• by Alan Porter 
  • on April 6, 2012  -  

In 2000, the Dubai World Cup (gr. I) was won in devastating style by the appropriately named, Dubai Millennium (he had actually been renamed with the event in mind, when it was decided that he was the most promising among the Godolphin crop that year). A son of Seeking the Gold and the Shareef Dancer mare, Colorado Dancer, Dubai Millennium was a genuinely great racehorse, as demonstrated by his best annual Timeform rating of 140. Tragically, we never had the opportunity to learn whether he would have been an equally outstanding sire, as he died from grass sickness at the end of April of 2001. Dubai Millennium left just 56 foals, five of whom became stakes winners, including the group scorers DubawiEcho of Light andBelenus. Dubawi, the best of these, was not as spectacular a runner as his sire, but did win five of his eight starts, including the Irish 2,000 Guineas (gr. I), Prix Jacques Le Marois (gr. I), National Stakes (gr. I) and Superlative Stakes (gr. III), as well as taking second in the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes (gr. I) and third in the Epsom Derby (gr. I).

Good as that race-record is, it is already apparent that Dubawi’s feats as a runner are going to be eclipsed by his achievements as sire, as his start in his second career is nothing short of sensational. His first Northern Hemisphere crop, foals of 2007, has so far produced a staggering 17 individual stakes winners, no less than 11 of them group or graded winners. Five of those are group or grade one winners, including the 2,000 Guineas (gr. I) and Prix Jacques Le Marois (gr. I) victor Makfi; the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes (gr. I) hero, Poet’s Voice; and the latest addition to the group, Monterosso, who 12 years after his grandsire’s imperious triumph, captured the most recent addition of the Dubai World Cup (gr. I).

Dubawi has also sired Southern Hemisphere grade one winners Secret Admirer and Happy Archer from his first shuttle crop, and like them, Monterosso has an Australian connection, as his dam, Porto Roca, is an Australian-born daughter of Barathea (a son of Sadler’s Wells). A very smart performer in her own right, Porto Roca captured the  Coolmore Classic (gr. I) and Winter Stakes (gr. III).Porto Roca  was also commendably versatile, as in addition to her two graded victories, both achieved at 7½ furlongs, she  took third in the Australasian Oaks (gr. I) at ten furlongs,and  fourth in the South Australian Oaks (gr. I) at 12½ furlongs, yet as a four-year-old, shortened-up for a second in the six furlong Gateway Suites Quality Handicap (gr. III). Porto Roca is half-sister to Bluebird the World (by Bluebird, a Northern Dancer/Sir Gaylord cross, like Barathea), winner of the Waikato Race Club International Stakes (gr. I) and runner-up in the New Zealand Derby (gr. I). The second dam, graded placedAntelliere, (by Salieri, a European-raced grandson of Damascus), is out of Anntelle, a daughter of the Never Bend horse,Loosen Up. Anntelle’s dam, Soft Quest, is a sister to Dual Quest, who won the Australian Oaks (gr. I) in the mid-1960s. The female line has been in Australia for more than a century, dating back to the arrival of the mare, Meadow Queen, in the 1890s.

Porto Roca follows Hunter’s Light as the second stakes winner from 11 starters by Dubawi out of mares by Barathea. Dubawi has also sired three other stakes winners, two group, out of Sadler’s Wells line mares,and the affinity is perhaps not surprising, since his dam is by a son of Shirley Heights, a horse who has combined so well with Sadler’s Wells (Monterosso also has a second cross of Shirley Heights’ grandsire, Never Bend, a half-brother to Bold Reason, the broodmare sire of Sadler’s Wells). However, there is also something else interesting going on in this pedigree. We mentioned that Barathea is an example of the Northern Dancer/Sir Gaylord cross, and Dubawi has two other versions of this cross through Shareef Dancer (broodmare sire of Dubai Millennium), and Dancing Brave (sire of Dubawi’s second dam). The Northern Dancer/Sir Gaylord cross already appears in the dams of eight Dubawi stakes winners, including MakfiLuck or DesignDubawi Gold and Zubbaya (all out of mares by Green Desert), Dubawi Heights (dam bred on an extended version of the cross) and Aquila d’Oriente (out of a mare by Alzao).  Green Desert and Alzao are Northern Dancer/Sir Ivor crosses, like Shareef Dancer, and this is particularly interesting, since Dubawi’s second Northern Dancer/Sir Gaylord cross is through Dancing Brave, who gets his Sir Gaylord through Drone, a genetic relative to Sir Ivor. It’s worth noting that another young European stallion superstar, Oasis Dream (by Green Desert, with a second dam by Dancing Brave) already has stakes winners out mares by Shareef Dancer and Barathea.

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