Nureyev Up Close

We mentioned a while back in a TBH MarketWatch article that inbreeding to a major horse tends to transition from controversial, to accepted, to commonplace ("From Controversial to Commonplace" in TBH MarketWatch Feb. 2009, pg. 23). In recent times, the most prominent horse to undergo that journey was Northern Dancer. It's been more than a quarter of a century since the first horse inbred to Northern Dancer won a stakes event, and since then inbreeding to his major sons has also become quite commonplace.

One example is Nureyev, who is now duplicated in the pedigrees of at least 29 stakes winners. One of those is a classic winner (Silvester Lady (GB), who took the Ostermann-Preis der Diana-Deutsches Stuten-Derby (Ger-I)), and the pattern may have a further shot at classic success in the shape of Coubiza (FR), who maintained his unbeaten record March 19 at Deauville in the listed Prix Montenica, an early pointer to the French classics.

Coubiza is by the Nureyev stallion Fasliyev, out of the Septieme Ciel mare Catalane, and follows graded stakes winner Russian Valour (IRE) as the second stakes winner for Fasliyev from just three starters bred on the cross. However, Coubiza's second dam Company is by Nureyev, giving Coubiza a 2 x 3 cross to that stallion. Company won just once (although she was also listed-placed and fourth in the Prix d'Arenberg (Fr-III)), but she is a sister to stakes winner King's Signet, and is out of the brilliant sprinter Sigy (FR), conqueror of older horses in the Prix de l'Abbaye de Longchamp (Fr-I) as a 2-year-old. Coubiza is the second Fasliyev stakes winner with Nureyev inbreeding, and the fourth to have Nureyev as close as 2 x 3, the other three all being by Peintre Celebre.

Incidentally, Fasliyev's stud career has followed a somewhat unusual arc. He was retired to Coolmore Stud in Ireland at 3, after a perfect 5-for-5 juvenile campaign that included wins in the Heinz 57 Phoenix Stakes (Ire-I) and Prix Morny (Fr-I). He made a sensational start with his first crop, which produced eight stakes winners (most of them who scored at 2) including five group winners, the most notable being the top English 2-year-old filly Carry On Katie. However, he's sired only four group winners in his subsequent five crops, and he was sold to Japan in November, 2007.

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