SIRES, DAM SIRES and DAM’S DAM SIRES (Part 5)
Presented to you by Racing HQ
I offer part 5 of the new series. This stallions here come with a slight caveat as the last series, I am wary of their rating’s in the sim. Pierro’s credentials are super, everything you could ask in a stallion. This is a serious horse, he has a spectacular race record, a solid pedigree certain to produce real racehorses. Even though he was spectacular at 2 his offspring may take time as his distaff pedigree indicates. We have a real Australasian flavor this issue.
PIERRO - Fee for 2017: $77,000, Syndicated for $30,000,000
The syndication deal – It was the handshake that ended the most fierce bidding war for a stallion prospect in many years.
In a deal rumoured to be worth up to $30 million, champion colt Pierro was sold to stand at Coolmore Stud in the Hunter Valley. At Coolmore’s plush Double Bay office board room where the walls are covered with photographs of the stud’s greatest stallions like Nijinksky, Sadler’s Wells, Danehill, Galileo, Encosta De Lago, Fastnet Rock and High Chaparral, Tom Magnier negotiated the sale with Pierro’s owner, Greg Kolivos. After a week of racing industry speculation and rumour, both men were relieved to finally complete the sale.
Kolivos, the Sydney financier who says he has been “living the dream” racing Pierro with his wife, Donna, and their son, Alex, has retained a small interest in the champion three-year-old. “We could not let him go,” Kolivos said. “We wanted to say involved with the horse in some capacity. “Until we decided Pierro was retired – and that wasn’t done until Gai (Waterhouse) made the call, we had not formally commenced any negotiations to sell the horse. “But once we had made the decision that Pierro had run his last race, we started the process of finding him a new home. Coolmore seemed the perfect fit as they are one of the most successful breeding organisations in the world, they have a fabulous track record, and we can still go and visit the horse at the farm. “If Pierro stands outside Australia, then if we go on a family trip, we can visit him there, too.”
Magnier said details of the Pierro deal are “commercially sensitive” and neither he or Kolivos would comment when asked about the sale price. However, Magner said the Coolmore organisation, which is a worldwide thoroughbred leader with major stud operations in Ireland and the United States, had been particularly keen to secure Pierro for stud duties. “Everyone has been watching Pierro after what he did as a two-year-old,” Magnier said.
“He is one of the best two-year-olds we have seen in over 30 years and he trained on to win Group 1 races as a three-year-old. “His race record is unbelievable and a lot of the reasons for that is because this horse was so well managed by Greg and Donna, and their trainer, Gai Waterhouse.
“Listen, Coolmore is lucky to be standing this horse – it is very exciting for all of us involved.”
DO GOLDEN SLIPPER WINNING COLTS MAKE SIRES ????
Winning the Golden Slipper in Australia is seen as hitting the jackpot in terms of a stallion making race, so is it the passport to success many stud masters believe?
Son of the immortal Star Kingdom (IRE), Todman won the first Golden Slipper in 1957 and went on to become a highly successful sire paving the way for all that have followed since.
Colts such as Vain, Baguette, John’s Hope, Luskin Star, Marscay, Rory’s Jester, Marauding, ill-fated Star Watch (he died after two seasons), and Canny Lad continued the trend right up until 1990, but there were also less than successful sires along the way including Full on Aces, Sir Dapper and Tierce.
The Danehill era began in 1994, delivering two successful sires in consecutive years in Danzero and Flying Spur, who both stood with great success for many years at Arrowfield Stud. Interestingly both horses started their stud careers in Victoria for Arrowfield with Chatwood Stud, as at that time in the mid-nineties shuttle sires were commercially hot and colonial speed was seen as somewhat pedestrian…. my how that school of thought has changed!
Catbird made it a trio of successful Slipper winning sires by Danehill when he retired to Yarraman Park and then Stratum was the next Slipper winning colt to go to stud when he went to Widden in 2006.
He was an immediate hit for Widden taking top honors as Champion First Season Sire and Champion 2YO Sire with his first crop which included the Golden Slipper winner Crystal Lily.
Widden moved fast to secure the next Golden Slipper winning colt in Sebring, who has also proven a runaway success at stud standing this spring at a $77,000.
Darley homebred Sepoy won the Slipper in 2011 and was hotly favored to achieve stud success after posting phenomenal results at the sales with his first crop of yearlings.
Coolmore is home to two of the more recent Slipper winners with Pierro having his first two year-olds hitting the track in 2016 and Vancouver covering his first book of mares, while this year’s winner Capitalist has been retired already in preparation for his first season at Newgate Farm in 2017.
The majority of Slipper winners have gone on to achieve commercial success at stud in varying degrees with Flying Spur and Sebring the best of them since 1990, the latter bred from a daughter of the former. How the current crop fare in the future will be of great interest given they come from such diverse sirelines – Pierro by Lonhro, Vancouver by Medaglia D’Oro (USA) and Capitalist by Written Tycoon.
EIGHT CARAT (GB)
MISS RIGHT NOTE (IRE)
SKY SONG (IRE)
The best son of champion racehorse and sire Lonhro
Timeform’s highest-rated juvenile in Australasia since 1977
Lonhro was a champion Australian racehorse who is now standing at stud. Nicknamed “The Black Flash”, he was from the first crop of the champion Octagonal out of the G1placed Shadea (by Straight Strike), who also produced the Group One winner Niello (a younger, full-brother to Lonhro). Lonhro raced from two to five years of age and won 26 races, including 25 stakes races, ranging in distance from 1,100 to 2,000 metres. These included 11 Group One wins and 18 wins at WFA. He was bred and owned by Woodlands Stud and trained by John Hawkes. Lonhro’s name is based on the stock exchange code of the London Rhodesian Mining and Land Company, LONRHO. This arose from his foaling description as “tiny but perfect”, a label ascribed to the CEO of the company. The horse’s name is deliberately misspelt.
Lonhro stood at Woodlands Stud at the beginning of his stud career, his birthplace, and next to his own sire, Octagonal. His initial fee was announced as A$66,000 – a record for local first season stallion, but comparable with first season shuttle horses from the Northern Hemisphere. While there was some discussion over the price Lonhro is arguably the best performed stallion to retire to stud in Australia since Tulloch in the early 1960s. A Lonhro colt from a Royal Academy mare, Palme d’Or, brought NZ$1,050,000 at the 2007 Karaka premier Sale in New Zealand, while Denman, from his second crop, won the Golden Rose at Rosehill in August 2009. Woodlands stud was later bought out by HH Sheikh Mohammad bin Rashid Al Maktoum’s Darley Stud. Lonhro was then transferred to Darley’s Aberdeen NSW base, where he now stands alongside his son, Denman, for a fee of $88,000.
With the completion of the 2010-2011 Australian racing season Lonhro was crowned the leading sire in Australia. He ended the season some $1.2 million clear of his nearest rival Redoutes Choice. It was the first time in 40 years that an Australian Champion Racehorse of the Year (2004) was also named Australian Champion Sire (2011). Lonhro’s Group One winning horses to-date are Beaded, Benfica, Denman, Pierro and Mental. Other Stakes winning horses include Euryale, Celts, Parables, Obsequious, Launay, Pinwheel, Tampiko and Dysphonia to name a few. In August 2011 Makybe Diva produced her fourth foal, a colt by Lonhro. The colt was the result of a mating between two Australian Champion Racehorses of the Year, Lonhro (2004) and Makybe Diva (2005 & 2006). It is already estimated to be worth between $2–3 million.
Lonhro will shuttle to Darley’s stallion farm at Jonabell in Lexington, Kentucky.
Eight Carat (GB) (1975–2000) was a British-bred broodmare. She produced five individual G1 winners, including Octagonal, Mouawad, Kaapstad, Diamond Lover and (Our) Marquise who had 28 stakes wins between them.
She was sired by the Eclipse Stakes winner Pieces of Eight out of Klairessa. Klairessa had little success as a racehorse, but was a sister to both the King’s Stand Stakes winner D’Urberville and the mare Lora who produced the 1000 Guineas winner On the House. In addition to Eight Carat, Klairessa also produced a colt by General Assembly named Knesset, who won the Ballyogan Stakes in 1988 and Habibti, the British champion sprinter and Horse of the Year in 1983.
Her influence now extends to several generations and includes her daughters:
Diamond Lover: dam of Tristalove winner of 2 Group 1 races and Champion Race filly; Don Eduardo winner of the Group 1 AJC Derby; Peruzzi multiple Group winner and Antwerp multiple Listed winner. Diamond Lover is the grand dam of Viscount (Multiple Group 1 winner and Champion 2YO); Helsinborg (Listed winner); Viking Ruler (Group 1 winner); Kempinsky (Group 2 winner); and Diamond Like (Listed winner). She is also the great grand dam of Lucida (Listed winner). Lastly, she is the great-grand dam of De Beers (Group 1 winner).
Marquise: dam of Shower of Roses, Group 1 winner.
Cotehele House (1980 by My Swanee): dam of Danewin (b. 1991), winner of 5 Group 1 races, and Champion, 3YO of his year, and Commands, the winner of a Group 3 race. Both Danewin and Commands are now at stud in Australia’s Hunter Valley. Both have been successful siring Group 1 winners, including (Danewin): Elegant Fashion, Vitesse Dane, County Tyrone, Excites and Toulouse-Lautrec; and (Commands): Undue and Paratroopers. Cotehele House is the grand dam of Emerald Dream (Group 1 winner); Special Bond (Listed winner) and Taimana (Group 2 winner). She is also the great grand dam of Impaler (2x Group 2 winner) and Listen Here (Listed winner).
La Brillante (1986 by Sir Tristram): dam of Philidor, Listed winner.
Nine Carat (1989 by Sir Tristram): dam of Court of Jewels, Listed winner.
Eight Carat’s sons: Octagonal, Kaapstad, Colombia and Mouawad have all stood at stud. Octagonal is currently standing at Woodlands Stud, and will be best remembered as the sire of the two brothers: Niello and world champion miler of 2004, Lonhro (now also at stud at Woodlands). Kaapstad stood at Windsor Park Stud in New Zealand and was a leading sire and broodmare sire until his death on 9 May 2007. At stud Kaapstad sired 40 individual stakes winners. Colombia is currently standing in New Zealand at Newmarket Lodge. Mouawad stood one season in Australia at Glenlogan Park Stud in QLD, however due to fertility problems, he was re-sold again at public auction for A$525,000 to the former Domeland Syndicate and shipped to China. Unfortunately his whereabouts are unknown due to the collapse of the Chinese racing industry in late 2005.
Eight Carat won the New Zealand Broodmare of the Year a record-equalling three times from 1995 to 1997 due to the deeds of Octagonal and Mouawad.
In 1996 Eight Carat was named Broodmare of the Year by the international journal Owner-Breeder (USA).
Eight Carat died in 2000, aged 25 at Sir Patrick Hogan’s Cambridge Stud. She is buried alongside Sir Tristram (IRE).
PIERRO AT STUD
The 2016/17 racing season will see the eagerly awaited racecourse debut of the progeny of Triple Crown winning champion two year-old Pierro. He covered incredible mares in his 1st season and got very good looking progeny.
Some interesting news – The progeny of Golden Slipper winner Pierro were in hot demand at the best ever Inglis Great Southern Weanling Sale which posted record results highlighted by a stunning Pierro colt from Call Me Pretty that made $210,000.
Consigned by Erinvale Thoroughbreds, the colt is a half-brother to stakes-winners Born to Rock and Prettyhappyaboutit as well as stakes-placed Cindarockinrella being the ninth foal from well bred import Call Me Pretty.
He was snapped up by renowned pinhooking partners Ascot Farm, New Zealand and Ampulla Lodge, Victoria.
“He was the one I wanted. We’ve had success buying off John [Kenneally] in the past, turning a Flying Spur colt from $240,000 into $850,000, and both us and Ampulla are big fans of Pierro,” said Bruce Harvey of Ascot Farm.
“We both bid on Pierro himself as a weanling, we’ve tried hard on his progeny at the weanling sales this year and I’m rapt to secure this colt. Last year we identified opportunities at the top end of the market and our aim has been to buy mature colts high on pedigree ratings, and this colt completely fitted the brief.”
Pierro also achieved strong results with colts from San Cristobel and Mourasana sold for $160,000 and $140,000 to astute bloodstock agent Paul Willetts.
Set to have his first two year-old runners next season, Pierro was the leading sire by average with four weanlings offered and all being sold at an average $153,750, a sum far in excess of the overall sale average of $31,140.
Pierro followed on from the strength of his first yearlings with more impressive results. His first yearlings realised up to $1.5 million and leading bloodstock agent James Bester bid $330,000 to secure the Pierro ex. Bellevue Girl colt from the draft of Newgate Farm.
The Pierro filly from the multiple Stakes-winning Danehill mare Lilakyn was knocked down to Redwall Bloodstock for $220,000 from the Rothwell Park draft. She is closely related to Group 1 New Zealand Guineas winner Rock’n’Pop (Fastnet Rock).
UNBEATEN TRIPLE CROWN WINNER AT 2 YEARS
1stATC Golden Slipper-Gr.1, 1200m, Rosehill, defeating Snitzerland and Samaready.
1stATC Sires Produce Stakes-Gr.1, 1400m, Randwick, defeating All Too Hard and Limes by 1¾ lengths in record time.
1stATC Champagne Stakes-Gr.1, 1600m., Randwick, by nearly 3 lengths from Dear Demi and Tatra.
1stATC Silver Slipper Stakes-Gr.2, 1100m, Rosehill, defeating Hussousa and Kyria.
1stATC Todman Stakes-Gr.2, 1200m, Rosehill, defeating Epaulette and Shelford.
1stATC Breeders Plate-L.R. , 1000m, Randwick, defeating Hidden Warrior and Rusambo on debut.
DUAL GR.1 WINNER AT 3 YEARS
1stATC Canterbury Stakes-Gr.1, 1300m., Rosehill, from More Joyous.
1stATC George Ryder Stakes-Gr.1, 1500m., Rosehill, from King Mufhasa and Shoot Out.
1stATC Hobartville Stakes-Gr.2, 1400m., Rosehill by nearly 5 lengths from Rebel Dane, Proisir and It’s A Dundeel.
1stMVRC Bull Stutt Stakes-Gr.2, 1600m., Moonee Valley by nearly 5 lengths from Caringbush Jack and Jimando.
1stATC Run To The Rose-Gr.3, 1200m., Rosehill, defeating the Gr.1 winners Your Song, Epaulette and All Too Hard.
2ndMRC Caulfield Guineas-Gr.1, 1600m., Caulfield, beaten a ½ length by All Too Hard.
2ndATC Doncaster Mile-Gr.1, 1600m., Randwick, beaten a ¾ length by Sacred Falls.
3rdMVRC W.S. Cox Plate-Gr.1, 2040m., Moonee Valley to Ocean Park and All Too Hard.
IN THE SIM
PRIAH (TURF) – G1 Equinics winner 8F, scratch bred, DS Lear Fan (Roberto line), DDS Blushing Groom (Nasrullah line)
BATTLE OF ALTIMONAN (Dirt) – G2 winner 6.5 & 7F, out of a Stakes winning Awesome Again mare (Northern Dancer line), DDS Seeking The Gold (Mr Prospector line)
RIO TINTO (Turf & Dirt) – G3 winner 7F turf, scratch bred, DS Storm Cat (Northern Dancer line), DDS Mr Prospector (Raise A Native line)
MONTANA’S TRIUMPH (Turf & Dirt) – G3 winner 9F dirt & Stakes winner 10F turf, out a non winning Arch mare (Roberto line), DDS Unbridled (Mr Prospector line)
CONCONUT PIER (Turf) – G3 winner 8F, out a Graded placed, Allowance winning King Kamehameha mare (Mr Prospector line), DDS Shamardal. (Northern Dancer line)
SILVER ORCHIDS (Turf) – Graded placed, 8F Stakes winner out a Miaden winning Lonhro mare (Zabeel line), DDS Danehill. (Danzig/Northern Dancer line)
COUGER WINGER (Turf) – Stakes winner 6F, out of a Stakes winning Stormy Atlantic mare (Northern Dancer line), DDS Alleged (Ribot line)
Recommendations – Personally I would breed strictly Turf types and take a dirt runner if that’s what you draw. Should be easy to breed with, Northern Dancer mares look good with a particular preference to the Danzig strain. Not sure of his rating but my good friend Summerset got a G1 winner so try him, I have a few showing potential and will breed more, gl.
ANABAA son of DANZIG
PAS DE NOM
The Danzig branch of Northern Dancer is fast becoming one of the most influential sirelines in the world, particularly through Green Desert, Danehill, Cape Cross and their sons and grand sons with MUCH more to come.
Danzig (February 12, 1977 – January 4, 2006) was an American Thoroughbred racehorse who is best known as a leading sire. He was purchased for $310,000 (equivalent to $1.1 million in 2016) by Henryk de Kwiatkowski at the 1978 Saratoga Yearling Sale. The son of Hall of Famer Northern Dancer and the most important sire of the second half of the 20th century, he won all three of his races before knee problems ended his racing career.
Danzig was retired to stand at stud at Claiborne Farm near Paris, Kentucky, where he became one of the world’s most important sires. He led the U.S. sires list from 1991 to 1993 and topped the sire list in Spain and the United Arab Emirates.
Danzig sired 188 graded stakes race winners and 10 champions. His foals have earned more than $100 million in purse money and include Breeders’ Cup winners Chief’s Crown, Lure, Dance Smartly, and War Chant as well as the European champions Dayjur and Anabaa. Danzig also sired 1992 Preakness Stakes winner Pine Bluff, and is the sire of Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame inductee Langfuhr who, in turn, sired theCanadian Triple Crown winner and Horse of the Year, Wando.
A leading sire of sires, Danzig’s son Danehill is the first Thoroughbred in history to sire 300 stakes winners, while another son Green Desert has champions Oasis Dream, Ouija Board, Sea The Stars, and Kingman amongst his male-line descendants. Danzig was also the damsire of Fusaichi Pegasus and Dancethruthedawn. He was the grandsire of 2008 Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner Big Brown. His son Hard Spun finished second in the 2007 Kentucky Derby, behind Street Sense.
Danzig and his son, Danehill, were dominant bay sires along with another 17 of Danzig’s sons: they would not produce chestnut progeny and only a grey if the foal’s dam was grey.
He was pensioned at 27 in 2004 and on January 3, 2006 was humanely euthanized due to the infirmities of old age. He was buried at Claiborne Farm’s equine cemetery.
At maturity, he reached 15.3 hands (63 inches, 160 cm) high.
Anabaa (1992–2009) was an American-bred champion Thoroughbred racehorse who was trained in France during a racing career which lasted from September 1995 to October 1996. Anabaa failed to win until the age of four, but in 1996 he won his first six starts including two Group Oneraces; the July Cup in England and the Prix Maurice de Gheest in France. At the end of the season he was named European Champion Sprinterat the Cartier Racing Awards. He later had a successful career at stud, becoming particularly known as the sire of Goldikova.
As a two-year-old Anabaa diagnosed as being a “wobbler”, which delayed his appearance on the racecourse until late the following year. Anabaa ran three times without success in the Autumn of 1995. He was campaigned ambitiously, making his debut in a Listed race at Longchamp in September in which he finished fourth. He was then moved up to the highest level to finish sixth of the ten runners in the Group One Prix de la Forêt in October. On his final start he was dropped back down to Listed class and finished third in a three-way photo finish at Evry.
In March 1996, Anabaa made his first appearance as a four-year-old when he won an 1100m Listed race at Evry by five lengths. A month later over the same course and distance, he won another Listed race by seven lengths.
His reputation was growing, and only three horses opposed him when he moved back up to Group class for the Prix de Saint-Georges at Longchamp in May. Freddie Head tracked the English-trained filly Millyant in the early stages before allowing Anabaa to move into the lead 400m from the finish. The colt quickly went clear and won his first Group race “very easily” by six lengths. Three weeks later, Anabaa was sent to Deauville for the Prix du Gros Chêne for which he was made 3/10 favorite. The race reflected the betting as Anabaa moved up to take the lead 200m out and recorded an “impressive” two length win.
The July Cup over six furlongs at Newmarket seemed likely to provide Anabaa with his first real test of the season. Apart from the reigning Champion Sprinter Hever Golf Rose, the field included the highly regarded English colts Pivotal and Mind Games, who had finished first and second in the King’s Stand Stakes. In a change of tactics, Head sent Anabaa into the lead from the start, and the colt was never headed. In the final furlong, he ran on strongly to win by one and three quarter lengths from Lucayan Prince. In August Anabaa returned to Deauville for the Group One Prix Maurice de Gheest, for which he started at odds of 1/2 in a field of nine. On this occasion, the colt was held up by Freddie Head before taking the lead 200m out and winning “comfortably” by a length and a half from Miesque’s Son.
In October, Anabaa started at odds of 3/10 for the Prix de l’Abbaye at Longchamp, where he was under pressure after 400m. He then responded to pass the English-trained filly Eveningperformance and take the lead inside the last 200m, only to be caught in the closing strides and beaten a neck by his stable companion Kistena.
Anabaa stood as a stallion at the Haras du Quesnay near Deauville, until his death in 2009. He was also shuttled to stand in Australia for the Southern Hemisphere breeding season and spent 2007 at the Castlelyons Stud in Lexington, Kentucky. Despite being a sprinter, his progeny succeeded across a wide range of distances. His most famous offspring is the record-breaking mare Goldikova who excelled over a mile, while the best of his sons have been Anabaa Blue who won the Group One Prix du Jockey Club over 2400m (one and a half miles) and Precision, who won the Hong Kong Cup over a mile and a quarter. Anabaa is the damsire of the 2013 Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe winner Treve. Anabaa died on 7 July 2009 from peritonitis after undergoing surgery for colic. At the time of his death his stud fee was €30,000.
His stamina influence can be clearly seen in the distaff side of his pedigree and I have been super impressed by his progeny, really stand out types.
IN THE SIM
Very lightly used as a sire but has produced a G1 winner and 16 Stakes winners with similar results as a dam sire.
Recommendations – IMO he deserves a try with some decent bloodlines, sprint or distance types. I would like to try Shamardal, Elusive Quality, Sepoy and Medicean with him and he is VERY cheap, give him a go.
DAM’S DAM SIRE
NOBLE BIJOU son of the great VAGUELY NOBLE
HAIL TO REASON
WAR ADMIRAL (USA)
BIG HURRY (USA)
Vaguely Noble (1965–1989) was an Irish-bred Thoroughbred racehorse who competed in theUnited Kingdom and France. The colt is best known as the winner of the 1968 Group one (G1) Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe when he defeated the best horses from England, France, Ireland and Italy. He was later a leading sire in Great Britain & Ireland and a Leading broodmare sire in GB & Ireland.
Major Lionel B. Holliday bred Vaguely Noble who was foaled in 1965. Vaguely Noble was by Vienna (GB) who won six races and £27,970 before he was exported to France and then to Japan. His dam was the Lancashire Oaks winner, Noble Lassie (GB) was by Nearco (ITY) from Belle Sauvage by Big Game. Noble Lassie was the dam of several other horses, but Vaguely Noble was her only graded stakes winner. Vaguely Noble was inbred to Hyperion in the third and fourth generation (3m x 4f) and also to Bahram in the fourth generation (4m x 4f).
Major Lionel B. Holliday died in 1965; as a two-year-old Vaguely Noble raced in the colors of the Major’s son, Brook Holliday. Vaguely Noble was sold at the end of his two-year-old season and was subsequently owned by Americans Wilma Franklyn and Nelson Bunker Hunt.
Racing at age two, Vaguely Noble finished second in his first two races then won his last two, including the Observer Gold Cup by seven lengths, pulling up, to end the 1967 season. In December 1967 he was sold at auction by the Estate of Major Lionel B. Holliday, for 136,000 guineas ($342,720), a record price for a racehorse. He was purchased by Albert Yank, acting as an agent for Dr and Mrs Franklyn.
In 1968 he was sent to race in France where his conditioning was taken over by Etienne Pollet. Vaguely Noble won four of his five starts including the Prix de Guiche (by 3 lengths), Prix du Lys (by 8 lengths), Prix de Chantilly and France’s most prestigious race, the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe at Longchamp defeating the brilliant Derby Stakes winner, Sir Ivor. Vaguely Noble, Ribot, and Sea-Bird were generally considered to be the three greatest winners of the world’s premier race, the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe.
Vaguely Noble was regarded as one of the best European gallopers of the post World War II-era after winning six of his nine starts in England and France for the equivalent of US$366,647 in prize-money, and earned a Timeform rating of 140.
In 1968 a 25% share in Vaguely Noble was acquired for $1.25 million by John R. Gaines of Lexington, Kentucky to make this a world record stallion syndication valuation of $5 million. Vaguely Noble was sent to stand at stud at Gainesway Farm in Lexington.
Highly successful, he sired 70 graded stakes race winners, and was the broodmare sire of more than 165 stakes winners. In 1973 and 1974 he was the Leading sire in GB & Ireland, mostly due to the victories of his great daughter, Dahlia. Vaguely Noble placed second in 1977 to Bold Ruler with 263 starters earning the equivalent of US$5,293,153 in Europe and North America. Vaguely Noble was also the leading broodmare sire in 1982.
His most important progeny included:
Ace of Aces, won (Sussex Stakes)
Dahlia (15 wins, US$1,532,442, inc. Benson and Hedges Gold Cup - twice, Washington, D.C. International Stakes, King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes - twice; Eclipse Award for Outstanding Female Turf Horse and was inducted into the United States Racing Hall of Fame, etc.
El Cuite (won Prix Royal-Oak, Gran Premio d’ Italia)
Empery, 1976 Epsom Derby winner
Estrapade (Santa Ana Handicap, Arlington Million and Oak Tree Invitational Stakes)
Exceller (15 wins, US$1,654,002 inc. Prix du Lys, Grand Prix de Paris, Prix Royal-Oak, Coronation Cup, Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud, Canadian International Stakes, Hollywood Gold Cup, Hollywood Invitational Turf Handicap etc.), Jockey Club Gold Cup
Friendswood (Gran Premio del Jockey Club and Premio Lydia Tesio)
Gay Mecene, Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud
Jet Ski Lady, Epsom Oaks
Lemhi Gold (8 wins, US$1,110445 inc. Jockey Club Gold Cup, Marlboro Cup Invitational Handicap and 1982 American Champion Older Male Horse etc.)
Noble Decree, Observer Gold Cup
Noble Bijou (USA) exported to New Zealand where he sired 59 stakeswinners that had 157 stakeswins.
Sporting Yankee, William Hill Futurity
Vaguely Noble died in 1989 at the age of 24 and was buried in the equine cemetery at Gainesway Farm.
NOBLE BIJOU – Now this is a DDS that few will have heard of outside of Australia and New Zealand I suspect but has left an indelible mark on our breeding industry.
As one might have deduced, Noble Bijou’s qualification for a career at stud was his pedigree, which was truly top‑class. First and foremost, he was a descendant of the legendary broodmare LA TROIENNE, who ranked as his fourth dam. A French mare who was bought (in‑foal to GAINSBOROUGH) by American breeder Edward Bradley from Marcel Boussac at Tattersalls’ 1930 December Sale in England, La Troienne was exported to America before that Gainsborough foal was born.
In what in retrospect can be seen as a colossal blunder, the Gainsborough foal (a filly) was put down as a youngster because of her poor conformation, after which La Troienne went on to prove herself arguably the most influential broodmare ever to have lived in America. She bred five stakes winners, a total which is creditable but not truly eye‑catching, but it was through subsequent generations that her merit became more and more obvious as the list of her top‑class descendants continued to grow.
La Troienne’s most talented offspring were BLACK HELEN (her first US‑conceived foal, and winner of the Coaching Club American Oaks, Florida Derby and American Derby in 1935) and BIMELECH (winner in 1940 of the Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes, and subsequently an influential stallion). Each was by Bradley’s stallion BLACK TONEY, by whom La Troienne also bred Noble Bijou’s third dam BIG HURRY. Like her champion full‑siblings, Big Hurry was a good racehorse, winning the Selima Stakes, a race which was categorized as a Grade One when the system of grading stakes was brought into use (although the race has subsequently been downgraded).
Sent to the champion WAR ADMIRAL in 1951, Big Hurry produced Noble Bijou’s second dam SEARCHING, who became one of the greatest racemares in American history: Searching won 25 races including several which are now classified as Grade One events. Searching in turn visited HAIL TO REASON in 1962, producing Noble Bijou’s dam PRICELESS GEM, winner of two top‑class races as a two‑year‑old in 1965, the Futurity Stakes and the Frizette Stakes. As a very well‑bred mare with an excellent racing record, Priceless Gem visited top‑class stallions, including being a member of the second book of mares covered by the top‑class Hyperion‑line horse VAGUELY NOBLE, Britain’s dominant two‑year‑old of 1967 and the outstanding winner of the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe in 1968. Vaguely Noble went on to prove himself a top‑class stallion, responsible for 24 Group/Grade One winners including his first‑crop daughter DAHLIA, the 1976 Derby winner EMPERY, EXCELLER, LEMHI GOLD, ESTRAPADE, GAY MECENE, MISSISSIPIAN and NOBLE DECREE.
Consequently, as the son of Vaguely Noble and Priceless Gem, Noble Bijou, who was born in 1971, was clearly a very well‑bred horse. However, it soon became clear that his credentials were better still. When Priceless Gem was covered by Vaguely Noble in 1970, she did so shortly after foaling a filly by another outstanding Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe winner: SEA BIRD, who had effortlessly completed the Derby/Arc double in 1965. Sea Bird did not make quite the same impact at stud as he had done on the racecourse (which is hardly surprising because, as his Timeform rating of 145 remains the highest ever recorded, he would have had to have become the best stallion in history to have made the same impact) but he was still a top‑class stallion, whose record would have been even better had he not died young (aged only 11). Sea‑Bird’s top‑class sons included GYR, LITTLE CURRENT and ARCTIC TERN (and the top‑class hurdler SEA PIGEON) but it was this daughter of Priceless Gem who proved to be his best child.
Noble Gem’s Sea‑Bird filly looked a very exciting proposition from the outset. Bred by the Bieber‑Jacobs Stable in Kentucky, she was bought as a yearling by the French art dealer Daniel Wildenstein, who was starting to establish a top‑class string. Wildenstein would subsequently own many champions (including LIANGA, but it is fair to say that he never owned another horse as special as this one. Wildenstein’s string was based in France (although he subsequently patronized the champion British trainers Peter Walwyn and Henry Cecil for a time) but, as a patriotic Frenchman, he dreamed of hearing a huge English sporting crowd chanting “Allez France” ‑ and as he was confident from the outset that this filly would be good enough to be taken to England to win the top races there, that was the name which she was given. The irony proved to be that, although Allez France turned out to be one of the greatest racemares in history, she never won in England, two second placings in the Champion Stakes being the closest she came. In France, though, she was outstanding. She was a champion for four consecutive years, a true queen who fully deserved her nickname ‘the Queen of Longchamp’. She was France’s champion two‑year‑old filly of 1972, when she won the Criterium des Pouliches (now Prix Marcel Boussac). She was France’s champion three‑year‑old filly of 1973, when she dominated her peers by winning the Poule d’Essai des Pouliches, the Prix de Diane and the Prix Vermeille before finishing second to RHEINGOLD in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe. She was then the champion older mare of France in both 1974 and 1975. As a four‑year‑old she was particularly dominant: she went through 1974 unbeaten, ending the year as France’s Horse of the Year after a campaign which had seen her victories include the Prix d’Ispahan, Prix Ganay and Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe. Like her sire had done before her, she set a Timeform benchmark which stands to this day: her rating of 136 means that she remains the highest‑ rated middle‑distance racemare.
As the young Noble Bijou grew up, therefore, it became apparent that, even if he was not up to racing himself (which he wasn’t as he was not sound enough), he would surely be worth a place at stud, thanks to the majesty of his older half‑sister ‑ especially as his sire Vaguely Noble was simultaneously finding further fame as the sire of Allez France’s great rival Dahlia.
White Robe Lodge Stud on the south island of New Zealand turned out to be the place which gave him a home. Established in 1956 on the Otago Plain, White Robe Lodge Stud was a perfect stud to welcome Noble Bijou, having already converted one well‑bred but unraced colt into a champion sire. MELLAY, born in 1961, had been bred to be a champion, being by a Derby winner (NEVER SAY DIE) out of an Oaks winner (MELD). This simple formula has thrown up several champions over the years, including the 1995 Derby and Arc winner LAMMTARRA, a son of the 1970 Derby winner NIJINSKY and the 1989 Oaks winner SNOW BRIDE.
Meld did indeed breed a Derby winner (CHARLOTTOWN, successful at Epsom in 1966) but her mating with Never Say Die failed to achieve the desired results as Mellay never ran. However, ensconced at White Robe Lodge Stud, Mellay made an indelible mark on racing history, becoming New Zealand’s champion sire in both 1972/’73 and 1976/’77.
When Noble Bijou arrived on the south island of New Zealand in advance of the 1975 stud season, it was thus only natural that many of the better mares whom he covered were daughters of Mellay. And this, as Ross du Bourg has observed in his classic tome ‘The Australian and New Zealand Thoroughbred’, led to “arguably the most consistently successful sire over broodmare sire upgrading nick in the history of Australian and New Zealand breeding since the Second World War”.
Noble Bijou turned out to be a world‑class stallion. He was New Zealand’s champion sire on four occasions, the first being the 1981/’82 season and the last the 1992/’93 season. In the first of those campaigns he also won the Dewar Trophy, awarded to the NZ‑based sire with highest total progeny earnings in New Zealand and Australia combined; even more remarkably, in 1992/’93 he was both champion sire and champion broodmare sire, making himself the only stallion to have achieved this feat in the same year in New Zealand and one of only a handful in any major racing nation to have done so.
Noble Bijou’s lifetime statistics are impressive: 65 of his 790 foals won at least one stakes race, and ten of these won at Group One level. Remarkably, six of these ten top‑liners were from daughters of Mellay. Top of that list comes ALIBHAI, an outstanding galloper trained by Tommy Smith who won four Group One races and was ranked Australasia’s champion four‑ year‑old in the 1984/’85 season, when his victories included the Group One Tancred Stakes (now BMW) over 2400m at weight‑for‑age at Rosehill ‑ a race which had been won three years previously by PRINCE MAJESTIC, another son of Noble Bijou from a Mellay mare. Noble Bijou’s other stars produced by Mellay mares included OUR SOPHIA (the 1985 AJC Oaks winner who was twice placed in the Caulfield Cup), POWLEY (winner of the 1980 NZ 1,000 Guineas) and ALLEZ BIJOU, winner of the 1982 Rawson (now Ranvet) Stakes at Rosehill. Outside Australasia, Noble Bijou’s best result came when BE NOBLE (another product of a Mellay mare) won the South African Derby.
Noble Bijou’s good horses from other mares included the outstanding stayer (Mr) LOMONDY (successful in the Adelaide Cup and Caulfield Cup in 1986) and LADY LIBERTY(winner of the South Australian Oaks in 1988). Typically, Noble Bijou’s progeny excelled at distances beyond a mile and proved very durable. The perfect illustration of this came in the Melbourne Spring Carnival in 1993 when two full‑brothers ‑ both by Noble Bijou from THE FANTASY (whose dam THE PIXIE was a daughter of Mellay) ‑ played starring roles. The first to take centre stage was the four‑year‑old gelding THE PHANTOM CHANCE, winner of the previous season’s New Zealand Derby. The Phantom Chance won Australasia’s weight‑for‑age championship, the Cox Plate at Moonee Valley ‑ and then seven days later the highlight of Flemington’s Victoria Derby Day card was the terrific and hugely popular victory of The Phantom Chance’s eight‑year‑old full‑brother THE PHANTOM in the Mackinnon Stakes, another Group One weight‑for‑age 2000m contest. The Phantom thus erased the disappointment of his narrow defeat in the Melbourne Cup three years previously, when he had failed by a length to give 1.5 kilos to the horse with whom he had shared favouritism, KINGSTON RULE.
Great a sire of racehorses though Noble Bijou was, he did even better as a broodmare sire, being crowned New Zealand’s champion in this role on five occasions. His number of Group One winners (ten) is the same as both sire and broodmare sire, and in the latter role he has supplied the winners of most of Australasia’s big Cup races, including the Melbourne Cup (TAWRRIFIC), Auckland Cup (IRISH CHANCE, a son of Noble Bijou’s top‑class daughter THE DIMPLE, who was out of the aforementioned Mellay mare The Pixie), Wellington Cup (ED), Brisbane Cup (PRIZED GEM ‑ who now ranks as the dam of the 2008 NZ Derby winner NOM DU JEU), New Zealand Cup (TREBLA) and Adelaide Cup (THE HIND, whose grand‑dam TOP SECRET was a daughter of Mellay). His daughters have also bred the Classic winners MERRY MAIDEN (NZ 1,000 Guineas) and DOWRY (SAJC Oaks), both of whom are grand‑daughters of Mellay mares ‑ and now, 17 years after his death in 1994 at the age of 23, Noble Bijou still has his grandson NIWOT (whose third dam is by Mellay!) representing him with distinction. As so often happens with leading NZ‑based sires, Noble Bijou has not been able to found much of a dynasty because so many of his best horses raced as geldings. His influence via his daughters is far‑reaching, but of his sons only Alibhai, who stood at Blandford Lodge Stud near Matamata and sired a few decent horses headed by the 1992 Sandown Cup winner SILK ALI, made anything but the most slender impact.
Another Noble Bijou stallion ‑ THE SON, who was a grandson of The Pixie ‑ enjoyed one good result when his son OARSMAN won the Wellington Cup in 2003; while BI NOBLE, an unraced son of Noble Bijou and the NZ Oaks‑ and New Zealand Cup‑winning Mellay mare PRINCESS MELLAY, found little success when standing alongside his father at White Robe Lodge. Be Noble went to stud in South Africa without enjoying significant success.
Noble Bijou truly ranks as one of the great stallions of the post‑war era. He succeeded against the odds, and as an unraced champion sire (and as a champion sire from the Hyperion sire‑line) he almost seems like a champion from a forgotten age. However, while he continues to appear in the bottom half of pedigrees of big‑race winners (something which he is likely to do pretty much forever) he will deservedly be remembered with respect and affection. Particularly around Melbourne Cup time
IN THE SIM – barely used
Recommendations - Now, this horse is all stamina so be prepared. I would use him in turf only pedigrees and if scratch breeding a 3 year old would be the way to go. He will cost you virtually nothing but well worth a shot, There are a few trainers who come to mind that like to breed distance horses and are very patient, he is free of the overused bloodlines which should suit any pedigree, throw him on the back of some nice blood and lets see what he has to offer. I can remember going through yearling catalogues and inspecting yearlings and if he was in the pedigree I immediately thought of the Melbourne Cup. I did a number of stud tours to New Zealand and saw him as well as many of his beautiful mares, wonderful even tempered loose walking types, not pretty by any means but all quality.
That concludes part 5 in the series, I hope it is of use in some form and was of interest. Next we shall look at another set of Dirt sires. Good luck to all.