Reigning champion sire Dubawi will do well to retain his British & Irish title this year, being engaged instead in a close battle with Siyouni for the runner-up spot behind 2021 champion Frankel after last weekend’s Irish Champions Festival. Frankel and Siyouni both had winners on the Saturday at Leopardstown, with 2.4m guinea yearling Diego Velazquez winning the KPMG Champions Juvenile Stakes (registered as the Golden Fleece Stakes) and Tahiyra winning the Matron Stakes to add to the Moyglare Stud Stakes she won on the same weekend last year.
But the weekend mainly belonged to Dubawi and his sons. Dubawi himself struck with a Group 1 double at the Curragh thanks to Eldar Eldarov in the Irish St Leger and Henry Longfellow in the Vincent O’Brien National Stakes. Henry Longfellow certainly had the pedigree to excel on this weekend in particular; as well as following in his sire’s footsteps (Dubawi won the National Stakes in 2004), his dam Minding gained the first of her seven Group 1 wins in the Moyglare Stud Stakes in 2015, while his grandam Lillie Langtry won the Matron Stakes in 2010. There was another big winner for the family on the same day at Longchamp where Place du Carrousel won the Prix Foy; she and Henry Longfellow share the same fourth dam, Hiwaayati.
Dubawi’s first-season sire son Too Darn Hot had his first Group 1 winner when his daughter Fallen Angel won the Moyglare Stud Stakes. She was chased home by Vespertilio and Ornellaia (who dead-heated for third), both by Night of Thunder, another son of Dubawi. Night of Thunder had a winner at Leopardstown the day before when Flight Plan (from the same family as Kitty Rose who won the listed Ingabelle Stakes on the same card) won the Dullingham Park Stakes, while Ascendant Stakes winner Al Musmak gave Night of Thunder a listed success at Haydock the same day. Meanwhile at Kempton, Bay Bridge registered his first success since last year’s Champion Stakes when winning the September Stakes at Kempton for a third son of Dubawi, New Bay.
Dubawi is out of Oaks d’Italia winner Zomaradah, one of the best horses by Irish Derby runner-up Deploy, a Shirley Heights half-brother to Commander In Chief, Warning and Dushyantor among others, out of famed Juddmonte broodmare Slightly Peligroso. It’s the Shirley Heights connection which we’re interested in here.
1978 Derby winner Shirley Heights had some good results mated with Zomaradah’s great grandam Sunbittern, also the grandam of 1998 Derby winner High-Rise. Shirley Heights and Sunbittern produced High Hawk, winner of the Premio Roma, Ribblesdale Stakes and Park Hill Stakes, who in turn became dam of Coronation Cup, Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud and Breeders’ Cup Turf winner In The Wings. High Hawk’s sister High Spirited proved a broodmare of note too, being the dam of King Edward VII Stakes winner Amfortas, grandam of 1000 Guineas winner Virginia Waters and great grandam of Space Blues whose wins included the Prix Maurice de Gheest, Prix de la Foret and Breeders’ Cup Mile. As Space Blues is by Dubawi, he’s therefore not only inbred to Sunbittern but also has a 4×4 cross of Shirley Heights in his pedigree.
Shirley Heights’ best stallion son was 1984 Prix du Jockey Club winner Darshaan. Of the weekend’s winners by Dubawi or one of his sons, Henry Longfellow, Eldar Eldarov, Fallen Angel (and the Moyglare runner-up Vespertilio) and Bay Bridge all have Darshaan in the bottom half of their pedigrees, thereby giving them at least one duplication of Shirley Heights within four or five generations.
In Henry Longfellow’s case, it’s his great grandam Hoity Toity (Lillie Langtry’s dam) who was by Darshaan. Hoity Toity’s current three-year-old, Cruella de Vill, a runner-up twice last season, is also by Dubawi.
Eldar Eldarov (whose year-younger half-brother Kingswood was second in the Northfields Handicap later on the Curragh card) also has Darshaan as the sire of his great grandam, Alouette, daughter of Kirsten Rausing’s renowned foundation mare Alruccaba who we’ve mentioned before here.
Fallen Angel is inbred 5x5x5 to Shirley Heights as her dam Agnes Stewart, who won the May Hill Stakes, already had a duplication of Shirley Heights in her pedigree. Agnes Stewart is out of a mare by Darshaan’s son Dalakhani, while her sire Lawman has Shirley Heights as the sire of his grandam.
Additionally, though, Fallen Angel is inbred to Darshaan’s dam Delsy, also the great grandam of Fallen Angel’s sire Too Darn Hot who is himself inbred 4×5 to Shirley Heights. That’s because his dam Dar Re Mi is by Singspiel, a son of In The Wings whose own dam High Hawk, as we’ve already seen, is by Shirley Heights out of Sunbittern, meaning Too Darn Hot, like Space Blues, is also inbred to the latter mare.
That brings us to Bay Bridge, another with Darshaan as the sire of his great grandam, the Aga Khan-bred Shemaya. But the third strain of Shirley Heights in his pedigree brings with it a second instance of broodmare Slightly Peligroso as their repeat mating resulted in the filly Shirley Valentine two years after her brother Deploy. Shirley Valentine produced the Prix La Rochette winner Multiplex, whose son Shanroe won the listed Chester Stakes the previous weekend and whose daughter Hayyona became the dam of Bay Bridge.