horse profile Club, and Prix Royal Oak in 1970, and confirmed his place in history by ending Nijinsky’s undefeated record in that year’s Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe. Sassafras proved to be a relatively disappointing sire, although through him the Hurry On line still continues today in Brazil through the sires As de Pique, Thignon Lafre, Thignon Lake and Fantastic Dancer, who are all by Sassafras’s Prix Royal Oak (G1) winner, Henri Le Balafre. Another Sassafras son who went to Brazil, Baynoun, sired an exceptional performer in Sandpit, who earned over $3,800,000 racing in Brazil, North America and Dubai. Sandpit was given his chance at stud in the US, but made little impact.
Relic the first European Man O’War representative
Europe’s first really serious flirtation with the Man O’War line was probably Relic. He was by the intensly inbred and vicious tempered War Relic (by Man O’War, and inbred 3x3 to Fairy Gold and Rock Sand, two of the grandparents
of Man O’War), a good racehorse and sire, despite his character flaws. The second-best two-year-old of his crop (behind the mighty Citation), Relic suffered a career-ending injury after winning a pair of stakes in two starts at three. After standing just one year in the US, Relic was purchased by François Dupré, and spent six seasons in France before ending his career at Longholes Stud, Newmarket. Relic became a highly-successful sire of sprinters and milers, his progeny including the French 2,000 Guineas winners Mincio and Buisson Ardent, the Middle Park (G1), Sussex (G1) and St. James’s Palace Stakes (G1) winner Venture, Eclipse and Champion Stakes (G1) winner Pieces Of Eight, and the brilliant fillies Texanita and Texena. Unfortunately, though, none of Relic’s European stallion sons could establish a lasting line, and Europe would have to wait a little longer for a Man O’War line horse to establish a beachhead. The horse who achieved this was Known
Fact, who was, like Relic, a descendent of War Relic. Known Fact’s sire In Reality proved to be an outstanding sire, and through his sons Relaunch and Valid Appeal, re-established the Man O’War line in the U.S. Winner of the Middle Park Stakes (G1) at two, Known Fact proved himself a top-class miler at three, taking the 2,000 Guineas (on the disqualification of Nureyev), the Waterford Crystal Mile (G1) and Queen Elizabeth II Stakes (G1). Standing in England and the US, Known Fact sired more than 50 stakes winners, including Warning, winner of the Nunthorpe Stakes (G1), So Factual and the champion older miler Markofdistinction. As both a runner and a sire, Warning proved to be the standout for his sire. Beautifully-bred he was out of the Oaks runner-up Slightly Dangerous, the dam of four other stakes winners, including Derby and Irish Derby winner Commander In Chief as well as Deploy, the broodmare sire of Dubawi. In addition, Slightly Dangerous was also half-sister to the dam of the outstanding sire, Rainbow Quest. Successful in the Richmond and Champagne Stakes at two, Warning went on to establish himself as a stellar miler with wins in the Sussex Stakes (G1), Queen Elizabeth II Stakes (G1) (in an epic battle with Kris) and Queen Anne Stakes (G2). Unfortunately, Warning died when only 15 years old. However, he left behind more than 50 stakes winners, including the Group 1 winners Diktat, Piccolo, Give Notice, Sumati, Prophecy, Sunningdale and Calstone Light. Although five sons of Warning – Averti, Bishop Of Cashel, Charnwood Forest, Diktat and Piccolo – have sired Group or Grade 1 winners (as has Charnwood Forest’s son, Firebreak), the line has been lacking an obvious candidate to continue it’s influence at the highest level. That, however, has changed with the appearance of Diktat’s son, Dream Ahead. A 9l winner on his debut, Dream Ahead impressively accounted for subsequent French 2,000 Guineas winner, Tin Horse, in the Prix Morny (G1). The hat-trick was completed in the Middle Park Stakes (G1) where Dream Ahead reveled in going classified as soft to romp home 9l clear of Strong Suit. Brought back two weeks later for the Dewhurst Stakes (G1), Dream Ahead failed to fire behind the dominant Frankel, either because he was over the top, or that, as his jockey suggested, he was unhappy on going
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