Issue 27, September 24
This magnificent photo of Grand Armee, the former champion galloper, who has a new life as a three-day eventer.
Cumani’s Cup contender The most exciting import to arrive on the weekend for the Caulfield and Melbourne Cups is Luca Cumani’s Cima de Triomphe, a horse that noted form expert, and extensive overseas traveller, Stephen Moran, claims is “unbeatable in anything he competes in the spring, including the Cox Plate”. Cima de Triomphe will be accompanied by stablemate Basaltico and two of Godolphin’s entries, out of Kirklees, Crime Scene and Sugar Ray. It’s worth taking a look at Cima de Triomphe’s pedigree, especially from a Melbourne Cup point of view. The NH 5YO is by champion European sire Galileo (by Sadler’s Wells (USA) from the mare Sopran Londa (IRE), who is by the great Danehill from a mare by the Epsom Derby winner Crystal Palace. Sopran Londa won the Group 1 Italian One Thousand
Guineas (1600m) and her son Cima De Triomphe won the 2007 Group 1 Italian Derby (2200m). Galileo, despite not replicating his European siring record in Australia, is an outstanding sire of stayers under European conditions – his only Australian Group 1 winner is Sousa (Spring Champion Stakes, 2000m). Galileo won the 2000 Group 1 Epsom Derby (2400m) and he is the sire of the 2008 Epsom Derby winner New Approach, who is standing this season at Darley, Northwood Park, Nagambie. Cima de Triomphe has only twice attempted races beyond the Italian Derby distance, and both times he failed – 7th behind Montemarte in July 2008 Group 1 Juddemonte Stakes (2386m) at Longchamp and 9th behind Zarkava in the Group 1 Prix de l’Arc de
Triomphe (2400m), also at Longchamp, in October 2008. Since then he has won the Group 3 Brigadier Gerard Stakes (2086m) at Sandown, although his fourth behind the superstar Sea The Stars, albeit beaten 10.5lens, in the Group 1 Eclipse Stakes (2006m), also at Sandown, in July, rates as a better performance. Cima de Triomphe hasn’t raced since finishing fourth behind Just As Well in the Group 1 Arlington Million (2000m) at Arlington (USA) on August 8. It’s worth saying that Cima de Triomphe is an inferior animal to Cox Plate placegetters and European Group 1 winners Grandera and Starcraft. While there are serious doubts Cima de Triomphe’s pedigree will take him beyond winning further than 2400m, he has one factor in his favour – Cumani.
Lonhro and Grand Armee fought many a good battle on the track – they were the weight-for-age stars of their time, and it was Grand Armee who rained on Lonhro’s send-off parade when the big gelding beat the black flash in the 2004 Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (WFA 2000m) at Randwick. Lonhro (br h 1998, Octagonal (NZ)–Shadea, by Straight Strike (USA)) retired to stud at Woodlands (now Darley), from where he has fashioned a new career as one of our most exciting young stallions. Grand Armee (b g 1998, Hennessy (USA)–Tambour, by Marauding (NZ)) retired because of injury in the early spring of 2005, and is now a promising three-day event horse for his handler Tim Boland. It was probably fitting that breeder Michael Sissian, who bred Grand Armee, should send the big horse’s half-sister, Yarralumla (by Grand Lodge (USA)), to Lonhro. The result is a 3YO colt named Dissolved, who made his debut at Sale on Thursday and scored an easy win in the 1200m 3YO maiden. Co-trainer John Hawkes bought the colt at the 2008 Inglis Easter Yearling Sale for $300,000. Dissolved, like most of this family, is a big, immature horse. He also is closely related to Group 1 winners Dealer Principal (by Danzero) and Absolute Champion (by Marauding), whose dams come from the famed Belle family from New Zealand. Look for Dissolved to be a big player in 2010.
WORDS BY DANNY POWER
Goodbye to grand old timers North America has lost two of his stalwart stallions in the last week – El Prado (by Sadler’s Wells (USA)) and Summer Squall (by Storm Bird (USA)). El Prado’ sudden death – from a heart attack at aged 20 – came as his stocks, after a slow start to his stud career, have risen in recent years. Credit must go to Adena Springs Stud, Paris, near Kentucky, for gambling that a European Group 1 winning son of Sadler’s Wells could make a commercial success on dirttrack dominated America. Said studmaster Dermot Carty: “No one wanted a son of Sadler’s Wells in America. Everyone saw him as just a grass horse, but now he’s a broodmare sire, a sire of sires, and he’s made history. It was a gamble … to buy a son of Sadler’s Wells was a major move, but it paid off.” The grey stallion first hit the headlines in 2004 when his son Kitten’s Joy dominated the middle-distance races to be named America’s Grass Champion, and he was followed soon after by the brilliant Medaglia d’Oro and the 2005 Breeders’ Cup mile winner Artie Schiller. Medaglia d’Oro has gone on to be the sire of the champion filly Rachel Alexandra, while Artie Schiller is shuttling to Australia to stand at the Independent Stallions, Nagambie, where his first foals are impressing breeders. In 2009, El Prado is the sire of the French Group 1 winner Spanish Moon. “There was a lot of speed in this family,” said Carty. “El Prado wasn’t a typical Sadler’s Wells (physically). He was a
EL PRADO, who died last week, pictured frolicking at Adena Springs Stud, Kentucky.
very big, masculine individual who could cover a lot of ground. He was a very impressive horse.” Summer Squall was euthanised, aged 22, at Lane’s End Farm, Kentucky, due to complications from old age. The stallion, who won the 1990 G1 Preakness Stakes (1800m), has lived in the shadow of his half-brother A. P. Indy (by Seattle Slew (USA)), who was a better racehorse and is a better stallion (125 Stakes winners). Both are from the champion broodmare Weekend Surprise (Secretariat-Lassie Dear). Summer Squall sired 37 Stakes winners including the 1999 Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner Charismatic.
Freedman’s colt shines When Lee Freedman signed for the Stratum-Red Labelle (by Blevic) colt at the 2009 Inglis Easter Sales on a $425,000 bid, the Hall of Fame trainer declared the colt, Pellizotti, the best yearling he has bought since Encosta De Lago. Damon Gabbedy bid $140,000 for Encosta De Lago on behalf of Freedman at the 1995 Inglis Easter Yearling Sale. The colt went on to win
the 1997 Group 1 VicHealth Cup (1400m) at Caulfield and retired to be a champion sire. Freedman’s Stratum colt stepped out at the Cranbourne trials last Monday and cruised home for the easiest of wins. The powerful colt looks like being an early spring contender – and a tremendous boost for his first-season sire Stratum (by Redoute’s Choice), who stands at Widden Stud.
The Rubiton legacy There is hardly a day goes by that we are not reminded of what a great sire was Rubiton. On Wednesday, Rubiton’s daughter Rue Maple, from his last crop conceived just before his death, aged 22, in 2005, was most impressive winning at Sandown. The filly, one of 28 live foals from that crop that are now aged three, is from the Canadian Silver mare Maple Rose, the last of her three foals before her death in 2006. Rubiton (b h 1983, Century– Ruby, by Seventh Hussar (FR)) has sired 38 Stakes winners, and on Friday night, his brilliant son Lucky Secret (b g 2003, exWon’t Tell, by Rory’s Jester) will be attempting to win his
first Group 1 in the Manikato Stakes (WFA 1200m) at Moonee Valley, a race Rubiton won in 1987 on his way to winning the Group 1 Cox Plate that year. Later on Wednesday afternoon, Rubiton’s 6YO son Ruined Castle, a lightly-raced entire of only 12 starts, blitzed his rivals by 4.5 lengths in the 1200m 0-62 handicap. Ruined Castle (b h 2003, ex-My Diamond Hope, by Karioi Star), who was bought by Aquanita Racing for only $12,000 at the 2005 Inglis Autumn Yearling Sale at Oaklands Junction, is now trained by Stuart Padman, and judging by that win, the wait has been worth it.
Kempinsky starting to move Kempinsky’s stud career has been slow off the mark but, as expected, his stock is starting to come to the fore as 3YOs. Kempinsky (b h 2000, Danehill (USA)-Tristalove (NZ), by Sir Tristram (IRE)) sired only one juvenile winner – the promising No Vacancy who won at Ballarat in April – but on Wednesday another son Zidansky (b c 2006, exVolkster, by Volksraad (USA)), appreciating the distance rise to 1650m, looked most impressive winning at Belmont. Trainer Phil Humann believes the gelding is a WA Derby contender. Two days earlier, No Vacancy (b c 2006, ex-Lucid Dream (NZ), by Bassenthwaite (GB)), was an effortless five-lengths trial winner at Cranbourne for trainer Mick Price. Kempinsky stands at Independent Stallions, Nagambie, for a fee of $8800 (inc. GST). He has some big crops still to run for him – books of 129 (2006) and 126 (207) – so the future looks bright.
The Rubiton legacy