Pedigree Page

Divine Prophet Brings Just Reward For Breeder In The Caulfield Guineas

At the line, the margin was only a head while third placed Hey Doc (Duporth) was another half length back in third place. Race time was 1:36.51 with a final 600 metre sectional time of 35.38.

Significance of the win from the viewpoint of future stallion value is great and for breeder/owner Tony Falcone and his family this victory in a stallion making race at the highest level is some compensation for the disappointment they suffered when Divine Prophet’s very talented, seven-year-old brother Proisir (Choisir) failed to win a Group One before his enforced retirement from racing due to a tendon injury.

Proisir’s major success came in the Spring Stakes (Gr 3, 1600m) at Newcastle but seconds to champion Dundeel (High Chaparral) in both the Spring Champion Stakes (Gr 1, 2000m) and the Randwick Guineas (Gr 1, 1600m) were a more accurate indication of Proisir’s racing class.

Coming from a renowned New Zealand family, Proisir last year was given his chance as a stallion at Rich Hill Stud near Matamata where he is currently covering his second book of mares at a fee of NZ$7,000 (plus GST).

Divine Prophet was a little quicker than his brother to reach the racetrack, winning over 1200 metres at Kembla Grange at his second start as a two-year-old last season before revealing his future potential with a third to Prized Icon (More Than Ready) in the Champagne Stakes (Gr 1, 1600m), beaten just over a length.

He resumed at three years this season with an eye catching performance to win the Up And Coming Stakes (Gr 3, 1300m), coming from last on the home turn, before finishing fourth to Astern (Medaglia d’Oro) in the Golden Rose Stakes (Gr 1, 1400m). At his only other start leading up to the Caulfield Guineas, Divine Prophet finished second, beaten a long neck, to Impending (Lonhro) after losing a plate in running in last month’s Stan Fox Stakes (Gr 2, 1500m).

Choisir (Danehill Dancer), the sire of Divine Prophet, is now 17-years-old but continues to produce a stream of good winners and as a former reverse shuttler he has made an impact not just in Australia but also in Europe, the United States and Hong Kong with 77 stakes winners to his credit, ten at Group One level, among them an earlier Caulfield Guineas winner in Starspangledbanner who stands with his father at Coolmore in NSW after making a dazzling start to his stud career in Ireland despite some early fertility issues.

Choisir has matched well with mares by Encosta De Lago as not only Divine Prophet is bred on the cross but also Group One winner Japonisme and stakes winners Defcon and Frespanol.

The Falcone family raced Divine Prophet’s dam Prophet Jewel (Encosta De Lago) who proved more than useful, winning six races, three in Sydney and Brisbane, including one as a two-year-old, up to 1300 metres and she has since done them proud as a producer. Proisir was her second foal, her third Prodane (Dane Shadow) placed twice in Sydney, her fourth foal Promas (Dylan Thomas) won and also placed twice in Brisbane while the mare’s fifth foal, Proane (Dane Shadow) is a winner of two races.

Divine Prophet is the sixth foal of Prophet Jewel and to follow him are a yearling filly (born 2015) by Exceed And Excel (Danehill) and a Dissident (Sebring) filly born this spring.

Stakes-placed Mr Esteem (Umatilla) is the best of four winners produced by Divine Prophet’s second dam Factor (Centaine) but there is a seldom bettered depth to the female line behind the 2016 Caulfield Guineas winner who traces back to celebrated imported mare Sunbride (Tai Yang), perhaps the greatest female classic and stamina influence in New Zealand breeding in the 1950s through to the 1970s.

A truly remarkable matron on several counts, Divine Prophet’s fifth dam Sunbride was in 1946 selected by Nancy and Alister Williams as a foundation mare for their Te Parae Stud, later to also become the home of champion sires Oncidium (Alcide) and Agricola (Precipitation).

Sunbride was to produce no fewer than 16 foals, 13 of which survived, with 11 becoming winners of a total of 52 races.Three of those winners, Straight Draw (Faux Tirage), Ilumquh (Sabaean) and General Command (Agricola), scaled the highest peaks of Australasian racing, between them winning 19 feature races.

Straight Draw’s successes included the 1957 Melbourne Cup (now Gr 1, 3200m), the 1957 Metropolitan Handicap (now Gr 1, 2400m) and the 1958 Sydney Cup (now Gr 1, 3200m). Ilumquh’s victories were highlighted by his success in the 1960 Caulfield Cup (now Gr 1, 2400m) while General Command won at least five races now recognised as Group One contests, among them the 1967 Metropolitan Handicap (in Australasian record time), the 1968 Sydney Cup and the 1968 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (then 14f).

Our Love (Booby Trap), Sunbride’s first foal, played her part in the Sunbride saga as the dam of Terrific (Gigantic), a seven-time stakes winner in New Zealand but another of Sunbride’s daughters, Myrrh (Sabaean) proved more important as dam of Dicidiana (Agricola) who became dam of champion Dayana (Oncidium) as well as Grand Cidium (Alcimedes), winner of the Caulfield Guineas.

Divine Prophet’s fourth dam Bridesmaid (Agricola) is a sister to General Command so while it is fair to say this wonderful family has lost prominence in recent seasons Divine Prophet and Proisir carry a great legacy of excellence which may find new expression through their progeny.

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