He’s No Poor Relation

Tara Madgwick - Thursday June 11

Blood can sometimes overcome pedigree to produce a seriously good horse.

The Group I BRC JJ Atkins Stakes (1400m) last Saturday was the last Group I race for juveniles of the season and while the winner Rothfire is on face value seen as a far less fashionably bred horse than the other G1 winners Farnan (Golden Slipper), Tagaloa (Blue Diamond) and King’s Legend (Sires Produce, Champagne Stakes), a look at the straight tabulations for all of these colts shows that thinking is far from true.

Farnan - $550,000  Magic Millions purchase

King’s Legacy - $1.4million Magic Millions purchase

Tagaloa - $300,000 Magic Millions purchase



Rothfire - Not accepted for major sales.


Rothfire is the first Group I winner for his sire Rothesay, a Group II winning son of Fastnet Rock, from a sensational family that has produced Golden Slipper winners Canny Lad and Sepoy as well as more recent Group I winners such as Guelph and Bivouac.

To see him produce a Group I winner is not a surprise, what is surprising is that it has taken so long.

Sons of Fastnet Rock have had varying degrees of success at stud, but Rothesay now becomes the seventh of his sons to sire a Group I winner joining Hinchinbrook, Foxwedge, Smart Missile, Stryker, Wanted and El Roca.

On his dam’s side, Rothfire has nothing not to like with his first three dams by Hussonet (USA), Zabeel and Marscay all champion sires and the first two in particular nicking extremely well with Fastnet Rock.

His pedigree lacked nothing in genetics, what it lacked from an auction house perspective was Black Type given there is very little in his first three dams and Rothesay would be seen as a sire past his commercial use by date.

Rothfire the horse has no knowledge of any of this and has reeled off six wins and a second from seven starts earning over $750,000, not bad for a horse bought by his trainer privately for just $10,000 from his breeders Gleeson Thoroughbreds.

Rothfire wins the G1 JJ ATkins

It would be nice to think that genetic magic works the same every time, but sadly it does not and Rothfire has an older five year-old full sister called Smokin’ Hussay, who is not quite in his league.

She’s won only one race at Ipswich from 22 starts, but as a full sister to a Group I winner she’s now going to find herself in demand as a future broodmare prospect, so expect to see her pop up in a sale somewhere soon!


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