Twice Leading Sire Deputy Minister – Champion in the U.S. and Horse of the Year in Canada at two – wasn’t a stallion generally associated with staying turf runners. He did, however get one of that kind in Go Deputy. Bred by Wertheimer et Frere, out of a Secretariat half-sister to Quiet America, Go Deputy gained his most prestigious victory in the Sword Dancer Invitational Stakes (gr. I) over 12 furlongs on the grass. In addition, Go Deputy’s other efforts included a win in the Bowling Green Handicap (gr. II), and seconds in the Man o’ War Stakes (gr. I), Gulfstream Park Breeders’ Cup Stakes (gr. I) and Canadian International Stakes (gr. I).
As creditable as these performances were, and as illustrious as his pedigree was, Go Deputy was not the type of horse to appeal to the American commercial market, and so he was sold to stand at Lammerskraal Stud, Western Cape, South Africa. There he’s proved a solid, rather than spectacular stallion, but he is now in the news as sire of Abashiri. Successful in his last four starts, Abashiri made headlines on April 30, when he completed the South African Triple Crown by adding the South African Derby (gr. I) over an extended 12 furlongs to wins in the first two legs, the Gauteng Guineas (gr. II) at a mile, and the nine furlong South African classic.
Abashiri is out of a mare by the Lyphard horse, Elliodor, a minor winner in France, who was out of a sister to Busted, a modest three-year-old who matured into a European Champion at four, and later became an outstanding sire. Elliodor’s performance as a stallion was much more in line with his pedigree than his racetrack performance, and he sired 71 stakes winners from 681 starters, 12 of them grade one, including Model Man, South Africa’s first millionaire, and Crimson Palace, whose victories included the Beverly D Stakes (gr. I) in the U.S. and the Middleton Stakes (gr. III) in England. Elliodor has also excelled as a broodmare sire, and Abashiri is among 12 grade one winners in which he features in that role.
Abashiri’s dam, Donya – who was 18-years-old when she produced Abashiri – won seven races from six furlongs to a mile, including the Gosforth Park Fillies Stakes (gr. II) and Azalea Handicap (gr. III). She had previously produced the stakes winner Drift Ice to Western Winter (whose sire, Gone West, is out of a mare by Go Deputy’s broodmare sire, Secretariat, and who himself is out of a mare by Vice Regent, the sire of Deputy Minister). Donya is half-sister to South African Horse of the Year Yard-Arm (another by Western Winter), and a sister to Camara, the dam of Go Deputy’s graded winning son, Current Event. The second dam, Fashing, is by Nijinsky II’s son, Dancing Champ, and the family has been in South Africa since the 1930s, and his fifth dam is a close relative to the 1953 South African Oaks heroine, Promptness.
Abashiri and his close relative, Current Event, are two of the three stakes winners sired from just six starters by Go Deputy out of mares by Elliodor. Interestingly enough, Deputy Minister sired the Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) victress Keeper Hill out of Fineza, who was by a son of Lyphard, and from the family of Go Deputy, so having many similar elements to Abashiri.