Juddmonte Farms


Taken from the Thoroughbred Daily News, 6th November 2018, by Andrew Caulfield.

You'll hardly need me to tell you that Saturday was a historic day for Juddmonte Farms, with Prince Khalid Abdullah's colours being carried to victory in two of the main Breeders' Cup events.Thanks to Expert Eye in the Mile and Enable in the Turf, Juddmonte has now had seven Breeders' Cup winners with five of them being products of the Prince's European operation (the two exceptions are Arrogate, who landed the 2016 Classic, and Ventura, winner of the Filly & Mare Sprint.I still believe Juddmonte's total should stand at eight. DANSILI - a brother to the Filly & Mare Turf winners Banks Hill and Intercontinental - had to be considered an unlucky loser of the millennium Breeders' Cup Mile at Churchill Downs. Although he produced a sensational stretch run, having been last but one with only a quarter of a mile to run, he was still a neck adrift at the line. I feared history was about to repeat itself with Expert Eye - whose dam is by DANSILI - but his turn of foot helped him avenge his broodmare sire's defeat.The pedigrees of Saturday's winners must have made their victories even more pleasurable for their owner-breeder. Prince Khalid bred Enable and her first three dams, Concentric, Apogee and Bourbon Girl, in the space of 31 years, He had acquired the dual Arc winner's fourth dam Fleet Girl with the purchase of Dr. Schnapka's Ferrans Stud in 1982.

Enable was previously responsible for some significant milestones for Juddmonte. When she gained the first of her seven Group 1 victories in the Oaks, she became the 25th Classic winner bred by Juddmonte and also notched up the 200th Group 1 win by a Juddmonte-bred horse. Even so, there are reasons for the Prince to be even prouder of Expert Eye. Take a look at the bottom half of the colt's pedigree and you will see that all seven horses in the first three generations are Juddmonte homebreds, including some of the most accomplished in the farm's history. Credit for the seven goes mainly to the American farm, which bred four of the seven,including Expert Eye's second dam Quest To Peak and her parents Distant View and Viviana. 

The colt's dam Exemplify had a big reputation by the time she made her debut over a mile at Deauville in August 2010 in the Prix des Marettes, a newcomers' race with a reputation for throwing some very good fillies. The daughter of DANSILI started odds on and justified the support, winning under a hand ride. By then she was considered the best of Criquette Head-Maarek's two-year-old fillies. This was quite a compliment, as the others included Helleborine, who was winning for the third time when she handed out a five-length defeat to Immortal Verse in the Gr.3 Prix d'Aumale. Unfortunately, neither filly thrived at three, when the Head yard was virus affected for part of the year, but each of them has justified her high reputation by producing a high-class colt, Helleborine being the dam of the exciting Calyx. One fascinating link between the pedigrees of Expert Eye and Enable is that both feature some close inbreeding. Whereas Enable is inbred 3 x 2 to the great Sadler's Wells, Expert Eye's third dam Viviana is inbred 2 x 3 to the great Northern Dancer, the sire of Sadler's Wells. Before everyone starts to consider such close inbreeding, I should point out that Prince Khalid has resorted to this strategy only sparingly, but with some marked success.

It is perhaps more than coincidence that Sadler's Wells's three-parts-brother Nureyev featured in the close inbreeding to Northern Dancer. Skimming, a dual winner of the Gr.I Pacific Classic and earner of nearly $2.3 million, was sired by Nureyev from a daughter of Lyphard and was therefore inbred 2 x 3. When Nureyev was mated to Nijinsky II's daughter Nijinsky Star,she produced the sisters Viviana and Willstar. These sisters had every right to be special as their dam Nijinsky Star had the distinction of being a daughter of two varieties of Triple Crown winners in Nijinsky II and Chris Evert, winner of the New York Fillies' Triple Crown. Both Willstar and Viviana became Grade I producers and their influence is still felt in the Juddmonte broodmare band. Willstar is best known as the dam of Etoile Montante, a classic-placed winner of the Gr.1 Prix de la Foret who also did well in California. Etoile Montante in turn produced Starformer, a Grade II and Grade III winner who looks set to add further glory to this branch of the family. On 20th October, Starformer's War Front colt Flavius won the Trigo Stakes in a style which suggests he will hold his own at group level next year, and three days later Starformer's two-year-old Kitten's Joy colt Tankerville shaped like a Classic contender when he made a winning debut at Gowran Park. Expert Eye is the fourth Grade I winner descending from Viviana, a dual listed winner over a mile and a quarter in France. She had strong claims to be considered for the Kentucky Broodmare of the Year title in 2003, when her second and third foals rampaged through several of the USA's top prizes for fillies and mares. Tates Creek, Viviana's daughter by Rahy, enjoyed Grade I success in the Yellow Ribbon Stakes and the Gamely Breeders' Cup Handicap to take her overall record to 11 wins from 17 starts, for earnings approaching $1.5 million. Even so, Tates Creek was outdone by Viviana's next foal, Distant View's daughter Sightseek. Having won four Grade Is in 2003, Sightseek was kept in training at five, when she added another three top-level successes and boosted her earnings to nearly $2.5million.

Oddly, neither Tates Creek nor Sightseek has so far come close to matching Viviana's success as a broodmare but there is still time for a few last-ditch efforts. Tates Creek has a yearling colt by FRANKEL and is again in foal to him, while Sightseek has a 2015 Tapit filly called Chamber who was a wide-margin winner at Belmont Park on her second start in late-September. As sometimes happens, Sightseek has been totally overshadowed as a broodmare by a sister who achieved a lot less. Indeed this sister, Quest To Peak, was unplaced on her only start in the U.S. (despite showing very decent ability in her work). 

She was transferred to Europe after conceiving her first foal, a filly by Hennessy. That daughter of Hennessy was Special Duty, who is doomed to be remembered as probably the only horse ever to win two Classics in the stewards' room. Coincidentally, both the fillies who were demoted in her favour have done well as broodmares. Jacqueline Quest, who was moved down to second in the Gr.1 1000 Guineas, is the dam of Line of Duty, winner of the Gr.I Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf for Godolphin. And Liliside, who was demoted to sixth in the Gr.1 Poule d'Essai des Pouliches, is the dam of the Japanese group winner Lys Gracieux, who failed by a nose to win this year's Gr.1 Victoria Mile. It is worth reminding everyone that Special Duty had been an excellent two-year-old, good enough to defeat Siyouni in the Gr.2 Prix Robert Papin and to win the Gr.1 Cheveley Park Stakes after a narrow defeat in the Gr.1 Prix Morny. She has been switched from the American broodmare team and is now in foal to Galileo. Quest To Peak's second foal is Expert Eye's dam Exemplify, who-like many a mare from the Danehill line-has plenty of size and strength. I was once asked at a lunch why Exemplify had been sent to Acclamation, as the questioner considered the Rathbarry stalwart an untypical stallion to be used by Juddmonte. In fact the top two choices for Exemplify in 2014 were Acclamation and his son Dark Angel. Acclamation got the vote on the grounds of conformation, as he is medium-sized at 16 hands and he isn't heavily built for a sprinter. It was therefore hoped that he could inject quality into Exemplify, while reinforcing the family's speed, which Special Duty had demonstrated so well. Acclamation had already shown promise with DANSILI's daughters. One of his first foals bred this way was Lasilia, who contested the Gr.2 Queen Mary Stakes before being placed in a couple of five-furlong listed races. Acclamation's next winner out of a DANSILI mare was the useful sprinter Direct Times, but his successes came after Expert Eye's conception. Acclamation has also enjoyed Group 1 success with Aclaim, the Prix de la Foret winner whose dam is by Danehill's Australian-bred son Danroad.​

Date: 06 November 2018