Fast Company, by Danehill Dancer. New for 2011.

Fast Company (IRE), bay, 16.1hh, 2005; Danehill Dancer – Sheezalady, by Zafonic. Stands at Rathasker Stud, Ireland in 2011 at a fee of €5,000.

In October of this year it was announced that Rathasker Stud in Ireland had recruited this exciting son of Danehill Dancer to their roster for the 2011 season. Fast Company was a highly precocious and talented 2yr old, who sadly, following an injury, did not return to the track after his successful juvenile year.

Fast Company, trained by Brian Meehan, won on debut (a 7f maiden) by 3l; beating subsequent stakes winners REDOLENT (Redback) and SIBERIAN TIGER (Xaar). The Danehill Dancer colt followed this up with victory in the G3 Acomb Stakes, 7f. Again making it look easy – this time winning by 3.5l and beating Lucifer Sam (Storm Cat), WITHOUT A PRAYER (Intikhab), and subsequent multiple Group 1 winner CAMPANOLOGIST (Kingmambo).

The G1 Dewhurst Stakes was the next target for FAST COMPANY (Danehill Dancer) and it proved to be a vintage renewal of that race with Fast Company finishing a half-length behind that season’s Champion 2yr old NEW APPROACH (Galileo). Multiple G1 winner RAVEN’S PASS (Elusive Quality) was a further 2.5l back in 3rd, with another multiple G1 winner, RIO DE LA PLATA (Rahy) filling 4th position, 5.5l behind the winner.

Fast Company’s performance in the Dewhurst (video here) won him high praise: “The revelation of the race was Fast Company, for whom this was a big step up in class…He gave the winner a real fight up the hill, looking briefly as if he might prevail. He was one of the least experienced in the race, and it showed, so with another winter behind him he could be a massive threat to New Approach again in the Guineas.” RACING POST.

Unfortunately the Dewhurst was to be Fast Company’s final career start. Having been sold to race under the Godolphin banner, Fast Company suffered an injury in the winter of his juvenile year that prevented him returning to the track. Of course New Approach went on to win 3 G1s the following season (the Derby, Irish Champion Stakes and the Champion Stakes); he found only HENRYTHENAVIGATOR too good for him in the Irish 2,000 Guineas and the 2,000 Guineas. New Approach finished 3rd in the Juddmonte International, G1, beaten by multiple G1 winner DUKE OF MARMALADE.

The 3yr old resume for Raven’s Pass is equally impressive: winner of the G1 Breeders’ Cup Classic (beating Henrythenavigator); the G1 Queen Elizabeth II S. (again beating Henrythenavigator); the G2 Celebration Mile (beating BANKABLE). Raven’s Pass finished 2nd in the G1 Sussex Stakes (behind Henrythenavigator); and the G1 Prix Jean Prat (behind TAMAYUZ). He was also 2nd in the G3 Craven Stakes (won by TWICE OVER) and 4th in the G1 2,000 Guineas (4.5l behind the winner Henrythenavigator).

The IRE/GB foal crop of 2005 has proven to be a vintage year for producing world-class colts (and exciting young sire prospects) and there is no doubt that Fast Company (from just 3 juvenile starts) earned the right to be part of this elite group of horses. Rated 124, Fast Company was the leading British-trained 2yr old of 2007.

Fast Company’s sire DANEHILL DANCER (Danehill – Mira Adonde, by Sharpen Up) was the Champion Sire in GB/Ire in 2009 (and the top 2yr old sire in GB/Ire that season) and his 15 individual G1 winners include AVE, LILLIE LANGTRY, CHOISIR (sire of G1 winners STARSPANGLEDBANNER and SACRED CHOICE), MASTERCRAFTSMAN (sire), ALFRED NOBEL, SPECIOSA, ALEXANDER TANGO, AGAIN, MISS BEATRIX, WHERE OR WHEN (sire) etc.

Amongst other sire sons of Danehill Dancer is the G3 winner and G1-placed INDESATCHEL whose first crop are 2yr olds of 2010 (he finished 3rd on the GB/IRE Champion First Season Sire list).

Danehill Dancer was a dual G1 winning juvenile (Phoenix Stakes and National Stakes), and was 2nd in the G1 Dewhurst – beaten by that year’s European Champion 2yr old ALHAARTH. At 3yrs Danehill Dancer won the G3 Greenham Stakes and was 3rd in the G1 Prix Maurice De Gheest (won by European Champion Sprinter ANABAA).

Fast Company’s dam is the unraced Sheezalady (Zafonic – Canadian Mill, by Mill Reef). ZAFONIC (Gone West – Zaizafon, by The Minstrel) was Champion 2yr old Colt in Europe and a winner of the 2,000 Guineas at 3yrs. He was a successful and popular sire in both hemispheres before his premature death in Australia as a result of a paddock accident. Zafonic is an own brother to ZAMINDAR; sire of champion fillies ZARKAVA and DARJINA. Zamindar stands for Juddmonte Farms at Banstead Manor, England.

Sheezalady is a half-sister to 5 winners, including the G2 winner (Nassau S.) and G1-placed (Irish Oaks and Oaks) HAWAJISS.

Fast Company’s 2nd dam Canadian Mill (Mill Reef – Par Excellance, by L’Enjoleur) was a winner at 2yrs and placed 2nd in the G1 Cheveley Park Stakes. Canadian Mill is regally bred being by the great MILL REEF (Never Bend – Milan Mill, by Princequillo) and out of the top-class filly PAR EXCELLANCE, a Champion 2yr old in Canada.

Mill Reef was European Horse of the Year and Champion 3yr old in England in 1971, and Champion Older Horse in 1972. With a Timeform rating of 143, Mill Reef’s record of 6 consecutive G1 wins stood for 30 years.

Par Excellance is the dam of 5 winners, including KHOZZAM (rated 122 at 2yrs), winner of the G2 Royal Lodge S. and sire.

6-generation inbreeding for Fast Company: Northern Dancer 4m x 5m, 6f; Natalma 5m, 5f x 6m; Buckpasser 5f x 5m; Native Dancer 5m, 6f, 6f, 6m x 6m; Mixed Marriage 5m x 6f; Nearco 6m x 6m; Count Fleet x 6f, 6m.

Inbreeding to Northern Dancer appears in the pedigree of many of Danehill Dancer’s best performers (SPECIOSA, AGAIN, etc.). That sire also has sired stakes winners inbred to Danzig (eg. ALFRED NOBEL and WALK ON BYE) and one imagines that such crosses will hold up well for Fast Company.

Danehill Dancer has also done well with mares from the Lyphard line (examples of this cross are MASTERCRAFTSMAN and JEREMY).

Danehill Dancer, like his sire Danehill, has proven to be a highly successful sire with mares from many different branches; eg. MISS BEATRIX from the Storm Cat branch, DRUMFIRE from the Roberto branch, LILLIE LANGTRY from the Darshaan branch, etc. He has also sired group winners from Sadler’s Wells mares and from mares by sons of Sadler’s Wells.

Danehill Dancer has already proven himself a sire of sires. His stallion sons CHOISIR and MONSIEUR BOND are proven G1 producers. His first crop sire INDESATCHEL was champion British-based first crop sire in 2010, while another first-crop son of his – SILENT TIMES – finished the season in the top half of the GB/Ire first crop sires list, from just a small number of runners.

Fast Company is one of the better-raced and better-bred sons of Danehill Dancer to retire to stud, making him a very exciting sire prospect. And, with his fee set at €5,000 for 2011, he looks a very attractive option indeed for mare owners. Whether breeding to race or breeding to sell, it is difficult to find fault in the stud credentials of Fast Company.