March 31 was something of a red letter day for Cheveley Park Stud’s father-and-son combo of Pivotal and Kyllachy. Pivotal’s late-developing son African Story set the ball rolling with a decisive victory in the Group 2 Godolphin Mile on Meydan’s Tapeta track. This was the third win from four 2012 starts for the gelding, who didn’t make his first appearance until the November of his three-year-old season.
From then on it was the turn of Pivotal’s champion son Kyllachy. His Nunthorpe Stakes winner Sole Power came out best of the northern-hemisphere contingent when second to Ortensia in the Group 1 Al Quoz Sprint. Then, 35 minutes later, another of Kyllachy’s geldings, Krypton Factor, wore down one of the world’s fastest horses, Rocket Man, to take the Group 1 Dubai Golden Shaheen.
Bred by Lady Fairhaven, Krypton Factor has now developed into a formidable performer on Tapeta, winning three of his last four starts on the Meydan surface and failing by only a short head to win the other. The gelding had taken a little time to find his feet after his transfer to Bahrain, but he had won five of his ten starts for Sir Mark Prescott at two, before being sold for 100,000gns. We shouldn’t be too surprised at Krypton Factor’s prowess on all-weather, as Kyllachy finished seventh on the 2010-11 list of leading all-weather stallions, two places below Pivotal, and is taking high rank again in 2011-12. To put the icing on the cake, Kyllachy also landed the following day’s Doncaster Mile with yet another durable gelding, Penitent.
As Polar Falcon was described as standing only 15.2 hands at the start of his stallion career, close inbreeding to him runs the risk of producing something on the small side
Of course Cheveley Park has stood three generations of Krypton Factor’s male line, as the stud was also home to Pivotal’s sire Polar Falcon from 1992 to 2001. When David Thompson bought Polar Falcon at the end of the colt’s three-year-old career, the son of Nureyev had won only two of his eight starts and nothing more important than a Listed race. However, with a June 1 birthday, he had every right to be something of a late developer and he was transformed at four, when he won the Prix Edmond Blanc and a slowly-run Lockinge Stakes over a mile. The speed Polar Falcon showed in winning the Lockinge encouraged his connections to try him over six furlongs and the move paid off with a victory in the Sprint Cup.
Polar Falcon’s legacy consisted of 15 Group winners, headed by the Group 1 winners Pivotal, Exclusive, Sunstrach and Shibuni’s Falcon, with Iceman and Passing Glance winning at Group 2 level. His record was respectable, without being outstanding, and his Average Earnings Index stood at 1.43. Pivotal has proved a much better stallion, with his AEI of 2.06 reflecting a magnificent total of more than 50 Group winners, including 19 at the top level.
Pivotal’s Group winners include several inbred to Nureyev, including Regal Parade (3 x 4), Silvester Lady (3 x 3) and Brazilian Bride (3 x 4), which raised the possibility of inbreeding to Polar Falcon. Lady Fairhaven did exactly that when she arranged to send her fast and precocious Polar Falcon mare Cool Question to Kyllachy in 2007, with this mating producing 3 x 2 inbreeding to Polar Falcon. As Polar Falcon was described as standing only 15.2 hands at the start of his stallion career, close inbreeding to him runs the risk of producing something on the small side. Size, though, has clearly not been an issue with Krypton Factor.
Moving on to African Story, it is significant that this smart miler is out of Blixen, a lightly-raced useful performer sired by Gone West from a Group 1-winning Danehill mare. Blixen is by no means the first grand-daughter of Mr Prospector to enjoy success with Pivotal. The Cheveley Park stalwart sired the St James’s Palace Stakes winner Excellent Art from a Seeking The Gold mare, the Sprint Cup winner Regal Parade and the Group 3 winner Brazilian Bride from Kingmambo mares, and the Group winners Captain Rio and Humouresque from daughters of Miswaki. There’s even a South African Group 1 winner out of a Woodman mare. Mr Prospector also appears a generation further back in the pedigrees of Pivotal’s Classic winners Falco and Halfway To Heaven.
Desert Sun proves his worth through Helsinge
When you think of Green Desert as a sire of sires, you automatically think of the likes of Cape Cross, Invincible Spirit and Oasis Dream. But spare a thought for Desert Sun.
A member of the same fast L’Anguissola family as the champion sprinter Cadeaux Genereux, Desert Sun created plenty of excitement early in his career. His only appearance at two was in an end-of-season maiden race at Doncaster, when he created such a favourable impression that he earned a full-page essay in Racehorses of 1990; Timeform awarding him a large ‘P’.
A very good looking colt with a long, fluent action, Desert Sun colt justified Timeform’s optimism by ending 1991 with a rating of 120, but he remained something of an under-achiever for a colt who was once ante-post favourite for the 2,000 Guineas. After he had continued to frustrate at four, he was transferred to Bobby Frankel in the USA, where he managed to win only one of his 11 starts, despite continuing to show very useful form.
Desert Sun’s next destination was New Zealand, where he found fame as the sire of that astonishing mare Sunline, a winner of 13 Group 1 races, including two Cox Plates. The mare’s exploits led to Desert Sun spending his time shuttling between Australia and Europe. He wasn’t a runaway success in Ireland or England – his best achievement in Europe was the Greenham winner Salford City – and his Australian efforts failed to add to his tally of top level winners. However, his time in Australia has been more than justified by his siring Helsinge.
This mare struck gold when she produced the brilliant Black Caviar to Bel Esprit and now she looks to have another potential Group 1 winner in All Too Hard. This son of the first-crop sire Casino Prince has raced four times for three wins, including two Group 2s, and a second in the Group 1 AJC Sires’ Produce Stakes.
Casino Prince, winner of the Group 1 Chipping Norton Stakes over a mile, is by Danehill’s son Flying Spur. When Flying Spur was mated to Helsinge’s dam, the result was the Australian Group 1 winner Magnus, third in the 2007 King’s Stand Stakes.
Incidentally, Casino Prince headed the 2011-12 first-crop sires’ list in Australia at the time of writing and this list shows that the Danehill male line is maintaining its dominance in Australia. Third place is held by Court Command, a grandson of Danehill by Commands, and fourth place by Danehill Express, a son of Danehill.
All Too Hard’s close relative Magnus is in sixth place, ahead of the likes of Bernardini, Excellent Art and Henny Hughes.