Heirs to the Throne

Mr Prospector

Mr Prospector

Few would deny that Mr Prospector was one of the greatest, and most influential, stallions in history. The lightning fast son of Raise A Native left behind no fewer than 181 stakes winners, and became a hugely successful sire of sires and top broodmare sire.

Twice champion sire in North America, Mr Prospector was also champion US broodmare sire nine times. Daughters of the great sire have produced a staggering 395 stakes winners, including leading sires Malibu Moon, Pulpit, Silver Deputy, and Tale of The Cat.

His sire sons include such great stallions as Carson City, Fappiano, Forty Niner, Gone West, Gulch, Hussonet, Kingmambo, Miswaki, Seeking The Gold and Smart Strike. In South Africa, Mr Prospector’s successful sire sons include Goldkeeper and Secret Prospector (broodmare sire of Variety Club). So who are the latest heirs to Mr Prospector’s throne?

Two sires who have established themselves as outstanding sires, with the potential to become important figures in the modern thoroughbred industry, are Distorted Humor and Speightstown.

Both are grandsons of Mr P, both were classy racetrack performers, and both are out of high-class, Northern Dancer line mares – thus continuing the enormous success of the Mr Prospector/Northern Dancer cross.

Few thoroughbreds today do not have either Mr Prospector or Northern Dancer in their pedigrees, and an increasingly large number of top racehorses have both sires up close in their pedigrees.




Few horses had more going for them than Speightstown did when he retired to stud. An official champion, who had won the Breeders Cup Sprint, Speightstown was a son of world leading sire Gone West and champion racemare Silken Cat (by breed shaping sire Storm Cat). The chestnut has certainly lived up to expectations thus far. According to the Blood Horse, Speightstown is currently North America’s leading sire by general earnings.

His stock, in 2013 alone, have earned in excess of $9 000 000, and include an impressive 19 individual stakes winners (of which three are Gr1 winners). To date, Speightstown has sired 50 stakes winners (9%) six of whom are grade one/group one winners. His offspring include Jockey Club Gold Cup hero Haynesfield, Group One winner Lord Shanakill, and this year’s brilliant filly, Dance To Bristol (a winner of eight in a row, including the Gr1 Ballerina Stakes).

He already has six sons registered at stud, and Speightstown’s influence looks set to grow in the coming years. Like his sire, Speightstown is a very versatile sire, siring high-class performers on both turf and dirt. His son, Reynaldothewizard, won the Gr1 Dubai Golden Shaheen on dirt, while his offspring Lord Shanakill, Bapak Chinta, and Bridgetown have all excelled on turf.

Distorted Humor

Distorted Humor

Distorted Humor

A high-class racehorse, Distorted Humor won or was placed in 16 of his 23 races. While never a Grade One winner himself, Distorted Humor won five stakes races, including the Gr2 Commonwealth Breeders Cup Stakes. He also ran third in the Gr1 Cigar Mile to Sir Bear. The best sire son of Mr Prospector’s champion 2yo son, Forty Niner, Distorted Humor has a formidable female line to back up his dominant male line. Distorted Humor’s first two dams are both stakes winners, with his granddam, Sweetest Chant, a stakes winner of 12 races.

He is the most successful sire produced by a daughter of the great sire Danzig – also damsire of top-class US sire Arch and Kentucky Derby hero Fusaichi Pegasus (sire of stakes winners). What is also interesting about Distorted Humor is that he is a descendant of the great US broodmare, Rose Leaves – dam of the mighty Calumet sire Bull Lea. The latter sired three Kentucky Derby winners, including Triple Crown legend Citation.

Forty Niner, himself sire of successful sires Roar, Jules and End Sweep (sire of leading SA sire Trippi), sired 57 stakes winners including the Gr1 winners Coronado’s Quest, Editor’s Note (sire of SA Gold Cup hero In Writing), and Gold Fever.

The chestnut retired to stud with a modest initial stud fee of 12,500 , but had immediate success, which saw his stud fee jump. Distorted Humor, is currently one of Kentucky’s highest priced stallions, with a fee of $100 000. His first crop, of 66 foals, included a staggering 12 stakes winners (18% of Distorted Humor’s initial crop won black type races!).

He was North America’s leading first crop sire back in 2002, when his first crop of juveniles included five stakes winners headed by the Grade One winner Awesome Humor. He was champion sire in North America in 2011, when his offspring included 23 stakes winners. During that season, Distorted Humor’s offspring won over $10 000 000, and included Gr1 Breeders Cup Classic winner Drosselmeyer.

At the time of writing, Distorted Humor is currently the only living sire to have sired a Kentucky Derby winner (Funny Cide) and sired a sire of the Derby (I’ll Have Another). Both horses were subsequently named Champion 3yos of their respective year. Distorted Humor’s offspring have won all three legs of the US Triple Crown, and his colts and fillies are equally successful. To date, Distorted Humor has sired 112 (11%) stakes winners.

They include no fewer than 15 Grade/Group One winners, and the stallion has been represented by nine black type winners in 2013 alone. His stats of 11% stakes winners to foals places Distorted Humor as one of the world’s elite stallions – with 10% being a benchmark of the breed’s very best sires. His top horses include the Turf Group One heroes Boisterous (Man O’War Stakes), Aesop’s Fables (Prix Jean Prat) and locally based sire Pathfork (National Stakes).

A truly great sire, Distorted Humor could be a worthy heir to his grandsire’s throne!

Arc Winner Latest Star From Illustrious Family


Treve wins the Gr1 Qatar Prix de L’Arc de Triomphe

Brilliant, unbeaten superstar Treve, winner of Sunday’s Group One Qatar Prix de L’Arc de Triomphe, is a truly blue blooded filly. A daughter of 2005 Epsom Derby winner Motivator, Treve is the fourth Sadler’s Wells line descendant to win the Arc. Sadler’s Wells is also broodmare sire of previous Arc winners Sakhee and Workforce. (It is interesting to note that Treve is bred on similar Sadler’s Wells/Riverman lines to former Arc hero Carnegie). Treve’s grandsire, Montjeu, was a brilliant winner in 1999, and subsequently sired another Arc winner in Hurricane Run. Motivator, after going through a quiet patch at stud, has bounced back well over the past two seasons. In 2013, Motivator has been represented by seven black type winners, and he is now the sire of 17 (6%) stakes winners to date.

Treve’s dam is a winning daughter of champion sprinter and leading sire Anabaa (also broodmare sire of the likes of Silver Frost, Lush Lashes and Rostova). She is a full sister to the stakes winner and sire, Tsigane. Anabaa’s daughters enjoyed fine success on Sunday – Group One Prix de l’Opera winner, Dalkala, being out of an Anabaa mare.

Her second dam (by Riverman) is a full sister to Group One Prix Saint Alary victress Treble, and a three parts sister to the ill-fated, globetrotting champion Triptych. The latter’s 14 wins included nine grade/group one wins, and Triptych is the only filly ever to win the Irish 2000 Guineas. This is also the family of Epsom Derby winner (and beaten Arc favourite of 1991) Generous.

– Sarah Whitelaw

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