The Legacy of Sadler’s Wells continues:

Saturday’s G1 Dubai Dewhurst Stakes gave first season sire Teofilo (Galileo) his first G1 winner when 2yr old Parish Hall ran out a 20-1 winner for breeder/trainer Jim Bolger. Parish Hall, who was also his sire’s first winner back in April of this year, is inbred 3×3 to Sadler’s Wells via his sons Galileo and Montjeu. While he is the 10th Stakes winner to carry a double cross of Sadler’s Wells, Parish Hall (pictured below) is the first Stakes winner inbred to Galileo and Montjeu.

Just as Parish Hall has emulated his sire Teofilo in winning this top juvenile event, it seems that he may well be paving the way for a future successful nick (just as Teofilo highlighted the potential of the Galileo/Danehill nick). Incidentaly, Teofilo was also bred and trained by Jim Bolger. Parish Hall is Jim Bolger’s 4th Dewhurst winner in 6 years, following in the footsteps of Teofilo, New Approach and Intense Focus.

Bolger, who is a director of the equine genetics company Equinome, has proved many times before that he is not afraid to closely inbreed as a means of upgrading his stock. This approach, coupled with the success he has enjoyed, places Bolger in the league of some of the leading breeders in European racing history (namely Marcel Boussac and Federico Tesio).

The success of Parish Hall on Saturday also marks another milestone as it makes him the first G1 winner for Montjeu as a broodmare sire. On the same card, Montjeu enjoyed more success when his 2yr old daughter Wading won the G2 Rockfel Stakes. Wading is out of the Green Desert mare Cherry Hinton, who is a daughter of Urban Sea (dam of Galileo and Sea The Stars). This exciting filly has the 1,000 Guineas as a target for next year.

Born To Sea, by the Green Desert sire Invincible Spirit, is the final foal out of the late Urban Sea. A winner of the Listed Blenheim Stakes on his debut this year, this colt will be aimed at next year’s 2,000 Guineas. It would be a fantastic tribute to the great mare Urban Sea if her son and granddaughter were to win those Classics next season. Pictured below is Born To Sea as a foal with his foster mum at the Irish National Stud in 2009.

You may think that I side tracked there but I mention Urban Sea because it was a mating between this fantastic mare and Sadler’s Wells that is responsible for Europe’s top sire, Galileo. Urban Sea, by the way was also a fantastic race mare and one of only a handful to have won the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe. It is not often that a coupling of two outstanding horses will result in a truly exceptional offspring but Galileo is nothing short of sensational.

Galileo’s sire Sadler’s Wells (Northern Dancer) was a legend in his own lifetime. He was Champion Sire in GB/IRE an incredible 14 times (breaking Highflyer’s long-standing record of 13 sire titles), only to be deposed from his throne in 2005 by another sensational Coolmore owned sire, Danehill. However the King was not dead as 2005 marked Sadler’s Wells first Broodmare Sire title, a title that he has won every subsequent season since. As a broodmare sire he boasts over 60% winners/starters, and is responsible for 42 individual G1 winners to date.

Upon his retirement from stud duty (he was pensioned in May 2008), Sadler’s Wells sired the winners of 106 European G1 races, including 23 Classics in Great Britain, Ireland and France. His greatness as a sire was apparent when his first runners hit the ground running (he had 6 individual G1 winners in his first crop).  Bred by the late Robert Sangster’s Swettenham Stud, Sadler’s Wells stood the entirety of his stud career at Coolmore Stud in Ireland, where he died of natural causes in April of this year, aged 30. His current sire statistics are 1,723 runners, 1,179 winners, 294 Stakes winners (168 GSWs), and over £93,000,000 in progeny earnings (Arion).

Up until recently breeders have often doubled-up Sadler’s Wells with his close relative Nureyev but have been more reluctant to inbreed directly to Sadler’s Wells, perhaps fearing that the resultant offspring would be too stamina laden.  However, it must not be forgotten that Sadler’s Wells was not all about stoutness – he did sire 3 2,000 Guineas winners, 3 Irish 1,000 Guineas winners and 2 Irish 2,000 Guineas winners.

The first G1 winner inbred to Sadler’s Wells was the 2008 German Derby winner Kamsin (Samum).  Kamsin is inbred 4×4 to Sadler’s Wells via his sons Old Vic and In The Wings. Kamsin also has the German Derby winner Surumu 4×3. Kamsin’s sire Samum was also a winner of the German Derby. Samum’s  grandam Brave Lass, is by Ridan, a brother to Thong, the third dam of Sadler’s Wells. Bred by Gestut Karlshof, Kamsin’s pedigree is a very interesting one regarding its use of inbreeding and line breeding. Byron Rogers wrote a detailed article on this pedigree back in 2008 (click here) and it is definitely worth reading if you have an interest in this topic.

While Kamsin’s pedigree represents the stoutness that inbreeding to Sadler’s Wells can reproduce, I hope that Parish Hall’s success in this year’s Dewhurst Stakes, run over 7 furlongs, proves that this inbreeding can also produce speedy, precocious 2yr olds of the highest caliber. With so many successful sire sons, there should be plenty of opportunity for breeders to inbreed to Sadler’s Wells (his top sons include Montjeu, Galileo, Barathea, Scenic, Fort Wood, El Prado, In The Wings, High Chaparral, King of Kings, etc).

With Parish Hall, we see that by Bolger inbreeding to Sadler’s Wells via his best two sons (Galileo and Montjeu), the potential this cross has for upgrading a mare is highlighted. Parish Hall’s dam Halla Siamsa is a winner by Montjeu. This is her first named foal and it is a G1 winner at 2. However her dam Siamsa, a winner of 2 races, had 2 winners from 5 runners, neither of whom earned black-type. Siamsa’s dam Amoura started twice and is the dam of 5 winners from 8 runners, none of whom won black-type (however Bolger managed to upgrade this family by breeding the Listed winner An Ghalanta, by Holy Roman Emperor, out of a granddaughter of Amoura).

Parish Hall’s fourth dam is the unplaced Visala, dam of a Listed winner from just two runners. We have to look under Parish Hall’s 5th dam, the unraced mare Evisa, to find any black-type of great merit. Interestingly, the best of these is Ebadiyla, a daughter of Sadler’s Wells and Joint Top of the 1997 Interntional 3yr Old Classification (extended). Could Ebadiyla be one reason why Bolger may have thought that inbreeding to Sadler’s Wells so closely may upgrade his mare Halla Siamsa? Whatever his reasons, Bolger has reminded breeders of the usefulness of inbreeding and its potential in upgrading stock. Further more, it will encourage breeders to inbreed to Sadler’s Wells (pictured below), a legendary sire, whose influence on the modern Thoroughbred looks set to continue for a long time to come.