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Special Pedigrees in Hong Kong

The last weekend in April saw two major international races in Hong Kong captured by U.S.-breds with extremely interesting - and well-connected - pedigrees.

The Audemars Piguet Queen Elizabeth II Cup (HK-I) went to Archipenko, a son of Kingmambo and the Nijinsky II mare Bound (who was 20 years old when she foaled Archipenko). Bound is a sister to the graded winner and notable producer Number, and is closely related to Nureyev, Sadler's Wells, Fairy Bridge, and Tate Gallery. This becomes particularly interesting when we recall that Archipenko's sire, Kingmambo, is out of a mare by Nureyev. As a result, Archipenko is inbred 4 x 3 to Northern Dancer and 4 x 2 to Special, with the duplication being via a three-parts-brother and sister - Nureyev and Bound - who are 3 x 1 in the pedigree.

This is not the first time such close inbreeding has worked for the Special family. The group I winning 2-year-old Fatherland (IRE) was by Sadler's Wells out of Lisadell, a full sister to Special. Similarly, El Condor Pasa, a standout in both France and Japan, was by Kingmambo out of a Sadler's Wells mare, and had Lisadell as his third dam. Of course, the cross of Kingmambo over Sadler's Wells mares has also produced such as Virginia Waters, Divine Proportions, and Thewayyouare.

Archipenko is only the second stakes winner by Kingmambo out of a Nijinsky II mare (the first was the brilliant filly Russian Rhythm), suggesting that the close inbreeding has boosted an otherwise fairly modest cross, and earns aTrueNicks C rating).

The Champions Mile (HK-I) went to Good Ba Ba, who was winning his fourth successive grade I. He is by Lear Fan out of the Zilzal mare Elle Meme, and is rated A++ on the basis of the cross of Lear Fan over mares by Nureyev and his sons, which has previously produced such as group and grade I winners Loup Solitaire and Dublino and French highweighted older mare Verveine. The potency of this nick is almost certainly down to the fact that Lear Fan's broodmare sire, Lt. Stevens, is a sister to the great tap-root mare Thong (dam of Special, and granddam of Nureyev).

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