Read with interest one of my favorite blogs the other day, John Sparkman’s “The pedigree Curmudgeon,” specifically his post on Sariska’s refusal to leave the starting stalls Aug. 19 in the Group 1 Yorkshire Oaks. Read the post here.
John speculates on whether pedigree could be a factor for the behavior, and wrote:
When a horse reveals temperamental quirks, racing folk are always quick to look to the pedigree to find reasons for such behavior, but none are readily apparent in Sariska’s case. The only horse close up in her pedigree with any sort of temperament issues that I know of is Alleged, sire of her broodmare sire Muhtarram, and Alleged was a totally honest racehorse who only became a difficult, somewhat dangerous animal after several years at stud.”
What John didn’t know when he wrote the piece, later pointed out by a commenter named Nancy, was that Sariska’s half-sister Gull Wing also refused to leave the stalls in the Group 2 Park Hill Stakes at Doncaster in 2008. So, what we have now are two half-sisters who pulled the same trick! Take a look at each’s race record from Racing Post, which also lists pedigree and connections. RR (refused to race) is notated next to each’s respective race:
Both were produced by the Muhtarram mare Maycocks Bay, bred and raced by Lady Bamford, trained by Michael Bell, and ridden by Jamie Spencer.
Both Gull Wing and and Sariska are Maycocks Bay’s only two stakes winners from five foals of racing age (including an unraced 2-year-old of 2010). The mare’s first foal was unraced, and her other runner, 3-year-old colt Zigato, has won his last two races from only four starts for John Gosden.
John also wrote, “Sariska’s trainer Michael Bell speculated that his filly might have refused at York because the gate to the stable area is right next to the 1 1/2 mile start point, implying that the filly just wanted to go back to her box.”
Bell and Spencer, however, must have remembered instead the same behavior of Gull Wing in the Park Hill.
What an interesting discovery. Coincidence or not?
Yorkshire Oaks 2010