Young SA Sires In The News

The year 2016 has been a good one for relatives of SA based sires

A number of well bred, young South African sires were in the news this past weekend, with their relatives landing major international races, writes Sarah Whitelaw.

None were more in the limelight than Bush Hill Stud’s beautifully bred young horse, Flying The Flag.

Flying The Flag

Flying The Flag – beautifully bred son of Galileo

The latter, whose sire, Galileo, was represented by three individual Gr1 winners this past weekend and was also responsible for Fillies Mile runner up Hydrangea, is a full brother to brilliant two-year-old filly, Rhododendron, an impressive winner of Friday’s Gr1 Dubai Fillies Mile at Newmarket.


Now a winner of three of her five outings (the Aidan O’Brien trained filly had also previously won the Gr2 Debutante Stakes and finished third in the Gr1 Moyglare Stud Stakes), Rhododendron was given a 7-1 quote, by Sky Bet, for next year’s Gr1 Qipco 1000 Guineas, and is also a 14-1 shot for the 2017 Investec Oaks.

The filly is out of the multiple Gr1 winner, and former Irish 1000 Guineas winner, Halfway To Heaven, a daughter of top sprinter and sire, Pivotal. The latter is enjoying increasing success as a broodmare sire and features in this role this year as damsire of Gr1 Ladbrokes St Leger hero, Harbour Law (Lawman).

Incidentally, a Dark Angel colt out of Gr3 winner, Tickled Pink (a half sister to Halfway To Heaven) was knocked down for 500 000 guineas at the recent Tattersalls October Yearling Sale Book 1.

Remarkably, this was one of two major updates to Flying The Flag’s pedigree.

First Lady

Photo Call (by Galileo out of Gr3 winner Theann- a half sister to Flying The Flag’s dam, Halfway To Heaven (Pivotal), upset Gr1 Breeders’ Cup Mile winner, Tepin (Bernstein), when making all the running to land Saturday’s Gr1 First Lady Stakes at Keeneland. Photo Call, whose previous victories had included the Gr1 Rodeo Drive Stakes, has now won six times, for earnings of over $587 000.

The five-year-old, one of 13 Gr1 winners for Galileo this year, had previously been purchased for $3 million at last year’s Keeneland November Sale.

(Another Bush Hill Stud based sire to gain an update to his pedigree this weekend is Curved Ball, the only son of multiple champion sire, Fastnet Rock (Danehill) at stud in this country.

Fastnet Rock, sire of such exceptional young sires as Smart Missile, Foxwedge, and Hinchinbrook, was represented by his 100th individual stakes winner when his daughter, Laganore, won the Listed Dubai Business Internships Pride Stakes on Friday).

Flying The Flag was not the only South African sire, however, represented by a Gr1 winning sibling.

Dancing Rags

Klawervlei’s blue blooded Coup De Grace (the only son of dominant US sire, Tapit, at stud in South Africa) enjoyed a significant update to his pedigree when his half sister, Dancing Rags (Union Rags), captured the Gr1 Alcibiades Stakes at Keeneland on Friday.

coup de grace

Coup De Grace – son of Tapit

One of seven winners for Storm Cat’s Gr3 winning daughter, Home Court, Dancing Rags made it two wins from just three outings when landing Friday’s $400 000 contest by a length from former Gr3 Pocahontas Stakes heroine, Daddys Lil Darling (Scat Daddy).

Dancing Rags, one of two Gr1 winners for the Belmont Stakes winning first crop sire, is now likely to be aimed at the Gr1 14 hands Winery Juvenile Fillies Stakes, and she also gained points to qualify for the 2017 Gr1 Longines Kentucky Oaks with Friday’s win.

Ironically, Dancing Rags’ rivals for the Gr1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies are likely to include the Tapit daughters, Sweet Loretta and Pretty City Dancer, who scored an historic dead-heat earlier this season in the Gr1 Spinaway Stakes.

Rags Trader

Union Rags, who is now North America’s Leading First Crop Sire by a distance, also has ties to South African bloodstock.

The son of the tragically ill-fated Dixie Union (himself a relative of former SA champion sire, Fort Wood) is out of a granddaughter of 1000 Guineas winner, Glad Rags II (High Hat).

Fort Wood

Fort Wood (Sadler’s Wells – Fall Aspen)

The latter is second dam of Listed Easter Handicap heroine, Dreamfields (Northfields) , dam of former Gr2 SA Oaks winner, Idle Fancy (Badger Land), while other Southern African stakes winners descended from the classic winning Glad Rags include Gr3 Cape Classic hero, Jamaican Dream (Lizard Island), and his useful half brother, One Man’s Dream (Greys Inn), stakes winning 2yo, Runaway Man (Goldkeeper) and current winner, Wealthy (Silvano).

This is also the family of July winner and champion, Devon Air (Sparkler).

Yet another weekend Gr1 winner who is related to a South African based sire is Classic Empire (Pioneerof The Nile), who picked up his maiden Grade One score when victorious in the Breeders’ Futurity at Keeneland on Saturday.

Empire Rules

Another with potential Breeders’ Cup leanings, Classic Empire made it three wins from just four outings with a three length romp in the $500 000 contest, with his previous victories having included the Gr3 Bashford Manor Stakes.

The talented, but wayward colt is a direct descendant of the magnificent tap root mare, Alanesian (Polynesian), whose son, Boldnesian, (Bold Ruler) is the grandsire of Triple Crown winner and champion sire, Seattle Slew (Bold Reasoning).

Marchfield son of A.P. Indy

Marchfield son of A.P. Indy

Alanesian is also second dam of former successful South African sires, Home Guard (Forli) and Peaceable Kingdom (Native Dancer), and ancestress of dual Canadian champion, Marchfield (A P Indy), whose first South African crop race this season.

The year 2016 has been a good one for relatives of SA based sires, with the likes of Crusade (Seventh Heaven), Miesque’s Approval (World Approval), and Visionaire (Tara’s Tango) all being represented by Gr1 winning siblings.

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