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Royal Ascot Day 2: A Case for Inbreeding

The Royal Ascot seven-furlong Jersey Stakes (Eng-III) for 3-year-olds who have yet to win a group race went to Gale Force Ten, who produced a super-game effort to prevail after being headed close home. The result was a significant boost for the form of both the Poule d'Essai des Poulains (French Two Thousand Guineas, Fr-I), in which Gale Force Ten was a very close fourth, and the Irish Two Thousand Guineas (Ire-I), in which he was beaten 3 1/2 lengths by Magician (who had excuses for a lackluster effort in the St. James's Palace yesterday).

Gale Force Ten is by Oasis Dream (by Green Desert), a crack 2-year-old and sprinter who won the Middle Park Stakes (Eng-I), July Cup (Eng-I) and Nunthorpe Stakes (Eng-I). Oasis Dream has been an outstanding sire, and since his first runners hit the track in 2007 has sired 67 stakes winners, 33 group/graded winners, and nine group/grade I winners. By a sprinter out of a staying-bred mare, he's proved to be a stallion who can handle crossing with staying mares, and his offspring have scored at the highest level from five to 12 furlongs.

Gale Force Ten's dam, Ronaldsay (by Kirkwall, by Selkirk), won at up to 11 furlongs, and scored a black-type win in the Warwickshire Oaks. She is a half sister to Crackle, whose daughter Pickle won the Wilshire Handicap (gr. IIIT) while racing in the U.S. Bred to Oasis Dream, a Pedigree Consultants recommended mating, Pickle produced Gale Force Ten's close relative Gusto, a four-time sprint stakes winner. Gale Force Ten is TrueNicks rated A++ on the basis of the Oasis Dream/Selkirk cross, which has five stakes winners from 25 starters. Oasis Dream actually has seven stakes winners out of Sharpen Up line mares, and this is part of a larger Danzig/Sharpen Up cross which has more than 110 stakes winners for the Green Desert branch alone. The potential for the cross was first signed by the connection between two Epsom Oaks winners, Steady Aim, the third dam of Danzig, and Rockfel, dam of Sharpen Up's broodmare sire, Rockefella. At this point, however, we would think of this being "an associative pointer" rather than attributal as a direct cause, as the two individuals are in the sixth and seventh generations.

The second race, the Duke of Cambridge Stakes (formerly Windsor Forest Stakes, Eng-II) also went to the Danzig line, via Duntle, a daughter of Danehill Dancer. Bred by Airlie Stud and owned by the Niarchos family (as Flaxman Holdings), Duntle is by Danehill's veteran son Danehill Dancer.

Duntle's dam, Lady Angola, is a daughter of Lord At War, an Argentine-bred grandson of Brigadier Gerard who was a champion in his native country and a grade I winner and influential sire in the U.S. A half sister to Lady Angola produced grade I-winning millionaire Honor in War to Lord at War, and matings between Lord At War and Duntle's third dam, the Secretariat mare Lady Winborne, resulted in grade I winner La Gueriere (dam of grade I winner Icon Project and granddam of young sire prospect Munnings (TrueNicks,SRO)), Hong Kong group winner Lord of Warriors, and Lady Lochinvar (dam of millionaire Master Command). Lady Winborne is a half sister to European all-time great Allez France, a daughter of Sea-Bird, whose son Little Current is sire of Duntle's granddam. Duntle is TrueNicks rated A+ on the basis of the Danzig/Lord At War cross.

In the 10-furlong Prince of Wales's Stakes (Eng-I), Mukhadram (by Giant's Causeway (TrueNicks) son Shamardal) nearly slipped the field but was nailed on the line by Al Kazeem (by Dubawi). Five-year-old Al Kazeem took a while to come right, and won only two of seven starts racing at 2 and 3. However, he took a step forward in his only start at 4, winning the Jockey Club Stakes (Eng-II) before being sidelined by a pelvic stress fracture. Returning this year, he's gone three-for-three, his other starts seeing him take the Gordon Richards Stakes (Eng-III) and Tattersalls Gold Cup (Eng-I), in which he accounted for last year's 3-year-old star Camelot (who was fourth in the Prince of Wales's).

Al Kazeem is by Dubawi, winner of the Irish Two Thousand Guineas (Ire-I), Prix Jacques Le Marois (Fr-I), and National Stakes (Ire-I), and far and away the best runner sired by the superb Dubai Millennium (by Seeking the Gold) in a tragically short stud career. Dubawi's first crop only hit the track in 2009, and he already has 55 stakes winners to his name, including 11 group or grade I winners, including Poet's Voice (GB) (TrueNicks), Makfi (TrueNicks), Monterosso, Dubawi Heights, and Luck or Design.

Al Kazeem's dam, Kazeem, is a daughter of Darshaan out of Kanz (by The Minstrel), who won the Princess Elizabeth Stakes (Eng-III) and ran second in the Yorkshire Oaks (Eng-I). The third dam, Treasure Chest, was a good stakes winner and set a new track record at Arlington Park for a mile on turf. By Rough'n Tumble, she was a sister to champion 2-year-old filly My Dear Girl, who is now best known as dam of In Reality. Treasure Chest also produced graded scorer Diomedia and stakes winner Gold Treasure, and she's ancestress of numerous other top-class performers, including the brothers Glint of Gold and Diamond Shoal (both champions/highweights in Europe), Italian Oaks (Ity-I) victress Zanzibar, German champion Catella, Hong Kong star Floral Pegasus, Irish Irish One Thousand Guineas (Ire-I) heroine Ensconse, and other group I winners Armiger, Shining Energy, and Law Enforcement.

Al Kazeem is an example of a pattern we often see working, that of crossing a stallion back over his own broodmare sire line, in this case, Zomaradah, the dam of Dubawi, and Kazeem are both by sons of Shirley Heights. In fact, Zomaradah, who won the Italian Oaks and ran third in the Breeders' Cup Fillies & Mare Turf (gr. IT), and Kazeem are actually parallel Shirley Heights/Northern Dancer crosses.

The Queen Mary Stakes (Eng-II), a sprint for 2-year-old fillies, fell to Rizeena, who just reeled in Sweet Emma Rose, a U.S.-trained daughter of City Zip (TrueNicks,SRO). Rizeena is by Iffraaj (TrueNicks), a son of Zafonic (by Gone West) out of a Nureyev half sister to good sire Cape Cross. Iffraaj won three group II events at seven furlongs and was runner-up in the July Cup (Eng-I) at a furlong shorter. Iffraaj made an astonishing start to his career; his first crop, which raced in 2010, produced 38 juvenile winners, including group I scorer Wootton Bassett. Like most horses who begin their stud careers relatively inexpensively, Iffraaj has been a little quieter since (although his shuttle crop foaled in New Zealand in 2009 has done well), but one could look for him to bounce back in 2015 with his first "rebound crop."

Rizeena's dam, Serena's Storm, is by Storm Cat's son Statue of Liberty and is closely-related to Australian multiple group winner Puissance de Lune, who is by Storm Cat grandson Shamardal out of Serena's Storm's dam, Princess Serena (by Unbridled's Song (TrueNicks,SRO)). The third dam, Serena's Sister, is also dam of multiple graded winner Doubles Partner and stakes winner Stormy Venus. Interestingly enough, Stormy Venus is by a son of Storm Cat, and, when bred to the Gone West son Mr. Greeley, produced Peru group II winner Don Americo, who is bred on similar lines to Rizeena. As her name suggests, Serena's Sister is a sibling to the splendid runner and producer Serena's Song.

The Sandringham Handicap, a listed race for fillies at a mile, went to Annecdote, a 3-year-old daughter of Lucky Story (by Kris S.). A group winning 2-year-old and a brother to top miler Dr Fong, Lucky Story has previously been represented by Art Connoisseur, winner of the Golden Jubilee Stakes (Eng-I) and Coventry Stakes (Eng-II) at the Royal meet. This is the first stakes winner from at least the first six generations of the female line.

Annecdote was TrueNicks rated B+ prior to her win on the basis of the Kris S./Nureyev cross, which was also recently represented by 3-year-old U.S. graded stakes winner Sarach. Annecdote is inbred 3x5 to Lucky Story's broodmare sire, Miswaki, and we can note two stakes winners (one group I) by Lucky Story's brother Dr Fong with this pattern, and there is also a group winner out of a Dr Fong mare with the pattern. Four other stallions who are out of Miswaki mares, including Galileo and Dalakhani, have stakes winners with Miswaki inbreeding, so if we may be permitted a bad pun, anecdotal evidence suggests it is a positive.

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