Storm Cat-Line Stallions Dominate Weekend Action

If Sir Thomas More was the man for all seasons then Giant's Causeway (TrueNicks,SRO) is the sire for all-weather. Although he's also had plenty of top-class runners on dirt or turf, there is no mistaking that his offspring are just killers on synthetic surfaces, be it California's more turf-like version, or the deeper Turfway Park going that Hold Me Back plowed through this weekend to take the Lane's End Stakes (gr. II). In securing that win, Hold Me Back joined Heatseeker (IRE), My Typhoon (IRE), and Carriage Trail (all grade I winners), plus Cowboy Cal and Niagara Causeway, as all-weather graded winners for their sire.

The pedigree of Hold Me Back (rated A+ by TrueNicks) also illustrated a couple of growing affinities. Out of the Unbridled's Song mare Restraint, he is the fourth stakes winner bred on a Giant's Causeway/Fappiano cross, and the fifth by a Storm Cat-line stallion out of an Unbridled's Song mare (including other graded winners Alpha Kitten, Elusive Lady, and Etched).

Overall, the weekend pretty much belonged to the Storm Cat line. Saturday also saw Secret Gypsy take the Distaff Handicap (gr. II) and Hot Cha Cha win the Bourbonette Oaks (gr. III). Secret Gypsy is by Storm Cat son Sea of Secrets, who is now based on the West Coast, out of Miss Utada, a daughter of Rahy. She's rated A by TrueNicks, and the Storm Cat/Rahy cross has been a successful one with examples including Giant's Causeway, After Market (TrueNicks,SRO), and Sophisticat.

Hot Cha Cha is by Cactus Ridge, a son of Hennessy who stands at Walmac Farm, and who had multiple stakes winner Big Glen (another black-type winner over Turfway's all-weather surface) in his first crop. Out of the Broad Brush mare Reduced Sentence, Hot Cha Cha is the first graded stakes winner for the Storm Cat/Broad Brush cross. She is the first black-type horse to appear under the first two dams, but the third dam is Infinite, a stakes-winning and grade I-placed half-sister to English One Thousand Guineas (Eng-I) heroine Quick as Lightning. Their dam Clear Ceiling is by Bold Ruler out of the great mare Grey Flight, and is a sister to What a Pleasure, and is bred on the same genetic cross as champions Bold Lad and Successor. This family had another major winner at the weekend in Theseo (AUS) (by Danewin, a son of Danehill), who stamped his Australian Horse of the Year credentials with a win in the Ranvet Stakes (Aus-I). His fourth dam is Bold Princess, a sister to Clear Ceiling.

On Sunday, New Zealand-bred Belmont Cat (TrueNicks rated A+), made off with the Santa Ana Handicap (gr. IIT). She is by Felix the Cat, out of Morgan Glory (NZ), a daughter of Justice Prevails (AUS), a grandson of the very successful speed sire Vain (AUS), from the Court Martial line. Felix the Cat is a stakes-placed Storm Cat half-brother to champion sprinter Gold Beauty (by Mr. Prospector). Starting at stud in New Zealand, Felix the Cat now stands at stud in Queensland, Australia, and was last advertised at a fee of AUS$3,300. Hes sired three other stakes winners, including two graded scorers in Singapore.

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