He’s not very well known here, but in Europe the German-based stallion Monsun has established such an outstanding record at stud that it’s now common for breeders from England, Ireland, and France to send mares to his court — an uncommon occurrence in earlier times for a German horse. Monsun has been that good — in 2008 his published stud fee was 150,000 euros; in 2009 it’s listed as private; Ouija Board was bred to him in 2008 — and he proved it again Sunday when his French-bred daughter Stacelita won the Prix de Diane, the French Oaks equivalent, by four lengths, to remain undefeated in five starts. [Click here to read Sporting Life report; click here to read Thoroughbred Times report.] The comparisons to last year’s undefeated French star Zarkava have started, and it’s expected that Stacelita will follow the same path as the Aga Khan filly, with an engagement in the Group 1 Prix Vermeille, followed by a tilt at the Arc.
Monsun stands at the historic Gestut Schlenderhan, one of the oldest and most successful stud farms in Germany that dates to 1869. [In early June, Schlenderhan owner Baroness Karin von Ullmann died at the age of 87; her son, Georg, runs the stud.] Monsun (1990) is a son of German Triple Crown winner Konigsstuhl (1976), and the line of descent goes like this: Konigsstuhl—Dschingis Khan (1961)–Tamerlane (1952)–Persian Gulf (1940)–Bahram (1932)–Blandford (1919).
In the US, the line of descent back to Blandford is most commonly seen in the internal parts of pedigrees through Northern Dancer, whose second dam, Almahmoud, was a daughter of Mahmoud — a son of Blandford’s son Blenheim (1927). As a tail male sire line of note, Blandford is extinct except through Monsun, who’s the equine version of an heirloom tomato or pig — a rare breed.
The bottom half of his pedigree is German, too. His German-bred dam, Mosella, was a Listed winner over 2100 meters and is a daughter of German Derby winner and top sire Surumu (1974)– the sire of top-class racehorses Acatenango and Platini, among others.
Surumu’s sire-line descent goes like this: Literat (1965)–Birkhahn (1945)–Alchimist (1930)–Herold (1917)–Dark Ronald (1905). The Dark Ronald line was known for its stayers, and each sire in this line after Dark Ronald was bred in Germany, where this line in particular thrived.
Monsun’s pedigree was stern in a very Germanic way, and as a racehorse he exhibited stamina: He won 12 of 23 starts, including the Group 1 Europa Preis (twice) and the Group 1 Aral Pokal — both at a mile and a half.
As a sire, he’s shown plenty of ability to get high-class European runners over distances of a mile to a mile and a half, and he’s become an excellent outcross stallion in Europe because his pedigree is free of Northern Dancer, Raise a Native, and Nasrullah. A good example was Manduro, who descends in tail-female from a German family that was grafted to the Northern Dancer line through Be My Guest. Manduro, who stands at stud in Ireland at Darley’s Kildangan Stud, won Group 1 races in France and England from 1600 meters to 10 furlongs. Stacelita, likewise, has Northern Dancer and Shirley Heights in her female family.
Shirocco, Monsun’s German Derby winner who won the Breeders’ Cup Turf, is out of a mare by The Minstrel. He too is owned now by Darley and stands in England at Dalham Hall Stud. Monsun’s German Derby winner Samum is out of an Old Vic (by Sadler’s Wells) mare. Samum’s full brother Schiaparelli also won the German Derby — that’s three winners of the German Derby for Monsun. He, too, is owned by Darley.
Altogether, Monsun is the sire of 13 Group 1 winners and at least 63 stakes winners.