Masskana Joins Legendary Mares

Sarah Whitelaw with some breeding related gems


Dank wins the Gr1 Beverley D Stakes

When Dank (Dansili) won the recent Gr1 Beverly D Stakes, she became the third Grade/Group One winner for her dam, Masskana. A three time winning daughter of the great broodmare sire Darshaan, Masskana’s previous Group One winners are Eagle Mountain (Rock Of Gibraltar) and Sulk (Selkirk).

The mare’s third dam is noted producer The Veil, whose offspring include useful South African sire St Cuthbert (Herbager). The latter has since also become a highly successful broodmare sire with his daughters producing such champions as Prince Florimund, Classic Flag and Travel North.

Masskana is not the only Darshaan mare who has produced three top level winners. Former Group One Yorkshire Oaks winner, Hellenic, produced a trio of G1 winners – Greek Dance, Islington and Mountain High.

Other great mares to have produced three or more group/grade one winners include Dahlia, Hasili, Toussaud, Colorspin, Feemoss, Sacarina, Urban Sea, Fall Aspen, No Class, Ebaziya, and Personal Ensign – to name but a few. Local mares to have turned this trick include Loyal Linda, Maritime, Muscovy, and Julie Andrews. While never based in South Africa, Elysees bred three SA Gr1 winners including Horse of the Year, Empress Club.

Dancer Dominates

Northern Dancer

Northern Dancer

There have been 56 Grade One races in North America in 2013 (at the time of writing). Remarkably, nearly 50% of these showpiece contests have been won by descendants of the potent Northern Dancer line. No fewer than 24 races have been won by male line descendants of the 1964 Kentucky Derby winner, while Mr Prospector’s descendants have landed 17 Grade One races in 2013.

It is staggering to think that more than 70% of this year’s Grade One features have been won by descendants of two stallions. The most successful branch of the Northern Dancer line, at the time of writing anyway, has been Storm Cat – whose male line descendants have won nine Grade One races this year.

These include last year’s US Horse of the Year, Wise Dan – successful in both the Gr1 Turf Classic and Gr1 Maker’s Mark Mile. Mr Prospector’s most successful descendant, thus far in 2013, has been Fappiano, whose direct descendants have won seven Grade One races this year. The Bold Ruler male line (or Seattle Slew male line) has been represented by six group one wins – including the 2013 Kentucky Derby victory of Orb.

The once potent Blushing Groom has faded to a trickle, throughout the world. However, his male line is responsible for two US Gr1 winners in 2013 – Java’s War (Blue Grass Stakes) and Jeranimo (Gr1 Eddie Read Hcp).

At the time of writing, the US general sires list (according to The Blood-Horse) is headed by former champion sprinter Speightstown, ahead of Kitten’s Joy, Malibu Moon and Giant’s Causeway.

A P’s Growing Influence In SA

A P Indy

A P Indy

A P Indy has been one of North America’s greatest and most influential stallions of the past two decades. A dual champion sire in the US, A P Indy has been the key conduit for the once potent Bold Ruler male line in recent years.

His influence in South Africa is also on the up – his son Judpot recently received an Equus Award as SA’s Outstanding Stallion for last season, while another son, former record breaking Jay Peg, also made a fine start to his stud career, with his early juveniles including two graded stakes winners.

A P Indy’s beautifully bred son A P Answer will have his first runners this season, while another son of the legendary racehorse and sire is former Canadian Champion Marchfield. The latter is not only one of the best performed sons of A P Indy ever to stand at stud in the Southern Hemisphere, but has a pedigree to match.

Out of a top-class mare, whose sire, Red Ransom, is also sire of the sensational Irish juvenile War Command, Marchfield is from the same family as Boldnesian, grandsire of Seattle Slew. The A P Indy influence is also felt through the top-class racehorse, Just As Well, who stands at the Spring Valley Stud. A Gr1 winner of nearly $1 000 000, Just as Well has the pedigree to match his fine race record.

Just As Well is out of a Gr1 winning mare by Nureyev (also broodmare sire of Kingmambo and Zabeel), and is a half-brother to champion filly Rainbow View. This is also the family of top sire E Dubai, sire of 2012 Breeders Cup Classic hero, Fort Larned, and fellow Breeders Cup winner, Desert Code. It is also the family of US Triple Crown hero Omaha and classic winners Phalanx and Johnstown.

Striking First Foals For Well Performed Young Sires

Golden Sword x Golden Song

Golden Sword x Golden Song

Summerhill Stud’s well bred and performed young stallions, Golden Sword and Traffic Guard, have wasted no time in impressing with their first crop of foals. Both stallions are by top stallions, and both Golden Sword and Traffic Guard come from powerful female lines.

Dual Derby winner High Chaparral, sire of Golden Sword, has been represented by three individual Group One winners, in two hemispheres, in 2013 – namely Toronado, It’s A Dundeel and Shoot Out.

Golden Sword, a top-class racehorse himself, broke the track record at Meydan when winning over 2000m. He also won one of Britain’s major Derby preps, the G3 Chester Vase, ran second in the Irish Derby, and ran the mighty Sea The Stars to two lengths when fifth in the Epsom Derby. He is from one the greatest families in the stud book, whose members include the classic winning fillies Alexandrova and Chicquita (both, like Golden Sword, descendants of the great Sadler’s Wells), as well as former legendary SA sire Royal Prerogative.

Traffic Guard x Tracey

Traffic Guard x Tracey

Traffic Guard, who ran sire sensation New Approach to half a length in the G1 Irish Champion Stakes, is one of 117 stakes winners for outstanding sire More Than Ready. From the same male line as Roberto and Sunday Silence, More Than Ready has proved an exceptional sire, whose progeny have won in many countries and over a range of distances. His progeny include three Breeders Cup winners, this season’s sensational US 3yo Verrazano and leading young Australian sire Sebring.

More Than Ready has already enjoyed success in South Africa through his brilliant, L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate winning son, Gimmethegreenlight. The talented Traffic Guard, who hails from the family of Gr1 winners Chief Advocate and Erin’s Isle, is out of a mare by the great Zafonic. Zafonic’s daughters have done extremely well at stud, having produced the likes of G1 winners Izzi Top, Zambezi Sun, Vadawina, and Zafisio.

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