by Nigel Pullen ©
KING EDWARD VII STAKES (Group 2)
(1mile 4 furlongs) (3yos)
The form of the Epsom Derby was upheld with the victory of Storming Home. He had finished fifth, six lengths behind Galileo, at Epsom, but had no problems here, travelling smoothly throughout and quickening away entering the final furlong.
He is the third winner at the meeting for the stallion Machiavellian, and yet another of his Group winning offspring with a dam containing Northern Dancer; thus ensuring that Storming Home has a double of the mare Natalma, and a triple of her dam Almahmoud.
Storming Home is also 2x3 Mr Prospector, a duplication which many breeders have avoided no doubt owing to possible unsoundness, however, both the sources here were tough racehorses, especially Storming Home's granddam It's In The Air. This daughter of Mr Prospector won sixteen of her forty-three races over four seasons, eight of these victories were in Graded Stakes, including five at G1 level.
Another interesting relationship, which is found 3x4 in Storming Home, is that between Halo (maternal grandsire of Machiavellian) and Sir Ivor (maternal grandsire of Shareef Dancer). Each of these stallions were sired by sons of Turn-To, and while Halo's dam was by a son of Pharamond II out of a daughter of Mahmoud, the dam of Sir Ivor balanced this perfectly being by a son of Mahmoud out of a daughter of Pharamond II.
Slightly further back Halo and Sir Ivor also shared strains of Sir Gallahad III and Man O'War. Two Group 1 winning sons of Machiavellian who combine Halo and Sir Ivor are Almutawakel and Vettori.
HARDWICKE STAKES (Group 2) (1mile
As in the Coronation Cup at Epsom earlier this month, Mutafaweq tried to dictate the pace, but this time he did not get his own way for Sandmason soon headed him. Entering the final furlong Sandmason was joined by Zindabad and the two duelled to the line with the verdict just going to Sandmason.
Sandmason's dam Sandy Island was a good racemare winning the Lancashire Oaks (G3), however her year younger three-quarter brother by Mill Reef's son Shirley Heights proved even better. Trading under the name of Slip Anchor he made all in the Epsom Derby to win unchallenged by seven lengths, and established a successful link between Mill Reef and German bred mares.
Sandmason's sire Grand Lodge is 3x3 to the three-quarter brothers Secretariat (by Nasrullah's son Bold Ruler out of Somethingroyal by Princequillo) and Sir Gaylord (by Royal Charger's son Turn-To out of Somethingroyal), Nasrullah and Royal Charger themselves being three-quarter brothers. As in Grand Lodge's other winner at this meeting, Queen's Logic, this Nasrullah/Princequillo cross was reflected in the dam of Sandmason, by virtue of Sandy Island's sire Mill Reef being by Nasrullah's son Never Bend out of a Princequillo mare.
CORONATION STAKES (Group 1) (Round
mile) (3yo fillies)
This looked to be a clash between the respective winners of the English and French 10000 Guineas Ameerat and Rose Gypsy, but neither filly was concerned in the finish. Tempting Fate set a slow early pace from Crystal Music. The order remained unchanged until the straight, when Crystal Music took over, but had no answer to Banks Hill's fine burst of speed, which took her clear for an impressive victory. Banks Hill had been a fast finishing second to Rose Gypsy in the French 1000 Guineas; but was much more at home here on this faster ground, favoured by so many of Danehill's offspring, to give that stallion his third winner of the meeting. All three of these winners (Landseer, Mozart and Banks Hill) are out of mares with Hail To Reason in their pedigrees, so this is worth investigating further.
If we compare the pedigrees of Buckpasser (sire of Danehill's granddam) and Hail To Reason we find that both contain Man O'War, Blue Larkspur, Phalaris and either Bull Dog or his full brother Sir Galahad III; Man O'War and Blue Larkspur appearing through balancing son/daughters. To reinforce this, Banks Hill's dam also has the mare Flaming Page, and she had exactly the same strains of Man O'War, Blue Larkspur, Phalaris and Sir Gallahad III. This particular pedigree pattern definitely works; for Banks Hill's full brother Dansili is also a top-class G2 winning miler in France.
WOKINGHAM STAKES (6 furlongs)
This was a real cavalry charge, with thirty horses dashing down the straight six furlongs course. The winner, Nice One Clare, was well drawn on the favoured stand side, and could be picked out as the likely winner some way out. When asked to make her challenge she quickened nicely, but had to battle well to hold Ellens Academy. The first three were drawn four, three and two, showing the advantage of a stand-side draw.
Nice One Clare's dam, Sarah-Clare, was an ordinary ten furlong winner. Her sire Reach, and maternal grandsire, Breeder's Dream, were both extremely moderate stallions, but Sarah-Clare came from the excellent female family of Aloe, her fourth dam, Lightning, being a half sister to English St. Leger winner Alcide, and dam of Epsom Derby winner Parthia.
Sarah-Clare was herself 5x4 to another Epsom Derby hero in Crepello, while her own dam Northern Dynasty had stamina influence Persian Gulf 4x3.
Nice One Clare's sire, the miler Mukaddamah, was a Group winner at both two and three, being a son of Storm Bird. His six Group winners to date have earned their black type in countries as diverse as America, Australia, England, France, India, Italy.
In the context of Nice One Clare's pedigree, the horse of interest in Mukaddamah's pedigree is his maternal grandsire Never Bend, who is bred on very similar lines to Wolver Hollow, the maternal grandsire of Reach. Never Bend and Wolver Hollow thus appear 3x4 in Nice One Clare. Never Bend was by Nasrullah, his maternal grandsire Djeddah was by a son of Tourbillon out of an Asterus mare, and he traced tail female to the mare Sunshot. This bears strong comparison with Wolver Hollow; he traced tail male to Nasrullah, his dam Caracalla II was by Tourbillon out of an Asterus mare, and he too traced tail female to Sunshot.
WINDSOR CASTLE STAKES (5 furlongs)
We witnessed a gutsy performance by Irony, who made virtually all the running, and held off determined challenges from Steaming Home and Leggy Lou.
Irony's dam, Cidaris, was a once raced daughter of Persian Bold. Cidaris's own dam, the grey filly Secret Sunday, won once over twelve furlongs from eight starts in Ireland, but her main claim to fame came through her year older full brother Mystiko, winner of the English 2,000 Guineas.
Mujadil, the sire of Irony, has been an excellent sire of speedy two-year-olds, with the likes of Bouncing Bowdler and Show Me The Money. He was the leading sire for two-year-old winners and wins in 2000, when 23 of his 37 juvenile runners won a total of 37 between them. He is bred on very similar lines to Secreto, the sire of Irony's granddam. Secreto was by Northern Dancer out of a Secretariat mare, which made him a three quarter genetic relative to Mujadil, who was by Northern Dancer's son Storm Bird out of a Secretariat mare.
It is worth noting that there was further reinforcement of this Northern Dancer/Secretariat cross in the shape of Charlottesville (sire of Irony's fourth dam). Charlottesville's background strains of Prince Rose, Abbots Trace, Nearco and Gainsborough all being picked up by the Northern Dancer/Secretariat cross.
Mujadil's Fred Darling Stakes (G3) winner Daunting Lady had a pedigree closely matching that of Irony. Daunting Lady's granddam Cantico, being a half sister to Irony's third dam Caracciola. Furthermore, Cantico was a granddaughter of Nijinsky, and the latter was a very close relative to Mujadil's sire Storm Bird.
Finally, Irony has a Royal Ascot connection via the dual Hardwick Stakes (G2) winner Fruits Of Love, a half brother to Mujadil whose pedigree pattern has many strains in common with Irony.
QUEEN ALEXANDRA STAKES (2 miles 6
A wonderful four days racing closed with an event that is also the longest flat race of the entire English season. Life is Life had finished fifth in last season's Ascot Gold Cup, but had not been entered this year. The ease with which she won today's race indicates that she would not have been disgraced if lining up for yesterday's big event. Mention must also be made of the veteran steeplechaser Dorans Pride who finished third. Twice placed in the Cheltenham Gold Cup Steeplechase, he must be one of the few horses to have been placed at both the Cheltenham National Hunt Festival and Royal Ascot.
Life Is Life's pedigree is very much an outcross one, with not a single duplicated name in the first six generations; the pedigree itself drawn from a combination of French, American and English genetic backgrounds. Her sire Mansonnien is pretty much an unknown name, but he was a hardy racehorse winning five of his 31 starts. As a three-year-old he was good enough to be a fast finishing fourth to Natroun in the French Derby, but had to wait until he was six to record his solitary Group win in the Prix Exbury (G3). Mansonnien's granddam, La Soupe, was very closely inbred, being 2x2 to the near full brother and sister Tombeur and Volti, who were both by Tresor out of the full sisters Peccavi and Cereza respectively.
Even though there were no duplications in the first six generations of Life is Life's pedigree, there were certainly some interesting connections between her sire, Mansonnien, and her unraced dam La Vie Immobile. The first of these genetic relationships centred round the dams of Tip Moss (sire of Mansonnien) and Wolverlife (sire of Life is Life's granddam), respectively named Top Twig and Miralife. Top Twig's sire High Perch was a son of Alycidon (by Donatello II out of a Hyperion mare), and Top Twig herself traced tail female to the mare Astrid. This was an ideal balance for Miralife, since her sire Miralgo was by Aureole (by Hyperion out of a Donatello II mare), and her maternal grandsire Panaslipper was another to trace tail female to Astrid. Note how well Alycidon and Aureole balance each other, having opposite sex strains of Donatello II and Hyperion. [Although not present in this pedigree there is another Hyperion/Donatello II bred stallion named High Hat who can provide an ideal balance to strains of Alycidon.]
The second important genetic relationship between Mansonnien and La Vie Immobile is between Diatome and Lord Gayle, who appear 4x4 in Life is Life's pedigree. Both have strains of Prince Rose, and Diatome's maternal grandsire Honeyway is matched in Lord Gayle by his dam Sticky Case, who is a near full sister to Honeyway, thanks to both having Fairway and Honey Buzzard.
SUMMARY: 24 races and 24 different winners, but many recurring pedigree patterns. What can we learn from them and what have been these dominant patterns?
1) Machiavellian combining with Northern
Dancer to double the mare Natalma and triple the mare Almahmoud.
July 8, 2001. Copyright by Nigel Pullen 2001.