It's In The Blood

Arabian Summer

An exquisite blending of pedigrees with stars from the old world and the new has been distilled into Arabian Summer (Too Darn Hot), imperious winner of last weekend’s Gold Pearl (1100m) and the stand-out contender among fillies for this week’s Magic Millions 2YO Classic (RL, 1200m).

She also looks to potentially be one of the finest gallopers Tony McEvoy has trained for a while, which makes it all the more meritorious that she was sniffed out from deepest darkest Book 2 in last year’s Magic Millions Gold Coast sale.

McEvoy and Belmont Bloodstock went to $220,000 to buy Arabian Summer from Coolmore Stud’s draft amid the nosebleed numbers as Lot 1167, making her the third-top yearling from the second-tier book.

She was, however, only the eighth-highest of the 17 lots sold across the sale for Darley’s first-season shuttle sire Too Darn Hot (Dubawi). So far, it altogether looks like a piece of extremely canny buying, given Arabian Summer’s impressive strides.

A product of the Australian breeding wing of Dubai’s Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Maktoum, who’s stayed in the ownership, Arabian Summer opened with a second in Caulfield’s Debutant Stakes (Listed, 1000m) in October. She was then third in Flemington’s Ottawa Stakes (Gr 3, 1000m) before her dominant three and a half length win at home in Ballarat’s Magic Millions 2YO Classic (1000m), beating Godolphin colt Parkour (Extreme Choice) into second.

She blew away an admittedly weaker field of rivals in her warm-up for the big one at the Gold Coast last Saturday, which made her the leading filly in betting for this weekend’s $3m “grand final”, at $7. The only member of her sex shorter than $17, she’s on the fourth line behind Storm Boy (Justify, $2.40), Spywire (Trapeze Artist, $5), and Highness (Snitzel, $6.50), with Parkour at $10.

Carrying Frank and Christine Cook’s famed maroon, white and gold, Arabian Summer is one of three winners from five Australian runners for Too Darn Hot, putting him third among first season sires here behind Alabama Express (Redoute’s Choice) and Tassort (Brazen Beau), and sixth on the two-year-old table.

She’s also Too Darn Hot’s only stakes-placegetter here, though his first northern crop has hatched four black-type victors, amid 29 winners from 75 runners. They’re headed by Fallen Angel, who took the Curragh’s Moyglare Stud Stakes (Gr 1, 7f), while Alyanaabi was second at the top level in Newmarket’s Dewhurst Stakes (Gr 1, 7f).

Combined with the top lot of the first two days of the current Gold Coast sale – the $1.9 million colt out of A Time For Julia (Redoute’s Choice) – it’s been a most encouraging start for the eight-year-old stallion, and vindication for Darley’s move to place the sprinter-miler in the Australian market.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa, and his Australian representative Tim Stakemire, sent the mare Maraam (Street Cry) to the triple G1-winner, standing his first season at a not inconsiderable $44,000, for her third mating.

The first had produced Eddystone (Fastnet Rock), a $575,000 Easter purchase for Tony Fung who’s now an 11-start maiden in his sixth stable, and was most recently seen running last at Moree.

Maraam’s second foal Kanaird (Rubick) was bought by Sunshine Coast trainer Paul Duncan for the same $220,000 mark as Arabian Summer at the Gold Coast, though in Book 1 this time. He’s now in his fourth home, as a six-start maiden, last spotted running seventh of eight at Emerald.

At the time McEvoy and Belmont bought their younger half sister last January, Eddystone had run last, last and second last from his three career starts in country Queensland, and Kanaird had run last at his only run, in Brisbane’s Phelan Ready (Listed, 1000m).

All of which again reinforces that Arabian Summer’s purchasing was some bold and astute shopping indeed.

On type, she was clearly a standout, to which co-trainer Calvin McEvoy attests. “She was a nice filly – $220,000 in Book 2 was a bit of money after all,” he says.

But the buying team will have also been emboldened by what they saw in the bloodlines through this introduction of Maraam to Britain’s Too Darn Hot.

Maraam had an only fair 18-start career, with three wins, two in Sydney midweek metro class, and two unplaced bids at black type in Brisbane Listeds ending things off.

Yet Sheikh Mohammed had paid $1.05 million for her as a yearling, making her the fifth-highest lot, and top filly, at Inglis Australian Easter Sale 2014. Bred by M P S Bloodstock, she was purchased from the draft of Sheikh Mohammed’s close associates Segenhoe Stud, who’d bought her a year earlier for $280,000, making her the second-top lot and top filly at the Gold Coast National Weanling Sale.

It’s no surprise, then, to see the daughter of booming broodmare sire Street Cry comes from an extremely illustrious family, stemming from one of the most influential of modern Australian mares, Easy Date (Grand Chaudiere), Arabian Summer’s fifth dam.

Bob Lapointe earned the nickname “Lucky” for good reason. Mind you, there was also a large dose of good judgement behind the expat Canadian bringing Kentucky Fried Chicken, Pizza Hut and Sizzler to Australia, and building his Muskoka Farm breeding enterprise.

But in 1984 he made one move he’d regret. He sold Easy Date, who’d been restricted to three starts for one win, for $5,000 at a Scone sale, to Victoria’s Gregadoo Stud Farm. Inside her was her fourth foal, the colt who’d later be known as Snippets (Lunchtime).

Trained by Max Lees, Snippets would win three top-level sprints in the AJC Sires’ Produce (Gr 1, 1400m) and The Galaxy (Gr 1, 1100m), and Caulfield’s Oakleigh Plate (Gr 1, 1100m), plus four other stakes races, as well as the inaugural Magic Millions 2YO Classic of 1987 – by four lengths.

He of course went on to influence the breed as an outstanding sire who’s impact endures today, siring 57 stakes winners, nine at the top level including Spartacus, who won three Group 1s in the late 1990s. Snippets’ progeny have also included Pins, who went on to produce 83 stakes-winners of his own, 11 at the top level including Cox Plate (Gr 1, 2040m) victor El Segundo.

Following Snippets’ racetrack success, Easy Date was acquired by Segenhoe, and threw three more stakes-winners: Quick Score (Pag-Asa) who won twice in black-type and was placed in all three of his Group 1s; Asawir (Last Tycoon) who won a Listed and was thrice stakes-placed, all in Melbourne; and True Blonde (Naturalism) – Arabian Summer’s fourth dam.

Easy Date ultimately threw a whopping 18 foals, for 15 runners and 11 winners, before dying at 23 in 2000. Her influence has been profound.

She was the granddam, through the stakes-placed mare Singles Bar (Rory’s Jester), of Not A Single Doubt (Redoute’s Choice), who now ranks 17th among all-time Australian sires with 82 stakes-winners, spearheaded by 16 Group 1 winners.

Singles Bar also left Bella Sunday (Sunday Silence), dam of Flight Stakes (Gr 1, 1600m) winner Oohood (I Am Invincible) and Breakfast In Bed (Hussonet), the latter the stakes-placed dam of the million-dollar colt who went on to win two Group 1s and is now a hot first-season sire King’s Legacy (Redoute’s Choice). Singles Bar also threw Hanky Panky (Anabaa), dam of three stakes-winners.

Naturalism (Palace Music) was of course a mighty horse, winning three Group 1s, two Group 2s that are now top-tier – the Turnbull Stakes and Memsie stakes – running second in a Japan Cup (Gr 1, 2400m), and unfortunately falling when well fancied in that unforgettable 1992 Cox Plate. However, he failed at stud, leaving just three stakes-winners, but his mating with Easy Date at least produced one of them.

True Blonde only won a Flemington Listed race, albeit from just four starts, but she also threw a dual Listed winner in Regrowth (Unbridled’s Song), who in turn left a Group 3 winner in Colour (More Than Ready), and is Arabian Summer’s third dam. Regrowth’s other foals include Munhro (Lonhro), who only won a Cessnock maiden amongst seven starts but threw dual Sydney stakes-winning entire Derryn (Hinchinbrook) and, a year earlier, Maraam.

Combining Maraam with Too Darn Hot has produced a series of heavy repetitions of three giant American broodmares which have gone into making Arabian Summer.

Lalun (Djeddah, 1952) helps lay the foundation with five appearances in the first nine generations at 8m, 8m, 9m x 7m, 8m, four through Never Bend (Nasrullah) and once with Bold Reason (Hail To Reason).

Her fellow Reine-de-Course mare Natalma (Native Dancer, 1957) appears seven times from generations six to nine. While six of those are through her famed son Northern Dancer (Nearctic), that most recent sixth column spot is through a daughter in Raise The Standard (Hoist The Flag), granddam of Machiavellian (Mr Prospector), sire of Street Cry.

And Natalma’s dam Almahmoud (Mahmoud, 1947) also has seven spots within the first nine removes. Five are through Natalma, but there’s also one on each side from another daughter who earned Reine-de-Course designation, Cosmah (Cosmic Bomb). She’s duplicated in the sixth generation as the dam of Halo, who’s in Too Darn Hot’s female family and is Machiavellian’s damsire.

Halo’s (Hail To Reason) 5f x 5f duplication comes through two different daughters. It’s one of only two double-ups in Arabian Summer’s first five generations, along with Mr Prospector (Raise A Native), who adds oomph in the sirelines of both Too Darn Hot and Maraam, 5m x 4m.

Aside from bringing a wonderfully intricate pedigree, Arabian Summer promises yet more success as a broodmare sire for Street Cry, who currently sits at a personal-best fourth on that Australian table, and equal-second by stakes winners, with eight.

His daughters have thrown the likes of Cox Plate winner Romantic Warrior (Acclamation), Golden Slipper Stakes (Gr 1, 1200m) hero Farnan (Not A Single Doubt), triple Group 1 winner Cascadian (New Approach) and Blue Diamond Stakes (Gr 1, 1200m) victor Lyre (Lonhro).

In Australia last season he leapt to 16 stakes-winners as a broodmare sire – up from a previous high of six – out of 303 runners (5.3 per cent). Overall in Australia he has 36 stakes-winners from 601 starters (6 per cent) amid 396 winners.

* Coolmore will offer Maraam’s fourth foal, by Wootton Bassett, as Lot 914 at the Gold Coast tomorrow.

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