Rewilding Claims Another Sheema for Dam

While Japan had a one-two in the World Cup, there was a different kind of double in the Sheema Classic (gr. I, video below), as Rewilding emulated his half sister Dar Re Mi, who won the previous renewal of this race. Rewilding is a son of Tiger Hill, one of the better middle-distance stayers sired by Danehill. Winner of his first six starts, including the German 2,000 Guineas (gr. II), Tiger Hill suffered his first defeat when running tenth in the German Derby (gr. I). He subsequently showed that the 1½ mile distance was not a problem, winning back-to-back renewals of the Grosser Preis von Baden (gr. I) and the Grosser Dallmayr-Preis (gr. I) over that trip. Retired to stud in Germany, Tiger Hill made a bright start and was moved to England. He didn’t enjoy the same measure of success with his English crops, however, and returned to Germany. He has 28 stakes winners to his name, 14 group or graded, with Konigstiger and Iota – both from his second German-sired crop – preceding Rewilding as group/grade I winners.

Rewilding’s dam, Darara (by Top Ville), was a top-class runner, her victories including the Prix Vermeille (gr. I). However, she has been an even better broodmare. In addition to her Sheema Classic winners Rewilding and Dar Re Mi (also successful at the highest level in the Pretty Polly Stakes (gr. I) and Yorkshire Oaks (gr. I)), she is also dam of Sadler’s Wells pair in Darazari, winner of Prix Maurice de Nieuuil (gr. II) in France, and the Ranvet Stakes (gr. I) in Australia, and Diaghilev, who took the Prix La Force (gr. III) in France, and Queen Elizabeth II Cup (gr. I) in Hong Kong. She’s also granddam of the Goodwood Cup (gr. II) and Prix Kergorlay (gr. II) victor Darasim. This is an Aga Khan – and formerly Boussac – developed female line and is also notable for having produced the French Derby (gr. I) winner Darshaan, a half brother to Darara.

We can also note that the cross that produced Rewilding, that of Danehill and his sons over Top Ville mares has been a successful one with four stakes winners from 22 starters, the best prior to Rewilding being the group II winner Solskjaer.

Seven-year-old Presvis made it third time lucky in the Dubai Duty Free (gr. I, video below), having finished runner-up to Gladiatorus in 2009, and only eleventh in 2010. Presvis is by Sakhee (by the Riverman stallion, Bahri), a top-class performer, particularly at 4, when he won the Juddmonte International Stakes (gr. I) and Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe (gr. I), and was beaten inches by U.S. Champion Tiznow (TrueNicks,SRO) in the Breeders’ Cup Classic (gr. I). Sakhee has been less outstanding as a sire, and Presvis – who also has a win in the Queen Elizabeth II Cup (gr. I) among his four group successes – follows the excellent sprinter [SakheesSecret] as only his second group or grade I winner, and one of only four group or graded winners.

Rather unusually, Presvis’s first three dams were all either born or raced in Scandinavia. His dam, Forest Fire, a Swedish-born daughter of Never So Bold, won four times in England. She’s a daughter of Mango Sampaquita, a Swedish-foaled mare who was stakes-placed in both Norway and Sweden. The first previous black type winner in the pedigree is Presvis’s third dam, Twins Fire. A daughter of Firestreak, she was imported into Norway where she captured the Norsk Oaks, took second in the Oslo Cup (gr. I), and third in the Norsk 1,000 Guineas. In addition to Mango Sampaquita, Twins Fire is also dam of the Svenskt Derby runner-up Mr. Clapton. Presvis’s fourth dam, Forest Row, is half sister to black type winner Staghound, and is out of a half sister to Vilmorin, winner of the King’s Stand Stakes, and subsequently a good speed sire.

There appears to be some magic in the Sakhee/Bold Lad (IRE) cross on which Presvis is bred. There have only been two starters bred on the cross, and that pair – Presvis and Premesso (out of a mare by Persian Bold) – represent two of Sakhee’s eight stakes winners.

Another returnee, like Presvis, was five-year-old Skysurfers, who captured the Godolphin Mile (gr. II) after having finished third last year. Skysurfers captured his first black type win in a prep for this race in February, and seems to be considerably better on Tapeta than turf. Although he was foaled in England, Skysurfers was conceived in the U.S. He is by Mr. Prospector’s talented son E Dubai, who proved to be something of a shy breeder in his first year at stud and had only 45 foals in his first crop. He never overcame that slow start, and is now covering for $10,000 live foal in Pennsylvania, but has been quite a useful sire getting 21 stakes winners, 11 graded, in his first five crops, including Champion Italian 3-Year-Old colt Once More Dubai, and grade II winners Accredit, High Heels, Buy the Barrel, and Aggie Engineer.

Skysurfers’ dam, Fortune, a daughter of Night Shift, was exported to Japan after foaling Skysurfers. She is dam of three winners with her first three foals. Fortune was only a minor winner, but she is a sister to Dyhim Diamond, a group-winning sprinter in France and Germany (where he was highweighted older sprinter); to Dakhla Oasis, who took the German 1,000 Guineas (gr. III); and to Creaking Board, who took the Hollywood Starlet Stakes (gr. I) in the U.S. and subsequently became dam of graded winner Crowd Pleaser, and granddam of graded winner Dynamic Holiday. Prior to the prolific efforts of Fortune’s dam Happy Landing (by the Habitat horse Homing), the family had been a fairly quiet one for several generations, although Skysurfers’s fifth dam, Tout Sweet Twenty, was ancestress of numerous listed and group III winners. The family goes back to Squall, winner of the Lingfield Oaks Trial, and a sister to Monsoon, the dam of 1,000 Guineas heroine Festoon, and ancestress of the French 1,000 Guineas (gr. I), Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud (gr. I) and Prix Saint-Alary (gr. I) heroine Riverqueen.

The UAE Derby (gr. II) has often been used as a launching pad for Godolphin’s Kentucky Derby hopefuls, but this year’s winner, Khawlah, will have a very different target. The 3-year-old filly, who ran down Kingmambo’s son Master Of Hounds to score by a nose, will come back to England and point for the Oaks (gr. I). If she was to succeed in that task, she would complete a unique classic triple, as she captured the UAE Oaks (gr. III) on her previous outing.

Khawlah is by Cape Cross, one of the trio of sprinters or milers (along with Oasis Dream and Invincible Spirit) by Danzig speedster Green Desert, who have proved capable of siring top-class runners over middle distances. Of course in that regard, Cape Cross’s place in the history books is already secure via Sea The Stars and Ouija Board.

Khawlah is actually somewhat similarly-bred to Sea The Stars, who is by Cape Cross out of Khawlah’s third dam, the great mare Urban Sea (heroine of the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe (gr. I) and dam of five other stakes winners, including Galileo, whose Southern Hemisphere-bred daughter Mahbooba finished third here). Khawlah’s granddam, Melikah, a daughter of Lammtarra, was also a classic performer, as in addition to winning the Pretty Polly Stakes, she took second in the Irish Oaks (gr. I) and third in the English Oaks (gr. I). Khawlah’s dam is Villarrica – a winning daughter of Selkirk and Melikah – and Khawlah is one of four stakes winners, three group or graded, by sons of Green Desert out of Selkirk mares. This is a variation on the tremendously successful Danzig/Sharpen Up cross which has produced at least 24 stakes winners for Green Desert line stallions, including group and grade I winners Invincible Spirit, Rose Gypsy, Vinaka, Vale of York, and Behkabad (another by Cape Cross).

The paths of speedsters J J The Jet Plane and Rocket Man crossed in the Hong Kong Sprint (gr. I) at Sha Tin (Hong Kong) in December, with J J The Jet Plane getting the verdict by a short head. The subsequent courses of the duo led both to Meydan, but in different contests, from which both emerged triumphant: J J The Jet Plane taking the Al Quoz Sprint (gr. II) over five furlong on turf, and Rocket Man taking the Golden Shaheen (gr. I) over six furlongs the Tapeta.

J J The Jet Plane had been a sensation in his native South Africa, and captured the Al Quoz Sprint, then a six-furlong grade III event in 2009. Sent from Dubai to continue his career in England, J J The Jet Plane proved somewhat disappointing after capturing a listed race at Windsor, although he did take third in the July Cup (gr. I). Returned to South Africa, he won twice there before adding the Hong Kong Sprint. He was unplaced when trying the Tapeta at Medyan in February, but prepped for the Al Quoz Sprint with a win in a six-furlong handicap on turf at Medyan on March 10, so the Al Quoz win took his recent record to five wins in his last six starts, and he hasn’t lost on turf since September 2009, his last start in England.

J J The Jet Plane is by two-time South African Champion Jet Master, a winner of eight grade I events from five to eight furlongs. In turn, Jet Master is by Rakeen, a son of Northern Dancer out of Champion Glorious Song. A daughter of Halo, and a sister to Devil’s Bag and Saint Ballado, Glorious Song is also the dam of the extremely successful sires Rahy and Singspiel, and the useful Australian stallion Rivotious. Rakeen won twice in three starts in England and was then sold to South Africa, where he won two graded events including the Allen Snijman Stakes (gr. II), and took third in the Rothman’s July Cup (gr. I). He was subsequently a very successful sire in South Africa, although a return to the U.S. for two years yielded little of note. Jet Master’s distaff pedigree is less impressive. His dam is by Rollins (by Damascus out of a sister to Roberto) from a South African female line that had not produced a stakes winner in three generations. Jet Master was the Leading Freshman Sire in Southern Africa with his first crop, and has been Leading Sire there in 2006, 2007, 2008, and 2009. He’s already sired 32 stakes winners, 14 of them grade I. J J The Jet Plane is a brother to stakes placed Majestic Jet, and half brother to stakes-placed Guest Among Men. His dam, Majestic Guest, is a daughter of Northern Guest (brother to El Gran Senor and Try My Best) who earned black type with a score in the Pietermaritzburg Ladies Mile. J J The Jet Plane and Majestic Guest are the only black type winners to appear in the first three generations of the female line. The family has been in South Africa since before World War II, but eventually goes back to the same taproot family as the 2,000 Guineas winner Martial; Skymaster, winner of the Middle Park Stakes; Champion 2-Year-Old and successful sire Bold Lad (IRE); and Firestreak, sire of English Derby (gr. I) winner Snow Knight. J J The Jet Plane is one of two stakes winners and three black type horses from just 15 runners sired by Jet Master out of Northern Guest mares, a mating that gives Northern Dancer 3x3 through the male line of the sire and dam.

Singapore-trained Rocket Man was very impressive when defeating U.S.-trained Euroears for the Golden Shaheen (gr. I). He has won 14 of 18 lifetime starts, his only defeats being seconds in the Singapore International Sprint (gr. I), twice, the Hong Kong Sprint (gr. I), and last year’s Golden Shaheen, and he’s never been beaten by more than ½ length. Foaled in Australia, Rocket Man is an interesting example of a male line transitioning from classic stamina to sprinting speed. The sire, Viscount, is by Rainbow Quest’s Epsom Derby (gr. I) winner Quest For Fame. Viscount’s dam, Antwerp, by Sir Tristram out of a daughter of the great broodmare Eight Carat, was a black type scorer who won over an extended 10 furlongs, and was a sister to the Australian Oaks (gr. I) heroine Tristalove, and a three-parts-sister to a AJC Derby (gr. I) winner Don Eduardo (NZ) (TrueNicks). Possibly the speed influence of Viscount’s granddam, Diamond Lover, a grade I-winning sprinter, jumped a generation, as Viscount proved a surprisingly fast and precocious performer. At two, he earned honors as champion of his generation, winning the Skyline Stakes (gr. II), AJC Sires’ Produce Stakes (gr. I) and Champagne Stakes (gr. I). At 3, Viscount did his best work as a miler, capturing the George Main Stakes (gr. I) and Bill Stutt Stakes (gr. II) over that trip. The end of his career presented something of an enigma, as a close third to Champions Northerly and Sunline in the 10-furlong Cox Plate (gr. I) was followed by an unplaced effort in the Victoria Derby (gr. I), and a second in the six-furlong Expressway Stakes (gr. II). Viscount was not an outstanding success at stud, but his best reflect his mixed background, these being the speed-merchant Rocket Man; Neboli, successful in the 7½ furlong Queen of the Turf Stakes (gr. I); and Kidnapped, who took the South Australian Derby (gr. I) at 12½ furlongs.

Rocket Man’s dam, Macrosa – by the Sovereign Path grandson McGinty, a top-class runner in Australia and New Zealand, and a good sire in the latter country – was a two-time black type winner in Australia, who stayed a mile. She is also dam of Our Giant, a South African-raced Giant's Causeway (TrueNicks,SRO) son whose victories include the Horse Chestnut Stakes (gr. I) and Mercury Sprint (gr. I). Macrosa is herself half sister to Ebony Grosve (by Grosvenor, a son of Viscount’s maternal grandsire, Sir Tristram), winner of the AJC Derby (gr. I) and L. K. S. Mackinnon Stakes (gr. I). Continuing the classic theme, Macrosa’s third dam, Surprise Ending, won the New Zealand St. Leger and Great Northern Oaks. From a pedigree pattern standpoint, Rocket Man is something of a mystery, as he’s the only stakes winner on the cross, even going back as far as Rainbow Quest line stallions over Sovereign Path line mares, and is a complete outcross at five generations.

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