Dundeel

published: 09 Jun 2015 in Stallion profiles

A six-time Gr.1 winner from the Sadler’s Wells male line and tracing to legendary broodmare Eulogy, Dundeel (NZ) was an exceptional middle distance performer at three and four and the first modern 3YO Triple Crown winner. He served a stellar book at Arrowfield in 2014 and his first foals arrive this spring.

BRUCE LOWE family numbers have largely been consigned to history in sales catalogues, but students of pedigrees should thank this great Australian bloodstock researcher who threw the spotlight on the world’s most successful female lines. For instance, buyers attending sales in NZ and Australia knew immediately to sit up and take notice when yearlings from family 22 strode into the ring.
  Those from family 22b were most likely to be descendants of the wonderful matriarch Eulogy (GB) (Cicero-Kelibia by Upas), who came to NZ as a four year-old just as the First World War was causing havoc in Europe, and became one of the greatest producers imported to that country. Her stakeswinning descendants are legion and it’s a family still producing runners of the highest class with recent Gr.1 winners in Australasia, Europe and the US.
  Arrowfield’s six-time Gr.1 winner Dundeel (NZ) (High Chaparral (IRE)-Stareel by Zabeel), who capped his career with a resounding win in the $4m Queen Elizabeth Stakes-Gr.1 at Randwick in 2014 and is the subject of this stallion profile, is a descendant of Eulogy, that mare being his 11th dam. It’s a honour he shares with the likes of Bonecrusher, Lowland, Lady Sybil, Pride of Rosewood, Count Radiant, Praise, Red Handed, Ritmar, Cultured, Peerless, Kingdom Bay, Show Gate, Il Tempo, Sacred Kingdom, Starspangledbanner, Elvstroem, Haradasun and Hawkspur in a list that would stretch for pages if all the good ’uns were listed.
  Although her only placing in four starts was a third (of three) behind The Tetrarch and Stornaway at two in the Champagne Stakes at Doncaster, Eulogy, born in 1911, like so many successful producers, had a pretty good mare in her immediate family tree. That mare is her second dam Goletta, a daughter of St Simon’s sire Galopin and the Chester Cup winner Biserta (Lord Lyon). Goletta was a very good one indeed with major wins coming in the Coronation Stakes, Coventry Stakes and Princess of Wales Stakes. Biserta also produced the Champagne Stakes winner Ayah (Ayreshire).
  By the time she died aged 23 in November 1934 Eulogy had left 14 foals, 13 of them winners and five successful in stakes races, notably Humbug (colt, Absurd (GB)), Epitaph (Absurd), Commendation (colt, Limond (GB)), Eulalie (Absurd) and Praise (Limond). Eulogy went sent to NZ in foal to Coriander (GB) and that foal, born 1915, was the filly Pennon and she followed that with another filly Yarraldool (Price Rufus) in 1916. Her other foals included Fulsome (filly, Absurd), Homage (filly, Absurd) and Relative (filly, Posterity).
  Multiple stakes winner Epitaph continues the link to Dundeel via Endorse (Paper Money (GB)), Endorsement (Iliad (GB)), Negotiable (Coronach (GB)), Exchangeable (Red Mars (GB)), Money (Targui (FR)), Sugar Doll (Sucaryl (GB)), Sweet Violet (In The Purple (FR)), Staring (Fiesta Star (AUS)) and Stareel (Zabeel (NZ)).
  But back to the 2013-14 NZ Horse of the Year Dundeel and his immediate pedigree. The tough-as-teak performer who was in the first four in 17 of 19 starts and won 10 of them, earning $5.4m, is a son of the English and Irish Derby winner High Chaparral (Sadler’s Wells-Kasora by Darshaan) who died in Ireland, aged 15, in late December 2014 while undergoing colic surgery just after returning from a shuttle season for Coolmore Australia.
  High Chaparral first shuttled to Windsor Park in NZ in 2005 as a replacement for another Sadler’s Wells son, Montjeu (IRE) when that horse was deemed too valuable to shuttle, and was an immediate success with first crop runners including champion So You Think (NZ) (ex Triassic by Tights (USA)), twice winner of the W.S. Cox late-Gr.1 as well as the Mackinnon-Gr.1, Caulfield Stakes-Gr.1 and Underwood-Gr.1 for Bart Cummings before his sale to Coolmore in Ireland. For trainer Aidan O’Brien he won the Prince of Wales’s Stakes-Gr.1 at Royal Ascot, Eclipse Stakes-Gr.1 at Sandown, two editions of the Tattersall’s Gold Cup-Gr.1 at the Curragh and the Irish Champion Stakes-Gr.1 at Leopardstown. He retired with 14 wins in 23 starts, standing in Australia from 2012 and Ireland the following year.
  Other first crop Gr.1 winners locally for High Chaparral included champion stayer Shoot Out (NZ) (Pentire), Caulfield Stakes and Caulfield Cup winner Descarado (NZ) (Lord Ballina) and Victoria Derby winner Monaco Consul (NZ) (Star Way). His talented imported son Contributer (IRE) (Exit to Nowhere) has been in superb form since being sent to Australia by Godolphin, culminating with wins in the Apollo-Gr.2, Chipping Norton-Gr.1 and Ranvet Stakes-Gr.1 in February and March for trainer John O’Shea. 
  High Chaparral stood his first Australian season for Coolmore in 2010 and is already sire of Vinery Stud Stakes-Gr.1 winner Fenway, whose dam is by Zabeel and is therefore bred on the same cross as Dundeel, the Caulfield Autumn Classic-Gr.2 winner Alpine Eagle (dam also by Zabeel), dual Gr.3 winner Hi World (Danehill Dancer), Gr.3 winners Sadler’s Lake (Encosta de Lago; has brothers Sadler’s Wells-Fairy King 2x3) and Last Bullet (Bite the Bullet) and Listed winners Single (Nashwan), Ballet Suite (Woodman).
  His NZ-conceived runners also include stakes winners with dams by Straight Strike, Sir Tristram, Danehill, Zabeel (the Gr.2 winners Hidden Asset and Show The World), Kinjite, Danske (two, including Gr.1 winner Ponderosa Miss), O’Reilly, Gleam Machine, Personal Escort, Thorn Park (has three-quarter brothers Sadler’s Wells and Nureyex 3x4), Success Express, Star Way, Grosvenor and Bluebird. The High Chaparral-Zabeel cross also features the Sadler’s Wells-Nureyev double (2x4) as the latter is damsire of Zabeel.
  High Chaparral’s major northern performers include champion three year-old colt Wigmore Hall (dam by the Nureyev horse Theatrical), outstanding miler Toronado (IRE) (Grand Slam), who shuttles to Australia in 2015, Redwood (Woodman) Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (Turf)-Gr.1 winner Wrote (Green Desert) and Prix du Cadran winner High Jinx (Surumu). To mid-May Arion Pedigrees credits High Chaparral with 631 winners (57.2% of starters) of more than $74m, and his 70 stakes winners (14 Gr.1) represent 6.3% of starters. He has a Winning Distance Index of 1978m.
  High Chaparral, who stood  a tick over 16 hands and cost 270,000 guineas as a yearling, was one of the very best performers by the 14-times Champion UK/IRE Sire Sadler’s Wells (Northern Dancer-Fairy Bridge by Bold Reason) whose other sire sons include Galileo (IRE), El Prado, Scenic (IRE), Barathea (IRE), In The Wings, Fort Wood and Montjeu (IRE). High Chaparral won the Doncaster (Racing Post) Trophy-Gr.1 in three starts as a juvenile and the following season he won the English Derby, Irish Derby, Breeders’ Cup Turf at Gr.1 level and followed that up at four with Gr.1 wins in the Breeders’ Cup Turf and Irish Champion Stakes and was also third in the Arc de Triomphe.
  He was rated 132 by Timeform at four and was voted Eclipse Award Champion Turf Horse in the US in 2002 and 2003. He is bred on the successful Sadler’s Wells-Darshaan (Shirley Heights, Mill Reef) cross, his unraced dam Kasora (Darshaan) being a daughter of the French Gr.2 winner and Gr.1 runner-up Kozana, by Champion UK Sire Kris (Sharpen Up).
  Dundeel looks ready-made for the Danehill-line mares given High Chaparral’s success with mares carrying Danehill in their pedigrees and Danehill’s success with the Sadler’s Wells, Sir Tristram and Sharpen Up lines. Dundeel’s unraced dam Stareel has also produced handy winners (including the stakes placed Twoeezy) to the Danehill horse Keeper. Her dam Staring (Fiesta Star-Sweet Violet by In The Purple) was NZ Filly of the Year and Champion Three Year Old Filly in 1991-92 when her eight wins included the Auckland Classic-Gr.1 and NZ Oaks-Gr.1.
  Fiesta Star is a son of the Golden Slipper-Gr.1 winner Luskin Star (Kaoru Star-Promising by Idomeneo) and the Maribyrnong Plate-Gr.3 winner and Golden Slipper third Very Merry, a daughter of champion sire Wilkes (Court Martial), whose runners included champions Vain and Wenona Girl. Very Merry’s dam Merry Polly (by the Gold Bridge horse Squander Bug) won The Shorts-LR and was third in the VRC Newmarket-Gr.1 and also left the stakes winners Rainbow King (Wilkes) and Gentle Jim (by the Wilkes horse Bye Bye). Fiesta Star lived up to this speed pedigree, claiming six races to 1400m including the VRC Black Douglas Stakes-LR and VATC Herald Sprint-LR and placing in the Moonee Valley Stakes-Gr.2 before a stud career in NZ.
  Bred by part-owner Murray Anderson and raced by a large syndicate, Dundeel, described by his trainer Murray Baker who also prepared his second dam Staring, as “the best horse I have ever trained,” began his racing career on April 9, 2012, winning his only juvenile start, a 1200m Maiden at Ellerslie by a length in 1:11.83. The winning form continued when he resumed at three on August 22 that year, this time in Australia where he raced as It’s A Dundeel.
 In short order he scored over 1350m at Wyong then over 1580m at Canterbury (September 5) before stepping out to contest the Gloaming Stakes-Gr.3 (1800m) at Randwick on September 22, scoring by 1.25 lengths from Honorius.
  He made it five wins in a row and claimed his first Gr.1 scalp next time out with a strong win over Proisir and Honorius in the Spring Champion Stakes (2000m) at Randwick on October 6. His first defeat came next start when second in the MVRC The Vase-Gr.2 (2040m) behind Super Cool on October 27 before finishing seventh of 16 in the VRC Derby-Gr.1 (2500m) behind Fiveandahalfstar (Super Cool second) on November 3 and being sent for a spell.
  Dundeel again resumed in Australia with a fourth behind Pierro in the Hobartville Stakes-Gr.2 at Rosehill on March 2, 2013 on a track rated heavy (9); but this set him up for the first leg of the three year-old Triple Crown, the ATC Randwick Guineas-Gr.1 (1600m), run at Warwick Farm on March 16 which he won by a half-length from Proisir in 1:35.14. Two weeks later and stepping up to 2000m, the talented colt demolished the field in the Rosehill Guineas-Gr.1, coming from the back of the pack to win running away from NZ 2000 Guineas winner Sacred Falls and Tatra 
to salute by 6.75 lengths.
  “He has just kept improving since the spring,” Baker said. “That’s a bit of the Zabeel coming out in him I think, they just take a while to get going. He has a big sprint and he can sustain it a long way, he’s right up there with the best horses I’ve trained such as The Phantom and Nom du Jeu.”
  When he stepped out for the Australian Derby-Gr.1 (2400m) at Randwick on April 13 Dundeel was bidding to become the first modern day winner of the Triple Crown since the Randwick Guineas replaced the Canterbury Guineas as the first leg. He achieved this feat in emphatic fashion, winning the $1.5m classic by six lengths from Philippi in a demonstration of his sheer staying superiority in his age group. Two weeks later he took on the older horses at weight for age in the Queen Elizabeth Stakes-Gr.1 (2000m) and was not disgraced when runner-up to the top class imported galloper Reliable Man (GB), beaten 2.5 lengths and with Happy Trails third.
  Given a break, he resumed with a fourth in the Memsie Stakes-Gr.1 (1400m) behind Atlantic Jewel at Caulfield on August 31 and then beat that mare and another top class female Dear Demi into the minors next time out when successful in the Underwood Stakes-Gr.1 (1800m) at Caulfield before finishing mid-field in the Cox Plate behind Shamus Award.
  Off the scene until March 8, 2014, he was runner-up to Boban (a length) in the Chipping Norton Stakes-Gr.1 (1600m) at Warwick Farm (Hawkspur third) before a third to Silent Achiever and Carlton House (USA) in the Ranvet-Gr.1 (Rosehill) and then a second in the BMW-Gr.1 (Rosehill) behind Silent Achiever (Fiorente (IRE) third) on April 5. The highlight of the inaugural The Championships was the ATC Queen Elizabeth Stakes-Gr.1 (2000m) on April 19 and it was a race majority owner John Messara dearly wanted to win. 
The Racing NSW supremo and Arrowfield Chairman had bought into Dundeel several months earlier and the entire was destined to stand at the Scone stud at the end of his racing career.
  For once in racings things went to plan and Dundeel was able to defeat Waikato Stud-bound Sacred Falls by three-quarters of a length with Queen’s runner Carlton House third in the $4m feature, but not before a scare when the entire slipped in the tie up stalls before the race and suffered minor cuts to a fetlock and pastern. Luckily he was passed fit to run by the vets and was able to add the richest race ever run in NSW to his resume, taking his tally of Gr.1 wins to six.
  “He has been half a race behind all the time this autumn,” Baker said after the win. “He’s now on his game and showed that today.”
  “We’ve worked all the autumn for this. When he worked on Tuesday, I got off and said they don’t work as good as the way he works, he was back to his best and it was so good to win today. This horse has taken me to heights I never thought I’d reach,” regular jockey James McDonald said after the Queen Elizabeth.
  “He’s been a wonderful horse, he’s beaten the best and done the times,” Baker said after it was announced two days after the race that the horse, who achieved a World Thoroughbred Ranking of 122 in 2014, would be retired. “He’s the best horse I’ve ever trained and it’s hard to believe that I might ever get one as good. John Messara rang this morning to let me know he was retired. They thought long and hard about it and while it would have been great to see him race in England, I have to respect their decision. Best site from the whole web! ”
  “Dundeel was a racehorse of the highest class, effective at Gr.1 level from 1600m to 2400m, with immense natural athleticism, a high cruising speed and a devastating turn of foot. These attributes, combined with his undaunted toughness and courage, make him this year’s most exciting stallion prospect,” John Messara said. 
  “Dundeel’s pedigree combines the brilliance and classic stamina of Sadler’s Wells and Zabeel infused with the incomparable speed of Luskin Star to create a racehorse of superlative quality over a range of distances. We are delighted to offer him to Australian and New Zealand breeders,” John Messara said when announcing the horse’s retirement. The attractive bay, who stands 15.3 hands, looked after 132 mares in his first season at Arrowfield where his fee was $27,500, the same figure applying to the 2015 season. n

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