Sometimes the Sun rises in the west

published: 05 May 2015 in Kincsem's Corner

DELICACY’S successive wins in the recent Western Australian Oaks and Derby, saw the sun shine brightly once again on a thoroughbred family that springs from the wonderful producer Pambo, a brown mare foaled in 1958 by Jumbo out of Too Gay by Le Grand Duc.

DaDelicacy is by Emirates Park’s stalwart Al Maher out of the Scenic mare Simply Wicked whose fifth dam is Pambo. With eight wins and three placings from just 12 lifetime starts Delicacy has amassed $863,400, emerging as a real public favourite with her class and courage. The courage was amply demonstrated in her most recent victory, the West Australian Derby-Gr.2 where she defeated the colts over 2400m after a messy getaway which saw her sprawl out of the gates, her head almost hitting the turf and rider William Pike doing a good job to stay aboard. She recovered to take up a good position before putting her rivals away with a decisive sprint from the point of the turn.
  Her ancestor Pambo, winner of three races herself, was a fabulous producer with eight of her nine named foals making it to the races, and all eight winning. They included the brilliant Gay Tambo (by Power House) a stakes winner of seven races and Gr.2 placed, but best remembered as the one time holder of not one, but two Sandown course records over 1200m and 1400m. Not many horses have been able to set two metropolitan course records. Her half-brother Regal Tambo (by Royalgo) was a stakes placed marvel, winner of no less than 23 races before embarking on a modest stud career. Both horses were trained by Stan Dunham at Mornington, as were several other siblings.
  Regal Tambo’s sister was the stakes placed Our Legend, producer of one of Australia’s top 3YOs of his generation, the Mighty Kingdom colt Lord of Camelot. His victories included the time honoured Chelmsford S-Gr.2 at Randwick, The VRC Blamey S-Gr.2 and he was also second in the Caulfield Guineas-Gr.1 and 4th in the W.S. Cox Plate-Gr.1 before going on to an undistinguished stud career.
  Pambo’s family is notable for two things, the number of prolific race winners it has produced and the remarkable list of best, or close to best, horses by relatively modest sires that have emanated from it. A brief summary appears in Table 1.
  All too often breeders see a family of relatively modest origins come to life in one generation, throwing forth winner after winner, just as the sun throws out its solar flares from a seemingly inexhaustible supply of energy, then dying out just as quickly, energy expended, collapsing back as do solar flares, into obscurity. Yet on occasions, thoroughbred families will retain the ability to produce a top class galloper in successive generations. As Table 1 indicates, Pambo’s family kept flaring into life despite relatively moderate opportunity for a couple of generations before seemingly becoming dormant. It is perhaps no accident that the branch that has after six generations produced West Australia’s current star filly has been one that has had the benefit of what might be described as more fashionable matings. Delicacy descends from Pambo via daughters who were produced by the stallions (in order):  Century, Whiskey Road, Marauding, Scenic and finally Al Maher. Not a bad lot by any standards. 
Now compare that list to some of the other leading members of this family listed in Table 1. These are:  Power House, Royalgo, Mighty Kingdom, Amyntor, Sea Road, High Regard and West Quest. A couple of decent sires there to be sure, but starkly different in overall quality to the first list.
  Delicacy is trained by Grant Williams for leading owner and breeder Bob Peters and his wife Sandra. She is bred on a broad Danehill/Sadler’s Wells cross and is inbred 5m,5f x5f to the ubiquitous Natalma, and is also inbred within seven generations to the mares Flower Bowl, Almahmoud and Lalun. Her sire Al Maher has done sterling service for Nasser Lootah’s Emirates Park at Murrurundi having produced 25 stakes winners including three Gr.1 winners, ALMALAD, FAT AL AND DIAMOND DRILLE.
  The various iterations of the Sadler’s Wells/Danehill cross and its reverse, the Danehill/Sadler’s Wells cross are some of the most successful in world breeding. The standout here is the Galileo/Danehill cross which yields almost 40% Gr.1 winners to stakes winners, the flag-bearer for the cross being the incomparable Frankel. Some statistics for the various versions of the cross are set out in Table 2.

Class distributionin the thoroughbred

WHEN doing some examination of the success rate of certain crosses a while ago I came across an earlier piece of research by Roger Lyons (who has been a regular contributor to Bluebloods over a long period). In his essay Roger Lyons examined the class distribution among some 15,000 stakes winners, worldwide, establishing that approximately 13% of the stakes winners were Gr.1 winners. 
I verified his research by examining the class distribution in Australian racing over the past two completed seasons, coming up with a figure of around 12.5%, very close to Lyons’ figure. Bearing this figure of 12.5% or 13% in mind, the real merit of the Galileo/Danehill cross at 38.46% is brought into sharp focus.
  Delicacy has risen to every challenge as we go to press, it remains only for her to notch up a Gr.1 win to complete the picture. Thanks to a gallant filly bred on the cross of international luminaries Danehill and Sadler’s Wells, the sun has once again risen on a very successful Australian family established by Pambo half a century ago. And this time it has risen in the west. n


Name Dam Pambo's
to Horse
No. of wins
by Horse
Best Level
of wins
Sire Rank of Horse
in Sire's Hierarchy
Gay Tambo Pambo Dam 7 Gr.2 place Two Metropolitan course records Power House 6th best
Regal Tambo Pambo Dam 23 SP Royalgo best
Lord of Camelot Our Legend 2nd Dam 5 Multiple Gr.2 winner, multiple Gr.1 placed Mighty Kingdom best
Tanjian Prince Princess Pamela 2nd Dam 5 Gr.2 winner, Gr.1 placed Amyntor 5th best
Port Call Let It Ring 3rd Dam 11 SP Sea Road 10th best
Bulta Carlowrie's Debut 3rd Dam 8 Gr.1 winner (S.A. Derby) High Regard best
Jay Kay Bee Tricky Tambo 3rd Dam 10 SW West Quest 5th best
Delicacy Simply Wicked 6th Dam 8* Gr.2 winner* Al Maher 6th best*

*as at 28/4/2015 still racing


Some examples of the Sadler’s Wells/Danehill cross, its variants and reverses.
Cross    Runners    Winners    SW    Gr.1W    %Gr.1/Sw
                    (Class Distribution)
Sadler’s Wells/Danehill    14    9    4    -
Montjeu/Danehill    37    23    4    1    25%
Galileo/Danehill    155    109    26    10    38.45%
Danehill/Sadler’s Wells    68    51    10    2    20%
Sons of Danehill/Mares by Sadler’s Wells    655    398    48    7    14.58%
Sons of Danehill/Mares by sons of Sadler’s Wells    1536    836    66    7    10.6%​