BluebloodsThe Special Mix – Pedigree Analysis

August 3, 2021Ken McLean
[published Bluebloods July/August 2021]
TESIO’S undefeated NEARCO and LORD DERBY’S Champion Filly SELENE established a “magic mix” for classic speed 

AFTER this magic force is intensified over and over again via multiple duplications, at some stage it will become necessary to go away from it altogether, before restoring it a generation later. Pedigrees designed with too much inbreeding to an ancestor could end up decreasing hybrid vigour, size and even harm fertility. The duplicated ancestor should have superior qualities.  

It’s ironic Northern Dancer was strictly a dirt performer. The U. S. Champion 3YO colt was an impressive winner of the Kentucky Derby-G.1 and sired outstanding  Group 1 winners  on turf. Many of his best yearlings were purchased exclusively to perform on turf in Ireland and England.  Robert Sangster’s trainer Vincent O’Brien was awestruck by Northern Dancer’s race record and much admired the stallion at Windfields Farm, Canada. Once the stallion’s son Nijinsky claimed  championships at two and three in England, progeny of Northern Dancer became very expensive to purchase –  indeed, supply could not meet demand.

Northern Dancer was a small colt, so much so, prospective buyers failed to consider him when offered as a yearling. He was a late May foal, often described as no bigger than a pony. Nobody met the reserve price set by his breeder Eddy Taylor even though the colt was symmetrical and well bred, he  never reached a height of 15.2 hands until he was a four year old

Perhaps the shorter length of his Tibia in contrast with his Ilium and Femur helped promote acceleration. Northern Dancer had extraordinary muscle mass for his size; muscle distributed evenly between the amount of fast and slow twitch muscle fibre. He inherited powerful energy. The spirited, intelligent bay colt had clean hocks, short cannons and strong hindquarters. Many of these genetic gifts were transmitted to his progeny and descendants. 

“Good things come in small packages”, said the 17th Earl of Derby when referring to his home-bred champions Selene (Chaucer-Serenissima by Minoru) and her famous son Hyperion (by Gainsborough).  Selene was about 15.1 hands when she scored major victories as a three year old. Hyperion was not quite 15.2 hands the day he won the English Derby-G.1 at Epsom.  

The father of Northern Dancer was Nearctic (Nearco-Lady Angela by Hyperion-Sister Sarah by Abbot’s Trace). A champion sprinter-miler in Canada, Nearctic was an early example of the Nearco mix with Selene.  Natalma, dam of Northern Dancer, is a daughter of the mighty Native Dancer, U. S. Horse of the Year and Champion at two and three years. A genetic connection exists between  Nearctic and Native Dancer. Intensifying speed is Selene, the champion filly duplicated in Northern Dancer’s genotype. The male line of Native Dancer goes back to Sickle (Phalaris-Selene by Chaucer).  

A masculine, grey colt born in 1950, Native Dancer (Polynesian-Geisha by Discovery) won 21 of 22 starts and is considered to be one of the most influential sires of the 20th Century. He was clean winded, matured quickly and was brilliant on dirt up to a mile and a quarter. With perfect shoulder angle, short pasterns, an impressive overstride and powerful hindquarters, Native Dancer was out of Geisha, a daughter of Discovery, a really tough performer, able to carry big weights. He remained sound over all distances. 

Native Dancer is by Polynesian, U. S. Champion Sprinter and son of Unbreakable by Sickle. Selene’s sire Chaucer (St. Simon-Canterbury Pilgrim) is the broodmare sire of Pharos (sire of Nearco). Thus, a triple of little Chaucer appears in Northern Dancer’s pedigree. 

Dominant ancestors play a pivotal role in the production of champion racehorses and in this case, the combination of Nearco with Selene transmitted brilliant speed, stamina and acceleration. The mix involved reinforcement of undefeated champion St. Simon and his sister Angelica, Canterbury Pilgrim, and her dam Pilgrimage, brilliant sprinter Sundridge, plus siblings Sainfoin and Sierra. The mix also revealed valuable sources of famous mare Pocahontas (by Glencoe), dam of Stockwell and King Tom.


Selene’s best son was Hyperion, Champion 3YO colt, winner of seven races, among them the New Stakes, Chester Vase, English Derby, Prince of Wales’s Stakes and English St. Leger, His pedigree features three sources of dominant stallion Galopin, sire of unbeaten St. Simon. 

Hyperion’s pedigree features two sons of St. Simon, namely classic winner St. Frusquin and stakes winner Chaucer. Apart from St. Simon, Galopin also sired Galicia, dam of Bayardo, the paternal grandsire of Hyperion. Hyperion‘s coat colour was inherited via recessive genes. His only chestnut grandparent is Rosedrop, a high-class filly, winner of the English Oaks, Atalanta Stakes, Great Yorkshire Stakes and third to Winkipop in the English 1,000 Guineas. She was by St. Simon’s son St Frusquin, winner of the English 2,000 Guineas, Middle Park Plate, Dewhurst Stakes and Eclipse Stakes etc. Chaucer’s dam Canterbury Pilgrim was also chestnut.  

Rosedrop’s dam Rosaline was a daughter of New Zealand-bred Trenton (by Carbine’s sire Musket) from Rosalys by Bend Or from Rosa May by Rosicrucian. The pedigree of Selene’s second dam Gondolette shows 3 x 3 inbreeding to brothers Rosicrucian and The Palmer. Maybe this is important seeing Rosa May adds a double of Rosicrucian.

Gondolette was purchased by Lord Derby after consultation with his clever stud manager Walter Alston. Aged ten years, she was in foal to English Derby winner Minoru and was a daughter of  Loved One, “son” of dual classic winner Pilgrimage. Lord Derby secured Gondolette in order to test inbreeding to Pilgrimage, the dam of Canterbury Pilgrim whose sons Chaucer and Swynford held court at Woodland Stud. The strategy was a huge success.  

Gondolette’s sire Loved One was bred by Caroline, Duchess of Montrose and mainly used as a private  stallion. He won only three races, among them the Cheveley Stakes and Nottingham Stakes. As a performer, Gondolette won twice at two, scoring at Epsom and Brighton for her owner George Edmonds who sold her for 800 guineas to Lord Westbury. He resold the filly for 300 guineas to Col. William Hall Walker (Lord Wavertree) owner of Tully Stud, Ireland. 

Gondolette produced four foals for Hall Walker. Among them Let’s Fly (by White Eagle), won the Dewhurst Plate, New Stakes, Champion Stakes and was runner-up in the English Derby. He was exported to Argentina. Another was Great Sport (by Gallinule) winner of the Doncaster Rous Plate and third in the English Derby. 

Let’s Fly’s sister Dolabella (by White Eagle) was a stakes placed winner who produced Myrobella, dam of English 2,000 Guineas winner Big Game. An attractive grey filly with lightning speed, Myrobella was Champion 2YO Filly in 1932 and won the July Cup the following year. 

For her new owner, Gondolette produced the bay filly Serenissima (by Minoru) who would establish a strong branch of the family through her daughters and especially via Selene. Next was Sansovino, a colt by Swynford, inbred to Pilgrimage. Swynford won the English Derby. Gondolette would prove an amazing producer for Lord Derby. Other progeny were stakes winner Piazetta, brilliant filly Ferry (by Swynford), winner of the English 1,000 Guineas and English Oaks (dead-heat), as well as Ferry’s talented sister Tranquil, eight wins including the English 1,000 Guineas, St. Leger, Newmarket Oaks and Jockey Club Stakes. 

Gondolette’s daughter Serenissima won twice at three and produced Selene (by Chaucer) another foal inbred to Pilgrimage. Serenissima also produced Schiavoni, winner of the Liverpool City Cup and father of Schiaparelli, dam of the spirited filly Herringbone (English 1,000 Guineas, English St. Leger). 

Hyperion’s dam Selene won 16 races and was England’s Champion 2YO Filly.  

Although small, she was a tough, sound performer with a kind disposition. Selene won eight times at two years, including the Cheveley Park Stakes, Rous Memorial Stakes and Houghton Stakes (the latter in a dead-heat).  At three, she  won the Nassau Stakes, Park Hill Stakes, Hampton Court Stakes, Liverpool Autumn Cup and was runner-up in the Epsom Coronation Cup and Newmarket Falmouth Stakes. Pilgrimage was winner of the English 2,000 Guineas against colts as well as the English 1,000 Guineas. 

Selene’s pedigree is clever and quite complex, involving  English Derby winner Hermit and his sister Chanoinesse, reinforcement of dominant sire Galopin, plus the brothers Rosicrucian and The Palmer, and inbreeding 3 x 4 to Pilgrimage. Selene produced 16 foals, 10 winners. Her first foal was an aristocratic brown colt named Sickle, by the sprinter Phalaris, 


Born in 1924, Sickle won three of seven starts at two, including the Mersey Stakes, was runner-up in the Middle Park Stakes, July Stakes and finished third in the Champagne Stakes. At three, he was a fast finishing third in the 2,000 Guineas but never won again. He was bred on a similar cross to Pharos and Fairway who were out of Scapa Flow by Chaucer. After a brief stud career at Lord Derby’s Woodland Stud, Newmarket, Sickle was purchased by wealthy American Joseph Widener to stand at his picturesque Elmendorf Farm in Kentucky. Sickle became Leading Sire in North America in 1936 and 1938. His fast son Unbreakable continued the male line through champions Polynesian and Native Dancer.

Selene’s second foal was Pharamond born in 1925. A brown colt by Phalaris and brother to Sickle, he did not have the same brilliance although he did win the Middle Park Stakes. At three, he finished fourth to Tracery’s grandson Flamingo (beaten 1½ lengths) in the English 2,000 Guineas before winning the Ellesmere Stakes over 11 furlongs. 

Lord Derby sold Pharamond to Hal Price Headley, owner of Beaumont Farm in Kentucky, Registered as Pharamion II, he was regularly among the top twelve on the Leading Sire List. His progeny include Champion 2YO Colt Menow (father of Tom Fool, U. S. Horse of the Year), Athenia (second dam of champion Sir Ivor) and brilliant sprinter Cosmic Bomb. 

When Mahmoud’s daughter Almahmoud was matched with Cosmic Bomb, it resulted in the stakes winning filly Cosmah, dam of Halo, Group 1 winner and champion sire. This branch of Hail To Reason’s male line continues through the achievements of Halo’s best son, Sunday Silence. 

Selene’s third foal was Hunter’s Moon (by Hurry On) winner of the Newmarket Stakes, and fourth in both the English 2,000 Guineas and Derby. A rather coarse horse, he was exported and was a moderate success in Brazil and Argentina. Then followed  a disappointing  non- winning 1927 colt by Phalaris named Salamis, and a gelding by Gay Crusader named Guiscard, winner of nine races. 

Selene’s next foal was Hyperion, a 1930 chestnut colt by Triple Crown winner Gainsborough. Lord Derby had failed to enter little filly Selene for the classics, but did not make the same mistake with Hyperion who was entered for everything. Highly intelligent, the colt disliked any bird that ventured into his yard (reminiscent of Hyperion’s grandson Star Kingdom who chased birds out of his paddock). 

Hyperion would sometimes stare for minutes at something in the distance, hated the dentist and was unhappy when given medication. He sometimes locked his near stifle while in training, which although an unwanted nuisance on race day,  failed to prevent him earning a championship. Like his mother, Hyperion possessed a kind disposition and the will to win. 

Rated fourth best 2YO colt behind the speedy Manitoba, Hyperion at two, won the New Stakes, Prince of Wales Stakes and Dewhurst Stakes. At three, he was England’s Champion 3YO Colt having progressed significantly to win the Chester Vase, English Derby (in record time), Ascot’s Prince of Wales’s Stakes and Doncaster’s English St Leger. A change of trainer at 4 years saw him under-perform, winning only the March Stakes and Burwell Stakes. His best effort that year came in the Ascot Gold Cup, when carrying top-weight on heavy ground, finishing a courageous third to Felicitation.  

Hyperion led the English Sires’ List six times and was Leading Broodmare Sire four times.  He died aged 30 years. Among his famous progeny are Aureole, English Derby winner Owen Tudor (sire of Tudor Minstrel), Stardust (sire of Star Kingdom), Khaled (sire of champion Swaps), Lady Angela (dam of Nearctic) as well as influential sires Alibhai, Gulf Stream, Aristophanes  and Heliopolis. Two successful imported sons were Helios and Ruthless. Hyperion’s son Rockefella surprised to make an influential broodmare sire.

Aristophanes sired Forli, Argentina’s Horse of the Year, bred on the Hyperion with Tracery affinity, the same mix found in Lady Angela and Alibhai.  Forli features in the pedigrees of Nearco’s grandsons Sadler’s Wells and Nureyev. Hyperion’s champion grandson Tudor Minstrel was an exceptional athlete and remains one of the highest rated Timeform performers ever to grace the turf. 

He won his races with contempt. Champion at two, his best wins at that age were the Coventry Stakes at Ascot and the National Breeders’ Produce Stakes. Tudor Minstrel progressed to win the English 2,000 Guineas, St James’s Palace Stakes, Knight’s Royal Stakes and was runner-up in the Eclipse Stakes. He had an affinity with Northern Dancer (e.g. Be My Guest). 

Selene’s foal of 1931 was Lunette, an unraced bay filly by Son-in-Law, followed by a chestnut filly named Coronal (by Coronach), winner of the Freckenham Stakes and smart enough to place third in the Falmouth Stakes, Ascot Coronation Stakes and Lingfield Autumn Oaks. Next came two unraced fillies by Felstead, viz. stakes producer Hecate and the unraced filly Vale of Lune who died young. 

In 1936, Selene produced the chestnut filly Night Shift, winner of the Yorkshire Oaks from only three starts. In 1937 Selene produced the bay filly Moon Priestess by Irish Derby winner Dastur. Moon Priestess is the dam of Sabaean (by Blue Peter) who was exported to New Zealand. In 1938 Selene produced Moonlit Run, a colt by Bobsleigh. A minor winner during the years racing was limited by World War II restrictions he was exported and ended up a useful sire in California. During the war years, Nearco was kept safe in a bunker especially built for him.  

New Moon, Selene’s foal of 1940 was a workmanlike chestnut filly by Solfo (another son of Solario). She produced eight winners, three of which were stakes winners, all by Blandford’s son Umidwar. New Moon produced stakes-placed Moon Game (by Big Game) exported to Australia, and the filly New Move (by Umberto), winner five times at two, scoring in the Chesham Stakes at Royal Ascot, Cuddington Stakes at Epsom, and Zetland Stakes at York. 

New Move is the dam of nine winners. Her daughter New One produced New Way winning daughter of Klairon who produced Star Way (by Star Appeal), Windsor Park Stud’s champion sire in New Zealand. Star Way sired at least 18 Group 1 winners. At two, he won the Listed Chesham Stakes at Royal Ascot, was second in the Royal Lodge Stakes-G.2 and finished third in the Seaton Delaval Stakes-G.3. At three, he frustrated his trainer, starting 12 times without winning. He was runner-up in the Craven Stakes-G.3 at Newmarket and finished third in the Sussex Stakes-G.1 at Goodwood, possibly his finest effort. 

Among Star Way’s notable progeny were Sky Chase, Our Waverley Star, Ark Regal, Shankhill Lass, Solar Circle, Interstellar, Australian Derby-G.1 winner Starjo and Sydney Cup-G.1 winner Just A Dancer.


Selene’s penultimate foal born in 1940 was All Moonshine, a chestnut filly by Bobsleigh (son of Gainsborough). Returning Gainsborough’s strain continued to work its magic. All Moonshine became Selene’s most important daughter at stud, establishing a strong branch of the Number 6 Family. She was slow to mature but managed to win the Haughley Stakes at Newmarket. All Moonshine, a three quarter sister to Hyperion, produced 13 foals, eight winners.  

Her first two foals were stakes winners Eyewash (a filly by Blue Peter) and a regally-bred colt Mossborough (by Nearco). Eyewash was temperamental like her father but won the Lancashire Oaks, was runner-up in the Galtres Stakes and finished third in the Yorkshire Oaks. Her daughter Collyriia won the Park Hill Stakes and is third dam of Australia’s Horse of the Year, Might and Power. Mossborough started 17 times winning five including the Liverpool Autumn Cup and Winston Churchill Stakes. He finished second in the Eclipse Stakes, Rous Memorial Stakes and Princess of Wales Stakes. In 1952, Lord Derby retired the horse to stand at Woodlands Stud. 

His best son Ballymoss was Leading Sire in 1958. Ballymoss won the Irish Derby-G.1 English St. Leger-G.1 and placed third in the English Derby-G.1.

Mossborough also sired Noblesse, winner of the English Oaks-G.1. His pedigree represents
an early example of the Nearco affinity with Selene, preceding that of Nearctic, sire of Northern Dancer.

Eyewash produced a filly named Fiddlededee (by Acropolis), inbred 4 x 3 to Selene who is the dam of Fiddle Faddle (by Silly Season) who produced stakes placed winner Fife (by Lomond) whose pedigree pattern reveals duplication of Selene and Hyperion. Fife’s family is on an upswing. Her daughter Witch of Fife produced Cabaret (by Galileo), winner of the Listed Silver Flash Stakes. and dam of English 2,000 Guineas-G.1 winner Magna Grecia (at Coolmore Stud) and this year’s Poule d’Essai des Poulains-G.1 (French 2,000 Guineas) winner St. Mark’s Basilica (by Siyouni).

All Moonshine’s daughter All My Eye, a chestnut born in 1954, is the grand-dam of the Sir Tristram a champion sire linebred 5 x 4 to Selene. All My Eye showed stakes ability. The final foal Selene produced was Shooting Star, a 1942 filly by Bold Archer, a minor winner from 12 starts.  Outstanding females appear in Northern Dancer’s ancestry. 


Taking a brief look at the background of Native Dancer, U.S. Horse of the Year, we note this grey horse (who sired Natalma) descends in male line from Sickle, starting with Unbreakable,  a quick maturing winner of the Richmond Stakes, Waterford Stakes, Exeter Stakes, Soltykoff Stakes and placed third in the Middle Park Stakes. At three, Unbreakable won the Victoria Cup and was runner-up in the Sussex Stakes. His best son was Polynesian, a brilliant horse who sired Native Dancer.

A grey colt born in 1950, Native Dancer was U. S. Horse of the Year and won 21 of 22 starts. He was described as being a powerful colt, handsome to the eye with an even temperament. He sired 45 stakes winners including the muscular Raise A Native, U. S. Champion 2YO colt and father of Alydar, Exclusive Native and Mr Prospector. 

Native Dancer’s progeny include Atan (sire of Sharpen Up), Hula Dancer (English 1,000 Guineas-G.1), Kauai King (Kentucky Derby-G.1), Dancer’s Image (Kentucky Derby-G.1), and Dan Cupid (sire of champion Sea-Bird II). Polynesian was a dark brown horse with short forearms and short cannons like his ancestor Chaucer. Polynesian possessed fantastic muscle fibre which enabled him to be voted U.S. Champion Sprinter. He started 58 times –   

A most striking feature of Polynesian’s pedigree is the fact he is inbred to  Polymelus via two sons, Phalaris and Polymelian. An important genetic relationship exists between these sons of Polymelus.  Please study the pedigree. Phalaris is out of a daughter of Sainfoin.  Polymelian is out of a daughter of Sundridge and Sundridge’s dam is Sierra, sister to Sainfoin. 

Both sons of Polymelus likely inherited similar DNA.  Fast twitch muscle fibre comes via Sainfoin and Sierra. By contrast, Polymelus transmits mainly slow twitch muscle fibre, unsurprising seeing he was a middle distance performer.

Unbreakable is of course inbred 4 x 4 to English Derby winner Sainfoin. This might explain why Mr. Prospector’s strains suits that of Northern Dancer. Mr. Prospector is from a daughter of Nashua, by Nasrullah and Nasrullah brings in Sundridge again via Lady Josephine. Nasrullah traces to Lady Josephine’s champion daughter Mumtaz Mahal. This is significant for developing speed. 

Mumtaz Mahal sneaks into the pedigree of Northern Dancer because she happens to be grand-dam of Mahmoud, sire of Almahmoud.  Mahmoud (Blenheim-Mah Mahal by Gainsborough-Mumtaz Mahal) brings in a “daughter” of Gainsborough to balance Gainsborough’s son Hyperion. 


If horse breeders continue to design pedigrees with multiple duplications of Northern Dancer, will it cause a problem? No, not if this high-class performer is duplicated via his very best progeny. Inbreeding must be a technique handled with skill. Only superior ancestors with sound conformation should be duplicated, otherwise serious recessive faults in inbred foals will surface.  

Eventually there will come a time to breed away from too much inbreeding to Northern Dancer. The question to ask is how much inbreeding to the little stallion can be tolerated? New outcross strains compatible with inbred descendants of Northern Dancer no doubt will materialize but identifying them is the job not only for clever stud masters, but also for mare owners.   

A study of recent yearling sale catalogues in Australia highlights a huge number of colts and fillies are inbred to Danzig. For the most part, only a small percentage of them win black type races. A few really good Group winners might mislead us, Statistics suggest yearlings inbred or linebred closely to Danzig’s son Danehill are better prospects. Why is this so?  Is it something to do with Danehill’s 3 x 3 inbreeding to “son” and “daughter” of Natalma? 

Stamina is transmitted via Danehill’s broodmare sire His Majesty (Ribot-Flower Bowl by Alibhai) a horse linebred to Tracery, son of Rock Sand by Sainfoin.  His Majesty’s dam is by Alibhai, out of Teresina, best performed daughter of Tracery. Is it important Alibhai is a son of Hyperion? 

Broodmare owners who study pedigrees of stakes winners know there are some really decent Group winners showing a double or triple of Danzig, but what about all the failures? Obviously sample size is an imperative. Identifying specific strains to match with stallions or mares inbred to Northern Dancer is a   challenge. It’s safer if the technique of line-breeding is used rather than inbreeding.     

Many high-class performers with duplication of Northern Dancer have Native Dancer via a son and a daughter. Native Dancer’s daughter Natalma is sex-balanced by a son or grandson of Native Dancer, and Mr Prospector’s strain proved popular and compatible with Northern Dancer. Mr Prospector’s third dam Miss Dogwood is by Bull Dog (by Teddy). A list of ancestors that suit Northern Dancer’s genotype are: 

SAINFOIN – especially via Rock Sand, Tracery, Phalaris, Papyrus, Princequillo, Man O’ War and Ribot 

SIERRA – (sister to Sainfoin) – especially via Sundridge, Count Fleet, Lady Josephine, Lady Juror, Mumtaz Mahal, 

STAR KINGDOM – (inbred to Sunstar, son of Sundridge) – especially via Biscay, Bletchingly, Luskin Star.

ALIBHAI – especially via Ribot’s sons Graustark and His Majesty

BULL DOG and SIR GALLAHAD III – brothers by champion Teddy (by Ajax)

NASRULLAH and his ¾ brother ROYAL CHARGER – especially via Royal Charger’s line of Hail To Reason 

FAIR TRIAL (by Fairway) – especially via Court Martial and Forli.

TOM FOOL (by Menow, son of Pharamond II) –  especially via Buckpasser.

NATIVE DANCER via a son  – especially via grandson Mr Prospector whose second dam Sequence is by Count Fleet, grandson of Sundridge. 

SIR TRISTRAM  (from Selene’s family) – with a double of Princequillo (Prince Rose –Cosquilla by Papyrus, best son of Tracery).

Input from Tracery (Rock Sand-Topiary by Orme) reinforces the same siblings, i.e. St Simon and Angelica, found in Havresac II, broodmare sire of Nearco. Tracery appears in Tesio’s undefeated champion Ribot, sire of His Majesty Providing the strain of Teddy is used in conjunction with Northern Dancer, sex balance will always occur. The explanation is simple. Teddy is related in an inconspicuous way to Tracery and will always balance future pedigree patterns. I believe Teddy’s progeny will be essential ingredients in the patterns of tomorrow’s champions. 

North American champions Man O’ War and War Admiral appear well back in pedigrees of Graded stakes winners but they are important ancestors and enjoy tremendous success with Northern Dancer’s sons and grandsons.

Man O’ War’s best son War Admiral is out of Brushup by Sweep-Annette K by Harry of Hereford-Bathing Girl by Spearmint-Summer Girl by Sundridge.  

War Admiral represents the successful Sainfoin mix with sister Sierra. Harry of Hereford is full brother to Swynford. War Admiral is the broodmare sire of champion Buckpasser (by Tom Fool) whose strain linked successfully with  Northern Dancer’s genotype. Mr Prospector’s father Raise A Native (by Native Dancer) is out of a mare with sources of Teddy and Man O’ War. 

Seeking The Gold, Woodman and Miswaki are all by Mr Prospector from daughters of Buckpasser. Note, Galileo is a son of Urban Sea by Miswaki. Halo’s son Sunday Silence carries valuable genes from Selene via his second dam. 

Are you ready to identify unrelated genotypes that will succeed with Northern Dancer’s descendants?  Even though speed is ever on our minds when designing pedigree patterns, the paperwork means nothing if the foal has soundness problems. Fillies and mares incapable of extending winning ability beyond 1,000 metres (5 furlongs) would not be breeding prospects for Lord Derby or Federico Tesio. 

They were interested in breeding runners for the three year old classics and prestigious events such as the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe. I believe if Tesio was alive today he might patronise Galileo, Sea The Stars, Dubawi and possibly Galileo’s Derby winning son Australia.   


Star Kingdom’s strain blends with Northern Dancer’s descendants. He traces in female line to Canterbury Pilgrim (Tristan-Pilgrimage), dam of Swynford and Chaucer – and don’t forget Star Kingdom’s third dam Virgin’s Folly is inbred 2 x 4 to Canterbury Pilgrim. Star Kingdom’s sixth dam St. Victorine is actually three parts sister to Chaucer. Star Kingdom’s genotype mixed successfully with that of Fair Trial, an example is Bletchingly, linebred 5 x 4 to Fair Trial.  . 

Another pedigree pattern worth analysis is that of Forli, Argentina’s Horse of the Year. His sire Aristophanes (by Hyperion) won eight times in England, scoring in the Doncaster Handicap (twice), Scarborough Stakes and finished runner-up at Royal Ascot in the Jersey Stakes. Aristophanes was leading sire in Argentina. His best sons were Terreno, Forli and Atlas. Forli may be found in the pedigree of Sadler’s Wells and Nureyev. He is linebred 4 x 4 to Lord Dewar’s famous mare Lady Juror via both sexes.

There are many questions requiring answers. What is the next line to outdo the amazing feats of Danehill, Sadler’s Wells, Nureyev, Dubawi, and Invincible Spirit?  Might it be Sunday Silence?  In the meantime, Let’s study those Group winners linebred to Danehill. There has to be a reason why it works.

Ken McLean



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