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Sadler's Wells/Mill Reef Running Wild

Sadler's Wells, whose sons and grandsons have a virtual shut-out in the upcoming Epsom Derby (Eng-I), ran wild last week, particularly in concert with his old ally Mill Reef. In Australia, his number one son Galileo (IRE) was represented by Saint Minerva (AUS), winner of The Prop House Grand Prix Stakes (Aus-III). Rated A++, Saint Minerva follows grade I winner Sousa (NZ) as the second stakes winner by Galileo out of Last Tycoon (IRE) mare, but the cross of Sadler's Wells and Last Tycoon has proved exceptional in general. A look at their pedigrees reveals a very obvious reason: Sadler's Wells is by Northern Dancer out of a mare by Bold Reason, where Last Tycoon is by Try My Best (by Northern Dancer) out of a mare by Mill Reef (by Never Bend, a half-brother to Bold Reason).

The Schweppes Sires' Produce Stakes (Aus-II) was taken by the promising Shoot Out (AUS) (A). He is by Sadler's Wells' son High Chaparral (IRE) out of mare by the excellent "down under" sire Pentire (GB) (a son of one-time Keeneland July sale topper Be My Guest). High Chaparral already has the Sadler's Wells/Mill Reef cross, as he's out of a mare by Darshaan (GB) (by Mill Reef's Derby winner Shirley Heights (GB)). What makes this really interesting is that Pentire is also a Northern Dancer/Mill Reef cross, and is out of a close relative to Shirley Heights.

Another interesting example of the cross made headlines Saturday in England. This was the progressive Suzi's Decision (GB), who took the E.B.F. Joan Westbrook Pinnacle Stakes at Haydock Park, and who now heads for group competition.

She is by Act One (GB), a son of the Sadler's Wells stallion In the Wings (GB) (who is also also responsible for the good sire Singspiel (IRE)). In the Wings is a product of the Sadler's Wells/Mill Reef cross, as he is out of a mare by Shirley Heights. This combination is reversed in the pedigree of Suzi's Decision's dam, Funny Girl (IRE), who is by Darshaan out of a mare by Lead On Time (by Sadler's Wells' genetic relative Nureyev). This combination has had international success: Act One's brilliant South African mare Dancer's Daughter (GB) has a second dam by Nureyev, so also has the Sadler's Wells/Nureyev combination.

We should also note that Sadler's Wells' deceased son Scenic (IRE), modest in Europe but exceptional in Australia, also had a pair of weekend graded winners in Scenic Shot (AUS), who took the Seppelt Wines P.J. O'Shea Stakes (Aus-II) and Grand Nirvana (AUS), who captured the Roma Cup (Aus-III).

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