James Armitage of Sandown Stud bred Saturday’s Durbanville feature winner Magnificent Seven, a son of Horse Chestnut, whom he labelled the best value sire of his time.
In Return, a daughter of South African champion and Triple Crown winner Horse Chestnut, joined an elite group of mares to have been represented by two Gr1 winners in a year when her son Channel Maker (English Channel) made much of the running to capture the Gr1 Joe Hirsch Turf Classic at Belmont Park on Saturday.
In recording a four and a quarter length win in the Turf Classic, Channel Maker picked up the first Gr1 victory of his 20th career and the four-year-old has now earned over $1 million. The colt had previously won the classic Breeders Stakes and had dead-heated in the Gr2 Bowling Green Handicap earlier in the year.
Channel Maker will now bid to give Horse Chestnut a first Breeders’ Cup winner as a broodmare sire when he lines up in the Longines Breeders’ Cup Turf on 3 November. The Joe Hirsch Turf Classic has been a fair pointer to Breeders’ Cup success, with past subsequent Turf heroes Main Sequence, Little Mike, and Channel Maker’s own sire English Channel all having parlayed Turf Classic success into Breeders’ Cup success.
He is a full-brother to Johnny Bear, who made it back to back wins when capturing the Gr1 Northern Dancer Turf Stakes at Woodbine earlier this year.
Channel Maker and Johnny Bear are the first stakes winners for Horse Chestnut daughter In Return, whose three career victories included the Eatontown Staybridge Suites Stakes.
In Return thus joins a select band of mares responsible for more than one G1 winner in a calendar year.
Other mares in this elite band include Shared Interest (dam of 1999 top level Gr1 winners Forestry and Cash Run), Helsinge (whose star runners Black Caviar and All Too Hard both captured Gr1 races in 2013), Fall Aspen (dam of 1993 Gr1 winners Hamas and Fort Wood), Shadea (dam of 2004 top level winners Niello and Lonhro), Hope (dam of Zenda and Oasis Dream) and You’resothrilling (dam of 2014 full siblings Marvellous and Gleneagles).
It was a good weekend for progeny of the deceased Horse Chestnut, with the latter’s son Magnificent Seven capturing the Listed Settlers Trophy at Durbanville. In 2018 thus far, Horse Chestnut features as the broodmare sire of five stakes winners this season, headed by the Gr1 winners Fault, Channel Maker and Johnny Bear.
With one South African bred champion (Hawaii) featuring twice in the pedigree of this year’s Triple Crown winner Justify (Scat Daddy), who is to say that Horse Chestnut won’t make a similar appearance in the pedigrees of future champions?
Golden Sword dam shines again
Salse mare Sitara, well known in South Africa as the dam of KZN sire Golden Sword (High Chaparral), looks to have come up with another promising performer in the Sydney Opera House, who filled the runner up berth in Saturday’s Gr2 Juddmonte Royal Lodge Stakes. From the first crop of Galileo and Ouija Board’s triple Gr1 winning son Australia, Sydney Opera House went close to causing a 20-1 shock in the one mile race, going down just a length and a quarter to stable mate Mohawk (by Australia’s own sire). The first three home in the Royal Lodge were either by Galileo or a son of that mighty sire.
The classically bred Sydney Opera House, also closely related to multiple Oaks winner Alexandrova (Sadler’s Wells) had broken his maiden two starts back but came into the Royal Lodge having finished fifth, of seven, to fellow Galileo line descendant Madhmoon in the Gr2 KPMG Champions Juvenile Stakes.
His dam Sitara made headlines in 2017 when her son Rekindling, a full-brother to Golden Sword, won the Gr1 Melbourne Cup.
This family’s ties to South Africa don’t end with Golden Sword, as Sitara is a descendant of Lost Soul –the fourth dam of former champion South African sire and broodmare sire Royal Prerogative (Relko). This is a family who continues to fire, with the Lost Soul clan responsibly for such high class performers in recent times as group winners Somehow, Alex My Boy and this season’s top class filly Magic Wand (by Galileo).
Just As Well half-brother lands Cambridgeshire
International races with a South African twist continued in the historic bet365 Cambridgeshire Handicap on Saturday. The historic one mile one furlong contest, which saw 33 horses line up, went the way of lightly raced 3yo Wissahickon (Tapit) who made it win number five from just seven starts for the powerful John Gosden/Frankie Dettori combination.
Wissahickon is out of Nureyev’s Gr1 Del Mar Oaks winning daughter No Matter What-making him a half-brother to KZN stallion Just As Well (a son of Tapit’s grandsire A P Indy), graded stakes winners Utley and Winter View, and former outstanding 2yo Rainbow View (Dynaformer). The latter went unbeaten in four starts at two, with her trio of group race scores including the 2008 Gr1 Meon Valley Stud Fillies’ Mile.
First run in 1839, the Cambridgeshire has an impressive honour roll with past winners including the likes of five time Gr1 winner Halling, high class broodmares Intermission, Lacquer and Double Life, multiple classic winner La Fleche, influential sire Isonomy, and champion sire Polymelus.
Group success for The United States sister
Moutonshoek based Gr1 winner and millionaire The United States was another SA based sire to receive a pedigree boost this weekend. The chestnut son of Galileo is a full-brother to Hermosa, who stamped her potential classic claims for 2019 when winning the Gr3 Weld Park Stakes by 2.5 lengths at Naas on Sunday. Third last time out in the G1 Moyglare Stud Stakes, Hermosa clearly takes high ranking in the Irish 2YO Fillies of 2018.
Remarkably, Hermosa is a fourth group/graded winner produced by the remarkable Pivotal Gr3 Prix d’Arenberg winner Beauty Is Truth – following the Gr1 winners Hydrangea and The United States, and Fire Lily (Anglesey Stakes Gr3).