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Zoffany - Leopardstown - 22.7.2010

Zoffany: the Tyros Stakes winner capped a fine run of form for Dansili

  PICTURE: Patrick McCann /  

Zoffany: could thrive beyond a mile at three

2yo b c Dansili - Tyranny (Machiavellian)

ON Wednesday his daughter Bewitched won the Listed Sweet Mimosa Stakes at Naas, on Thursday his sons Famous Name and Zoffany landed the Group 3 double at Leopardstown in the Meld and Tyros Stakes respectively, and on Saturday he capped a fantastic week with the record-shattering victory of Harbinger in the King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes.

That fabulous winning streak has propelled Banstead Manor's Dansili to second place in the 2010 sires' table.

Of course, the lion's share of that huge prizemoney haul was credited to Harbinger, whose exceptional Ascot performance extended his unbeaten sequence for the year to four, but he was recognised in this column back in April after the first of those victories, in Newbury's John Porter Stakes.

Today we put the spotlight on Zoffany, a potential future star, and with ample justification, because for all his fine achievements todate, Dansili is emphatically a sire for the future, a horse who is destined to rank as a mainstay of the British breeding industry in the years to come.

A brother to Banks Hill, Intercontinental, Cacique and Champs Elysees, Dansili famously did not match those celebrated siblings by winning at the top level, but he did everything but, scoring in Group 2 and earning places in six Group 1 events.

At three and four he was decidedly of Group 1 calibre, as his RPRs of 124 and 126 indicated, he was thoroughly game and consistent, and he was manifestly unlucky not to close his career with a victory in the Breeders' Cup Mile.

A ‘nearly' horse, albeit one who was named Europe's top-rated oldermiler in 2000, Dansili could not command a high fee when he retired to Banstead Manor.

In his first two seasons he stood at £8,000, his books more noted for quantity than quality, those in the latter category coming almost exclusively from representatives of his home team, the Juddmonte broodmare band.

His early auctioned stock earned the approbation of the market, resulting in a rise to £12,500 for his third season in 2003, and that was still his fee when his current three-year-olds were conceived.

When it came to the racecourse test, it was soon noted that he got a high percentage of winners to runners, while most of those with real class derived from the staunch support supplied by Juddmonte.

Dansili's breakthrough year was 2006. Price Tag seemed to have become her sire's first top-level winner when she finished first in the Poule d'Essai des Pouliches, only to suffer relegation to third place by the Longchamp stewards; her elevation to the top level was postponed until late November, when she took the Matriarch Stakes at Hollywood Park, but by then there were other reasons to recognise Dansili's prowess as a sire.

Rail Link won both the Grand Prix de Paris and the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe, and Passage of Time's score in the Criterium de Saint Cloud helped to ensure that Dansili would be crowned France's champion sire.

Closer to homeStrategic Prince notched a Group 2 double in the July Stakes and Vintage Stakes and Thousand Words collected at Group 3 level in the Somerville Tattersall Stakes.

Dansili's fee rose to £30,000 in 2007, a year when Zambezi Sun became another Grand Prix de Paris winner, and his rising reputation was recognised by a book of 190 mares, including more of real quality from other studs.

His auctioned yearlings that autumn averaged 111,653gns, underlining his appeal in the marketplace, so that for 2008 his fee was upped again to £75,000.

When Proviso became her sire's fifth individual winner at the top level earlier this year in the Frank E. Kilroe Mile Handicap at Santa Anita, she was also the fifth to have been bred by Juddmonte. Harbinger, bred by Nick and Anita Ooi, is his sire's first Group 1 scorer from an outside mare, but we may be sure that there are plenty more to come.

Three-figure books of high qualityhave now become the norm, and in 2010 Dansili was visited by no fewer than eight Group 1 winners - Alexandrova, Islington, Listen, Magical Romance, Moonstone, Nebraska Tornado, Peeress and Russian Rhythm. It is not hard to imagine what lies in store.

For the record, the last horse based in England to become champion sire here was Mill Reef in 1987, the last to have also been English-bred Kris in 1985.

It cannot be long odds against Zoffany becoming the second Dansili Group 1 winner not bred by Juddmonte. A product of Epona Bloodstock, sold as a Tattersalls yearling for 220,000gns, he has now won four of his five races, and was never more impressive than last week at Leopardstown, when he cruised up to stable-mate High Ruler on the bridle and cantered home by two lengths.

The Tyros Stakes, let's not forget, was won in the previous four years by Teofilo, New Approach, Rip van Winkle and Cape Blanco, all subsequent winners at the highest level.

Zoffany is the first winner from three runners to date out of his dam Tyranny, who was herself a 270,000gns yearling. The daughter of Machiavellian finished second in all three of her starts as a two-year-old, but managed two wins in her second season, both at 7f.

She was up to competing in Listed company at three, registering her best effort at that level when fifth in the Oak Tree Stakes at Goodwood.

Although Tyranny seemed not quite to get a mile, and useful half-sister Dusty Answer was also most proficient at 7f, another sibling, Spotlight, won at Grade 2 level in the States over 1m1f, and she is not the only reason for believing that Zoffany will cope with longer distances.

The trio were produced by Dust Dancer, who scored at Group 3 level and was successful up to 1m4f, and her half-brother Zimzalabim was classy and effective over the same trip; in addition Dusty Answer's daughter Counterclaim ran second in the Oaks d'Italia.

Dust Dancer's half-sister Bulaxie was a smart performer, winning the Group 3 Fred Darling Stakes in addition to two Listed events. She was also placed second in the Group 2 Premio Lydia Tesio, a race in which her daughter Claxon was successful.

The family has been significantly upgraded over the years in Hesmonds Stud. Fourth dam High Galaxie fetched only $6,500 as a yearling in 1976, and her claim to black type rested on a victory and a couple of placings in Puerto Rico, where her earnings came to no more than $11,500.

Further back there are connections with top-level US performers in Guilty Conscience and Lieutenant's Lark, winners respectively of the Vosburgh Stakes and Washington D.C. International.


Sire: Dansili

Bred by Juddmonte Farms in England. Won 5 (8f) of 14 starts, viz. 1 out of 1 at 2 years, 2 (inc. Prix Messidor-Gr3) out of 6 at 3 years, 2 (Prix Edmond Blanc-Gr3, Prix du Muguet-Gr2) out of 7 at 4 years. Also 2nd in 3 and 3rd in 3 Gr1 races. RPR 124 at 3, 126 at 4. Earned £373,602.

A top-class miler at 3 and 4 years, admirably game and consistent, best on good or faster ground.

Strong, well-made, 16.0 1/2hh. Impeccably bred. Brother to Gr1 winners Banks Hill, Intercontinental, Cacique and Champs Elysees, three-parts brother to Gr1 winner Heat Haze. By a multiple champion sire, out of a Listed winner whose sire was a dual Derby winner and whose dam was a winning daughter of Sookera (Cheveley Park S.).

To stud at 5. Stands at Banstead Manor Stud, Cheveley at a fee of £65,000. Sire of 7 crops of racing age, including notable winners: Early March (Gr3), General Jumbo (Gr3), Grecian Dancer (Gr3), Illustrious Blue (Gr3), Price Tag (Matriarch S.-Gr1), Rail Link (Grand Prix de Paris-Gr1, Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe-Gr1), Silver Touch (Gr3), Diamond Diva (Gr2), Passage of Time (Criterium de Saint-Cloud-Gr1), Strategic Prince (Gr2), Thousand Words (Gr3), Zambezi Sun (Grand Prix de Paris-Gr1), Famous Name (Gr3), Glowing (Gr3), Proviso (Frank E. Kilroe H.-Gr1, Just a Game H.-Gr1), Sense of Joy (Gr3), Delegator (Gr3), Father Time (Gr2), Harbinger (King George VI & Queen Elizabeth S.-Gr1), Shaweel (Gr2), Strawberrydaiquiri (Gr2), Zacinto (Gr2), Aviate (Gr3), Ice Blue (Gr2), Zoffany (Gr3).

Dam: Tyranny

Bred by Hesmonds Stud Ltd in England. 270,000gns Tattersalls Houghton yearling. Won 2 (both 7f) of 10 races, viz. 0 out of 3 at 2 years, 2 out of 8 at 3 years. Also placed 2nd 3 times. RPR 80 at 2, 97 at 3. Earned £15,416.

Quite useful performer, best effort as 5th in Listed company. Stayed 7f well, appeared not to get 1m.

Well bred. By a good miler and successful sire. Half-sister to 4 other winners, inc. Spotlight (by Dr Fong, Gr2 in USA), and Dusty Answer (by Zafonic, Listed-placed, dam of Gr2-placed winner Counterclaim). Dam smart Gr3 winner, half-sister to 6 other winners, inc. Bulaxie (Gr3, dam of Gr2 winner Claxon, Gr3 winner Cassydora and Listed winner Classic Remark) and Zimzalabim (Gr1-placed in France, champion in Slovakia), and to the dam of Gr3-placed Listed winner Sweepstake.

To stud at 4 years and dam of: Danvers (2005 f by Cape Cross; unplaced), Good For Her (2006 f by Rock of Gibraltar; placed), Queen of Mean (2007 f by Pivotal; unraced), Zoffany (c by Dansili; Gr3 winner). She has a yearling colt by Dr Fong, and was covered by Danehill Dancer in 2009.


Impressive Group 3 triumph guarantees that he will reach a higher level. Pedigree allows hopes that he will thrive beyond 1m as a three-year-old.






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