Late Great Sire’s July Influence

Do July sires hold the key?

Pearl Diver, by Emil Adam

Pearl Diver, by Emil Adam

Over the years, a number of outstanding locally based stallions have made their presence felt in the Vodacom Durban July. From early times when the likes of Pearl Diver, Morganatic, and Greatorex all sired at least two individual July winners, a number of leading South African sires have made their presence felt in what is still regarded today by many as the country’s greatest horse race.

Sire success

Pearl Diver, champion sire in South Africa on six occasions, enjoyed particular success in the then July Handicap, siring Verdant Green (successful in 1900) and Peerless (1903), and he was also the broodmare sire of Nobleman (by Greatorex) – the only 2yo ever to win the July (1911).

Former July hero, Sadri II, also enjoyed particular success in the Durban July. Not only did the son of Solario land the spoils in 1941, but he went on to sire a pair of July winners in the form of Gay Jane (1951) and C’Est Si Bon (1954).

French sire, Jamaico (Prince Taj), was hugely successful in the race, siring no fewer than three winners, in Jamaican Music (1976), Jamaican Rumba (1982) and Gondolier (1985).

Modern champions

Dancing Champ

Dancing Champ sired Dancing Duel and Space Walk

In more recent times Dancing Champ (sire of Dancing Duel and Space Walk), Fort Wood (Hunting Tower and Dynasty), Royal Prerogative (Royal Chalice and Right Prerogative), Jet Master (Pocket Power and Pomodoro), and Silvano (Bold Silvano and Heavy Metal), have all sired more than one July winner. Royal Prerogative is also the broodmare sire of July winner Spanish Galliard, while his July winning son Royal Chalice is damsire of Hunting Tower.

In 2015, no fewer than eight runners are by sires who have sired at least one July winner previously – Ice Machine, Hot Ticket, Punta Arenas, Tellina and Power King (Silvano), Helderberg Blue (Jet Master), and Futura and Dynastic Power (Dynasty), while the first reserve runner, Dynamic, is also sired by July winner Dynasty.

New South Wales

New South Wales with Godfrey Gird

New South Wales with Godfrey Gird

Another sire to make his mark in the July was the late, great New South Wales (Abernant). The latter sired two July winners in In Full Flight (1972) and Over The Air (1979), and is damsire of 1993 winner, Dancing Duel (Dancing Champ). The latter’s full sister, Olympic Duel, ran second to Illustrador in 1990 and produced the beaten July favourite of 1998, Flying Duel (Foveros). New South Wales is also broodmare sire of Wild West (Roland Gardens), 2nd in the 1985 July and third in the same race two years later.

New South Wales was one of the most successful sire sons of legendary sprinter Abernant, widely regarded as one of the finest speedsters ever to race in Britain. The son of former Derby/Gold Cup winner Owen Tudor (by Derby/St Leger winner Hyperion) won 14 of 17 outings, and was awarded a Timeform Rating of 142 lbs, a ranking only achieved a handful of times in the history of Timeform. His notable victories included a six length thrashing of subsequent dual classic winner Nimbus in the Champagne Stakes, and dual wins in all of the King George Stakes, July Cup and Nunthorpe Stakes – with the last two races now official Group One contests. While New South Wales ranked amongst the best of Abernant’s sire sons, the champion did also leave behind a number of high class daughters, most notably 1000 Guineas winner, Abermaid. New South Wales was out of the good staying mare, Alor Star, herself a daughter of champion stayer Alycidon and 1000 Guineas winner Belle Of All.

He traced back directly in female line to the great mare, Quiver, dam of champion filly and triple British classic winner, La Fleche, (St Simon) and this is also the family of five times champion sire Polymelus (Cyllene). Interestingly, New South Wales was inbred to the “Flying Filly” and great Aga Khan foundation mare, Mumtaz Mahal.

Turf credentials

New South Wales

New South Wales

New South Wales showed plenty of ability on the track, but Timeform described the somewhat recalcitrant colt as, “very big, heavy-topped colt: … good horse at his best, but could not always be relied upon to give his running …” His two wins came at 1000 and 1600m respectively, but he did finish second in the Dante Stakes, beaten three lengths by Sweet Moss. New South Wales also finished ahead of subsequently successful Australian sire, Showdown, when third to star miler Roan Rocket in the St James’s Palace Stakes of1964. At the end of his 3yo campaign, New South Wales was given a rating of 123 on the Free Handicap, placed 17lbs behind the leader of his generation, the outstanding Epsom Derby winner, Santa Claus.

Despite his stud career’s being interrupted by injury (and being ended prematurely by infertility), New South Wales proved himself an outstanding sire when retired to stud in South Africa. Twice Champion Sire (1976-1977 and 1977-1978), New South Wales also headed the Sires Of 2YOS log on two occasions. He sired a remarkable 71% winners to foals, and a stunning 23% of his foals were stakes winners. This list included the above mentioned champions In Full Flight and Over The Air, as well as Justine, Kendal Green, Tribesman, Wagga Wagga and Wild Ash. His runners included no fewer than 11 Gr1 winners, as well as the lightning fast, if somewhat temperamental runner, The Eliminator. The latter would go on to achieve some success, from very limited opportunities, at stud, siring 14 black type winners from 244 foals (6%), including Gr1 Administrator’s Cup winner, Cardinal Fury, and star filly, Highland Game.

New South Wales’ broodmares excelled, producing Dancing Duel, Olympic Duel, The Rutland Arms and J&B Met winner Wild West, to name a few.

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