Much was expected of the 1968 Epsom Derby winner, Sir Ivor, when he retired to Claiborne Farm in 1969 and the son of Sir Gaylord lived up to expectations, particularly as a sire of top-class fillies.
Sir Ivor left behind an impressive 94 black type winners – that was from 804 foals -12% of his foals won stakes races. His stars included Arc winning filly, Ivanjica, Irish 1000 Guineas winners, Godetia and Lady Capulet, and Kentucky Oaks winners, Sweet Alliance (a half-sister to former top South African sire, Dancing Champ) and Optimistic Gal. He also became an excellent broodmare sire, and ranks as the damsire of, among others, the important breed shaping stallions, El Prado and Green Desert.
Despite siring a champion colt in Bates Motel, Sir Ivor enjoyed less success as a sire of top class colts, and he failed to leave behind an effective male line in the Northern Hemisphere.
It was, however, a different story in Australasia, thanks to Sir Ivor’s outstanding sire son, Sir Tristram.
The latter produced 45 Gr1 winners, headed by Melbourne Cup winners, Brew, Empire Rose and Gurner’s Lane, with Sir Tristram also enjoying notable success as a sire of sires, thanks to the likes of Grosvenor, Marauding and the outstanding Zabeel – a multiple champion sire in both Australia and New Zealand, with progeny including over 40G1 winners.
This male line looks set to remain a potent force in Australasia, thanks to the outstanding Lonhro, who has not only established himself a champion sire but also ranks as potentially a very successful sire of sires.
Lonhro, who was sired by Zabeel’s champion son, Octagonal, once again made headlines over the weekend when his daughter, Lyre, captured the Gr1 Blue Diamond Stakes, run over 1200m at Caulfield this past Saturday. Lyre, winning the first Gr1 race for two-year-olds of the Australian season, made it three wins from four outings. She was one of two Lonhro sired runners in the 2019 Blue Diamond, with the erstwhile champion also responsible for fourth place finisher, Athiri. Her sire, who numbered no fewer than 11 Gr1 victories during his racing career, has now been responsible for over 80 stakes winners, with Lonhro’s progeny including 12 individual Gr1 winners.
Lonhro, a former shuttle stallion, has also enjoyed success in the Northern Hemisphere, where his representatives include the graded stakes winners, Isotherm, Holding Gold and War Heroine.
Another of his progeny, Cardship, landed the Gr2 Arqana July Stakes in 2017, where the colt accounted for subsequent champion and multiple Gr1 winner, U S Navy Flag, by nearly two lengths.
Lyre is by no means the first star juvenile sired by Lonhro, with the latter also responsible for Gr1 Golden Slipper winning champion, Pierro, who is showing strong signs of following in his sire’s footsteps in becoming a top sire at stud.
The Coolmore based Pierro – who had a fee of $88 000 in 2018 – has made a blistering start with his first crops to race. The five time Gr1 winner and champion was Australia’s Leading First Crop Sire of 2016-2017, with Pierro having already come up with the Gr1 winners Arcadia Queen, Pinot, and Levendi, as well as AUS$27 million plus earner, Pierata and Derby winner, Action. From the same female line as English classic winners, Dancing Rain, Dr Devious and Saxon Warrior, Pierro looks poised for even greater success in the future.
Interestingly enough, Pierro was produced by the mare Miss Right Note, whose sire, Daylami, was a former resident at the Riethuiskraal Stud in the Cape. Pierro also enjoyed recent big race success in Hong Kong when his son, Furore, landed the Hong Kong Classic Mile back in January.
The Golden Slipper winning Pierro is, however, not the only sire son of Lonhro to make his mark in Hong Kong, with Lonhro’s former Gr1 Golden Rose winning son, Denman, the sire of talented Hong Kong galloper, Hot King Prawn.
The versatile Lonhro, whose progeny range from champion 2yos to VRC Oaks winners, went close to enjoying major success on dirt when his son, Gronkowski, ran second to subsequent Triple Crown winner and Horse of The Year, Justify, in the 2018 Gr1 Belmont Stakes. Gronkowski, a Listed winner in Britain previously, went down under two lengths to the unbeaten Justify in last year’s classic race.
Not surprisingly, Lonhro, whose Cox Plate winning sire, Octagonal, was responsible for South African Gr1 winner, Suntagonal, has had a good strike rate in South Africa with his handful of runners headed by Gr1 Vodacom Durban July winner, The Conglomerate, Gr1 SA Nursery runner up, Naafer, and Gr3 Lebelo Sprint winner, Alfolk.
Pierro has also made his presence felt in South Africa, with his runners including dual stakes winner, Roy Had Enough (Darley Arabian, Christmas Handicap).
Both Lonhro and Pierro have enjoyed notable success when mated to daughters of multiple Australian champion sire, Redoute’s Choice. Lonhro sired Gr1 Randwick Guineas winner, Kementari, and group winners, Messene, Wawail and Generalife, out of mares by Redoute’s Choice. Pierro came up with Gr1 winners, Arcadia Queen and Levendi, the above mentioned Furore and Derby winner, Action, when mated to daughters of Redoute’s Choice.