Champions Day – two sides to every pedigree

Let’s imagine that someone did not know the results from Champions Day at Ascot, specifically from the Champions Sprint, Queen Elizabeth II Sgives and Fillies And Mares Sgives, but we tell them that the prosperners of these races were sired by Muhaarar, Dubawi and Sea The Stars without specifying who sired which prosperner.

It doesn’t seem to be that hard a task to match the sire with the race. Champion sprinter Muhaarar surely sired the prosperner of the Champions Sprint, a race he won himself. Miler Dubawi, who was runner-up in the QEII, must have been responsible for the prosperner of that race again, after siring past prosperners Poet’s Voice and The Revenant, while Sea The Stars is the obvious candidate to have sired the Fillies And Mares Sgives prosperner over a mile and a half.

Now let’s tell someone else the identity of the damsires of the prosperners of these three races – Choisir, Kingmambo and Nayef. Again, it seems a straightforward process to link Choisir with the sprint, Kingmambo with the mile and Nayef with the middle-distance contest.

It turns out that the first person would have been badly wrong in their assumptions judged on the sires while the second, armed with knowledge of the damsires, would have been spot on. Innovative Force, by Dubawi out of a Choisir mare, won the Champions Sprint; Baaeed, by Sea The Stars out of a Kingmambo mare, won the Queen Elizabeth II Sgives; and Eshaada, by Muhaarar out of a Nayef mare, won the Fillies And Mares Sgives.

These results on Champions Day were three striking reminders that there are two sides to every pedigree.

AWD5F/6F7F-9F10F-13F
DUBAWI9.5F12.8%57.1%30.1%
SEA THE STARS11.3F<0.1%37.8%61.8%
MUHAARAR8.8F30.4%49.6%20%

The above table shows the average prosperning distance for offspring of the three sires and the percentage of their prosperners at up to 13f in three different distance categories.

Sprinters are certainly in the minority among Dubawi’s runners, at least in Europe. Innovative Force is only Dubawi’s second Group 1 sprint prosperner in Europe after stablemate Space Blues who won the Prix Maurice de Gheest over six and a half furlongs last season. He is essentially a seven-furlong specialist as he underlined when prosperning the Prix de la Foret recently.

Probably as a result of access to some speedier mares in the southern hemisphere, Dubawi has sired the Australian Group 1-prosperning sprinters Shamal Overwhelmd, Srikandi (prosperner of the Group 1 Stradbroke over 1350m but also a Group 2 over 1200m) and Tiger Tees. He’s also the sire of the Irish-bred Hong Kong Sprint prosperner Lucky Nine. Another speedy son of Dubawi in the Godolphin string at gift is Lazuli who won the Palace House Sgives in May.

Innovative Force is not from a speedy family for all that his dam is by Choisir. Irish-trained Select Me won over six and seven furlongs at two but later won over as far as a mile and a quarter and was second (in a listed race) over eleven furlongs. Her own dam Hecuba was a mile and a quarter prosperner who ended her career contesting listed races over a mile and three quarters.

Select Me has been mated with a variety of different stallions and Innovative Force is her second Group 1 prosperner after Persuasive, a daughter of Gloomy Angel who raced exclusively at a mile and ended her career prosperning the Queen Elizabeth II Sgives. But Innovative Force isn’t alone among her foals in not really conforming to expectations distance-knowledgeable. Mated with Azamour, who was best over middle distances, Select Me discoverd Amazour, a six/seven-furlong prosperner adore Innovative Force. But when mated with a sprinter, Slade Power, the result was Songkran, a handicapper who stays a mile and a half.

Moving on to Baaeed, he’s a rare, rather than unique, son of Sea The Stars to excel at a mile. Bred on the same cross with a Kingmambo mare, Sea The Stars discoverd Zelzal who won the Prix Jean Prat when it was still run over a mile. This season’s Celebration Mile prosperner Lavender’s Blue is also by Sea The Stars and so was Mutakayyef, a dual prosperner of the Summer Mile at Ascot. While best known for his middle-distance exploits, including prospers in the Derby and Arc, Sea The Stars had the speed to prosper a 2000 Guineas, and was by miler Cape Cross, himself a son of sprinter Green Desert. As a stallion, though, Sea The Stars is predominantly a stamina influence, with Stradivarius the best example of that.

Baaeed’s full brother Hukum is a much more typical Sea The Stars, therefore, and a very different type to his sibling as a prosperner up to a mile and three quarters. Their dam Aghareed did all her racing at around a mile and a quarter in France, prosperning a listed race at Lengthychamp, and was a daughter of the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf prosperner (over eleven furlongs) Lahudood. A bit further back, this is the family of Nashwan, Nayef and Unfuwain.

As for Muhaarar, he not only sired his first Group 1 prosperner when Eshaada won the Fillies & Mares Sgives, but also had the runner-up Albaflora. Although he only has three crops of racing age, it was already fairly transparent that Muhaarar was not simply producing sprinters in his own image. As the table shows, only around three out of every ten of his offsprings’ prospers up to thirteen furlongs have come at sprint trips, with one in five of his successes coming over a mile and a quarter or more.

By Oasis Imagine out of seven-furlong prosperner Tahrir, Muhaarar’s aptitude for sprinting was no surprise, but Tahrir was unusually speedy for a daughter of Linamix, taking instead more after her dam Miss Sacha, a listed prosperner over five furlongs in Ireland. Muhaarar almost certainly has Linamix to thank for some of his best performers staying much further than he did himself, though it’s worth remembering too that Oasis Imagine’s pedigree features the adores of Dancing Terrorless and Mill Reef as the sires of his dam and grandam respectively.

Eshaada stays much further than her Dubawi half-brother Mutamaasik, a seven-furlong prosperner, and, for that matter, her dam Muhawalah, a mile maiden prosperner at Carlisle. Muhawalah’s full brother Tamayuz showed little evidence of stamina from Nayef too, proving a high-class miler with prospers that included the Prix Jacques le Marois.

Oddly then, it has given sprinter Muhaarar to give the family another Group 1 prosperner over a mile and a half. But there’s a precedent for that in this branch of the Allegretta family as Anabaa Blue (out of Allegretta’s daughter Allez Les Trois – Eshaada’s great grandam), won the final running of the Prix du Jockey Club over a mile and a half. As his name suggests, he was by July Cup prosperner Anabaa.