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As The Snow Falls…Temperatures Rise

Free Ride, Fort Wood, Strike Smartly & Ideal World...

A majestic 16-length winner of the Epsom Oaks, Snowfall duly completed the classic double with an eight-length romp in last weekend’s Gr1 Irish Oaks, much to the delight of  Mauritzfontein Stud, the home of her paternal half-brother Danon Platina.

Both were sired by the late Japanese superstar Deep Impact, a son of the legendary Sunday Silence, who led the Japanese sires list an unprecedented 13 times and propelled that industry to new heights.

A dual Horse of the Year and Triple Crown winner, Deep Impact retired to stud in 2007 and has proven himself a worthy successor to his sire. Crowned the Champion First Season sire in 2010, he has been Japan’s dominant stallion since 2012, when he became champion with just two crops at the track.

Danon Platina enjoys a stretch (Pic- Mauritzfontein Stud)

Snowfall is her sire’s fifth European classic winner, the first was second crop filly Beauty Parlour, who landed the  French 1000 Guineas in 2012. Young Coolmore stallion Saxon Warrior provided him with a first British classic success in the 2018 2000 Guineas, the same year Study Of Man claimed the French Derby. Last year, his daughter Fancy Blue won the French Oaks. Deep Impact died in July 2019 at the comparatively young age of 17.

Danon Platina raced exclusively in Japan, where he proved himself a tip top miler and recorded all five career wins over the trip, prime amongst which his career-defining victory at two in the Gr1 Asahi Hai Futurity on turf.

Named the champion juvenile of his year, the grey went on to lift Tokyo’s Gr3 Fuji Stakes at three at the expense of Gr1 winner Satano Aladdin and Japanese 2000 Guineas hero Logotype and proved he was as good as ever at age six when landing the Listed New Year Stakes.

‘Danon Platina has all the credentials to live up to the time-honoured adage that ‘fast milers’ make the best stallions…’

Danon Platina boasts an all-American female line. He is out of Badeelah, an unraced daughter of champion American sire Unbridled’s Song, from whom he inherited his grey coat. Grandam Magical Allure was sired by the Seattle Slew horse General Meeting and counted the Gr1 La Brea Stakes and Gr2 Lady’s Secret Handicap amongst her five stakes successes.

The extended female family is that of Very Subtle, the first three-year-old as well as the first filly to win the Gr1 Breeders Cup Sprint.

From a pedigree perspective, Danon Platina’s bloodlines neatly dovetail into those of the broodmare bands at Mauritzfontein and ‘sister’ stud Wilgerbosdrift.

His sire Deep Impact hails from the female family of Highlight, ancestress of Nashwan, Nayef and Unfuwain, as well as former Wilgerbosdrift-based stallion Right Approach. In addition,

Deep Impact has sired two Gr1 winning half-brothers to current resident Flower Alley in Tosen Ra and Spielberg.

Deep Impact

Deep Impact

On the dam side, the focus falls on fifth dam Conniver, a  Champion Older Female in the States.

Her dam The Schemer is genetically related to the great sire War Admiral, who is duplicated in the pedigree of Change Water, the grandam of Mauritzfontein’s late powerhouse Fort Wood.

Danon Platina’s popularity amongst breeders is reflected in his first crop which arrived in 2020 and includes foals out of champion Cherry On The Top, Gr2 winner Virgo’s Babe, Gr3 winner Double Whammy, Gr1-placed Jet Trail, the stakes winners Follow The Piper, Dagmar as well as siblings to graded stakes winners Barahin and Zen Arcade.

Another fine array of mares visited the young stallion last season, amongst which champions Alboran Sea and Nother Russia and the Gr1 winners All Afire and Orchid Island.

Danon Platina doing what he did best (Pic- Japan Racing Association)

Mauritzfontein stud manager Mike Sharkey has been bowled over by Danon Platina’s first crop. “We have some beautiful foals and they just seem to improve all the time,” he enthused. “Other breeders who have used him first time round are equally as impressed and are sending mares back to him on the strength of his foals.”

Revered horse photographer John Lewis was at Mauritzfontein the day Danon Platina arrived and remarked: “I have watched him develop. Being grey sets him apart, but nevertheless, he really is a looker. His foals look tremendous. Personally, I can’t fault him. Give it a year and I’m sure the results will be doing it for him.”

That Mauritzfontein Stud has built its fame on classic stallions cannot be disputed – the likes of Free Ride, Fort Wood, Strike Smartly and Ideal World, bear testament to that fact.

In that respect, Danon Platina has big boots to fill, yet he has all the credentials to live up to the time-honoured adage that ‘fast milers’ make the best stallions.

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