I tweeted this today, “Dushyantor in Chile, Scenic in Oz, Poliglote in Arg, ALL did better in SH than NH. SH breeders should look for NH Sadler’s Wells that’s cold,” and got a response from a reader who said, “Someone should shuttle Perfect Soul at Darby Dan to the SH based on that.”
Perfect Soul isn’t as cold as Dushyantor, the late Scenic, or Poliglote in the Northern Hemisphere — he’s the sire of a first-crop Canadian classic winner, after all — but he’d actually be an intriguing horse for the Southern Hemisphere, based on the successes of the aforementioned sons of Sadler’s Wells, not to mention Montjeu in New Zealand and Australia, Water Poet in Venezuela, and Fort Wood in South Africa.
In a recent conversation with Frank Mitchell about shuttle sires in general, I noted that it’s the rare horse — a Danehill, Montjeu, or Street Cry — that actually excels in both hemispheres, and that most prefer one hemisphere or the other. There have been many high-class NH sires that have bombed in the SH — the Sadler’s Wells stallion Galileo is one, as is Unbridled’s Song, for another — and, conversely, many top SH sires have failed in the NH — Hussonet, Settlement Day, Mr. Long, etc.
Then, there’s the failed NH sire that goes south and exceeds expectations — the three Sadler’s Wells stallions in my tweet, yes, but how about horses like Spend a Buck?
There isn’t one answer for why some horses excel in the SH, but the ones that do go are usually well-raced runners. In the case of Spend a Buck, the Ghadeer mares that he served from the Fazenda Mondesir families no doubt helped to turn the switch on in the SH, and perhaps the racing environment and horsemanship contributed, too. But remember that Einstein, bred in Brazil and from a Ghadeer mare, was broken in the US and raced here — not in Brazil — so the only thing foreign about him was his female family and early development in a large paddock.
In the cases of the Sadler’s Wells stallions mentioned in my tweet, Scenic, Dushyantor and Poliglote all benefitted from racing environments that played to the Sadler’s Wells strong suit of stamina, yes, but pedigree must have played a role, too, as it did with Spend a Buck. Scenic (Viewed, 2008) had a 3200-meter Melbourne Cup winner, while Dushyantor (Belle Wating, 2009) and Poliglote (Kalath Wells, 2009) have sired classic winners in the SH, as have Montjeu (Roman Emperor, 2009), Fort Wood (Horse Chestnut, to S. Africa in 2009), and Water Poet (Bambera, 2009). The female families and the broodmare sire lines must have flicked the switch.
However, in the cases of Poliglote and Water Poet, their respective daughters, Kalath Wells and Bambera, won their classics on dirt, not the preferred surface for the Sadler’s Wells line. But this is indicative of the line’s ability to adapt to its environment, and in North America the Sadler’s Wells horse El Prado made the transition easily. Now his son Medaglia d’Oro is carrying on.
The first Sadler’s Wells horse to get a classic winner in North America was the unraced Not Impossible, whose son Not Bourbon won the Queen’s Plate in 2008 over a synthetic surface. The second son of Sadler’s Wells to accomplish the feat was Perfect Soul, whose Perfect Shower won the Breeders’ Stakes over 12 furlongs on turf this year. The common thread to each horse is Chuck Fipke: He bred and raced each and stood the late Not Impossible and stands Perfect Soul, Not Impossible’s full brother.
In 2008, Chuck Fipke was in a Lexington restaurant and watched live on TV as Scenic’s Viewed won the Melbourne Cup for trainer Bart Cummings. Shortly after the race he announced that he wanted to win the same race. So, this year he sent a full sister to Perfect Soul to New Zealand to be bred to Zabeel, the great NZ stallion and sire of Melbourne Cup winners.
And where was Mr. Fipke this past week? In Argentina, for the Carlos Pellegrini at San Isidro on Saturday. The rest of the week he was touring stud farms. Five will get you one that he was looking for a place in Argentina to shuttle Perfect Soul for the 2010 SH season. He’s thought of the idea before the tweeter did.