When Coolmore released its fees for the 2014 season I fully expected to find that a few members of the 2013 roster had disappeared, in much the same way that the likes of Excellent Art and Oratorio had done in earlier years. For example, I doubted whether this all-conquering stud would be persevering with Thewayyouare, whose first three years in Ireland had been subject to the laws of diminishing returns.
Having attracted 129 mares in 2011, in his first year in Ireland, Thewayyouare had then covered 76 mares in his second year and only 45 in his third. Forty-five mares at a fee of €4,000 are not the sort of figures a commercial stud is looking for these days, though it is odd to think that 45 mares would have constituted a full book not so very long ago.
Clearly the Coolmore team knew something I didn’t and Thewayyouare remained on the roster for 2014, even though his first crop, sired at Ashford Stud in Kentucky, had made comparatively little impact. His first Irish yearlings had also mainly gone unnoticed, achieving a median of only 6,194gns. The one bright spot had been the 120,000gns paid by trainer Jamie Osborne for a colt, now named Thanksgiving Day, on October 16.
The ultra-observant might have noticed that Osborne had already enjoyed success with Toast Of New York, a first-crop son of Thewayyouare. On his third start, on September 13, the colt had routed seven opponents in a median auction maiden race over an extended mile at Wolverhampton. Then, at the start of November, the youngster turned in a repeat performance at the same track, this time taking a novice race over seven furlongs by 16 lengths.
This faith in the nine-year-old may well be based on the fact that he is one of the top-class representatives of the Kingmambo-Sadler’s Wells cross
Now Toast Of New York has possibly put himself on the Derby trail thanks to his stylish victory over Asmar in the Group 2 UAE Derby at Meydan.
Toast Of New York hasn’t been the only one advertising Thewayyouare’s potential. The Coolmore partners enjoyed a double with his progeny at Saint-Cloud on March 20, with Smith and Tabor’s colt With Rhythm taking a mile newcomers’ event by three lengths and Tabor’s filly Hug And A Kiss landing an 11-furlong event in good style. Another of Thewayyouare’s French winners, the colt Secret Admirer, was beaten only three-quarters of a length in the Listed Prix Omnium II.
So it looks as though Coolmore’s persistence with Thewayyouare is destined to pay off. This faith in the nine-year-old may well be based on the fact that he is one of the top-class representatives of the Kingmambo-Sadler’s Wells cross which also gave us his fellow Group 1 winners Henrythenavigator, Divine Proportions, El Condor Pasa, Virginia Waters, Master Of Hounds and Campanologist. It is going to be fascinating to watch the progress of Campanologist now that this four-time Group 1 winner is in his second season at the very successful Gestüt Fahrhof.
Thewayyouare earned Group 1-winner status when he ploughed through the mud at Saint-Cloud to take the Criterium International in 2007. This was his fourth consecutive juvenile win, but unfortunately it was a different story at three, when he failed to shine in the Classics, Transferred to Aidan O’Brien, he showed a flash of his old talent when a close fourth in the Prix Ganay but then ran badly in the Tattersalls Gold Cup and was retired.
In deciding where to stand him, Coolmore opted for Ashford Stud in Kentucky, no doubt thinking that American breeders would be impressed by his female line. His dam, the Fillies’ Mile second Maryinsky, is a half-sister to Better Than Honour, the exceptional American broodmare who sold for $14,000,000 at the end of 2008. That price reflected the American Classic successes of her son Jazil and daughter Rags To Riches. Thewayyouare’s female line has also supplied stallions of the calibre of El Gran Senor, Try My Best and Redoute’s Choice.
After siring 60 live foals in his first season, it was onwards to Ireland for Thewayyouare, via New Zealand, where he made his debut at Windsor Park Stud. His first foals there are still only two years old but they include a Group 1-placed Listed winner and a Listed-placed dual winner.
The star of the show, though, is Toast Of New York, who was sold by Ashleigh Stud to Timmy Hyde for $35,000 at Keeneland’s 2012 January Sales, before being bought by Osborne after he had failed to reach his reserve at the Orby Sales.
I doubt many Europeans are familiar with the name of Syncline, Toast Of New York’s broodmare sire. However, they will be very familiar with Syncline’s parents, Danzig and Annie Edge. The latter was third in the Irish 1,000 Guineas before finding fame as the dam of the highly successful Selkirk.
Syncline’s sister Seebe was a Classic-placed winner of the Group 3 Princess Margaret Stakes at two, but Syncline didn’t enjoy stakes success until he was five, when he scored over 8.5 furlongs on turf at Delaware. He started his stallion career at the minute sum of $2,500 and sired only 109 foals.
Toast Of New York’s dam Claire Soleil wasn’t one of Syncline’s winners but she had a distinguished dam, who was 19 when she produced her. This was Claire Marine, a very useful performer in France who developed into one of America’s best turf fillies at four, when her wins included two at Group 1 level and another in the valuable Beverly D Stakes. She won at up to nine and a half furlongs.
Claire Marine was one of the earliest examples of successful inbreeding to Northern Dancer, as she was inbred 3 x 3 via Be My Guest and Lyphard. Of course the passage of time has accustomed us to seeing Northern Dancer’s name proliferate in the breed and Toast Of New York has five lines (5 x 4 x 4 x 5 x 5) to the 1964 Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner.
Sound of Silence echoes through the desert
Thanks to the likes of El Condor Pasa, Deep Impact, Nakayama Festa, Orfevre and Kizuna, the Japanese have been knocking at the door of Arc de Triomphe success and it surely can’t be long before a Japanese horse finally wins the Longchamp championship. Some of Japan’s possible contenders for the 2014 Arc were on display over the weekend of March 29 and 30, and you won’t be surprised that virtually all of them are descendants of Sunday Silence, the 13-time champion sire who succumbed to the effects of laminitis 12 years ago.
The Dubai World Cup card featured impressive winners by two of his sons. It was Heart’s Cry who was responsible for the record-setting Dubai Duty Free winner Just A Way, who landed the $3,000,000 first prize by more than six lengths. Then it was the turn of Deep Impact, when his daughter Gentildonna boosted her career earnings to the equivalent of nearly $16,000,000 in the Dubai Sheema Classic. The dual Japan Cup winner is expected to target a third victory in November.
But that wasn’t all. The day’s happenings in Japan had also highlighted the merit of Heart’s Cry, a stallion I commented on in greater depth in the January 2014 issue. This time it was his son Win Variation who took the Grade 2 Nikkei Sho, no doubt as a stepping stone to the prestigious Tenno Sho this month, a race in which he finished third in 2012.
Hanshin staged the same day’s Mainichi Hai, a Grade 3 race over nine furlongs which respectively fell to the subsequent Japanese Derby winners Deep Sky and Kizuna in 2008 and 2013. This time victory went to Meiner Frost, who was winning for the third time in six starts. The colt is a son of Black Tide, an older brother of the sensational Deep Impact.
Black Tide also appeared to be on course to a distinguished career when he improved his record to three wins from five starts with a victory in the Sho Spring Stakes in 2004. I suspect something went badly wrong with Black Tide when he finished in the rear in the Japanese 2,000 Guineas on his next start, as he was then off the track for more than two years.
It wasn’t so surprising then that he failed to win again in 16 further starts, stretching from 2006 to 2008. Thanks to his relationship to Deep Impact, Black Tide was guaranteed a place at stud and Meiner Frost comes from his second crop. The first yielded the juvenile Grade 2 winner T M Inazuma. There should be more to come from the stallion, as he has 105 two-year-olds this year and 115 yearlings.
The following day witnessed the latest running of the Takamatsunomiya, which – at six furlongs – is one of Japan’s shortest Grade 1 events. This time victory went to Copano Richard, whose sire Daiwi Major established himself as one of Sunday Slience’s fastest sons with a pair of victories in the Mile Championship at Kyoto, a race also won by Sunday Silence’s successful American-based son Hat Trick.
The end result is that sons of Sunday Silence occupy five of the top six places on the Japanese sires’ table for 2014, the only interloper being the second-ranked King Kamehameha. Altogether there are nine sons in the top 12.
This dependence on one sire line must make it difficult to find enough quality mares for all of them and this partly explains why Japan’s top breeders regularly need to acquire well-performed fillies and mares from the US and Britain. Just A Way’s dam Sibyl was foaled in Japan but the daughter of Wild Again was conceived in the US, where her dam Charon won the Grade 1 CCA Oaks.
Gentildonna, needless to say, is also out of an imported mare. Her dam, the Cheveley Park Stakes winner Donna Blini, was bought by Katsumi Yoshida for 500,000gns in 2006.
Meiner Frost’s dam Three Snow Grass is a Japanese-bred daughter of Grass Wonder but her dam Diamond Snow was an American-bred daughter of Dayjur. Diamond Snow comes from the family which provided the late Robin Scully with so much success, her dam being the Prix Morny winner Ancient Regime. Win Variation is another with links to the US, as his dam Super Ballerina is a Storm Bird mare who was bought by Japanese interests for $750,000 at Barretts’ 1998 sale of two-year-olds.