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In 2022 three outstanding thoroughbred individuals emerged
Namely five year old grey mare ALPINISTA, England’s brilliant four year-old miler BAAEED and America’s undefeated four year-old colt FLIGHTLINE who is most likely to be crowned U.S. Horse of the Year.
In reviewing the six-cross extended pedigrees of champion performers in 2022, the standout duplicated ancestor is U.S. Horse of the Year NATIVE DANCER (Polynesian-Geisha by Discovery). Reinforcing his superior genes is responsible for families being upgraded, and responsible for the success of mixing the strain of Northern Dancer with Mr. Prospector (by Raise a Native, son of Native Dancer).
As anticipated, the most effective method is to duplicate Native Dancer via son and daughter. Northern Dancer (Nearctic-Natalma by Native Dancer) is highly compatible with any source of Raise A Native (Native Dancer-Raise You by Case Ace) and it comes as no surprise Native Dancer’s grandson Mr Prospector possesses genetic affinity which results in upgraded racing class.
Mr Prospector carries duplication of champion Teddy (Ajax-Rondeau) via Case Ace and Bull Dog, and I have previously mentioned Teddy being essential for the success of Northern Dancer’s tribe.
Significant in the pedigree of Galileo and the pedigree of “Horse of the Year” Sea The Stars is the mix of Northern Dancer with Mr. Prospector. Never underestimate the intrinsic dominance transmitted via descendants of champion Native Dancer, a grey horse with explosive speed.
Another ancestor often found in Group 1 pedigrees is Thong (Nantallah-Rough Shod), dam of Geiger Counter and the Forli mare Special who became the grandam of Sadler’s Wells and Fairy King. Many Group winners have the Rough Shod family duplicated in their make up. Whenever Nureyev (Northern Dancer-Special by Forli) is introduced, the best genes of this three parts brother to Sadler’s Wells and Fairy King can unite to create tremendous speed.
Timeform may have been over optimistic about Baaeed’s rating. Certainly he ranks as an outstanding champion, but he is not in the class of Frankel. If I was asked to select Europe’s Horse of the Year 2022, I would vote for Alpinista ahead of Baaeed. Why?
Although Baaeed proved himself champion sprinter miler of Europe, he was a disappointing fourth in the Champion Stakes-Gr1 at Ascot when odds-on favourite. Alpinista proved not only to be bombproof during the year but also progressed to win Longchamp’s valuable Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe-Gr1 against the best males of the season. She secured Group 1 wins in three countries viz. England, Germany and France and is Horse of the Year in Germany.
Bred and raced by Miss Kirsten Rausing and trained by Sir Mark Prescott, ALPINISTA has the following race record: – 15 starts, 10 wins, 2 seconds and earnings of 3,321,033 Pounds.
At 3: 1st Upavon Fillies’ Stakes-Gr1, 2nd Yorkshire Oaks-Gr1, 2nd Princess Royal Stakes-Gr3
At 4: 1st Grosser Preis von Berlin-Gr1, Preis von Europa-Gr1, Grosser Preis von Bayern-Gr1, Lancashire Oaks-Gr2, Goodwood Darley Warwick Fillies Stakes (Listed)
At 5: 1st Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe-Gr1, Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud-Gr1, Yorkshire Oaks-Gr1.
A very attractive grey, Alpinista descends in female line from famous grey filly MUMTAZ MAHAL (The Tetrarch-Lady Josephine by Sundridge) whose branch of the Number 9 family is scattered around the globe. Leading stallions Nasrullah and Mahmoud are grandsons of Mumtaz Mahal, while their half-sister Sun Princess produced Royal Charger.
Alpinista, by champion Frankel, Europe’s Horse of the Year, is out of Listed stakes winner Alwilda a grey mare by Hernando from champion filly Albanova, voted Germany’s Horse of the Year in 2004.
The damline reads as follows-Alpinista (by Frankel) from Alwilda (by Hernando) from Albanova (by Alzao) from Alouette (by Darshaan) from Alruccaba (by Crystal Palace) from Allara (by Zeddaan) from Nucciolina (by Nuccio) from Mah Behar (by Bois Roussel) from Mah Iran (by Bahram) from Mah Mahal (by Gainsborough) from MUMTAZ MAHAL.
Mah Iran is three-quarter sister to Mahmoud. Many of the stallions used to further Mumtaz Mahal’s female line were bred or raced by H. H. the Aga Khan. This branch of the family is also responsible for Alborada, 6 wins , twice winner of the Champion Stakes-Gr1 and voted Champion 3YO Filly of England.
I remember attending the Tattersalls November-December Sales at Newmarket when Waratah Thoroughbreds purchased a lovely filly foal by Oasis Dream from Albanova for 450,000 guineas. I asked Kirsten Rausing why she decided to put the weanling filly on the market. She explained she cannot keep all the fillies from her favourite family – some must be sold.
The foal, now half-sister to the dam of Alpinista, was named My Sanctuary. Raced in Melbourne she won twice, earned $83,060 but was often unlucky in transit. Kim Harding owns My Sanctuary’s first filly named Zentime (by More Than Ready) and selected Saxon Warrior as covering stallion. The pedigree of this match is similar to Alpinista’s pedigree pattern.
Timeform considers Baaeed to be among the most outstanding sprinter-milers ever seen on turf in England and France.
Bred by Shadwell Stud and raced by the Shadwell Estate, Baaeed is linebred many times to Native Dancer via sources of Northern Dancer and Mr. Prospector. He comes from a female line developed by His Majesty King George VI and his daughter Queen Elizabeth II. It is the family of Height of Fashion.
Sheikh Hamdan al-Maktoum purchased Height of Fashion (Bustino-Highclere) from Her Majesty the Queen and was rewarded by breeding champion Nashwan from the mare. Nashwan (by Blushing Groom) was champion at three years in England, scoring in 6 of 7 starts including the English 2,000 Guineas-Gr1, English Derby-Gr1, King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes-Gr1, Eclipse Stakes-Gr1 etc.
Baaeed’s third dam Rahayeb (Arazi-Bashayer) is by a son of Blushing Groom from a daughter of Height of Fashion, the same mix that gave Nashwan. In phenotype, Baaeed resembles Mr. Prospector, the special ancestor featured three times 4 x 3 x 5 via both sexes in the pedigree.
Baaeed’s dam is bred on the mix of Nureyev and Sadler’s Wells (three parts brothers) while his sire Sea The Stars is among the best racehorses I have ever seen. He was arguably superior to his famous half-brother Galileo on the turf. Trained by William Haggas, Baaeed won 10 of 11 starts for earnings of 2,622,282 Pounds. His victories include the Prix du Moulin de Longchamp-Gr1, Queen Elizabeth II Stakes-Gr1, Lockinge Stakes-Gr1, Queen Anne Stakes-Gr1, Sussex Stakes-Gr1 and Juddmonte International Stakes-Gr1.
Undefeated Flightline (Tapit-Feathered by Indian Charlie) clinched U.S. Horse of the Year honours when he won the Breeders’ Cup Classic-Gr1 at Keeneland in November. This very fast sprinter-miler was able to extend his class to 10 furlongs, scoring by eight lengths in good time. The four year-old colt is now retired to Lane’s End Farm, Kentucky at a fee of US $200,000.
Flightline was unraced at two years. Towards the end of his three year-old season he won the Malibu Stakes-Gr1 at Santa Anita. This year, apart from the Classic victory, he won the Metropolitan Handicap-Gr1 at Belmont Park and Pacific Classic Stakes-Gr1 at Del Mar. His sire Tapit is an imposing grey stallion with muscle on muscle. Flightline does not resemble the Mr. Prospector type, and appears to be a throw-back. His dam has another source of Mr. Prospector via Fantastic Find-see pedigree.
Flightline was bred by Summer Wind Farm who purchased the colt’s dam Feathered. She went on to win the Edgewood Stakes-Gr3, finish runner-up in the American Oaks-Gr1, and was stakes-placed in two Grade 1 events.
Repole Stable and St Elias Stable are the owners of Forte (Violence-Queen Caroline by Blame) who should be voted U.S. Champion 2YO Colt. Bred by South Gate Farm, Forte won four of five starts to earn US $1,595,150. His wins include the Breeders Futurity Stakes-Gr1 at Keeneland, Hopeful Stakes-Gr1 at Saratoga and valuable Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Stakes-Gr1 in which he defeated Cave Rock, best juvenile seen on the west coast.
Purchased for US $110,000 at the September Keeneland Yearling Sale, Forte won at his debut late May over 5 furlongs at Belmont Park, showing promise. Unlike his sire or broodmare sire in physical type, Forte is now one of the favourites for the 2023 Kentucky Derby. His pedigree reveals inbreeding 4 x 4 to Storm Cat and 5 x 6 x 7 to Mr. Prospector with duplications of Northern Dancer. Violence is a talented young son of Medaglia d’Oro.
Brilliant two year-old colt BLACKBEARD (No Nay Never-Muirin by Born To Sea) is by far the best juvenile seen out in Britain and Europe. Bred by Newstead Breeding, he is raced by Derrick Smith, Mrs John Magnier, Michael Tabor and B Westerberg.
A 270,000 guineas buy at the Tatts December Sale he ran eight times for six wins to earn 470,842 Pounds. Blackbeard won the Middle Park Stakes-Gr1, Prix Morny-Gr1, Prix Robert Papin-Gr2, Marble Hill Stakes-Gr3, First Flier Stakes Listed and was runner-up in the Railway Stakes-Gr2. I expect the colt to get a mile seeing as his dam is by Born To Sea, son of Urban Sea. The female line of Blackbeard goes back to Vassia, daughter of Mr. Prospector’s fast son Machiavellian. Note, four sources of Mr. Prospector appear in the pedigree.
No Nay Never is by Scat Daddy (Storm Cat’s sire line) and is 3 x 4 to Mr Prospector via both sexes. Also of significance, Northern Dancer features via Storm Bird, Nijinsky II, Hero’s Honor, Six Months Long, Nureyev and a double of Danzig. It is a complicated pedigree with emphasis on U.S. Champion Native Dancer.
Among the best juveniles in England in 2022 is Auguste Rodin (Deep Impact-Rhododendron by Galileo-Halfway to Heaven by Pivotal). Bred by Coolmore, he is raced by the same owners as Blackbeard and was impressive when winning the Doncaster Futurity Trophy-Gr1 over a mile and the Champions Juvenile Stakes-Gr2 at Leopardstown.
Auguste Rodin is an ideal candidate for the English 2,000 Guineas and Derby. His dam was high class and I predict a bright future for this well bred Group 1 performer.
Another smart colt in the same ownership is Victoria Road (Saxon Warrior-Tickled Pink by Invincible Spirit) winner of the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf-Gr1 at Keeneland over a mile. He had earlier shown ability when winning the Prix de Conde-Gr3 at Chantilly and Criterium du Ponds European de l’Elevage (Listed) at Deauville. He looks a real prospect for any of the Guineas.
Winner of the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Stakes-Gr1 was Wonder Wheel (Into Mischief-Wonder Gal by Tiz Wonderful), linebred to Storm Cat. This tough filly won the Alcibiades Stakes-Gr1, Debutante Stakes Listed and was runner-up in the prestige Spinaway Stakes-Gr1 at Saratoga. She won on debut in June at Churchill Downs and always showed ability. Wonder Wheel was a US $275,000 purchase by D.J.Stable at the Keeneland September Yearling Sale. She won four times and earned US $1.5 million.
James Wigan (London Bloodstock Sevices) is the breeder of many Group winners and designed the mating which gave Champion Stakes-Gr1 winner Bay Bridge (New Bay-Hayyona by Multiflex). Fortunately his breeder retained the colt who has now won 6 of 10 starts for 1,107,358 Pounds. James purposely designed the pedigree pattern involving brother and sister, namely Deploy and Shirley Valentine.
Whereas Deploy is the broodmare sire of Dubawi (sire of New Bay), Shirley Valentine is the dam of Multiflex (by Danehill). Reinforcement of classic speed inherited from duplicating the parents of siblings is often rewarding. They are of course by Shirley Heights from Slightly Dangerous by Roberto.
Of further interest, we discover another source of Shirley Height’s father Mill Reef features as the sire of Bahamian, third dam of New Bay. In addition, English Derby winner Shirley Heights appears again as the father of champion Darshaan, sire of Bay Bridge’s third dam Shamaya. This is the family of Where You Lead. Native Dancer is again highlighted via his son Raise A Native.
James Wigan purposely doubled up on Sadler’s Wells (4 x 4). A popular owner breeder and agent, James is a pedigree expert able to give advice to his many successful clients. Bay Bridge won the Listed James Seymour Stakes at York as a three year-old. At four, he won the Brigadier Gerard Stakes-Gr3 at Sandown and was runner-up in Royal Ascot’s Prince of Wales’s Stakes-Gr1 before defeating a hot field in the Champion Stakes-Gr1.
Champion 3YO colt of Australia, Anamoe is a homebred racing for Godolphin. To date, he has won 11 of 21 starts worth more than $9 million. Anamoe’s victories include the W. S. Cox Plate-Gr1, Caulfield Guineas-Gr1, Rosehill Guineas-Gr1, Winx Stakes-Gr1, George Main Stakes-Gr1 and ATC Sires’ Produce Stakes-Gr1. He was runner-up in the Golden Slipper Stakes-Gr1.
By Street Boss, Anamoe is out of Anamato, daughter of Redoute’s Choice, and tracing in female line to Dame Belle (Hermes-Belle Time), a fabulous branch of a stakes producing family developed in New Zealand and known as “the Belle family.”
Street Boss is a son of Street Cry by Machiavellian (son of Mr. Prospector). Anamato is 4 x 3 to Nijinsky II and 4 x 5 to brothers His Majesty and Graustark, sons of Ribot who are linebred to champion Tracery.
Street Boss is out of a tough mare named Blushing Ogygian, by speed sire Ogygian (by Damascus) from a daughter of champion Blushing Groom. Redoute’s Choice is by Danehill who is inbred to Natalma by Native Dancer.
The Champion 3YO of France is Vadeni (by Churchill) whose pedigree has been reviewed in previous articles. For H.H. Karim Aga Khan, homebred Vadeni won the Prix du Jockey Club (French Derby)-Gr1, Coral Eclipse Stakes-Gr1, Prix de Guiche-Gr3 and was runner-up to Alpinista in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe-Gr1. He was slightly disappointing when he finished third in the Irish Champion Stakes-Gr1 on a heavy track.
One of the best three year-olds seen out in France is Onesto (Frankel-Onshore by Sea The Stars from Kalima by Kahyasi) bred by Diamond Creek Farm and originally owned by Jean-Pierre Joseph Dubois who sold the chestnut colt as a two year-old for US $535,000 to Gerard Augustin Normand.
Onesto is inbred 3 x 3 to Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe-Gr1 winner Urban Sea. From 7 starts, Onesto won three times and was twice runner-up earning 648,350 euro. He won the Grand Prix de Paris-Gr1 over 2,400m at Longchamp, the Prix Greffulhe-Gr2 over 2100m at Saint-Cloud and was second in the Irish Champion Stakes-Gr1 over 10 furlongs at Leopardstown, finishing ahead of Vadeni.
I hope Onesto might be made available for breeders to use in New Zealand and Australia. I suspect he could become a dominant sire of stakes winners. Also, I trust a talented son of Sea The Stars will be made available to cross with mares from Galileo’s line. It makes sense considering these sons of Urban Sea are both leading sires of Group winners. See Onesto’s unique pedigree.