of sires to have 200 plus stakes winners to his credit (and responsible for 10 individual Gr1 winners in 2015 alone!), Galileo has been champion sire in the UK for seven of the past eight years.
His influence looks like spreading to South Africa, where his sons Global View, Kingsbarns, and The Assayer are all based at stud. Galileo, whose greatest son, Frankel, has his much anticipated first runners in 2016, has over 50 Gr1 winners to his credit. Described by many knowledgeable pundits as the finest stallion ever to stand in Ireland, Galileo is an increasingly successful sire of sires, through Teofilo, New Approach and the promising former Irish 2000 Guineas winner, Roderic O’Connor among others, while his as yet unproven sons, Australia, Frankel, and Gleneagles, to name but three, surely rank as among the most attractive commercial stud prospects of recent years.
Galileo’s half brother, Sea The Stars (Cape Cross), one of the greatest middle distance horses ever to race in Europe, made a blistering start to his stud career when his first crop produced 3 Gr1 winners, including champions, Taghrooda and Sea The Moon. The six time Gr1 winner continued his good start in 2015, when his runners included 13 black type winners, including the group winners, Cloth Of Stars, Star Storm and Storm The Stars.
General Sires List
The influence of Urban Sea and her sons can be seen clearly in the 2015 General Sires List in GB/Ireland. All of Galileo, Teofilo and Sea The Stars featured in the top twenty, and between the trio left behind 60 odd stakes winners in Europe in 2015.
Another son of Urban Sea to make a mark, albeit a considerably lesser one than either Galileo or Sea The Stars, is Black Sam Bellamy. A full brother to Galileo, Black Sam Bellamy’s eight black type winners include multiple European champion, Earl of Tinsdal, a Gr1 winner in both Germany and Italy, as well as local runner, Vengence, who was awarded victory in the 2011 G3 East Cape Derby.
The success that Allegretta and her descendants have enjoyed can be seen by the fact that a growing number of pattern race winners are inbred to her. This list includes last season’s high-class British 2yo, Fireglow, winner of both the Sweet Solera Stakes and Montrose Stakes and a likely contender for some of the bigger races for 3yo fillies in 2016. The list is likely to grow – and it is surely only a matter of time before Sea The Stars or a close relative produces a high class performer out of a daughter of Galileo or one of his legion of sons.