German Links Fly High

There were a large number of top races run throughout the world this weekend. What many winners of these contests shared was a Germanic background.  South Africa’s leading sire this season is the German bred Silvano.

The latter was represented by his third individual Gr1 winner of the 2012-2013 season when his unbeaten 2yo daughter Happy Valentine won the Gr1 Allan Robertson Championship.

Happy Valentine is the third Silvano filly to win at the highest level, being preceded by Field Flower (Cape Fillies Guineas) and Flirtation (Summer Cup). The German mare Anatevka is one of the great tap-root mares of all time, with her influence felt most keenly through daughter Allegretta.

The latter, is not only the dam of the great mare Urban Sea, but is also dam of champion sire King’s Best. However, it was Urban Sea who featured in the pedigree of Saturday’s G1 Tattersalls Irish 2000 Guineas winner. She is the dam of the world’s leading sire Galileo, who sired the Guineas victor, Magician.  Another German mare to make her presence felt in a top-international G1 contest was German Oaks winner Anna Paola, the third dam of Saturday’s G1 Doomben 10,000 winner Epaulette (Commands). The latter is a half-brother to G1 winner and young sire Helmet.

Finally, the great German sire Monsun, who was champion sire in Germany on four occasions, was represented by two individual G1 winners at Longchamp on Sunday. His 3yo daughter, Silasol, won the Prix Saint Alary while his son Maxios (a half-brother to Arc hero Bago) took top honours in the Prix d’Ispahan.

Now deceased, Monsun has enjoyed a superb season, having been represented by seven individual Group race winners in 2013 alone. Among these are leading Investec Derby contender Ocovango, and possible Gold Cup runner Estimate. Arguably Monsun’s best son, the German bred Manduro, was represented by his first classic winner on Sunday when daughter Charity Line captured the G2 Oaks D’Italia (Italian Oaks).

Chopin, one of the fancied runners in Saturday’s Derby, will become the first German bred to compete in the Epsom Derby – and will be bidding to maintain the increasing influence of the German thoroughbred.

Galileo/Danehill Stikes Again!

Magician

Magician wins the Gr1 Irish 2000 Guineas

One of the most successful crosses in international breeding today is that of Galileo and Danehill. This is hardly surprising, when considering that they constitute two of the greatest stallions of the modern era. The latest G1 winner bred on this potent cross is Irish 2000 Guineas winner Magician.

Of Galileo’s 32 G1 winners, seven are out of mares descended from Danehill. Saturday’s classic winner is the second Irish 2000 Guineas winner bred on the nick, being preceded by 2011 winner, Roderic O’Connor. Magician, himself a contender for the Derby this Saturday, is out of a mare by Danehill’s ill fated sprint champion, Mozart.

What is less often mentioned in regards to Galileo’s G1 winners, is the large number descended from Danzig line mares. He has done well with Green Desert mares, with this mating having produced last year’s Epsom Oaks winner Was, and this season’s top 3yo Battle of Marengo (a top fancy for the Derby).

Another son of Danzig, Anabaa, is the broodmare sire of one of Galileo’s top daughters, the multiple G1 winner Lush Lashes. Galileo and his sons look set to dominate the 2013 Investec Derby this Saturday. Himself winner of the Derby in 2001, Galileo is the sire or paternal grandsire of six of the top eight horses in the betting market for this year’s Epsom classic.

An emerging broodmare sire, Galileo is also the damsire of the German contender, Chopin. His grandson, Dawn Approach (from the first crop of Galileo’s Derby winning son) is a 10-11 shot to maintain a remarkable family treble. Should he succeed at Epsom, Dawn Approach will complete an Epsom Derby winning treble for his grandsire and sire having preceded him.

The last male line to have completed a three generation winning streak in the English Derby was Mill Reef (1971), whose son Shirley Heights (1978) won and sired the 1985 winner Slip Anchor.

Jet Master – Broodmare Sire?

Jet Master

Jet Master

The late, great Jet Master was not only the greatest stallion ever bred in South Africa, but one of the best ever to stand here. To date, Jet Master has been champion sire in South Africa six times. His offspring have earned over R100 000 000 in prize money, and they include over 100 stakes horses, and 18 G1 winners. Jet Master has been responsible for five Equus Award winners, and his progeny have won nearly all South Africa’s major races at least once.

However, for all his tremendous success at stud, Jet Master has yet to crack it as a broodmare sire.  While his daughters are still young, by the standards of broodmare sires, it is quite striking that they have yet to produce a single stakes winner. To date, Jet Master mares have produced 111 foals – without one having landed an official black type race.

This statistic is bound to change, especially when considering the fact Jet Master only covered high-class mares later in his stud career, and that his better bred daughters have yet to be represented at the racetrack.

To date, the best offspring of a Jet Master mare is the G1 performer, Gitiano (Mullins Bay). The talented Abercrombie is another produced by a daughter of the champion. In contrast, Captain Al has made a startling start as a broodmare sire (made more impressive by the fact he did not cover the best of mares early in his stud career). To date, daughters of Captain Al have produced 61 foals, of whom 19 have won.

Captain Al is not only the broodmare sire of this season’s promising 2yo Flash Drive (Gr3 Cape of Good Hope Nursery) but also of the now Hong Kong based G1 winner Potent Power (Tsogo Medallion). It will be interesting to follow the progresses of these two local success stories as their daughters continue their careers at stud!

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