There has been a lot of action in Dubai this winter, and it’s worth taking a brief look at the major stakes winners there over the last few weeks. Several are adding to the records of young sires, from the U.S., Europe, Australia and South America, and a number of these could be significant players come World Cup Day.
One of the most outstanding performers of the winter has been Champion South African Two-Year-Old Soft Falling Rain, who took his undefeated record to six, with a decisive win in the UAE 2,000 Guineas (gr. III). He is by the very successful South African sire, National Assembly (by Danzig out of Renounce from the Grey Flight family). His dam is U.S. bred, by Giant’s Causeway – becoming a very good broodmare sire – out of Highbury, a Seattle Slew half-sister to the Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) victress, Gal In A Ruckus.
Another Danzig line horse to score in Meydan was Hard Spun, whose second season son Now Spun (TrueNicks A) took the one mile Medyan Classic. Now Spun is out of Campionessa, a daughter of A.P. Indy, and we’ve been waiting for Hard Spun to work with Seattle Slew, as that strain combined well with Turkoman, the broodmare sire of Hard Spun.
The Danehill branch of Danzig has also been doing well in Medyan this winter. Australian-sired Mushreq (TrueNicks A++), by Flying Spur out of a mare by Jeune (by Kalamoun) took the Al Fahidi Fort (gr. II). He is half-brother to stakes winner Jazza Belle, and out of a stakes winning half-sister to outstanding Australia sire, Snippets, and to the up-and-coming Australian sire, Not A Single Doubt. Danehill son, Rock of Gibraltar, has a very close relative to Riverman as his granddam, and he has done very well when crossed with mares carrying that strain. The latest example is Russian Rock (TrueNicks A++) who is out of a mare by Brief Truce (by Riverman’s son, Irish River), and who took the Jebel Ali Sprint. Oratorio, a Danehill son who has stood in Ireland, Australia and Italy, has actually always been quite useful, although never fashionable. He had another black-type winner in the shape of Moonwalk in Paris (TrueNicks A), who is out of a mare by Singspiel, a cross (Danehill/Singspiel) that has also produced grade one winners Helmet and Epaulette.
Another strain that has been running wild in winter in Dubai is that of Gone West. The horse himself was represented by Jebel Ali Mile (gr. III) winner Treble Jig (TrueNicks A) out of the Danehill mare, Light Jig, winner of the Yellow Ribbon Stakes (gr. I). The second dam, the Blushing Groom mare, Nashmeel, was second in that race, and a group winner in France.
The UAE Oaks (gr. III) went to Shuruq, who is by Gone West’s son, Elusive Quality, out of Miss Lucifer, a French-bred daughter of Noverre. The runner-up here, Lovely Pass, had previously defeated Shuruq in the UAE 1,000 Guineas. She is from the first crop of Elusive Quality’s Breeders’ Cup Classic (gr. I) winner, Raven’s Pass, who is off to a promising start with three stakes winners to his name, as well as Snowboarder (out of a Distorted Humor half-sister to Munnings), who was runner-up in the UAE 2,000 Guineas (gr. III). Lovely Pass is out of a mare by Classic Cliché (by the Topsider horse, Salse).
Still with Gone West, his grandson, Trade Fair (by Zafonic out of a Danehill mare) was represented by the Zabeel Mile (gr. II) scorer Trade Storm (TrueNicks A++), who accounted for South African grade one winner Musir (an Australian-sired son of Redoute’s Choice). Trade Fair is out of Frisson, a daughter of Slip Anchor. Nearly five years after he started favorite for the Saratoga Special Stakes (gr. II), in which he finished third,Gone West grandson, Reynaldothewizard gained his first stakes win when downing last year’s Golden Shaheen (gr. I) winner, Krypton Factor, in the Mahab Al Shimaal (gr. III). Reynaldothewizard is from the first crop of Speightstown, and out of Meadowlake’s juvenile grade one winner, Holiday Runner.
Dubawi, who is from the Seeking the Gold branch of Mr. Prospector had a Dubai graded stakes double, with the Nad Al Sheba Trophy (gr. II) scorer Ahzeemah (TrueNicks A), and the Maktoum Challenge (gr. II) captor Hunter’s Light (TrueNicks A). This duo are bred somewhat similarly, Ahzeemah out of a mare by Entrepreneur, and Hunter’s Light from a daughter of Barathea, both broodmare sires being by Sadler’s Wells. Entrepreneur is a reverse Northern Dancer/Raise a Native cross to Dubai Millennium, the sire of Dubawi. Barathea is a Northern Dancer/Sir Gaylord cross, like Shareef Dancer and Dancing Brave, both in the pedigree of Dubawi. The dam of Dubawi is is a reverse Shirley Heights/Northern Dancer cross to the dam of Hunter’s Light.
Another from the Mr. Prospector line, King’s Best (by Kingmambo), who is now in Japan, was represented by the six-year-old mare, Sajjhaa, who took the Balanchine (gr. II), from another Kingmambo line distaffer, Prussian (by Dubai Destination), with Galileo’s South African Champion Igugu third, then added the Jebel Hatta (gr. I). Sajjhaa is out of the Darshaan mare, Anaamil (and TrueNicks rated A+). The second dam, Noushkey, won the Lancashire Oaks (gr. III) and was second in the Epsom Oaks (gr. I).
From the Storm Cat line comes Champion South African Two-Year-Old The Apache (by Mogok, a Storm Cat half-brother to Machiavellian), winner of the nine furlong Al Rashidiya (gr. II). He’s out of a mare by Dolpour (by Sadler’s Wells) and his dam (out South African grade one winner, Bold West), is a Northern Dancer/Bold Ruler cross, like Storm Cat. The Al Maktoum Challenge (gr. II) went to Barbecue Eddie (TrueNicks A++), who is one of six stakes winners from 26 starters by Stormy Atlantic out of mares by Carson City.
Another high performing nick is that of Australia/U.S. shuttle, Lonhro with mares by Fanfreluche’s brother, Night Shift, which as six stakes winners, four graded, two grade one, from only 11 starters. One bred on that cross, Mental, took the Al Shindagha Sprint (gr. III).