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Patterns in the Sand: Dubai World Cup Day

The obvious highlight of the day was the majestic display by Curlin (Smart Strike - Sherriff's Deputy, by Deputy Minister) in the Eminates Airline Dubai World Cup (UAE-I), but the day produced several other interesting pedigrees. Curlin himself is an A++ nick, the Smart Strike/Deputy Minister cross having produced four stakes winners including - in addition to Curlin - millionaire Tenpins (TrueNicks, SRO), and graded scorer Super Freaky.

The U.S. notched two more victories with Diamond Stripes (Notebook - Romantic Summer, by On to Glory) in the Etisalat Godolphin Mile (UAE-II) and Benny the Bull (Lucky Lionel - Comet Cat, by Birdonthewire) in the Gulf News Dubai Golden Shaheen (UAE-I).

Diamond Stripes has an A+ rating on the basis of the Notebook/Bold Ruler cross that has also produced grade I winner Booklet, Diamond Stripes' grade II-winning brother Summer Note, and graded scorer Take Note of Me. The mating also combines Notebook's granddam, Cap and Bells, with her brother, Dunce.

Benny the Bull, who is by a grandson of Blushing Groom (FR) out of a mare by Birdonthewire (by Proud Birdie, by Proud Clarion), is a horse without precedent as far as pedigree is concerned, being the only stakes winner from the handful of runners sired on the Blushing Groom/Proud Clarion cross.

South African-trained horses also went away with two of the day's big prizes. Long-shot Jay Peg (SAF) (Camden Park - Laptop Lady (SAF), by Al Mufti) is an example of the emerging A.P. Indy/Roberto cross, and is rated A++. By Camden Park, a U.S.-raced son of A.P. Indy, Jay Peg has a very interesting pedigree, as he is out of a mare by leading South African sire Al Mufti, a half brother to the dam of A.P. Indy, giving a 4 x 3 cross of the mare Lassie Dear. Jay Peg annexed the Dubai Duty Free (UAE-I).

The second South African-trained scorer, Sun Classique (AUS), took the Nakheel Dubai Sheema Classic (UAE-I) in record time. He has an extremely international pedigree: bred in Australia, he is by Fuji Kiseki (JPN) (a Sunday Silence son, who shuttles from Japan) out of a mare by Irish-bred shuttle sire, Last Tycoon (IRE). Sun Classique is the product of a cross that has only done slightly better than opportunity - the Fuji Kiseki/Northern Dancer cross - but has a clever twist in his pedigree as bis broodmare sire, Last Tycoon, is out of a mare by the great English runner Mill Reef, a half brother to Fuji Kiseki's third dam. (Oddly enough, the following day, Fusi Kiseki was represented by the first and second in the Takamatsunomiya Kinen (Jpn-I) . The winner, Fine Grain (JPN), is out Mill Grain (GB), who is by a grandson of Northern Dancer out of a mare by Mill Reef, so bred similarly to Last Tycoon. Even more oddly, a weekend trifecta for inbreeding to Mill Reef's dam was complete in Australia when Zarita (NZ) won the Schweppes Australasian Oaks (Aus-I). She is TrueNicks rated A and her sire, Pentire (GB), is by a son of Northern Dancer out of a Mill Reef mare, while her second dam is by Western Symphony, who is by a son of Northern Dancer out of a half sister to Mill Reef.)

Finally, the Naboodah UAE Derby (UAE-II) went to Honour Devil (ARG) (Honour and Glory - Diamond Fitz (ARG), by Fitzcarraldo (ARG)), who was conceived in Argentina from a shuttle crop of his sire, who has been something of a star in South America. An A++ TrueNicks rated horse, Honour Devil follows ill-fated 2005 victor Blues and Royals as the second winner of this race for Honour and Glory.

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