Enable, Europe’s Champion mare

July 22, 2020Ken McLean0

An example of 3mx2f inbreeding to Sadler’s Wells

JUDDMONTE Farms, based at Newmarket and Lexington, is one of the most successful thoroughbred racing and breeding enterprises in the world. Established by Prince Khalid bin Abdullah in 1977, Juddmonte Farms is the home of many champion racehorses and influential sires.

Sadler’s Wells (USA) (Northern Dancer-Fairy Bridge by Bold Reason)

The Prince’s racing and breeding stock are in excess of 700 internationally. They include Timeform’s highest rated racehorse and European Horse of the Year, Frankel (Galileo (IRE)-Kind by Danehill (USA)) a homebred given an exceptional rating of 147 and now a successful sire.

Major successes continue for horses bred by Prince Khalid, the most recent being Enable (Nathaniel-Concentric by Sadler’s Wells), European Champion Mare inbred 3mx2f to Coolmore Stud’s amazing stallion Sadler’s Wells. Prince Khalid originally raced a small number of runners in the UK and France, but when numbers grew he decided to send some promising runners to California to perform on dirt and turf. Sometimes he would buy a yearling to add to his West Coast stable. For example, in 2014, his team selected a grey colt by Unbridled’s Song and the Prince purchased the youngster for $US560,000 at Keeneland’s September Yearling Sales.

Named Arrogate, this colt earned the honour of Eclipse Champion 3YO Colt and set a new track record of 1:59.36 for 10 furlongs on dirt at Saratoga in the Travers Stakes-Gr.1. Arrogate earned a whopping $US17,482,600 from seven victories including the Breeders’ Cup Classic-Gr.1, Dubai World Cup-Gr.1 and Pegasus World Cup Invitational Stakes-Gr.1. He now stands at stud in Kentucky.

Enable, born at Prince Khalid’s Banstead Manor Stud in Suffolk, has achieved a special place in thoroughbred history, being one of those rare individuals to have twice won the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe-Gr.1. Whether the mare is retired to stud after her recent victory in the Yorkshire Oaks-Gr.1 or tries for a third Arc is unknown at time of writing. Trained by John Gosden, Enable possessed great stamina winning 12 of 13 starts for earnings of £9,382,243. Her victories also include the King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes-Gr.1, English Oaks-Gr.1, Irish Oaks-Gr.1, Breeders’ Cup Turf-Gr.1 and Coral-Eclipse Stakes-Gr.1. She was voted Cartier European Horse of the Year and Champion Three Year-Old Filly.

The dam of Enable is Concentric, a daughter of Sadler’s Wells and the Shirley Heights mare Apogee. Dam of five winners, Concentric won three of seven starts including the Listed Prix Charles Laffitte (2000m), was runner-up in the Prix de Flore-Gr.3 (2200m) and finished third in the Prix de la Papiniere-Gr.3 (2200m) when trained by Andre Fabre. Enable is the only stakes winner Concentric has produced although Entitle (a filly by Dansili) went close when second in the Musidora Stakes-Gr.3 at York.

Years ago at Deauville, I was fortunate enough to chat with Prince Khalid’s racing manager Lord Grimthorpe about the mighty Frankel. I met Teddy when introduced to him by Joss Collins at the British Bloodstock Agency, Newmarket where they both worked. I greeted Teddy with a smile and politely enquired about Frankel.

Teddy was surprisingly emotional when he told me they knew from day one Frankel was something special, saying the colt showed enormous ability. He recalled how it was necessary to manage carefully the colt’s high-spirited temperament and said the colt was always an intelligent individual.

Frankel was undefeated in an exciting racing career, winning all 14 starts to earn £2,998,302. He entered stud at Banstead Manor in 2013 and became an instant success as a sire of Group winners. Frankel’s dam Kind produced four stakes winners. Apart from Frankel, she is the dam of Noble Mission (by Galileo) Champion Older Male in Europe, Bullet Train (GB) (by Sadler’s Wells) winner of the Lingfield Derby Trial Stakes-Gr.3, and the Oasis Dream filly Joyeuse, winner of the Cecil Frail Stakes and Dick Poole Stakes, both Listed events.

This year, Banstead Manor Stud is home to stallions Kingman, Frankel, Dansili, Bated Breath and Oasis Dream. In 1977 Prince Khalid purchased an American-bred yearling colt and named him Known Fact. The colt was by speed sire In Reality out of Tamerett, by Kentucky Derby winner Tim Tam from Mixed Marriage by champion Tudor Minstrel. Known Fact became the first British classic winner in Arabian ownership.

Known Fact had shown talent at two by winning the Middle Park Stakes-Gr.1 and he progressed at three to win the English 2000 Guineas-Gr.1 on the disqualification of Nureyev. He went on to win the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes-Gr.2 and Waterford Crystal Mile-Gr.2 and was rated Champion 3YO colt of England. He stood at stud at his owner’s English farm until 2000.

Born in 1937, Prince Khalid bin Abdullah is of course a member of the Saudi Royal Family and cousin to Prince Salman. In 1982 he purchased Cayton Park Stud in Berkshire (sold two years ago) and afterwards acquired the beautiful Banstead Manor Stud. Prince Khalid also bred Danehill (USA), the son of Danzig whose pedigree reveals 3mx3f inbreeding via both sexes to famous little mare Natalma, by Native Dancer from Amahmoud by Mahmoud.
Descendants of champion Sadler’s Wells are genetically compatible with descendants of Danehill. Many Group winners are bred on this combination, which involves Natalma (by Native Dancer) being duplicated three times. Of course should a “son” of Native Dancer be added to the mix the pedigree pattern would be sex balanced to this champion ancestor.

Coolmore Stud never shuttled Sadler’s Wells, the Champion French Miler bred and owned by the late Robert Sangster. The bay colt trained by Vincent O’Brien was an immediate success at stud. In an amazing stud career, Sadler’s Wells sired 12 English Classic Winners, 14 Irish Classic winners, 323 stakes winners, was Leading Sire in Great Britain and Ireland 14 times, Leading Sire in France three times, and was Leading Broodmare Sire in Great Britain and Ireland seven times.

Sadler’s Wells featured a white blaze and had white socks on his hind legs. He was a medium-framed stallion with ideal shoulder angle, always sound and of good temperament. Even so, I noted he was a shade slack in his pasterns. Robert Sangster was part of the original Coolmore partnership team with Tim Vigors and Vincent O’Brien. Later, John Magnier would join the partnership and deliver significant insight and innovative direction.

Fairy Bridge

IN 1976 Sangster, O’Brien and Magnier struck gold when they purchased a yearling filly by Bold Reason for a mere $US40,000 in Kentucky and shipped her to Ireland. Named Fairy Bridge and trained by Vincent O’Brien, she became Irish Champion Two Year-Old Filly. Fairy Bridge was sent back to America and mated with the great Northern Dancer, a match which produced Sadler’s Wells, her first foal, as well as his brother Fairy King (USA), injured at his first and only start. Fairy King was also a successful sire and his male line continues via Encosta de Lago and via that horse’s son Northern Meteor.

In the early years of Sadler’s Wells’ stud career there was general feeling he may not make a sire of sires.

In The Wings (Coronation Cup-Gr.1, Breeders’ Cup Turf-Gr.1 winner) was the only son to shine. Attitudes changed when the likes of Galileo (IRE), El Prado, Fort Wood, Carnegie (IRE) and Refuse to Bend (IRE) sired Group winners, followed on their heels by High Chaparral (IRE) and Perfect Soul. Opera House was a success in Japan, while a daughter of Sadler’s Wells produced Workforce (English Derby-Gr.1, Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe-Gr.1 winner) exported to Japan where he is siring Group winners.

Galileo, the best performed son of Sadler’s Wells, has strong genetic compatibility with the strains of Danzig and Danehill (USA), and there is another nick about to be discovered, the mix of Galileo’s strain with daughters of Dubawi (IRE). Foaled in 1998, Galileo was Champion Three Year-Old colt in Great Britain and Ireland with six wins including the English Derby-Gr.1, Irish Derby-Gr.1 and King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes-Gr.1. He was bred by D. Tsui and Orpendale, but raced in the ownership of Mrs Susan Magnier and Michael Tabor. Galileo is once again Leading Sire in Great Britain and Ireland. He inherits stamina and racing class from both parents, especially his dam Urban Sea (Miswaki) who won the Prix de l’Arc de Triomph-Gr.1 and is famous as the dam of another champion and successful sire, Sea the Stars.

El Prado

EL PRADO (Sadler’s Wells-Lady Capulet by Sir Ivor) was a grey horse bred by Lyonstown Stud. Owned by Robert Sangster, El Prado won the National Stakes-Gr.1, Beresford Stakes-Gr.2 and Railway Stakes-Gr.3 to capture Champion Two Year-Old of Ireland honours. He was exported to Aidrie Stud, Kentucky and later purchased by Frank Stronach’s Adena Springs Farm. El Prado was Leading Sire in North America in 2002 and consistently a sire of Graded stakes winners. What made this horse unique? Why did he succeed as a sire of both dirt and turf runners? The answer may lie in the fact he was line bred to the Aga Khan’s champion grey classic winner Mahmoud (Blenheim-Mah Mahal by Gainsborough-Mumtaz Mahal).

In El Prado’s pedigree we find Mahmoud appears 5fx5m,4f via both sexes and supported by his three-parts sister Mumtaz Begum (Blenheim-Mumtaz Mahal), who is the dam of Nasrullah (sire of Nantallah) and of Sun Princess, the dam of Royal Charger, sire of Turn-to. In fact, Turn-to happens to be present twice. Reinforcing Mumtaz Mahal (brilliant English Champion 2YO Filly) must have created some degree of prepotency, enabling El Prado to take a dominant role and stamp his progeny.

I find it intriguing that conformation can change dramatically in a single generation. El Prado inherited short, upright pasterns, not at all like those of his father. A grey horse with plenty of substance, El Prado in many ways reflected similar characteristics belonging to his ancestor Mahmoud. El Prado’s strain should blend well with that of Danehill. With so much stamina in Galileo’s make-up it’s probably best to match his descendants with early maturing speed strains.

Among sons of El Prado is Medaglia d’Oro (USA), a tough campaigner who was Leading Sire in North America. He won six races including the valuable Travers Stakes-Gr.1, Donn Handicap-Gr.1, Whitney Handicap-Gr.1 and was runner-up in the Breeders’ Cup Classic-Gr.1. Sons of Medaglia d’Oro currently standing at stud in Australia are Astern (at Darley), Bolt d’Oro (USA) (at Spendthrift), Vancouver (at Coolmore) and Nostradamus (at Rosemont). All seem to suit mares with a mix of Nasrullah, Royal Charger and Mahmoud. New Zealand’s champion sire Sir Tristram (IRE) (by Sir Ivor) is also an ideal strain to mix with El Prado’s genotype, as it duplicates Sir Ivor via son and daughter. Sons of Medaglia d’Oro suit mares with Danehill, a cross that adds a lot more impact from Mahmoud; and since Danehill is out of a daughter of His Majesty (Ribot-Flower Bowl by Alibhai), more Tracery can be added.

El Prado’s son Artie Schiller ((USA) (ex Hidden Light by Majestic Light), a Breeders’ Cup Mile-Gr.1 winner, has had success in both hemispheres, getting Gr.1 winners in the US and Australia and is at Stockwell Thoroughbreds in Victoria. His Coolmore Stud (Ascot Vale) Stakes-Gr.1-winning son Flying Artie (ex Flying Ruby by Rubiton) retired to Newgate Farm in 2017 and has been well supported.


PRINCE Khalid’s exciting young stallion Kingman (Invincible Spirit (IRE)-Zenda by Zamindar) was voted 2014 Cartier Horse of the Year. In eight starts, he won seven, his only defeat coming in the English 2000 Guineas-Gr.1 at Newmarket. At two years, Kingman won the Solario Stakes-Gr.3. At three years he won the Irish 2000 Guineas-Gr.1, St James’s Palace Stakes-Gr.1, Prix Jacques le Marois-Gr.1, Sussex Stakes-Gr.1 and Greenham Stakes-Gr.3.

Kingman is already the sire of Godolphin’s classic colt Persian King, winner this year of the Poule d’Essai des Pouliches-Gr.1 (French 2000 Guineas), Prix de Fontainebleau-Gr.3, and runner-up in the Prix du Jockey Club-Gr.1 (French Derby). Other smart progeny by Kingman include Headman, King of Comedy, Twist ‘n Shake, Divine Spirit and the promising Fox Chairman.

Kingman’s rise to fame was predictable seeing as he has the opportunity to cover many quality mares owned by Prince Khalid. Sons of Invincible Spirit are exceedingly popular with trainers and buyers, and yearlings by Kingman are becoming more expensive to buy. We are fortunate to have proven sires like I Am Invincible, Charm Spirit (IRE), in NZ, and Cable Bay (IRE), at Woodside, available. Other sons of Invincible Spirit with bright futures are Territories (IRE) at Darley, and Shalaa (IRE) (Champion Two Year Old in France) at Arrowfield Stud. Shalaa has a unique pedigree because he is line bred to the champion brothers Kris and Diesis (3×3), plus 3mx3m to Danzig and 5mx5m to Sir Gaylord.

The W.S. Cox Plate-Gr.1 winner Adelaide is a young stallion I much admire. He is by Galileo, son of Sadler’s Wells, and stands 15.3 hands with an athletic frame.

He has very strong hocks and excellent shoulder angle.

I don’t understand why he stands for only $11,000 fee because he has a powerful genotype to transmit to his foals being out of the Elnadim (USA) (Danzig) mare Elletelle, a Gr.2 winner and Gr.1 placed. Native Dancer features many times in his pedigree pattern.

Galileo’s sons include Teofilo (IRE), Highland Reel (IRE), New Approach (IRE), Gleneagles, Nobble Mission, Rip Van Winkle, Waldgeist, Churchill, Soldier of Fortune and Nathaniel. Sadler’s Wells is also the sire of High Chaparral (IRE), Champion 3YO Colt in Great Britain and Ireland, whose male line is carried on by So You Think (NZ), Dundeel (NZ), Alpine Eagle, Ace High and Toronado (IRE). New Zealand’s Horse of the Year Dundeel (High Chaparral-Stareel by Zabeel (NZ)) inherits classic speed from reinforcement of Northern Dancer and Forli’s daughter Special. Dundeel’s broodmare sire Zabeel is out of Lady Giselle by Nureyev, a three-quarter brother to Sadler’s Wells.

Sadler’s Wells died on April 25, 2011 at 30 years.

His influence is spread throughout the globe and his genes are able to upgrade racing performance in the mainstream thoroughbred gene pool. Many more champions will descend from him.

Clever breeders

JUDGING by early results of three year-olds racing in Australia, we can identify some of them likely to win Group races during the spring carnivals. I wish to provide a short list of three year-olds with strong pedigree patterns and highlight the clever people who designed pedigrees (and are shown as breeders).

• CASTLEVECCHIO (Dundeel (NZ)-St. Therese by Dehere (USA)), bred by Arrowfield Stud, NSW
• PRINCE FAWAZ (Fastnet Rock-Lady Paget by Testa Rossa),bred by Gerry Harvey, NSW
• YES YES YES (Rubick-Sin Sin Sin by Fantastic Light), bred by Arlington Park Racing, NSW
• KUBRICK (Shooting To Win-Alcatraz by Fastnet Rock), bred by Two Bays Farm, VIC
• YOURDEEL (Dundeel (NZ)-Miss Zapper by Red Ransom (USA)), bred by D.J. Meyers
• DALASAN (Dalakhani (IRE)-Khandallah by Kitten’s Joy), bred by The Toorak Thoroughbred Breeding Trust, SA
• DAWN PASSAGE (Dawn Approach (IRE)-Raja Lane by Devaraja (NZ)), bred by The Toorak Thoroughbred Breeding
Trust, SA
• EXHILARATES (Snitzel-Samaready by More Than Ready (USA)), bred by G. J. Perry, Echo Beach Bloodstock, Hybrook Pastoral Co, Encompass International and Werrett Bloodstock, NSW
• MICROPHONE (Exceed and Excel-Sung by Anabaa (USA)),bred by Godolphin
• BIVOUAC (Exceed and Excel-Dazzler by More Than Ready (USA)),bred by Godolphin
• LIBERTINI (I Am Invincible-Aloha by Encosta de Lago),bred by Gerry Harvey, NSW
• LOVING GABY (I Am Invincible-Maastricht (NZ) by Mastercraftsman (IRE)),bred by Kia-Ora Stud and Alan Bell, NSW

Also, I wish to congratulate the breeders of Scales of Justice, recent winner of the Memsie Stakes-Gr.1 at Caulfield.

This bay gelding has an imposing race record with earnings of more than $2.1m. His extended pedigree shows clever 4fx3m inbreeding to a daughter and son of the big mare Dancing Show (USA). Scales of Justice was bred by Gerald and Kathy Hammond, Victoria and his pedigree shows duplication of Northern Dancer, reinforcement of Native Dancer via Natalma and Raise a Native, a double of champion Buckpasser and impact from the entire’s dam with her double of Sir Gaylord.

At time of writing, Scales of Justice has won 11 times with further victories including the Kingston Town Classic-Gr.1, Railway Stakes-Gr.1, Bobby Lewis Handicap-Gr.2, Strickland Stakes–Gr.3, Hyperion Stakes-Gr.3, R.J. Peters Stakes-Gr.3 and Bletchingly Stakes-Gr.3. I was surprised to discover his fifth dam is champion sprint mare Dual Choice. Brilliant three year-old filly Libertini is bred along similar lines to Brazen Beau. Both stakes winners have parents that are products of the Danzig/Bletchingly mix. Kubrick is a promising colt whose dam is bred on the same mix. n

Ken McLean

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