Promising US three-year-old, War Of Will, a War Front half-brother to Cape sire and Irish Champion, Pathfork, has again shown his class with a convincing win in the Gr2 Risen Star Stakes on Saturday.
War Of Will sports more than one connection to South Africa – he hails from the same family as former champion sire and multiple champion broodmare sire, Northern Guest, and his Gr1 Phoenix Stakes winning third dam, Aviance, was sired by former South African based stallion, and champion broodmare sire, Northfields.
The 2019 Risen Star Stakes winner has four lines of the ubiquitous Northern Dancer through the latter’s sons Danzig (sire of War Front), Sadler’s Wells (damsire of War Of Will), Northfields and Nijinsky II. The latter is broodmare sire of champion sprinter Rubiano, the broodmare sire of War Front. Where will the inbreeding to Northern Dancer will end, with current boom stallions Frankel, Redoute’s Choice, Fastnet Rock, Dubawi, Oasis Dream, and Exceed And Excel all inbred to the great Canadian?
War Of Will and Pathfork’s first five dams are all black type performers, with dam Visions Of Clarity having won a Listed race in France, second dam, Imperfect Circle, a stakes winner and runner up in the Gr1 Cheveley Park Stakes, third dam, Aviance a Gr1 winner, fourth dam the stakes placed Minnie Hauk and fifth dam having won the Gr3 Comely Stakes.
War Of Will’s victory on Saturday confirmed his status as the latest top class performer descended from the prolific producer, Best In Show (Traffic Judge). The latter, the fifth dam of War Of Will and Pathfork, was once again to the fore of major feature race winners over the weekend. Best In Show is ancestress of now leading Kentucky Derby contender, War Of Will, and also features as the fourth dam of the increasingly influential, and multiple champion sire, Redoute’s Choice, whose descendants were once again prominent in Australia on Saturday.
Redoute’s Choice’s now Nadeson Park based son, Time Thief, is the sire of top racemare, In Her Time, who scored a courageous win in the Gr1 Black Caviar Lightning Stakes at Flemington on Saturday. Now a nine-time winner, with earnings of in excess of AUS$3 million to her name, the six-year-old In Her Time had previously tasted Gr1 success when victorious in the 2018 Gr1 The PFD Food Services Galaxy and also has five Gr1 placings to her name. In Her Time’s dam is a daughter of the lightning fast Zeditave, who is from the immediate family of July winner and Rosedene Stud sire, Greys Inn.
Her sire is one of a growing number of Redoute’s Choice sire sons to enjoy Gr1 success with others including Snitzel, Stratum, Not A Single Doubt, Beneteau and Fast ‘N’ Famous. Redoute’s Choice and War Of Will were both sired by a Danzig son – with Redoute’s Choice a son of Danehill and War Of Will a son of War Front.
A triple champion sire, the impeccably bred Redoute’s Choice has almost inevitably become an outstanding broodmare sire and he features as the damsire of Saturday’s Gr3 The TAB Vanity winner, Amphitrite (Sebring). The latter, whose prior wins included the Gr1 VRC Thousand Guineas, is one of 13 Gr1 winners produced by daughters of Redoute’s Choice, with others including current red hot stallion, Zoustar (Northern Meteor).
Another famous descendant of Best In Show, Rags To Riches (A P Indy), made news this past weekend when it was announced that the Belmont Stakes winning filly was one of five equine finalists to be voted into the North American National Museum and Racing Hall Of Fame. Rags To Riches, Champion 3YO Filly in the USA in 2007, won five of seven races and made history when becoming only the third filly to win the classic Belmont Stakes, when beating subsequent dual Horse of The Year and star sire, Curlin, in the 2400m contest of 2007. Rags To Riches’ half-brother, Jazil (by Seeking The Gold, won the Belmont Stakes one year before his sibling.
Best in Show was ancestress of a number of current and former South African stallions, including Atso, Devilish Ninja, Modus Vivendi, as well as the mentioned Northern Guest and Pathfork.
Both Pathfork and Northern Guest are continuing to enjoy success at various levels in South Africa, with Pathfork responsible for recent Listed Tattersalls Summer Juvenile Stakes winner Miss Honey, and fellow high class fillies, Madame Speaker and Mighty High, while Northern Guest broodmares continue to make their presence felt here. Northern Guest is damsire of last season’s Leading First Crop Sire, Pomodoro, and also appears in the pedigrees of Equus Champion and triple Gr1 winner, Capetown Noir, who, at the time of writing, is South Africa’s third Leading First Crop sire by prize money.
The Best In Show connection was also felt in 2017, as Manhattan Rain, whose fourth dam is Best In Show, sired 2017 G1 Sun Met winner, Whisky Baron.