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Danehill: Champion Broodmare Sire in HK too

4 min read

Each Tuesday TDN AusNZ will place the spotlight on the Hong Kong racing industry, with insights on bloodstock, pedigrees and sires who are performing particularly well. In this week's edition, Alan Carasso discusses Danehill's broodmare-sire dominance.

As discussed in last week’s column, Danehill, and by extension his stallion sons, remain very much in favour in Hong Kong. Australian-based Exceed and Excel, Fastnet Rock and Holy Roman Emperor (Ire) and the New Zealand-domiciled Darci Brahma (NZ) and Mastercraftsman (Ire) each responsible for many of the jurisdiction’s top-rated gallopers.

As much as those stallions have achieved, the producing daughters of Danehill and his sons have made their presence known as well, allowing for Danehill to top the leading broodmare sires table for the 2017-2018 season.

Overall, daughters of the late dual-hemisphere sire sensation were represented by 15 individual winners in Hong Kong, who won 25 races combined, and it was a globetrotting son of Galileo (Ire) who accounted for the biggest portion of Danehill’s nearly HK$39 million (A$6.75 million) in earnings as a broodmare sire.

Highland Reel (Ire) (ex Hveger) made a fourth trip to Hong Kong in 2017 for an attempt at a second G1 Longines Hong Kong Vase (2400m), swatted away GI Breeders’ Cup Turf hero Talismanic (GB) (Medaglia d’Oro) and went on to close his career victoriously. Like his sire and broodmare sire, Highland Reel has joined the ranks for the shuttle stallions and is standing his first Southern Hemisphere season at Swettenham Stud in Nagambie, Victoria.

WATCH: Highland Reel wins the 2017 Hong Kong Vase

As the numbers would suggest, Highland Reel was no one-hit wonder as a maternal grandson of Danehill. The progressive, yet lightly raced What Else But You (Aus) (Duporth ex Fortune Princess) made a late appearance last year and won two from three, including a Class 1 success at even money in April. Now six and rated 103, he is another promising sort from the John Size yard for the upcoming term. The 90-rated Bravo Watchman (Congrats ex Secover) finished in the top three in five of his six outings last season and also appears to have plenty of upside.

Of Danehill’s other sons or stallion sons, Danehill Dancer (Ire), broodmare sire of dual Hong Kong Group 1-placed Gold Mount (GB) (formerly Primitivo), ninth; Flying Spur, damsire of the once-beaten Conte (Starcraft {NZ}), 14th; Not a Single Doubt, broodmare sire of G1SW Seasons Bloom, 17th; and Lion Hunter, damsire of the promising sprinter Beat the Clock (Hinchinbrook), 19th; did enough to rank among the top 20.

Beauty Generation

Beauty Generation (NZ) (Road to Rock ex Stylish Bel) was Horse of the Year in Hong Kong in 2017-2018--deservedly so--and by earning over HK$33 million alone, was enough to carry his broodmare sire Bel Esprit into second on the table.

Encosta de Lago has been a reliable source of Hong Kong runners down the years, having sired the likes of champion Sacred Kingdom, Chautauqua (2017 G1 Chairman’s Sprint Prize) and Japanese G1SW Ultra Fantasy (Sprinters’ S.). In 2018, Ping Hai Star (NZ) (Nom du Jeu {NZ} ex Vicky) shot onto the scene, with one breathtaking score after another, capped by a swooping charge from last-to-first beneath Ryan Moore to annex the Hong Kong Derby. Put away for the season following a fourth in the G1 Queen Elizabeth II Cup, Ping Hai Star figures to make noise in the upcoming season, no matter the trip.

Similar to Encosta de Lago, the late Hussonet (USA) was something other than a flash in the pan in Hong Kong, having accounted for the likes of local Group 1 winners Contentment and Glorious Days. Ivictory (Mossman ex Inca Lagoon) also got a late start on the 2017-2018 season, but ran the table in four starts, including a half-length defeat of Mr Stunning (Encosta de Lago) in the Chairman’s Sprint Prize and he enters the coming season with seven wins from eight career outings.

Rounding out the top five among the broodmare sires was the US-based Stormy Atlantic (USA) (Hill ‘n’ Dale Farm, Kentucky). His daughter Here to Eternity produced the winners of better than HK$25 million, including multiple Group 1 conqueror Time Warp (GB) (Archipenko). Undeniably talented as that runner is, Time Warp’s own year-younger full-brother Glorious Forever (GB) made a splash in four local appearances in late 2018, with victories in Class 3 and then Class 2, stamping him as a proper horse to follow over middle distances over the coming months.