• by Alan Porter 
  • on February 9, 2012  -  

One of the great classic sires of the era, the now retired Kingmambo, added another “classic” to his laurels when his son, Kinglet, took the UAE 2,000 Guineas (gr. III). Unlike some who have contested this race, Kinglet, who campaigned in England at two, doesn’t seem a likely candidate for the U.S. classics. In fact he appears to have a distinctly grassy pedigree. The dam, Karen’s Caper, is one of the more talented runners sired by War Chant, winning of the Nell Gwyn Stakes (gr. III) in England, and the Noble Damsel Handicap (gr. III) and Eatontown Stakes (gr. III) in the U.S., as earning group/grade one places in both countries.

Karen’s Caper is half-sister to the Coronado’s Quest graded winner, Miss Coronado, and out of Miss Caerleona, a Caerleon mare who won the Cardinal Handicap (gr. II). The third dam, Miss d’Ouilly, was a listed winner in France, and is out of Miss Satin, who also featured as the fourth dam of Blue Bunting, who captured the 2011 renewals of the Irish Oaks (gr. I), English 1,000 Guineas (gr. I), and Yorkshire Oaks (gr. I). Kinglet, who is rated TrueNicks A, is a product of the cross of Kingmambo overDanzig line mares, that has produced eight stakes winners (12% stakes winners to starters), including grade one winner Voodoo Dancer.

It could also pay to keep an eye on the strong-finishing runner-up, Mickdaam, who was beaten only ¼ length, and who looks as if he’ll appreciated the added distance of the UAE Derby (gr. II). He is by Dubawi, out of the Be My Guest, mare Ribot’s Guest, and is a half-brother to the Prix de l’Opera (gr. I) victress Kinnaird.

Mendip first came to prominence in Dubai two years ago when three starts brought him two wins, including the Al Bastakiya, and a third in the UAE Derby (gr. II). Last year, he again started thee times, winning the Al Maktoum Challenge Round 1 (gr. III) and Burj Nahaar (gr. III), before ending his brief campaign with a sixth in the Dubai Duty Free (gr. III). This year he finished fourth in the Al Maktoum Challenge Round 1, but rebounded to take the Al Maktoum Challenge Round 2 (gr. II), by 1¼ lengths, with some smart performers, including Biondetti, Master Of Hounds, Richard’s Kid, Pisco Sour, and Prince Bishop.

Mendip (TrueNicks B+) is by Harlan’s Holiday out of the Coronado’s Quest mare, Well Spring, and is one of seven stakes winners for the sire out of mares by sons and grandsons of Mr. Prospector. Mendip’s granddam, Chaposa Springs (by Baldski, by Nijinsky II), won the Test Stakes (gr. I) and Ballerina Handicap (gr. I), and is half-sister to the Metroplitan Handicap (gr. I) winner, You and I. The third dam, La Chaposa, was Champion Sprinter in Peru. Mendip has the genetic relatives Storm Bird and Nijinsky II in the fourth generation of his pedigree, and it’s worth keeping in mind that Nijinsky II appears in the dams of at least six Harlan’s Holiday stakes winners.

The other black-type race on the card was the Firebreak Stakes (gr. III), which went to the French-bred Sandagiyr. A son of Dr. Fong (by Kris S.), Sandagiyr had previously done all his running in his native country, winning twice, including the Prix de Pontarme, but seeming exposed when running unplaced in group races on his last three starts, including when eleventh of 16 in the French Derby (gr. I).

Dr. Fong was a high-class miler, scoring his most prestigious victory in the St. James’s Palace Stakes (gr. I) at Royal Ascot. He’s not been the most prolific stakes sire, but has been represented by some other good runners, including the Secretariat Stakes (gr. I) victor ShadinanAsk For The Moon, who took the Prix Saint-Alary (gr. I); and Aoiffe Alainn, heroine of the Premio Lydia Tesio (gr. I).

In general the Roberto/Shirley Heights – which Sandagiry represents – has not been a tremendously successful one, producing only five stakes winners. However, three of them are by Dr. Fong, and sired from only 21 starters (14% stakes winners to starters), and thus Sandagiyr is rated TrueNicks A++. It probably doesn’t hurt that Sandagiyr’s dam, the Darshaan mare Sanariya, appears to be a well-above average producer as she is also dam of Sarafina, whose victories include the French Oaks (gr. I), Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud (gr. I) and Prix Saint-Alary (gr. I), and Sanaya, a listed winner in Dubai and France, and runner-up in the Prix Saint-Alary (gr. I).

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