With graded seven events over five hours, the Dubai World Cup card offered something for everyone, and there was certainly plenty of variety from the pedigree standpoint.
It was a big day for the Pulpit line, which supplied both dominating World Cup (gr. I) winner, California Chrome and UAE Derby (gr. II) captor, Lani. California Chrome, who is going to retire to Taylor Made Stallions, Nicholasville, Kentucky, for 2017 now has quite the body of work. Fast enough to win stakes at 5½ furlongs at two, he earned a title as Horse of the Year and champion of his age group at three, when his victories including the Kentucky Derby (gr. I), Preakness Stakes (gr. I), and on turf, the Hollywood Derby (gr. I). Second in last year’s Dubai World Cup, he’s rebounded from a taxing trip back via England for an aborted tilt at Royal Ascot, to go three-for-three this year, romping home 3¾ lengths clear in this year’s renewal despite a slipping saddle, setting a new track record in the process.
California Chrome is by Lucky Pulpit, a son of Pulpit out of a three-quarters sister to the dam of Unbridled’s Song who was quick enough to win a five furlong turf stakes in :56.5. California Chrome’s dam, Love the Chase, is by Maryland stalwart, Not For Love, a three-quarters brother to Woodman. Love the Chase has an unusual pedigree, with the three-quarters related Dance Number and Polish Numbers 2×2, this duo being out of Champion Numbered Account, a Buckpasser daughter, who herself had the three-quarters sisters Busanda and Striking (both granddaughters of La Troienne) 2×3. This echoes California Chrome’s male-line ancestors, Seattle Slew and A.P. Indy. Seattle Slew’s dam had the sisters Striking and Busher 3×3, and A.P. Indy’s second dam is by Buckpasser, giving him Striking/Busher/Busanda 5x5x4. In tail-female line, California Chrome goes back to famed producer, Betty Derr, whose great-grandson, Swaps, sired the second dam of Numbered Account. More recently, the family has been represented by two top-class sires in Green Desert and Arch, and California Chrome’s second dam is bred on similar lines to Green Desert and the dam of Arch, all being from the Danzig line.
Meanwhile, Japanese trained Lani, who might be headed to the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) after capturing the UAE Derby (gr. II) is a son of Tapit. Lani is out of Heavenly Romance (by Sunday Silence), who upset a top-class field to win the Autumn Tenno Sho (the Emperor’s Cup) over ten furlongs. She has previously been represented by Awardee, a graded winner at 11 furlongs, and Amour Briller, a stakes winner at 12 1/2 furlongs. The granddam, First Act, is a Sadler’s Wells three-quarters sister to Irish St. Leger (gr. I) scorer, Dark Lomond, and also to Stage Wells who won the Stayers Stakes over two miles in Japan. First Act is out of Ribot’s daughter, Arkadina, who placed in the English and Irish Oaks (both gr. I), and who was a sister to Blood Royal, a group winner at two miles in England, and three-quarters sister to Gregorian, who was grade one placed at 12 furlongs. Arkadina’s dam, Natashka,won the Alabama Stakes (gr. I), and is from the Vagrancy branch of the Frizette family. Lani shouldn’t have problems with the distance if he appears at Churchill Downs, in fact he’s a staying type who might depend on a fast-pace to be really effective.
Lani’s broodmare sire, Sunday Silence, also appears as paternal grandsire of the Dubai Turf (gr. I) scorer, the Japanese-trained Real Steel, who is by the heir to Sunday Silence’s throne, Deep Impact. Real Steel is out of the Storm Cat mare, Loves Only Me, and is one of seven stakes winners, five grade one for his sire on the cross. A half-sister to European Champion Two-Year-Old Filly Rumplestiltskin, Loves Only Me is out of Monevassia, who is a daughter of Mr. Prospector and the great mare Miesque, so a sister to Kingmambo.
Kingmambo also appears in the pedigrees of the first and second in the Dubai Sheema Classic (gr. I), Postponed and Duramente. His son, Dubai Destination – a disappointing sire, but a rising broodmare sire – is responsible for the dam of Postponed, who has now won his last four starts, going back to a nose victory in the King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes (gr. I) last July. Postponed is by Euro stallion superstar Dubawi (from the only crop of the 2000 World Cup winner, Dubai Millennium). This makes Postponed a Mr. Prospector/Mr. Prospector cross, and Dubawi has 11 stakes winners on that pattern, five group/grade one, including last year’s World Cup scorer, Prince Bishop. Postponed’s dam, Ever Rigg, is out of Champion Irish Two-Year-Old Filly Bianca Nera (by the Topsider horse, Salse), and is half-sister to the dam of the Beverly Hills Handicap (gr. III) scorer Turning Top, and to the dam of of English group winner Robin Hoods Bay. The third dam, Birch Creek, was group placed in Italy, and she is ancestress of several good horses, among them the two time group one winner Simply Perfect. The family goes all the way back to the great English runner and foundation mare, the “peerless” Pretty Polly. The runner-up, Duramente, is by Kingmambo’s son, King Kamehameha, out of a mare by Sunday Silence, so has many of the same pedigree elements as Real Steel. Oddly enough, their paths have crossed several times, with Real Steel beating Duramente in second d in the Kyodo News Service Hai (gr. III), and Duramente defeating Real Steel in the Satsuki Sho (gr. I), and this year in the Nakayama Kinen (gr. II).
The Golden Shaheen (gr. I) and Godolphin Mile (gr. II) presented reverse crosses. The former went to Muarrab, by Green Desert son, Oasis Dream, out of a mare by Wolfhound (by Nureyev), and the latter to One Man Band, by Nureyev grandson, Pivotal, out of a mare by Cape Cross (Green Desert). Muarrab’s dam, Licence to Thrill, has been a very successful producer, with seven of her nine offspring earning black-type, the best besides Muarrab being the Molecombe and Cornwallis Stakes (both gr. III) winner Bungle Inthejungle. The second dam, Crime of Passion, by the Grey Sovereign line horse, Dragonara Palace, won the Cherry Hinton Stakes (gr. III) at two.
One Man Band’s dam, Musicanna, was also a talented runner, winning that Atalanta Stakes, taking second in the Princess Elizabeth Stakes (gr. III) and third in the Sun Chariot Stakes (gr. I) and Falmouth Stakes (gr. I). The granddam, Upend, by Mill Reef’s son, Main Reef, won the St. Simon Stakes, and is granddam of Overdose (from the Nureyev line, like One Man Band), a sprint star who won 16 of 17 starts while racing in Austria, Germany, Hungary, Italy and the Slovak Republic, and third dam of U.S. multiple graded winner Up In Time, and of Summer Fete, an English group winner by One Man Band’s sire ,Pivotal. The fourth dam, Merry Mate, won the Irish Oaks, and was by Ballymoss out of the great Irish staying mare, Gladness.
The longest and shortest events of the day went to a duo whose pedigrees are also somewhat outliers. Winner of the Al Quoz Sprint (gr. I), the Australian-bred Buffering, is by the very solid sire, Mossman, who comes from the now almost defunct Princequillo line, and is by 1987 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (gr. I) victor Success Express. Buffering’s dam is by Anabaa. This is a good Moyglare Stud family, and the third dam, Temporary Lull – a sister to group winner Martha Stevens – produced three stakes winners, including Bay Meadows Handicap (gr. III) victor Wait Till Monday, and Token Gesture, the dam of Canadian International Stakes (gr. I) scorer Relaxed Gesture, and American Derby (gr. II) winner Evolving Tactics. The fourth dam, Magazine, took the CCA Oaks (gr. I).
The two mile Dubai Gold Cup (gr. I) went to Vazirabad, who is by Manduro, the best son of the great German sire, Monsun, who comes from another near extinct line, that of Blandford, via that horse’s English Triple Crown winning son, Bahram. The dam, Visorama (by Linamix), won the Prix de Flore (gr. III), and is a sister to Visionary, a stakes winner who took third in the French 2,000 Guineas (gr. I), and half-sister to two other stakes winners, including Varenar, who took the scalp of none other than Goldikova, when winning the Prix de la Foret (gr. I). The family, now owned by the Aga Khan, was imported from the U.S. by Jean-Luc Lagardere, and granddam, Visor, is by Mr. Prospector out of a half-sister to the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) and Belmont Stakes (gr. I) scorer Swale.