Juddmonte Farms

In-depth Analysis

By Andrew Caulfield and Claire Curry

After finishing runner-up to his fellow Coolmore stallion Sadler’s Wells on five occasions, including by less than £10,000 in 1997, Danehill finally took his rightful place as champion sire in Britain and Ireland in 2005 and repeated the feat in 2006 and 2007. There is little doubt this record would have been improved upon but for his untimely death in 2003.

Danehill was also six times champion sire of two-year-olds, as well as champion sire in France on two occasions, and he also headed the Australian table eight times in a 10-year period. He sired champions in every sphere, ranging from champion two-year-olds and sprinters to Classic winners and stayers, and now has an enviable record as a sire of sires. The number of sons of Danehill which have sired a Gr.1 winner stands well over twenty, and DANSILI can lay claim to be the best of them in Europe. 

In 2006 Danehill’s nearest pursuer for the title of champion sire in Britain and Ireland was Danehill Dancer and Danehill Dancer defeated Sea The Stars’ sire Cape Cross to take the Anglo-Irish sires’ championship in 2009. As DANSILI landed the title of champion sire in France in 2006, Danehill has now been represented by at least one champion sire son in each of the three countries where he was champion sire.

Danehill has founded a major dynasty, with DANSILI proving himself a rightful heir. With a pedigree which blends speed and stamina, DANSILI is following Danehill’s example by providing breeders with everything from Group-winning juveniles to top-class middle-distance performers. 

When the Juddmonte broodmare band was being established, one of the most important transactions was the purchase from Swettenham Stud of Sookera, winner of the 1977 Cheveley Park Stakes for Robert Sangster. This young daughter of Roberto had yet to have a runner, but she went on to prove that she was just as effective as a broodmare as she had been on the racecourse - which is to say very effective indeed.

Sookera’s pedigree represented a blend of speed and stamina. Whereas her sire Roberto was most famous for his middle-distance exploits, which included a Derby victory and a defeat of the brilliant Brigadier Gerard, Sookera’s dam Irule had done her winning at up to a mile. Irule in turn was a daughter of Young Emperor, a brilliantly speedy two-year-old who recorded six-length successes in the Coventry and Gimcrack Stakes.

It was a mating with Kahyasi (average winning distance 12.7 furlongs) which resulted in DANSILI's dam Hasili. Once again the family’s speed proved dominant. Forward enough to race eight times at two, Hasili won over five furlongs, six furlongs and twice over a mile, notably winning the Prix des Sablonnets, a Listed race. Her speed and toughness were again evident at three, when she was second in Listed races over seven furlongs and a mile, notably running the Gr.1 winner Coup de Genie to two lengths in the Prix Imprudence.

However, another mating between Kerali and Kahyasi produced a different – but similarly talented – filly in Arrive, who set track records over 1½ miles at Salisbury and over an extended 1¾ miles at Newmarket. Arrive’s Listed victory in the Bahrain Trophy was gained by four lengths from Fair Question, who went on to take the German St Leger by 10 lengths. Arrive made an excellent start with her first two runners being Promising Lead, a Danehill filly who won the Gr.1 Pretty Polly Stakes, and Visit, a Gr.3-winning OASIS DREAM filly who had a couple of near-misses at Gr.1 level. Arrive’s achievements earned her the 2008 TBA award for Broodmare of the Year.

Juddmonte sold Kerali’s first foal, the Ahonoora filly Dissemble, for only 3,000gns but Dissemble has developed into a first-rate broodmare in Brazil. Her first foal, by the Sadler’s Wells horse Blue Stag, became a Gr.3 winner and her fourth foal, the Blush Rambler colt Uapybo, won the Gr.1 Gran Premio Sao Paulo. But Dissemble’s best representative is Leroidesanimaux, who started his stallion career in 2006, having won six Graded stakes and three Gr.1 events in the USA. Leroidesanimaux also set track records at Hollywood Park and Saratoga. He has now shown that his bloodlines can be effective anywhere, under any conditions, with his second crop producing the 2011 Kentucky Derby winner Animal Kingdom.

Hasili has an extraordinary record, which has been rewarded with Broodmare of the Year honours in the USA and in Britain. Her first six foals – all by sons of Danzig – were all good enough to compete in the white-hot competition of Breeders’ Cup Day. The first, DANSILI, produced a stretch run which took him from tenth to third in the 2000 Mile and he would surely have won with a clearer run. The second, Banks Hill, secured her Eclipse Award with her impressive victory in the 2001 Filly & Mare Turf, before finishing second in the same race the following year. It was Heat Haze’s turn to contest the Filly & Mare Turf in 2003 but the distance tested her stamina to its limit and she finished fourth. Intercontinental had no such problems in the 2005 race, holding off Ouija Board in such good style that she too earned the Eclipse Award for turf female. Heat Haze had finished second in the voting for the same award two years earlier. Then CACIQUE contested the 2006 Turf, only to find the mile-and-a-half distance beyond him, and CHAMPS ELYSEES was beaten little more than five lengths in the 2008 Classic. Hasili’s record in the Breeders’ Cup was further boosted in 2013 when her grandaughter, Banks Hill’s Gr.1-winning daughter Romantica, was second in the Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf, a race incidentally won by DANSILI's daughter Dank. Dansili was to sire another Breeders’ Cup winner in 2016 when Queen’s Trust also won the Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf.

Hasili’s first six foals had all run well at the highest level in Europe, with DANSILI and Banks Hill respectively finishing second in the French 2000 Guineas and 1000 Guineas, while Intercontinental finished third in a vintage 1000 Guineas in England in 2003. Although a mile stretched Intercontinental’s stamina under European conditions, she eventually harnessed her energies better under Bobby Frankel’s tuition and she duly became her dam’s third consecutive Gr.1 winner in the Matriarch Stakes – a race won by the turbo-charged Heat Haze in 2003. Hasili’s fifth foal, CACIQUE, won at Gr.3 and Gr.2 levels in Europe and it was by only half a length that he failed to beat the future Arc winner Bago in the Grand Prix de Paris. CACIQUE also proved very well suited by the fast conditions on America’s turf courses as a five-year-old, winning two Gr.1 races – the Man o’War Stakes and Manhattan Handicap – and finishing second in three others. CHAMPS ELYSEES, Hasili’s final foal by Danehill, became her sixth Group winner from six foals when he landed the Prix d’Hedouville and he proceeded to become a triple G1 winner in Canada and the USA, notably taking the Canadian International.

Hasili’s eighth foal, the Storm Cat filly Deluxe, also showed very smart form. After winning her first two starts, Deluxe was beaten only half a length in the Gr.1 Prix Saint-Alary and was then fourth after being hampered in the French Oaks. She became her dam’s seventh Group/Graded winner when she won the Gr.3 Cardinal Handicap after her transfer to the USA.

Altogether seven  of Kerali’s daughters - Dissemble, Skiable, Hasili, Arrive, Kid Gloves, Jiving and Kalima – have now collectively produced 16 Group/Graded winners, making this one of the most productive families of recent times.

It is a measure of DANSILI’s quality that this Juddmonte homebred was asked by André Fabre to contest 12 consecutive Group races after he had won his first two starts in impressive style. Equally, it is a measure of his class and consistency that this brother to the champion fillies Banks Hill and Intercontinental managed to reach the first four in all but one of them, recording three Group successes, four seconds (three at Group 1 level) and three Group 1 thirds.

Although he gained his first success on heavy ground, his subsequent career suggested strongly that his record would have been even more impressive had he been able to compete only when the ground was good or faster. DANSILI was capable of producing exceptional acceleration - the hallmark of most top-class performers - when ground conditions were in his favour, as he showed when he ran so well against Giant’s Causeway in the Sussex Stakes. The fastest conditions he encountered were at Churchill Downs, when he produced a sensational stretch run to all but win the Breeders’ Cup Mile, having been 13th of 14 with only a quarter of a mile left to run. The ground was also on the fast side when DANSILI quickened at least three lengths clear of the remainder in finishing second of 15 in the Poule d’Essai des Poulains.