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Harbinger of a Sire Star

Of the first six foals produced by the great mare Hasili, only one did not capture a group or grade I event. However, that one, Dansili, may well turn out to be the most influential of all of his dam’s offspring, at least in the foreseeable future.

Of course, although Dansili never captured a group I event, the son of Danehill was a very accomplished runner, winning the Prix du Muguet (gr. II), Prix Messidor (gr. III) and Prix Edmond Blanc (gr. II), and taking second in three group I events, including the French 2,000 Guineas (gr. I). However, while merely a very good racehorse, Dansili has moved into another dimension as a sire. From his first crop came the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe (gr. I) victor Rail Link, and grade I scorer Price Tag. Two more group I winners Zambezi Sun and Passage of Time appeared in the second crop. From the third crop comes 2010 grade I heroine, Proviso. And from his fourth crop, often a stallion’s weakest, comes Europe’s latest superstar, Harbinger, who won the King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes (gr. I) in a new course record, scoring by a scarcely believable 11 lengths.

Harbinger’s victory was the fourth stakes win for one of Dansili offspring in a perior of just four days, following a listed win by the three-year-old filly Bewitched, and group III wins by five-year-old Famous Name, and juvenile colt Zoffany. With six crops at the track – including current two-year-olds – Dansili has 42 stakes winners, 25 group or graded winners, and six group or grade I scorers. Dansili’s haul for the year is two group/grade I winners, eight group or graded winners, and 12 stakes winners, so there is no doubt that a major sire has arrived.

Harbinger (TrueNicks A++) is out of the black type winning Bering mare Penang Pearl. She is out of Guapa, who is by Shareef Dancer, out of the group winning Sauceboat (by Connaught, runner-up in Sir Ivor’s Derby, out of the smart Crepello filly, Cranberry Sauce, from what might be called an “old-fashioned” English family). Harbinger is the first stakes winner by Dansili out of a Bering mare, but there are seven stakes winners by Danehill and his sons, out of mares by Bering, and two more out of mares by his sire Arctic Tern and a son. As a point of interest that Danehill is inbred to Northern Dancer’s dam, Natalma, while Arctic Tern is out of a half sister to Natalma (giving three crosses of that mare’s dam, Almahmoud).

Funnily enough, Dansili’s current juvenile group winner, Zoffany, is somewhat similar. He is out of a mare by Machiavellian, whose dam is by Halo (out of a half sister to Natalma) out of a daughter of Natalma. He’s also one of seven stakes winners for Dansili out of Mr. Prospector line mare. Zoffany’s second dam is bred on a Nijinsky II/Blushing Groom cross that is a parallel to Kahyasi, the broodmare sire of Dansili. Doubling Nijnsky II and Blushing Groom seems to be very effective for Dansili, as it appears in five of his stakes winners. Eight of his stakes winners, seven group or graded, and two group or grade I, have Northern Dancer and Blushing Groom combined.

Another Danehill son with a major winner is second year sire, Oratorio. He sired group-winning juvenile Beethoven in his first crop, and has another very smart two-year-old this year in King Torus, who added the Vintage Stakes (gr. II) to his win in the Superlative Stakes (gr. III). He is out of a mare by the sprinter, and prolific juvenile sire Mujadil (a Storm Bird/Secretariat cross, like Storm Cat).

In the meantime, other branches of Danzig have not been idle. After Cape Cross hit the headlines on the previous weekend, his fellow Green Desert sons, Invincible Spirt and Oasis Dreamhave followed up with major winners of their own. In Germany, Lady Jane Digby (TrueNicks A++), another of those middle-distance Oasis Dreams scored here first group I in the Grosser Dallmayr-Preis Bayerisches Zuchtrennen, over ten furlongs in Munich. Out of a mare by Niniski, Lady Jane Digby is one of two stakes winners from only three starters by Oasis Dream out of mares by Niniski or his sons. She is half sister to English group winner and U.S. black type scorer Gateman, who is by another Green Desert line horse, Owington. The granddam, Maria Filiberto (by Filiberto, a son of Ribot), was Champion Three-Year-Old Filly in Italy, and produced group I-winning sprinter Polish Patriot, to Danzig. Meanwihle, Invincible Spirit tallied through two-year-old Zebedee (TrueNicks B+), who took his record to four wins in five starts in the five furlong Molecomb Stakes (gr. II). Zebedee seems a real short course specialist, even though he is dam is by Cozzene out of a half sister to Breeder’s Cup Turf (gr. I) victress Miss Alleged.

Another son of Danzig, Elnadim (out of Elle Seule, a daughter of Fall Aspen), is responsible for the two-year-old filly, Soraaya, winner of the Princess Margaret Stakes (gr. II) over six furlongs at Ascot. Rated A by TrueNicks, she is out of a mare by Thorn Dance (a three-parts-brother to Lyphard).

We’ll conclude with another two-year-old. Dubawi (IRE) (TrueNicks,SRO), a sensation with his first crop three-year-olds in 2010, added his second 2010 juvenile stakes scorer when Irish Field annexed the 5½ furlong Prix Robert-Papin (gr. II). Rated A++ by TrueNicks, he is out of a mare by Hernando (so bred on a version of the Seeking the Gold/Nijinsky II cross), although he has a lot of speed in the distaff side of the pedigree, which goes back to a sister to Royal Charger. He’s inbred to Mr. Prospector and Lyphard.

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