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An Exciting Thursday at Medyan

In the UAE Oaks Guineas, Raihana avenged her UAE 1,000 Guineas defeat by Siyaadah, who took third here. A daughter of Elusive Quality (TrueNicks,SRO) , Raihana is out of the Sunday Silence mare, Esubooh. The mating is rated B+ by TrueNicks on the basis of the broad Mr. Prospector/Sunday Silence cross, a nick that has also produced Japanese grade one winners Admire Moon and Vermilion. However, there is a lot more going on in the pedigree than that. Elusive Quality’s broodmare sire, Hero’s Honor, is a product of a Northern Dancer/Graustark cross, while Danehill – sire of Raihana’s second dam – is a Northern Dancer/His Majesty (brother to Graustark) cross. We can note that Elusive Quality has already sired three stakes winners, including grade I winner Camarilla, out of Danehill mares. That’s not the end of the story. Elusive Quality’s second dam is by Sir Ivor, a grandson of Turn-to, and a genetic relative to Halo, the sire of Sunday Silence. So Elusive Quality’s dam is a Northern Dancer/Graustark over Sir Ivor (Turn-to cross), where the dam of Raihana is a Halo (Turn-to) over Northern Dancer/His Majesty cross.

The victory of Riahana, combined with that of Musir, who took the UAE 2,000 Guineas (gr. III), completed an impressive double for the breeding operation of Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Maktoum, a first cousin of Dubai’s ruler, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashin Al Maktoum. The Sheikh keeps all his mares at Coolmore Stud, Australia, and breeds primarily to shuttle sires and then takes the resultant foals to South Africa to race with the better ones, such as Raihana and Musir – a grade one winner in South Africa at two – going to Dubai to race with Mike de Kock.
 
In the Balanchine (gr. III), the grey Deem, got up in the last few strides to win by a short-head. By Dalakhani (by Darshaan, by Shirley Heights), out of a mare by Sadler’s Wells, Deem is the result of the most predictable of nicks. It’s history that Sadler’s Wells enjoyed tremendous success with mares descending from Shirley Heights (whose grandsire, Never Bend, is a half-brother to Bold Reason, the broodmare sire of Sadler’s Wells). The cross of Sadler’s Wells line stallions over of Darshaan mares has produced more than 50 stakes winners, including 27 by Sadler’s Wells himself. The reverse cross hasn’t been quite as prolific, but Darshaan sired eight stakes winners, four graded, out of Sadler’s Wells mares. Dalakhani struck very quickly with the cross, getting five first crop stakes winners out of mares by Sadler’s Wells, four of them graded, including the Champion Turf Horse, Conduit (not surprisingly, the cross rates A+ by TrueNicks).
 
Finally, it was good to see the 2008 Champion Two-Year-Old Midshipman return to form with a stylish win in a seven furlong conditions race. The son of Unbridled's Song (TrueNicks,SRO) is bred on a cross that is a bit of a puzzler, that of Unbridled’s Song with Seattle Slew line mares. The cross does not have a very good strike-rate – it’s rated D by TrueNicks – but has produced Champion Midshipman, grade I winner First Defence (TrueNicks,SRO), and classic placed Dunkirk (TrueNicks,SRO). However, the trio are all out of graded stakes winning mares, First Defence and Dunkirk out of grade I winners, and Midshipman out of a mare that was a grade II winner and grade I placed. So maybe class has come to tell.

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