SERVING CAVIAR

 

While Frankel was redefining greatness in the Northern Hemisphere – to the degree that he brought about a recalibration of the International Classification – the two years older Black Caviar was compiling her own remarkable record in Australia. In fact in terms of the lengths of her domination, Black Caviar outdid Frankel, her unbeaten 25 race career – including 15 group/grade one victories – seeing her win stakes in six consecutive calendar years. She was the World’s top rated sprinter in 2010, 2011 and 2012, and Australian Champion Sprinter and Horse of the Year in 2011 and 2012. She also win at the highest level in both hemispheres, her class pulling her through when below her best, to capture the Diamond Jubilee Stakes (gr. I) at Royal Ascot on her sole appearance outside of Australia.

Black Caviar is a daughter of Bel Esprit, a grade one winning sprinter/miler by Nijinsky II’s Breeders’ Cup Mile (gr. I) victor, Royal Academy, out of the Desert Sun (by Green Desert) mare, Helsinge. The family, which goes back to Love Song – a Danish-bred mare who captured that country’s Oaks (gr. I), and who is fourth dam of Black Caviar – has been on fire of late.  Black Caviar’s half-brother, All Too Hard, has one three grade ones, including the Caulfield Guineas (gr. I) to his credit, is very possible the best three-year-old of the current crop in Australia. The second dam, the graded winning and grade one placed Snippets mare, Scandinavia, is also dam of the Galaxy Stakes (gr. I) victor, Magnus; the multiple graded stakes winner Wilander; and Scandinavia, a grade two scorer who was also runner-up in last weekend’s Sires’ Produce Stakes (gr. I). From a pattern standpoint Black Caviar is notable in that her sire is out of a mare bred on a cross of Vain (one of the fastest sprinters seen in Australia) and Paul Mellon’s Champion Stakes winner Silly Season, while Scandinavia, her granddam is a Silly Season/Vain cross.

The big question now, is which stallion will have the privilege of serving Black Caviar in her first season at stud? The good news as far Australian options are concerned is that the TrueNicks Key Ancestor Report shows that several Danehill line stallions rate highly here. Redoute’s Choice, a Danehill Champion Sire son, is an A nick, and the top-rated horse by Key Ancestor score. His granddam gives linebreeding to Silly Season’s son, Lunchtime, and to Nijinsky II (who combines well with Lunchtime’s grandsire, Tom Fool). Danehill’s latest superstar sire, Fastnet Rock, is responsible for Scandiva out of Black Caviar’s granddam, and would give an intriguing 3 x 3 inbreeding to Royal Academy. Exceed and Excel, fifth rated by Key Ancestor score (with a very positive number), is a Danehill who is enjoying a phenomenal season with his Australian two-year-olds, and sired the speedy Wilander from the family. Moving to a horse who is out of a Danehill mare, Sepoy, the highest ever rated three-year-old sprinter on the International Classifications.

At one point, there was suggestion that Black Caviar may be among the group of Southern Hemisphere mares that will be visiting Frankel, another out of a daughter of Danehill. He does have a positive Key Ancestor score, but his TrueNicks rating does not inspire. A European stallion who has stronger appeal is Dubawi.  Should she ever venture to North America, the wonder-mare would appeal with War Front or Tapit, who has a turf grade one winner out of a Nijinsky II line mare.

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