In-depth Analysis

By Claire Curry

Dansili is firmly established as one of the leading sires in the world but, as with Bated Breath, he stood his first season for £8,000. His reputation has been made on being able to upgrade his mares and produce talented and tough winners at a variety of distances and ages – from outstanding middle-distance horses such as Harbinger (one of the most promising first season sires in Japan) and The Fugue to speedy Group-winning two-year-olds like Zoffany and Requinto.

Dansili is the leading British-based sire by Gr.1 winners from 2010 to 2014 and has produced over 11% stakes winners to runners (lifetime) – a phenomenal achievement. His stallion sons to have runners have already produced Gr.1/Classic horses – and arguably none have retired with such an attractive combination of pedigree, performance, conformation and commercial appeal as Bated Breath.

Please see Champs Elysees and Dansili for more information.

Bated Breath’s dam Tantina has been highly successful both as a racemare and as a broodmare, despite both of these careers sadly being cut short. She won her first four starts (all at 7f) by an average of over 3 lengths including twice in Listed company, the last of which was an impressive 5-length defeat of subsequent multiple Gr.2 winner Chic. Unfortunately Tantina suffered a career-ending injury when an odds-on favourite in the Supreme Stakes Gr.3, leaving the distinct feeling that her full ability had not been revealed. Despite this, she still attained a Timeform rating of 115 and retired to stud as a highly-promising broodmare prospect.

Tantina made a very good start with her first foal, the Daylami filly Scuffle, who raced over three seasons, attaining blacktype and achieving a Timeform rating of 106. One of her best performances was a defeat of the subsequent Gr.2 winner Crystal Capella as a three-year-old. However, Tantina’s next two foals, Cityscape (by Selkirk) and Bated Breath (by Dansili), really illustrated her merit as a broodmare. Cityscape’s career spanned 23 races, and the easily recognisable chesnut only finished out of the frame on four occasions. His impressive victory in the Dubai Duty Free Gr.1 at Meydan was just reward for his consistency at the top level at 8-10f. Bated Breath has been equally consistent in Gr.1 company – but instead in the sprinting division. Cityscape and Bated Breath are rated 126 and 125 respectively by Timeform.

Not many broodmares are capable of producing three blacktype performers from their first three foals, but then not many broodmares come from such a strong female line as Bated Breath’s dam Tantina. Her fourth dam is the legendary Best In Show – whose descendants include such equine luminaries as El Gran Senor, Redoute’s Choice, Rags To Riches,  Aldebaran, Peeping Fawn and Spinning World. Tantina’s third dam Monroe herself produced four stakes winners – headed by the Champion two-year-old Xaar – and her daughters have produced stakes winners in England, France, America and Australia. This is also the family of 2014 Eclipse Award winner Close Hatches.

Speed, toughness, consistency and class are some of the most sought-after traits in both racehorses and stallions – and Bated Breath can lay claim to them all. He had the speed to break the track record when winning the Temple Stakes Gr.2 at Haydock. His toughness and consistency are illustrated by a race career that yielded six wins and seven in-the-frame finishes from 18 career starts. The fact that he has beaten 18 individual Gr.1 winners of 35 Gr.1 race highlights his class, as does his Timeform rating of 125.

Bated Breath was one of the highest-rated yearlings of his generation at Juddmonte – and showed lots of ability at Roger Charlton’s as a two-year-old. A minor setback meant he failed to make the racetrack as a juvenile – but he made up for it in no uncertain fashion the following season, winning his first three races with ease. Timeform rated him 112p, and made specific reference to his “sharp turn of foot”.

The progression of Bated Breath as a four-your-old, although expected, was impressive nonetheless. Defeats by a combined total of under a length in three Gr.1 races - finishing a nose behind Dream Ahead in the Haydock Sprint Cup after being beaten half a length by the same horse in the July Cup, and then travelling to Canada where he was beaten just a neck in the Nearctic Stakes, despite being forced wide, showed him to be a true Gr.1 horse. A  Timeform rating of 125 meant he was rated higher than other top sprinters and highly successful sires Invincible Spirit, Pivotal and Acclamation. This rating was repeated in 2012 when the aforementioned record-breaking victory in the Temple Stakes and his narrow defeat in the King’s Stand Stakes confirmed Bated Breath’s position amongst the top European sprinters.

Bated Breath, like his sire Dansili, may not have a Gr.1 win on his CV – but like his outstanding sire, he was a Gr.1 winner in all but name.

Bated Breath retired to stud in 2013 and, as befits one of the most exciting commercial stallion prospects in Europe, has attracted full books of mares ever since.  His first foals were very well received at the sales -  averaging £40,000  (35 sold) – which was five times the conception fee.   Prices paid included 130,000gns, 95,000gns and, 80,000gns.

Bated Breath has enjoyed strong support by Juddmonte and has covered several blacktype winners and producers including Zenda, Oasis Dream’s Classic-winning half-sister who is the dam of Kingman and Remote; Double Crossed, the dam of multiple Gr.1 winner Twice Over; 1000 Guineas winner Wince and her Gr.1 winning daughter Quiff; Coraline, the dam of Gr.1 winner Reefscape, and Gr.2 winners Martaline and Coastal Path; Emergency, a Listed winning half-sister to Gr.1-winner Prohibit; Modern Look, a Gr.2-winning half-sister to multiple Gr.1 winner Foreteller and to the dam of Showcasing and Camacho; Orford Ness a Gr.3 winner and the dam of stakes winners Weightless, Home Affairs and Main Aim; Insinuate, the dam of Gr.3 winner Stronghold and promising 2015 three-year-old Convey. 

Outside mares of note to have been covered include the dam of outstanding two-year-old filly Tiggy Wiggy and a half-sister to Classic winner Kingston Hill.