Founder Of A Dynasty



Former Horse of the Year Dynasty (Fort Wood) enjoyed a sensational meeting at Kenilworth last Saturday. Not only did his sons ran 1-2-3-4 in the Gr2 Selangor Cup, won by the Dynasty colt De Kock, while another son, Paddy O’Reilly, won the Listed Kenilworth Cup over the marathon trip of 3200m.

One of the country’s most popular sires (his son topped the 2013 Emperors Palace National Yearling Sale, while another was the second top lot at the 2013 Cape Premier Yearling Sale (Book 1)), Dynasty certainly had the pedigree to succeed at stud. His sire, Fort Wood, a former Champion, has been consistently one of South Africa’s most successful stallions.

Three of his offspring were named SA’s Horse of the Year, and Fort Wood’s progeny includes Horse Chestnut (arguably the greatest horse ever bred in the country). A son of the great Sadler’s Wells and blue hen Fall Aspen, Fort Wood is very closely related to this year’s G1 Prix du Jockey Club winner, Intello. The sire of 72 stakes winner, Fort Wood was also South Africa’s leading broodmare sire in 2012-2013.

Dynasty’s female line is equally illustrious – albeit further back. One of nine winners produced by his dam, Blake’s Affair (by otherwise undistinguished sire Commodore Blake), Dynasty is an own brother to Gr2 Gold Vase hero Sequoia. However, Dynasty himself is the only Grade One winner in the first three generations of his pedigree.

It is also interesting to note what a speedy family the champion comes from. His dam, a granddaughter of Epsom Derby winner Blakney, scored her sole victory over 1000m, while Dynasty’s second dam won eight times up to 1300m. Dynasty’s third dam is the great sprinter Abernant – widely considered as one of the greatest sprinters ever to set foot on a British racetrack.

Dynasty, whose July win lives long in the memory of all who witnessed it, is a direct descendant of the great mare Lavendula, whose descendants have left a massive impact on the modern stud book. A leading 2yo of generation, Lavendula, as so many top-class broodmares, was well above average on race track. However, she was even more successful at stud!

Her son, Ambiorix, was a top-class performer in France, where he won both the Grand Criterium and Prix Lupin (today both major Group One contests). He sired over 50 stakes winners including champion High Voltage, G1 winner Make Sail, and Sarcastic (dam of champion Vitriolic). A Champion Sire in North America, Ambiorix (Tourbillon) also made his mark in the South African stud book – his daughter Fantan (dam of classic winner and leading sire Ragusa) is the second dam of the great champion Politician, Horse Of The Year three times in South Africa and one of the greatest horses ever bred in this country. Fantan’s South African descendants include nu-merous stakes winners such as Grade One winners The Sheik, Top Seller, Al Nitak and Shoe Express. Lavendula’s legacy, how-ever, far outweighs that of Ambiorix.

Lavendula’s daughter Source Sucree produced the hugely influential sire Turn-To, whose male line descendants include Roberto, Hail To Reason, Sunday Silence, Halo, Cox’s Ridge and Sir Tristram, to name but a few. The sires mentioned were all breed shaping sires, whose descendants won numerous Grade One races and championships. Another descendant of Turn-To is the great Japanese filly Gentildonna (Deep Impact), who became the first horse ever to win the G1 Japan Cup twice when successful in Tokyo on Sunday.

Source Sucree is also the ancestress of champion French miler Irish River, an outstanding sire of 87 stakes winners including champions Hatoof and Paradise Creek. The only outstanding sire produced by the mighty Riverman, Irish River has become a world leading broodmare sire, with his daughters having produced over 120 stakes winners to date. Irish River mares have bred 19 Grade/Group One winners to date, including Spectrum and Distant View – both highly successful broodmare sires in their own right.

Another daughter of Lavendula, the unraced Perfume, produced 2000 Guineas winner and successful sire, My Babu. Sire of champion Australian sire Better Boy, 2000 Guineas winner Our Babu and highly successful sire Primera, My Babu is also broodmare sire of US Horse of the Year, and world leading sire, Damascus. The latter sired the leading US sire Private Account, and is the broodmare sire of breed shaping sire Red Ransom (Roberto). Another daughter produced champion US sire Raja Baba (Bold Ruler).

Perfume also produced a Djebe colt, named Joy II, who became a highly successful sire in South Africa. Joy II’s best progeny include dual Guineas winner Onyx, top sprinter Double Eagle, and Met winner Snow Fun. Joy II is also the sire of Lets Laugh – the third dam of Horse of the Year and multiple champion sire, Jet Master. Thus Dynasty, Horse of the Year and leading local sire, shares a female line replete with both outstanding racehorses and sires alike. Dynasty’s pedigree thus contains many of the great names in international breeding.

It is interesting to note that Dynasty’s recent feature race winner, Paddy O’Reilly, is out of a mare by West Man. The latter’s fourth dam is Black Brook – the fifth dam of Dynasty.


Too Much Of A Good Thing?

Saturday’s Kenilworth race meeting was a great day of high-class racing, which was memorable for all who attended it. However, it has got to be asked whether it is worth putting on quite so many features on a single day.

This concentration of class means that there will be several weekends with little if any feature races during the Cape’s greatest season. A race like the Gr2 Selangor Cup is a race deserving of greater attention, as a tried and tested prep for both the Guineas and other classic contests.

Surely, the Selangor Cup is entitled to a race meeting on its own? It would thus also spread quality racing throughout the season, rather than heap many feature races on just a few day of racing during the Cape Summer Season.

– Sarah Whitelaw

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