A Tartan Connection – One Way Or Another

It sometimes seems to us that the longer we research pedigrees, the more likely we are to bump into horses who carry lines of Tartan Farm greats.  This is simply testament to John Nerud’s vision and seemingly super-human knowledge of how to mix and match bloodlines.

For instance, our current subject =Cheb (IRE) is largely a European influence.  Yet her dam, Bray View (GB) is a full sister to Braydore (GB), the dam of Florida Derby and Wood Memorial winner Correlation.  Correlation in turn sired Grand Splendor, the second dam of none other than Tartan’s great Fappiano, whose sire line is the most classic and enduring of all Mr. Prospector bloodlines, with one possible exception:  Gone West.

Intriguingly enough, it is Gone West who, when blended with =Cheb’s family via her great-granddaughter Zaizafon, got 2000 Guineas winner Zafonic and excellent sire Zamindar.  Zamindar is the sire of the Aga Khan’s unbeaten Zarkava as an example of what Mr. Prospector blended on this tail-female line can do.

The moral of this story is that where one famous breeder has dug and found black gold – or in this case, black type, there is likely to be at least one other.  That it turns out to be these two breeders surprises us not at all since there are few ‘modern’ breeders who paid so much attention to family as this pair.

 From An Existing Reine-de-Course Line

Cheb is not new to Reine-de-Course quality.  She is, in fact, tail-female to Reine-de-Course Maid of Masham via her daughter Fairway (GB) (1866), the tenth dam of Cheb and a full sister to Ascot Stakes winner Emigration (GB).

The daughter of Denturius was in all probability named after the city of Cheb, situated on the Oh River in the Chez Republic.  Dating to 807, it is among the most ancient regions in Europe and the city has a rich history along with any number of requisite castles, churches and other tourist attractions.

Cheb’s pedigree shows more than one line of Maid of Masham, hardly unusual, but here we find it via a 5 x 7 cross of half siblings Arcadia (dam of Cyllene) and Virginia Shore.  Thus our subject is rather closely inbred to her own family, all the more important when that family happens to already have been singled out for special attention.

A Most Intricate Lineage

The seven-cross pedigree of Cheb is as complex as any one is likely to see for a mare this modern (1948).  And while there is no easy way to explain the interwoven lines and crosses, one thing surely sticks out like a sore thumb:  She is utterly devoid of Phalaris blood, though she is rich indeed in his tail-male ancestor, Bend Or, our main source of ‘modern speed’.

Now, to the inbreeding:  Cheb has five crosses of Ellen Horne:  Rouge Rose x3/Paradigm x2.  Present also are full siblings Bridget and Melton (Master Kiildare-Violet Melrose) at 7 x 7.  St. Simon and his full sister Angelica appear a total of six times, four of them via St. Simon.

Bend Or x3 and his half sister Rose of York are also here; then  three-quarter to full siblings Muncaster, Kendal and Golden Agnes appear, as do Martha Lynn’s offspring Voltigeur and Eulogy.

Sire Denturius is inbred to Ladylike via Grand Duchess/Rosebery and to Queen Mary (Haricot/Bonny Bell), while dam Bray View is inbred to two other sets of siblings:  half siblings Solon/Bon Accord out of “Birdcatcher mare”; and  full siblings Energy  and Enthusiast (Sterling-Cherry Duchess).

One wonders what might have been expected from such a complicated pedigree when the chestnut was foaled in 1948 at Ireland’s Ballykisteen Stud in County Tipperary.  Sixty plus years later, all that thinking and planning has surely paid off.  Unless, of course, it was mere luck; such things have happened by chance before.

Roidore and the Maher Contribution

Roidore, the sire of Bradore and Bray View, was a son of the speed influence Roi Herode and, along with the Gold Bridge blood in Cheb’s pedigree, is no doubt partly responsible for the speed she imparts today.  Like so many important foundation types, from Reine-de-Course Quarrat-Al-Ain’s taproot, Golden Harp to Reine-de-Course Lady Comfey, Roidore was a product of J. J. Maher’s Confey Stud in Ireland.

Though hardly a great racehorse – he was pretty much the equivalent of a tough old-time handicap or allowance horse, his family line, tracing to Windermere eventually produced his half sister Doushka (GB) by Tetratema, winner of the Yorkshire Oaks,  and Irish 1000 Guineas winner Spiral (GB), by Spion Kop, second dam of Prix Herod winner Barbizon (FR).  (Doushka is actually somewhat closer than a half sister, since Roidore was by Roi Herode and Doushka was by his paternal grandson, Tetratema).

The One Great Daughter

As is often the case with major broodmares, Cheb’s contribution pretty well boils down to the produce under her winning daughter Wold Lass and onward to Wold Lass’s best daughter Mofida (GB), a stakes winner and G3 stakes placed.

Apart from Coral Eclipse (G1) winner Elmaamul, who was bred in Kentucky by Rydian Morgan-Jones and sold for $185,000 as a 1987 Keeneland weanling, most of the better horses from this line were bred by Juddmonte Farm.  Elmaamul ran in the colors of Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid al Maktoum and also ran third in the Epsom Derby behind Quest for Fame and Blue Stag.

There is irony in Quest for Fame’s defeat of Elmaamul, as he was owned by Khalid Abdullah, master of Juddmonte Farms, in whose capable hands the family has truly blossomed.  Mofida (GB), was among the first mares that Khalid Abdullah bought in the 1970’s, acquiring her from Robert Sangster’s Swettenham Stud.

Mofida was bred by Ivor Stud and later sold to Sangster who bred and raced Mariakova by The Minstrel, a less productive but still decent branch of the line.  Juddmonte developed both the Zaizafon and Modena branches of the line.

Zaizafon, bred in the name of Areen, Ltd. was Mofida’s only stakes winner and was a full sister to Mariakova.  She took the G3 Seaton Deval Stakes at two and placed in the G2 Queen Elizabeth II Stakes.

Mariakova has some good American horses under her, including Brown Bess H. (G3) winner Out Of Reach, but few have gotten past G3 level.  Well Warned, a three-quarter sister to Out of Reach and dam of two listed stakes horses, did place in the G2 Hillsdown Cherry Hinton S.

While Zaizafon seems something of a dominant for producing good males, she does have a producing daughter in Bold Empress by Diesis (thus making her a three-quarter sister to Elmaamul – both by Diesis and out of Mofida daughters).  Bold Empress is the dam of two stakes placed runners including Tsar’s Pride (GB) by Sadler’s Wells, dam of Italian champion Exhibit One.

Modena is by Roberto and thus lacking Northern Dancer, not to mention being devoid of Mr. Prospector.  As dam of Elmaamul, she was already a top producer, but she also foaled English Champion two-year-old Reams of Verse by Nureyev, who trained on well enough to win the 1997 Epsom Oaks (G1).  At stud, Reams of Verse has produced the Chester House stakes winner Many Volumes and stakes placed stakes producer Ithaca by Distant View.  Both Chester House and Distant View were, of course, Mr. Prospector-line, so the proof is in the pudding.

Other Daughters

At present, both Model Bride (Blushing Groom) and Dangora (Sovereign Dancer) also represent Mofida.  Dangora, who was G2 stakes placed, has so far contributed the most, getting a G3 winner in Acoustical (AUS) and G1 placed Factual (by Known Fact).

 Inbreeding to the Best

It is very tempting when looking at Cheb’s chart to imagine crossing something from Bold Empress’ line to a sire by a son of Elmaamul and there are two likely candidates:  Muhtathir (GB) stands at Shadwell in France and is off to a good start with such representatives as Dr. Dino (FR) and Mauralakana (FR).  A top miler and a champion in Italy, he made 23 starts, more than most Europeans.

America is lucky enough to have the Elmaamul son Sweet Return (GB), who stands in Florida at Journeyman Stud near Ocala.  Tough (38 starts) and classy (he was a multiple G1 winner) he won from seven to 10 furlongs and ran second in the marathon (1 ¾ mi.) San Juan Capistrano Handicap.  His first foals were born this spring.

Of course, any of the Marikova descendents would be intriguing with either the line of her full sister Zaizafon or Modena, Model Bride or Dangora as well.  At this point, we can’t see crossing full brothers Zafonic and Zamindar, though we are sure somebody will try – but it doubles Mr. Prospector and no matter how many times it works, we are never going to like it.

New Reines-de-Course

New Reines-de-Course from this sprig of Maid of Masham’s family tree are Cheb, Mofida, Zaizafon and Modena.  As this issue goes to press, several descendents were in the running for some of the top races in Europe, so we’re thinking we might be adding some more special girls to the mix before much longer.

Family 9-C