Honour Devil (ARG) (pedigree) has made Nad al Sheba his stomping ground. After a ~ 6-furlong maiden victory in his homeland of Argentina as a southern hemisphere 2-year-old, the son of Honour and Glory (on SRO) was sent to the United Arab Emirates to race under new trainer Michael de Kock. The results have been nothing short of amazing.
Piloted by John Murtagh in all of his UAE tries, the bay colt easily won a 7-furlong conditions race Jan. 24 and followed up three weeks later with the group III Gulf News UAE Two Thousand Guineas. Another three weeks later, Honour Devil was headed by his stablemate Royal Vintage (SAF) in a listed event at 9 furlongs. He came back strong today (and avenged the loss to Royal Vintage) in the group II UAE Derby, another 9-furlong contest, this one valued at a cool US$2 million. (Story on BloodHorse.com)
A brass ring is certainly owed to Avalyn Hunter, pedigree analyst for BloodHorseNOW.com, who profiled Honour and Glory, a son of Relaunch, in her weekly Mahubah's Corner column earlier this week. (Subscribers to The Blood-Horse can view the article here.) Her timing couldn't have been more on the mark! In addition to her insightful comments on Honour and Glory's pedigree, she indicated that his breeding success in Argentina is likely to be partially tied to "the emerging cross between sons of Relaunch and mares sired by the excellent Argentine stallion Cipayo and his sons."
Have I mentioned? Honour Devil is by Cipayo's best son, Fitzcarraldo (ARG).
Honour and Glory is likely to get many opportunities with daughters of Fitzcarraldo in his new home base of Argentina (he officially "reverse shuttles" to the U.S., as he is owned by La Mission Stallion Station). The cross is likely to continue to produce exceptional runners.
But what about the reverse cross? We know that A.P. Indy does well with Mr. Prospector mares, and sons of "Mr. P." do well with A.P. Indy daughters -- when these stallions' bloodlines are combined, it seems like it doesn't matter which one is on top of the pedigree. Could the same hold true for the broad Relaunch - Cipayo match (and the more specific cross of their sons Honour and Glory with Fitzcarraldo)? I'm betting "yes." That's one reason why I'm watching Buck Pond Farm's Seattle Fitz (ARG) (on SRO) so closely.
A son of Fitzcarraldo, Seattle Fitz is bred on an exciting cross. His dam, Hug a Slew, is linebred to the sensational mare Myrtlewood; in addition to having the granddaughter of Frizette as her sixth dam, Hug a Slew is by Seattle Slew, who has Myrtlewood in his fifth dam. The possibilities for crossing Seattle Fitz with other lines of Seattle Slew (A.P. Indy and his sons, for example) are great, as are crosses with daughters of Mr. Prospector and his sons, as Mr. Prospector was yet another stallion to have Myrtlewood in tail-female, in this case as his fourth dam. Since this post seems to be jumping around a whole lot anyway, I'll digress a bit more and say that Myrtlewood is worth a long chapter in any book about Frizette, and probably a book or two on her own, because of the huge influence she's had on modern sire lines. She was a fine source of speed and class.
It's likely that Seattle Fitz will see mares by sons of Seattle Slew and Mr. P., just by sheer number of those bloodlines in circulation. Honour and Glory's story is a bit different. With that in mind, I wish I had an Honour and Glory mare to send to Seattle Fitz this year. If he does as well as I expect, his $6,500 stud fee will prove to be a true bargain for forward-thinking breeders in 2008 -- and he'll be out of my price range in a couple of years!