Puissance de Lune

published: 13 Apr 2015 in Freshman 2015

EVERYBODY loves a grey and Swettenham Stud new boy Puissance de Lune (IRE) is about as ‘picture book’ as you can get. However don’t be fooled by those dapples, the striking entire is no rocking horse and his turn of foot would make even the best sprinters jealous.

Puissance de Lune is standing at Swettenham Stud in Victoria for $11,00 inc. GST

  This winner of eight races and close to $900,000 ran the final 400m of the 2012 Queen Elizabeth Stakes-Gr.3 at Flemington in 22.84 (pulling up) and the final 200m in 11.85, prompting jockey Glen Boss to remark he had the acceleration of a Newmarket Handicap sprinter. Remember, he ran those sectionals at the end of a gruelling 2600m on a dead track (2:44.23) and won by five lengths!
  That win came just 10 days after he cleared out to win the Listed Bendigo Cup (2400m) by eight lengths, fulfilling a dream of his owner Gerry Ryan (Limerick Lane) who had purchased the horse at auction in France for 80,000 euros with the Victorian race in mind after a win and two seconds in his four starts there as a three year-old. Puissance de Lune (Shamardal (USA)-Princess Serena by Unbridled’s Song (USA)), who had been a bit of a handful when racing in France, responded beautifully to Darren Weir’s patient training, and rewarded connections with a first-up win in Australia on May 3, 2012 when he won a 16 runner 1700m event at Warrnambool on a heavy track, carrying 57.5kg.
  He was even more impressive in a 2038m handicap at Mornington next time out (May 23), winning by 3.25 lengths on a dead track under 57kg, and was then fourth over 2100m in town before being given a break. Unplaced in the Ballarat Gold Nugget over 1600m when resuming in late September, he atoned next time out with a five length win in the MRC Hyland Race Colours Handicap (2038m) at Mornington, with 60kg, on October 10 and was then second over 2200m at Warnambool before collecting the $250,000 Bendigo Cup and then the Queen Elizabeth. His awesome win in the latter event prompted bookmakers to install him as favourite for the 2013 Melbourne Cup.
  Glen Boss was upbeat after the Queen Elizabeth win telling the media, “You have just seen next year’s Cup winner. I haven’t had that feeling on a horse for a bloody long time, a really long time. He relaxes unbelievably in the running, conserves a lot of energy but when you ask him it’s instant power. I told you about eight weeks before it that I would win the Cox Plate and this is probably a better chance of winning next year’s Melbourne Cup than my horse (Ocean Park) was winning the Cox Plate.”
  Weir said Puissance de Lune’s easy Bendigo Cup win had surprised him and he was delighted the grey lived up to the performance in the Queen Elizabeth Stakes. The normally conservative trainer dared to dream when assessing Puissance de Lune’s ability. “I was involved in the Cup with 2003 runner-up She’s Archie, but I haven’t had one good enough since then. The dream might be alive again here,” he said.
  “It’s good to have a horse good enough to be heading that way and it’s terrific for everyone involved. Gerry has been a great supporter of us for a long time so it’s good to have a nice horse for him.”
  Put away until March 2013 after having a bone chip removed, the dashing grey highlighted his versatility with a first-up dead-heat (with Budriguez) in the Blamey Stakes-Gr.2 (1600m in 1:36.37) on March 9. Again rested after that run, he then won the MRC P.B. Lawrence Stakes-Gr.2 (1400m in 1:24.26) from Ajeed on August 17 and was then the narrowest of seconds to Foreteller in the VRC Makybe Diva Stakes-Gr.1 (1600m). Unplaced in the Underwood-Gr.1 on September 21, he was again denied a Gr.1 when a narrow second in the Turnbull Stakes (2000m) behind Happy Trails (Fawkner was third). An unplaced effort in the Cox Plate (October 26) when he suffered a tendon injury saw him tipped out until the following August when he was a first-up sixth in the P.B. Lawrence.
  Puissance de Lune, whose name translates as ‘power of the moon’, then took on the top class sprinters in the Memsie Stakes-Gr.1 (1400m), finishing third (2.5 lengths) to Dissident and Sweet Idea in 1:22.72 on August 30. He was third behind Dissident and Fawkner in the Makybe Diva-Gr.1, beaten under a length over 1600m, and bowed out of racing with a fourth to Lucia Valentina in the Turnbull Stakes-Gr.1 (2000m) on October 4. 
  His retirement came as the result of another fetlock injury during a training gallop in mid-February 2015. Although only a small bone chip was detected, owner Ryan opted to retire Puissance de Lune who will stand alongside a fellow Ryan-owned galloper in Melbourne Cup winner Americain (USA). Puissance de Lune had eight wins, five seconds, two thirds and two fourths in 22 starts for earnings of $877,159. He has a World Thoroughbred Ranking of 115 in 2012, 2013 and 2014. His fee is expected to be $11,000, including GST.
  “It was a shame things went wrong,” Weir said. 
“It’s unfortunate, but he was a good horse and I think he’ll make a good stallion.”
  Puissance de Lune is a son of multiple Gr.1 winner and successful sire Shamardal (Giant’s Causeway (USA)-Helsinki by Machiavellian) who shuttled briefly to Australia (2005-10) where he left Gr.1 winners Faint Perfume, Able Friend (HK Mile), Maybe Discreet and Captain Sonador among 300 southern foals.
  Perhaps the best of his 570 winners (70SW) though is dual classic winner Lope de Vega (IRE), who emulated his sire by winning the French Derby-Gr.1 and 2000 Guineas-Gr.1 and was the leading first crop sire in Europe in 2014 and who shuttles to Patinack Farm the Hunter Valley. Shamardal, a grandson of Storm Cat, also won the Dewhurst Stakes-Gr.1 and St James’s Palace Stakes-Gr.1 and was Europe’s Champion Two Year-Old Colt in 2004 and collected the Champion Three Year-Old Colt title in 2005. 
  His sire Giant’s Causeway (USA), also a brief shuttler (2002-04), was an unbeaten Gr.1 winner at two and trained on at three to become European Horse of the Year in 2000 when his Gr.1 wins included the Eclipse Stakes, St James’s Palace Stakes, Sussex Stakes and Juddmonte International. He was Champion Sire in the US in 2009, 2010 and 2012. His sire Storm Cat (by Storm Bird, a son of Northern Dancer) was a Gr.1 winner at two when also narrowly beaten in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile. He became an outstanding sire at Overbrook Farm, Kentucky and was Leading Sire in the US in 1999 and 2000, leaving more than 100SW.
  Shamardal is out of a mare by Machiavellian (Mr. Prospector-Coup de Folie by Halo), whose second dam Raise The Standard (Hoist the Flag) is a daughter of Natalma, dam of Northern Dancer and third dam of Danehill. Halo of course is out of Natalma’s half-sister Cosmah. Inbreeding to the Mahmoud mare Almahmoud (dam of Cosmah and Natalma) has worked here, as Faint Perfume’s second dam is by Danehill, while Lope de Vega carries Machiavellian 3fx3m.
  Puissance de Lune has Rahy (Blushing Groom-Glorious Song by Halo) 4fx3f and an additional line of Halo in the fifth remove (Halo 6f,5fx5f). He has Northern Dancer 5mx5m through Storm Bird and Northfields. He also has Mr. Prospector 4mx5m, and that horse’s grandsire Native Dancer is the sire of Natalma. Native Dancer also appears as the sire of Dancer’s Image (dam by Nasrullah, family of Northfields), whose daughter Image Intensifier is the fourth dam of Puissance de Lune.
  Puissance de Lune’s grey dam, Princess Serena, is by triple Gr.1 winner Unbridled’s Song (USA) (Unbridled-Trolley Song by Caro), another former shuttler (1997-1999), who won the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile-Gr.1 at two and the Wood Memorial-Gr.1 and Florida Derby-Gr.1 the following year and is a grandson of Fappiano (Mr. Prospector). Unbridled’s Song inherited his grey coat colour from damsire Caro, whose grey sire Fortino is by Grey Sovereign (Nasrullah-Kong by Baytown), a horse inbred to The Tetrarch (4fx5f) via two grey daughters, Mumtaz Mahal (second dam of Nasrullah) and Queen Herodias (second dam of Baytown), the latter being the conduit for the colour as Kong is grey. Nasrullah is further reinforced here, as he is the grandsire of Blushing Groom (sire of Rahy). 
  There is another grey daughter of The Tetrarch at the heart of this story and she is the 1919 Irish Oaks winner Snow Maiden (ex Snoot by Perigord) who is the 10th dam of Puissance de Lune. Her year-younger brother Caligula won the St Leger and went to stud in Germany. Like his sire, he proved almost sterile but a son Prestissimo produced Private Entry dam of Treble Crown (by The Tetrarch’s grandson King Salmon), a Champion Sire in Chile who was inbred 3mx4m to The Tetrarch. 
  The Tetrarch (Roi Herode-Vahren by Bona Vista) got just 130 foals but became Leading Sire in England and Ireland in 1919. He was an unbeaten champion in England at two where he won all seven starts including the Champagne Stakes, Coventry Stakes and Woodcote Stakes and the experts at Timeform rated him the world’s best two year-old of the 20th century. He was nicknamed The Spotted Wonder because of the prominent white spots on his grey coat, and it’s worth remembering that he hails from the same female line as a noted Australian speed influence Biscay. This is family number 7.
   Puissance de Lune’s dam is a half-sister to Gr.2 miler Doubles Partner (Rock Hard Ten) and to Listed winner Stormy Venus (dam of Gr.2 winner Don Americo). Second dam Serena’s Sister (Rahy) raced twice but produced six winners and is a sister to the outstanding Serena’s Song, whose 18 wins included 11 at Gr.1 level and who was Champion US Three Year-Old Filly of 1995 before going on to a successful stud career, leaving Gr.1 winner Sophisticat (Storm Cat), herself dam and second dam of stakes winners, and several other stakes winners.
  Serena’s Sister and Serena’s Song are out of the Northfields mare Imagining, a dual winner in the US and dam of five winners including other black type winner Vivid Imagination (Raise a Man). This is also the immediate family of Gr.2 winner and sire Grand Reward (Storm Cat), Gr.2 winner and Gr.1 placed Honor Code (A.P. Indy), Gr.2 winner and Gr.1 placed Noble Tune (Unbridled’s Song) and Japanese Gr.2 winner Fumino Imagine (Manhattan Café). 
  Despite his strong middle distance credentials, Puissance de Lune showed he could also match the best sprinter-milers in training and looked unlucky not to have a Gr.1 win on his resume. His clever pedigree, which blends and reinforces the speed influences, Native Dancer, Nasrullah and The Tetrarch, looks likely to suit a variety of bloodlines including the ever-present Danehill, while descendants of the Grey Sovereign-line stallion Kenmare (FR) (whose son Kendor is in the pedigree of Lope de Vega) could also work well, as could doubling Machiavellian, perhaps by using a daughter of Vettori (also in Lope de Vega’s pedigree), or sons of Street Cry, whose dam is second dam of Shamardal (his dam is a sister to Street Cry).
  Faint Perfume is out of a mare bred on the Zabeel/Danehill cross, while Bluebird, Barathea, Timber Country, Bletchingly and Sadler’s Wells also appear in good winners by Shamardal, while daughters of Storm Cat’s family member Royal Academy (USA) also appeal. Unbridled’s Song, who is the broodmare sire of more than 80SW is damsire of Oakleigh Plate-Gr.1 winner Mrs Onassis (General Nediym), Gr.1 winner Once Were Wild (Johannesburg) and Singapore Champion Better Than Ever (French Deputy) and the likes of Bright Expectations (More Than Ready) and Miss Judgement (Strategic) from his daughters conceived in Australia, giving some further food for thought for broodmare owners. n

Brief Race Record

(in France, Australia)

Age Runs 1st 2nd 3rd Earnings
3 4 1 2 - A$24,996
4 8 5 1 - A$371,863
5 6 2 2 - A$381,800
6 4 - - 2 A$98,500
Totals: 22 8 5 2 A$877,159
At 3 : La Teste Prix Daniele Cazenave (1900m)
At 4 : VRC Queen Elizabeth S., Gr.3 (2600m beating Ironstein and Tanby), Bendigo Cup, L (2400m beating Practiced and Fiumicino), MRC Le Pine Funerals H. (1800m), MRC (Mornington) Hyland Race Colours H. (2050m), Warrnambool RC Fresha Fruit Juices H. (1700m)
At 5 : VRC Blamey S., Gr.2 (1600m deadheating with Budriguez and beating Wall Street), MRC PB Lawrence S., Gr.2 (1400m beating Ajeeb and Second Effort), 2d VRC Makybe Diva S., Gr.1 (1600m to Foreteller and beating Moudre), Turnbull S., Gr.1 (2000m to Happy Trails and beating Fawkner)
At 6 : 3d VRC Makybe Diva S., Gr.1 (1600m to Dissident and Fawkner), MRC Memsie S., Gr.1 (1400m to Dissident and Sweet Idea), 4th VRC Turnbull S., Gr.1 (2000m)

World Thoroughbred Ranking: 115 (in 2012), 115 (in 2013), 115 (in 2014).

Six x Six Enhanced Pedigree Grid

B. 2002
GW 6 wins
f:952 r:795 w:578 SW:75
  Giant's Causeway
Ch. 1997
GW 9 wins
f:1988 r:1648 w:1076 SW:153
  Storm Cat
B. or Br. 1983
GW 4 wins
f:1415 r:1112 w:813 SW:177
  Storm Bird 1 Northern Dancer   Nearctic 14
3 Natalma 2
  South Ocean   New Providence 9
  Shining Sun 4
  Terlingua   Secretariat   Bold Ruler 8
  Somethingroyal 2
  Crimson Saint   Crimson Satan 26
  Bolero Rose 8
  Mariah's Storm
B. 1991
GW 10 wins
f:11 r:10 w:7 SW:2
  Rahy   Blushing Groom   Red God 8
  Runaway Bride 22
  Glorious Song   Halo 2
  Ballade 12
  Immense   Roberto   Hail To Reason 4
  Bramalea 10
  Imsodear   Chieftain 9
  Ironically 11
B. 1993
SP 1 win
f:10 r:9 w:8 SW:2
B. or Br. 1987
GW 4 wins
f:724 r:588 w:405 SW:71
  Mr. Prospector   Raise A Native   Native Dancer 5
  Raise You 8
  Gold Digger   Nashua 3
  Sequence 13
  Coup de Folie   Halo   Hail To Reason 4
3 Cosmah 2
1 Raise The Standard   Hoist The Flag 5
3 Natalma 2
  Helen Street
B. 1982
GW 3 wins
f:13 r:11 w:10 SW:2
  Troy   Petingo   Petition 16
  Alcazar 22
  La Milo   Hornbeam 1
  Pin Prick 1
  Waterway   Riverman   Never Bend 19
  River Lady 10
  Boulevard   Pall Mall 7
  Costa Sola 1
Gr. 1999
Wnr 1 win
f:5 r:5 w:5 SW:1
  Unbridled's Song
Gr. 1993
GW 5 wins
f:1441 r:1174 w:817 SW:106
B. 1987
GW 8 wins
f:566 r:416 w:272 SW:48
  Fappiano   Mr. Prospector   Raise A Native 8
  Gold Digger 13
  Killaloe 5 Dr Fager 1
  Grand Splendor 16
  Gana Facil   Le Fabuleux   Wild Risk 3
  Anguar 13
  Charedi   In Reality 21
5 Magic 1
  Trolley Song
R. or Gr. 1983
Wnr 1 win
f:12 r:9 w:5 SW:1
  Caro   Fortino   Grey Sovereign 6
  Ranavalo 4
  Chambord   Chamossaire 6
  Life Hill 3
  Lucky Spell   Lucky Mel   Olympia 4
  Royal Mink 1
  Incantation   Prince Blessed 21
  Magic Spell 4
  Serena's Sister
B or Br. 1994
f:10 r:8 w:6 SW:2
Ch. 1985
GW 6 wins
f:1126 r:854 w:588 SW:91
  Blushing Groom   Red God   Nasrullah 9
  Spring Run 8
  Runaway Bride   Wild Risk 3
  Aimee 22
  Glorious Song   Halo   Hail To Reason 4
3 Cosmah 2
  Ballade   Herbager 16
  Miss Swapsco 12
B. 1983
Wnr 2 wins
f:9 r:7 w:5 SW:2
  Northfields 1 Northern Dancer   Nearctic 14
3 Natalma 2
  Little Hut   Occupy 23
  Savage Beauty 4
  Image Intensifier   Dancer's Image   Native Dancer 5
  Noors Image 4
  Pat's Irish   Tudor Minstrel 9
  Snow Shower 7

Rahy (USA) 1985 : 4f x 3f
Mr. Prospector (USA) 1970 : 4m x 5m
Northern Dancer (CAN) 1961 : 5m x 5m
Halo (USA) 1969 : 6f 5f x 5f
Natalma (USA) 1957 : 6m 6f x 6m
Hail To Reason (USA) 1958 : 6m 6m x 6m
Native Dancer (USA) 1950 : 6m x 6m

Wild Risk (FR ) 1940 : x 6m 6f