While the term “Blue Hen mare” may be subjective leaving the exact definition open to interpretation, there is not a breeder among us to deny that a mare who produces six consecutive graded stakes winners (five of them Group or Grade 1 winners) sets the gold standard for Blue Hen status. Juddmonte Farm’s great mare Hasili earned that distinction.

Sired by the Aga Khan’s dual Derby winner Kahyasi, Hasili was foaled in Ireland in 1991 as the third offspring of the High Line daughter Kerali. Racing for Juddmonte Farms, Kerali showed below average ability in England, managing only a maiden win from four starts. Her dam, however, was the Cheveley Park Stakes winner and Irish champion two-year-old, Sookera, who would also produce the speedy brothers So Factual and Bold Fact later in her broodmare career.

Hasili was sent to Henri-Alex Pantall and found the winners circle early, winning the Listed Prix des Sablonnets in the provincial track of Nantes. At three, she placed twice in Listed stakes over 7-8f, but never graced the winners circle again and was retired to the paddocks at the end of the season.

With a stamina-laden pedigree, Hasili would need to be bred to a stallion capable of supplying speed to the offspring. Danehill, by virtue of his Group 1 win in the Haydock Sprint Cup, fit the bill. This speedy, compact son of Danzig was bred and raced by Prince Khalid Abdullah, and his patronage to this sprinter would pay huge dividends for the Juddmonte operation over the years – the first of which would come from this first foal of the Danehill/Hasili cross, Dansili.

For the racegoers assembled at Longchamp in early October 1998 to watch the country’s top two-year-olds compete in the Grand Criterium, the first race of the day, a minor conditions race may have meant little to the majority of them.

“Hasili was sent to Henri-Alex Pantall and found the winners circle early”

However, unbeknownst to them, they had witnessed the beginning of Hasili’s fantastic stud career. Dansili, conditioned by Andre Fabre, had little trouble with the field of seven over the heavy ground at a mile.

On his reappearance at three, Dansili was back in the winner’s enclosure, having taken the mile Prix du Labyrinthe at Chantilly. Beaten only by Sendawar in the Poule d’Essai des Poulains on good ground, Dansili finally earned his first Group win in the Prix Messidor over Deauville’s straight mile under soft conditions. Two more attempts at Group 1 victory eluded him during his three-year-old season as he had to settle for third in both the Prix Jacques les Marois and Prix du Moulin.

He opened his four-year-old account with back-to-back Group race wins and only found the great Giant’s Causeway three-quarters of a length too good when shipped to Goodwood for the Sussex Stakes. Trying 7f for the first time in the Prix de la Foret, he was again second, and was not disgraced in his final appearance when shipped to the US for the Breeders’ Cup Mile, in which he finished third.

Retired to the owner’s Banstead Manor Stud in Newmarket, he became a leading stallion as the sire of 21 Group or Grade 1 winners to date. He is currently represented by the successful stallion sons Bated Breath, Harbinger and Zoffany.

Hasili did not produce a foal in 1997 but Dansili must have been visually impressive enough as a yearling to convince Juddmonte to send her back to Danehill for the 1997 season.

Dansili: the first foal of the Danehill/Hasili cross

Much like her older brother, Banks Hill made her two-year-old debut in October over heavy ground a winning one before being put away for the year by Fabre. She also finished second in her Classic attempt to the Irish invader Rose Gypsy in the Poule d’Essai des Pouliches before winning her first Group 1 that summer when taking the Coronation Stakes at Royal Ascot.

She later capped off the season with a brilliant five-and-a-half length victory in the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf at Belmont Park, which earned her status as Champion Female Turf Horse in America for 2001. Kept in training at four, she earned a third Group 1 when defeating the colts in the Prix Jacques les Marois to avenge her brother’s loss the previous year. On her final start in France, she ran second in the Prix du Moulin before shipping back to America for a short fall campaign, where she ran third in the Yellow Ribbon Stakes for Fabre. She joined Bobby Frankel following that start and subsequently ran second to Frankel’s own mare Starine in the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf.

Banks Hill remained in America to begin her broodmare career and produced the stakes winner and Group 2-placed colt Ideal World to Kingmambo. Ideal World would later stand stud in South Africa. Her daughter Trojan Queen, by Empire Maker, won only once but has produced the Group 3 winner Sangarius, by Kingman.

Latterly sent to Europe, Banks Hill was covered by Galileo, to whom she produced Romantica, winner of the Prix Jean Romanent. She also ran second in the 2013 Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf to Dank, coincidently a daughter of Dansili.

The following season saw Hasili stay in England to be covered by another speedy son of Danzig, Shadwell’s Green Desert. Unlike her older siblings, Heat Haze did not make a start at two but did win on debut going a mile at Chantilly. She did not fare as well in the Classics, running fifth in the French 1,000 Guineas and a disappointing 13th in the Irish equivalent. In her final start of the year, she broke through by taking the Listed Prix Coronation at Maisons-Laffitte.

“Juddmonte sent Hasili back to Danehill for the 1997 season”

Transferred to Bobby Frankel in California, she won a 6.5 furlong allowance optional claimer at Santa Anita before capturing a brace of Grade 3 races. Now thrown into Grade 1 company, she ran second in the Diana Handicap at Saratoga before taking the prestigious Beverly D. Stakes at Arlington. She closed out her career with a hard fought victory in the Grade 1 Matriarch Stakes at Hollywood Park.

Heat Haze joined the Juddmonte Kentucky broodmare band but did not produce a black-type horse until returned to England. On consecutive covers to Dubawi, she produced the stakes-placed pair, Radiator and Forge, and then Mirage Dancer to the operation’s mighty Frankel. Earning a Group 3 win in England along with a quartet of Group 2 placings, Mirage Dancer found his stride at six, winning this year’s Group 1 Metropolitan Handicap at Randwick in Australia for his new connections.

After taking a season off from breeding to Danehill, Hasili was returned to him for the 1999 season resulting in a full-sister to Banks Hill, named Intercontinental.

A winner of her first two starts in France, she finished her juvenile campaign with show position as the beaten favourite in the Grand Criterium at Longchamp. A win in France to begin her three-year-old season earned her a trip across the channel to contest the English 1,000 Guineas, in which she finished third. Returned to France, she later landed a Listed stakes and placed in two other stakes.

As a four-year-old, Intercontinental followed her older siblings and made her way to Bobby Frankel in America. Going off at short odds, she reeled off three wins in the spring of 2004, including the Grade 2 Just A Game Handicap at Belmont Park. Summers at Saratoga can often mean racing on a soft course and the heavy rains in late July denied Heat Haze her long overdue Grade 1 win when she finished far back on the yielding turf in the Diana Handicap. Returned to the drier climate of California she was finally able to add the Grade 1 she was expected to earn as a daughter of Hasili, when taking the Matriarch with stablemate Etoile Montante completing the Juddmonte exacta.

Intercontinental – Photo: George Selwyn

Making seven starts at five, Heat Haze earned some frequent flyer miles criss-crossing the country. For her debut, she won her second Grade 3 Jenny Wiley Stakes at Keeneland. Following a defeat as the favourite again in the Just A Game, she was shipped back to California to land two more stakes prior to a return to Keeneland. She used her win in the mile Grade 2 WinStar Galaxy Stakes as a prep for the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf at Belmont Park – going off at the longest odds she had ever been assigned, she defeated a stellar field including defending champion Ouija Board.

Intercontinental was retired with earnings of over $2 million and eight Graded stakes wins. She was named the Eclipse Champion Female Turf Horse, thereby providing her owner with a record fourth win in this category.

Hasili had already proven herself with two stakes winners by Danehill by the time the 2000 breeding season rolled around so it required little thought to send her back to his court for a repeat mating. Cacique was the resulting colt born in 2001.

Unraced at two, he made his debut at three breaking his maiden at Saint-Cloud under Gary Stevens. The former champion American jockey later rode Cacique to two runner-up performances in Group 1 company before steering him to victory the Prix Daphnis at Chantilly over 9f.

He found the 10.5f Juddmonte International a bit out of his reach and reverting to a mile, was able to take down the Prix Daniel Wildenstein to cap off his three-year-old season.

“Hasili had already proven herself with two stakes winners by Danehill by the time the 2000 breeding season rolled around”

His four-year-old campaign was somewhat disappointing with a single Group 3 win, but like his siblings before him, he found success across the Atlantic in the shedrow of Bobby Frankel.

Thrown straight into Grade 1 company he took a couple of races to improve but ultimately became the fourth consecutive Grade 1 winner for his dam when taking the Manhattan Handicap at Belmont Park. Runner-up spots in the United Nations and Arlington Million were followed by another Grade 1 win in the Man O War Stakes back at Belmont. Unlike his sisters, though, he was denied a Breeders’ Cup trophy and potential Eclipse award, when he failed to make an impact on the turf at Churchill Downs that fall.

He was retired for the 2007 breeding season to stand at Banstead Manor Stud alongside his older brother Dansili, who by this time had already established himself as a leading sire in Britain. Unfortunately, he was plagued with fertility problems resulting in an early retirement from the breeding shed after only four seasons. He made a return to the shed in 2014 and served a limited number of mares for the next five seasons. Despite small foal crops, he has managed to sire three Grade 1 winners including $1.4 million earner Slumber, who also won the Manhattan Handicap.

Hasili returned to Danehill one more time in 2002 to produce yet another top horse.

By the time Champs Elysees had come along, Juddmonte had established a tried and true plan for the offspring of Hasili; win a stakes race in France with Andre Fabre and then transfer to Bobby Frankel in America and win some Grade 1 races. Champs Elysees followed the plan albeit it took him a bit longer than his siblings.

He won his first Group 3 in France as a four-year-old and made his five-year-old debut a winning one in the Grade 2 San Marco Stakes at Santa Anita. He appeared to lose his form that summer but when shipped north of the border for the Northern Dancer Turf Stakes at Woodbine, he earned his first Grade 1 to place Hasili in the elite status of producing five Grade 1 winners. He won a second Grade 1 later that year when taking the Hollywood Turf Cup.

Banks Hill winning at the Breeders’ Cup in 2001 – Photo: George Selwyn

Kept in training longer than any of his siblings, he rewarded their patience with another Grade 1 win back at Woodbine in the Pattison Canadian International. In a career that spanned three countries and 28 starts with earnings of $2.8 million, Champs Elysees has the distinction of being Hasili’s leading earner.

He was a welcome addition to Banstead Manor in 2010 in light of Dansili’s success and Cacique’s fertility problems. Sold to Coolmore in 2016, he was relocated to Castlehyde stud in Ireland, where he stood for two seasons before succumbing to a heart attack at the age of 15. He left us with four Group 1 winners including the Classic-winning filly, Billesdon Brook, and a very respectable 7.5% stakes winners to runners.

Surely any mare that produces six straight stakes winners could not be expected to produce a seventh, but Hasili was up to the task when she was returned to America for a date with leading sire Storm Cat. Deluxe was a first out winner in France in her only start at two. Her three-year-old season saw her gain a Group 1 placing in the Prix Saint-Alary before earning full black-type in the Listed Prix De Liancourt.

With the passing of Bobby Frankel in 2009, Juddmonte elected to send this filly to conditioner Bill Mott for an American campaign at four. She finished second in her first US start at Saratoga and then signed off with a win in the Grade 3 Cardinal Handicap at Churchill Downs in the fall. Unfortunately, she passed away that winter and was never able to contribute to the Juddmonte broodmare band.

Hasili produced ten foals, seven of which earned graded stakes with a combined earnings of over $10 million between them. We may never see another mare in our lifetime with the tremendous producing ability of Hasili but as breeders we can always strive to obtain near greatness.