First winner for turf star Gio Ponti

published: 02 Sep 2015 in Pedigree analysis

A first winner for turf champion Gio Ponti has prompted DAVID BAY to take this look at his sire Tale of the Cat’s young sons at stud in Australia.

THE seven-time Gr.1 winner and $US6m earner Gio Ponti (USA) (Tale of the Cat (USA)-Chipeta Springs by Alydar) was hardly rushed off his feet in his lone season at Arrowfield, leaving just 40 live foals from 53 mares covered in 2012 on a fee of $22,000. Breeders here could well be rueing the fact that they didn’t make more use the horse as he’s made 
a bright start to his stud career in the US.
  His first winner came at the end of July when two year-old filly Most Inspiring (ex Chemise by Secret Hello) won a $US46,000 6f turf maiden at Woodbine by 3.25 lengths, running 1:10.36. Bred in Virginia and trained by Danny Vella, the grey filly, a $57,000 Fasig-Tipton October yearling, is a half-sister to four stakes winners including Hello Lover.
  Gio Ponti was voted US Champion Older Male and Champion Turf Male in 2009 and Champion Turf Male in 2010. His 12 wins included the Arlington Million-Gr.1, Shadwell Turf Mile-Gr.1 (twice), Man o’War Stakes-Gr.1 (twice), Manhattan Handicap-Gr.1 and Frank Kilroe Mile-Gr.1 and he was also runner-up in the Breeders’ Cup Classic-Gr.1 and Breeders’ Cup Mile-Gr.1 (also fourth). He won a stakes race every season from age two to age six and was in the first three in 23 of 29 starts. He stands at Castleton Lyons Farm in Kentucky on $US15,000 and his first US yearlings made up to $500,000. 
  Gio Ponti’s Australian-bred foals have just turned two and include fillies bought by Kevin Hickman ($110,000 ex Illusionary by Hussonet), David Redvers ($100,000 ex Congenial by Redoute’s Choice), Dermot Farrington ($80,000 ex Red Dress Marley by Hussonet) and Tony Noonan ($35,000 ex Cinque Cento by Nothin’ Leica Dane) and colts bought by John Hyam ($55,000 ex Barsha by Redoute’s Choice), World Wide Bloodstock ($45,000 ex Blazonry by Spectrum), Gabrielle Englebrecht ($25,000 ex Choice Blend by Redoute’s Choice) and Robbie Laing ($20,000 ex Gostego by More Than Ready). 
  His sire, Gr.2 winner and Gr.1 runner-up Tale of the Cat (Storm Cat-Yarn by Mr. Prospector), shuttled to Coolmore from 2003-10 (in NZ 1999), leaving more than 700 foals from southern duties including Gr.1 winner and $995,000 earner Gathering, dual Gr.1 winner Glamour Puss (NZ), NZ 2000 Guineas-Gr.1 winner Tell a Tale, Gr.2 winner Falkirk (NZ), Gr.2 winner and sire Real Saga, Gr.2 winner and sire Scardee Cat (NZ) and Gr.2 winner De Lightning Ridge. 
His US Gr.1 winner Lion Heart (USA), now at stud in Turkey, also shuttled between 2005-09, leaving 400 foals including Listed winners Bianca Jewel and Double Heart. He had Gr.1 winners Line of David (now at Spendthrift Farm) and Dangerous Midge (at stud in Chile) in the US. Tale of the Cat is the sire of 98SW and the winners of more than $142m.
  His daughters have produced the winners of more than $50m with 689 winners (43SW) of 1844 races including the Gr.1 winners It’s Tricky (Mineshaft), Dortmund (Big Brown), Amazing Maria (Mastercraftsman), Declassify (Orientate) and Smashing Glory (Honor and Glory). Unbeaten Super One, this year’s champion juvenile in Singapore is a son of I Am Invincible and the Tale of the Cat mare Tails Wins. He will race on in Australia at three in a partnership headed by Henry Field’s Newgate Farm and will stand at the Scone stud at the end of his racing career.


ALTHOUGH Australian breeders no longer have access to Gio Ponti, they do have access to two fast young Tale of the Cat sons in Queensland in Whittington and Real Saga, plus Group-winning sons in NSW (Trusting) and Victoria (Purrealist). Whittington (ex Maha Chakri by Beautiful Crown (USA), whose wins included the Breeders’ Plate-LR and BRC Lightning Stakes-LR, stands at Grandview Stud at Peak Crossing in Queensland. His first season fee is $8800. 
  His dam won the Tasmanian Oaks-LR, and her pedigree also features Gr.1-winning juveniles and successful sires Lunchtime (GB) and Baguette. Her sire Beautiful Crown (Chief’s Crown (USA)-Beautiful Glass by Pass The Glass) ran the fastest 6.5f in the US in 1996. He won a 6.5f Allowance at Santa Anita by two lengths in 1:14.3 and a Claiming Race at Del Mar by six lengths in 1:14.1 among six victories and also won a 6f Allowance at Santa Anita by five lengths in 1:08.3 and was stakes placed at 7.5f at Hollywood Park. He is a half-brother to Gr.1 winner Jeanne Jones (Nijinsky) and to stakes placed sire Avenue of Flags (Seattle Slew). Their dam Beautiful Glass is a Gr.3 winner by the Buckpasser son Pass the Glass whose second dam is top class performer Lady Sybil (NZ) (Count Rendered), winner of the VRC Oaks, Caulfield Guineas and dam of Nelson Bunker Hunt’s Gr.2 winner Brigand (Noholme), who stood successfully in NZ.
  Maha Chakri’s dam Thai Lunch is by the successful Widden Stud sire and Dewhurst Stakes-Gr.1 winner Lunchtime (GB) and from city-winning sprinter Thaiuette, a daughter of the Golden Slipper-Gr.1 winner Baguette and the stakes-placed Thai-Silk (Romantic). This is family 14b.

Real Saga

THE Todman Stakes-Gr.2 winner Real Saga (ex Windy Kate by Air Express (IRE)) is doing a marvellous job at Glenlogan Park where he has left more than 85 winners of $6.6m since retiring to stud in 2009, notably stakes winners Candelara (Adrian Knox Stakes-Gr.3), Real Good, Sagaronne and Real Surreal (Magic Millions 2YO Classic-RL). Also winner of the Breeders’ Plate-LR among four wins in six starts at two, Real Saga is proving a top-notch sire of juveniles and with three crops racing has won the Queensland 2YO sires’ trophy in each of the past three seasons and was runner-up to fellow Glenlogan sire Jet Spur (84 winners of $3.66m) for the title of the leading Queensland-based sire in 2014-15. He had seven juvenile winners of 10 races and $797,630 (including SW and Gr.1 runner-up Sagaronne) during the past season with 66 winners of $3.099m for the year. 
  His stakes placed dam Windy Kate was twice fourth at Gr.1 level at two and is a half-sister to Gr.2 winner and sire Another Warrior, their dam being the winning Semipalatinsk (USA) mare Kate Be Good (ex Kaoru Katie by Kaoru Star). Windy Kate carries Star Kingdom 5mx4m. Real Saga’s fee at Glenlogan Park, Innisplain is $15,400.


TRUSTING (ex Legible by Zabeel) moves to Stuart Ramsay’s Turangga Farm at Scone in 2015 after starting stud life for Patinack Farm in 2012. Winner of four races including the Hill Stakes-Gr.2, Warwick Stakes-Gr.2 and Chelmsford Stakes-Gr.2, he was also runner up in the Golden Rose-Gr.1 behind Denman (Stryker third), the Epsom-Gr.1 (to Captain Sonador) and the George Main (behind More Joyous). His first two dams are Gr.2 winners, Legible winning the Sandown Classic and Waihora’s Lass (Tights), who was the Champion Older Female Sprinter in NZ in 1996-97, won 11 races including the Auckland Thoroughbred Breeders’ Stakes. Trusting, who also won his only start at two and was still racing and winning as a five year-old, is sure of good support at Turangga and stands at $11,000.
  Trusting’s seventh dam, Bridal Colors (Black Toney) is the dam of international sire influence Relic (damsire of Bletchingly and sire of Eight Carat’s sire Pieces of Eight). He could be a good match with daughters of Lonhro, Commands, Danewin, Star Watch (or son Hurricane Sky) and Canny Lad.


PURREALIST (ex Surrealist by Kenny’s Best Pal) won two races including the Caulfield Guineas Prelude-Gr.3 (1400m) and was never out of the first three in five starts at two and three. He stands at Chatswood Stud, Seymour in Victoria and looks great value at $5500 considering he has already sired the Queensland Derby-Gr.1 winner Hawkspur since entering stud in 2008.
  Hawkspur has won eight races and more than $1.3m and Purrealist also has the other stakes winners Storm Approach and Melrose Place among more than 70 winners of $4.5m. He is a half-brother to five-time Gr.1 winner Racing to Win (Encosta de Lago) and from the immediate family of Mardi’s Magic and Sir Midas and is yet another high class member of the La Troienne family as that great broodmare is his seventh dam.
  His branch of the family arrived in the south with the importation of his third dam Hula Gold (IRE), a daughter of the Arc de Triomphe winner Rheingold who arrived with her dam Hula Bend (USA) (Never Bend). Hula Bend is the dam of Gr.1 winners Hula Chief (NZ) and Hula Drum (NZ) (both by Marceau), who hail from the Star Kingdom male line, 
as does Purrealist’s dam sire Kenny’s Best Pal (a son of Bletchingly). n