Best On Breeding

Mark Smith - Friday November 10

Making a quick back-up from winning a mares race over 1700 metres at Flemington on Melbourne Cup day, Sheikh Mohammed Bin Khalifa Al Maktoum’s Tahanee (ARG) gets a chance to add to her stakes haul in Saturday’s $300,000 Group II Matriarch Stakes (2000m) at Flemington.

The 5-year-old import has covered plenty of miles in her career and boasts an intriguing pedigree that first made its mark in Australia with the importation of the top-class Argentinian mare Penita (ARG).

A dual Group 1 winner, Penita (ARG) was honoured as the Champion Older Mare in Argentina in 1989.

She had eight foals, all made the track and six were winners, the best of which was the Thunder Gulch (USA) mare Vita.

The winner of the Group III AJC Fernhill Handicap and Listed Baillieu Stakes, Vita produced five winners from six to race, although none were black-type performers.

One of her unraced foals was the Danehill Dancer filly Tawafeej who was purchased by Sheikh Khalifa at the 2006 Inglis Easter Yearling Sale for $90,000.

Tawafeej was put in foal to Excellent Art and shipped off back to the land of her granddam.

She had a colt by Excellent Art than won a race in South Africa as did her second foal a Giant’s Causeway filly named Titlee who also placed twice at stakes level.

The Asiatic Boy colt Tinneen kept up a perfect record for his dam when winning twice in Argentina before Tawafeej visited the highly successful Storm Bird shuttler Atlantic Storm (USA) (photo Hill 'n' Dale) to produce Tahanee.

Unraced at two, Tahanee won the Group III San Isidro Clasico Omega at three and the Group III San Isidro Premio Eudoro J. Balsa at four.

She earned a trip to Dubai where she raced four times without winning before she was off again, this time to Australia to let Darren Weir weave his magic.

The daughter of Stormy Atlantic had run credibly in four starts before breaking through on Melbourne Cup day.

A few days earlier Stormy Atlantic had enjoyed Grade 1 success on Breeders’ Cup weekend at Del Mar when Stormy Liberal claimed the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint.

Now among the elder statesmen on the Hill 'n' Dale Farms roster, Stormy Atlantic is a member of the exclusive 100 stakes winners club.

On October 14 his 4yo son Victor Security won the Group 1 San Isidro Copa Melchor Posse.

Like Tahanee, Victor Security is out of a Danehill Dancer (IRE) mare.

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