The Diamond Jubilee Stakes (gr. I) was probably the most eagerly awaited contest of the Royal meet, as it featured Australian wonder-mare Black Caviar – officially rated the World’s  number one sprinter – trying to extend her undefeated record to 22.

Starting for the first time outside her native land, Black Caviar started at 1-6 to defeat her 13 opponents. She looked set for a workmanlike victory  when she hit the front with just over a furlong to run, but around 50 yards out, jockey Luke Nolan dropped his hands, seemingly unaware of the on-rushing Moonlight Cloud and Restiadargent. In the last few strides Nolan realized his error, the Black Caviar found just enough to scramble home by a head. Black Caviar did not seem to be moving particularly well as she trotted back to the winners circle, and it transpired that she had sustain some soft tissue damage to the quadriceps muscle, and the day after the race was somewhat sore behind. Nolan, having sensed his partner was not 100% was doing his best to ease her home, but with the mare not being at her best, and the Ascot six furlongs being a stiff uphill, she lost momentum much more quickly than he anticipated.

We took an in depth look at the pedigree of Black Caviar a few months back  but we’ll briefly recap. Her sire, Bel Esprit (by Royal Academy) is very probably the best stallion in the world today from Nijinsky II’s branch of Northern Dancer. He was a multiple graded winner of five of his six starts at two, and at three won the Doomben Ten Thousand (gr. I), and earned a rating as the top three-year-old in Australia in the 1400-1800m category.

Black Caviar’s dam, Helsinge, is a daughter of Desert Sun, a stallion who who staked his claim to fame as the sire of Sunline (who is actually a reverse Nijinsky II/Desert Sun cross to Black Caviar). Helsinge was unraced due to an injury suffered shortly after her purchase as a yearling, but was an A$300,000 sales purchase, one of the most expensive ever for her sire. Desert Sun is by the Danzig stallion, Green Desert, so Helsinge is bred on similar lines to her half-brothers Magnus and Wilander (both from the Danehill branch of the Danzig line). Magnus, a son of Flying Spur captured The Galaxy  (gr. I) and Linlithgow Stakes (gr. II), while Wilander took the Schillaci Stakes (gr. II) and Blue Diamond Prelude (gr. II).

The second dam, of Black Caviar, Scandinavia was a very fast daughter of Snippets, her credits including the QTC Cup (gr. II), and Blue Diamond Preview (gr. III), as well as seconds in the Victoria Racing Club Stakes (gr. I) and Goodwood Handicap (gr. I), and thirds in the Lightning Stakes (gr. I) and Newmarket Handicap (gr. I). Scandinavia is out of the unraced Vain mare, Song of Norway, whose 11 winning progeny also include the stakes winners Russian Tea RoomMidnight Sun and Frosty the Snowman. Scandinavia and Song of Norway were somewhat appropriately-named as Song of Norway was out of Love Song, a Danish-born  daughter of the Sovereign Path horse, Warpath, who captured the 1979 renewal of the Danish Oaks (gr. I).

Turning to Bel Esprit’s pedigree pattern,  the most obvious factor is a 3 x 4 cross of Bel Esprit’s broodmare sire, Vain, a brilliant Australian sprinter who is duplicated in at least four of Bel Esprit’s stakes winners, including another grade one winner, Bel Mer. Bel Esprit’s dam is a reverse Vain/Silly Season cross to Black Caviar’s granddam, Scandinavia.

At the other end of the distance scale, the 12 furlong Hardwicke Stakes (gr. II) went to last year’s Breeders’ Cup Classic (gr. I) second, Sea Moon (TrueNicks A+). He is by the Sadler’s Wells horse, Beat Hollow, a winner of four group or grade ones, three of them in the U.S., and a member of the same family as the tremendously successful European sire Oasis Dream. The dam, Eva Luna, was high-weighted older long distance mares in Europe, and she is also dam of the St. Leger (gr. I) victor, Brian Boru, and stakes winner Kitty O’Shea two more of the 12 stakes winners from 83 starters for the Sadler’s Wells line out of mares by Alleged – as well as their sister, Soviet Moon, dam of the English Derby (gr. I) and Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe (gr. I) scorer Workforce. The second dam, the Star Appeal mare, Media Luna, never won a black-type race, but was second in the English Oaks (gr. I), and is granddam of the Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) winner, Flute.

It appears that Europe has a rising stallion star in the Galileo horse, New Approach. He has three first crop winners to date, and all three triumphed at Royal Ascot, with Dawn Approach taking the Coventry Stakes (gr. II), Newfangled capturing the Albany Stakes (gr. III), and on the final day, Tha’ir, scoring in the Chesham Stakes. The start is all the more impressive, since although New Approach was a champion at two – when his successes included the National Stakes (gr. I) and Dewhurst Stakes (gr. I), both at seven furlongs – he stayed well enough to win an English Derby (gr. I).

Out of the Green Desert mare, Flashing Green, Tha’Ir is half-sister to Flashing Colour, a listed winner in Germany. The second dam, Colorsnap, was unraced, but produced a trio of stakes winners, including Champion Italian Two-Year-Old Filly Croeso Cariad, and Mona Lisa, who also took third in the Irish Oaks (gr. I). The third dam, Reprocolor, won a pair of group three, but has been much more important as a broodmare. Her offspring included Cezanne, winner of the Irish Champion Stakes (gr. I) and Colorspin, successful in the Irish Oaks (gr. I), and she’s ancestress of a slew of other stakes winners, including King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes (gr. I) winner Opera House and two-time Ascot Gold Cup (gr. I) winner Kayf Tara (both by Tha’ir’s grandsire Sadler’s Wells), as well as group one winners Necklace, Zafisio and Lyric of Light, as well as this year’s German2,000 Guineas captor Caspar Netscher.

Tha’ir is the product of the Galileo/Green Desert cross that has produced two stakes winners, including group one winner Was from 11 starters. Like Sadler’s Wells, Green Desert combines Northern Dancer with a son of the mare Lalun (Bold Reason for Sadler’s Wells, Never Bend for Green Desert). Since Tha’ir’s second dam is by Shirley Heights, she actually has a double of Never Bend. As a footnote, we should also mention the runner-up here, Cruck Realta, is from the first crop of Galileo’s St. Leger (gr. I) winner, Sixties Icon, who had no less than four in this race.




  1. John Bodey says:

    You learn something new every day.

    Reading Byron Rogers article ” a letter to the thoroughbred daily news” on June 29th 2012 staggered my imagination… Selecting sires and then selecting mares to put to said sires via time performance measures, sounds ludicrous and down right stupid. What kind of breeding program is that? I reckon MARCEL BOUSSAC and FREDRICO TESIO would be laughing in their graves. Don’t genes come into the breeding process? It’s like saying put CHOISIR (AUS) ch. H, 1999 (1200m — time –1:08.31) over BLACK CAVIAR (AUS) br. M, 2006 (1200m — time –1:07.36) and their “get” would be nothing more than a speed machine… Unbeatable over 1200 metres… It doesn’t work like that.

    Sure time is important… BUT… only as a comparison. As is distance and age.

    Take the American mare, ZENYATTA (USA) dkb-br. F, 2004. Take her impressive nineteen (19) straight wins. Until her defeat over 10F, all her races had all been over 8.5F – 9F.

    Is she as good a mare as Black Caviar?… Her record shows she is better.
    She was a five year old mare when she won the 2009 Breeders Cup Classic in a TIME of 2:00.62 sec.
    In 2010, she was six (6) when relegated into second place by the four (4) year old stallion, BLAME (USA) b. H, 2006, in a time of 2:02.28 sec… Age DOES weary them.
    How good was BLAME (USA) b. H, 2006? He won 2 X Gr.1’s, 3 X Gr.2’s and 1 X Gr 3, before tackling ZENYATTA (USA) dkb-br. F, 2004… It would be interesting to know the weights.
    In 2010, BLAME (USA) b. H, 2006 was beaten by another good four (4) year old stallion in HAYNESFIELD (USA) ch. C, 2006 in the time of 2:02.48… Decimal 20 outside BLAME ‘s best TIME
    HAYNESFIELD (USA) ch. C, 2006 had won 1 X Gr1, 1 X Gr2, 1 X Gr3 (8F-9F events)

    Strangely, it was ZENYATTA’s first run over 10F… BLAME’s previous race in which he had been relegated into second place by HAYNESFIELD had been over 10F… He came into the race having had the experience of racing over 10F.

    Black Caviar, by comparison, had two (2) very soft Group races prior to her heading to England.

    Soft?… Yes… in the 2012 SAJC ROBERT SANGSTER STAKES, SISTINE ANGEL (AUS) ch. F, 2007, the second place getter’s best time over 1200m was 1:10.57… Her best on the day she met Black Caviar, 1.10.65 sec… Which made her run constant.
    COMPARED with Black Cavair’s best time… 1:8.32 sec…
    Also compare the third place getter, POWER PRINCESS (AUS) br. M, 2006. Her best run (race), was a 2nd: 2011 WATC Roma Cup (AUS-G3, 2yo+, T1200m,Belmont Park Western Australia)…

    Black Caviar’s win in this race makes a mockery of her 22 straight wins…

    One other fact that the poor misguided and mislead Australian Public (the Black Caviar worshipers) don’t know is the fact that MOONLIGHT CLOUD, had to come back in distance, as she did most of her winning over 1400m… But then, a win is a win. All I am showing is:— In Australia, they don’t just breed on TIME alone, it is only ONE factor taken into consideration.

    *** *** ***

    The ONE thing which amazes me with NOT only you, but every other so called “Breeder” in the world — and that includes the world renown geneticist, Dr Emmeline Hill of Dublin University Ireland — is the fact that they are missing A VERY IMPORTANT ISSUE… An inescapable FACTOR… The complexity of the gene lottery at the time of conception by both SIRE and DAM, the “falling of the cards” so to speak —(in other words, which genes are contained in each chromosome)— of sixteen chromosomes from both parents … I call it The Bag of Marbles Ambiguity.

    The Bag of Marbles Ambiguity takes into consideration ALL genes within a horse’s DNA profile… Mitochondrial or no… ALL… Not just from it’s last five (5) generation of progenitors… In the dog breeding industry, they try to breed out the “traits” the breeder doesn’t like and increase the “traits” which will make the offspring a “Champion”… BUT, how do you get rid of these so called “traits”, for “traits” are nothing more than genes.

    One would have to be naive to think they are “dead and gone”… A good parallel (metaphor) is that of a hard-drive in a computer… You don’t like an “article/manuscript/photo/whatever”, you delete it. In time you “empty” the “trash bin” of your computer… BUT… is that really so? Has the hard drive REALLY been wiped of the said “article, etc”? Like, gone forever?

    Hardly… Why do cops take hard drives to search for evidence?… Poor bloody paedophiles… NO hard-drive can ever be successfully WIPED clean… Don’t you guys watch TV?… Heh heh heh.

    And neither can genes be wiped from a horse’s genome profile… It could be shuffled back out of use for many years. Age has a tendency to do that, but like the genes of Negroes, they do come to the fore and suddenly two very white parents, after giving birth to half a dozen nice white children are suddenly confronted with a little black beauty… Another example; savagery in a stallion’s temperament. It doesn’t just happen. Some where in his dim and distant past some progenitor retained the art of the war horse that his breeding originated from and periodically it surfaces… And THAT, is how the Bag of Marble Ambiguity works… and the ambiguity phenomenon can be demonstrated.

    It also gives reason as to why full siblings can be so different in ability.
    BLACK CAVIAR (AUS) br. M, 2006 BEL ESPRIT (AUS) b.H, 1999 X HELSINGE (AUS) b. 2001
    Won 22 races straight (12 x Gr.1’s / 6 x Gr.2’s / 1 x Gr.3, a couple of Listed Races and a maiden)
    MOSHE (AUS) dkb-br. C, 2007 BEL ESPRIT (AUS) b.H, 1999 X HELSINGE (AUS) b. 2001
    Raced five (5) times and won three (3) — NONE STAKES.

    As a point of interest.
    ZENYATTA won — 14 x Gr.1’s — 4 x Gr.2’s and a maiden.

    One day you may get the opportunity to read my book, ” IS THIS THE END OF THE LINE?”… But I doubt it… No one wants to believe or acknowledge that in this present day and age, (even Dr Paddy Cunningham from the University of Dublin, Ireland, and “Advisor to the Government”), ALL BREEDING LINES, are slowly IRREVOCABLY evolving into the Phalaris Line… AND, I can demonstrate that as well… ALL in the book.

    John Bodey

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