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9th October 2005

Racing into a New Era

By a remarkable coincidence Dash for Cash, the first top grade performer by Secret Savings (USA), the sire of 2005 AJC Breeders’ Plate winner Super Savings, the first winner to be ‘zapped’ in the mounting yard prior to performing his task on the racecourse, has a horse close up in his breeding who obviously played a big role in his production including his grey colouring who had two maternal ancestors who raced initially under wrong descriptions.

They were errors that under the new system of race day identification would have been picked up at the outset.  In introducing a new era for Australian racing, the new technique saw all eight runners in the Breeders’ Plate, Australia’s first race of the new year for two-year-olds, scanned by a handheld scanner with a digital viewer.  It produces all the relevant identification details encoded into a microchip inserted earlier under veterinary supervision.

Strict application of the new identification method should make the appearances of wrong horses, either by accident or an illegal act, in races or stud use virtually impossible.

There is no doubt that through the history of the thoroughbred a number of horses world wide have been bred who have been wrongly identified in one way or another.  For instance some veteran experts in Queensland contend that one of Australia’s greatest ever racehorses Bernborough was not by the sire he was supposed to be by, Emborough (GB).  If this is correct all pedigrees that carry the name of Bernborough, a good sire in America, are wrong.

There have been doubts about the breeding, and age, of some of the earlier English Derby winners.  The winner of the 1844 Derby, Running Rein, for one was later disqualified when it was discovered that he was a four-year-old by the name of Maccabaeus. That, however, may have been through a dastardly deed rather than accident.

This writer recalls an incident at a country meeting he was at which saw an owner point out to his trainer that the horse they were parading was not his. They had brought the wrong one into the saddling paddock and it was a stroke of luck that the error was picked up before the race was run.

Some years ago when the American stallion Northern Regent came out here to stand at Kia Ora Stud, Scone, he was described as being by Vice Regent and from a mare by Tiger. The pedigree provided from America initially had the wrong Tiger in the tank, one by Bull Dog rather than the correct sire, Tamerlane.

The error had been made when Northern Regent ran at two but had been subsequently amended by the American authorities.

The mistakes in the Dash for Cash breeding were some generations apart and each of them was picked up and corrected. They related two horses in his maternal breeding, Kalaglow and of his ancestors, Kong, which were corrected when the two horses in Dash For Cash’s pedigree, were in the breeding of Kalaglow.  The sire of Dash for Cash’s second dam Gulet (GB), Kalaglow was a very good English racehorse foaled in 1978. He ran in his first two years as being by Kalamoun and from the Crepello mare Aglow, but soon after his first outing at four it became known that his true dam was Rossitor, a daughter of the Palestine sire Pall Mall. The error over the two mares, both chestnuts, had gone undetected for at least 10 years.

They had raced under the wrong names as three-year-olds and it was only when Rossitor under the name of Aglow was visiting the Irish National Stud that it found that her markings did not tally with the particulars on her passport.

She had previously gone to a number of other stallions without the discrepancy being picked up.  This failure did not say a lot for the quality of the management as on each occasion they signed that they had examined the mare’s passport and were satisfied as to her correct identity.
The checking also failed at England’s Newmarket sales with Aglow under the name of Rossiter being sold after her racing career to South Africa for 800 guineas (about $1800).

The other subsequently corrected error in Kalaglow’s pedigree was only a minor one and was four generations back.  It related to the description of Kong, the dam of Kalaglow’s paternal great grandsire Grey Sovereign.

Kong was always described through her racing career as being brown rather than her true colour, grey. The greyness, a colour she inherited from her sire Baytown, did not make its presence apparent until after she finished racing and the alteration was not notified to the Keepers of the Stud Book for some years afterwards.

If Kong, a handy English sprinter who at four won the feature Wokingham Stakes at Ascot already carrying her first foal, a grey filly, had been brown the world would have missed out on a powerful grey dynasty descending from Grey Sovereign.

The Grey Sovereign Influence
Her sire Baytown, by the way, was an Irish Two Thousand Guineas and Derby winner by Achtoi, a son of Ascot Gold Cup winner Santoi and the Australian bred Achray. She was by Martin-Henri, the winner of the 1883 Melbourne Cup for James White, owner of Kirkham Stud at Narellan near Sydney and of studs and pastoral holdings in the Hunter Valley including the famous Segenhoe.

Achray was from Acme, a mare White bred using Chester, the winner for him of the Melbourne Cup in 1877. He stood Martini-Henri and Chester at the Kirkham Stud.

Martini-Henri was by Musket, a New Zealand importation who also supplied the 1890 Melbourne Cup winner, the immortal Carbine.

The grey colouring which is symbolic of the Grey Sovereign influence came to his maternal grandsire through his dam Princess Herodias.  She received it from her dam Queen Herodias, a mare by one of the most famous greys in thoroughbred history, The Tetrarch. The first three sires on The Tetrarch’s top line were greys and his grandsire Le Samaritain was from Clementina, a sister-in-blood to Carbine’s dam Mersey.

Kong, the mainstay of the grey colouring through her son Grey Sovereign, an Ireland sired son of Nasrullah who won eight races and threw others away by refusing to run, had four other winners including his three-quarter brother Nimbus, a bay Nearco English Derby winner.

Congo, a grey winning half-sister to Grey Sovereign, produced Byland, a tough English sprinter who raced until he was seven-years-old and who was afterwards imported to stand at George Ryder’s Woodlands Stud in the Hunter Valley, meeting with moderate success.

After five seasons at Woodlands, Byland was transferred to New Zealand where he sired Trial Offer, winner of the New Zealand Derby, Oaks and Grand National.

Byland was inbred to grey as he was by Khan Bahadur, a three-quarter brother to the dam of Grey Sovereign’s sire Nasrullah, being by Blenheim and from the flying Mumtaz Mahal, a grey mare by The Tetrarch.

The rule in thoroughbred breeding is that every grey must have a grey parent, either male or female and any that appear exceptions to this are accepted as being due to an error in recognition, but the results of the mating of two greys may produce a foal of another colour. On top of this 99% of the grey horses of today appear to descend from Alcock’s Arabian (also known as Mr Pelham’s Grey Arab), a sire imported to England in the early 18th century and whose dominant extension today is through The Tetrarch, a 19th generation descendant.

The grey colouring has had one of its strongest eras for the past 100 years through Grey Sovereign, a sire who had numerous grey sons and grandsons do well here in the 1960-80s era.  The best of them were the very successful New Zealand importations One Pound Sterling (GB) and Sovereign Edition (IRE) and the Australian used Raimondo (FR), Royal Yacht (GB), Corinto (GB) and Royal Rocket (GB).

The greys also had an impact out here in that period through the success of the sire sons of Palestine, a grey horse who got his colour from his dam Una, a daughter of Tetratema, a son of The Tetrarch. Among the Palestine sires were Pakistan II (GB), a leading Australasian sire from use in New Zealand, Epistle (GB), in his time the sire king of north-western NSW, and Coeur Volant (GB).

The two strongest links in the chain of greys in more recent years have been through Grey Sovereign’s grandsons Caro (by Fortino) and Kalamoun (by Zeddaan).They were very much like Grey Sovereign physically and have been prepotent for this down the line.

Caro’s stock have had a propensity to be big coarse horses, as were some of the stock of Sovereign Path, where as Kalamoun, a horse with nine greys in the first three generations, had more of the refinement of Grey Sovereign.

His sire Zeddaan was the result of the mating by the Aga Khan of Grey Sovereign with the grey Vareta, a daughter of the grey sprinting influence Vilmorin. The latter sire’s grey colouring derived along the bottom line of his pedigree for five generations and entered the breeding through the fifth dam’s sire Grey Leg. He was by Pepper and Salt, a horse described as a roan who also went back to Alcock’s Arabian but from a different branch to The Tetrarch.

A good class European two-year-old and winner at three of the French Two Thousand Guineas-Gr.1, Kalamoun also had five generations of grey names on the bottom line, his great grandam Rivaz, being a sister to Nasrullah, the sire of Grey Sovereign.

This means that Kalamoun is inbred at the fourth remove of his pedigree to Nearco-Mumtaz Begum. It is a combination that appears three times on the fifth line in the breeding of Kenmare (FR), a champion sire in France and also a class sire in Australia from use at the Arrowfield Stud in the Hunter Valley.

In addition My Babu, the sire of Milesian, the maternal grandsire of Kenmare, was from Perfume, a grey daughter of Badruddin, a grey three-quarter brother to Mumtaz Begum.

Kalamoun has gone on to be a major force as a source of greyness and the Grey Sovereign physical qualities, in particular through Kenmare and Kalaglow.

After winning all his five outings at two and scoring one win from three starts at three, Kalaglow came out and proved the best older performer in Europe at four, his wins including appearances in England in the Eclipse Stakes-Gr.I and King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Diamond Stakes-Gr.I.

He is in the Dash for Cash pedigree through his unraced daughter Gulet (GB), a grey mare who died after producing four successive foals, all greys.  The first three were bred by Michael Willesee’s Trans Media Park Stud, the one at Cootamundra, NSW now owned by the Inghams and called Woodlands, and were the stakes winners Rubidium (by Rubiton) and Salvitate (by Snippets) and the minor winner Gulistan (also by Rubiton).

Now owned by the Emirates Park Stud, Gulistan went to Secret Savings to get Dash for Cash, a winner of five races and one of the best performers of his time.  In earning just under $2million, Dash for Cash included in his efforts wins in the MRC Futurity Stakes-Gr.I, VRC Australian Guineas-Gr.I, VRC Debonair Stakes-Gr.3, and MRC Autumn Stakes-Gr.3 and 10 seconds including cracks at four Group I’s, AJC Doncaster Handicap-Gr,1, All Aged-Stakes-Gr,.I, STC George Ryder Stakes-Gr.I and MVRC William Reid Stakes.

Secret Savings a Top Sire
Secret Savings is bred on a cross of a bay sire over a chestnut mare by another bay sire but has two lines of grey in six generations, one provided by the dam of My Babu, the maternal grandsire of Damascus, and the other by Misty Morn, the fourth dam of Secret Savings.

Misty Morn’s dam Grey Flight was a grey mare bred on a cross of two greys, being by the 1936 English Derby winner Mahmoud and having greys as her first three dams. The third one was by Roi Herode, the sire of The Tetrarch.

The newest star for Secret Savings, the 2005 AJC Breeders’ Plate winner Super Savings, is one of 105 horses bought by Graeme Rogerson, a leading southern hemisphere trainer and syndicator, for a total outlay of over $15million at this year’s Australian and New Zealand sales.

Only three of these cost him $20,000 less and one of these is Super Savings. Bought at the Magic Millions sale in Adelaide for $20,000 and now racing for a Rogerson syndicate out of his Randwick stables, Super Savings resulted from the mating of Secret Savings with Arkadina, a minor winner but a sister to Arkady, a winner of the Group I STC Rawson Stakes.

Arkady is one of only two stakes winners by the Sir Ivor’s grandson Myocard, a winner of the AJC Derby-GR.I, STC H.E.Tancred Stakes-Gr.I and Rawson Stakes-Gr.I and runner up in the AJC Champagne Stakes-Gr.I and Sydney Cup-Gr.I.

Briscay, the grandam of Super Savings, won one race at two and is a sister to Brinney, a third placegetter in the 1987 Breeders’ Plate. They are by the Golden Slipper winner and champion sire Marscay and from Queensland Oaks third Brianne, a mare by the Round Table sire Knightly Manner (USA) and from Flow By, a non winner by Faubourg (FR), a source of good winners in Australia and Europe. He stood at the Carrington Stud, Jerrys Plains, Hunter Valley for a few years and then returned to Europe.

Super Savings was bred by J. and J. Whitely and Yashraj Pty Ltd, NSW, and sold through the Adelaide sales by specialist yearling preparers, the Irwins of Rothwell Park, Murrurundi, Hunter Valley. Rothwell Park is nearly across the road from Emirates Park.

Only five greys in 2005 edition of Stallions
Their are nearly 300 sires shown in the 2005 edition of  ‘Stallions’  the annual bible for each Australian breeding season published at the Australian Bloodhorse Review office, but only five of these are grey in colouring.

One of them is the Collingrove Stud, Nagambie based Dash for Cash (Secret Savings (USA) – Gulistan, by Rubiton), while another who like him represents the Mr. Prospector male line is Canadian Silver (Can) (Geiger Counter (USA) – Cheerily, by Drone).

A prominent Queensland source of winners from use at the Lyndhurst Stud, Warwick, Canadian Silver has a bay sire and a grey dam in Cheerily. Her colour is derived from her sire Drone, a Sir Gaylord product with a grey dam and grandam with the latter being by Mahmoud.

The other grey sires like Dash for Cash get their colouring as descendants of Grey Sovereign. One of these is Dyslexia, a powerhouse looking son of Kenmare (FR) standing at Stephen and Karen Irwin’s Riverslea Farm, Wybong, Hunter Valley. He is a half-brother to Gold Brose, a dashing two-year-old in Australia and a good New Zealand sire.

One of the best sons of Kenmare as a racehorse and sire has been the France bred grey Highest Honor, a source of six Group I winners and of the grey Royal Ascot Coventry Stakes-Gr.3 winner and Irish Two Thousand Guineas-Gr.I second Verglas (IRE), another of the sires in Stallions.

Shuttling from the Irish National Stud to Alwyn Park Stud, Serpentine, Western Australia, Verglas has two of the main ingredients in his immediate pedigree as those possessed by Dash for Cash, namely Kalamoun and Mr. Prospector.

Urgent Request (IRE), the other grey sire listed is by the bay Blushing Groom sire Rainbow Quest and from Obscura, a grey daughter of the Grey Sovereign grandson Caro.

A Group I winner and setter of a track record and near world record best of 1:32.44 for a mile (1600 metres) in California, Urgent Request is now standing at the Eldon Park Stud at Tyabb in Victoria after being initially at the Emirates Park Stud at Digger’s Rest in that State.

With Thanks to The Author
Brian Russell