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Reliable Man (GB) (Dalakhani (IRE)-On Fair Stage by Sadler’s Wells)
In a somewhat unusual twist father and son Dalakhani (IRE) and Reliable Man (GB) qualify as first crop sires with yearlings at Australasian sales this year. Both are French Derby winners and while Dalakhani was already a major international success before beginning shuttle duties to Cornerstone Stud in SA in 2013, Reliable Man began his stud career in the same year at Westbury Stud in NZ.
Bred by the Aga Khan, Dalakhani (Darshaan-Daltawa by Miswaki) was Horse of the Year and Champion Three Year-Old in Europe in 2003 when his wins included the Arc de Triomphe. He has sired 300 winners (58% of starters) of more than $33m and his 44 stakes winners (8.4%) include eight at Gr.1 level, notably the multiple champion Conduit (Sadler’s Wells) whose seven wins included the Ascot King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes, the St Leger and Breeders’ Cup Turf (twice).
He is also sire of Champion Older Female (UK) Integral (Danehill), winner of the Falmouth Stakes and Sun Chariot Stakes, Champion Older Female (IRE) Chinese White (Sadler’s Wells), German Gr.1 winners Seismos (Dashing Blade) and Second Step (Sadler’s Wells), St Leger winner Duncan (Danehill) and Irish Oaks winner Moonstone (Law Society), along with Reliable Man (ex On Fair Stage by Sadler’s Wells) who won the French Derby before heading to Australia where he collected the Queen Elizabeth Stakes-Gr.1 for trainer Chris Waller.
Retired after suffering a tendon injury, the attractive grey was snapped up by Gerry Harvey for his Westbury Stud in NZ and stood his first season there at $NZ15,000 plus GST. He also shuttles to Germany.
Both Dalakhani’s parents descend from mares acquired by the Aga Khan in the 1970s from the bloodstock dispersal of French textile magnate Marcel Boussac, one of the great thoroughbred breeders of the 20th century and 19 times the Leading Owner in France and also Leading Owner in Britain in 1950 and 1951. The sire line, that of Mill Reef (Never Bend-Nasrullah) is one that has been carefully nurtured by the Aga Khan and is one particularly suited to all things Sadler’s Wells, as a glance at the pedigrees of Dalakhani’s Gr.1 winners reveals. Other examples include Coolmore’s English Derby winners High Chaparral (who is by Sadler’s Wells from a Darshaan mare) and Pour Moi (by Montjeu (IRE) from a Darshaan mare), while Accessories (GB), dam of Gr.1 winners Helmet and Epaulette for Darley, is by Singspiel (IRE) (grandson of Sadler’s Wells) and from a daughter of Mill Reef. Closer to Dalakhani’s southern base in South Australia are daughters of the classic winner Blevic, a son of Scenic (IRE) (Sadler’s Wells) and whose second dam is by Mill Reef. Dalakhani’s first crop son, selling as Lot 44 at the Gold Coast Magic Millions, is from stakes placed Miss With Attitude, who is by Galileo (Sadler’s Wells). This colt also has doubles of Miswaki and Mill Reef and will be offered by Mill Park (as agent).
While Dalakhani’s winning distance index is 2236m for his mainly European runners, the sharper Australian pedigrees should see the grey getting some top class milers here, as well a classic and Cups horses. Sam Hayes and his partners are to be applauded for securing such a wonderful horse for South Australia. Dalakhani won eight of his nine starts and was runner-up in the other (Irish Derby). In addition to collecting the Arc, French Derby and Prix Lupin at Gr.1 at three, he also won the Criterium International-Gr.1 as part of an unbeaten three-start juvenile campaign.
“He has got to be the outstanding horse of his generation over all distances and all goings,” the Aga Khan said after the three year-old’s win in the Arc. “I have always said it is difficult to make comparisons between champions but Dalakhani, such a beautiful mover, has a concentration of unusual talent.”
Timeform called Dalakhani “genuine and consistent” and said he was “effective on going ranging from heavy to good to firm”. Their experts noted, “he had a telling turn of foot for a horse who stayed a mile and a half” and was “quite attractive, but rather finely made”. He stands 16.1 hands.
The Aga Khan-bred Darshaan (1981-2001), who won the 1984 French Derby from Sadler’s Wells and Rainbow Quest, traces to celebrated Boussac mare Tourzima (13c by Tourbillon), who the Aga Khan described as Boussac’s “rock”, “Just as Mumtaz Mahal was for my grandfather”. Several of Tourzima’s daughters became great producers. French Derby winner and sire Acamas and Arc winner Akiyda, descend from Gloriana, by Pharis; Gloriana’s sister, the Irish Oaks and French 1000 Guineas winner Corejada, is the dam of French Oaks winner Appolonia, while another sister, the Criterium de Maisons-Laffitte winner Albanilla, is the fourth dam of Darshaan, Darara and Dalara (dam of Daliapour).
Darshaan (Shirley Heights-Delsy by Abdos) was the Champion Sire in France in 2003 and was a Champion Sire of Broodmares in Britain/Ireland and in France. He left 452 winners (72.2% of runners) of more than $50m and his 88 stakes winners represented a high 14.1% of starters. His runners included US Horse of the Year Kotashaan (Elocutionist), 10 wins including the Breeders’ Cup Turf and English 2000 Guineas winner Mark of Esteem (Adjal), also Champion Sire in the UK in a short stud career.
His sire, the English and Irish Derby winner Shirley Heights (Mill Reef-Hardiemma by Hardicanute), was 1978 Horse of the Year in England and his 61 stakes winners included a seven-length English Derby winner Slip Anchor. Mill Reef (1968-86, Never Bend-Milan Mill by Princequillo) was also a Horse of the Year in England and won 12 of his 14 starts at two and three including the Dewhurst Stakes-Gr.1 at two and the English Derby, ‘King George’, Eclipse Stakes and Arc de Triomphe at three.
Dalakhani’s dam Daltawa, by the Prix de la Salamandre winner Miswaki (Mr. Prospector-Hopespringseternal by Buckpasser) won twice at 2000m in France at two and three including a Listed event and was a Gr.3 runner-up. She had been paired with the Mill Reef line before, going to English 2000 Guineas winner Doyoun (Mill Reef-Dumka by Kashmir), a horse inbred 4mx5f to Mumtaz Begum, to produce the European Horse of the Year of 1999 in Daylami, winner of 11 races including the Breeders’ Cup Turf, ‘King George’, Coronation Cup and the French 2000 Guineas. Doyoun was eventually sold to Turkey and so another from the same male line was chosen to be Daltawa’s mate in 1999. Daltawa’s seven winners also include Daltaiyama (Dayoun), dam of stakes winner Daltaya (Anabaa) and Dalkala (Giant’s Causeway); Gr.3 winner Dalghar (Anabaa) and Listed winner Daymarti (Caerleon). A placed daughter Daltama (Indian Ridge) is dam of Gr.1 winner Dolniya (Azamour).
Daltawa’s sire Miswaki is one of the best stallion sons of Mr. Prospector and best known for his Arc-winning daughter Urban Sea, dam of champions Galileo (Sadler’s Wells) and Sea The Stars (Cape Cross). Daltawa’s dam, Damana (Crystal Palace-Denia by Crepello), was stakes placed and won three races from 1600m-2800m but was culled from the Aga Khan’s studs in the mid-1990s. She is by a Derby winner, as are her dam Denia (Crepello), dam of seven winners including stakes winner and Gr.1 placed Dastaan, and second dam, Rose Ness (Charlottesville). They trace to another of the Boussac mares, the Prix du Conseil Municipal winner Astana (9e, by Arbar-Theano by Tourbillon), Dalakani’s fifth dam.
Trained in France by Alain de Royer-Dupré, Reliable Man replicated the deeds of his sire Dalakhani and grandsire Darshaan when winning the Prix du Jockey Club-Gr.1 (French Derby) over 2100m and was duly ranked one of the best three year-olds in Europe. The experts at Timeform awarded him a rating of 124 in 2011.
Despite not recording a victory in his four year-old season, Reliable Man competed in the best of company throughout, finishing on the heels of the world’s highest rated horse Cirrus des Aigles in the Prix Ganay-Gr.1 and chasing home headline acts Danedream, Nathaniel and St Nicholas Abbey in an outstanding renewal of the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes-Gr.1.
Transferred to Chris Waller’s champion Sydney stable, Reliable Man made his Australian debut in the George Ryder Stakes-Gr.1 over 1500m on April 6, 2013, against a star-studded field which included Pierro, (King) Mufhasa, Shoot Out, Manighar, Danleigh, Veyron, Happy Trails, Solzhenitsyn, Fontelina, and Rebel Dane. Not having raced for six months, the grey stallion settled well back in the running finished well for sixth and was just 1.5 lengths off the winner Pierro. “I have no doubt that had we had a longer preparation leading into his first Australian start, I believe he could have won the George Ryder Stakes first up,” Waller said.
A dominant victory followed at 2000m on April 27 in the Queen Elizabeth Stakes-Gr.1 when Reliable Man downed star three year-old It’s A Dundeel by 2.5 lengths. Also among the beaten brigade were Gr.1 winners Happy Trails (third), Silent Achiever, Secret Admirer, Manighar and Glass Harmonium. Sadly, that was Reliable Man’s farewell performance with a tendon injury forcing his premature retirement.
“He’s a wonderful horse and his form in Europe is outstanding,” Waller said. “He showed Australia what he’s capable of in the Queen Elizabeth. He is a lovely type of horse with good bone, a great constitution and a relaxed temperament; perfect for handling the rigors of our style of training. He is the perfect horse for the southern hemisphere system, boasting speed, strength and staying capabilities.”
Leading jockey Hugh Bowman was also impressed with Reliable Man after their Randwick success. “He gave me an unbelievable feel and he is just all quality, possibly the best I have ridden,” he said. The winner of $A1.9m from five wins and three placings from 14 starts (10 at Gr.1 level), Reliable Man proved himself at the highest level on the track.
“To win a Derby at just his third lifetime start is some feat, and with 10 of his 14 starts coming in Gr.1 races, Reliable Man never dodged a fight. He has strong form around the likes of Cirrus des Aigles, Danedream and So You Think,” Westbury Stud general manager Russell Warwick said in announcing the dashing grey would join the stud’s roster. “We are thrilled to acquire Reliable Man and, most importantly, he has been able to bring his form to the southern hemisphere and win against quality opposition.”
Reliable Man’s dam is the stakes winning Sadler’s Wells mare On Fair Stage and he is a half-brother to the Listed winner Gale Force and the talented I’m Imposing (Danehill Dancer), a Gr.3 winner in Australia and Gr.1 placed in the Doomben Cup. His second dam is the high-class race mare Fair Salinia (Petingo), winner of the English, Irish, and Yorkshire Oaks. This is family 16c and fifth dam is the Gr.1 winner Snow Goose, a daughter of Derby winner Mahmoud and noted producer Judy O’Grady (Man o’War). It is the family of successful sires Grey Dawn and Green Dancer.
Reliable Man has five youngsters at the Gold Coast including colts from Marlo Waters (Marauding), dam already of SW Jumlah and from the family of At Talaq; and Ready and Able (More Than Ready), a daughter of Gr.1 winner Danglissa and fillies from Rosey Dane (Woodman), a daughter of Gr.1 placed Rose of Dane; and from Miss Juventus (Anabaa) from the family of Atomic Force and Encounter. Reliable Man has 15 yearlings in the Premier Session at Karaka in late January.
Published January 2016