A few days ago, while still basking in the glow of Workforce’s Derby tour de force, Juddmonte’s 3-year-old filly Kilo Alpha won a conditions race at Longchamp to go 2 for 5 and showed some promise for the future, either in Europe or the US perhaps. She, like the Derby winner, is by King’s Best from a Sadler’s Wells mare, which means that Juddmonte sent at least two Sadler’s Wells mares to the Kingmambo 2000 Guineas winner in 2006—his sixth season at stud.
Here’s why: The Juddmonte mare Anasazi was sent to King’s Best in his first year at stud in 2001, and she produced the subsequent Listed stakes winner Runaway (who has since become Group 1 placed for another owner). The same mare is the dam of Kilo Alpha.
In 2002, Juddmonte sent another daughter of Sadler’s Wells to King’s Best and got the eventual Listed stakes winner To Sender (who won the stakes in the US). The breeding of Workforce, therefore, was part of a plan that had been in place since King’s Best went to stud, and one that had been successful for the international breeder.
The precedent for sending a daughter of Sadler’s Wells to King’s Best was actually set in 1994, by a Japanese breeder, Takashi Watanabe. His mating of the Sadler’s Wells mare Saddlers Gal to Kingmambo, sire of King’s Best, resulted in the 1995 US-bred foal El Condor Pasa, who raced with aplomb in Japan at 3 by winning the Group 1 Japan Cup (but was ineligible for the Japanese classics as he was bred abroad). He then proved the value of that form by winning the Group 1 Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud at 4 in France. The same year, he also was second in the Group 1 Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe and the Group 1 Prix d’Ispahan, too.
El Condor Pasa’s pedigree is actually an exagerated illustration of what’s at work when Kingmambo (or his son King’s Best) is bred to a daughter of Sadler’s Wells. Click here to view it. Note that Kingmambo’s dam, the great Miesque, is by Nureyev—a three-quarter brother to Sadler’s Wells. Both Northern Dancer stallions were outstanding at stud, and combining the two in a pedigree such as El Condor Pasa’s results in duplications to Northern Dancer plus the mare Special, as well as the sire Native Dancer. However, in El Condor Pasa’s case, his third dam, Lisadell, was a sister to Special, so there’s a third line of this female family in the pedigree, too.
In Workforce’s pedigree, however, there are only two duplications to Northern Dancer and Special (through Nureyev and Sadler’s Wells), and that’s good enough because this nick with Kingmambo and his sons with the Sadler’s Wells mares or mares by sons of Sadler’s Wells has resulted in 9 Group 1 winners to date in the Northern Hemisphere:
El Condor Pasa (1995) by Kingmambo from a Sadler’s Wells mare
Divine Proportions (2002) by Kingmambo from a Sadler’s Wells mare
Virginia Waters (2002) by Kingmambo from a Sadler’s Wells mare
Creachadoir (2004) by King’s Best from a Sadler’s Wells mare
King’s Apostle (2004) by King’s Best from a Barathea mare
Henrythenavigator (2005) by Kingmambo from a Sadler’s Wells mare
Ibn Khaldun (2005) by Dubai Destination from a Sadler’s Wells mare
Thewayyouare (2005) by Kingmambo from a Sadler’s Wells mare
Workforce (2007) by King’s Best from a Sadler’s Wells mare
To date, King’s Best, who stands for Darley in France and also is the sire of the Japan Derby winner Eishin Flash, has sired 31 black type winners: 19 Group winners (6 Group 1) and 12 Listed stakes winners. Of this total, 9 are from Sadler’s Wells mares or mares by sons of Sadler’s Wells. They are:
Creachadoir (2004) from a Sadler’s Wells mare; G1 winner
King’s Apostle (2004) from a Barathea mare; G1 winner
Best Alibi (2003) from a Sadler’s Wells mare; G2 winner
Spice Route (2004) from an In the Wings mare; G2 winner
Best Name (2003) from an Old Vic mare; G3 winner
Queen’s Best (2003) from an In the Wings mare; G3 winner
Runaway (2002) from a Sadler’s Wells mare; Listed winner
To Sender (2003) from a Sadler’s Wells mare; Listed winner
It’s fairly obvious by comparing the years of birth of these horses that the success of El Condor Pasa and his fairly concentrated linebreeding led to more Sadler’s Wells mares (and Sadler’s Wells-line mares) for Kingmambo and King’s Best at around the same time. Workforce is just the latest example of this combination. More will follow.