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Dancer's Classic Double

Already established as Danehill's most prolific stallion son, Danehill Dancer (IRE) advanced his reputation still further at the weekend with an Irish Guineas classic double.

On Saturday, last year's top 2-year-old in Europe, Mastercraftsman (IRE), captured the Boylesports.com Irish Two Thousand Guineas (Ire-I). Rated B+ by TrueNicks, Mastercraftsman is out of the Black Tie Affair (IRE) mare Starlight Dreams. Black Tie Affair is a son of Miswaki, and the other group I winner bred on the Danehill Dancer/Mr. Prospector cross is out of a mare by Woodman who -- like Miswaki -- is a Mr. Prospector/Buckpasser cross. Both Black Tie Affair and Woodman have line-breeding to La Troienne, and doubtless this plays off the strain in Buckpasser.

Starlight Dreams is half-sister to Scandinavian black type winner Matahif and to the dams of group I winner Pressing (IRE) and group winner Mazuna (IRE). Second dam Reves Celestes is half-sister to English group winner and multiple group I-placed horse Celestial Storm, to group winner Thawakib (IRE) (dam of English and French highweighted older horse Sakhee), and to Le Vague a l'Ame (dam of multiple grade I winner River Memories). Fourth dam Heavenly Body won the Matron Stakes and is a sister to Hidden Talent, from whom descend such greats as Exceller, Capote, and Broad Brush.

The most interesting aspect of the pedigree, however, might be that Mastercraftsman's granddam, Reves Celeste, is by a son of Northern Dancer out of a mare by Ribot, and so bred on a parallel cross to Danehill. As if to prove that this is no fluke, Starlight Dreams is also dam of Genuine Devotion (IRE) (by another Danehill son, Rock of Gibraltar (IRE)), winner of the Locust Grove Handicap (gr. IIIT), and a $1 million sale at Fasig-Tipton last November.

One day following Mastercraftsman's triumph, the Boylesports.com Irish One Thousand Guineas (Ire-I) went to Again (IRE), who is certainly bred for the classics as her dam, Cumbres, is by Ever Ready Epsom Derby (Eng-I) and Budweiser Irish Derby (Ire-I) winner Kahyasi (IRE), and is half-sister to Montjeu (IRE), winner of the Irish Derby, King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Diamond Stakes (Eng-I), and in France the Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud and Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe Lucien Barriere (both Fr-I). Rated A++ by TrueNicks, Again is the second group winner bred on the Danehill Dancer/Kahyasi cross. Of course, the Danehill/Kahyasi cross has been very good, notably through the great mare Hasili (IRE) (dam of Danehill stars Dansili (GB), Banks Hill (GB), Intercontinental (GB), Champs Elysees (GB), and Cacique (IRE)), and both Danehill Dancer and Danehill have excelled with the Nijinsky II line in general (Kahyasi is by Nijinsky II's son Ile de Bourbon).

Incidentally, just to round of the weekend, Danehill Dancer's 3-year-old son Grand Ducal (IRE) (out of the Shirley Heights (GB) mare Mood Swings (IRE)), took the 10-furlong Airlie Stud Gallinule Stakes (Ire-III) on the Irish One Thousand Guineas undercard, and will presumably now be under consideration for the English Derby.

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