published: 01 Sep 2017 in Stallion profiles

A FAST miler from the Galileo male line and bred on the successful Sadler’s Wells-Danehill nick, dual Gr.1 winner Palentino has the right credentials to make an impact as a sire. He is covering his first mares at Sun Stud in Victoria in 2017 where he has been really well received by broodmare owners.

DUAL Gr.1-winning Palentino (Teofilo (IRE)-Palatine Hill by Palace Music (USA)), now covering his first book at Sun Stud in Victoria at $17,600, is a wonderful reminder of the legacy left by great Canadian breeder E.P. Taylor. The handsome chestnut is inbred to several champions bred by Taylor, most notably Northern Dancer.
  Of course it’s hardly front-page news these days when so many horses are inbred to that Kentucky Derby winner, but the three lines Palentino carries 4m,5mx4m are through some pretty serious individuals in Sadler’s Wells, Danzig and The Minstrel, the last named one of three Northern Dancer-sired English Derby winners winner bred by Taylor.
  Palentino’s pedigree also includes a 5fx5f double of Taylor-bred Canadian Horse of the Year Victoria Park (Chop Chop-Victoriana by Windfields), through daughters Victorian Queen (Champion Older Mare Canada 1975) and Fleur (a half-sister to Nijinsky and from Canadian Oaks winner Flaming Page). Victorian Queen has Windfields 3fx3f, while Fleur has the brothers Flares and Omaha 3x4, both sons of Gallant Fox by Sir Galahad, whose brother Bull Dog is also in this pedigree, with those sons of Teddy appearing 5x4 (+6).
  Taylor, who died in May 1989, aged 88, and founded his Windfields Farm in 1936, started the Northern Dancer story in 1952 when he purchased Lady Angela (Hyperion) in foal to Nearco for top price of 10,500 guineas at a sale in Newmarket in 1952. She produced a Nearco colt (Empire Day) in 1953 and again visited that horse before being shipped to Canada. That second Nearco colt, foaled in 1954, raced as Nearctic and became a champion in Canada at two and three (when he was Horse of the Year). His champion son Northern Dancer was born in 1961 and this diminutive colt won the Kentucky Derby and Preakness in 1964 before changing the face of modern thoroughbred breeding.
 Taylor had purchased Northern Dancer’s dam Natalma (Native Dancer-Almahmoud by Mahmoud), also third dam of Danehill, as a yearling for $35,000 and she won three races at two and was first past the post in the Spinaway Stakes-Gr.1 before being demoted to third. She chipped a bone prepping for the Kentucky Oaks the following season and was sent straight to Nearctic, conceiving on a June 28 cover. When you realise Windfields-bred horses include Northern Dancer’s three English Derby-Gr.1-winning sons Nijinsky II, The Minstrel, and Secreto; Eclipse champions Devil’s Bag and Glorious Song; European champions Storm Bird, El Gran Senor, Shareef Dancer, Awaasif, Danzatore and Try My Best; leading Canadian sires Vice Regent and Archers Bay, and influential sires Saint Ballado and Northern Taste, you can understand the mark E.P. Taylor made on modern pedigrees.
  Taylor crossed daughters of his tough Canadian-breds like Windfields (Bunty Lawless) and his son Canadian Champ and also Victoria Park with Northern Dancer. This is a history lesson worth remembering because these names are repeated in some of the best runners by Palentino’s sire Teofilo (IRE) (Galileo (IRE)-Speirbhean by Danehill (USA)) and provide vital clues when looking at the pedigrees of mares who should suit Palentino.
  For example, six of the nine named foals by Teofilo from daughters of Encosta de Lago are winners and the cross has produced 28% stakes winners to runners. Encosta de Lago’s sire is Fairy King, a brother to Sadler’s Wells, replicating the sort of inbreeding favoured by Taylor. Encosta de Lago’s fourth dam is Gr.1 winner Fanfreluche, whose parents Northern Dancer and Ciboulette were bred by Taylor, ditto Ciboulette’s sire Chop Chop (Flares) and dam Windy Answer (Windfields). Ciboulette also has the closely bred Flares (Gallant Fox (Sir Galahad)-Flambino by Wrack) and Teddy Wrack (Bull Dog-Decree by Wrack) 2x3. Mares carrying Encosta de Lago look certain to do well with Palentino.
  But it’s not only horses bred by Taylor who are important, rather the lessons learned from his judicious use of pedigree reinforcement. Could this explain the success of the cross with Teofilo over Kingmambo daughters (20% stakes winners to runners) or with those of his son Dubai Destination (33%), given that Kingmambo is by Mr. Prospector (grandson of Native Dancer, sire of Natalma) and from Miesque by Nureyev (a three-quarter brother to Sadler’s Wells) and Teofilo’s sire Galileo is by Sadler’s Wells and from a mare by Miswaki, a son of Mr. Prospector. Miswaki is also from a daughter of Buckpasser who is sire of the second dam of Danehill (dam sire of Teofilo).
  Also important is the fact that Palentino belongs to a fast and precocious branch of the Galileo male line. His sire Teofilo was an unbeaten two year-old, winning five races, all at 1400m, and including the National Stakes-Gr.1 and the Dewhurst Stakes-Gr.1 on his way to being crowned Champion Two Year-Old of Europe in 2006. Injury prevented him racing at three when he may well have featured in the classics, as do so many by his sire, but his precociousness was unusual for the line in general and was no doubt helped by having that consummate sire of two year-olds, Danehill, as his dam sire. 
  That Galileo-Danehill cross was used to great effect a couple of years later to produce the champion Frankel and in 2017 we have watched three year-old Galileo filly Winter land four Gr.1 events including the English and Irish 1000 Guineas (1600m). She is from a daughter of sprinting champion Choisir, a Danehill grandson whose daughters also look cherry ripe for Palentino. It’s also worth noting champion Danehill son Fastnet Rock’s affection for the Sadler’s Wells line (particularly Galileo), and the success of this line with mares carrying Nureyev (a three-quarter brother to Sadler’s Wells), including Zabeel (dam by Nureyev). Daughters of Fastnet Rock, Zabeel and the Nureyev line sire Thorn Park (or his sire Spinning World) are worth considering.
  While Teofilo’s European-bred stock are more stamina-oriented, hardly surprising given the broodmare band there, he still got the Dewhurst-Gr.1 winner Parish Hall (Montjeu; doubling Sadler’s Wells) in his first crop and also has smart milers like Sussex Stakes-Gr.1 winner Arod (Rahy, second dam by Nureyev) and Prix Jean Prat-Gr.1 winner Havana Gold (Desert Style; doubling Danzig), as well as French juvenile Gr.1 winner Loch Garman (Giant’s Causeway) among a host of stakes winners.
  He has some top class milers among his best Australian-bred runners too, including Doncaster Handicap-Gr.1 hero Kermadec (Fuji Kiseki), Villiers Handicap-Gr.2 winner Happy Clapper (Encosta de Lago) and profile stallion, the Australian Guineas-Gr.1/Makybe Diva Stakes-Gr.1 winner Palentino. Given that Palentino is getting some pretty speedy mares at Sun Stud, it will be no surprise to see him get good juveniles who train on.
  A chestnut with a good splash of white who stands 16.1, Palentino has always caught the eye and trainer Darren Weir had to pay top price of $85,000 to secure him at the Tasmanian Yearling Sale when the youngster was offered by his breeder Jenny Watson (Macleay Thoroughbred Stud). Weir’s judgement was vindicated when the colt began racing as an early three year-old.
  Although narrowly beaten by Drill Master at his first start over 1200m at Ballarat, Palentino won his next two starts, at Stawell (1300m) and Flemington (1400m), convincingly. That latter race was a Listed event and he was never out of stakes company after that. Given a spell and then unplaced in a Gr.3 (1200m) in early February 2016 when held up for a run, he was then second in the C.S. Hayes-Gr.3 (1400m) to Tivaci, after being first past the post, but losing the race after a controversial protest. The talented performer had his revenge next start by winning the VRC Australian Guineas-Gr.1 (1600m) at Flemington in 1:35.28 from Tarzino on March 5. He was caught late by Tally in the MVRC Alister Clarke Stakes-Gr.2 (2040m) on a soft track a fortnight later and was sent for a break. 
  Resuming as a four year-old on August 13, he was fourth behind Voodoo Lad in the MRC Regal Roller Stakes-LR (1200m) and then fifth in the Memsie-Gr.1 (1400m) behind Black Heart Bart on August 27. Back to the wide open spaces of his favourite track, Flemington, on September 10, he had a length to spare over runner-up Black Heart Bart in the VRC Makybe Diva Stakes-Gr.1 (1600m) on a soft (5) surface, running 1:36.26 and becoming the only horse, apart from the great Zabeel, to land the Guineas/Diva double. Unplaced in the Epsom-Gr.1, Cantala-Gr.1 and Emirates-Gr.1 in October and early November, he was given a short spell, resuming with an eye-catching fourth behind Malaguerra in the MVRC Australia Stakes-Gr.2 (1200m) on January 27.
  He then dead-heated for fourth behind Black Heart Bart in the C.F. Orr-Gr.1 (1400m) and was sixth in the MRC Futurity-Gr.1, again behind that horse, before scoring a memorable win in the VRC Blamey Stakes-Gr.2 (1600m, WFA), running 1:35.44 on a good track and leaving Japan’s Tosen Stardom 3.25 lengths in his wake. Taken to Randwick for a tilt at Australia’s richest mile, the $3.13m Doncaster on April 1, he was met with a very heavy (8) track, but ran on well to be fourth behind It’s Somewhat, Happy Clapper (also by Teofilo) and Sense of Occasion in what was to be his final start. Palentino retired with five wins, three seconds and four fourths in 18 starts for earnings of $1,305,110 and gained a World Thoroughbred Ranking of 117 in 2016.
  Darren Weir was full of praise for the horse on his retirement. “He is just such a striking individual and from the moment I laid eyes on him he impressed me,” he said. “He’s got a great temperament and he just kept rising to the occasion. I am sorry to see him go, but I believe he’ll make a huge impact at Sun Stud.”
  By super star sire Galileo and from a Listed-winning daughter of Danehill, Teofilo remained unbeaten at two, his five wins including the National Stakes-Gr.1 (7f) and Dewhurst Stakes-Gr.1 (7f), beating Holy Roman Emperor into second in both. Teofilo’s second dam, the Irish winner Saviour, is a daughter of Majestic Light (dam by Ribot), by Majestic Prince, whose brother Crowned Prince is the dam sire of Zeditave, among others, and from the same family as Danehill’s dam sire His Majesty (by Ribot).
  Teofilo, who is covering this season at Darley, Aberdeen on $44,000, has left 67 stakes winners (9.2%) among his 445 winners (98 won at two), a record of 61.1% winners to starters, for earnings of $52m. His Gr.1 winners also include Australian Cup-Gr.1 winner Humidor (Zabeel, second dam by Green Desert), Irish Derby-Gr.1 winner Trading Leather (by Sinndar, a son of Grand Lodge), Queensland Derby-Gr.1 winner Sonntag (by Zeditave’s son Strategic; has Majestic Prince/Crowned Prince 5x5), Irish St Leger-Gr.1 winner Voleuse de Coeurs (by Danzig line sire Grand Lodge, a son of Chief’s Crown), Dubai Gr.1 winner Special Fighter (Machiavellian, a Mr. Prospector horse whose dam is inbred to Almahmoud) and Yorkshire Oaks-Gr.1/Irish 1000 Guineas-Gr.1 winner Pleascach (Thunder Gulch).
  As mentioned earlier Palatine Hill’s dam sire, multiple Gr.1 winner Palace Music (The Minstrel-Come My Prince by Prince John), features Victoria Park (Chop Chop-Victoriana by Windfields) as dam sire of English Derby hero The Minstrel. Palatine Hill’s five winners also include Watch Over Me (Rock of Gibraltar), Cumani (Al Maher), both by sons of Danehill, and The Widder (Street Cry).   Second dam Rather Droll is by VRC Derby-Gr.1 winner Sovereign Red (NZ) (Sir Tristram (IRE)-Taiona by Sovereign Edition (IRE)), from the Sir Ivor male line. Given Teofilo’s liking for Grand Lodge (3x3 to half-brothers Secretariat and Sir Gaylord) it’s interesting to see one of Rather Droll’s two stakes winners, Rather Grand, is by that horse, while the other, Sublimity, is by Testa Rossa, whose sire Perugino (USA) is a son of Danzig and three-quarter brother to Sadler’s Wells. Mares featuring Grand Lodge and Testa Rossa, both Danzig-line sires, should suit Palentino, as should mares carrying Green Desert, a horse bred on the Danzig-Sir Ivor cross. Mares by Green Desert’s fast grandson I Am Invincible look good here, as do mares carrying Green Desert son Volksraad (GB). It could also pay to duplicate Sadler’s Wells, perhaps using daughters of Artie Schiller, whose sire is bred on the Sadler’s Wells/Sir Ivor cross and whose dam is by Majestic Light.
  Palentino’s third dam is the English winner Love Divine (USA) (by the Ribot grandson Droll Role and from Shellshock, a daughter of the Right Royal son Salvo and Priddy Maid by Acropolis), whose pedigree ties in nicely with elements found in General Nediym, and his daughters should also work well. This is family 19b tracing to the English 1000 Guineas-Gr.1 winner Campanula (Blandford-Vesper Bell by Pommern), ninth dam of Palentino, via her daughter Calluna (Hyperion). n