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Honour Untarnished

In a race that saw highly-rated ex-U.S. runners Etched and Numaany finish fourth and fifth, the Honour and Glory colt Honour Devil maintained an undefeated record with a half-length win in the Gulf News UAE Two Thousand Guineas (UAE-III). Foaled in Argentina, Honour Devil won his sole start in his native country in 2006, and in his only other career outing, he captured the trial for this race at Nad al Sheba racecourse.

Honour Devil is out of Diamond Fitz (ARG), a daughter of Fitzcarraldo (ARG). A tremendously successful sire in his own country, Fitzcarraldo - who traces in male line to the great English stayer, Alycidon (GB) - is probably best known in the U.S. as sire of the Brooklyn Handicap (gr. II) winner Seattle Fitz (ARG), who stands at Buck Pond Farm in Kentucky, and as broodmare sire of Overbrook Spinster Stakes (gr. I) heroine Miss Linda (ARG). Honour Devil's granddam, Diamond Tilly, is an Alydar half-sister to Louisiana Derby (gr. II) winner Balboa Native.

As the attached pedigree shows, Honour Devil was an A+ rated horse by TrueNicks even before he captured his first stakes. He's actually the second Dubai classic winner this year to have a rating in the "A's" - following the Meydan UAE One Thousand Guineas winner, Cocoa Beach (CHI) - and both are by U.S. sires out of South American mares, which demonstrates how well the system works with international bloodstock.

In this case, the promise of potential for the Honour and Glory/Fitzcarraldo cross was the success that Slew Gin Fizz (like Honour and Glory, a son of Relaunch) had enjoyed with mares by Fitzcarraldo and his sire, Cipayo (ARG). He's had four stakes winners, three of them graded with two grade I, out of mares by Cipayo, and two more graded stakes winners out of Fitzcarraldo mares. There is also a previous graded stakes winner by Honour and Glory out of a Fitzcarraldo mare.

For those interested in how outcross pedigrees can result in consistent nicking patterns, we can usually note that in the deeper background, both parents have ancestors with concentrations (the concentration being more important than the sheer number) of similarly bred individuals. With a Relaunch-line horse over Cipayo and Fitzcarraldo, we might be looking at the fact that Relaunch's sire, In Reality, is inbred to War Relic, a horse with an intense concentration of Rock Sand. His granddam, St. Marguerite (GB), is a three-quarters genetic relative to a horse called Tristan, and Tristan's daughter, Lord Derby's great mare Canterbury Pilgrim (GB), appears very strongly in Cipayo and Fitzcarraldo.

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