A prolific winner-getter and noticeably bubbling just beneath the G1 surface for a while, Written Tycoon popped like a bottle of champagne today when his son Capitalist won the G1 Golden Slipper at Rosehill Gardens — one of the most famous 2-year-old races in the world and the most important race in Australia for making a stallion.
View the video of the race from the link in the tweet below:
By winning the Golden Slipper, Capitalist became the first G1 winner for Written Tycoon (2002), a stallion who began his career inexpensively for A$8,250 in Victoria and traces to Northern Dancer through a path not travelled extensively. In Australia, of course, most avenues to Northern Dancer lead through Danzig’s steamrolling son Danehill, but Written Tycoon’s sire Iglesia — and you’re excused if you just furrowed your brow in North America — is the equivalent of a dirt road that gets paved at Last Tycoon and widened at Try My Best before entering the Northern Dancer highway.
Written Tycoon’s odd path to a major sire is similar to those of Candy Ride and Uncle Mo — two sires in the limelight in North America at present. Candy Ride, an Argentine-bred, traces unusually to Fappiano through his sire Ride the Rails, a son of Cryptoclearance — whose best son at stud in North America, Victory Gallop, was sent to Turkey. Uncle Mo travels to Caro — a tremendous stallion in North America and Europe — from the hinterland of Siberian Express to the California backwoods of In Excess to Indian Charlie — whose own success at stud in Kentucky was a surprise to many.
These types of stallions — and some imports, like Caro, whose own line of descent to Nasrullah was off the beaten path through Grey Sovereign’s son Fortino — sometimes succeed in part because they offer pedigrees to local broodmare populations that are outside the norm of prevailing fashion. Also, breeding to horses like Candy Ride (outcross through five generations ), Uncle Mo (5x5x4 Northern Dancer), and Written Tycoon (outcross) can offer breeders an occasional reprieve from some of the close inbreeding that takes place in areas where large books of the most popular and successful sires contain many of the same lines. For example, the Fusaichi Pegasus mare Kitalpha, the dam of Capitalist, is closely inbred 3×3 to Danzig.
Written Tycoon is out of Party Miss, by Kenmare — a Grey Sovereign-line sire that offers even more diversity to Australian breeders in the current climate of Danehill saturation. Written Tycoon won two of 11 starts with both wins coming at 2. He was first in the G2 Todman Slipper Trial at 1200 meters but was not the same in brief campaigns at 3 and 4 and went to stud initially at Eliza Park Stud in Victoria. The success of his first runners, however, made him the the leading first-crop Australian sire of 2010/2011, and he was subsequently purchased and moved in 2013 to his current base at Woodside Park Stud in Victoria where he has continued to serve large books of mares since his early success in 2010. To date, he’s the sire of 15 stakes winners and has a reputation of getting popular sales types that strike early. His stud fee last year was A$19,800 and that will go up in 2016.
His sire, Iglesia (1995), by Last Tycoon, was also a precocious runner and a fast sprinter. He won six of 22 races, three at 2, including the G2 Silver Slipper Stakes; he also was fourth in the G1 Golden Slipper. As an older horse he set the 1200-meter record of 1:07.16 at Flemington in the G3 Standish Handicap, a record that still stands. Iglesia sired 11 stakes winners in an abbreviated career, dying in 2006.
Breeders’ Cup Mile winner Last Tycoon, a son of Northern Dancer’s Try My Best, was an early shuttler who became the leading Australian sire of the 1993/1994 season. He sired much better horses than Iglesia, including such as Mahogany and O’Reilly, for examples. And O’Reilly, a New Zealand-bred G1-winning sprinter/miler based at Waikato Stud in New Zealand until his death in 2014 at 21, was a champion sire in his homeland and a major presence in Australasia. But in the 21 years since Last Tycoon topped the Australian sire standings, Danehill blew the lid off the shuttle game by leading nine times, and his sons have topped the list another six times — an indication of the Danehill saturation in Australia. This, by the way, has aided other shuttle sires such as More Than Ready and Street Cry, to name two who have clicked with Danehill-line mares.
The Try My Best line also has a European presence through an odd conduit, Waajib. The latter, who won the G1 Queen Anne Stakes over a mile, wasn’t much of a sire but did get the champion sprinter Royal Applause, a G1 winner at 2, and through him this line has been a vibrant speed channel. Royal Applause is the sire of Acclamation, whose two young G1-winning sons Dark Angel and Equiano are continuing to add to its legacy.