Gr2 victory for Mullins relative
Caspar Netschar, winner of Saturday’s Gr2 Mill Reef Stakes, is a close relation of young Summerhill sire, Mullins Bay. The 2yo colt, who had previously won the Gr2 Gimcrack Stakes, is by the Medicean (Machiavellian) sire Dutch Art, out of Bella Cantata – a daughter of Bella Colora (Bellypha). The latter is the dam of the talented performer Mullins Bay (Machiavellian), whose first crop of 2YOs race this year.
Caspar Netschar is one of a growing number of top-class racehorses produced by daughters of Singspiel.
The latter was well known as a superior sire of world class fillies, and his daughters have already produced Debussy (Arlington Million), Libranno (July Stakes), Caspar Netschar, Helmet (Champagne Stakes) and Vagabond Shoes (Prix Messidor).
Interestingly the latter is closely inbred to the great Sadler’s Wells, as he is by the Sadler’s Wells horse Beat Hollow, and the late, great Coolmore legend is the paternal grandsire of Singspiel.
July winner’s happy retirement
Few who saw it will ever forget the 1994 Rothmans July. The winning horse, Surfing Home (Capote), was disqualified, and the runner up Space Walk (Dancing Champ) was awarded the laurels in South Africa’s most famous race, after the favourite Pas de Quoi (Roland Gardens) had suffered bad interference.
Sadly, both Pas de Quoi and Surfing Home are deceased. Space Walk, however, is living out his days on a smallholding in KwaZulu-Natal. He was originally earmarked to have a crack at show-jumping, but proved too strong and eager for the jumping arena.
Now a respectable 23 years old, Space Walk still behaves like a 2yo. His owner, Gaynor Deacon, describes the big gelding as a “strong and lively ride, full of the joys of life.” Even at his age, Space is still no ride for a novice or beginner rider.
A horse who loves his food, Space Walk is said to be a gentle giant, who is devoted to a part Warm-blood part Appaloosa foal. Gaynor says he is protective and anxious around the filly, who he is teaching to race. He is quite dominant in the paddock, but is kept in line by a 14.2h mare!
Space, who, like many thoroughbreds is extremely ticklish, has his own quirks, like many a champion. He has mastered the ability of open gates and locks, and regularly wanders out of his paddock in search of better grazing!
While Space is something of a glutton, Gaynor says it’s difficult to maintain the gelding’s condition. He also suffers from the occasional bout of lameness, which usually happens after heavy rains.
Space Walk, who also won the Gold Cup and over R1.2 million in prize money, is out of a Persian Wonder mare, Star Crest. He was named ARCSA Champion Stayer in 1993.
How does Frankel compare?
It comes as no surprise that the unbeaten Frankel heads the world’s ratings for the International Rankings published for the period, March to September. The brilliant Galileo colt tops the list with an official international rating of 135.
To put Frankel’s rating into perspective, it should be remembered that in 2010, the International Ratings were topped by Harbinger, who was rated 135, while the top North Americans of that year were headed by Blame (129) and Quality Road (128).
Harbinger never achieved the media coverage which has been Frankel’s lot, but his performance when he won the 2010 King George by 11 lengths was rightly acclaimed by Timeform as one of the great racing performances of all time.
A year earlier, in 2009, the list was headed by the mighty Sea The Stars. Galileo’s little brother received a ranking of 136, six pounds clear of the great French mare Goldikova (130).
The lowest of the top rated horses of the past four years were Curlin and New Approach in 2008. The pair both received ratings of 130, and were rated narrowly superior to 2008 Breeders Cup Classic winner, Raven’s Pass (Elusive Quality).
So will Frankel end up the highest rated horse of the past four years? He will need to receive a rating of 137 when he runs in the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes on October 15th to surpass Sea The Stars’ end of year rating of 136. Sea The Stars, achieved his highest international rating after he won the Irish Champion Stakes, which was his penultimate run.
More Classic glory for classy stallion
When Fox Hunt won Sunday’s German St Leger he became the second German classic winner produced by Dubawi’s second crop. The stallion’s other German classic winner had previously been Waldpark (Deutsches Derby).
Dubawi is building a superb record as a sire of classic horses. From his current crop of 3yos not only is he represented by Fox Hunt and Waldpark, but he is also the sire of Havane Smoker and Dubawi Gold -colts who finished second in the French 2000 Guineas and English 2000 Guineas respectively.
Dubawi, whose first two full crops have included 19 Group winners and six Gr1 winners to date, looks to be the main flagbearer for not just his ill-fated sire, Dubai Millennium, but also for his grandsire, Seeking The Gold.
In general, Seeking The Gold’s sire sons have been disappointing, with the exceptions of successful SA sire Windrush and the leading Argentinian sire, Mutakddim. The latter has sired over 100 stakes winners to date, but has yet to produce a successful sire son.
Other sons of Seeking The Gold such as Petionville and Cape Town have also failed to leave behind a legitimate stallion son, so Seeking The Gold’s entire male line legacy could well fall to Dubawi and his future sire sons.
What is interesting about Dubawi’s pedigree is that it is an unconventional one for a successful sire. The only Gr1 winner sired by Dubai Millennium, Dubawi’s first two dams are daughters of Deploy and Dancing Brave respectively, and neither horse is widely regarded as a hugely successful stallion.
There can be few more influential broodmares than Natalma. The dam of Northern Dancer and third dam of Danehill can be found in the majority of stakes winners today. On Saturday the Gr3 Natalma Stakes, for 2yo fillies, was run at Woodbine to commemorate this great mare. Of the 12 runners in the Natalma, every single one had at least one line of Natalma in their pedigree.