Kiwi Chronicles

The bottom line

A continuing theme of this weekly report is the strength of certain female families.

In recent months, the famous “Belle” family has been discussed at length. This past month, Georgina Belle (Pakistan II), no connection to the Belle family, and her stakes-winning descendants have been impacting the industry weekly.

Last week, highlighting a Group 1 win on Arc day in Paris, a special edition of Kiwi Chronicles detailed the brace of northern hemisphere Group 1 victories due to Olympic Aim (Zamazaan) and her Eulalie (Absurd) branch of the Eulogy (Cicero) family.

Two of the above again feature this week courtesy of Anamoe (Street Boss) and Probabeel (Savabeel).

Similar to Olympic Aim, who was exported to Australia during the 1980s and has established her own mini dynasty, so too has Electric Belle (Sovereign Edition), from whom descends Anamoe (Street Boss), winner of the Caulfield Guineas (Gr 1, 1600m) on Saturday.

Anamoe’s class was apparent before this latest impressive effort yet the wide barrier, which had him three wide the journey, was always a question. Overcoming hurdles separates champions from the others and Anamoe fits the former. We witnessed his ability in last March’s Golden Slipper Stakes (Gr 1, 1200m) then his class, two weeks later, in the ATC Sires’ Produce Stakes (Gr 1, 1400m).

Perhaps the second-up hoodoo of his current preparation explains his surprise defeat in the Golden Rose (Gr 1, 1400m) prior to the Guineas, but he had more reasons to be beaten at Caulfield, yet overcame them brilliantly.

Dad’s family

When Kiwi Chronicles interviewed Marie Leicester, daughter of Belle family founders James and Annie Sarten, back in March, she explained that Belle Rosa (Instinct) became her mum’s family while Belle Time (Summertime) became her dad’s family. Both mares were from foundation mare Belle Fox (Foxbridge).

Chalk Anamoe’s Group 1 up to dad’s family, however, Electric Belle was actually offered by Field House Stud at the 1981 Trentham Yearling Sales.

Proving that good blood will win through is also true in this case as Electric Belle was not successful on the track. Neither was her dam, Dame Belle (Hermes).

Despite being a sister to the high class Asgard (Hermes), it would not be unfair to state that Dame Belle did not live up to the Belle family name as a producer either.

Dame Belle’s half-sister, Group 1 miler Honey Belle (Better Honey), is best known via recently retired Melody Belle (Commands), who lit up our racing scene for the last few years.

The Sovereign Edition connection

Melody Belle’s third dam, Imperial Belle, is by Sovereign Edition (Sovereign Path) from a daughter of Belle Time. Anamoe’s third dam, Electric Belle is also by Sovereign Edition from a daughter of Belle Time, making them three-quarter blood sisters.

There is no mistaking the positive influence that Sovereign Edition made on the New Zealand Stud Book.

Although Electric Belle’s race record was disappointing, she has rectified that somewhat comprehensively once retired to the breeding barn. Purchased by John Kelly for $100,000, she has established her own Australian strain.

Electric Belle produced dual Listed winner Roanoke Boy (Ideal Planet) as well as two stakes-placed performers. One of those was Voltage (Whiskey Road).

As a producer, Voltage is the star of this branch. Her three stakes winners feature two that were victorious at the elite level, namely Drum (Marauding) who won the Oakleigh Plate (Gr 1, 1100m) and Anamoe’s dam, Anamato (Redoute’s Choice).

The Australasian Oaks (Gr 1, 2000m) and three further Group races fell to Anamato before she was sent to the United States where she finished third in the American Oaks (Gr 1, 10f) at Hollywood Park.

A trip across the Atlantic saw Anamato produce four foals in the northern hemisphere including Listed winner Anamba (Shamardal) and since her return to Australia, in 2015, five more foals. She is due to foal to Blue Point (Shamardal) any day now.

In a relatively short 40 odd years, Electric Belle is responsible for 18 stakes winners, as well as 11 stakes-placed performers. Remarkably, eight of the 18 have won at the highest level.

In addition to those mentioned above is seven-time Group 1 victor Grand Armee (Hennessy), whose Group 1 placed dam Tambour (Marauding) is a sister Drum, while another sister is Volte (Marauding), dam of Rosehill Guineas (Gr 1, 2000m) winner Dealer Principal (Flying Spur).

Anamato’s three-quarter brother, Wylie Hall (Redoute’s Choice) won the South African Derby (Gr 1, 2450m). Wylie Hall’s half-brother, Genius And Evil who raced as Absolute Champion (Marauding) in Hong Kong, won the Group 1 Hong Kong Sprint (1200m).

Dual Group 1-winning two-year-old Yourdeel (Dundeel) is a grandson of Volted In (Rory’s Jester), a half-sister to Anamato.

This is simply a wonderful family that keeps excelling in Australia and New Zealand.

Different Belle, same results

The Underwood Stakes (Gr 1, 1800m), run two weeks ago at Sandown, saw Probabeel run second to Zaaki (Leroidesaniaux) but the mare’s determination was clear. She is as tough as old boots and tried her heart out that day.

That same courage was present on Saturday in the Caulfield Stakes (Gr 1, 2000m), which was run this year to remember another great fighter, Might And Power (Zabeel).

The mare looked beaten inside the 50 metres when headed for a stride or two by Nonconformist (Rebel Raider). After taking over at the 200 metres the challenge looked to be too much, yet her total determination saw her stretch her neck and the camera had her nose in front where it mattered most.

Over the past few weeks Kiwi Chronicles has gone into great detail about Probabeel’s family and that she is a descendant of Georgina Belle.

Probabeel’s ultra-close relation Never Been Kissed (Tivaci) was the headline act a week ago. Ultra-close because Never Been Kissed’s dam Movie is by Savabeel from Tootsie (Pins). Probabeel is by Savabeel from a three-quarter sister to Tootsie.

Less than two hours after the Caulfield Stakes, Never Been Kissed was in action at Randwick, on a seven-day back up from her Flight Stakes (Gr 1, 1600m) victory. This time she was a gallant, pace-making second in the Spring Champion Stakes (Gr 1, 2000m) to emerging star Profondo (Deep Impact).

In between, another relative, Forgot You (Savabeel) was seen putting in some big strides late to almost grab fourth in the Caulfield Guineas. Already a Group 2 winner at his previous start, Forgot You must be a major chance in the upcoming Victoria Derby (Gr 1, 2500m).

Belle Fox and Georgina Belle: Two great families that keep adding to their tally of high class winners.

The Grand Finale

And the best may be yet to come as Anamoe and Probabeel are slated to clash in the Cox Plate (Gr 1, 2040m), to be run in two weeks.

Provided the potential runners remain healthy, this year’s Weight-For-Age championship will be one to savour.

Verry Elleegant (Zed) is among the third acceptors, as is defending champion Sir Dragonet (Camelot). Zaaki will be there. Incentivise (Shamus Award) might be there. The race is shaping up to be highly competitive.

There can be just one winner and this year’s race is a promotor’s dream and will very likely be far more interesting than either the Melbourne Cup (Gr 1, 3200m) or the Caulfield Cup (Gr 1, 2400m).

Where will you be on Saturday afternoon, October 23?

One strain, not enough

Anyone interested in pedigrees, especially of Group 1 winners, can visit any number of websites post-race and view a 5×5 bloodline grid pedigree.

Accessing a tabulated catalogue-style page of the winner might involve a subscription service but either way, being able to see the blood make-up, or the female family, can be informative, educational and intriguing.

Last week’s Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe (Gr 1, 2400m) hero, Torquator Tasso (Adlerflug), has both a fascinating blood make-up and an interesting female family.

His sire, Adlerflug (In The Wings), was the 2007 Deutsches Derby (Gr 1, 2400m) champion. His son, In Swoop, won the same race last year beating the subject horse, Torquator Tasso. Two starts later, In Swoop would finish second behind Sottsass (Siyouni) in last year’s Arc.

A New Zealand connection with In Swoop is that his half-sister Igraine (Galileo) is now in the ownership of Trelawney Stud and the mare has a Counties Cup (Gr 3, 2100m) and a Caloundra Cup (Listed, 2400m) to her name – and those are in addition to form in her native Germany.

Adlerflug provides more intrigue a little later.

Hunting around a series of different websites, all pointed out that Torquator Tasso’s female line is most exciting and the main reason is his third dam, Turbaine (Trempoleno). She ranks as a half-sister to Urban Sea (Miswaki), who, like this year’s winner, caused a surprise in the 1993 running of the great race.

Urban Sea is the juicy part of his female family and for good reason. She established a breeding record that is out of this world. Twice she gained Broodmare of the Year honours, first for having produced champion racehorse and later multiple champion sire Galileo (Sadler’s Wells), and, a second time when Sea The Stars (Cape Cross) would emulate her Arc victory.

Between Galileo and Sea The Stars, the latter’s race record was superior. His three-year-old season, to be unbeaten in six Group 1s, places him in the highest echelon of racehorses.

Galileo, however, became one the greatest sires of all time and his influence on world bloodlines will be present for decades, much the same as his grandsire Northern Dancer (Nearctic).

These two shining stars are just two of Urban Sea’s eight stakes winners. Let that sink in for a second: Eight stakes winners, and it is too easy to forget that two of her other six stakes winners are also Group 1 winners.

Remembering that Urban Sea was foaled as recently as 1989, it is utterly remarkable that no fewer than 27 stakes winners descend directly from her. Apart from her own four Group 1 winners, there are a further five from succeeding generations including the 2020 Cox Plate winner Sir Dragonet (Camelot), a grandson of her Group 3 daughter All Too Beautiful (Sadler’s Wells).

Urban Sea’s only non-winner was Group 3-placed Cherry Hinton (Green Desert) yet she has maintained the family quality by producing Irish Oaks (Gr 1, 1m 4f) winner Bracelet (Montjeu).

Urban Sea’s great-granddaughter Khawlah (Cape Cross) produced Masar (New Approach), the 2018 Epsom Derby (Gr 1, 1m 4f) winner.

This family is only going to grow and grow. Forget Broodmare of the Year. How about Broodmare of the Century?

So, back to Adlerflug. He is one four colts since 1939 with that name and interestingly, all four are German-bred and carry the same Bruce Lowe 9h family number.

The 1962 version is from Asterblute (Pharis), the sixth dam of the newest version, but here’s what is totally fascinating. Adlerflug also has a major connection to Urban Sea. His grandam Alya is a sister to Urban Sea’s dam Allegretta, both being by Lombard (Agio) from Anatevka (Espresso).

Not so shocking

After being knocked sideways and nearly skittled in the Rupert Clarke Stakes (Gr 1, 1400m) two weeks back, I’m Thunderstruck (Shocking) struck back to become his sire’s second Group 1 winner and 15th stakes winner.

His third was a feature performance that day so punters made him favourite for Saturday’s Toorak Handicap (Gr 1, 1600m) and he duly obliged, but not without some drama.

Rounding into the straight he was pocketed, was forced to wait, and lost momentum. A narrow lane appeared near the 200 metre and he drove through. Travelling well, he went up to share the lead at the 100 metre and kept going strongly, holding out the top class mare Tofane (Ocean Park) by three-quarters of a length.

The four-year-old was well-weighted and was having just his eighth start and fifth win, strong finishes being his race pattern. Already placed at set weights and in Group 1 company, he has an exciting future.

His family is due to Swettenham Stud who imported the twice Listed-placed Mink Goddess (Godswalk) to New Zealand in the mid 1980s. While in New Zealand she spent most of her time at Cambridge Stud but twice she went along the road to Middlepark Stud to visit Balmerino (Trictrac). One of those matings resulted in four-time Group winner Reno Belle.

Exported to Australia, she would later foal Listed winner Disco Bob (Royal Academy). She is a half-sister to three stakes winners including Middle Park Stakes (Gr 1, 6f) winner and later, sire, Cajun (Red Regent).

I’m Thunderstruck’s half-brother Cantstopthefeeling (Swiss Ace) placed second in the Auckland Guineas (Gr 2, 1600m) but is now domiciled in Hong Kong. They are from the Edenwold (Southern Halo) mare Primadonna Girl, the only named foal of six from her dam Amadora (College Chapel). The next dam, Curragh Lass (Danzatore) bred two winners.

Kahma Lass returns

It was pleasing to see the very talented filly Kahma Lass (Darci Brahma) return to the sort of form we saw in the New Zealand One Thousand Guineas (Gr 1, 1600m), eleven months ago.

In only seven starts, her win in the Listed Weekend Hussler Handicap (1400m) was her career third and no walk in the park. From well back, she had to find plenty over the last 200 metres. She is headed back to Group 1 company and we might see her in action at the Flemington carnival in the Cantala Stakes (Gr 1, 1600m).

Her stakes-placed dam Distinctive Lass (Orientate) is doing a great job at stud, foaling six winners from six to race, including four stakes winners. Her grandam is a half-sister to two stakes winners and to the dam of grand campaigner and dual Group 1 winner Bomber Bill (Air De France), the winner of 23 races.

The next dam, Special (Habituate), was one of the smartest sprinters of her generation, landing three of Melbourne’s premier Group 1 sprints.

The local scene

Hawera staged the Taranaki Breeders’ Stakes (Gr 3, 1400m) on Saturday and the winner, Magic Incanto, was the most experienced runner in the race. She went into the event with more starts than the other entrants, and, was the oldest.

Taking out your first stakes win at your first start in such company is rare enough, but attempting the feat and pulling it off as a nine-year-old, must be some sort of record.

She relished the deep track, went straight to the front and had her opponents in trouble when they straightened. None of the others could make any impression.

In the process she became the 22nd stakes winner for her sire Per Incanto (Street Cry) and represents his first crop. She is one of four winners from her dam Magic Daze (Grosvenor), a half-sister to two Listed winners.

Her third dam, Karada (Karaman), is a half-sister to Qubeau (Beau Brummel) whose 12 wins included four Group 2 and Group 3 victories in Melbourne.

At Matamata, Vernanme (O’Reilly) was simply too strong over the 1600 metres of the Listed Matamata Cup. The six-year-old carried top weight of 60 kilograms but once he levelled up to the leader then took over inside the 200 metres, the result was never in doubt and he went to the line quite comfortably by a length.

It was his third stakes and fifth career win. At three he dead-heated for second in the Levin Classic (Gr 1, 1600m) at Trentham.

His sister, Shamrocker, was very talented, defeating the boys in the Australian Derby (Gr 1, 2400m) having already achieved that feat when taking out the Australian Guineas (Gr 1, 1600m) at Flemington a few weeks prior. She is now foaling winners in Japan.

Another sister is Group 2 winner Bohemian Lily, while half-sister Rock Diva (Lucky Unicorn) won the 2015 Auckland Cup (Gr 1, 3200m).

If you’re counting, that’s four stakes winners for their dam Bohemian Blues (Blues Traveller), a record many broodmare owners would treasure. The latter is a half-sister to two Listed stakes winners while their grandam, Winter’s Tale (Icelandic), is a half-sister to 2001 South Island Filly of the Year, Besty Coup (Justice Prevails).