The Year Of The Song

Unbridled's Song Ups The Beat

Unbridled’s Song

Unbridled’s Song

North America’s major graded stakes races this year have been dominated by the progeny of former Breeders Cup Juvenile winner, Unbridled’s Song. Ironically, this year, also saw the death of Unbridled’s Song – who was euthanized at the age of 20, following the discovery of an inoperable tumour.

Unbridled’s Song was the most successful Breeders Cup Juvenile winner at stud – although the likes of Capote, Chief’s Crown, Street Sense and Johannesburg have all enjoyed their moments.

Unbridled’s Song, who never topped the US general sires list, however, enjoyed a tour de force in 2013. His 10 stakes winners for the year include the Grade One winners Graydar (Donn Handicap), Cross Traffic (Whitney Handicap) and Will Take Charge (Travers Stakes, Clark Handicap). The latter looks likely to become his sire’s second Eclipse Champion (Midshipman was Champion 2YO Colt in 2008), following a season which saw Will Take Charge win five stakes races, two Grade Ones, and finish second in the Breeders Cup Classic. At the time of writing, Unbridled’s Song is sixth on the general sires list, with his offspring having earned over $6 000 000 in 2013 so far.

Unbridled’s Song’s remarkable year, however, was not limited to the success soley of his own offspring. His sire sons enjoyed tremendous success during 2013. Unbridled’s Song’s deceased son, Rockport Harbor, is currently heading the US 2YO Sires list, with his juveniles having earned a staggering $2.4 million during the year. Rockport Harbor’s progeny this season include Gr1 Breeders Cup Juvenile Fillies winner Ria Antonia, as well as Rise Up. The latter won three stakes races during the season including the Gr3 Delta Downs Jackpot.

Two other sons of Unbridled’s Song, Zensational and Old Fashioned, are also among North America’s top ten leading first crop sires for 2013. Another son of Unbridled’s Song, Dunkirk, is North America’s leading first crop sire of 2013. His first crop of runners have earned over $1 000 000 this year, and include Gr1 Champagne Stakes winner, and Gr1 Breeders Cup Juvenile runner up, Havana.

The beautifully bred First Defence (whose first 2 dams are Grade One winners) was one of 2013’s leading second crop sires. First Defence, a grandson of the great broodmare Toussaud, was responsible for 32 winners during 2013 including the Grade One winning filly, Close Hatches. An emerging broodmare sire, Unbridled’s Song was also 18th on the leading Broodmare Sires list.


Blue Blooded Mares Represent Legend’s Final Crop

Mr Prospector

Mr Prospector

Two mares, entered in Keeneland’s January Horses Of All Ages Sales are products of one of history’s greatest stallions – Mr Prospector.

Spun Gold, consigned as Lot 373, and Symbol Of Hope, lot 1167, will, no doubt attract plenty of attention when they come into the ring. Both mares, born in 2000, are from the final crop of Mr Prospector, regarded as one of the greatest stallions in history.

“Mr P” left behind 39 foals from his final crop, however none of these were stakes winners. The sire of 181 stakes winners, Mr Prospector produced no fewer than 48 Grade/One winners, and his sons won all three legs of US Triple Crown.

A fast sprinter himself, Mr Prospector is the male line ancestor of 11 Kentucky Derby winners, while his successful sire sons include breed shapers Gone West, Kingmambo, Gulch, Machiavellian, Fappiano and Seeking The Gold.

Champion Broodmare Sire 9 times, Mr P’s daughters produced numerous champions as well, as leading sires Pulpit, Storm Boot, Silver Deputy, Mineshaft, Tale Of The Cat and Flying Spur.

Inbreeding to Mr Prospector has long been most successful – producing the likes of Kentucky Derby winners Mine That Bird, I’ll Have Another and Orb, Investec Derby hero Ruler Of The World, former July winners and champions Igugu and Dancer’s Daughter, successful sires Tapit, El Corredor, Flower Alley, Scat Daddy, Northern Meteor, and Elusive City, and 2013 G1 winners Mucho Macho Man, Princess Of Sylmar, Declaration of War, Emollient and Gordon Lord Byron. Already, 10 Breeders Cup winners are inbred to the great stallion.

Whatever Spun Gold and Symbol Of Hope fetch in January’s sale, there will be no denying the sense of history that will prevail as two of the last daughters of a legend are sold.


Promising Moofeed – A True Blue Blood

The unbeaten Cape Guineas entrant, Moofeed (Duke Of Marmalade) comes from one of the best families in the stud book. Not only is Moofeed a half-brother to talented Gr2 winning sprinter Merhee, he is a three parts brother to Equus Champion and UAE Derby hero Musir (like Moofeed by a son of Danehill).

Their dam, the now deceased Dizzy De Lago, a stakes placed daughter of Champion Sire Encosta De Lago. Dizzy De Lago’s dam is by the great racehorse and sire, Mill Reef. Her second dam is top-class racemare The Dancer (also third dam of champion Japanese sire King Kamehameha).

Moofeed’s fifth dam is Aimee – second dam of French champion, and Breed shaping sire, Blushing Groom, while the colt is also a direct descendant of the great mare Black Ray.

The latter produced US Champion Jacopo as well as Champion filly Eclair (herself dam of leading sire Khaled), and is also the ancestress of Epsom Derby winner and multiple champion sire, Mill Reef. It is hard to think of another locally raced colt who comes from a stronger female line.


Fillies Guineas Winner Lives Up To Royal Heritage

In The Fast Lane

Jet Powered. In The Fast Lane surges clear under a thrilled Richard Fourie to win the Fillies Guineas (Equine Edge)

When In The Fast Lane won Saturday’s Gr1 Avontuur Estate Cape Fillies Guineas, she not established herself as one of the top fillies in the country, but also one of the top stud prospects. She is the 20th Grade One winners for six times champion sire Jet Master, also sire of 2010 Gr1 Avontuur Estate Cape Fillies Guineas heroine, Ebony Flyer.

The late, great stallion has certainly really been in the news of late, with his sons Yorker and Master Sabina running 1-2 in the recent Gr1 Sansui Summer Cup. Deposed from his champion sires throne by Silvano last season, Jet Master could well land his seventh general sires title this season. Already clear on the general log, Jet Master’s runners for the 2013-2014 season also include the very promising Master Of My Fate, and it is quite possible the legendary South African bred stallion has feature race winners for three weeks in a row.

Out of champion Zimbabwean mare First Arrival, In The Fast Lane is a half-sister to former Equus Champion, and fellow Gr1 winner, Let’s Rock ‘N Roll. She is not the first Cape Fillies Guineas to have emerged from her family – as fourth dam, Party Time, won the same race (back in 1975), before establishing herself as one of the cornerstones of the South African stud book.

In The Fast Lane is bred on the powerful Jet Master/Northern Guest cross, responsible for Champion Sprinter J J The Jet Plane, as well as July winner Pomodoro, and three other black type performers. In The Fast Lane is, in fact, the 11th Grade One winner produced by a Northern Guest mare.


Camera Work – To Be Or Not To Be?

Patrons who watch Tellytrack regularly have to watch races screened from a wide range of bizarre angles. Is it really necessary for viewers and punters of respective races to be shown the rear end of the field during a race? I have lost count of the times when I have had to watch horses from an angle without being able to tell quite who is in the lead. Surely it is possible to be shown racing at a steady angle throughout the running of the race? People who spend good money on punting surely deserve to receive better coverage of horse-racing than this!

Another sore point about Tellytrack broadcasts, is the lack of clarity regarding times of replays. Surely it is possible to pinpoint an exact time when South Africa replays will be shown?

– Sarah Whitelaw

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