Generations Of Class!

Here's a third-generation winner of the Gr1 speed clash

Nothing quite piques the interest of breeding pundits as a new addition to the stallion ranks.

Hence the recently announced retirement to stud of Gr1 winning sprinter Master Archie immediately warrants a closer scrutiny of his pedigree.

Remarkably, the grey has the rare distinction of being a third-generation winner of the Computaform Sprint.

He is a son of 2017 winner Rafeef, whose dam National Colour dominated the 1000m Turffontein speed contest in 2006.

Master Archie – brilliantly fast son of Rafeef (Pic – Chase Liebenberg)

Master Archie’s dam, the Bauhinia Handicap winner La Volta, scored all eight wins over the minimum trip, as befits a daughter of champion sprinter Var. The late Avontuur stallion also sired a Computaform Sprint winner, this in the shape of the hard-knocking Rivarine.

Master Archie’s grandam, the Gr1 winner Sarabande, is by the outstanding sprinter/miler Goldmark, who found only the mighty Senor Santa too good when second in the 1991 renewal.

Clearly then, the Computaform Sprint runs like a golden thread through Master Archie’s immediate pedigree.

Brand new stallion prospect Master Archie – some interesting family! (Pic – Candiese Lenferna)

One of our readers raised the question if this feat has ever been achieved before at Gr1 level. I do apologise for any possible oversight, yet to my knowledge, the answer is no, although there have been ample examples of two-generation successes.

Let’s start with the country’s premier race, the Hollywoodbets Durban July.

As far back as the early twentieth century, three horses won the race and then went on to sire another July winner. King’s Favourite took race honours in 1909 and sired 1915 winner Winnipeg.

The 1952 Durban July finish was marked as the most exciting by legendary race-caller Ernie Duffield.

Kipling, successful in 1940, sired the great Mowgli, who followed in his father’s footsteps twelve years later.

Sadri II, who claimed the celebrated race in 1941, sired the winners Gay Jane (1951) and C’est Si Bon (1954).

More recently, Sadri’s feat has been matched by 2003 winner Dynasty, who to date has sired the winners Legislate and Belgarion.

The late Peter Kannemeyer leads Dynasty and Robbie Fradd in after the Durban July victory

 

This year, all eyes will be on his sons Legislate and Futura to deliver a breakthrough third-generation winner.

The former is the sire of July entries Airways Law and Hoedspruit, while Futura, who ran third behind Legislate in 2014, has three nominees: Future Pearl, Future Prince and Rockpool.

Dynasty also had the distinction of winning the Gr1 Cape Derby and has sired the winners Legislate and Jackson. None of his sons have as yet managed to emulate their sire, although Legislate came close in 2021, when Hoedspruit ran fourth behind Linebacker.

Captain Al wins the 2000 Cape Guineas.

The Gr1 Cape Guineas was won in the millennium year by Captain Al, whose sons Tap O’ Noth and William Longsword provided him with consecutive victories in 2017 and 2018.

The latter, together with the likes of Captain Of All, One World, Eric The Red and Malmoos, comprise a powerful band of Captain Al sons currently at stud, hence the likelihood of a third-generation Guineas winner emerging in the future is a distinct possibility.

As for the Gr1 SA Derby, past winners Greys Inn and Elusive Fort have both succeeded in siring winners of the iconic classic. The former, who claimed it for the Oppenheimers in 2004, has not one, but two Derby winners to his credit: first-crop son Royal Bencher, who shared the spoils with Pomodoro in 2012, while dual Horse of the Year Legal Eagle won it three years later.

Elusive Fort’s double in the 2006 SA Derby/ Daily News 2200, was good enough to earn him an Equus award and he broke through with an SA Derby winner when longshot Out Of Your League put up a gutsy front-running effort to capture the 2020 renewal.

Elusive Fort

Elusive Fort seen winning his 3rd Gr1

That brings us to the SA Oaks, which has virtually become the domain of the Oppenheimer family.

The list of top fillies to have won the historic classic in their yellow and black silks stretches all the way back to 1958, when Angola claimed the event, a feat emulated by her daughter Angelina in 1970.

The full sisters Dame De Coeur and Baccarat made it back to back wins in 1963, followed in 1964 by Julie Andrews, whose half-sister Little Audrey took top honours four years later, while Grease Paint emulated her dam Julie Andrews in 1977.

Fast forward to 2013, the year Cherry On The Top clinched the Triple Tiara with her Oaks victory. Eight years later in 2021, her ‘niece’ Summer Pudding, became the 15th Oaks winner in the Oppenheimer silks.

By the way, Cherry On The Top’s first foal, the Silvano filly Blossom, chased home champion Return Flight in the 2019 renewal.

The Oppenheimer’s daughter Mary Slack, mistress of Wilgerbosdrift, kept up the family tradition when homebred Ilha Bela won the SA Oaks in 2012.

None Other wins the 2023 SA Oaks (Pic – Candiese Lenferna)

This season, Mary struck again with the filly None Other, who just happens to be out of Ilha Bela’s unraced half-sister One Of A Kind.

The Mauritzfontein/Wilgerbosdrift dominance of the Oaks looks set to continue, hence it’s not a matter of if, but when, we will witness a third-generation Oaks winner emerge from one of their female lines.

Given that South African breeders have to rely more and more on locally-bred and performed stallions, the laws of succession through the male line dictate that three-generation winners of big races will emerge sooner rather than later.

There is arguably less chance of that happening through the damside, for the simple reason that barring the Gr1 sprints, few fillies manage to beat their male rivals in the open Gr1’s and classics.

For now, we will savour the rare feat of three generations of Computaform Sprint winners.

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