BluebloodsBluebloods - Feature ArticleJapan’s Triple Crown Heroes

August 16, 2021Ken McLean
[published Bluebloods May/June 2020]
Deep Impact

 

At Nakayama racetrack on April 19th the $1.9 million Satsuki Sho-G.1 (Japanese 2,000 Guineas) run over 2,000m on turf was won by Contrail (Deep Impact-Rhodochrosite by Unbridled’s Song) who retained his unbeaten record. The three year old defeated Salois (Heart’s Cry) by a half-length in a dramatic duel down the stretch. Both colts are by sons of Halo’s champion son Sunday Silence. The male line of Hail To Reason via his best sons Halo and Roberto is becoming more conspicuous when results of international Group stakes are reviewed.

It’s now clear the Halo and Roberto genotypes have a successful affinity with the strains of Northern Dancer and Mr Prospector. When high-class Japanese mare Lys Gracieux won the W. S. Cox Plate-G.1 last October we began to focus on  her sire  Heart’s Cry, by Sunday Silence. Of course everyone was well aware of Deep Impact, Japan’s Horse of the Year and best son of Sunday Silence. 

Zenya Yoshida, who developed Shadai Stallion Station in Hokkaido, was deeply passionate about improving Japan’s Thoroughbred breed to a higher international standard.  He had imported Northern Dancer’s son Northern Taste to stand at stud and for many years the stallion was Japan’s leading sire
and broodmare sire. Zenya Yoshida is the father of two exceptional sons, Teruya and Katsumi, both clever businessmen. 

Apart from acquiring Group 1 performers for stallion duties, the brothers invested in fillies and mares from outstanding stakes producing families in Europe, North America and Australia. The Yoshidas struck gold when they purchased Halo’s best son, a black horse named Sunday Silence. 

I recall the first time I visited Stone Farm just outside the historic town of Paris, Kentucky. I wanted to inspect proven sire Halo (Hail To Reason-Cosmah by Cosmic Bomb) who had been purchased from Windfields Farm in Maryland.  Arthur Hancock, owner of Stone Farm, reckoned the stallion should return to Kentucky. Bred by John R. Gaines, Halo was sold in 1970 for $US 100,000 as a yearling. He was bought by Nijinsky’s owner Charles Englehard who sent the colt across the Atlantic to race. Halo posed a challenge because he was full of nervous energy. However, there was never any doubt he had exciting potential.  

His father Hail To Reason (Turn-to -Nothirdchance by Blue Swords) was a  brilliant Champion Two Year Old winning the Hopeful Stakes, World’s Playground Stakes, Sapling Stakes, Tremont Stakes, Sanford Stakes, Great American Stakes etc. but he injured himself and prematurely retired at three years. Hail To Reason was Leading Sire in North America in 1970. 

Halo’s dam Cosmah was small but won nine times including the Astarita Stakes. A beautifully bred filly she was half-sister to Natalma, dam of champion Northern Dancer. Olin Gentry Snr with whom I became close friends, purchased Cosmah as a yearling for one of his clients. Olin told me the filly should have won more stakes than her record showed. When reminiscing about her, he said she was “mighty unlucky”.   Olin was a whiz with American pedigrees. He recommended matings which resulted in four Kentucky Derby winners, as well as English Derby-G.1 winner Roberto. 

Hail To Reason is found in the make-up of many champion performers. His  line flourishes via Halo and Roberto, both outstanding sires. Other successful sire sons of Hail To Reason were Proud Clarion, Stop The Music, Mr. Leader and Bold Reason, and all were influential broodmare sires. 

Apart from Halo, Cosmah produced Tosmah (U. S. Champion Two and Three Year Old Filly and Champion  Handicap Mare), stakes winners Maribeau and Fathers Image, and winning daughter Queen Sucree who produced Kentucky Derby-Gr.1 winner Cannonade. 

From two starts on turf as a juvenile, Halo won a moderate 2YO Maiden Handicap. After debating what to do next, his owner decided to send the colt back to the United States to be trained by Mackenzie (“Mac”) Miller. Even though frustrated at times by Halo’s antics, Miller was able to condition the colt to win 5 of 17 starts as a three year old including two stakes races and places in the Jersey Derby and Jim Dandy Stakes. However, the best was yet to come.  He added another four wins, scoring in the United Nations Handicap-G.1, Tidal Handicap-G.2, Lawrence Realization and Voters Handicap.   

At the close of Halo’s racing career, Irving Allen offered $US 600,000 for the son of Hail To Reason hoping to stand the horse in England at his Derisley Wood Stud, Newmarket. Halo was vetted but found to be a mild cribber with suspect temperament. The vet report noted the horse was difficult to manage. Irving Allen decided to cancel his offer. Upon hearing this news, Canadian magnate E. P. Taylor stepped in and offered a successful bid of US$ 1 million for Halo and sent the horse to his Windfields Farm in Maryland.  

E. P. Taylor syndicated Halo into 40 shares for $US 1.2 million. The stallion was well received, being such a close relative of Northern Dancer. Halo proved very fertile. One day at the farm, stud groom Randy Mitchell was grabbed in the stomach by Halo and thrown into the air. Randy Mitchell suffered painful bruising for many weeks and from then on, Halo wore a mask. It took two men on both sides to safely escort the stallion to and from the breeding shed. 

Arthur Hancock’s purchase of the hot tempered Halo proved to be a stroke of genius. The eldest son of “Bull” Hancock, Arthur knew all about stallions and approached his client and friend Texan oil man Tom Tatham (owner of Oak Cliff Thoroughbreds) with the idea of purchasing the stallion to stand in Kentucky. Tom Tatham queried the investment because at the time Halo was a 15 year old stallion. 

Yes, he was already a proven sire of many Graded stakes winners, but even so, there was risk. It was a brave decision to buy Halo, but Arthur knew what he was doing and syndicated the stallion to stand at Stone Farm for a reported $US 36 million. Halo was Leading Sire in North America in 1983 and 1989 – his progeny had exploded on American racetracks. Glorious Song (Halo-Ballade) dominated her division. She was Canada’s Horse of the Year and U. S. Champion Mare, a millionaire winner of 17 races. 

At stud she produced 13 winners including Singspiel, champion in North America and the UAE. Singspiel won the Dubai World Cup-G.1, Japan Cup-G.1 and Coronation Cup-G.1. Glorious Song also produced Rahy (by Blushing Groom) an influential sire at Three Chimneys Farm. Rahy sired 12 millionaires and among his progeny were Fantastic Light, Serena’s Song, Noverre, Grass World, Rio de la Plata and Exotic Wood. He is the broodmare sire of more than 100 stakes winners including champion racehorse and leading sire Giant’s Causeway. 

Halo imparted courage to most of his progeny. He sired Saint Liam (U. S. Horse of the Year), Devil’s Bag (U.S. Champion 2YO),  Sunny’s Halo (Kentucky Derby-G.1), Rainbow Connection (Canada’s Champion 2YO),  Goodbye Halo (Kentucky Oaks-G.1), Coup de Folie, Saint Ballado, Misty Gallore and of course champion Sunday Silence, another U.S. Horse of the Year. Coup de Folie produced Machiavellian (Champion 2YO of France), Exit To Nowhere (Prix Jacques Le Marois-G.1) and stakes winner Hydro Callido who is second dam of Sebring’s fast son Supido.

Halo stood only 15.3 hands high. A long bodied horse, he had strong hindquarters and a deep girth, but rotated slightly on the axis of both front cannons. Like his grandsire Turn-To, he toed-out a fraction in both forefeet. His eyes were hazel coloured. Halo had quick reflexes and gradually developed a nasty temperament. In fact, he was considered dangerous to handle, but fortunately in the breeding shed he was a no nonsense participant. I really liked Halo – to me he was a masculine, equine version of James Bond. 

SUNDAY SILENCE

Halo’s champion son Sunday Silence was born at Stone Farm on March 26, 1988. A surprisingly light-framed youngster he was not liked by Tom Tatham’s racing manager and was earmarked to be sold. As a yearling, he was a shade cow-hocked. Sunday Silence was out of Tom Tatham’s stakes winning mare Wishing Well whose dam Mountain Flower carried the dominant genes of famous little mare Selene.

Sunday Silence

The colt went unsold twice as a yearling before he was sold in California for only $US 50,000 as a two year old in training. Arthur Hancock was disappointed about buyers mistakenly overlooking the son of Halo. Arthur knew the two year old showed promise in light training so decided to protect him at auction. It’s strange how fate sometimes can be kind. Arthur ended up buying back the colt. He told me “I just couldn’t let him go for that kind of money”. 

Arthur sent his two year old now named Sunday Silence to Hall of Fame trainer Charlie Whittingham who evidently saw something in the black colt. Charlie bought a half interest and lessened the risk by selling half of his half share to Dr Ernest Gaillard. 

Sunday Silence was conditioned with patience and allowed to strengthen. At the backend of the racing year the colt debuted as runner-up in a 2YO Maiden race followed by victory in a Maiden Special Weight and then finished second in a handicap. He began his three- year old campaign by winning an Allowance race and surprised form experts by winning not only the San Felipe Stakes-G.2 but also the Santa Anita Derby-G.1. 

The guys at The Daily Racing Form were publishing stories about the best three year olds in the country leading up to the Kentucky Derby-G.1. They suddenly focused attention on a new contender. At that time, favourite for the classic was Easy Goer, the previous year’s Champion 2YO Old who represented the east coast. Sunday Silence represented the west coast. The dirt track at Churchill Downs came up sloppy for the Kentucky Derby-G.1, but Charlie Whittingham allowed Arthur Hancock to get excited. 

In a surprise to many, Sunday Silence defeated Easy Goer by almost three lengths. Despite the slow time on the heavy track I was impressed not only with the winner but also by the runner-up. I was fortunate to witness this Derby. These were quality colts in a well above average crop of three year olds.

Special aluminium bar shoes were prepared for Sunday Silence by Dr Ric Redden leading up to the second leg of the Triple Crown. Dr Alex Harthill had diagnosed Sunday Silence with a bruised sole. A day before the Preakness Stakes-G.1 was run at historic Pimlico racetrack, the bar shoes were removed and Sunday Silence was ready for his next clash with Easy Goer. Not many knew Easy Goer had developed slightly puffy ankles after the Kentucky Derby.  Plenty of ice buckets were used to get him ready to run again. 

Sunday Silence had to draw on superb courage to win the Preakness Stakes-G.1 by a nose from Easy Goer. In a sensational stretch duel that thrilled a nation, the Halo colt was now being hailed as a chance to become a new Triple Crown winner. However, in New York’s third leg of the Triple Crown, Easy Goer gained his revenge. On the morning of the Belmont Stakes-G.1, Sunday Silence was spooked by onlookers and unfortunately injured his trainer. It was not the colt’s destiny to win that day. Easy Goer won the Belmont Stakes-G.1 by eight lengths. 

In November, the two outstanding colts were to meet up in the $US 3 million Breeders’ Cup Classic-G.1 and thereby clarify championship honours. Easy Goer had won four more Grade 1 stakes after his Belmont Park victory. He had won Saratoga’s Travers Stakes-G.1 and Belmont’s Jockey Club Gold Cup-G.1. Sunday Silence by comparison had won the Super Derby-G.1 and finished runner-up in the Swaps Stakes-G.2.

In the exciting Breeders’ Cup Classic-G.1, Sunday Silence prevailed by a neck to defeat Easy Goer and claim Horse of the Year and Champion Three Year Old honours. At four years, after winning the Californian Stakes-G.2 and finishing second in the Hollywood Gold Cup, Sunday Silence injured a major ligament and was forced into retirement. 

Zenya Yoshida had acquired a 25% interest in the four year old and eventually bought out remaining owners in Sunday Silence for $US 7.5 million. 

Sunday Silence was Japan’s Leading Sire thirteen times from 1995 to 2008 and was especially successful when matched with Northern Dancer’s strain. His progeny earned more than US$ 730 million and it all started with his first stakes winner, the black colt Fuji Kiseki, winner of the Asahi Futurity Stakes-G.1. Fuji Kiseki who would shuttle to Arrowfield Stud for brief holidays. 

In 1994 the very talented Stay Gold was born  – he would win the Dubai Sheema Classic-G.1 and Hong Kong Vase-G.1. Special Week would win the  Japan Cup-G.1 and Manhattan Café would score in the Kukuka Sho-G.1, Arima Kinen-G.1 and Tenno Sho-G.1. A plethora of major Group winners followed – Neo Universe, Zenno Rob Roy, Daiwa Major, Heart’s Cry and Triple Crown winner Deep Impact. Sons of Sunday Silence to sire standout progeny include: 

Stay Gold, sire of champion Orfevre, winner of Japan’s Triple Crown
Heart’s Cry, sire of Lys Precieux, Just A Way and Cheval Grand
Deep Impact, won Triple Crown and Leading Sire of many champions
Dance in the Dark, sire of Melbourne Cup-G.1 winner Delta Blues
Special Week, sire of Toho Jackal,  Buena Vista and Cesario, dam of Japan Cup-G.1 winner Epiphaneia
Neo Universe, sire of Victoire Pisa, Unrivaled
Daiwa Major, sire of Admire Mars, Curren Black Hill
Manhattan Café, sire of Hiruno d’Amour, Red Desire
Fuji Kiseki, sire of Sun Classique, Straight Girl
Gold Allure, sire of Espoir City, Gold Dream, Copano Rickey

Contrail (by Deep Impact) was Japan’s Champion 2YO last year winning the valuable Hopeful Stakes-G.1 at Nakayama and after winning the Japanese 2000 Guineas-G.1 is set to win the Japanese Darby-G.1. His main rival will be Salois (by Heart’s Cry) who won the Asahi Hai Futurity Stakes-G.1 over 1600m on turf at Hanshin. Three years ago Time Flyer (by Heart’s Cry) won the Hopeful Stakes-G.1. He is out of a daughter of daughter of Brian’s Time and linebred to Hail To Reason via his best sons, Halo and Roberto.  

Heart’s Cry is one of the leading sires in Japan. His chestnut son Cheval Grand entered stud this year at the Breeders Stallion Station. Cheval Grand is the product of a triple of Halo coming via Sunday Silence, Coup de Folie and Glorious Song. Mahmoud’s famous chestnut daughter Almahmoud is duplicated many times in this pedigree. 

Cheval Grand’s close relation Vivlos has a similar pattern with the triple of Halo in the same position. Vivlos (by Deep Impact) won the Shuko Sho-G.1 and Dubai Turf Stakes-G.1. The pedigree of Cheval Grand should be studied. He was a very sound horse who won seven races including the Japan Cup-G.1, was twice second in the Tenno Sho Spring-G.1 and should make his mark as a sire of stakes runners in Japan. He belongs to a powerful family, being out of Halwa Sweet by Machiavellian from Halwa Song by Nureyev from Morn of Song by Blushing Groom from Glorious Song by Halo. Morn of Song is full sister to Rahy and half-sister to Singspiel. 

Heart’s Cry (Sunday Silence-Irish Dance by Tony Bin) was born in 2001 at Shadai Farm and won 5 of 19 starts including the Arima Kinen-G.1 and Dubai Sheema Classic-G.1. He was runner-up in the Japan Cup-G.1 and Tokyo Yushun-G.1 (Japanese Derby). In England, he finished third in the King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Diamond Stakes-G.1 at Ascot. 

SELENE

Sunday Silence died in August, 2002. He was a member of the Number 3 Family with duplication of the Number 6 family. His grand-dam Mountain Flower inherited classic genes from Hyperion and his famous dam Selene. Halo was out of Cosmah by Cosmic Bomb, son of Hyperion’s half-brother Pharamond II (Pharos-Selene by Chaucer).  

Cosmic Bomb won 11 of 27 starts including the Arlington Futurity, Cowdin Stakes and Hyde Park Stakes. He was Champion 2YO Colt and progressed at three to win the Discovery Handicap, Trenton Stakes, and Lawrence Realization Stakes. His pedigree shows duplication of Sainfoin and sister Sierra, as well as duplication of English Derby winner Spearmint.

Pharamond II’s full brother Sickle was the grandsire of America’s champion sprinter Polynesian who sired Native Dancer. Every time sources of Native Dancer met up with Hyperion’s genes mighty little mare Selene is duplicated. Kentucky Derby-G.1 winner Northern Dancer is a good example of this mix.

ORFEVRE

Foaled in 2008 at Shadai Farm, Orfevre (Stay Gold-Oriental Art by Mejiro McQueen) was Japan’s Horse of the Year. He ventured to Longchamp and was twice runner-up in the valuable Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe-G.1.

Orfevre won 12 races including Japan’s Triple Crown in 2011 and earned almost $US 20 million. Much admired for his courage, he was a crowd favourite and now stands at Shadai Farm. 

DEEP IMPACT

The loss of Deep Impact was tragic but he left many sons to carry on the male line. Deep Impact by Sunday Silence was out of  Wind In Her Hair by Alzao and was perennial Leading Sire in Japan. The small horse was born in March, 2002, and was a Triple Crown winner, twice voted Japan’s Horse of the Year. His 12 victories also include the Japan Cup-G.1, Tenno Sho (Spring)-G.1 and Arima Kinen-G.1. 

Progeny of Deep Impact include Gentildonna (Horse of the Year), Satono Diamond (Champion 3YO), Mikki Queen (Champion 3YO Filly), Kizuna (Champion 3YO), Vivlos (Champion Mare), Mikki Isle (Champion Miler), Satono Aladdin (Yasuda Kinen-G.1), A Shin Hikari (Hong Kong Cup-G.1), Tosen Stardom, Real Impact, Real Steel and Saxon Warrior (English 2,000 Guineas-G.1).  

Mikki Isle stands at Arrowfield Stud alongside Real Impact and Real Steel whereas Tosen Stardom stands at Woodside Park Stud in Victoria. A handsome stallion standing 16.2 hands high, Tosen Stardom is a bigger version of Deep Impact. From 20 starts he won seven including the  L.K.S. MacKinnon Stakes -G.1 (defeating Happy Clapper) and Toorak Handicap-G.1. He was runner-up in the Ranvet Stakes-G.1. Prior to racing in Australia, Tosen Stardom won the Hanshin Challenge Cup-G.3 and Kyoto Kisaragi Stakes-G.2. His second dam is by Northern Taste. Despite the fact he is linebred to Northern Dancer three times, actually he resembles the tall Hail To Reason phenotype.

Real Steel (Deep Impact-Love’s Only by Storm Cat) belongs to the family of champions Miesque and Kingmambo. Winner of 4 of 17 starts, he scored in the Dubai Turf Stakes-G.1 at Meydan over 1800m and won Group 2 races in Tokyo. His dam is half-sister to European Champion 2YO Filly Rumplestiltskin who produced Yorkshire Oaks-G.1 winner Tapestry

Mikki Isle (Deep Impact-Star Isle by Rock of Gibraltar) stands 16 hands high and in 2016 was Champion Miler in Japan. A tough racehorse, he won 8 of 20 starts including the Kyoto Mile Championship-G.1 and is linebred 5 x 5 x 5 x 4 to Northern Dancer with heavy duplication of Selene via Pharamond II, Sickle and Hyperion.  The third dam of Mikki Isle is Alydar’s best daughter, Stella Madrid. Many years ago I watched her win the Spinaway Stakes Gr-1 at Saratoga. Wayne Lukas told me this filly was one of the best he ever trained. Stella Madrid also won the Frizette, Acorn and Matron Stakes – all Grade 1 stakes.

 

SOUTHERN HALO

From 22 crops to race, Halo was the sire of 749 foals and 62 stakes winners. His son Southern Halo didn’t win a Graded stakes but graduated to be Leading Sire in Argentina thirteen times. He was Group 1 placed and produced from Northern Sea, a daughter of Northern Dancer, His pedigree shows 3 x 4 duplication of Almahmoud via her stakes producing daughters Cosmah and Natalma.

Southern Halo won 5 of 24 starts, sired 12 champions and at least 120 stakes winners. Towards the end of his stud career he shuttled to Ashford Stud in Kentucky where he sired More Than Ready, father of champion Sebring. Southern Halo was runner-up in the  Super Derby-G.1, Swaps Stakes-G.1 and Silver Screen Handicap-G.2.  His fast son More Than Ready is the sire of Catholic Boy (Travers Stakes-G.1), Sebring, More Joyous, Roy H, Perfectly Ready, Phelan Ready, Samaready, Prized Icon and Better Than Ready.  

Sebring (More Than Ready-Purespeed by Flying Spur) was bred by George Altomonte and the brilliant colt was Australia’s Champion 2YO  with victories in the Golden Slipper Stakes-G.1, ATC Sires’ Produce Stakes-G.1 and Listed Breeders’ Plate. Sebring earned $2. 5 million and was an immediate success at stud, siring Horse of the Year Dissident, co-rated world champion Criterion, classic winners Egg Tart and Amphitrite, Brisbane Cup-G.2 winner Sedanzer, Doncaster Handicap-G.1 winner Nettoyer and Supido who comes from Almahmoud ‘s female line – the line which gave us Halo and Northern Dancer. I’ve seen some nice foals by Supido who is 4 x 4 via son and daughter to Halo and is 5 x 4 x 5 to champion Hail To Reason. He won seven races in fast time including the Sir John Monash Stakes-Gr3 and was narrowly beaten by Black Heart Bart when a close third in the Goodwood Handicap-G.1

Supido’s dam Lady Succeed is by Brian’s Time (son of Roberto) who led the 2YO Sires’ List in Japan in 1996.  Lady Succeed’s dam is Hydro Callido by Nureyev from Coup de Folie by Halo. Bred by Maria Niarchos, Hydro Callido is a stakes winner inbred 3 x 3 to Natalma. 

Brian’s Time was one of the leading sires in Japan. He won the Florida Derby-G.1, Pegasus Handicap-G.1, Jim Dandy Stakes-G.2 and sired 61 stakes winners. His progeny earned more than $490 million and included Japan’s Horse of the Year Narita Brian, winner of the Triple Crown in 1994. 

Hail To Reason’s son Roberto was bred by John W Galbreath at Darby Dan Farm situated on beautiful Old Frankfort Pike, Lexington. It is a beautiful farm managed many years ago by Olin Gentry Snr.  

Roberto was named after famous basketball player Roberto Clemente. College Basketball is extremely popular in the U.S. and especially with Kentuckians. I attended many exciting games held at Rupp Arena. Roberto (Hail To Reason-Bramalea by Nashua) was a powerful, big brown colt with deep girth and more bone than his tall, athletic father. I noticed Roberto was long in his front pasterns, possessed a wide jowl, had nice width between the eyes and featured powerful hindquarters. Roberto’s daughter Immense (1979) is the grand-dam of Horse of the Year Giant’s Causeway who was Leading Sire in North America.  

Trained in Ireland by Vincent O’Brien, Roberto was ridden by Lester Piggott to win the English Derby-G.1 ( beating Rheingold) and surprised everyone at York when he trounced previously undefeated English champion Brigadier Gerard in the valuable Benson & Hedges Gold Cup-G.1 over 10 furlongs. Roberto also won the mile and a half Coronation Cup-G.1. 

Voted Champion 2YO colt of Ireland after handy victories in the National Stakes-G.2 and Anglesey Stakes-G.3, Roberto progressed to become Champion 3YO of England and Ireland and proved an immediate success at stud in Kentucky. Among his progeny were Dynaformer, Silver Hawk, Kris S, Lear Fan, Touching Wood, Script Ohio, Sookera (third dam of Dansili, fourth dam of Scissor Kick), At Talaq, Darby Creek Road, and Red Ransom.  

Roberto’s dam Bramalea was a big filly like her sire Nashua. She won the Coaching Club American Oaks, Jasmine Stakes, Gazelle Handicap and traced to Bleebok (Blue Larkspur from Forteresse by Sardanapale) a big mare who was half-sister to Kentucky Derby winner Brokers Tip. Red Ransom (Roberto-Arabia by Damascus) was champion first season sire in the U.S. and shuttled to Vinery Stud.  He was 16.1 hands, quite short-coupled with nice short cannons and displayed quick-maturing speed to win a five furlong Maiden Special Weight at Saratoga in new track record time. After impressive victories as a juvenile he broke down at three years. The guys at The Daily Racing Form reckoned Red Ransom was a superstar and high praise enabled the young stallion to achieve full books of mares.  

Red Ransom sired Perfect Sting (U. S. Champion 3YO Turf Mare with 14 wins and $US 2.2 million), Intikhab (Europe’s Champion Miler), Bail Out Becky (Del Mar Oaks-G.1) and Comic Strip (Louisiana Derby-G.3). In Australia he sired Charge Forward, winner of the Group 1 Galaxy Stakes, San Domenico Stakes-G.2 and Todman Slipper Trial Stakes-G.2. 

Charge Forward’s progeny include Solar Charged, Headway, Cavalry Rose and Response. His daughters have an affinity with Danzig and his descendants. 

Roberto features in the pedigrees of major Group winners. His descendants include Dubawi (via Deploy’s dam Slightly Dangerous),  Giant’s Causeway (via second dam Immense), Trapeze Artist (via Domesday’s sire Red Ransom), Maurice (via Silver Hawk), Smart Missile (via Comic Strip), Territories (linebred to Roberto via the dam of Warning) and The Autumn Sun (via second dam Asmara by Roberto’s son Lear Fan). Territories (by Invincible Spirit) is out of Taranto, a product of  the Halo mix with Roberto. He is among my favourite young sires and stands at Darley. He comes from the family of Street Cry and Shamardal. 

Melbourne Cup-G.1 winner Americain, a member of Roberto’s male line, is by Dynaformer (Roberto-Andover Way by His Majesty) from a daughter of Arazi. Wouldn’t it be interesting if he could cover daughters of More Than Ready or Sebring and sire runners with classic potential?

Americain was a champion stayer here and in Europe. He inherited that rare ability to quicken in the final furlongs of Group races at and beyond a mile and a half.  I believe he deserves serious consideration by persons wishing to breed quality stayers. His fee was only $8,800 last year.

DUBAWI

An exceptional sire of Group winners worldwide is Dubawi (Dubai Millennium-Zomaradah by Deploy) who carries Roberto’s genes. He was Irish Champion Two and Three Year old and voted Champion Miler of France. 

Dubawi who is the sire of at least 168 stakes winners, won the Irish 2,000 Guineas-G.1, Prix Jacques Le Marois-G.1, National Stakes-G.2 and finished third in the English Derby-G.1. He owes much of his genetic prowess to broodmare sire Deploy, by English Derby-G.1 winner Shirley Heights, from Slightly Dangerous by English Derby-G.1 winner Roberto. 

This classic mix helps explain why Dubawi’s progeny improve so much when they mature. In mid-April, Europe’s champion  Shamardal was euthanized at Kildangan Stud at the age of 18 years. He was the best and fastest son of Giant’s Causeway. Shamardal inherited super genes from Halo who features twice in his pedigree via Glorious Song (dam of Rahy) and again via Coup de Folie (dam of Machiavellian). Roberto is also present.

I have always been a fan grey stallion Puissance de Lune, son of Shamardal. Apart from being a multiple Group winner and a genuine frontrunner like his father, he gets impact from Halo with 4 x 3 duplication of Rahy (Blushing Groom-Glorious Song by Halo). Opportunities exist to mix Halo with Roberto. What is the importance of Hail To Reason’s broodmare sire Blue Swords? Well, Blue Swords is a key player because he is a “son” of Blue Larkspur.  

The stud books of the world document many high-class ancestors with at least one “daughter” of Blue Larkspur. Check it out if you don’t believe me. It is rare to find ancestors with a “son” of Blue Larkspur to order to create sex balanced pedigree patterns to hype up speed. I know Blue Swords, especially via Hail To Reason, is a vital link for the production of stakes runners. 

I’ve designed many successful matings involving use of a son and daughter of Blue Larkspur, resulting in stakes winners. Simply copy the concept shown in Roberto’s pedigree. Next, one needs to mix Hail To Reason’s strain with Mr Prospector’s strain to aim for upgraded racing class. This mix, especially using Roberto, not only relies on a son and daughter of Blue Larkspur, but adds Blue Larkspur’s best daughter Myrtlewood, fourth dam of Mr Prospector.  

Myrtlewood once held the world record for six furlongs on dirt. Another of her descendants is the great Seattle Slew, U. S. Triple Crown winner and Horse of the Year.  An example of Roberto mix with Mr Prospector is Shamardal’s champion racehorse Giant’s Causeway, three times Leading Sire in North America. Roberto also sired Kris S whose dam Sharp Queen is by champion Princequillo. Kris S sired Symboli Kris S, a dark brown horse who was Japan’s Horse of the Year twice and Champion 3YO colt. 

Symboli Kris S won 8 of 15 starts including the Tenno Sho (Autumn)-G.1 twice, Arima Kinen-G.1 twice, was runner-up in the Tokyo Yushun (Japanese Derby)-G.1 and third in the Japan Cup-G.1.  His dam Tee Kay was by Seattle Slew’s son Gold Meridean. Symboli Kris S is the sire of Japan Cup-G.1 and Japanese St. Leger-G.1 winner Epiphaneia, a promising young sire. Contrail (see pedigree) unbeaten in Japan and recent winner of the Japanese 2,000 Guineas-G.1 has the Halo link with Mr Prospector and Seattle Slew.

KING’S LEGACY

Sunday Silence became a phenomenal broodmare sire of Group stakes winners. His imported daughter Bella Sunday is the second dam of King’s Legacy, winner of the ATC Sires’ Produce Stakes-G.1 and Champagne Stakes-G.1. This son of Redoute’s Choice has earned $884,100 and challenges for juvenile championship honours. Also scoring at Sydney’s autumn carnival was New Zealand mare Tofane (by Ocean Park) who narrowly defeated Pierro’s son Pierata in the All Aged Stakes G-.1. This fast mare is yet another high-class performer with linebreeding to three-parts brothers Sadler’s Wells and Nureyev.  

Halo’s contribution to the international gene pool has been sensational. Let’s hope Deep Impact’s imported sons do well “down under”. 

Ken McLean

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