Global phenomenon Fu Peg leaves a massive local legacy
The death of Fusaichi Pegasus has prompted By The Numbers to reflect on his legacy in Australasia, which extends from Haradasun to Capitalist.
Labelled ‘Superman’ on the day he was foaled, Fusaichi Pegasus (Mr. Prospector) has been courting headlines from the moment he hit the Keeneland sales ring in 1998 and flamboyant Japanese owner Fusao Sekiguchi paid US$4 million for him, the highest price at the sale in 13 years.
What followed was a Kentucky Derby (Gr 1, 10f) win in 2000 – he was the first favourite to win the race in 21 years – and then a stallion deal involving Coolmore and Shadai Farm worth US$72 million, valuing him as the most expensive horse of all time.
This week Fusaichi Pegasus made the headlines for what will likely be the last time when Coolmore’s Ashford Stud confirmed he had been euthanised at age 26, closing a chapter on his own story, but certainly not that of his legacy.
He was afforded the opportunity to make his mark in both hemispheres when Coolmore opted to shuttle him to its Jerrys Plains property in the Hunter Valley in 2001. They stood him for $110,000, a fee unheard of for a first-year stallion.
In his seven years of travelling to Australia, Fusaichi Pegasus racked up some impressive numbers. His Australian-bred progeny would win over 1,000 races, 42 of them at stakes level. That list included 343 winners and 27 stakes winners.
Fusaichi Pegasus’s progeny record
|Conceived||Foals||Runners||Winners||Stakes winners||Gr 1 winners||Prize-money ($AU)|
Generally headstrong but talented like their sire, his progeny would also make a major mark in the sales ring. His first Australian crop of yearlings would average nearly double his lofty introductory service fee, at $215,852, with a top price of $775,000.
Australian market enthusiasm continued with his second crop, which averaged $191,854, highlighted by the $800,000 paid for Exceed And Excel’s (Danehill) half-brother, and future stakes winner and stallion, Enemy Of Average at the 2005 Inglis Easter Yearling Sale.
His first Australian-bred million-dollar yearling came from his fourth crop, when John Foote, bidding on behalf of Tony Santic, went to $1,000,000 for a filly out of Redoute’s Choice (Danehill) stakes-placed sister, Monsoon Wedding. Named Climatic, that filly would also be stakes-placed.
Fusaichi Pegasus’s best yearling result came from his final Australian crop, and again involved Santic and a star mare. La Dolce Diva, a daughter of triple Melbourne Cup (Gr 1, 3200m) winner Makybe Diva (Desert King), was purchased for $1.25 million by Mark Kavanagh at the 2010 Easter Sale.
His Australian ventures produced one Group 1 winner, again from a regal female family, in the globetrotting star Haradasun.
Bred by Frank Tagg, Frank Meduri and partners from their AJC Oaks (Gr 1, 2400m) winner Circles Of Gold (Marscay), Haradasun carried considerable expectation onto the racetrack as by the time he debuted, his half-brother Elvstroem (Danehill) had completed a career which included five Group 1 wins, among them a Dubai Duty Free (Gr 1, 1800m).
More brilliant than Elvstroem, Haradasun would win both the George Ryder Stakes (Gr 1, 1500m) and the Doncaster Handicap (Gr 1, 1600m) against the older horses as a three-year-old. The following year he claimed the Queen Anne Stakes (Gr 1, 1m) for Aidan O’Brien at Royal Ascot.
Later that year, Haradasun replaced his own sire on the Coolmore Australia roster at Jerrys Plains, standing at $55,000. He would not reach the same heights as Fu Peg, but he did produce seven stakes winners, among them South African Grade 1 winner Harry’s Son.
Haradasun was one of ten of Fusaichi Pegasus’s Australasian-bred sons to get a chance at stud himself. The other two who produced stakes winners were Flying Pegasus and Zizou.
Flying Pegasus, a dual Group winner, stood at Touchstone Farm in Western Australia and produced three black-type winners, while Zizou, a star two-year-old who was second in a Golden Slipper (Gr 1, 1200m), would produce five stakes winners from his Australian base at Turangga Farm.
Fusaichi Pegasus’s Australian sire sons
|Sire||Runners||Winners||Stakes-winners||Gr 1 winners|
|Enemy of Average||121||35||0||0|
As an American-based shuttle sire whose duties also took in spells in South America after he concluded his time travelling to Australia, Fusaichi Pegasus made a global impact. He sired 1,204 winners in 36 different countries, with 76 stakes winners, among them five Group/Grade 1 winners.
His most successful sire son has been Roman Ruler, the Haskell Invitational (Gr 1, 9f) winner who would shuttle from Hill N Dale Farms Kentucky to Haras Vacacion in Argentina before his premature death in 2017.
Roman Ruler has the same number of stakes winners as Fu Peg, 76, with 15 of them successful at Grade 1 level, the majority of which have been in South America.
Fusaichi Pegasus’s current legacy in Australia flows through from the progeny of his daughters. As a broodmare sire, he has made a mark with winners in 50 countries, with Australia second behind the US on the list of total winners – 532 to 456 – and total stakes winners – 35-19.
His first Australian Group 1 winner as a broodmare sire came when Capitalist (Written Tycoon) won the 2016 Golden Slipper. That champion colt, now a Newgate stallion, is out of Kitalpha, who hailed from the family of star fillies Merlene (Danehill), Miss Pennymoney (Brocco) and Dear Demi (Dehere) and also featured stakes-winning two-year-olds Bold Promise (Luskin Star) and Compulsion (Danehill) as her first two dams.
She was bought for just $82,500 by Daandine Stud in 2012 and they put her to Written Tycoon (Iglesia), a stallion they themselves had bred. The result was the champion two-year-old of the 2014/15 season, who has made a similarly rapid start to his stallion career.
Capitalist was the leading sire in his crop when it came to first and second season winners. He has 172 winners to his credit already, including 12 at stakes-level from just three crops to the track, and is best-placed of any of Fusaichi Pegasus’s descendants in Australia to continue his legacy.
He already has two sons at stud, Captivant and Profiteer, with another, Marine One, set to join the fold in 2023.
The other two Australasian-based stallions with Fu Peg in their pedigree are Rosemont Stud’s Hanseatic (Street Boss), whose second dam Baltics is by the late stallion, and his grandson Niagara (Encosta De Lago), who stands at The Oaks Stud in New Zealand.
Descendants of Fusaichi Pegasus at stud in Australasia
|Niagara||Encosta De Lago||The Oaks Stud||278||187||117||4||0|
|Hanseatic||Street Boss||Rosemont||133||Oldest are yearlings|
|Captivant||Capitalist||Newgate||N/A||First crop – 2023|
|Marine One||Capitalist||Mogumber Park||N/A||At stud – 2023|
Fusaichi Pegasus’s second Australian Group 1 winner as a broodmare sire came via his three-time Group-winning daughter Cats Whisker, who is the dam of 2017 Blue Diamond Stakes (Gr 1, 1200m) winner Catchy (Fastnet Rock).
The combination of his daughters with Fastnet Rock has produced three Group 1 winners from 47 runners, with Catchy joined by elite New Zealand winners Albany Reunion and Rocket Spade.
Cats Whisker was also responsible for one of his two seven-figure Australian yearling results as a broodmare sire. Her daughter Adorable Miss (Pierro) sold for $1.1 million at Easter in 2019. His best commercial result in that damsire role came back at the same sale five years prior when a Street Cry (Machiavellian) colt out of his unraced American-bred daughter Star On High fetched $1.5 million.
Globally, Fusaichi Pegasus features as the broodmare sire of 92 individual stakes winners, among them 14 who have won at the elite level. That includes Chile’s current top three-year-old Fortino (Midshipman) and last year’s Hong Kong Vase (Gr 1, 2400m) winner Win Marilyn (Screen Hero).