The Drakenstein Stud-based Duke Of Marmalade has made a very eyecatching start with his first South African runners. And when his 3yo daughter Nastergal won the Gr3 Champagne Stakes at Kenilworth on Saturday, she became the sixth individual stakes winner to have emerged from her sire’s first local crop.
The 42nd stakes winner sired by Duke Of Marmalade in total – he is the sire of 70 black type performers in total thus far – Nastergal is the fifth individual South African graded stakes winner by Duke Of Marmalade, with this tally including Aussie bred Gr3 Tommy Hotspur Handicap winning sire, Moofeed, and the likes of Santa Clara, Seville Orange, and Temple Grafin.
Encouragingly perhaps, each is out of a mare by a different broodmare sire, with Moofeed out of a mare by Encosta De Lago, Temple Grafin out of a Greys Inn daughter, Santa Clara being produced by a Lomitas mare, Seville Orange out of a Galileo mare and Nastergal out of the Black Minnaloushe mare, Royale Noir.
Duke Of Marmalade’s first SA crop also includes black type winners out of daughters of Spectrum and Arch, in Duchess Of Bourbon (Winter Oaks) and Princess Irene (Jamaica Handicap) respectively.
Duke Of Marmalade’s first local crop consists of 62 runners, of which 31 are winners, and six are stakes winners – or just under 10% of his first South African to race are black type winners.
With some good sized and well-bred crops yet to reach the local tracks, this total looks sure to grow substantially over the coming seasons. Duke Of Marmalade’s 2yo’s include 17 runners who have won or been placed, including three black type performers.
Moofeed, Nastergal and Temple Grafin have won graded races at 1000m and 1200m, suggesting Duke Of Marmalade is not just a source of classic performers (Santa Clara also ran second in the Kenilworth Fillies Nursery over 1200m), while Duke Of Marmalade’s second crop include the very smart looking True To Life, who was third in the Gr2 SA Fillies Nursery over 1160m.
This an intriguing achievement by a horse whose better known progeny included much-loved stayer, Big Orange, and Cartier Champion, and G1 Ladbrokes St Leger winner, Simple Verse. Big Orange scored his signature win in the G1 Gold Cup (over 4014m), while Simple Verse landed her British classic victory over 2921m. Their sire, also responsible for Melbourne Cup runner up, Marmelo, is clearly a versatile one, and one whose results suggest he can yet sire his share of speedy performers.
Duke Of Marmalade’s high-class performers, Simple Verse, Nutan, Traffic Jam, and Marmelo are, however, all out of mares sired by stallions best known as classic influences rather than speed.
Duke Of Marmalade’s international record suggests – not surprisingly given that he is by Danehill and a half-brother to an Epsom Derby winner by Galileo – that he would do well with mares by Sadler’s Wells and Galileo. Galileo is already damsire of Duke Of Marmalade’s group/graded stakes winning daughters, Venus De Milo – 2nd Gr1 Yorkshire and Gr1 Irish Oaks – and the aforementioned, Seville Orange.
An interesting aspect of Duke Of Marmalade is that a number of his family have stood at stud in South Africa, including the likes of Al Mufti (Roberto), Sportsworld (Alleged) and Mambo In Seattle (Kingmambo). This suggests that he should be suited to a number of their daughters/granddaughters, with Al Mufti and his champion sire son, Captain Al (both damsire of high-class performers sired by Mambo In Seattle) seeming particularly appealing.
Other notable relatives of Duke Of Marmalade include legendary sire, A.P. Indy, represented in South Africa by a number of sire sons, including Judpot and Camden Park, and himself out of a mare whose influence continues to grow.
His dam, Love Me True, (a sister in blood to top class US sire and champion, Lemon Drop Kid) is also dam of 2013 Gr1 Investec Derby winner, Ruler Of The World (Galileo), who has already made an impression with his first crop. The flashy Ruler Of The World’s first crop, now three, includes high-class filly, Iridessa, winner of the recent Gr1 Juddmonte Pretty Polly Stakes, as well as last season’s Gr1 bet365 Fillies Mile.
Interestingly, Iridessa is out of a mare by Danehill, the sire of Duke Of Marmalade. Love Me True is also granddam of the useful Deep Impact sired 3yo filly, Love So Deep, who ran third in this season’s Listed Height Of Fashion Stakes, with Love So Deep having also finished fifth to subsequent Gr1 Kerrygold Irish Oaks winner, Star Catcher, (Sea The Stars) in the Gr2 Ribblesdale Stakes.
One of the best performed horses ever to come to stud in South Africa, Duke Of Marmalade, who won five Gr1 races in succession in 2008, was given a Timeform Rating of 132 at the end of his career in 2008, making him one of the highest rated sons of his mighty sire Danehill.
- Sarah Whitelaw