Here And Elsewhere – 25 Nov

Sarah Whitelaw's take on the thoroughbred world

Joshua’s last

Champion sprint filly, Texan Summer (Houston Connection), recently gave birth to a lovely Joshua Dancer filly. What makes this birth so poignant is that Joshua Dancer is now infertile. It is a sad loss to the breeding industry, as the son of Danzig sired some top-class horses despite his well documented fertility issues. His offspring includes the likes of top fillies Joshua Princess (KZN Oaks) and Sparkling Gem (Cape Fillies Guineas), whilst he is also responsible for recent US winner Pointing North, who was unbeaten in South Africa, and whose wins included the Gr1 Bloodstock SA Cape Guineas. His most high-class runner is the filly, Badger’s Cove, who won the Sceptre Stakes.
Joshua Dancer has just three registered 2yos this year.

Leading active Gr1 sires
The list of leading active international sires of Gr1 winners makes for interesting reading. The list is headed up by champion New Zealand sire Zabeel. Now a 24 year old, Zabeel is currently the sire of no fewer than 41 individual Gr1 winners. Hussonet, former champion sire in Chile, is the sire of 27 winners at the highest level, ahead of champion US sire A P Indy. The latter has 26 top level winners to his credit, whilst Lode has 24. Three Coolmore horses make the list, with Arc winner Montjeu responsible for 20 Gr1 winners, and Galileo and Giant’s Causeway being responsible for 19 apiece. They are tied with champion Australasian sire, Redoute’s Choice, who is also the sire of 19 Gr1 winners.

Leading active SA sire by individual Gr1 winners are Western Winter, Jallad and Fort Wood. All three stallions have been represented by 14 individual Gr1 winners at the time of writing. Jet Master is next best of the sires still covering, he has 12 Gr1 winners to his credit.

Champion’s first foal
Former champion, Dancer’s Daughter (Act One), recently had her first foal. The filly is a daughter of champion sire Western Winter, and is said to be doing very nicely.
Dancer’s Daughter, one of the most charismatic horses of recent years, is best remembered for her dead-heat with champion Pocket Power in the Vodacom Durban July in 2008. She also won the Gr1 Gold Challenge, defeating Pocket Power, and three other Gr1 races. Dancer’s Daughter was named Equus Champion Older Female in 2007-2008.

Trippi no 3
With the success of his son Gourmet Dinner in the $1 million Delta Downs Jackpot (Gr.3) last weekend, Drakenstein Stud’s Trippi is now the third leading sire, by prize money won, on the US leading sires of juveniles list. Trippi is less than $100,000 off More Than Ready, who heads the juvenile sires list, after having two juveniles win Breeders Cup races. More Than Ready is the sire of 112 juveniles, whilst his Trippi is represented by 41 fewer representatives.

It is ironic that More Than Ready (Southern Halo) is heading Trippi on the sires list, as the two sires were rivals on the racetrack. Trippi defeated More Than Ready into second place when he won the Gr1 Vosburgh Stakes as a 3yo, but More Than Ready turned the tables when finishing in front of Trippi in the Breeders Cup Sprint of 2000.

Trippi is also 21st on the US general sires list, with his offspring earning over $5.4 million in 2010. He has been represented by eight stakes winners this year, including Gr1 winner R heat lightning.

Gourmet Dinner, who was capturing his first graded win in the Delta Downs Jackpot, has now won four of five starts, and over $800,000. He has now accrued more than enough earnings to qualify for a berth in next year’s Kentucky Derby, should connections opt to run him there. Among the beaten horses in the Delta Downs Jackpot were Blue Laser, winner of the prestigious Gr3 Grey Stakes, as well as stakes winners Clubhouse Ride, Sweet Ducky, Bug Juice and Rush Now.

What is interesting about Gourmet Dinner, is that the 2yo traces back to Good Example. Good Example is also the ancestress of Trippi’s star 2yo filly of 2010, R Heat Lightning.
Past winners of the Delta Downs Jackpot include Big Drama, winner of the 2010 Breeders Cup Sprint.

What a racehorse
Pocket Power yet again showed his class, and love of Kenilworth, with a convincing victory in the Gr2 Ocean Basket Green Point Stakes. He is one of the most popular racehorses ever to race in South Africa, and has a loyal, and vocal, fan base.

The USA, however, could give SA racing a lesson or two in how to appeal to fans of champion racehorses.
A prime example as how the US racetracks, as well as her connections, have catered for fans of the champion mare Zenyatta (Street Cry).
Loyal fans were provided with CDs and posters of the champ prior to the Breeders Cup, and they duly provided a sea of enthusiasm rarely, if ever seen, for a racehorse.  Hollywood Park recently set aside a day, named Zenyatta Appreciation day – a worthy tribute to a horse who pulled in crowds on her own.

A great racehorse should be the centrepiece for marketing in horse racing. There are plenty of equine enthusiasts who love the sight of a great thoroughbred and will come to the track just to see ‘their’ champion in action. I regularly speak to people who come to the track specifically to see Pocket Power in the flesh, and are not there to play a PA or Pick Six.
Surely racing would benefit by marketing the champions of the sport, as well as the latest variety of bet?

Pointing North wins in the USA
Former SA Bloodstock Cape Guineas winner Pointing North scored a break through win at Calder Racecourse on Saturday. Sent out the third favourite for the one mile (on dirt) affair, Pointing North had 2.25 lengths to spare over the runner up BIdham.
Now a 6 year old, Pointing North is trained by Tom Albertrani.

Disappointing in 2 starts in Dubai, Pointing North was coming off a fifth place finish in the Basket Weave Stakes, a feature race over 1200 meters at Belmont Park.  Prior to that run, he had been beaten a neck over 1000 meters at Monmouth Park.

Pointing North (Joshua Dancer) is out of the Model Man mare, Compass Point – a half sister to the smart performer Blue Tiger (Counter Action) and top sprinter Rodoille (Elliodor).

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