All in the Family: Encke, Shareta, and the Sinndar Connection

The outcome certainly wasn't for lack of effort, but on Saturday, Sept. 15, Coolmore's Triple Crown contender Camelot (Montjeu--Tarfah, by Kingmambo) fell victim to the English Triple Crown curse. The first to attempt the feat since Nijinsky II, (neither interim dual classic winners Sea the Stars [2009] nor Nashwan [1989] ran in the St. Leger), won it 42 years ago, a valiant Camelot finished three-quarters of a length in the best finish of a Triple Crown contender since Minoru finished fourth in a field of seven in 1909.

What Kingmambo couldn't accomplish as a broodmare sire, however, he did as a sire: Playing the role of spoiler was Encke, Godolphin's Kentucky-bred son of Kingmambo (Mr. Prospector--Miesque, by Nureyev), whose victory provided his sire a second St. Leger winner. In 2004 Kingmambo had sired Rule of Law to win the 2004 edition also for Godolphin. Encke's victory in the 14-furlong affair not only earned the handsome bay colt his first stakes win but also the honor of being the 94th added-money winner for his pensioned U.S-based sire.

Trained by Mahmood Al Zarooni and ridden by Mickael Barzalona, Encke is out of the dual group I-winning Sinndar mare Shawanda, who took the Irish Oaks and the Prix Vermeille for her breeder the Aga Khan.

In a somewhat prescient turn of events, some 24 hours later the Aga Khan's Shareta another representative from this historic Aga Khan female family, easily defeated 12 opponents by two lengths in the Prix Vermeille at Longchamp.

By Sinndar (Grand Lodge--Sinntara, by Lashkari), Shareta was produced by Shawara, a Barathea (by Sadler's Wells) half sister to Encke's dam Shawanda, both daughters of Shamawana (Darshaan), who ran third in the group III Prix de Royaumont. Shandizadeh, the Nijinsky II granddam of Shamawana produced three stakes-winning daughters, one of whom, Sharaya (Youth) won the Prix Vermeille in 1983.

The family traces to Éclair whom the present-day Aga Khan's grandfather purchased as a 12-year-old mare in 1942 in foal to Hyperion. For the Aga Khan, Éclair, a champion 3-year-old filly in England, produced Khaled (Hyperion), who would become a leading sire in the U.S., and Emali (the great granddam of leading sire Blushing Groom).

The modern representatives are the ninth generation to have been nurtured by the historic breeding program.

In addition to female family, another shared link between Encke and Shareta is Sinndar (broodmare sire of Encke and sire of Shareta). Bred and owned by the Aga Khan, Sinndar descends from yet another significant Aga Khan family. A ninth-generation grandson of Frizette, Sinndar joins fellow tail-female Frizette descendants Seattle Slew and Mr. Prospector as an important son of a sire-producing female family that includes Tourbillon, the foundation sire for Marcel Boussac's famed Haras de Fresnay-le-Buffard stud in France, who is the sire of Tourzima, the fifth dam of Sinndar. Tourzima carries a tail-female double dose of Frizette through the full sister act of Durban (dam of Tourzima's sire Tourbillon) and Heldifann (Tourzima's granndam). Both are by English Derby winner Durbar out of Frizette's classic-winning daughter Banshee who took the 1913 Poule d'Essai des Pouliches.

An Aga Khan-homebred, Sinndar won the English Derby, Irish Derby, and Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe as a 3-year-old in 2000. Among his many black-type winners are other group I winners Rosanara and Youmzain,

Other weekend racing news

The omens were right for George Strawbridge's Thought Worthy (Dynaformer--Vignette, by Diesis) to win the St. Leger. First, his full brother Lucarno had won the race in 2007. Then on the Friday eve of the St. Leger, his 2-year-old full brother Flying Officer had won a maiden race on the Sandown card in his debut. If that were not enough, in Australia earlier on Saturday, Buxted, a 6-year-old horse bred on the same Dynaformer/Diesis cross won the listed Japan Racing Association Trophy at Moonee Valley. Unfortunately, the Tarot cards must have been upside down as Thought Worthy finished off the board.

In spite of that Dynaformer had a good day, siring two other stakes winners in addition to Buxted. Also in Australia the late son of Roberto added a new stakes winner as Stout Hearted, bred by Strawbridge in the U.S out of the Danzig mare Seebe and who raced in the Northern Hemisphere as Seelo., won the group II Kingston Town Stakes at Rosehill, and in the U.S., Ioya Bigtime, out of the Lord At War mare Ioya Two, took the 12-furlong grade III Kentucky Cup Turf Handicap at Kentucky Downs.

Dynaformer was not the only one with a red-letter day of Saturday as Sheikh Mohammed, in addition to Encke's win in the St. Leger, took honors in Australia with a 1-2 finish by a pair of 3-year-old colts in Rosehill's group I Golden Rose Stakes with Epaulette (Commands--Accessories, by Singspiel) and Albrecht (Redoute's Choice--O'giselle, by Octagonal). Also sporting the maroon and white colors in a group II event was Ambidexter, a 4-year-old Commands colt out of the Quest For Fame mare Dextrous.

In Japan, Deep Impact (Sunday Silence--Wind in Her Hair, by Alzao) sired the first four finishers in the grade II Kansai Telecasting Corp. Sho Rose Stakes at Hanshin. Leading the sort of sibling foursome was Gentildonna (out of the Bertolini mare Donna Blini) who won by more than a length from Verxina (o/o the Machiavellian mare Halwa Sweet), Las Venturas (o/o Danehill mare Josette), and Quatre Feuilles (o/o Tejano Run mare One for Rose). Two of the first four finishers, Gentildonna and Las Venturas are out of mares by sons of Danzig.

Japanese connections of sire Stay Gold (Sunday Silence--Golden Sash, by Dictus) have reason for pride as two of his sons won grade/group stakes in the last two days. On Sunday at Longchamp, Orfevre (o/o Mejiro McQueen mare Oriental Art), 2008 Japanese Triple Crown winner, finished his final preparations for the Arc by winning the group II Qatar Prix Foy at Longchamp while Fenomeno (o/o Danehill mare De Laroche) took the grade II St. Lite Kinen Stakes at Nakayama.

This just in: Ireland-bred Piracicaba (Dansili--Montaria, by Dashing Blade) won the listed Prix Joubert at Saint-Cloud. The 3-year-old filly is the newest stakes winner for her sire, bringing his lifetime total to 72.

Recent Posts

More Blogs