A Cup full of history for Teofilo
It wasn’t just Caulfield Cup history being created when Without A Fight and West Wind Blows led home a quinella for their sire Teofilo in Saturday’s race.
For the first time this century, the progeny of one sire claimed the quinella of one of Australia’s great races, the Caulfield Cup (Gr 1, 2400m), with the sons of one-time shuttle sire Teofilo (Galileo) fighting out the finish of Saturday’s race.
The last time the Caulfield Cup witnessed such domination was in 1999 when the legendary Zabeel (Sir Tristram) produced the trifecta, led home by Sky Heights, with his daughters Laebeel and Inaflury filling the minor placings.
Prior to that, the last sire to have a Caulfield Cup quinella was Zamazaan (Exbury), whose sons Lord Reims and Beau Zam occupied the first two placings in 1987, while it hasn’t happened in a Melbourne Cup (Gr 1, 3200m) since Zabeel did it in 1998.
Group 1 quinellas are not uncommon in Australian racing. In recent times, Snitzel (Redoute’s Choice) has had four. His star sprinters Redzel and Russian Revolution were involved in two of those, while Redzel also led home a Snitzel quinella in The Everest (1200m).
Zoustar (Northern Meteor) has had two Group 1 quinellas, featuring a famous trifecta in the 2018 Coolmore Stud Stakes (Gr 1, 1200m), and another 1-2 down the Flemington straight in the 2021 Newmarket Handicap (Gr 1, 1200m). I Am Invincible (Invincible Spirit) is another leading sire to have achieved that feat relatively recently, in the 2018 Flight Stakes (Gr 1, 1600m).
What is much rarer is a Group 1 quinella from a sire from two northern hemisphere-bred progeny, as happened with Teofilo’s sons Without A Fight and West Wind Blows in the Caulfield Cup. We have scoured the archives of Group 1 races and you have to go back 11 years to find the last time that happened in Australia.
That occurred when Glencadam Gold defeated Kelinni in the 2012 Metropolitan Handicap (Gr 1, 2400m) at Randwick. Both were Irish-bred horses by another Darley sire, Refuse To Bend (Sadler’s Wells).
Beyond the achievement of that quinella, Teofilo also joined a select group of stallions who have produced separate winners of both the Caulfield Cup and Melbourne Cup since 1980. Excluding those stallions who had one horse win both races, there are only three.
Sir Tristram (Sir Ivor) sired three Melbourne Cup winners and two Caulfield Cup winners (one of his offspring won both), while his son Zabeel fared even better with three victories in each race (also including one who won both).
Before Saturday, High Chaparral (Sadler’s Wells) was the other stallion in that category as the sire of Melbourne Cup winner Rekindling and Caulfield Cup winner Descarado.
Teofilo, the sire of Melbourne Cup heroes Cross Counter and Twilight Payment, is the latest entrant to that club and is the only one of that quartet to have his entire Cup-winning contingent bred in the northern hemisphere.
Stallions to sire separate winners of Caulfield Cup and Melbourne Cup since 1980
|Stallion||Caulfield Cup||Melbourne Cup|
|Sir Tristram||Gurner’s Lane, Tristarc||Gurner’s Lane, Empire Rose, Brew|
|Zabeel||Might And Power, Sky Heights, Railings||Might And Power, Jezabeel, Efficient|
|Teofilo||Without A Fight||Cross Counter, Twilight Payment|
Teofilo did, of course, shuttle to Australia, spending five seasons at Darley from 2009 to 2017. He missed a season in 2012 and also did not make the trip south in 2014 and 2015.
From those six Australian crops, he produced an impressive 18 stakes winners from 275 runners to date. Among those horses are Group 1 winners Happy Clapper, Humidor, Palentino, Kermadec and Sonntag.
The success of his locally bred progeny has given greater confidence for those wishing to purchase or travel over his Northern Hemisphere-bred horses to Australia.
Teofilo has had 32 Northern Hemisphere horses run in Australia, five of which have won stakes races. As well as the Cup-winning trio above, there has also been Group 2 winner Amralah and Listed winner Aktau. Another eight of his NH-bred horses have been stakes-placed.
The 15.6 per cent stakes-winners-to-runners for his NH-bred progeny in Australia puts him up among the most influential overseas-based stallions in recent times. Monsun (Konigsstuhl), the sire of three Melbourne Cup winners, leads the way on 33.3 per cent, ahead of Dansili (Danehill) on 30.2 per cent, and Montjeu (Sadler’s Wells) on 24.3 per cent.
Selected stallions ranked on NH-bred stakes winners to runners in Australia
Where Teofilo is also elite is in his ratio of Group 1 runners to winners. In Australia, it stands at 2.93 per cent, while globally it is now 1.95 per cent. That global percentage is the eighth highest of any male-line descendant of the influential Sadler’s Wells (Northern Dancer).
With 24 Group 1 winners in total, he has now passed High Chaparral to be fifth of all those Sadler’s Wells’ line stallions. Ahead of him are his own sire Galileo (99) as well as Frankel (33), Montjeu (31) and Medaglia D’Oro (26).
That elite record has been achieved through amazing consistency. He is the only active stallion in Europe to have produced Group 1 winners from each of his first 11 northern hemisphere crops.
As a son of Galileo, out of a Danehill (Danzig) mare, Teofilo’s compatibility with ‘outcross’ sirelines has been crucial to this success.
On Saturday Without A Fight became his first Group 1 winner out of a Dubawi (Dubai Millennium) mare, but that combination has been his most successful when it comes to winners (23) and stakes winners (seven). That nick, also his most common in terms of runners (37), has an impressive stakes-winners-to-runners ratio of 18 per cent.
Caulfield Cup runner-up West Wind Blows is out of a mare by Machiavellian (Mr Prospector), a combination that has yielded Teofilo three stakes winners, including Group 1 winner Special Fighter.
For local breeders, there are only three sons of Teofilo active in Australia.
Darley’s Kermadec, who as mentioned recently in this column boasts an even more impressive Group 1-winning rate than his sire, is the only one at a commercial level. A dual Group 1 winner as a racehorse, Kermadec features elite winners Montefilia, Tuvalu and Willowy, as well as four other stakes winners, among his 147 runners to the track.
Another of Teofilo’s Group 1-winning sons, Palentino, is now at Platinum Thoroughbreds in Victoria and has had a good run of late with three of his progeny winning in the past week. Irish-bred St Jean, meanwhile, has had a handful of runners, including two winners this season from his base in Victoria.
Most successful nicks with Teofilo (ranked by stakes winners)
|Rock of Gibraltar||16||9||3||0|
|Mark of Esteem||12||8||3||2|