Question on Twitter and some answers about the Byerley Turk sire line

This morning on Twitter, Ed DeRosa asked an interesting question about the viability of the Byerley Turk’s sire line. Read the interaction for yourself:


Dunaden, the 2011 Melbourne Cup winner, was sired by Nicobar, an unheralded Indian Ridge stallion standing at Mathieu Coutin’s Ecuries de la Daudaie in France. Check him out here. John Berry wrote about the sire and the waning sire line:

“Nowadays, the three sire-lines which between them have produced every thoroughbred stallion of the modern era are unevenly distributed. The Darley Arabian is responsible for the vast majority of sires, with the Godolphin Barb (often referred to as the Godolphin Arabian) and the Byerley Turk having found themselves marginalized. In Europe, the Byerley Turk line survives exclusively through Ahonoora, a rags-to-riches English sprinter of the late ’70s who became a hugely influential stallion. Ahonoora sired many top-class horses (including the 1991 Derby winner Dr Devious) but he has extended the line principally through another high-class sprinter, Indian Ridge. Like his father before him, Indian Ridge was a surprisingly good sprinter who became a surprisingly great stallion. Sons of Indian Ridge at stud include the 1997 July Cup winner Compton Place, who is very much his father’s son, having sired numerous good sprinters including Deacon Blues, one of the best British-trained sprinters of 2011. This sire-line would, therefore, not nowadays be an obvious one to produce a Melbourne Cup winner – but that is what it has done courtesy of another fast son of Indian Ridge: Dunaden’s sire Nicobar, who was born the year that Compton Place won the July Cup.”

Fonthill Stud, which bred Nicobar, also bred Intrepid Jack, mentioned in Berry’s article. Racing Post reported that Ecuries de la Daudaie now also stands Intrepid Jack—who is from the same sire line and female family of Nicobar.

Fonthill’s foundation mare Set Free (see the female family line of Nicobar and Intrepid Jack) has had success with the Byerley Turk sire line. She produced Juliette Marny and Julio Mariner—both classic winners—by Blakeney, a Tourbillon-line horse.

The Tourbillon branch was a favorite of Marcel Boussac’s, and in the US Fred Hooper, through Crozier, kept it going into the 1980s with Precisionist. The latter, however, was sterile.

Question on Twitter and some answers about the Byerley Turk sire line

7 thoughts on “Question on Twitter and some answers about the Byerley Turk sire line

  1. Dan says:

    Ahonoora is the damsire of New Approach, who has become one of the most exciting sires in the world after his first crop. If the performance of his progeny continues to justify that £50,000 fee, New Approach will ensure that the Byerley Turk line continues.

  2. Tinky says:

    Such a shame the Precisionist was sterile. He was an exceptional racehorse, and one that I tend to use as a yardstick when thinking about the relative quality of contemporary American sprinter/milers.

    1. I agree, Tinky. He had that quality–singularly American dirt–to be effective from 6f to 10f, and many sprinter/milers today don’t measure up well against him. Ironically, many probably don’t even remember him now, especially as his stud career resulted in a handful of foals.

  3. The Tourbillon lines are still with us.. through five of his sons.. the Djebel branch is the strongest descending through HEATHEN in South America.. via.. Homeland, Harken, Elkadi, and Harlem.. and KLAIRON in Europe, via Ahonoora and Luthier II.. this later stallion has seven branches through his sons, Saint Cyrien, No Lute, Twig Moss, Montcontour, Sagace, Tip Moss, Condorcet.. also in France there is the MERIDIEN line, leading down to the stallion Discover d’Auteuil, his three-year-old son Arquebusier is now in Ireland..Poland had the champion sire DIXIELAND (a son of the Irish St Leger winner Conor Pass) whose son Scater (1990) is doing well at stud.. in America there is actually a line of Ambiopoise leading down to the rather obscure sire French Seventy Five..he is the sire of the stud French Premier.. in Brazil the Timor branch of Tourbillon is still quite strong through the late champion sire Vacilante and his son Troyanos (1985) winner of the Derby Paulista.. other sons of Tourbillon are Coaraze and Goya II..

  4. I stand an Indian Ridge stallion in Ontario – Legal Jousting (IRE). He’s from a top Moyglare family, and has from a very limited number of starters done reasonably well.

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