CACIQUE'S FERTILITY BATTLE WORTH THE FIGHT

Article by Andrew Caulfield, taken from Thoroughbred Owner & Breeder magazine, February issue:

The continuing misfortune suffered by The Fugue in the Group 1 Hong Kong Vase tended to divert attention from the unexpected winner, the ex-English Dominant. While some might argue that Dominant had luck on his side in beating the English-trained daughter of DANSILI, it mustn't be forgotten that Dominant also accounted for such seasoned international performers as Dunaden and Red Cadeaux. The irony of the result was that DANSILI's daughter has been outpointed by a son of DANSILI's brother CACIQUE.

Dominant was last seen in England in July 2011, when he started favourite, on the strength of his victory in the £150,000 Tattersalls Millions 3YO Cup, to beat the redoubtable Twice Over in the Group 2 York Stakes. Although Dominant wasn't quite up to the task, he earned a Timeform rating of 115p.

He was by no means the only highly rated colt from CACIQUE's first crop. Census, winner of the Geoffrey Freer Stakes, was rated 120, while Mutual Trust was given a figure of 122 on the strength of his victory in the Prix Jean Prat. The Listed winner Slumber also did well, with a rating of 116.

This collection of smart performers would have been admirable enough in any circumstances. However, they came from a crop which numbered just over 30, because of the fertility issues which had beset CACIQUE in his first season. These problems became more pronounced in CACIQUE's second season, which resulted in only a handful of foals. However, one of them was Canticum, whose victory in the Group 2 Prix Chaudenay suggested he was a very smart stayer in the making. Unfortunately this promising colt died soon afterwards.

It is worth pointing out that the dams of Canticum, Census and Slumber never raced and that Dominant's dam didn't win until the 13th attempt. Even Mutual Trust's dam, Posteritas, was rated no higher than 91, even though she was a Listed winner.

The magnitude of CACIQUE's achievements demanded that he be persevered with and veterinary study helped establish a workable management system. So, after two blank years, CACIQUE was back in action in 2012. He justified all the hard work by achieving 80% fertility and he was similarly successful with another limited book in 2013.

The resurrection of his career is all the more welcome in view of Dominant's Group 1 win. With DANSILI continuing to prove himself one of the world's elite stallions and their youngest brother CHAMPS ELYSEES showing plenty of promise, we have the unusual prospect of all three brothers being major assets to the British industry.

Date: 27 January 2014