Dismiss Double Danehill at Your Peril

Tara Madgwick - Tuesday March 10

Line breeding to champion sire Danehill (USA) is impossible to ignore given the vast numbers of horses being bred this way and stakes results from the past three days offer food for  thought with six stakes-winners bred this way including the winner of the Group I VRC Newmarket Handicap and the colt that is now favourite for the Golden Slipper.

The double Danehill club of stakes-winners has expanded to include 187 names with the horses from the past three days reading as follows (m and f denotes the sex of the horse by Danehill in the pedigree):

G1 Bivouac (3c Exceed and Excel x Dazzler, by More Than Ready(USA)  (Danehill double 2m x 4f)
G2 Farnan (2c Not a Single Doubt x Tallow, by Street Cry (IRE) (3m x 4m)
G2 Rubisaki (3f Rubick x Senro Kiseki, by Danehill Dancer (IRE) ( 4m x 3m)
G3 Minhaaj (2f Exceed and Excel x Telaawa, by Lonhro (2m x 4m)
Listed Cuba (5g All Too Hard x Tabasco Kitten , by Redoute’s Choice (4m x 3m)
Listed Promotions (3g Exceed and Excel x Transfer, by Street Cry (IRE) (2m x 4f)

Line breeding to Danehill can produce very good horses, however a close look at the pedigrees of some of the most successful examples often shows us other positive factors involved that probably have had a lot more influence on the outcome of the mating than the double Danehill.

Bivouac is a good example as he’s a three-quarter brother-in-blood to Guelph, a four time Group I winner also by Exceed and Excel, so she too has the double Danehill.

The family is top class and includes Golden Slipper winners Sepoy and Canny Lad, while Camarilla and Camarena (the second and third dams of Bivouac) are also both  Group I winners, the latter being an exceptionally tough filly that won the Queensland Derby over 2400m against the colts.

Bivouac’s first two dams are by More Than Ready (USA) and Elusive Quality (USA), two shuttle stallions that have delivered a lot of success when combined with Danehill, so the overall picture of his pedigree is one of a serious racehorse and that is exactly what Godolphin have got.

The double Danehill is a very small part of a much bigger genetic picture for Bivouac as when you go back a bit further you find a fourth dam by Marscay and a fifth by Lunchtime (GB), two high class Australian speed influences that have a again been notably successful with Danehill blood.

Farnan is another interesting one and while he does have a double Danehill, to my eye he’s probably a far better example of what has become quite a powerful nick between Redoute’s Choice and his sire sons combined with Street Cry.

That nick runs at 8.1% stakes-winners to runners and has produced Group I winners Trekking and Stay With Me as well as Group II winners Savatiano and now Farnan.

His mother Tallow was a Group III winner and while Black Type is scarce in the next two dams, after that you get back to better quality and his sixth dam is Ursula Lauderdale (Ity), an Italian bred mare imported to Australia by Kingston Park’s David Hains.

She achieved fame and fortune as the dam of outstanding filly Lowan Star, an incredibly tough filly that was high class at two and at three won the AJC Oaks and Queensland Oaks.  Lowan Star was trained by TJ Smith, whose daughter Gai is co-trainer of Farnan.

The third horse we’ll have a closer look at is undefeated filly Minhaaj, who is the latest example of the successful Exceed and Excel x Lonhro nick that runs at 11.2% stakes-winners to runners.

She also comes from a female family that has achieved amazing success with Exceed and Excel having produced Golden Slipper winner Overreach, Blue Diamond winner Reward for Effort and current star sprinting three year-old Standout.

If there is one thing to take from this story it’s to remember to look at the overall pedigree of a horse and not just be blinded and possibly prejudiced by the ‘double Danehill’ factor.

Far better to concentrate on how it has worked with success in the past, so we can learn how it may work well in the future given there is no escaping it now!


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