Brothers in Arms
The two full brothers, Try My Best and El Gran Senor, were both unbeaten champions at two. At three, Try My Best made one start when a tailed off last in the 2000 Guineas, while his brother went onto win 2 classics and finish a short head second in the Epsom Derby. At stud, it was a similar story.
While both stallions suffered from fertility issues, it was El Gran Senor who proved the more successful at stud. From 393 foals, El Gran Senor was represented by 54 stakes winners – in other words, 13% of all his foals won stakes races. This record is that of one of a world-class stallion. His best runners included champions Lit de Justice and Rodrigo de Triano, as well as such G1 winners as Toussaud (Gamely Handicap), Al Hareb (William Hill Futurity) and Belmez (King George).
Try My Best, on the other hand, sired just 29 stakes winners, albeit from the relatively modest number of 365 mares. By far and away his best son was champion Last Tycoon, but Try My Best also sired G1 Prix de’l Abbaye winner My Best Valentine, and top miler Waajib.
What is interesting, in all this, however, is that is Try My Best who has established a legitimate male line. His son Last Tycoon became a world leading sire, and was champion sire in Australia. He left behind a highly successful sire in Ireland (Marju) as well as a champion sire in New Zealand (O’Reilly). Last Tycoon has also become an exceptional broodmare sire, and is the broodmare sire of champion Japanese sire King Kamehameha (Kingmambo), as well as a host of other G1 winners.
Another sire son to leave his mark on the breed was Waajib. Although a poor sire himself, Waajib sired champion sprinter Royal Applause. The latter has become one of Britain’s most consistent producers of precocious, speedy sorts. He is also the sire of Acclamation, a hugely successful sire of 2yos. Acclamation has been represented this year by no fewer than six group winning 2yos, including the unbeaten star Harbour Watch (G2 Richmond Stakes). Acclamation himself is also sire of G1 Middle Park Stakes winner Dark Angel, a leading first crop sire in 2011.
In contrast, El Gran Senor never sired a top-class sire son. He is, however, broodmare sire of the successful stallions Chester House and Empire Maker. The former sired two individual Breeders Cup winners before his untimely death, while the now Japan based Empire Maker is represented by a pair of US G1 winning fillies this year in Royal Delta and Grace Hall. Interestingly, Chester House and Empire Maker are half-brothers, both being sons of that wonderful broodmare Toussaud.
Sire’s unusual Record
When Parish Hall won Saturday’s G1 Dewhurst Stakes, he emulated his sire, Teofilo, who won the prestigious 2yo event back in 2006. Teofilo, in turn is one of three Dewhurst Stakes winners sired by Galileo. Galileo’s sire, Sadler’s Wells, himself sired three Dewurst winners – including Prince of Dance and Scenic – the dead heaters in the 1988 Dewhurst. Sadler’s Wells’s son, Barathea, in turn sired the 2000 Dewhurst winner Tobougg, while 2009 shock winner, Beethoven, was produced by a Sadler’s Wells mare.
What’s most interesting about Parish Hall’s pedigree, however, is that he is inbred to Sadler’s Wells. He is by a son of Galileo, and his dam, Halla Siamsa, is by the great Montjeu. Paris Hall is the first G1 winner produced by a Montjeu mare, although Montjeu is damsire of G1 Victoria Derby runner up Praecido (One Cool Cat) as well as this season’s high-class French 2yo, Restiadargent (Kendargent).
Galileo has certainly made a very promising start as a sire of sires. Two of his first sons to stand at stud, Teofilo and Heliostatic, have both sired group winners in their first crops to date, and the future looks very bright for Galileo with such sons Rip van Winkle, New Approach, Cape Blanco and Frankel still to be represented at stud.
Star 2yo’s South African links
The unbeaten 2yo US sensation, Union Rags, has ties to a number of South African performers. He is a son of the ill-fated stallion, Dixie Union – who is from the immediate family of Broodmare of the Year, Fall Aspen (Pretense). The later in turn is dam of champion sire Fort Wood, and ancestress of a number of other SA sires.
Union Rags is a descendant of 1000 Guineas winner Glad Rags, who is the ancestress of a number of high-class performers in this country. The smart racefilly, Dreamfields (subsequent dam of SA Oaks winner Idle Fancy), is a granddaughter of Glad Rags.
Union Rags is unbeaten in three starts and was an impressive winner of the G1 Champagne Stakes on Saturday. He is likely to be a hot favourite for the G1 Breeders Cup Juvenile next month, and is, at the time of writing, the best 2yo colt yet seen this year in the USA.
Death of champion
It’s sad to announce that Space Walk, a former Equus Champion Stayer, passed away recently after a heart attack. The big gelding was 23 years old. Bred by D Cohen & Sons, Space Walk will forever be remembered as the “winner” of the 1994 Rothmans July, a race in which race favourite, Pas de Quoi, suffered severe interference from original victor, Surfing Home.
Space Walk, a big, handsome son of Dancing Champ, also won the G1 Gold Cup and was placed in both the Gold Cup and Topsport Bloodline Derby. Trained by Ricky Maingard, Space Walk was out of the Persian Wonder mare, Star Crest.
Kitten the latest G1 winner for remarkable mare
It’s amazing to think that Stephanie’s Kitten, winner of the recent G1 Alciabiades Stakes, is one of over 150 G1 winners descended directly from the great La Troienne. Her sixth dam, Belle of Troy, is one of nine daughters produced by the mighty mare, whose descendants include four Kentucky Derby winners, four champions named Horse of the Year, and such leading sires as Caerleon, Buckpasser, Private Account and Bernstein.
Beautifully Bred Sire Comes Good
Albert Hall, one of the best bred young sires in the country, has started to make his presence felt with his first crop of 3yos. He is currently in the top 20 sires of 3yos, and has been represented by more prize winning 3yos this season than such proven sires as National Assembly, Windrush, Toreador and Joshua Dancer.
On Saturday, his daughter Kensingon Road won a good race for Charles Laird, while another Albert Hall filly, Alberts Princess, made a smart debut on Monday when flying up late for second.
Albert Hall is also the sire of Taptap Makhatini, who was narrowly touched off by the unbeaten Two Gun Kid at Clairwood on Sunday. It was only Taptap Makhatini’s second start, and the colt should go very close next time out.
Sean Tarry has a nice sort on his hands in the form of Albert Dock, who won at just the second time of asking.
Albert’s other runners include the debut winner Military Medallion, Brett Crawford’s smart looking 3yo Port Albert (a fluent winner at Durbanville last time out) and last season’s classy 2yo Alberts Vigilance.
With books of 86 and 124 in his first two seasons at stud, Albert Hall will be represented by some choicely bred 2yos in the upcoming season. A large number of his 3yos are coming to hand now, which proves the best is still to come for this promising young sire.
Albert Hall himself was a very smart two-year-old, who won the G2 Beresford Stakes and was second to Derby winner Motivator in the G1 Racing Post Trophy.
He is one of the best performed sons of champion sire Danehill currently standing in South Africa. Albert is out of Al Theraab – a daughter of the hugely influential sire, sire of sires and broodmare sire Roberto. Roberto’s daughters have produced such legends as Commander In Chief, Warning and Reams Of Verse.
Albert Hall is from the same family as the mighty sire Dynaformer. One of the best sons of Roberto, and a three parts brother to Alberts dam, Dynaformer, at the ripe age of 26, stands for a fee of $150,000 – or over R1 million.