Thoroughbred racing lost one of its greatest stallions with the death of Japanese superstar Deep Impact recently.
The son of Sunday Silence was just 17 when he was euthanized following an operation.
Sarah Whitelaw writes that the greatest son of his outstanding sire, Deep Impact was produced by the Alzao mare, Wind In Her Hair, who had won the Gr1 Aral Pokal and who ran second to champion Balanchine in the 1994 Epsom Oaks.
Wind In Her Hair proved an exceptional mare, also producing US Gr2 winner, Veil Of Avalon, and Deep Impact’s stakes winning own brother, Black Tide -the latter going on to be Japan’s Leading First Crop Sire of 2012 and siring Horse Of The Year, Kitasan Black. Wind In Her Hair is also third dam of Japanese Gr1 winner and champion, Rey De Oro (King Kamehameha) and granddam of Gr2 Sandown Mile winner and useful sire, Jeremy (Danehill Dancer).
Deep Impact traced back in female line to one of the greatest mares in the stud book in the form of 1000 Guineas runner up, Feola (Friar Marcus). The latter is also ancestress of such top racehorses and or sires as Round Table, Pulpit, Nashwan, Tale Of The Cat, Johannesburg, Unfuwain and Nayef.
Deep Impact, who won 12 of his 14 outings in total, won his first seven races in a row, with this streak including all three legs of Japan’s Triple Crown in 2005, with Deep Impact landing the Satsuki Sho (Japanese 2000 Guineas) by 2.5 lengths, the Tokyo Yushun (Japanese Derby) by five lengths, and the Kikuka sho (Japanese St Leger) by two lengths.
Silence Is Golden
Remarkably, sons of Sunday Silence were 1-2-3 in both the Satsuki Sho and Kikua Sho. The colt went on to win five of six starts at four (including the Gr1 Japan Cup), and was third in the 2006 Gr1 Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, before being disqualified after a banned sample was found in a sample.
When victorious in the 2006 Japan Cup, Deep Impact accounted for Pop Rock (Helissio) and Delta Blues (Dance In The Dark), who had finished second and first respectively in the same season’s Gr1 Emirates Melbourne Cup.
Timeform gave Deep Impact a rating of 134 in 2006, and rated him above such notable performers that year as Invasor (Horse Of The Year), David Junior (Champion), Hurricane Run (Horse Of The Year), Shirocco (four time Gr1 winner), and Pride (Champion Stakes).
However, it was as a stallion that Deep Impact really made his mark.
Champion Sire in Japan for the past seven years in a row, Deep Impact has also headed that country’s 2YO Sires List the last eight occasions, dominating the Japanese sire ranks to an extent only rivalled by his own sire, Sunday Silence, in recent years.
Deep Impact had been responsible for 136 stakes winners, including over 100 group winners. The Triple Crown winner exerted a remarkable influence on Japanese classic races. Deep Impact’s daughters, Marcellina (2011), Gentildonna (2012), Ayusan (2013), Harp Star (2014), and Gran Alegria (2019) won the classic Oka Sho (equivalent of 1000 Guineas). Deep Impact’s sons have won the Japanese classic, the Satsuki Sho, (twice thanks to Dee Majesty (2016) and Al Ain (2017)), and the Tokyo Yushun has fallen to a son of Deep Impact five times thus far -via Deep Brillante, Kizuna, Makahiki ,Wagnerian and Roger Barows.
His daughters, Gentildonna (2012), Mikki Queen (2015), Sinhalite (2016) and Loves Only You (2019) have won the Oaks (Yushun Himba) four times and Satono Diamond and Fierement have won the Kikuka sho.
His influence has also extended to outside of Japan, with major races won by the progeny of Deep Impact including the 2000 Guineas, Prix du Jockey Club (French Derby), Hong Kong Cup, Dubai Turf (twice), Prix d’Ispahan, Emirates Stakes, Toorak Handicap, Racing Post Trophy, and George Ryder Stakes.
The champion appears again on track to top the Japanese Sires List in 2019, with Deep Impact’s progeny having earned more than double the total of runner up, Heart’s Cry, already this year. Remarkably, the top three on the Japanese General Sires List are all sons of Sunday Silence.
Deep Impact also enjoyed British feature race success on Saturday, when his regally bred daughter Love So Deep (her dam Soinlovewithyou is a three-parts sister to Investec Derby winner Ruler Of The World, and ½ sister to champion and Drakenstein Stud’s successful sire Duke Of Marmalade), won the British Stallion Studs EBF Chalice Stakes at Newmarket.
Already represented by sire sons all over the world, Deep Impact has also made his, well, impact, on the Leading First Crop Sires List in Japan for 2019. The Japan Cup/Triple Crown winner is the sire of the first three stallions on Japanese’s first crop Sires List thus far, with Kizuka leading from Real Impact and World Ace.
Another son of Deep Impact, Spielberg – a Gr1 winning half-brother to Wilgerbosdrift based sire, Flower Alley- is currently the tenth leading First Crop Sire in Japan by earnings.
Deep Impact is represented in South Africa by the well-performed Danon Platina, Japan’s Champion 2YO Colt of 2014. Remarkably, Danon Platina is one of six sons or daughters of Deep Impact who were named a champion in Japan at two.
Safe to say, with a large number of two-year-olds, not to mention some exceptionally well related yearlings, yet to represent him, the final chapter in the Deep Impact story appears a long way from being completed.