When we named Courtesy a Reine-de-Course in September of 1993, we probably should have gone deeper into her family in order to name her immediate taproot dam, Chelandry, a One Thousand Guineas winner born in 1894. Horses like Breeders’ Cup Classic winner Alphabet Soup and French One Thousand Guineas winner Always Loyal alerted us to this oversight in 1997, but we are only now getting around to filling out the story.
Some of the horses who descend from Chelandry which were left out because we focused only on the Book Law branch which gave us Courtesy: Kentucky Derby winners Tomy Lee and Genuine Risk; popular stallion Believe It; Two Thousand Guineas winners Ravinella and Zino; the good Meadow Stud family of Hasty Matelda; and a whole handful of older European classic winners.
Therefore, we correct this narrow view of the Chelandry family and name the following: Chelandry herself; and daughter branches of her family Sun Spot; Galaday II; Samphire; Popinjay; Popingaol; Book Law (second dam of Courtesy); Book Debt; Yippingale; and Pennula and her great relative Reveille II. This will bring into line the total influence of this great family, where before we had concentrated on only a narrow group of American horses.
The original Reines-de-Course were Courtesy, Continue, and Respected.
A family this old is impossible to cover in just one article. So we therefore have compiled the stories written about her best descendents over a long period of time, updating where necessary. This is but a taste of a far richer meal. Mares like Chelandry deserve entire texts devoted to them. But we hope you will enjoy the individual portions – pieces of history from various branches that have enriched the breed in a wide variety of ways.
When Chelandry died on March 8, 1917, The British Bloodstock Review carried an obituary on her, something they did with only the best and brightest of broodmare stars. The grand mare died at Mentmore Stud after producing a dead foal by Junior.
After producing foals for 17 years in a row, Chelandry had gone barren for 1916 and the foal she produced the following year was simply too much for her. Her cause of death was ruled “exhaustion”.
A classic winner of the One Thousand Guineas, Chelandry also was a classic producer. Her son Neil Gow by Marco won the Two Thousand Guineas in 1910. In years to come her descendents would account for many more classics including the Epsom and Kentucky Derbies.
“Chelandry is sure of an abiding place in the affections of all associated with Mentmore Stud,” concluded the BBR. “These many years she had been the pride of its paddocks.”
From The Popinjay Branch: CLAIBORNE’S COURTESY
When Swale crossed the finish line first in the 1984 Kentucky Derby, he was accomplishing something as unique as Sea Hero accomplished for his owner/breeder Paul Mellon in 1993. Swale carried the colors of Claiborne Farm, probably the best known and certainly one of the most renowned breeding farms in the Bluegrass. He was the first, and to date only, Claiborne Kentucky Derby winner.
Swale’s untimely death just eight days after adding the Belmont stakes to his list of classic triumphs was a cruel blow, and for more than the obvious reasons. In losing Swale, Claiborne lost part of a dynasty started by A. B. “Bull” Hancock in 1950 when he bought the mare Highway Code, a daughter of Hyperion out of St. Leger winner Book Law, from Lord Astor.
Highway Code had a beautiful pedigree, but she was a problem mare. Barren in 1944, 1947, 1948, and 1949 she had slipped her 1950 foal. Her only named foals were an unplaced colt named Windsor Hill and a minor winner named Fair Code. At the time of her purchase she was in foal to The Phoenix and would produce for Hancock a colt named Tiercel who would win five of 26 starts.
After Tiercel’s birth, Hancock assessed Highway Code’s classic pedigree and noted the inbreeding, the most interesting aspect of which was a 4 x 5 x 5 cross of St. Simon, one of Hancock’s favorite patterns. Leading sire *Nasrullah was chosen as her first American mate. Since *Nasrullah himself was inbred to St. Simon 5 x 5 x 6, Highway Code’s resultant foal would be line-bred to St. Simon no less than six times.
The combination was a smasher, the mare’s only smasher in fact, but it was enough. The following spring, Highway Code produced a filly named Courtesy who, while she hardly burned up the racetrack, would go on to become a Claiborne Farm foundation matron and one whose record has stood the test of time with remarkable strength and resilience despite suffering some mighty blows.
As a racehorse, Courtesy placed in two minor stakes at two and was weighted at 106 pounds on the Experimental Handicap, 11 pounds below topweighted High Voltage. As a sophomore, she ran second to Insouciant in the now G1 Ashland Stakes.
Courtesy was retired thereafter and joined the Claiborne Farm broodmare band where, before her death in 1973, she produced 12 foals, 11 of whom started. Three were stakes winners, two stakes placed. But more importantly, she produced three outstanding daughters, the aptly named Continue by Double Jay, her full sister Duplex, and the Round Table mare Respected.
But first, a word about Courtesy’s good runners. Repute, a 1960 son of *Princequillo, won almost $100,000 and set two new turf course records at Arlington Park in Chicago, one for 8 1/2 and another for 9 1/2 furlongs. The full brothers, Knightly Manner and Dignitas (three-quarter siblings to Repute by Round Table) both were stakes winners. Knightly Manner, a foal of 1961, became a multiple stakes winner of $436,676. He set a new course record while winning the Laurel Turf Cup and became a successful sire in Australia after siring such good runners as Stonewalk in the United States.
Dignitas raced in California where he won the (now G1) Charles H. Strub and San Vicente Stakes and earned over $170,000. He, too, was sent to Australia for stud where he was a much more prominent sire than Knightly Manner.
Nunsoquick, a colt by Pronto, raced in Great Britain and Belgium and placed in the Tyro Stakes. Nunsoquick also was exported to Australia for stud duty. Finally Mister Jacket, a son of Hail To Reason, was stakes placed both in the U.S. and France and stood in this country where he sired nothing of note before his death in 1989.
Courtesy had four stakes producing daughters besides her big guns. Makeyourmanners, an unraced daughter of *Herbager, produced Funny Sham (BRZ) who foaled Ornisham, Grade 2 placed in Brazil and Smooth Departure, second dam of Stately Wager, winner of the Grade 2 Bayshore Stakes and over $300,000 to date.
Makeacurtsey, Makeyourmanners’ full sister, foaled three stakes horses: Piney Ridge (IRE) winner of the Group 3 National Stakes; Millbow (GB), Group 3 placed; and Civility, a listed stakes placed runner who foaled Lovealoch (IRE), herself placed in Group 2 company in England and Italy.
Overton, a placed daughter of Bagdad, foaled stakes winner Truely Molly and Trial, dam of Istanbul (MAL), winner of the Singapore Derby. And finally there is Respectful, a winner by Dr. Fager, who produced Borzoi, a stakes winner in England who won the Grade 2 San Bernardino Handicap in the U. S. Unfortunately, Respectful died after foaling only two colts, and her line ends abruptly, just one of the blows Courtesy’s line sustained.
THE THREE MAJOR DAUGHTERS:
Respected, by Round Table, won the Santa Ynez Stakes and earned $63,400. Her best runners are Forage, a gelding by *Herbager who was a multiple graded stakes winner of $357,531; Kulak, another gelding by *Herbager who won the Grade 3 Volante Handicap; and the good producer Respect The Flag by Hoist the Flag. Respect The Flag is the dam of Infamous Deed, a G3 stakes winner of over $300,000. Infamous Deed has a most intriguing pedigree. His sire, Shadeed, is from the Continue branch of the Courtesy family and thus Infamous Deed is inbred 5 x 4 to Courtesy.
In addition to Infamous Deed, Respect The Flag foaled stakes placed Admiral Slewp and G1 placed Vestris, a daughter of Nijinsky, who foaled Rare Perfume Stakes winner Highest Glory and stakes placed Video Ranger. With Respect The Flag getting Vestris, a good producer, and Vestris in turn foaling a Grade 2 winning filly in Highest Glory, it would seem that this branch of the family, despite its paucity of good racing fillies, has been assured future success.
Duplex, by Double Jay, was Courtesy’s first foal. Although she did not win stakes, Duplex won four of 11 starts.
In 1972 Duplex foaled the good Pretense filly Molly Ballantine, winner of the G1 Frizette and second in the G2 Schuylerville. In all, Molly Ballantine won $119,901. She is dam of stakes winner Lady Of Cornwall, a Cornish Prince filly who became a multiple stakes winner of $119,436. Lady Of Cornwall began her career in England and she returned there for stud, but never produced a stakes winner.
Duplex also foaled Clonavee, an unraced Northern Dancer filly who foaled Baldomero (IRE), winner of the Grade 3 Golden Harvest Handicap. Baldomero wrote another tragic chapter in the Courtesy saga, fracturing her left front cannon bone on the clubhouse turn of the 1990 Yellow Ribbon Stakes. She could not be saved.
Dulia, another daughter of Duplex, foaled the good runner Pampas Host, a multiple stakes winner of $310,922. A hardy performer, Pampas Host started 124 times winning or placing in 48 stakes, none of them graded.
Dulia produced four more notable horses: stakes winning Flying Granville who ran third in the G1 Hopeful; Truchas, a stakes winner and twice Grade 3 placed who is the dam of stakes winner Eskimo Point; Stitka D., a stakes placed runner and Entraineuse, dam of stakes placed Coax Me Matt, second in the G1 Arlington-Washington Futurity.
The cleverly named Double Mystery (by Whodunit) was unraced. But she produced stakes placed Double Angle, dam of stakes winner Norangle. In addition, Double Mystery produced Mysterious U., dam of stakes placed Subliminal Power.
Pleasingly Plump, another daughter of Whodunit, foaled Veronica Lake, dam of Miss Veronica (PR) twice champion in Columbia in 1983-1984. Pleasingly Plump also got Pac’ O Jollies, dam of stakes placed Unsurpassed.
Finally, Pleasingly Plump foaled Bold Street Miss, dam of stakes winner Bold Dar (MEX).
Continue, Courtesy’s best producing daughter, was a winner by Double Jay foaled in 1958.
Her *Herbager son Yamanin was a multiple stakes winner who scored in the Grade I Widener Handicap and earned $301,698. He went to stud in Japan.
List, a full brother to Yamanin, was a hardy non-graded multiple stakes winner of $279,327. He achieved graded black type when placing in the 1974 Michigan Mile and One Eighth (G2).
Tuerta, Continue’s one-eyed *Forli filly, was the last stakes winner to campaign in Bull Hancock’s colors and thus became a favorite of Claiborne Farm. Tuerta won the Grade 3 Long Island Handicap and earned $125,912.
Before her death in 1986, Tuerta was to give Claiborne that greatest of gifts – a Kentucky Derby winner – in her almost black Seattle Slew son Swale. A champion who earned $1.5 million dollars before his heart-breaking death after the Belmont Stakes, Swale’s entire body is buried at Claiborne Farm, next to his great-great grandsire, Round Table.
In addition to Swale, Tuerta also produced the stakes placed Majestic Light colt Illuminate, third in the 1982 Belmont Stakes behind Horse of the Year Conquistador Cielo and Kentucky Derby winner Gato Del Sol.
Tuerta’s daughter Sight by Gallant Romeo, was second in the 1980 Holly Stakes and died the same year as her dam – another blow to the Courtesy family. Fortunately, Sight left behind two unraced daughters. Detecting, a daughter of Seattle Slew, is a three-quarter sister to Swale and was exported to England in 1988. Observe, a daughter of Majestic Light, is a three-quarter sister to Illuminate.
In another twist of fate, Sight’s son Decore by Secretariat, a non-stakes winner of $202,325, died in 1990.
Continue also foaled Perpetual, a stakes winning full brother to Yamanin and List, who stood first in Japan and was later sent to New Zealand. Perpetual won the Ak-Sar-Ben President’s Cup in 1970.
File, Continue’s 1976 Tom Rolfe filly, won the Cinderella Stakes at Arlington in 1979 and earned $73,774. Her finest contribution to the Courtesy family was champion Forty Niner. Though he was exported to Japan, Forty Niner has proven an excellent sire of sires, getting such good ones as Distorted Humor, sire of double classic winner Funny Cide. Unfortunately, there has been some tragedy regarding Forty Niner’s sons, too. Three of them, Jules; Tactical Advantage and End Sweep died all too young after extremely promising starts at stud.
Several other matings to Mr. Prospector all resulted in fillies and did not prove quite so fortunate for File. Her 1983 daughter Series won $58,819 but did not win or place in stakes. Refine was unplaced in one start and died at three while Abrade was a winner of just $15,633 and produced only a minor stakes winner in New Mexico. The youngest sister,Scrape, has yet to distinguish herself.
Continue produced five other stakes producing daughters. Furling by Hoist the Flag is the second dam of stakes winner Bishop’s Idea. Continuation by *Forli is the dam of stakes placed Olamic and Continual, dam of 1985 Two Thousand Guineas winner Shadeed by Nijinsky. Shadeed, who also ran third to Cozzene in the 1985 Breeders’ Cup Mile, has been moderately successful, siring 14 stakes winners and the winners of $14 million to date. His best U. S. runner to date is Alydeed, a somewhat better stallion than his own sire.
Plane, a daughter of Round Table, is the dam of three stakes producers. Shining Tiara produced stakes placed Shining Air while Even is the dam of stakes winner Cool Slate; Charlie Baron, a Grade I stakes winner in Mexico; and El Sembrador, Grade I placed in Mexico. Plane also produced Plane’s Temptress, who foaled stakes placed Ultimate Swale before being exported to Peru.
Chain, an *Herbager mare, foaled Chain Bracelet, a G1 winner of $289,580 by Lyphard. Chain Bracelet in turn foaled stakes placed Brace Blu, Group 2 placed in Italy. Dancing Slippers, Chain’s 1981 Nijinsky II filly, is a G3 stakes winner of $115,490.
Continuance, Continue’s 1964 Round Table daughter, is the dam of stakes winner Dr. Neal; stakes placed stakes producer Brian’s Babe; G2 stakes placed Continuing and stakes producer Bold Maiden.
Courtesy possessed a truly remarkable pedigree and one well worth discussing. She carried six crosses of St. Simon 6 x 6 x 7 x 6 x 5 x 6. Within this pattern, she was 5 x 4 to Chaucer, sire of Selene; 5 x 5 to Two Thousand Guineas winner St. Frusquin – supported entirely by her dam – and 6 x 6 x 5 to Oaks winner Canterbury Pilgrim, dam of Swynford and Chaucer. She also carried a strain of St. Simon’s son Rabelais in her fourth generation and one of his son, Desmond, in her sixth generation.
What makes the St. Simon inbreeding so intriguing in Courtesy’s case is that the lone major St. Simon son which did not appear in her pedigree was Persimmon. She also possessed just one (son) cross of Desmond thrugh Charles O’Malley. Yet both Persimmon (5 x 5) and a (daughter) cross of Desmond through Ayn Hail appeared in the pedigree of Claiborne stallion Round Table who was so successful in matings to Courtesy! (This offered as proof lest anyone doubt that Bull Hancock looked for St. Simon inbreeding).
Other aspects of Courtesy’s pedigree include a 5 x 5 cross of Bay Ronald, founder of the Son-in-Law and Gainsborough/Hyperion lines; a 5 x 5 cross of great sprinter and broodmare sire Sundridge; and a 6 x 6 x 6 cross of Cyllene, founder of the Phalaris line. Further, she was inbred 6 x 6 to the great Australian sire Trenton, supported entirely by her dam, and possessed a 6 x 6 cross of Loved One, most notable as the broodmare sire of Sunstar and as sire of the great producer Gondolette, also supported entirely by her dam.
Courtesy was, therefore, bred to be a Reine-de-Course. Her daughters Continue and Respected are also welcome members to the title as major contributors to a family who personifies triumph over adversity – the kind of family which has been called upon to show its class in a variety of situations and has seldom been found wanting.
From the Skyscraper Branch: CALIFORNIA BROODMARE OF THE YEAR STAR GEM
When the Pia Star matron Star Gem died in foal to Storm Cat early in 1995, both owner Jack Goodwin and Winter Quarters farm manager Don Robinson felt like crying. “She was a homely old mare,” Robinson said, “But everybody loved her.”
One might think the reason these men felt like shedding tears is that the mare was carrying a Storm Cat half sibling to major winner Star of Cozzene. Which, of course, is part of it. But Star Gem was a whole lot more than just another broodmare; she was special.
Star Gem, you see, had come a long way from the day owner Jack Goodwin purchased her for $25,000 after failing to win the toss for a like claiming amount. Since the mare had returned from her race lame, the owner who had won the toss decided to sell her to Goodwin because while he planned to race Star Gem, Goodwin only wanted her for a broodmare.
Goodwin turned Star Gem over to his trainer who said the mare was so lame she could hardly move, so she was immediately taken to his ranch in Napa, Calif., and evaluated for a trip to Kentucky for breeding. Pronounced sound enough to travel, Star Gem arrived at Winter Quarters Farm where farm manager Don Robinson had some bad news.
“Don’t breed her this year,” Robinson told Goodwin, “I can’t guarantee I can save her if she’s bred. On that ankle, she’ll never be able to support her weight when she’s in foal.”
Goodwin quickly agreed with his trusted friend and advisor and today credits him with saving Star Gem’s life. “We owe him everything,” Goodwin said in an interview several years ago. “We might have bred her and lost her. As it is, he called in a vet and had a special stabilizing shoe made for her, which helped her ankle to fuse.”
The first year Star Gem could safely be bred Goodwin sent her to the young Blushing Groom horse Mt. Livermore and the mare produced a filly named Livermore Lil, who was very small but still managed to earn $18,058. But more importantly, Goodwin saw the perfect stallion for Star Gem’s next Kentucky mating, Cozzene.
Calling the elegant grey son of Caro “the most beautiful horse I’ve ever seen,” Goodwin booked Star Gem to him after several farms in California refused to breed the mare to the sires of his choice. The result of that mating was superstar grass horse Star of Cozzene who earned $2,280,021. Among his more important victories were the Early Times Manhattan, Caesars International, Arlington Million and Man o’ War Stakes. He is now standing at stud in Japan.
Star Gem’s next foal was J. F. Williams, a son of Broad Brush, another stallion whose looks impressed Goodwin. J. F. Williams had a breathing problem for the majority of his career but he became a fine sprinter in spite of it, earning over $300,000 while winning such stakes as the Los Angeles Handicap.
Unfortunately, J. F. Williams died from a severe colic attack just a month after his dam passed away. He was scheduled to continue racing through 1995 and had already been sold to stand at stud in 1996.
Star Gem’s next two foals, Portuguese Starlet and Diamond Club, were not able to live up to their older siblings. Portuguese Starlet won allowance races, but had to be retired with a cracked cannon bone before she could get an opportunity to try stakes company. She has foaled four winners, the best so far being $107K winner Star of Rio by Wild Again.
Diamond Club did not race at two and ran third twice in maiden allowance races at three before suffering an injury that kept him out for almost a year. He failed to improve upon his return and retired with three wins in 19 starts and $22,853 in earnings.
Matty G., Star Gem’s 1995 two year old, didn’t start out like a major winner. He was a little slow to develop due to a throat infection and trainer Ron McAnally felt he had to be rushed from the gate in the Hollywood Preview Stakes. With only a maiden win under his belt, he was sent off as the longest shot in G1 Hollywood Futurity Dec. 17.
All Matty G. did was make mincemeat out of the likes of multiple stakes winner Hennessy, Norfolk Stakes second Odyle, Remsen Stakes victor Tropicool and three other horses the public thought could beat him. And he made it look easy. In fact, the almost black son of Capote looked downright impressive, drawing off to a seven-length win, the largest margin in the history of the Hollywood Futurity. Because he bloomed so unexpectedly – and so late in his two year old year – and because of his panther-like color, not to mention his free-running style, thoughts of Sunday Silence danced through the brains of Southern California racegoers.
Sad to say, Matty G. did not train on at three and probably should not have run in the Kentucky Derby. He did return to win the G3 Ascot Handicap on turf and also placed in two more stakes. Currently at stud at Darby Dan Farm in Kentucky after moving around from Florida to California to his current home, Matty G. is doing well.
To date the handsome black fellow has G3 winner Mayakovsky, plus stakes winner Little Billy and stakes placed Divine Angel (G3) and Lil’ Awesome Annie. His best crops are yet to come.
Star Gem wasn’t just been productive as the dam of racehorses. Her weanling by Dixieland Band sold at the 1994 fall mixed sale for $460,000. He didn’t earn all of it back, but did place in two stakes, including the G3 Baldwin and he earned $210,440 from eight wins in 47 starts.
Star Gem’s pedigree equipped her well for the task of stakes producer. She descends from the Skyscraper branch of Chelandry (Family 1-N) whose other members include double Beldame victress Love Sign, Italian champion filly Melodist, Manhattan Handicap winner and good broodmare sire Reneged, and the good stakes producer Wise Nurse.
She was inbred 3 x 4 x 4 to three-quarter siblings *Mahmoud and Mumtaz Begum (dam of *Nasrullah); 6 x 6 to Teddy; and 6 x 6 to Man o’ War, in sex-balanced fashion. Sire Pia Star himself was inbred 4 x 4 to Gainsborough through a son, Hyperion, and a daughter, Mah Mahal, and to Swynford 4 x 5 through a daughter, Drift, and a son, Blandford. Dam Soonerland was inbred 4 x 5 to full brothers *Bull Dog and *Sir Gallahad III.
In addition to the good broodmare blood of *Mahmoud, Teddy, and Man o’ War, she also has crosses of such good broodmare sires as Count Fleet, *Princequillo and *Bull Dog. She also has a great deal of back linebreeding to that swiftest of American lines, Domino.
Because of the type pedigree she possessed, Star Gem fit a wide variety of sire lines. Cozzene was a natural with his *Nasrullah/*Princequillo cross that reinforced Star Gem’s *Mahmoud/Mumtaz Begum breeding. Broad Brush no doubt reawakened the brilliant Domino blood and the result was a sprinter, J. F. Williams. With Capote, who is from the same family as Broad Brush, Star Gem might have found her perfect mate. Unfortunately, we will never know since Matty G. was pushed into the Kentucky Derby when it was clear that he had not matured enough to handle the distance over the winter months. Nevertheless, his foals will still give us some clue as to his true racing potential.
Since we sincerely believe that we need more Caro blood in this country, we would love to see Star of Cozzene brought back to the U. S. He is not showing up on Japanese sire lists with any regularity which not only worries us about his fate but makes us think more than ever that he would fit better in the U. S.
If that never comes to pass, however, do let us appreciate Matty G. Star Gem’s blood should not be lost to us; she was hardy and versatile and classy. Such qualities should be cherished.
From The Pennula Branch: REVEILLE II
From “Star Kingdom”, The Thoroughbred Record of 03/23/83 by Tim Capps:
“Star Kingdom’s 1961 crop might be considered a ‘filly’ group, for it included the champion distaffers *Reveille II and Sarlit. *Reveille II is of special importance to Americans in her role as a broodmare, since she is the dam of stakes winners Realty (by Sir Ivor) and Ethnarch (by Buckpasser), in addition to Ethnarch’s stakes placed full sister, Breakfast Bell. The latter produced Believe It, winner of the G1 Wood Memorial, the Grade 2 Remsen and Heritage Stakes and third to Affirmed and Alydar in the 1978 Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes and his stakes winning full brother It’s True.”
Believe It was considered from the start to be one of the best looking horses of his generation. However, the son of In Reality did not breed like he looked. A natural as a broodmare sire type, he did get the good G1 turf horse Al Mamoon, who was a moderate success in California; Met Mile winner Garthorn, a failure at stud; G1 Monmouth H. winner Believe The Queen and Kentucky Oaks winner Buryyourbelief.
As a broodmare sire, he will probably always be best remembered for Real Quiet, winner of the Kentucky Derby and Preakness. He was also the broodmare sire of Hot Novel, she dam of the excellent handicapper Behrens.
For whatever reason, Believe It fell from grace and ended up in Louisiana where he died. Full brother It’s True was pretty much a flop as a stallion.
Realty, a half sister by Sir Ivor to Breakfast Bell, dam of Believe It, was a Group winner in France. She produced Really Lucky by Northern Dancer, who in turn foaled Ravinella, a Mr. Prospector filly who won the English and French One Thousand Guineas. Ravinella’s full brother Line In The Sand, now a stallion in Florida, is one of the first to prove inbreeding to Reveille II, a crack sprinter, works. His daughter Lines of Beauty, out of a Garthorn mare, is a graded stakes winner.
There is a whole lot of this family floating around out there in various regional markets and some mares, we imagine, who carry strains of male stakes winners Ethnarch (who died in 1985) and Savings (who was moved around and ended up in Texas prior to his death).
If you find yourself in possession of some of this blood, even through an obscure strain, it is worth moving back toward the source – whether to Line in the Sand or via a horse with Believe It blood, etc. Keep your eyes peeled; this is a largely untapped reservoir of sound speed. There are not many and we think highly enough of *Reveille II to name her a Reine-de-Course in her own right.
From The Samphire Branch: AULD ALLIANCE
Once not long ago, someone posed the question of infertility running in families. We had never given it much thought before, but one day we happened to notice that Kentucky Derby winners *Tomy Lee (1959) and Genuine Risk (1980) share the same family.
In fact, Genuine Risk’s second dam, *Due Respect II, is a half sister to *Tomy Lee. We all know Genuine Risk’s varying maternity problems, but did you also know that *Tomy Lee was virtually sterile? It certainly begs the question of whether the mare Auld Alliance that the two share in common imparted something to her offspring that led to this condition.
We obtained a printout on Auld Alliance to see if we could shed any more light on the matter and discovered that she produced seven foals and had four barren years. Her first foal, a 1953 filly named Mild Persuasion by Blue Peter, produced a dozen foals, so she certainly had no problem. Of course, none of them were anything to write home about, though there were a few decent ‘chasers, but then that’s another story.
Auld Alliance went barren two years, then produced *Tomy Lee to the cover of Tudor Minstrel.
Her second daughter, All Honesty, a full sister to Mild Persuasion, was born the following year. All Honesty produced eight foals, and apart from a horse named Gaelic Find who won Group stakes in South Africa, the descendents of this branch also seemed to do their best work over jumps.
Genuine Risk’s second dam, *Due Respect II by *Zucherro, was born in 1958. Her first foal was a stakes winning colt named Shoolerville, who later was imported to the U. S. for stud duty.
Genuine Risk’s dam, Virtuous, was born in 1971. In addition to Genuine Risk, she also produced a stakes winning filly by Sauce Boat named Sorbet. Sorbet had only five foals. Virtuous herself produced only three other offspring besides her two good fillies.
In all, *Due Respect II got eight foals. There are a few who look to have had problems: Resping by Sing Sing produced only four foals; Bold Respect by Boldiolic produced only two foals; Special Variety had only three offspring; Royal Respect (1981) had only five.
There is a smattering of stakes horses, many of them jumpers, until you get to the mare Alachee (1981 by Apalachee-Respective). Alachee produced two stakes winners; Tampa Bay Derby hero Prix de Crouton and Black Gold Handicap winner Premier Cheer as well as stakes placed Stop Watch Willy. She might just be the mare to save the family.
We’re not confident that the data in this printout supports the theory that Auld Alliance is a mare who passed on an ‘infertility gene”, but what is apparent is that despite its ability to get two horses as good as Genuine Risk and *Tomy Lee, those two are exceptions in this clan. And if the two best racehorses in a family are unable to breed on for any reason, that family has suffered a serious blow.
If one were to characterize the rest of this family, it would most likely get the heading “steeplechaser”. Still and all, due to the outside possibility that there is a gene for infertility or difficult foaling inherent here, we’d advise against inbreeding to it, even if your goal really is a good horse for the Grand National.
So there you have a sampling of our new, expanded version of the family – some good and some bad. And for better or for worse, any family which sticks around for so long and produces so many headline-making horses is worth writing about.
What was it, then, that made Chelandry special? Well, as you might imagine, like most foundation mares she was beautifully bred, using mostly classic horses, and her pedigree is full of history.
This classic blue hen was by New Stakes (Royal Ascot) winner Goldfinch, a son of Triple Crown winner Ormonde, he by Derby winner Bend Or, he by Derby winner Doncaster. Goldfinch’s broodmare sire was none other than Ascot Gold Cup winner Scottish Chief.
Chelandry was out of Illuminata, a daughter of Ascot Stakes winner Rosicrucian. Second dam Paraffin was by Derby and St. Leger winner Blair Athol.
Our subject Reine-de-Course was inbred to her own family via half sisters Rouge Rose and Paradigm at 4 x 3 and to St. Leger and Ascot Gold Cup winner Touchstone x3 and his half sister Jocose.
We hear a lot about ‘breeding the best to the best and hoping for the best’. But Chelandry was inbred to the best. With that kind of formula, you don’t have to do quite as much hoping.