Omei Sword Deadly In The Silver Shadow Stakes
Big, strong, good looking and possessed of a pedigree etched in purple on both sides, Omei Sword is the product of a dual Derby-winning sire and a Classic-winning dam, both by champion sires.
The late scratching of the Godolphin-owned Calliope (Exceed and Excel) from the Silver Shadow Stakes after once again playing up in the barriers made Omei Sword’s task an easier one.
However, the manner in which she strode away from her rivals to defeat runner up Bacarella (Beneteau) by three and a quarter lengths in 1:09.68 could hardly have been more impressive.
Bred the way she is, Omei Sword should have little trouble in getting 1600 metres as her dam Irish Lights (Fastnet Rock) did to win the 2009 Thousand Guineas (Gr 1, 1600m) in which she defeated Group One winners Melito (Redoute’s Choice) and Faint Perfume (Shamardal).
While there is an abundance of speed close up on the female side of Omei Sword’s pedigree, having High Chaparral (Sadler’s Wells) as her sire may allow Omei Sword to extend to Classic distances, especially against her own age and sex where class sometimes means more than sheer stamina.
More mature now than the filly last seen out when unplaced in the ATC Sires’ Produce Stakes (Gr 1, 1400m) in early April, Omei Sword was bred by Coolmore affiliate Katom.
She was offered in the Coolmore consignment at the 2015 Inglis Australian Easter Yearling Sale in Sydney where she was sold to Chris Waller Racing acting for major client C C Lai for $675,000.
Omei Sword is the first living foal out of Irish Lights whose first two High Chaparral fillies, born in 2011 and 2012, unfortunately died.
Following Omei Sword is a now two-year-old colt by Pierro (Lonhro) named Seirios, who is showing early promise in New Zealand.
Since foaling him, Irish Lights has slipped three times in succession, twice to Pierro and this year to Adelaide (Galileo), highlighting how frustrating it can be to be a breeder.
The catalogue-style pedigree of Omei Sword shown here tells only part of the saga of pedigree excellence behind this filly who descends from one of the finest families in international breeding over the past 40 years.
Omei Sword’s third dam River Crossing is by a celebrated American Triple Crown winner Affirmed (Exclusive Native).
She is out of Change Water (Swaps), who is the dam of nine winners of which Belmont Matron Stakes (Gr 1, 7f) winner Fall Aspen (Pretense) is the most famous as she in turn produced no fewer than 13 winners.
Her offspring are headed by Group / Grade One stars Timber Country (Woodman) (sire), Northern Aspen (Northern Dancer), Fort Wood (Sadler’s Wells) (champion sire) and Hamas (Danzig) (sire) and the Group / Grade One performers, Mazzacano (Alleged), Prince Of Thieves (Hansel) and the Group Two winner and 1998 Irish Champion Three-Year-Old Sprinter Bianconi (Danzig).
She also produced Group Two winners Colorado Dancer (Shareef Dancer), dam of Dubawi’s sire and champion racehorse Dubai Millennium (Seeking The Gold), and Elle Seule (Exclusive Native), who is herself the dam of ten winners.
Among her offspring are Mehthaaf (Nureyev), winner of the Irish 1,000 Guineas (Gr 1, 1m); Elnadim (Danzig), a sire whose wins included the July Cup (Gr 1, 6f); Bianconi (Danzig).
Several more of Fall Aspen’s daughters also became notable producers, among them Dance Of Leaves (Sadler’s Wells), dam of stakes winning sires Medaaly (Highest Honor) and Charnwood Forest (Warning), both of whom stood for a time in Australia.
This truly outstanding family has continued to produce a string of Group One winners in recent seasons, including Mondialiste (Galileo), Intello (Galileo), currently one of Europe’s most popular young sires, Dixie Union (Dixieland Band) and Ribchester (Iffraaj). It has also produced promising young British-based sire Harbour Watch (Acclamation) who spent the 2013 and 2014 Australian breeding seasons at Emirates Park Stud in New South Wales.
Omei Sword’s sire High Chaparral died in December 2014 after shuttling from Ireland both to New Zealand and Australia for nine seasons which yielded Group One winners So You Think (sire), Dundeel (sire), Shoot Out, Descarado, Fenway, Monaco Consul (sire), and Pondarosa Miss.
Dundeel, Monaco Consul and So You Think are standing in New South Wales this spring, while High Chaparral’s Group One winners conceived in Ireland, Contributer and Redwood, will be available in New Zealand.
Free Eagle is also making his debut in South Australia and Toronado will begin his second season in Victoria.
With that in mind, the beneficial influence of High Chaparral on Australasian racing should be felt for many seasons to come.
All told High Chaparral has to date left 83 stakes winners worldwide, among them 15 Group One winners.
He is also beginning to forge an international reputation as a successful broodmare sire with his daughters so far responsible for 11 stakes winners including Suavito (Thorn Park), earner of more than $1,300,000 in prize money, young shuttle sire The Wow Signal (Starspangledbanner) and Hong Kong star Sir Andrew – Helene Paragon (Polan).
As a racehorse, High Chaparral was able to win twice as a two-year-old when he gave a pointer to his classic career to come in the following season by taking the Racing Post Trophy (Gr 1, 1m).
At three he captured both The Derby (Gr 1, 1m4f) and the Irish Derby (Gr 1, 1m4f) plus other feature events.
Sound, tough and a great fighter, he also twice won the Breeders’ Cup Turf (Gr 1, 12f) in the United States, one in a dead-heat.
Omei Sword is the latest example of the value of combining the blood of High Chaparral’s great sire Sadler’s Wells (Northern Dancer), also sire of Galileo, with Danehill (Danzig), sire of her maternal grandsire Fastnet Rock.
This is broadly the formula that resulted in unbeaten champion Frankel (Galileo).
In the case of Omei Sword, she carries four lines of Northern Dancer (Nearctic) blood and it is worthy of note that her Classic-winning dam Irish Lights is linebred to the tough and speedy mare Crimson Saint (Crimson Satan), respectively dam of Royal Academy (Nijinsky) and second dam of Storm Cat (Storm Bird), both by sons of Northern Dancer.