Kingmambo Is "C/S" Dosage Influence

(Guest post by Tom Hall)

If people are judged by the company they keep, then why not Thoroughbreds? When Kingmambo was named a chef-de-race stallion in 2010, he certainly joined two exclusive lists. Although pensioned from stallion duty, the 21-year-old son of Mr. Prospector out of Miesque, by Nureyev, is alive and well and living the good life at Lane's End Farm. As a "legend in his own time" so to speak, he joins the elite company of such as Royal Academy (161 stakes winners), fellow Lane's End stallions A.P. Indy (136) and Smart Strike (74), as well as Giant's Causeway (97), all of whom are active chef-de-race sires.

His placement in the Classic/Solid aptitude groups also ranks him with some of history's best. Those that join him, being placed in those two categories, include Blenheim II, Crème dela Crème, Graustark, Herbager, In the Wings, Mill Reef, Nijinsky II, Rainbow Quest, Rock Sand, Sadler's Wells, and Ticino.

Kingmambo strode into the stallion barn with the vibe of a great stallion. Both his race record and his pedigree attested to his potential, but as the adage goes "the proof is in the pudding," And in that respect he certainly served up a hearty, well-balanced plate of offspring, whose performances on the track and in the breeding sheds and paddocks continue to prove his worth.

On the racetracks of Europe, Stavros Niarchos' Kingmambo won from six to eight furlongs. He never raced farther than eight furlongs and never on ground other than good or soft. Racing exclusively in France at 2, Kingmambo broke his maiden at six furlongs, his only win from seven starts (although he did finish second in group stakes at both seven and eight furlongs). The leggy, nearly 16-hand, attractive bay colt with a good turn of foot returned to the winner's circle in his 3-year-old debut, the listed Prix Djebel at seven furlongs. His win in the Dubai Poule d'Essai des Poulains (Fr.-I) at a mile established his reputation and determined his destiny. With that French classic heading his curriculum vitae, he specialized in group-I miles. Crossing the Channel to take on the best of the rest at Royal Ascot, he won the St. James's Palace Stakes (Eng-I). After a two-month hiatus from the track, he lost at Deauville, finishing third in the Jacques le Marois (Fr-I). He returned to his winning ways in the gr. I Prix du Moulin de Longchamp (Fr-I) in early September before finishing third in Ascot's Queen Elizabeth II Stakes (Eng-I), the final start of his career.

Given his parentage, Kingmambo's excelling at a mile should be no surprise. Although his sire Mr. Prospector might have been better at six furlongs, having won his only stakes and set two track records at that distance, he demonstrated his ability to stretch that speed at least a mile with a second-place finish in the 1973 Derby Trial, his only start at eight furlongs.

Only one word is necessary concerning his dam's ability: Miesque. She was a classic winner of both English and French guineas, back-to-back winner of Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. IT), twice Eclipse Award winner as champion turf female, and champion miler in France twice. Although Miesque won at distances from seven to nine furlongs, eight of her 12 wins were group/grade I contests at a mile.

The strength of the female family doesn't stop there. Kingmambo's damsire Nureyev was also champion miler in France. (Ironically he never won at eight furlongs in France and officially never won at a mile, having been disqualified for interference in the English Two Thousand Guineas.) Miesque's dam, Pasadoble, made her own contribution to Kingmambo's penchant for the mile. As a 3-year-old, she won two listed French stakes at the distance.

As a stallion, Kingmambo has sired, to date, 87 stakes winners from 900 registered foals of racing age, an impressive 9.7%. Even more impressive is that of those, 37 (4.1%) are grade or group stakes winners and 24 (2.7%) are grade/group I winners. His progeny have amassed nearly $96 million in earnings.

While Kingmambo was indeed a miler, many of his sons and daughters have won at longer distances so that the average winning distance of his progeny is 8.89 furlongs, only a shade less than their average winning distance of 8.94 furlongs.

[Note from Scot: Six stallions were declared Dosage "chefs-de-race" this past fall. I thought it would be fun to provide a short profile of each of the sires, concentrating on what type of influence they add to a pedigree. My friend and fellow Blood-Horse editor Tom Hall--you might know him as lordatwar on Twitter--agreed to tackle the first two stallions. (He covered Nodouble back in November.) Additional information about Kingmambo may be found on Dr. Roman's Dosage website: Kingmambo. Additional installations will address the remaining new Dosage stallions in coming weeks.]


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Kingmambo is pensioned, but he has two full brothers still active. Miesque's Son was a French group-winning and multiple group I-placed sprinter who stood at Three Chimneys and briefly in California before being sent to Haras des Chartreux in France in 2004. Their full brother Kitalpha was unraced but proved an excellent sire in Zimbabwe--champion sire there for three years--and was returned to Kentucky. He stands at War Horse Place in Lexington and has established himself as a commercial prospect.

26 Jan 2011 4:29 PM

His son, King Kamehameha, was leading sire in Japan for 2010.

26 Jan 2011 5:32 PM

Long Live The King!!!

26 Jan 2011 5:58 PM
David Cowl

How does a stallion attain "chef-de-race" status?

  • Scot's reply:  Dr. Roman oversees the chef-de-race list. He identifies stallions with widespread and predictable influence on the breed.  Widespread meaning the stallions appear in pedigrees through multiple sources, and predictable meaning that they have an observed influence in a particular aptitude.  Dr. Roman's site, linked above, has quite a bit of information on the Dosage classifications.
26 Jan 2011 7:46 PM
Pedigree Ann

So many fine horses these days are never given a chance to 'be all that they can be.' Unlike the great Brigadier Gerard.

After establishing his dominance at the mile, the Bridagier went on to win the 12f KGVIQE Stk as an older horse. Yes, he was then beaten by Roberto, given an enterprising ride by Braulio Baeza, going 10f at York. But he did not lose because he couldn't get the distance.

That is why I applauded So You Think's connections for putting him in the Melbourne Cup (2 miles), despite not having run a 12f prep. As it turned out, he ran a respectable third after being rank early; and his reputation went up, not down.

Why didn't they try Kingmambo at longer distances? Both Mr. Prospector and damsire Nureyev (another never even tried longer than a mile) had sired top-class 12f horses. Pasadoble was sired by real Jockey Club Gold Cup (2 miles) winner Prove Out, and was herself a half-sister to Silver Supreme, second in a 12f version of the same race.

Actually, one wonders why Miesque was kept at a mile or thereabouts. Nothing in her pedigree shouted that that should be her absolute limit. One never knows if one doesn't TRY.

27 Jan 2011 12:01 PM

Shipping a mare to Kitalpha this season. Fingers crossed that his progeny will show just as talented here in the US.

27 Jan 2011 1:22 PM

If memory serves me right, Kitalpha has tested very high on the heart size meter.  

Miesque was tried farther than a mile, but she ran second in the 1 5/16th mile race.  SHe probably was just too tough at a mile for her connections to bother with anything else.  I don't see Kingmambo being a CLassic/Stout influence.  Classic...yes.  But not Stout or Solid as some call it.  Hopefully he will also go down as a top broodmare sire.  

28 Jan 2011 12:53 PM
Pedigree Ann

Miesque tried a distance in the toughest race for her division - the Oaks - and finished second! That doesn't mean she didn't stay, it only means she met a horse who was better on the day and in the conditions; she beat the rest of the field. And it was one try, as a 3yo in the spring. So many horses who don't get a classic distance that early in the year, can later - Came Home is one example.

And by the way, in his first edition "Typology of the Racehorse", Franco Varola defined 5 categories (which were NOT based primarily on distance proclivities) - Brilliant, Intermediate, Classic, Stout, and Professional. Later he subdivided two of the categories - Brilliant into Brilliant and Transbrilliant, and Stout into Solid and Rough. So all Solid sires are Stout, but not all Stout sires are Solid.

Roman did not originate dosage; he took Varola's system, without seeming to understand it, and mangled it sufficiently so that he could call it his own. And he redefined "chef-de-race", literally "leaders of the breed" so that some quite unimportant horses like Apalachee were made chefs.

But Varola did not originate dosage either; he was only the first to categorize stallions. Col. Vuillier was the first to create a system of mating horses so that their 'dose' of certain breed-changing animals (mares included) were balanced optimally in the offspring.

So please remember that Roman Dosage is not the only dosage system out there and not necessarily the best.

PS. Neither Varola's nor Roman's doctorate is in genetics or statistics; Roman was a chemist and Varola was a racing journalist. Vuilliers was a cavalry officer. All were self-taught pedigree researchers. Just because some have 'Dr.' in front of the name and use numbers does not make their systems scientifically valid.

31 Jan 2011 10:20 AM
Pedigree Shelly

      It's great to see Kingmambo brought up to chef de race status , he's earned it ! I especially like him going in the Classic / Solid category , in which he belongs ! Don't forget about Lemon Drop Kid , he still throws some nice ones ! Off the subject , I'm thrilled to see that the Mosses' chose Bernardini for Zenyatta ,a classy move !!!

31 Jan 2011 5:05 PM
John T

Kingmambo could have one last hurrah.He is the sire of Voodoo Prince who is out of the famous

racemare Ouija Board.Unraced still

at 3 he could make it to the races

as early as the first Newmarket meeting in April.

04 Mar 2011 5:11 PM

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