Performer is a welcome addition to the stallion ranks in Queensland this season. A Group winner at two, he inherited the speed so characteristic of the most successful Danehill-line sires and he hails from a sire-making branch of a classic family.


A BRILLIANT two year-old, by a brilliant sire of two year-olds, Performer is covering his first book for Aquis in Queensland in 2019 on a fee of $8800. His stud success seems almost guaranteed, given that he is a Group-winning grandson of Danehill (USA) and hails from the family of great broodmare Feola, whose descendants include successful sires like Round Table, Sideral, Aureole, Doutelle, Nashwan and Deep Impact.

In fact Performer (Exceed and Excel-Gavroche by Snippets) hails from a particularly strong branch of this family (2f) as his sixth dam Monarchy (Princequillo-Knight’s Daughter by Sir Cosmo), a granddaughter of classic placed Feola (Friar Marcus- Aloe by Son-in-Law), is a stakes-winning sister to champion racehorse and sire Round Table. Monarchy’s direct descendants also include Pulpit (fourth dam), Johannesburg (USA) (fifth dam), Tale of the Cat (USA) (fourth dam) and Minardi (USA) (fourth dam).

A $450,000 Magic Millions yearling bred by Darren Thomas, the handsome chestnut is a half-brother to ATC The Galaxy-Gr.1 winner Bel Sprinter (Bel Esprit), a winner of eight races and more than $900,000. Dam sire Snippets (Lunchtime (GB)) also counted The Galaxy (1100m) among his three Gr.1 wins, the others being the AJC Sires’ Produce and VATC Oakleigh Plate. Like Exceed and Excel (Danehill), who won twice at two including the Todman Slipper Trial- Gr.2 before going on to claim the Invitation-Gr.1 and Newmarket-Gr.1 at three, Snippets also came to hand quickly at two and is best remembered for his win in the inaugural Magic Millions 2YO Classic-RL, although he also took the Meynink Stakes and Brambles Classic before ending his season with a Gr.1 collect in the Sires’ Produce.


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Five x Five Enhanced Pedigree Grid for

PERFORMER (AUS) 2015 Chestnut colt
by Exceed and Excel - Gavroche, by Snippets


B. 2000
GW 7 wins
f:2890 r:2589 w:1821 SW:216
B. 1986
GW 4 wins
f:2414 r:2083 w:1631 SW:347
B. 1977
Wnr 3 wins
f:1075 r:837 w:658 SW:198
1Northern DancerNearctic14
Pas de NomAdmiral's Voyage4
B. 1981
f:14 r:11 w:9 SW:5
His MajestyRibot4
Flower Bowl4
1Spring AdieuBuckpasser1
Ch. 1994
Wnr 1 win
f:5 r:5 w:5 SW:2
B. 1980
GW 3 wins
f:721 r:546 w:296 SW:30
1Northern DancerNearctic14
My CharmerPoker1
Fair Charmer13
Ch. 1974
GW 17 wins
f:12 r:10 w:7 SW:3
Watch Your StepCitation3
Back BritchesCarry Back5
Ch. 2002
Wnr 1 win
f:7 r:5 w:4 SW:2
B. 1984
GW 9 wins
f:828 r:739 w:602 SW:57
Ch. 1970
GW 3 wins
f:606 r:519 w:380 SW:32
Silly SeasonTom Fool3
Double Deal1
Great OccasionHornbeam1
Golden Wedding7
Easy Date
B. 1977
Wnr 1 win
f:16 r:15 w:11 SW:4
Grand Chaudiere1Northern Dancer2
ScamperingMisty Day5
Scamper Away20
La Miserable
Ch. 1989
f:11 r:7 w:6
Ch. 1978
GW 6 wins
f:1147 r:939 w:670 SW:94
Mr. ProspectorRaise a Native8
Gold Digger13
Rose Bower16
Ch. 1982
SP 3 wins
f:11 r:9 w:4 SW:1

Northern Dancer (CAN) 1961 : 4m 4m x 5m
Buckpasser (USA) 1963 : 5f x 5f

Natalma (USA) 1957 : 5m 5f 5m x

So it’s little wonder Performer was up and running early for trainer Chris Waller, winning a 900m Canterbury barrier trial on September 18, 2017 before stepping out in the first Sydney juvenile test of the season, the ATC Breeders’ Plate-LR (1000m) at Randwick on September 30. With past winners including Sky High, Baguette, Luskin Star, Choisir, Charge Forward, Snitzel, Sebring and Pierro, all successful sires, Performer showed he was up to that elite company by running 56.82 (33.96), the first time a juvenile colt had broken the 57 second barrier to win the race, although that race record time has since been bettered by Dubious (Not a Single Doubt) who ran 56.45 in 2018 when the race was upgraded to Gr.3.

Jockey Hugh Bowman was very impressed with the colt’s effort in the Breeders’ Plate as Performer was last to leave the barriers and had to be shaken up to settle mid-field. “This horse gave me a really good feel in the trial, he’s a really good two year-old type and has the pedigree to go early,” he said. “I was quite confident going into today and he didn’t let me down, extending really well in the final 100m to defeat Bondi and Santos. He’ll be aimed at the Golden Slipper I expect, he’s a very good colt.”

Chris Waller is not one to push his two year-olds and Performer was given a break, next seen out winning a 900m Rosehill trial on January 8, 2018 and then another trial there on January 22 before his second race start in the Canonbury Stakes-Gr.3 (1100m) on a soft (5) track at Rosehill on February 3. Ridden by Kerrin McEvoy, he was third at the 800m and 400m before flashing home to beat early leader Stratosphere (nose) and Exceltic (two lengths) in 1:06.21 (33.60) in the field of five. The winner carried a 3kg penalty (57.5kg) for his success in the Breeders’ Plate.

“Performer wasn’t wound up today, he has only had two fitness-building trials and carried a penalty for his first win. He is still learning his trade and the second horse dug pretty deep. I know this horse pretty well and he is an exciting colt to be training. I wouldn’t swap him for anything,” Waller said.

Another barrier trial on February 27 when he was a narrow second to Bondi over 1050m on a track rated heavy (8) had him primed for his next race outing in the Todman Stakes-Gr.2 at Randwick on March 10 where he started favourite. However he dislodged rider Hugh Bowman during the race when he shied as one of Bowman’s heels struck him high on the flank, unsettling the juvenile.

Stewards deemed the colt would have to trail before his next run in the Golden Slipper and the colt lined up in a 737m scamper on a heavy (8) track at Randwick just five days later and won the trial with Kerrin McEvoy on board. He struck soft (6) ground in the Golden Slipper on March 24 and was always well back after drawing gate 13 in a field of 16, finishing unplaced behind Estijaab.

Off the scene until two Rosehill trials in late July and early August (4th behind Select Royal and a win over Fiesta), he had his first start as a three year-old in the San Domenico-Gr.3 (1100m), again on a soft (5) track at Rosehill on August 25. He was fourth early and then sixth at the 400m before running home to finish third behind Graff and Neutrality. Mid-field in the Run to the Rose-Gr.2 on September 18, he was second in a Randwick trial on September 28 before heading to Melbourne where he was fourth behind Written By in the Blue Sapphire-Gr.3 (1200m) at Caulfield on October 17.

After three more starts he was retired with two wins and a third in 10 starts and earnings of $231,000.

Subsequently secured by Aquis to stand at its Queensland base at Canungra and with his breeder Darren Thomas (Seymour Bloodstock) taking a significant share in this son of Exceed and Excel, he joins fellow Breeders’ Plate winner Whittington (by Feola-line sire Tale of the Cat) in the sunshine state, which was also home to another winner of the race Real Saga (Tale of the Cat) before that horse’s death in February. Their daughters should make ideal mates for Performer as would others featuring Feola, such as Sir Tristram (IRE), whose dam is by Round Table.

“A Listed and Group winner at his first two starts, Performer highlights many of the qualities we aim to source in a stallion prospect for Aquis,” Shane McGrath, Aquis CEO said when it was announced the horse would stand in Queensland. “We are really delighted to have this exciting son of champion sire Exceed and Excel on our roster.”

Bred on the same Danehill-Snippets cross that produced champion sire Snitzel and his three-quarter brother Hinchinbrook, Magnus, All Too Hard, Merchant Navy, Outreach (by Exceed and Excel and a brother to Golden Slipper winner Overreach), Boom Time and Stratum Star, Performer has a six generation pedigree containing multiples of Northern Dancer (4m,4mx5m,6m), his dam Natalma (5m,5f,5mx6m), Buckpasser (5fx5f,6f) and Native Dancer (6f,6f,6fx6m) and has the brother and sister Round Table and Monarchy 6×6, as well as the halfbrother and sister Glamour and Hitting Away 6×6, both from Striking (second dam La Troienne).

Australia’s Champion Sprinter of 2003-04 Exceed and Excel (Danehill (USA)-Patrona (USA) by Lomond), who retired to stud in 2004 after winning seven of his 12 starts including the Newmarket and Lightning at Gr.1 level and $1.2m, has made an enormous success of his long career at Darley and was Champion Sire in Australia in 2012-13. He has also shuttled to England since 2005 and is one of the very best reverse shuttlers, leaving Gr.1 winners in the UK and US and has also had Gr.1 winners in Hong Kong and Dubai to add to his Gr.1 tally locally. His fee this year is $88,000.

Race Record

(in Australia)

At 2 : ATC (Rosehill) Canonbury S., Gr.3 (1100m beating Stratosphere and Exceltic)
ATC (Randwick) Breeders' P., L (1000m beating Bondi and Santos)
At 3 : 3d ATC (Rosehill) San Domenico S., Gr.3 (1100m to Graff and Neutrality)
4th MRC Blue Sapphire S., Gr.3 (1200m)

His career record to mid-September shows 1391 winners from 1991 starters (69.9%) of 4529 races and more than $178m. His 162 stakes winners represent a high 8.1% of runners. His best in Australia include champion filly Guelph (Elusive Quality (USA), a fourtime Gr.1 winner whose second dam is by Danehill, triple Gr.1 winner Flamberge (Blazing Sword), triple Gr.1 winner and sire Helmet (Singspiel), Blue Diamond-Gr.1 winner and sire Reward for Effort (Rory’s Jester), Blue Diamond winner Earthquake (Marauding), Golden Slipper winner Overreach (Snippets) and ATC Sires’ Produce winner Microphone (Anabaa (USA)). His Gr.2 winner and Golden Slipper runner-up Sidestep (Quest for Fame (GB)) was Champion First Crop Sire in Australia in 2018-19 after his daughter Kiamichi (Canny Lad) won the 2019 Golden Slipper.

Other stars include outstanding European miler Excelebration (GB) (Indian Ridge), a triple Gr.1 winner and sire, dual Hong Kong Sprint-Gr.1 winner Mr Stunning (Dayjur), Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf-Gr.1 winner Outstrip (El Prado), York Nunthorpe Stakes- Gr.1 winner Margot Did (Shareef Dancer) and Meydan Al Quoz Sprint-Gr.1 winner Amber Sky (Rubiton). He has left further Group winners out of daughters of Lecture, Halling, Dehere (USA), Kris, More Than Ready (USA), Gone West, Jeune Homme, Daylami, Zabeel (NZ), Distant Relative, Fairy King (USA), Rudimentary, Elusive Quality (USA), Hurricane Sky, Sadler’s Wells, Rahy, Canny Lad, Wolfhound (USA), Bellotto, Piccolo (GB), In the Wings, Real Quiet (USA), Bluebird (USA) and Galileo (IRE).

He’s worked well with a variety of sire lines but has enjoyed good success with Mr. Prospector including via Gone West and his son Elusive Quality (USA), with the Sadler’s Wells line, with further returns of Danzig and with the Biscay branch of the Star Kingdom line, particularly Canny Lad, whose dam is by Lunchtime (GB), sire of Snippets. He’s nicked with Ahonoora and Sharpen Up who have worked so well with Danehill, and our domestic lines of Rory’s Jester and Sir Tristram (especially his son Marauding, whose dam is by Biscay). All this is good news for Performer and makes it likely he will suit a wide variety of mares.

Exceed and Excel’s daughters also offer some good clues to mating choices for Performer, including his Gr.3-winning daughter Believe ‘n’ Succeed (ex Arctic Drift (USA) by Gone West), dam of the Gr.1 winner Bounding (Lonhro), who was in the news in early September when her yearling colt by Mr. Prospector grandson Curlin made $US4.1m at Keeneland. Believe ‘n’ Succeed also left the 2019 English Derby-Gr.1 hero Anthony van Dyck to a mating with Galileo (Sadler’s Wells-Urban Sea by Miswaki). The Gr.2 winner Kuroshio, a brother to Believe ‘n’ Succeed now at stud in Ireland, stood in Australia from 2014-18.

Another of Exceed and Excel’s daughters, Seeking Solace (GB), a 4mx5m RF to My Charmer, is the dam of Middle Park Stakes-Gr.1 and July Cup-Gr.1 winner Ten Sovereigns. His sire No Nay Never is by Scat Daddy (by Feola descendant Johannesburg) from a mare by Elusive Quality (Gone West). Closer to home champion mare Alizee is by Sepoy (a son of Elusive Quality and a Danehill mare related to Canny Lad), while her dam Essaouira is by Exceed and Excel from a daughter of Rory’s Jester. Alizee has Danehill 3fx3m and Marscay 4fx5f. Sepoy mares could be worth seeking out to send to Performer, while daughters of Aquis sire Domesday (Red Ransom (USA)-In the Past by Zafonic) look ready made too as his dam combines Gone West, Storm Bird and Sir Ivor in her pedigree.

Performer’s dam Gavroche won at 1000m and is by champion sprinter Snippets (Lunchtime (GB)- Easy Date by Grand Chaudiere (CAN)) whose daughters have produced 90SW (14 Gr.1) including the ATC Galaxy-Gr.1 winner Bel Sprinter (Bel Esprit), a half-brother to Performer and among four winners from Gavroche. The Gr.1 winner Bel Esprit (Royal Academy (USA)-Bespoken by Vain) is best known as the sire of unbeaten champion sprinter Black Caviar, whose second dam is also by Snippets and these two Gr.1 winners add weight to the assumption that Bel Esprit’s daughters will be suitable mates for Performer.

It’s a family of the highest class and one noted for producing sires. Performer, who will be given every chance to succeed by Aquis, looks likely to add another very successful chapter to its history.

Performer - Stallions Listing

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Performer’s second dam La Miserable (USA) (Miswaki) raced twice and is a sister to the tough Always Aloof (USA), whose six wins came from 1800m to 3200m and who travelled to Australia to claim the Underwood Stakes-Gr.1. Also a Gr.3 winner in France, he was fourth in an Australian Cup-Gr.1 and an Ascot Gold Cup-Gr.1 and runner-up in a Turnbull Stakes-Gr.2. Their dam, Gr.3 runner-up Miranda, is a daughter of champion Forli and Baronova (Nijinsky), the latter produced seven winners including stakes winners Secret and River Jig and her descendants include champion European stayer Leading Light (Montjeu (IRE)) and champion sprinter Toylsome (Cadeaux Genereux).
Baronova is the only foal of her dam Tsessebe (Buckpasser-Monarchy by Princequillo). Baronova is a three-quarter sister to State (Nijinsky-Monarchy), second dam of Yarn (Mr. Prospector), dam of Minardi (USA) and Tale of the Cat (USA). Yarn’s daughter Myth (by the Damascus son Ogygian) is the dam of Johannesburg (Hennessy (USA)). State is also third dam of Pulpit (A.P. Indy) whose progeny include champion sire Tapit. Other sires under Gr.3 winner and Gr.1 fourth Monarchy include Robellino (Roberto), Toylsome (Cadeaux Genereux) and Chitu (Henny Hughes). Worth noting too is the fact that Triple Crown winner Justify (USA), now covering his first southern book for Coolmore, has the sisters Yarn and Preach (Mr. Prospector-Narrate by Honest Pleasure), whose second dam is State (Nijinsky), 4×4.

David Bay

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