Great producers have a variety of gifts which they pass on to their families, some more abundantly than others. But exceptional broodmares have the rare and special quality of building and rebuilding the family in historical, international ways.
Aloe is one such exceptional broodmare. A partial listing of her descendents reads like a role call of global dominance: Flame Of Tara; Salsabil: Alcide; Tentam; Known Fact; Gone West; Obeah; Go For Wand; Hypericum; Highclere; Unfuwain; Nashwan; Aureole; Pebbles and Round Table.
Just who was this matron who is the source of such horses, and how did she come to impact so many major pedigrees? An article written by Peter Willett in the 1959 Bloodstock Breeders’ Review gives us a good historical perspective of the sometimes checkered career of this family:
“Aloe was a bay filly bred by Sir Abe Baily in 1926, by Son-In-Law out of Alope by Gallinule. She was a member of the Number Two family, which Bruce Lowe traced to the Burton Barb mare.
“A footnote to the foaling record of this mare (the Burton Barb mare) gave the names of 47 well known horses that came from her in direct line, including Derby winners Surplice and Voltigeur. The family has continued in unabated strength during the century, but the branch to which Aloe belonged went through a long period of obscurity before the revival to its present pinnacle of fame.”
Willett goes on to note that the most recent classic winner to which Aloe traced was 1838 Oaks winner Industry, who foaled Barcelona (a full sister to Oaks winner Lady Evelyn) in 1848. Barcelona, a non-descript runner, was notable for a long while as the ancestress of a failed branch of a celebrated family.
ALOPE – DAM OF ALOE
Then in 1902 the filly Altoviscar (Donovan-Navaretta) was born, showing Barcelona as her fifth dam. Altoviscar was not much of a racehorse, winning only as a two year old. But as a broodmare, she became an international treasure trove. Two of her excellent daughters, Only Girl and Comedienne, founded families which have bred European and Australisian classic horses. A third daughter was Alope, dam of Aloe.
Alope met with mixed success on the racetrack, partially because of running into Epsom Derby-winning filly Tagalie. In the One Thousand Guineas for example, Alope ran second to her. However, this classic placing gave Alope an opportunity at stud, one which she would ultimately use – through foaling Aloe – to help build the family of horses referenced above.
At first, Alope looked as if she would be just another disappointment, turning up barren five of the first eight times she was bred. And her first stakes winner, Alopex by White Magic, was a gelding.
After Alopex’s birth, Alope proved more consistent as a producer and she foaled four more winners before being destroyed in 1933. One of her best offspring was Foxlaw by Son-In-Law, a full brother to Aloe.
Owned by Baron G. Stringer during her early years, Alope was sold in 1919 to Mr. Donald Fraser. Three years later she was sold again, this time to Sir Abe Bailey, who would breed Aloe from her.
ALOE AS A RACEHORSE AND PRODUCER
After Aloe was born, Sir Abe decided to disperse his stock and in 1928 the two-year-old Aloe was sold to Lord St. Davids, in whose colors she raced, for 1100 guineas.
Although she did not win in 10 starts, Aloe was not a total bust as a racehorse, gaining several stakes placings behind top class mares. Willett wrote that Aloe was a small filly, though one with good conformation, courage and stamina. Further, her full brother Foxlaw was a horse of “toughness, resolution, high class and staying power” qualities, Willett adds, which can be found in many of the descendents of Aloe herself.
Unlike her dam, Aloe was a very fertile mare. Eleven times she was bred, and 11 times she had foals, none of them major runners. Yet three of her daughters – Feola (1933 by Friar Marcus); Sweet Aloe (1935 by Cameronian) and Aroma (1938 by Fairway) founded various branches which have carried her name forward as a taproot dam of the highest class.
However, because none of her runners were winning stakes, it is not surprising that when Lord St. Davids dispersed his stock in 1936, Aloe went with the rest. She was purchased by Mr. J. A. Dewar, breeder of Aroma and three other of Aloe’s foals. Aroma is the ancestress of the Persian Maid branch of Aloe’s family responsible for Tentam, Tappiano, Known Fact, Gone West, Obeah and Go For Wand.
Aloe’s daughter Feola was sold in 1934 for 3,000 guineas, the bid being made by Brigadier Tomkinson, racing manager for King George V, Queen Elizabeth II’s father. For the royal family and others, Feola became a taproot mare in her own right through her descendents Hypericum (Highclere, Height Of Fashion, Nashwan); Angelola (Aureole); Above Board (Pebbles) and Knight’s Daughter (Round Table).
Sweet Aloe was sold in 1936 for 2700 Guineas to Lady Yule and though she was unraced and did not foal a stakes winner, is responsible in direct descent for Parthia; Alcide; Flame Of Tara and Salsabil.
Although Aloe’s pedigree is full of unfamiliar names, it is worth studying. The inbreeding in particular is highly complex.
Aloe is inbred 4 x 3 to Donovan (and thus 5 x 4 to Galopin/Mowerina) and also 6 x 5 to Vedette/Flying Duchess, sire and dam of Galopin as well as 6 x 5 to Scottish Chief and Stockings, sire and dam of Mowerina). Probably the most important historical footnote here is that Donovan won the Derby and St. Leger, but like all of Galopin’s sons was obscured by the great St. Simon. Also of interest is that Flying Duchess was sold with Galopin as a foal-at-foot for a mere 100 Guineas.
The next important inbreeding in Aloe’s pedigree is a 4 x 4 cross of Hermit and his three-quarter sister Reticence. Reticence is best known as the third dam of Chef-de-Race Son-In-Law, while Hermit’s destiny was to become a chapter of bloodlines history as one of the greatest sires of all time.
Hermit and another son of Newminster, Vespasian (sire of Reticence) were training for the 1867 Derby when both bled severely while at exercise on the gallops. Hermit was treated the only way is trainer could think of – by tying his head up in the air until he could hardly move, thus lessening the pressure of blood on the vessles. The rest is history. Hermit won the Derby by a neck at odds of 1,000 to 15. As a stallion, he led the sire list six times in a row from 1880-1885. Later he was among the leading broodmare sires for 16 years.
Among his more stellar offspring: St. Marguerite, winner of the 1882 One Thousand Guineas (two other Hermit daughters ran second and third the same year) plus other One Thousand Guineas winners Thebais; Shotover (Derby and Two Thousand Guineas); St. Blaise (Derby); and the two Oaks winners Thebais and Lonely.
Another interesting aspect of Aloe’s pedigree is that she possesses no less than five individual crosses of Stockwell 6 x 6 x 5 x 6 x 6. Stockwell, a winner of the Two Thousand Guineas and St. Leger was known during his lifetime as “The Emperor of Stallions” and is responsible for the modern line of Bend Or through Hyperion and his many descendents.
There are many other inbreeding factors in Aloe’s pedigree. She is inbred 6 x 4 to Sterling, whose line in America was known for giving us the very first American Triple Crown winner, Sir Barton. Sterling’s male line is almost dead, though a few representatives are extant in Europe.
Aloe is also inbred 5 x 6 to Lord Clifden, sire of the mighty Hampton and founding sire of the Son-In-Law line. This line is best known in America today through the offspring of *Grey Dawn II and Big Spruce, both sons of French Derby winner *Herbager.
Lord Clifden’s sire, St. Leger winner Newminster, also appears in Aloe’s pedigree, expressed 5 x 6. In turn, Newminster’s sire Touchstone, another St. Leger winner, also appears 6 x 6. Only one of these crosses involves the aforementioned Newminster, so in total, there are really four crosses of Touchstone if one wants to take the inbreeding a bit farther back.
Derby and St. Leger winner Blair Athol also appears in Aloe’s pedigree 5 x 5. He was by Stockwell out of Derby and Oaks winning filly Blink Bonny.
Finally, there is a 6 x 6 cross of Voltigeur, supported only by Aloe’s dam. Voltigeur was yet another Derby and St. Leger winner.
The sum total of all influences in Aloe’s pedigree make up an overwhelming portrait of classic stamina. Aloe’s own story, of course, is but the prelude to the continuation of this family by her great daughters. Successive chapters in the story tell the stories of Feola, Sweet Aloe and Aroma.
Aloe died in 1942, ending chapter one in the remarkable story. A story which began with a smallish filly of class and courage who could never win a single race. A filly who, through the likes of Marju and Blade, Sharpen Up and Bemissed, Restoration and Sideral and all the other important horses already mentioned, would carve her name in history. Carve it so deeply and with such utter quality that it can truly be said of Aloe, “Ah, now there was a mare!”
Since Aloe herself was re-born like the Phoenix from the ashes, we turn now to the branch of her daughter, Sweet Aloe, who has had a similar though far more recent resurrection through her great-great-granddaughter, Welsh Flame. Welsh Flame is the dam of none other than the mighty Salsabil.
Sweet Aloe, a daughter of Derby and Two Thousand Guineas winner Cameronian, was unraced and was sold in a group of 10 yearlings by Lord St. Davids at the Newmarket July Sales in 1936. Purchased for 2700 guineas by Lady Yule, Sweet Aloe was sent to the broodmare barn as a three year old.
Sweet Aloe produced only five foals before her death in 1946, and not a single one won a stake. However, she served as a catalyst through her great daughter Chenille by King Salmon, to salvage a portion of this family which seemed destined for obscurity.
Like her dam Sweet Aloe, Chenille was unraced but she was a good producer. Purchased in the winter of 1948 by Sir Humphrey de Trafford, Chenille’s acquisition was called a “dramatic turning point in the fortunes of the Sweet Aloe branch of this family, as well as an upturn for the fortunes of Sir Humphrey’s stud.”
When Sir Humphrey had a 1949 nomination to Hyperion but no mare suitable to breed to him, he sent his trainer Marcus Marsh to the December sales to look for an appropriate mare for the great sire. Marsh chose Chenille “because of her Son-in-Law blood, which indicated a toughness and because she was by (Epsom Derby winner) King Salmon, a horse of whom I had a high opinion.”
Chenille’s 1950 foal turned out to be stakes placed Lightning, a winner of three races who placed third in the Doncaster Produce Stakes. Lightning almost did not live to make her finest contribution to Sweet Aloe’s clan, becoming cast in her box in the early part of her three year old year, sustaining such a serious back injury that her life was in danger.
However, Lightning did survive and it was her son Parthia who carried her name to glory when he raced down the stretch to win the 1959 Epsom Derby. Just one year earlier, Lightning’s half brother Alcide had won the St. Leger, so Parthia became the family’s second classic victor in as many seasons.
Alcide himself was champion three year old in England in 1958 and champion older horse the following year. In addition to the St. Leger, Alcide won the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes. He also placed in the Ascot Gold Cup.
Alcide was a good stallion, though his sire line did not breed on particularly well. He was fifth leading sire in England in 1965 and fifth leading broodmare sire in 1982.
Some of Alcide’s best offspring were Bamboozle, second highweighted filly at three on the 1987 English Free Handicap; Irish Two Thousand Guineas second Kingfisher; Yorkshire Oaks placed Predicament; Irish St. Leger second Alcalde; Atilla, leading broodmare sire in Hong Kong in 1987 and fifth leading broodmare sire in Australia in 1985; and Coronation Cup winner Oncidium, third in the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes and the best of Alcide’s sons.
In Australia, Oncidium led the sire list in 1973 and 1975 and in New Zealand he led the broodmare sire list in 1988. In all, Alcide sired 36 stakes winners and 32 other horses who were stakes placed.
Parthia was not quite so accomplished, though he did sire three champions: Fujino Pahshia, champion older horse in Japan in 1975; Sleeping Partner, champion three year old filly in England in 1969 and Parthian Glance, champion three year old filly in England in 1966. Parthia sired 14 stakes winners in all and 23 stakes placed horses, never leading a sire or broodmare sire list.
In defense of Alcide and Parthia, it should be mentioned that both were from the Blandford sire line, most successful through Blenheim II. Parthia was from the Bahram branch through Persian Gulf, while Alcide was by Alycidon, a very stout influence and a professional Chef-de-Race.
Lightning’s contribution hardly ended with Parthia, but rather includes at least 37 stakes winners to date. Daughters of Lightning which have foaled either stakes winners or stakes producers include Media (Muffet, Jean, Broken Half, Pirate Princess, Primed and Minneh); Village (Yamadori); and her crown jewel, Electric Flash.
Electric Flash, Lightning’s 1962 Crepello foal, never won a race though she was twice stakes placed in minor contests. She later produced stakes placed Martin John; stakes placed stakes producer Sofala; stakes producer Shine the Light; stakes producer Brilleaux; and last but most certainly not least, Welsh Flame – the source of the recent resurrection.
Welsh Flame, a daughter of Welsh Pageant, won just four of 10 starts. However, her daughter Flame Of Tara (IRE) by Artaius was champion Irish-trained three year old filly of 1983. Among her victories were the Group II Coronation and Pretty Polly Stakes. She also ran second to Cormorant Wood in the Group I Dubai Champion Stakes.
Welsh Flame’s daughter Salsabil did even better. Bred in Ireland in County Meath, Salsabil won the Gold Seal Oaks and General Accident One Thousand Guineas as well as the Group I Prix Vermeille and Prix Marcel Boussac. But when she won the 1990 Irish Derby over the one-two finishers in the Epsom Derby, Quest for Fame and Blue Stag, she won the heart of all Europe as well. In finishing three quarters of a length in front of Deploy after being blocked in the stretch, Salsabil was the first of her sex to win the Irish Derby in 90 years.
Interestingly, Salsabil’s dam Flame Of Tara is inbred to Aloe’s family, a trend we will see later in the Aroma and Feola branches. Her sire is Artaius, a son of Round Table who descends from the Feola branch while Flame of Tara is herself, of course, from the Sweet Aloe clan. The inbreeding pattern is 5 x 6 to Aloe, a possible explanation of why it was she of all the possible relatives of Sweet Aloe who produced a filly capable of beating colts in a European classic.
Welsh Flame did not stop with Salsabil, but has since foaled Group I St. James Palace Stakes winner Marju by Last Tycoon and Group II stakes placed Nearctic Flame.
The effect of breeding a Pharos stallion (Cameronian) to Aloe’s family is intriguing, because it is a move away from the awesome stamina so evident in her own pedigree.
Since Sweet Aloe also picks up no less than four St. Simon crosses from Cameronian, this is also revealing. Her overall pattern of inbreeding to St. Simon’s sire Galopin thus reads 7 x 6 x 6 x 7 x 6 x 6 x 5.
It was written of St. Simon that “having no faults, he handed none on.” When the Sweet Aloe family saw its resurrection through Flame of Tara, it was with yet more help from Aloe’s family and St. Simon.
Mentioned earlier was that Flame of Tara, being by a son of Round Table, was inbred to Aloe. But Round Table also brought considerable St. Simon blood to the mating. Not only is he from the Persimmon branch of the St. Simon male line, but he has four crosses of the great stallion.
There will be those who say that inbreeding this far removed is meaningless. But what other explanation for the resurrection of a branch of this family which was virtually dead before the introduction of Round Table’s son Artaius to it?
Considering that only Aloe’s sire, Son-In-Law, qualified as a Chef-de-Race and that her dosage readout was 0-0-0-0-16, take a look at the difference that one generation on the dam’s side and the addition of a Pharos stallion make to Sweet Aloe’s own dosage: 4-8-4-2-10! This gives her a perfectly balanced pedigree, far different than the stamina orientation of Aloe herself.
It may well have taken a few generations for Sweet Aloe to come alive again through Flame of Tara and Salsabil, but that mother and daughter duo are proof that it can be done. Sadly, Salsabil’s contribution will be a minor one, as she died Oct. 12, 1996 at Sheikh Hamdan’s Shadwell Farm in Kentucky. She had produced a Riverman filly that year and was in foal to Mr. Prospector, a pregnancy which was aborted in order to try and save the great mare, who was suffering from complications of colon cancer. She has left us with four fillies, including group winner Bint Salsabil. Somewhere among this group we hope there is is a daughter who will keep this branch of the family going strong. Strong enough so that one day, the contribution of little Sweet Aloe will look as impressive as the contribution of her sisters Feola and Aroma.
When Mr. J. A. Dewar purchased Aloe in 1936, he became the breeder of her 1938 Fairway foal. Named Aroma, the bay filly never made it to the races, but she immediately showed her class as a producer with her second foal, Woodruffe.
A son of Bois Roussel, Woodruffe won five races including the Queen Anne Stakes and became a successful stallion in Australia. But he was only a hint of things to come from this branch of the Aloe clan, which would ultimately include five stakes producing daughters topped by super mare Persian Maid.
Prior to Woodruffe, Aroma had foaled the unraced Atout Maitre filly Mysusie. Although Mysusie’s is a minor contribution by the overall standards of this family, her daughter My Princess foaled two good stakes producers, Misiones (four stakes horses in Argentina) and My Star (second dam of Argentine stakes winner Mao Tse). My Princess also foaled the stakes winning colt Building, a Peruvian stakes winner.
Another Aroma daughter, Lavender Walk, had three stakes producing daughters: Red Laser, Dilly Dilly and Pert Mary. These mares collectively are responsible for 15 stakes horses the best of which are Regal Ray, a stakes winner in England and Group III placed; Sahera, a listed stakes winner in France; Zoumorrod, a Group II stakes winner in France; Group I placed Her Highness and Red Ruby, a stakes winner and multiple Group III placed runner in England.
Two other Aroma daughters, Aromatic III and Arosa II, are also stakes producers. The former claims Group III placed Japanese stakes colt Agnes Beat, the latter Italian stakes horses Altedo and Sotogrande and French stakes winner Duro.
Finally, we come to the queen of Aroma’s daughters, Persian Maid. A winner of five of six starts in England and Ireland, Persian Maid foaled the stakes winning Precipitation colt Birthday Present in 1954. A hardy performer, he started 46 times and was successful over jumps.
When Birthday Present was a weanling, Persian Maid was imported to the United States carrying the Naucide colt Side With Me, who won five races and $19,300. From then on she was bred to American stallions, a decision which altered the course of the Aroma branch of the Aloe family.
In 1956 Persian Maid foaled the One Count filly Book of Verse, a hardy campaigner who started 57 times without winning a stake. Once at stud, however, Book of Verse gave American racing one of the finest producers and most memorable racemares of her time, Obeah. She also foaled two more stakes winners or producers, Targa and Ameriverse.
Obeah, of course, is a story in her own right. Mr. and Mrs. Harry Lunger (Christiana Stable) purchased the filly from the first crop of Cyane for $15,000 at the 1996 Saratoga yearling sale. Part of their interest in her stemmed from her sire Cyane who had won the Futurity and Dwyer in the Christiana colors. But Obeah herself was special, too, and she proved a very wise investment.
A tough, though hardly brilliant racemare, Obeah won 11 times in 46 career starts and earned $387,299. Among her major victories were two wins in the Delaware Handicap, the Firenze and Vineland Handicaps and placings in the Beldame, Frizette and Ladies Handicaps. Obeah won no championships, but her gameness endeared her to the racing fans, making her a favorite throughout her career.
As a producer, Obeah foaled the fine Northern Dancer colt Dance Spell, who won the Jerome, Saranac and Jamaica Handicaps and placed in the Woodward, Champagne and Travers, earning $326,090. He made a good beginning at stud before his untimely death at the age of six.
Obeah produced two more stakes winners by Northern Dancer. Discorama, a filly, won the Gazelle and placed in the Ladies and Top Flight Handicaps and the Alabama Stakes. But like Dance Spell she died young at the age of 10, though she left behind stakes producing daughter Chain Dance. Full brother Black Powder was as tough as they come, racing 118 times and earning $126,189 while winning only one stake.
Obeah foaled six more winners, none of them stakes class, then in 1987 she produced a bay Deputy Minister filly who appeared to be her key to immortality. As Obeah was named for a Voodoo curse, this daughter would have the name of the curse’s cure, Go For Wand.
What happened on Breeders’ Cup day 1990 has been called not only the most memorable but the most horrible chapter in Thoroughbred racing history. Go For Wand’s desire to win as well as her grisly death are now etched into the memories of all who love racing. But to students of pedigree, lovers of history, Go For Wand’s grave marker at Saratoga is more than a sad reminder of courage carried a step too far. It means that part of one of racing’s greatest families has died forever.
Yet for the romantics among us, and there are many in the world of horse breeding, hope springs eternal. That hope may yet be realized in the form of Go For Wand’s three-quarter Crone’s Nest.
The unraced Topsider filly will obviously not become her sister’s equal on the racetrack, but her pedigree is quite another matter. Because her sire is out of a Round Table (Feola branch of the Aloe family) mare, Crone’s Nest is inbred to Aloe 6 x 5. In other words, the blood is there, and as long as it is mighty Aloe will raise her head one way or another.
Early on, Crone’s Nest was not bred very imaginatively, having foals by Easy Goer, Forty Niner and Sultry Song. Her pedigree suggested that she would be better suited to a Hail to Reason-line horse and she was finally bred to one, Silver Hawk, in 1996, producing a colt who races in Japan as Daiwa Michigan. To date, he has won $66,000.
Crone’s Nest’s 1998 colt by Known Fact is x3 Aloe. Named Establish, he had won or placed in four of his nine starts through the end of 2001.
Book of Verse never quite managed another Obeah. But her 1977 Cannonade daughter Targa was a Grade II stakes winner of $334,271. To date, Targa’s best offspring is Grade III stakes winner Mamselle Bebette by Copelan, an earner of $427,082. She has also foaled the stakes placed Nijinsky II filly Miss Evans, dam of two minor stakes placed horses. Most interesting of all is her 1997 filly by Known Fact, who is another member of the Persian Maid branch of the Aloe family. Named Brown Eyed Lass, she is twice stakes placed and should make an exceptional broodmare.
Book of Verse’s 1963 Amerigo daughter Ameriverse did a little better. Her daughter Garden Verse (a Grade II stakes winner) foaled Garthorn, a multiple stakes winner who defeated champion Lady’s Secret in the Grade I Metropolitan Mile. Ameriverse also produced the stakes winning Apalachee colt Fuego Seguro and the stakes placed Imperverse, also a stakes producer.
Persian Maid has no less than seven other stakes producing branches. Her daughter Persian Melody (by Spy Song) is the second dam of stakes placed Untamed Melody while another daughter, Spy Market, is the dam of stakes placed Megadose.
Rapide (by Bimelech) is the dam of stakes winner Rapid Repeater and stakes producers First Offender and Beyond the Barrier. Isfahan (by *King of the Tudors) is the dam of champion Venezuelan filly Islamic, herself dam of Grade I Venezuelan stakes winner Iraqui as well as stakes winner Rausuli. Isfahan is also the dam of stakes producer Chaska, dam of stakes winner Gaelic Christian and stakes placed Pretty Velvet. Heliosian (by Helioscope) is the dam of Malaysian stakes winner Holbein; stakes placed Plektrudis (IRE), also a stakes producer; stakes producer Red Dragoness, dam of stakes winner Red Tony and Italian Oaks winner Red Girl; and stakes producers Lady Icarus and Milosun.
Ian Maid (by Determine) is the dam of the stakes winning (Grade I placed) Sans Critique, also a stakes producer; and stakes producers Rescue Party; Couture; and Pech Di Roma. Dark Complexion (by Summer Tan) is the dam of Grade II stakes winner Legion; stakes winner Manya, also a stakes producer; stakes placed Romatan; stakes producer Bright Reflection; stakes producer Dark Tan; and her best producing daughter Miss Bumiputra. Miss Bumiputra, a daughter of Bold Commander, has produced double Argentine champion Miss Keat; Grade I winner Anh Duong; and Grade II Argentine stakes winner Bumi Bay.
These mares are all credits to Persian Maid, but none of them holds a candle to her daughter *Mixed Marriage by Tudor Minstrel.
Mixed Marriage was a minor winner in England, but was winless in her only U. S. start. Further, she foaled only one stakes placed offspring, Croatan, a gelding by Mark-Ye-Well. However, the intense inbreeding in her pedigree said that more was possible. She was 4 x 3 to full brothers Pharos and Fairway and had multiple lines of Pilgrimage via half brothers Swynford and Chaucer and Loved One. She also had a double of Son-In-Law through two of that sire’s greatest daughters, Lady Juror and Aloe and was 4 x 5 to Gainsborough. With such a pedigree, it seemed only a matter of time before *Mixed Marriage’s great pedigree would bear fruit.
The first hint of something special came in the unlikely form of the Native Dancer colt Atan. A winner of only one race, and considered inconsequential by all accounts, he was exported first to Ireland and later to the obscurity of Spain where he was second leading broodmare sire in 1981.
But that is not all of Atan’s story. Rather it was for his great son, Sharpen Up, a modest winner who became a Chef-de-Race, to carry forward the Aloe blood. Sharpen Up earned his status as a great international sire by getting such outstanding runners as Breeders’ Cup Turf winner Pebbles (who hails from the Feola branch of Aloe and is thus inbred to her); the champion full brothers Diesis and Kris, the latter sire of English Triple Crown winner Oh So Sharp, champion sprinter Sharpo; Arc de Triomphe winner Trempolino; French Derby winner Sanglamore and top miler Selkirk.
Apart from Atan, Mixed Marriage also foaled two stakes producers, one major and one minor. The minor one is Matched’N Lost, dam of stakes winner and stakes producer Matchpenny and stakes placed Lost Cat; and stakes producer Lost Miss, dam of Truly Lost and second dam of Twice a Lieutenant.
But Mixed Marriage’s legacy – apart from Atan – boils down to one very special daughter, the Tim Tam matron Tamerett. A winner of $25,415, Tamerett was not a stakes horse. But her foals include champion miler and excellent sire Known Fact; fine grass performer and good sire Tentam; Grade II stakes winner Terete; and the stakes winning Secretariat filly Secrettame, who placed in Grade II company and became an excellent producer, getting Grade I winner and top class sire Gone West, Grade III stakes winner Lion Cavern (third in the French Two Thousand Guineas) and stakes placed Multiengine.
Tamerett also produced stakes winner Tamtent, who won the Tremont and placed in the Saratoga Special and his full sister, stakes producer Taminette, dam of multiple Grade I winning millionairess Tappiano; stakes winner My Earl; A. P. Indy’s less famous stakes winning stablemate A. P. Jet (Grade III in Japan) and stakes placed Poppiano.
Thus are the legacies of Aroma, whose own pedigree deserves a bit of comment. She was inbred most interestingly to Hermit and his half sister Reticence, as well as having multiple lines of Pocahontas, Hampton and Isonomy. Her sire was inbred to Springfield and St. Simon, her dam to Donovan and Blair Athol.
Aroma therefore brought plenty of inbreeding of her down to enrich what would later result in her finest daughter, Persian Maid. It is ironic that Aroma herself was sent to Italy in 1952, just two years before Persian Maid came to America. Because Aroma’s line was strengthened by being exposed to American blood via Persian Maid it makes one wonder how other branches of this family might have fared in like circumstances. As we will see in Feola’s story, we have a partial answer.
However, Aroma could do worse than to have a Persian Maid as her legacy. Atan, Go For Wand, Tappiano, Known Fact, Garthorn, Gone West and others are her gift. It is therefore a privilege to welcome Aroma, Persian Maid and their fine descendents Book Of Verse, Mixed Marriage and Tamerett to the Reine-de-Course list. Few are so worthy.
FEOLA (FORETASTE, STARLING, ANGELOLA AND KNIGHT’S DAUGHTER)
Feola, who was sold at the Newmarket July sales in 1934 was bred by Lord St. Davids. Just why the Royal stable purchased her for racing and stud purposes is not recorded, but that she became “one of those broodmares that make the fortunes of a stud” (Bloodstock Breeders’ Review) is an accepted fact. She is also one of the most important broodmares of the 20th century.
By King George VI’s own successful sire, Friar Marcus, out of a sister to the excellent stayer Foxlaw, Feola was leased to Lord Derby for the 1936 season along with the rest of the Royal horses because the King had died the previous year. A relatively undistinguished filly in top company as a two year old, Feola became a classic placed stakes winner at three, running second in the One Thousand Guineas and third in the Epsom Oaks.
At stud, Feola produced 10 foals, eight of which were fillies. Three of her daughters, Hypericum; Angelola and Above Board were stakes winners. Of her two colts, Kingstone by King Salmon was a stakes winner and Reprimand by Court Martial was a winner.
Feola’s first foal and first filly was the 1938 Umidwar (Champion Stakes) offspring Foretaste. Foretaste was unraced but is responsible for 14 of the 117 stakes winners currently tracing to the Feola branch of the Aloe family.
Foretaste’s four stakes winning or producing daughters are: Good Vintage; Windy Cliff; Fontarabie; and *Forest Hills. She also produced the stakes placed colt Fort Knox II.
Good Vintage is the third dam of stakes placed Australian runner Rare Charm.
Windy Cliff is the dam of Grade I stakes winner Lasalle, stakes placed Ravageur, and Serjanie, a multiple stakes producer. Serjanie produced Group 1 French stakes winner Sir Brink; stakes placed Serato; and Group 3 stakes placed Serbie, dam of multiple stakes winner Jeu De Paille (FR).
Fontarabie is the dam of seven stakes winners and/or producers. Fontabal is a French stakes winner as is Fontarabal; Formene is stakes placed and is the dam of two stakes winners. Ricabie is stakes placed and is the dam of Moucha and American-raced Daloma, winner of $322,000. American Pan is stakes placed as is Sonabie, who is also a stakes producer. Finally, Belle d’Arabie is the dam of stakes winners Oromo (FR) and Mapocho; stakes placed Belle Chatte (FR); Jolly Hard; and Belle Emir Bleu (FR). She also foaled Vanina Vanini (FR), a multiple stakes producer.
The most interesting aspect of Fontarabie’s spinoff of the Foretaste branch is that no fewer than four of her stakes winners or stakes producers are sired by Champion Baldric II. Since Baldric II is a son of Round Table (a member of the Feola branch) these horses are all inbred to Feola.
Foretaste’s daughter *Forest Hills produced stakes winner Satan’s Hills; stakes placed Crimson Hills; and stakes producers Many Hills; Karen Hills; Rest Hills and Coruscant. Several members of Forest Hill’s sub-branch are notable for their longevity. Super Seven (90 starts) and Estopell (58 starts) both have Foretaste as their fourth dam.
Starling, a 1939 filly by the St. Simon-line horse Noble Star, was Feola’s next notable producer. Like Foretaste, Starling was unraced but she is responsible for taking the Aloe family to South America where it truly thrived.
Starling’s most important addition to the stud book was her second foal, Chef-de-Race Sideral by the Fairway-line horse Seductor. A six-time stakes winner, Sideral topped the sire or broodmare sire list in Argentina no less than seven times and finished no worse than fourth on one of the two lists on nine other occasions between 1959-1975.
His full sisters, Siderea, Sagitaria, Pleyades, and Constelacion, also made their mark. Sideria was the Champion three year old filly in Argentina in 1953. As a broodmare, she produced stakes placed Star of India and the stakes producers Starlight and Stella. Sagitaria, also a stakes winner, produced stakes winners *Markab and Vernal plus stakes placed Centellea and stakes producer Dusty Path.
Pleyades, who was unraced, was an excellent broodmare. She produced stakes placed *Vesperal; stakes placed stakes producer La Corona; and stakes producers Auriga and Venus. Constelacion, who was stakes placed, produced stakes winner *Solar System III; stakes placed Polestar; stakes producer Milky Way; and Sternbild, a stakes producer whose daughters and granddaughters foaled five more stakes horses in South America. Starling’s first foal, Star Glow, is also the third dam of stakes placed Noro.
Feola’s daughter Angelola was unraced as a two year old, but at three developed into a very good stakes winner, rather more plodding than brilliant but good enough to finish second in the 1948 Epsom Oaks to Masaka. By Italian classic winner Donatello II, Angelola struck paydirt with her very first foal, classic placed champion Aureole, a son of Hyperion. Not only was Aureole an excellent racehorse, winning the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes in 1954, but he led the English sire list in 1961 and was second in 1965. Aureole was also third leading sire in France in 1959. For his exploits at stud, Aureole was named a Chef-de-Race.
Angelola also foaled Aureole’s stakes winning full sister *Angel Bright, who died in 1968 without producing a significent heir to this branch of the family. However, Angelola’s daughter, Hosanna by Honeyway, did produce a mare named Honey Gale who foaled stakes placed Thimpu (FR), a Group 3 winner in France and stakes producer Honey River. Sadly, though, Angelola’s branch, despite its brilliant beginning, is in serious danger of dying out. Still, the history of the Aloe family is such that no one is counting her out quite yet and a resurrection – perhaps in New Zealand or Japan where several young mares from the family are still in production – is hopeful.
The branch of Feola’s family most familiar to Americans is the Knight’s Daughter branch. A foal of 1941 by top sprinter Sir Cosmo, Knight’s Daughter was known to have ability, winning three of four starts in England. Because the Royal stud possessed so many other good broodmares from the Aloe family, it was decided in 1951 to sell Knight’s Daughter at the Newmarket December sales. There her fortunes took a turn which would lead to Claiborne Farm and Broodmare of the Year honors in 1958, the year her champion son Round Table was named Horse of the Year.
B. “Bull” Hancock’s 2,500 guineas purchase was in foal to Watling Street at the time, and had already produced two daughters prior to leaving her native land.
The first was the unplaced Foxhunter filly Cub Hunt, whose daughters Covert Side and Civa both would become stakes producers. Covert Side was the better of the two, foaling stakes winning stakes producer Coverlet; stakes winners Velvet Cap and Cadmus and stakes producer Crix. Covert Side is most recently responsible for G1 winner John’s Call, who is out of her granddaughter Calling Guest. Civa foaled only Droppo Lord (JPN).
Knight’s Daughter then foaled two colts: the winning Knight Commander and stakes placed Treasure Hunt, who won in Venezuela under the name Brumoso. Her 1949 Big Game daughter, *Love Game, won stakes and was imported to the United States where she foaled one of the most important sub-branches of Feola’s family.
*Love Game won the Kingsclere Stakes in 1951 and also placed in the Princess Stakes. Her first foal, Road House, won stakes in Louisiana. Her next, Nas-Mahal, is almost a household name, at least in California.
Nas-Mahal, a filly by *Nasrullah, won a division of the 1962 La Centinela Stakes; at stud she was brilliant. Nas-Mahal foaled seven stakes winners, one stakes placed horse and one champion. The Bagdad filly Turkish Trousers was champion three year old filly of 1971 and has become a stakes producer. Multiple Grade 2 stakes winner Epidaurus, a colt by Ack, won almost $600,000. He is a sire in New Zealand. Grade 1 stakes winner Craelus by Avatar won a like amount and is curently a sire in Argentina. Tell, Nas-Mahal’s first major winner, is a study in inbreeding. A very fast and versatile colt who won over $200,000 and accounted for races like the Hollywood Derby, Tell is inbred 2 x 3 to *Knight’s Daughter. As a stallion, he sired at least 29 stakes winners, one of whom, Pompeii Court, is a top sire in New Zealand.
Nas-Mahal’s stakes winning Damascus filly Celine has foaled two stakes horses to date: Grade 2 winner Petalia and stakes placed Firth of Tay. Beja, a full sister to Turkish Trousers, won two stakes and ran second in the 1971 Santa Margarita Invitational. At stud, she has foaled the stakes placed Damascus colt Ansuan.
Stakes placed Irish Mail by Double Jay, is Nas-Mahal’s best producing daughter to date. Her first foal, the Buckpasser colt Balzac was a Grade I winner of over $650,000. He is currently standing at stud in Brazil. Irish Mail’s daughter Snap Apple by *Herbager won the Del Mar Oaks and placed in the Hollywood Oaks but died at 10 before producing anything significent. However, Snap Apple’s sister Pennygown who was stakes placed, stepped in to save this grouping of mares. To date, Pennygown has foaled the stakes winning Damascus filly Good Economics, and the stakes placed Believe It colt Cost Conscious, a sire in California.
Love Game foaled two more stakes producers, both by *Princequillo. Named Love Lass and Beesandbirds. Neither is anywhere near the quality of Nas-Mahal.
In 1952, *Knight’s Daughter produced the filly Yarmouth by *Watling Street, a winner of three races. Yarmouth died at the age of five, but left behind the stakes winning Hill Prince filly Salt Lake. Salt Lake in turn foaled winner Orissa who produced three stakes winners; Slip Screen, Bemis Heights and Who’s To Answer. Yarmouth also foaled the winning Bold Ruler filly Chinook who produced Tuscarora, second in the Irish Oaks.
In spite of her overall contribution, *Knight’s Daughter’s legacy can be condensed nicely into one name: Round Table. A multiple champion, leading sire and Horse of the Year, Round Table sired 83 stakes winners and the dams (to date) of 125 more. During his storied career, he set 16 track, world or North American time standards while carrying 130 pounds or more successfully on 17 occasions in major handicaps throughout the nation.
Named a Chef-de-Race for his contributions at stud, his best sons include Tell, Advocator, Baldric II, Targowice and Flirting Around. His best daughters include Drumtop, Dancealot, Morgaise and Table The Rumor.
Round Table’s full sister Monarchy, though not the racehorse her brother was, nontheless won the now Grade II Arlington Lassie Stakes. As a producer, she was almost equal to her brother.
From 12 named foals, Monarchy produced two stakes winners – Title and Fabled Monarch, plus stakes-placed Blade. However, that is not her complete history.
Monarchy’s daughter Title produced stakes winner Caption and stakes producer Psalms. Blade, by Bold Ruler, became an important stallion, siring over 50 stakes winners and daughters who produced at least 40 more. Blade’s full brother, Envoy, was unraced but became a good California stallion, siring at least 27 stakes winners including San Fernando Stakes winner and competent sire Messenger of Song.
Monarchy’s daughter State is the dam of stakes winners Double Feint, Dibbs, Region, Announce and Narrate, the latter dam of Grade I stakes winner Preach, who produced major winner Pulpit, and stakes placed Seize. Preach’s full sister, Yarn, has been responsible in recent years for G1 winners Minardi and Johannesburg as well as G2 winner Tale of the Cat. Winner Isobella’s branch contains Robellino (GR II); Inner City (GR III); Venture Capitalist (GR III); Lexington Lear and Peruvian. Tsessebe foaled stakes winners Secret and River Jig (a multiple stakes producer) and stakes placed Miranda; Queen’s Flag dropped Cox’s King and Cherry Valley is the second dam of champion Tessla.
Although it should already be obvious why Feola is Aloe’s most important branch, there is more. The next chapter of the Feola story will include three more of Feola’s daughters: Above Board, Festival Light and Hypericum as well as Aloe’s last daughter, Malo.
FEOLA (ABOVE BOARD, FESTIVAL LIGHT AND HYPERICUM) AND MALO
Feola’s daughter Above Board by Epsom Derby winner Straight Deal was foaled in 1947 and was unraced at two. At three, she won the Yorkshire Oaks and placed in the Oaks Trial and Princess Royal Stakes.
Her second foal, Doutelle by Chef-de-race Prince Chevalier, suggested her emergence as a major contributor to the Aloe family. While not a classic winner, Doutelle liked to tease at the possibility, winning the Trial Stakes for both the Derby and Two Thousand Guineas. He did win several stakes, however, and placed in the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes and the Ascot Gold Cup. As a stallion, he placed third on the English sire list in 1965.
Above Board’s son Above Suspicion, by Two Thousand Guineas winner Court Martial, won the Gordon and St. James Palace Stakes and was fifth leading broodmare sire in France in 1972. Her fourth foal, the Palestine (Two Thousand Guineas) filly Square Acre, produced stakes placed Silence (FR) while her Kauai King (Kentucky Derby) filly Kaula produced multiple South African stakes winner King Kaul and Ulla, a stakes producer.
But the “meat” of Above Board’s contribution to the Feola branch of the Aloe family comes in the form of *Arbitrate II, a stakes placed filly by Ascot Gold Cup winner Arbar. *Arbitrate II produced stakes placed Valuation and stakes producer Wide of the Mark. Then in 1965 she produced the Crepello filly Guiding Light, whose claim to fame was five unplaced efforts in a brief racing career.
But when Guiding Light was bred to Connaught in 1975 she produced a filly named La Dolce, who was stakes placed. Continuing the improvement, when La Dolce was retired and bred to Sharpen Up in 1980 she produced a filly with a 6 x 7 x 6 cross of Aloe. This delicate, skittish chestnut would become international superstar Pebbles.
Pebbles was the kind of filly that a racing fan only needed to see once – and once was all most American fans got to see her, but that was her gallant win in the 1985 Breeders’ Cup Turf at Aqueduct. The record she brought with her is worth repeating: wins in the One Thousand Guineas; Dubai Champion and Coral Eclipse Stakes (all Group I) plus wins or placings in six other group races. Her honors were an international Triple Crown: Champion Older Mare in England; Champion Miler in England; Champion Grass Mare (U.S.A.) – all in 1985.
To date, Pebbles has foaled nothing of note, but her 1994 and 1995 foals are fillies by Caerleon who adds another Aloe cross via Round Table/Knight’s Daughter. Even if these daughters of Pebbles do not make their name at the racetrack, their four crosses of Aloe makes them very valuable as potential producers.
Feola’s daughter Festival Light by the Hyperion stallion Rising Light, is a minor contributor to the Aloe story. Still, she produced Los Incas, a multiple stakes producer. *Los Incas’ stakes producing daughters include Seductress and Harbour Queen. The best horse from this branch of the family to date is probably Regent Cat, a stakes winner of $146,190.
While several of Feola’s daughters did not require first-class racing credentials to contribute in the breeding shed, Hypericum had classic talent and became a major producer. The daughter of Hyperion won the 1946 One Thousand Guineas after throwing her rider and delaying the start for 14 minutes. As a producer is responsible for the branch of Aloe’s family which is still most frequently identified with the Royal stables today.
But before Hypericum’s British contribution is discussed, her South American influence is worth reporting. Hypericum’s unraced Epigram filly Prescription was exported to Chile in 1952.
There she established a branch of the family which includes two stakes winners, Elenco and Nueva Delhi. Her stakes producing daughters number seven: Encargada; Epigraph; Agra; Prestancia; Alteza; Agliphina and most importantly, Naipur. Naipur was unraced, but she produced four champions – *Nisapur, champion three year old filly of 1963; Naspur, a champion at three and as older horse in 1971; Naguilan, a champion at three in 1966; and Nassau, champion three year old of 1968. Nassau is also a stakes producer.
Naipur did not stop with her four champions. She also foaled Nassa, a stakes winner and dam of Grade I winner Navarino and Naishapur, an unraced filly who foaled two stakes winners. While it is always difficult to gauge the quality of racing in South America unless the individuals race outside their native land, any mare who produces four champions plus another stakes winner who becomes a Grade I producer must surely be among the best in the world whatever land she calls home.
Another daughter of Hypericum, stakes placed Belladonna, foaled stakes winner Ben Marshall and the stakes placed Court Dancer and Byronia. Byronia in turn foaled Hollywood Oaks winner Last of the Line, dam of two multiple stakes winners, Fabulous Dancer – a leading sire in France and Zor plus stakes placed First of the Line. Another daughter of Belladonna foaled Barbara Longhi, dam of stakes placed Dragon Palace.
Hypericum’s son Restoration was a stakes winner and multiple stakes placed (Eclipse S.) and finally we come to the jewel of Hypericum’s daughters, Highlight, a stakes placed runner by Borealis.
Highlight foaled the stakes winning gelding Tammuz, but her daughters are what make her a Reine-de-Course. Her stakes producers include: stakes placed Light Duty, dam of Laughter; Special Leave and Paradise Bay, stakes placed Circlet, dam of Silver Dollar and Round Tower, Blaze of Glory, dam of Vitality, Light o’ Battle, dam of Lobbit, Christchurch, dam of Church Parade, Leading Star and Castle Rising, Eucumbene, dam of Eucalyptus, and Narcotic dam of Fine Silver and stakes producer Coca. Last but best of Highlight’s daughters is Highclere, who won the One Thousand Guineas and Prix de Diane (French Oaks) for Queen Elizabeth in 1974.
Her produce record has been as good as her racing career. Daughter Height Of Fashion by Bustino, was the champion two year old filly in England in 1981 and she has produced four top-class horses – Princess of Wale’s Stakes winner Unfuwain who was the highweighted colt at three on the French and European Free Handicaps (11-14 furlongs); Alwasmi who won or placed in stakes all over Europe then was stakes placed in the U.s.; Mukddaam, a Group 2 winner and most importantly the marvelous Nashwan, winner of the Two Thousand Guineas, Epsom Derby, Coral-Eclipse and King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes. Naturally, he was highweighted on the European Free Handicap (9 1/2-11 furlongs).
In addition to this marvelous producer, Highclere produced the stakes winning Mill Reef colt Milford; stakes placed Marienski and Highbrow and multiple stakes producer Burghclere.
Queen Elizabeth’s children may have caused her considerable trouble, but the children and grandchildren of Highlight have been just about perfect.
Feola, then, is arguably the best of the daughters of the mighty Aloe. Her branch of the family is certainly the most prolific and has accounted for the majority of real classic runners.
Feola’s pedigree was infused with some speed by Friar Marcus, whose sire Cyllene was a brilliant Chef-de-race. Despite this, her dosage profile is still a lop-sided 8-0-0-0-12. When her daughter, Knight’s Daughter, received yet another dose of speed through Sir Cosmo, she became a perfect American mare, and her subsequent matings to intermediate/solid Chef *Princequillo turned out to make American racing history in the form of Round Table.
Love Game, who gave us Nas-Mahal, is another example of infusing speed. Love Game was by intermediate Big Game; Nas-Mahal by brilliant Nasrullah. Finally, Hypericum, whose branch we have just discussed, was by brilliant/classic Hyperion. So the family has adapted by keeping in step with the trend toward more speed. Whether or not this is for the best, only time will tell, but it did prevent Feola’s branch from suffering the fate of the last, and least, of Aloe’s daughters.
Malo was a daughter of Aloe whose pedigree read like this: By professional Mieuxce (a son of professional Massine) out of Aloe by professional Son-in-Law (a son of professional Dark Ronald). Her dosage profile is 0-0-0-0-36. Malo’s contribution is an international one – stakes winners tracing to her are from Japan, England and Ireland, Czechoslovakia; Uruguay and one is even stakes placed at Pomona in California.
She produced three major daughters. Felonia by Felstead produced minor stakes winner Whipsnadem, dam of stakes producer Zoo Quest. She also foaled the stakes placed Sing Sing filly Full Stretch, dam of cleverly named Parole.
Libera Nos by Nasrullah produced stakes placed Pilino and Magnificat plus stakes producer Hornsea, dam of Sea of Gems and Seacide, the latter dam of Czechoslovakian champion three year old Seal. Libera Nos also foaled stakes producer Caro Nome, dam of Totem Pole whose tribe absolutely adored Del Mar. Three of her get, Wood Carver, Esquimau Pie and Low Man all placed in stakes at the seaside course and Alaskan God was stakes placed at Pomona.
The last of Malo’s daughters is Sun Halo. She foaled two stakes producers, Galana and Sunset both of whom foaled Uruguayan stakes winners. Could Malo have been redeemed? Could she have become a Feola? Perhaps with some judicious infusion of quality speed. But that was not her fate. Still, as a daughter of the mighty Aloe she bears mention. Who’s to say? Perhaps one day a Salsabil might emerge from this forgotten group of mares. Remember, it’s happened before…this is Aloe, with whom many unusual and outstanding things are possible.