Pedigree Page

La Diosa Stars For Outstanding Family In New Zealand 1000 Guineas

Settled last of the 11 runners, La Diosa handled the dead surface well as she began a powerful surge out wide in the home straight to reach the front and to win going away by a length and a half from Bella Gioia (Swiss Ace), with Sweepstake (Per Incanto) three quarters of a length back in third place. Time was 1:37.85.

A winner over 1000 metres at two, La Diosa this season had taken the Canterbury Belle Stakes (Listed, 1200m) and the Barneswood Farm Stakes (Listed, 1400m) before her classic success and looks certain to stay further than 1600 metres. She is now to be spelled and prepared for feature races at the 2017 Sydney Autumn Carnival leading up to her main objective, the Australian Oaks (Gr 1, 2400m).

La Diosa was bred by longtime prominent New Zealand breeder Terry Archer’s T W Archer Trust and is raced by Archer with a group of friends.

She is the latest in a long line of racing stars descending from New Zealand South Island breeders the Dennis brothers’ foundation mare The Kurd (Kurdistan).

Terry Archer purchased La Diosa’s dam Star Affair (Star Way), a half-sister to subsequent 2002 New Zealand 1000 Guineas winner The Jewel, for NZ$55,000 at the New Zealand Bloodstock Premier Yearling Sale in 2000 after she had been passed in.

The mare has rewarded him handsomely, first by winning four races including the Cambridge Travis Stakes (Gr 2, 1600m) and then by producing for him eight winners. La Diosa, Star Affair’s ninth foal, is her third stakes winner as you will see from the accompanying catalogue pedigree while another of her winning foals, Galileo’s Galaxy (Galileo), was sold to South African interests, winning five races and twice finishing second in Group One races.

La Diosa’s half-brother Solid Billing (Rock of Gibraltar) won the Summer Cup (Gr 3, 2400m) and the Queensland Cup (Listed, 3200m) and placed in the Sydney Cup (Gr 1, 3200m) while her half-sister Thy (O’Reilly) won Listed races in Sydney and Melbourne and placed third behind Streama (Stratum) in the Australian Oaks (Gr 1, 2400m), factors which suggest La Diosa may also stay 2400 metres against her own age and sex.

Star Way (Star Appeal), La Diosa’s maternal grandsire, is maternal grandsire of some 57 stakes winners, 11 of them at Group One level. Among these are champion sire and broodmare sire Encosta De Lago (Fairy King), Coco Cobanna (Casual Lies), Carnegie Express (Carnegie), Black Bean (Raami) and Victoria Derby (Gr 1, 2500m) winner Monaco Consul (High Chaparral) who is bred along similar lines to La Diosa.

In winning the New Zealand 1000 Guineas La Diosa became the first Group One winner for Coolmore’s young sire So You Think (High Chaparral), winner of five Group One races in Australia and another five in Britain and Ireland, a horse of great presence at his best at around 2000 metres but also fourth in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe (Gr 1, 2400m) and third in the Melbourne Cup (Gr 1, 3200m) so another positive in assessing La Diosa’s prospects of getting 2400 metres.

Only rarely do you find a classic winner with La Diosa’s depth of female pedigree as her first four dams are all stakes winners and dams of multiple numbers of stakes winners so the consistency and sustained excellence of this family developed on New Zealand’s South Island is really remarkable, aided no doubt by the Dennis brothers use of great South Island-based sires Noble Bijou (Vaguely Noble) and Mellay (Never Say Die), respectively sires of the third and fourth dams of La Diosa.

Fountainhead of this family was The Kurd (1961), only a minor winner of three races but dam of eight winners headed by stakes winners The Wink (Noble Bijou) and La Diosa’s fourth dam The Pixie (Mellay). Notables from this now long line of major winners are many given names with “The” as a prefix, among them two Group One winners, the brothers The Phantom (Noble Bijou) and The Phantom Chance (Noble Bijou) which brought the family to prominence in Australia in the 1990s with a series of feature wins and placings.

The Kurd’s sire Kurdistan (Tehran), imported in the 1950s to stand at Chelandry Stud, Invercargill, was typical of the stallions which built the New Zealand breeding industry in the 30 years following World War II, a horse of impeccable breeding but modest racing performance. Placed six times over sprint distances at two and three years, Kurdistan was finally tried over longer distances as a four-year-old, winning four races between ten and 16 furlongs at Sandown Park, Lingfield Park, Yarmouth and Worcester, showing the distance preferences of his St Leger (Gr 1, 1m6f) winning sire Tehran (Bois Roussel) rather than the extreme speed of his famous half-brother Abernant (Owen Tudor), a champion two-year-old and sprinter and later a leading sire in Britain.

From the Mumtaz Mahal family of celebrated sires Nasrullah (Nearco), Royal Charger (Nearco) and Mahmoud (Blenheim) and closely related to earlier New Zealand stud success Nizami (Firdaussi), Kurdistan left his mark on New Zealand breeding by leaving a number of high class stayers and jumpers including the 1970 Melbourne Cup winner Baghdad Note, Eiffel Tower, Gay Master and Kumai.

La Diosa represents a total outcross in five generations but carries a 5f x 6f double of the tough Round Table (Princequillo), a 6m x 6f cross of Hail To Reason (Turn-to) and a 6m x 6f double of the influential Rockefella (Hyperion) in a well balanced if diverse mix of international bloodlines.