Amazing Grace slams Signature Indian St. Leger field

majsnBy Major Srinivas Nargolkar (Retd.)

[Indian St. Leger video below] Dr. Vijay Mallya’s Amazing Grace (Hurricane Run – Efrhina[IRE] by Woodman) slammed champion Alaindair (Multidimensional- God’s Grace) by seven long lengths without breaking into a sweat to win the Signature Indian St. Leger, Gr.1 at Pune on Sunday. They say “it’s better to travel hopefully than arrive” and while all those who looked forward to a thrilling contest between the filly and the gelding would be disappointed, most were elated at the unveiling of a new star.

Coming into this race, Alaindair had won five Gr.1 races including the rare treble of the Kingfisher Derby Bangalore, the McDowell Signature Indian Derby, and the President of India Gold Cup, the last of them three weeks ago. Amazing Grace, on the other hand, had yet to win a Gr.1 race though she was on a sparkling upward curve that saw her unbeaten in her last six starts. Alaindair had not tasted defeat under Y.S. Srinath and the filly has only been ridden by Trevor Patel so the main contenders had their favourite riders on board. There were two other runners — Starry Eyes and Montreal — both hailing from the same yard.

Alaindair found himself in front and fighting for his head till, soon after crossing the winning post for the first time, Starry Eyes shot ahead as they swung right handed, and led by a street down the backstretch. Starry Eyes was reeled in as they approached the final turn and Alaindair was first into the straight. Before his supporters could shout his name, Amazing Grace had passed him in the twinkling of an eye and it was a procession thereafter. The final verdict was 7l, dist and dist and the time of 2.59.83 was good but not exceptional.

This was a second Indian Classic victory for Trevor Patel — he had earlier won the Indian 1000 Guineas, Gr.1 — and the decision to persist with him is paying handsome dividends. It was also the second Indian St. Leger for trainer Pesi Shroff, third for the Kunigal Stud and the fourth for the owner. Dr. Mallya’s first winner of the race — Adler — won a race in the U.S.A.; his second — Saddle Up — raced with distinction in Malaysia-Singapore and Hong Kong while the third — Storm Again — died before he could venture abroad. Amazing Grace neither has a worthy foe in India nor a suitable mate and one would dearly like her to spread her wings, perhaps in USA.

Amazing Grace’s dam Efrhina was purchased for 30,000 euros at Goffs November 2009 sale in foal to Hurricane Run. The son of Montjeu started his stud career at Coolmore but now stands in Germany after failing to come up to expectations. He does, though, have Ectot, winner of the Prix Niel, Gr.2 and among the well-backed ones in the ante-post betting for next Sunday’s Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe. Efrhina won four races from 2200 to 2800 m. in England but the attraction to Zeyn Mirza, Dr. Mallya’s racing manager, was the fact that she was inbred to La Troienne with half-sisters Playmate and Special Account 2×4. Amazing Grace herself has half-brothers Bold Reason and Never Bend 5×4. Incidentally, the Arc hopeful Ectot has Bold Reason and Never Bend 5×5!

Mushka fam has ties to big prices, stamina, Darley

The Bernardini filly from Mushka that topped the first day of Keeneland September at $1.2 million has long ties to big commercial prices at Kentucky auctions stretching back to the 1980s. Price is usually tied to performance, and there’s plenty of high-class classic form in this family tracing back to the 1976 Kentucky Derby and Belmont Stakes winner Bold Forbes, a brother to Mushka’s fourth dam, Priceless Fame—a mare purchased by Sheikh Mohammed’s Darley for a world record price of $6 million in 1984. Some of this is not readily apparent in the reading of the catalog page.


Mushka, a first-crop daughter of Belmont Stakes winner Empire Maker from Sluice, by Seeking the Gold, herself was a $1.6 million Fasig-Tipton Saratoga yearling purchase by Zayat Stables in 2006. Two years later, in the midst of reported financial turmoil, Zayat sold her as a G2 winner to Elizabeth Moran’s Brushwood Stable for $2.4 million as a racing/broodmare prospect at the Keeneland November sale, and the following year she became a G1 winner for her new owner. She acted on dirt, turf, and all-weather, and she was a two-turn racehorse.

Brushwood sold her first foal, a Distorted Humor colt, for $1.65 million to Sheikh Hamdan’s Shadwell Estate Company at the Keeneland September sale of 2012. Subsequently named Heyaarat and now three, the colt recently won a maiden race at Belmont in his fourth start over 1 1/4 miles on turf, reflecting the essence of this family: stamina on all surfaces.

Take a look at the high-class stamina sires stacked upon each other through the tail-female line of descent to Priceless Fame: the $1.2 million yearling is by Belmont winner and stamina influence A.P. Indy’s son Bernardini, a Preakness winner; Mushka is by Belmont winner Empire Maker, a son of Derby winner Unbridled; Sluice, Mushka’s dam, is by Seeking the Gold, who stayed 1 1/4 miles; Sluice’s dam is Lakeway, by Triple Crown winner Seattle Slew; Lakeway’s dam Milliardaire is by Alydar, runner-up in the Triple Crown; and Milliardaire is from Priceless Fame, the sister to Bold Forbes.

Sheikh Mohammed was in the early stages of the Darley operation when he purchased Priceless Fame for $6 million in 1984, but he did so as he’d won the G1 William Hill Futurity with her Grey Dawn son Dunbeath in 1982—the same year the mare’s Alydar yearling Saratoga Six made $2.2 million at the Fasig-Tipton Saratoga sale; subsequently, in the summer of 1984, Alydar’s yearling filly Milliardaire made $2.7 million.

Sheikh Mohammed didn’t have much luck breeding from Priceless Fame after he purchased her, getting only one winner from seven foals. Her last foal, however, was the Machiavellian mare Headline, who produced the A.P. Indy filly Jilbab—winner of the 12-furlong G1 Coaching Club American Oaks for Godolphin in 2002.

Milliardaire, who’d been purchased for $2.7 million by Mike Rutherford, got the multiple G1 winner Lakeway, a daughter of A.P. Indy’s sire, Seattle Slew. Rutherford raced Lakeway himself but sold Milliardaire’s last foal, an A.P. Indy colt named Monarchoftheglen, to Demi O’Byrne on behalf of Coolmore for $1.5 million.

Sluice, Lakeway’s daughter by Seeking the Gold, was bred and sold by Rutherford for $1.5 million to Guy and Diane Snowden at the Keeneland July sale of 1999.

The Snowdens bred and sold Mushka from Sluice for $1.6 million as well as her 2011 brother Prominence, purchased for $1.1 million by Barbara Banke’s Stonestreet Stable and George Bolton at the Fasig-Tipton Saratoga sale.



Stallion news from the day job

Yes, I’ve been slacking off in this space, but I’ve been busy elsewhere, at the day job! Here’s some posts you may or may not have seen via SM links:

No guarantee seasons to Claiborne’s ascendant War Front have been trading for $250,000 to $300,000, even though he stood the 2014 season for $150,000 live foal (though seasons were hard enough to acquire). That’s quite a hike, but it’s supported by international demand for the stallion’s services. Remember, Claiborne doesn’t believe in large books or the shuttle process so demand far exceeds supply for this son of Danzig. Click the bold-faced headline to read the post at Werk Thoroughbred Consultants. War Front’s 2015 fee promises to surge

WinStar’s Pioneerof the Nile picked the right time to pick up the steam he’d shown with his early season three-year-olds on the classics trail. Just like that, boom, he had three graded stakes winners from August 31 to a September 3 at Del Mar, including a G1 winner, and the timing was impeccable: Keeneland September starts Monday. Pioneerof the Nile gets his G1 winner

WinStar had a week to remember. First Pioneerof the Nile, then first-year sire Super Saver, both of them veterans of the Kentucky Derby. The former was runner-up to Mine That Bird but the latter won the race as a homebred for the farm. Already the sire of a G1 and G2 winner from his first crop—with SW Hashtag Bourbon going for another G3 win today—Super Saver is the hottest young sire around, and there’s every indication his three-year-olds will train on if they’re like him. Derby horses are Super for WinStar

City Zip’s Palace won the G1 Forego on August 30 at Saratoga but the Lane’s End sire’s stud career encompasses much more than speed at sprints on the main track. In fact, he’s one of the most versatile horses at stud in the country, and he can get you a 9-10F turf horse, an AW miler, or a dirt sprinter. He also happens to be the great Ghostzapper’s half-brother. But, City Zip is more than that

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly!


Tegbir Brar of Dashmesh Stud is an accomplished breeder and the son of the late Sonny Brar.

Originally posted on RACING & BREEDING IN INDIA:

When I started writing this blog, the intention was to put down on record my thoughts on a sport that is also my business and a way of life for me. The response has been overwhelming so far and one hopes that I am able to convince some of the powers that be in Indian racing of the many ills that plague our sport. At the same time most of the time I come across as what we boarding school kids call a,”Sheddy.” Well I am far from that and In this blog I intend to mention a few things that our sport can say are world class.

Lets start with the Indian Stud Book; here was an institution that was very poorly run until Major Srinivas Nargolkar walked up to the plate as the registrar. Major as we fondly call him brought about a radical change in an institution…

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uncle mo is the keystone of a serious plan from coolmore stud in america


Frank Mitchell once again with sharp commentary

Originally posted on bloodstock in the bluegrass:

Over the past few years, Coolmore put together an interesting group of young stallions at its American facility in Kentucky, Ashford Stud, that included four consecutive champion juvenile colts: Lookin at Lucky, Uncle Mo, Hansen, and Shanghai Bobby.

The payoff on this apparently calculated gamble to collect the most precocious American stock is about to get its first test in the wider world. The first-crop racers by Lookin at Lucky (by Smart Strike) are now at tracks across the country, as well as a choice sampling overseas, and the first yearlings by Uncle Mo (Indian Charlie) are up for sale.

From a first crop of 100 foals in the States, Lookin at Lucky has had 18 starters and nine winners. Among the most recent was a colt named Good Luck Gus who jumped tracks in his maiden special at Saratoga last week, yet nonetheless drew off to win by five…

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multiple champion gio ponti is beginning his career at stud with a strong set of yearlings


This post is from the excellent Frank Mitchell

Originally posted on bloodstock in the bluegrass:

A champion three times during a rich and exciting career, Gio Ponti showed qualities as a racehorse that are not commonly seen today. Gio Ponti raced from age 2 through 6, winning stakes each season, and he won 11 of them in total, accounting for 11 more stakes placings in 29 lifetime starts. The good-looking bay showed soundness, consistency, and high ability to win seven Grade 1 races and earn more than $6.1 million.

A grandson of perennial power sire Storm Cat, Gio Ponti is by Storm Cat’s son Tale of the Cat, who was a tremendously fast sprinter-miler, but there is considerable influence in both Gio Ponti’s physical makeup, as well as in his racing aptitude, that comes from his dam and from her sire, the illustrious racehorse and stallion Alydar (by Raise a Native).

A first-class racehorse, Alydar was arguably an even better sire, getting classic winners here…

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new stakes winners are promising stars in the sky for the next crop of young racers


From Frank Mitchell

Originally posted on bloodstock in the bluegrass:

With the 2014 Triple Crown in the record books, the participants are largely resting and planning to resume the fray in the heat of the summer for prizes like the Grade 1 Haskell and Travers Stakes. And now it is time to cast an eye upon the next generation of racers, those young prospects who are showing their trainers speed and early maturity.

There were good stakes in three countries over the past week that featured the younger set, with trainer Wesley Ward’s big lick at Royal Ascot coming with the 2-year-old Hootenanny, who blazed away from his competition in the Windsor Castle Stakes to win by 3 ½ lengths from 23 competitors, racing the five furlongs in :59.05.

The lanky-looking colt proved plentifully progressive and rewarded his owners, John Magnier, Michael Tabor, and Derrick Smith, with the first stakes of the Royal Ascot meeting.

Hootenanny is the first stakes…

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On Racing + Breeding + Youth Baseball


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