The legacy of the great mare Urban Sea (Miswaki) shows no sign of abating any time soon. While the 1993 Arc de Triomphe winner died in 2009, her descendants continue to shine in major international races the world over, writes Sarah Whitelaw.
Her great son Galileo, who once again is atop of the GB/Ire General Sires List, appears to hold all the aces for the upcoming Investec Derby/Oaks meeting.
Currently, Galileo sons The Gurkha, US Army Ranger, Ulysses, Port Douglas and Deauville, are all prominent in the market for the Investec Derby, with another son, Midterm, another potential candidate.
His son, former unbeaten juvenile Teofilo (Galileo’s best sire son to date), also has a lively contender for this year’s great classic in the form of 2000 Guineas runner up Massaat. The latter was earmarked for the Derby following his great run in the Newmarket classic and has been quoted as a 16-1 shot for the big race.
Should Galileo (who himself won the race in 2001) score in the 2016 Investec Derby, it will be a fourth time that a son of his has won this Epsom classic –with the likes of New Approach, Ruler Of The World and Australia having won previously. Should Galileo reach this milestone he will become the second son of Sadler’s Wells to do so, with the late, great Montjeu having sired four Epsom Derby winners.
Sadler’s Wells has also enjoyed a remarkable run of success in the Derby – he himself sired two Epsom Derby winners, and the name of Sadler’s Wells can be found in the pedigrees of seven of the last ten Derby winners.
Galileo, also broodmare sire of 2016 classic winners Galileo Gold (Paco Boy) and La Cressonniere (Le Havre), appears to have a strong hand in the Investec Oaks too.
His representatives include 1000 Guineas winner, and early favourite, Minding (also quoted among the fancies for the Derby) and the blue blooded Coolmore, and Listed Salsabil Stakes winner Pretty Perfect.
Remarkably, the progeny of Galileo have now won each of the English, Irish and French classic races at least once –an achievement his own sire failed to accomplish!
Urban Sea’s potential Epsom dominance does not end with her son Galileo, however.
Her other great son Sea The Stars (who already has an Epsom classic winner to his credit in the form of Oaks winner Taghrooda) is the sire of French contender Cloth Of Stars, an impressive winner of the recent Gr2 Prix Greffuhle.
Remarkably, both Galileo and Sea The Stars won the Derby of their respective year- making Urban Sea one of just 11 broodmares who produced more than one winner of the Blue Riband.
Urban Sea is also the second dam of recent Gr2 Derrinstown Derby winner Moonlight Magic- a Cape Cross sired three parts brother to Sea The Stars and to Gr2 UAE Derby winner Khawlah. Just once beaten in four starts to date, Moonlight Magic has been given a quote of 10-1 by Ladbrokes (at the time of writing).
Urban Sea’s last foal, Listed Blenheim Stakes winner Born To Sea (Invincible Spirit), could yet add further gloss to his dam’s remarkable career – he is represented by his first runners this year and was given an early quote of 14-1 to end 2016 as the leading first crop sire (by winners).
This remarkable family was given yet another boast when Knife Edge (Zoffany) won the recent Gr2 Mehl-Mulhens Rennen (German 2000 Guineas). That colt is a direct descendant of Anatevka –the granddam of Urban Sea herself.
Another horse who has established an outstanding record in the Epsom classics is the now retired Darley sire, Cape Cross, sire of recent Irish 2000 Guineas winner Awtaad.
Not only is that son of Green Desert (and full brother to local sire Great Britain), sire of 2015 Investec Derby hero Golden Horn, but he is also the sire of Sea The Stars and Ouija Board.
The latter not only won the Oaks back in 2004, but went on to produce Derby winner and young Coolmore sire Australia to the cover of Galileo.
The Investec Oaks is due to be run on 3 June, with the Derby set for the following afternoon, and it looks as if the names of Cape Cross, Galileo and Urban Sea could once again be to the fore!
Preakness winner continues male line dominance
When Exaggerator (Curlin) upset Kentucky Derby winner Nyquist (Uncle Mo) to land Saturday’s Gr1 Preakness Stakes (the second leg of the US Triple Crown), he continued the dominance that the Mr Prospector male line has had on the Pimlico classic.
Remarkably, Mr Prospector line horses have now won the Preakness Stakes on 15 occasions, with that number including last year’s winner, and subsequent Triple Crown winner, American Pharoah (Pioneerof The Nile).
Exaggerator also emulated his own sire Curlin, who himself knocked off a Kentucky Derby winner (Street Sense) to land the 2007 Preakness.
Exaggerator is a second US classic winner for Curlin (himself one of two Preakness Stakes winners for the late sire Smart Strike –the other being Lookin At Lucky), following Belmont Stakes winner Palace Malice.
Curlin, whose stud fee jumped from $35 000 to $100 000 in 2016, is also responsible for Keen Ice, conqueror of American Pharoah in last year’s G1 Travers Stakes, and champion US filly Stellar Wind.
He is one of a growing number of sire sons of Smart Strike who are making their mark at stud, with others including the afore mentioned Lookin At Lucky, English Channel and Square Eddie.