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Thursday, October 2, 2008

The Kingmaker Reigns Supreme

With Curlin scratched as expected from this Sunday’s running of the Prix de L'Arc de Triomphe at Longchamp, there are 19 runners remaining. Of those, 11 are progeny of the recently-pensioned Sadlers Wells, including three sons—Song of Hiawatha, Septimus and Ask—and five paternal grandsons through sons Galileo (Soldier of Fortune, Cima de Triomphe), Montjeu (King of Rome, Papal Bull) and Opera House (Meisho Samson). Sadlers Wells is also the damsire of Youmzain and Red Rock Canyon, and the maternal grandsire (through his son Old Vic) of Godolphin’s sole Arc runner Schiaparelli.

Even more astounding, Sadlers Wells’ sire Northern Dancer appears in the bloodline all 19 Arc starters, guaranteeing The Kingmaker’s continuing legacy in one of the world’s most prestigious races. Thus, regardless of which country produces this year’s Arc winner—Ireland, Great Britain, Japan, Germany or France—it’s interesting that all of them trace their roots back to Canada, which incidentally offers a tremendous card of races on Saturday at Woodbine, including the G1 E.P. Taylor (go Hostess!) and G1 Pattison Canadian International. As an aside, I’m be rooting hard in the G3 Summer Stakes for the sole 2-year-old filly in the race, the outstandingly-named Freyga.

Other miscellaneous observations of Arc runners’ bloodlines:

Red Rock Canyon’s dam Imagine won both the G1 English Oaks and G1 Irish 1000 Guineas. Her half-brother Generous won the both G1 Epsom and Irish Derbies. The dam of Imagine and Generous was the prolific unraced mare Doff the Derby whose sire was...Master Derby—not a name you often hear among elite turf runners.

I’ve discussed this before, but the last female Arc winner was Urban Sea in 1993; bred to Sadlers Wells, she produced Galileo whose son Soldier of Fortune could very well win this year’s race—he’s currently third choice among most bookmakers, behind second choice Duke of Marmalade and the favorite—the brilliant filly Zarkava. In a year where fillies and mares, from Europe to Australia to the United States, are providing the most exciting racing, how fitting it would be if Zarkava won.

Likewise, on Saturday Down Under (Friday night here), watch for Gai Waterhouse's star mare Tuesday Joy against Weekend Hussler in the G1 Turnbull Stakes. Oh, and by the way, both Tuesday Joy and Weekend Hussler traces their bloodlines back to Northern Dancer, the former through her sire Carnegie (son of Sadlers Wells), and the latter through his maternal grandsire Fairy King.

Long live the King!


libby said...


Keith - Triple Dead Heat said...

Great post! I guess this is a big weekend for Canadian racing...and a few other canadians are travelling. C'mon Harlem Rocker in the Jerome at Belmont!

Saturday is my favourite racing day of the Woodbine meet. International stars, top jocks from around the globe and some serious turf racing happening just yards from the grandstand.

The Form is sitting in my desk and I can't wait to get into it later this evening.