Fappiano Reigns

Noble Tune

Noble Tune – to stud in South Africa in 2014

The latest well bred and well performed stallion to come to South Africa is the new Rathmor Stud resident, Noble Tune. A son of former Gr1 Breeders Cup Juvenile, and sire of over 100 stakes winners, Unbridled’s Song, Noble Tune is a half-brother to former Kentucky Derby favourite, Honor Code.

Noble Tune also represents one of the most powerful names currently to be found in the North American thoroughbred – that of Fappiano. Fappiano, one of Mr Prospector’s finest sire sons, has left a stunning legacy behind him. The former Gr1 Met Mile winner sired just 410 foals – but they included 48 stakes winners (12%). His stakes winners included the likes of Unbridled, Tasso, Quiet American, Tappiano, Aptostar , Defensive Play, Rubiano and Grand Canyon – all Gr1 winners.

Fappiano’s best and most influential son was Kentucky Derby winner Unbridled. The latter, who also died young (Unbridled was just 14 when he died), but proved a hugely successful sire. Unbridled’s Gr1 winners included Unshaded, Banshee Breeze, Unbridled’s Song, Empire Maker, Grindstone and Anees. Two of his sons were Breeders Cup winners (Unbridled’s Song, Anees) and another won the Kentucky Derby (Grindstone).

Unbridled’s Song

Unbridled’s Song

Unbridled has also made a huge contribution to the breed with his broodmare daughters having produced the likes of Kentucky Derby winner Orb, and current leading US sire Tapit (Pulpit). The latter, who is the joint highest priced sire in North America at the moment, has sired over 45 stakes winners, including no fewer than four Breeders Cup winners. Tapit’s sons are also proving highly popular at stud, while Tapit’s current runners include the now sidelined Gr1 Florida Derby winner, Constitution.

However, it is as the sire of leading sires Unbridled’s Song and Empire Maker, that Unbridled will forever be remembered. (Another son Grindstone is sire of successful US sire Birdstone – himself sire of a Kentucky Derby winner in Mine That Bird).

The late Unbridled’s Song, who died last year, left behind over 100 stakes winners, including last year’s Champion 3YO Colt in US Will Take Charge. Interestingly enough, the latter is inbred to Fappiano himself!

Other Gr1 winners sired by Unbridled’s Song include the Breeders Cup winners Unbridled Elaine, Midshipman and Unrivaled Belle, as well as fellow top-flight winners Magnificent Song, Cross Traffic, Graydar, Buddha, Octave, Emcee, First Defence, and Songandaprayer.

Unbridled’s Song is also starting to make his mark as a sire of sires. Last year a son of Unbridled’s Song, the now deceased Rockport Harbor, was champion sire of 2yos in North America, while another son of the sire, Dunkirk, was North America’s Champion First Crop Sire (by prize money) for the same year. Another son, First Defence, is the sire of recent Gr1 Apple Blossom Handicap heroine Close Hatches. Yet another son of Unbridled’s Song to score at the highest level recently is top-class 2yo Old Fashioned – sire of this year’s dual Gr1 winning US 3yo, Fashion Plate.

Unbridled’s other major son is triple Gr1 winner, and Belmont Stakes victor, Empire Maker. Out of Broodmare Of The Year, Empire Maker was exported to Japan in 2010, but still managed to leave behind a number of high-class performers of both sexes.

The Unbridled horse, to date, is the sire of stakes winners – including triple US Champion Royal Delta, Kentucky Derby and Preakness runner up Bodemeister, and the exceptionally promising young sire, and Gr1 Santa Anita Derby hero, Pioneerof the Nile.

The latter, currently North America’s second leading second crop, has already had two graded stakes winners to his credit (Vinceremos and Cairo Prince), and is also sire of very promising 3yo Social Inclusion (third in the recent Gr1 Wood Memorial Stakes).

Unbridled is by no means the only son of Fappiano to have made his mark on the modern stud book. The top-class racehorse, and underrated sire, Quiet American, is another to have done well for himself.

His offspring included US Champion, and Kentucky Derby winner Real Quiet as well as Gr1 winner Cara Rafaela (dam of US superstar and leading sire Bernardini).

While Real Quiet was a disappointing sire by and large, he left behind one exceptional son in champion, and dual Gr1 Breeders Cup Sprint hero, Midnight Lute. The latter has made a superb start to his stud career – with his first crop (now 4) having produced the Gr1 winners Shakin It Up (Malibu Stakes) and Midnight Lucky (Acorn Stakes). With his second crop already including the high-class colt Midnight Hawk, Midnight Lute looks a young stallion of real promise.

Quiet American mares have also done really well – not only producing US Champion Bernardini but also multiple Group One winner Cherry Mix and ill-fated Horse Of The Year, Saint Liam (Saint Ballado). The latter left behind just a single crop – but it included another US Horse Of The Year – in the form of Havre de Grace. The latter, who won three Gr1 contests, and over $2-million in prize money, was later sold as a broodmare for $10-million.

The Fappiano legacy, however, does not end here. His champion sprinting son Rubiano, not a great sire himself, is the damsire of multiple Gr1 winner, and Broodmare Of The Year, Take Charge Lady (Dehere). The latter is the dam of Gr1 Florida Derby winner and sire Take Charge Indy as well as the aforementioned US Champion, Will Take Charge.

Rubiano is also the broodmare sire of top sprinter, and world leading sire War Front. The latter, tied with Tapit as USA’s most expensive stallion, was recently responsible a record breaking 2yo (sold for 1 150 000 guineas at the Tattersalls Craven Breeze Up Sale).

War Front, who began his stud fee at $12,5000, has already sired such Gr1 standouts as Declaration of War, Summer Soiree, The Factor, and War Command, and is one of the most promising sires seen in North America for many a year.

With his name occurring in such hot sires as Pioneerof the Nile, Tapit, War Front, Bernardini and Dunkirk, it is safe to say that Fappiano’s influence should be felt for decades yet to come.

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