Paint It Black

On the international scene, the performance of last week was that put up by Black Caviar in the Lightning Stakes (gr. I, video below). The Australian filly was officially rated the best sprinter in the world for 2010, and confirmed that she will be hard to dislodge from her perch, while maintaining her unbeaten record and defying a ten week layoff to tally by more than three lengths.

Black Caviar is by the Royal Academy (son of Nijnsky II out of the granddam of Storm Cat) stallion Bel Esprit (AUS) (TrueNicks,SRO), winner of the Doomben Ten Thousand (gr. I) and Blue Diamond Stakes (gr. I). The young sire is responsible for ten stakes winners, including another very good filly, Bel Mer. Four of his stakes winners, including Bel Mer and Black Caviar, are inbred to Bel Esprit’s broodmare sire, Vain (a brilliantly fast horse by Wilkes, by English Champion Sire Court Martial, by from the Fair Trial line). She also has a double of Paul Mellon’s English Champion Stakes winner Silly Season, probably the best European-raced son of Tom Fool. Black Caviar’s dam, the fast multiple graded stakes winner Scandinavia, is actually a reverse Tom Fool/Vain cross to the dam of Black Caviar. We also suspect that Black Caviar is the first World Champion to descend from a mare bred in Denmark, as her fourth dam is the Danish Oaks winner Love Song.

Black Caviar’s second dam is by Snippets (a great-grandson of Tom Fool), and Snippets's New Zealand-based son, Pins, had a strong weekend. His son, Icepin (TrueNicks A+), won the Avondale Guineas (gr. II). He’s out of a mare by O’Reilly, and is one of four stakes winners from 27 starters on that cross (nearly 15%). Pins was also represented by Antonio Lombardo (TrueNicks A++), who is out of a mare by Carnegie, a son of Sadler’s Wells, and won the Waikato Stud Two-Year-Old Classic (gr. III), and by Ambitious Dragon, who took the Mercedes-Benz Hong Kong Classic (gr. I) at Sha Tin.

Encosta de Lago also had a double through Our Ella Belle (TrueNicks A), who is out of a mare by McGinty (by One Pound Sterling, from the Grey Sovereign branch of Nasrullah) and won the Taranaki Cup in New Zealand, and Kiss From a Rose (TrueNicks A++), a Pedigree Consultants recommended mating who won the Triscay Stakes, and who looks set for bigger things. She is out of the Comic Strip mare Comical Smile, and is a three-parts-sister to the brilliant sprinter Northern Meteor. This gives the genetic sisters Special (granddam of Encosta de Lago’s sire, Fairy King) and Scuff (third dam of Kiss From A Rose).

Single Spice (Truenicks B+), a two-year-old who took the Supremacy Stakes, is only the second stakes winner out of a mare by Galileo. He is by the emerging Redoute’s Choice horse, Not a Single Doubt, and is inbred 3x4 to Redoute’s Choice’s sire, Danehill.

Staying in Australia, shuttle sire Southern Image was represented by Southern Speed (TrueNicks A++), who took the Vanity Stakes (gr. III) in Australia. Southern Speed’s dam, by Zabeel, is a Sir Tristram/Danehill cross, and this might prove ideal for Southern Image: Southern Image is by Halo (genetic relative to Sir Ivor, the grandsire of Zabeel), and out of a mare who is a Northern Dancer/His Majesty cross, like Danehill.

One of the most interesting pedigrees of last week’s stakes winners is that owned by Transcend (TrueNicks A++), winner of the February Stakes (gr. I) in Tokyo. He is by Wild Rush out of a mare by Tony Bin. Wild Rush is by Wild Again, a grandson of Nearctic, out of a mare by Khaled, and his granddam is by Dante out of the mare Clovelly. The granddam of of Transcend, Blue Hawaii, is by Thrill Show, a great-grandson of Nearctic, out of a mare by Hawaii (by Dante out of a mare by Mehrali, a three-parts-brother to Clovelly). While this all might be hard to envisage, the bottom line is that Transcend’s grandsire Wild Again is a close genetic relative to Transcend’s granddam, Blue Hawaii.

Another Japanese stakes scorer was Pedigree Consultants mating Cosmo Meadow (TrueNicks B+), who captured the Diamond Stakes (gr. III). He’s out of a Sadler’s Wells mare, so the product of a cross that has produced seven stakes winners from 83 starters, most notably the runaway Epsom Derby (gr. I) winner Workforce.

In India, the Fairy King stallion Burden of Proof added another good winner to his record when Surya Lakshmi (TrueNicks A++), took the Godolphin Barb Stakes (gr. III). From a daughter of Green Desert, he’s the second stakes winner from three starters by the sire out of mares by Danzig line stallions. The other stakes winner on the same cross, Class Apart, out of a mare by Be My Chief, won the Winter Million (gr. III) one day earlier.

At Doa, the Qatar International Invitation Cup threw up a Dubai World Cup candidate in Joshua Tree (TrueNicks A++), who scored by 2½ lengths. He is by Montjeu, out of a Grand Lodge mare, with a second dam by Shirley Heights.

In Dubai, Khawlah (TrueNicks A) captured the UAE Oaks (gr. III). The well-bred filly is by Cape Cross out of Villarrica (by Selkirk), a daughter of Melikah (by Lammtarra), a stakes winner who finished second in the Irish Oaks (gr. I) and third in the Oaks (gr. I). The third dam is the great mare Urban Sea, who produced the mighty Sea The Stars to Cape Cross.

Also in Dubai, record-breaking 2010 Leading European Freshman Sire Iffraaj (GB) (TrueNicks,SRO) had another stakes winner when Introvert captured the Meydan Classic. Out of a mare by Sunday Silence, this one has a clever pedigree as the sire is by Zafonic, who is by a son of Mr. Prospector out of a mare by The Minstrel, and the second dam is by Mr. Prospector out of a mare by Nijinsky II (three-parts-brother to The Minstrel).

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