Big City Man puts his sire Northern Afleet back in the spotlightPICTURE: Andrew Watkins
Son of Northern Afleet wins 6f Group race
Nad Al Sheba: Al Shindagha Sprint (Group 3) 6f dirt
Big City Man
(Northern Afleet- Mini Appeal (Valid Appeal))
SAUDI-trained Big City Man lived up to a big reputation when taking the group race highlight of a mammoth nine-race card at Nad Al Sheba on Thursday.
Representing Riyadh-based trainer Jerry Barton, the former US-based four-year-old was sent off 7-4 favourite after an impressive course-and-distance victory two weeks ago.
By Taylor Made farm's Northern Afleet (Afleet), Big City Man is a first foal out of Mini Appeal, a daughter of Valid Appeal.
There is a little in the Nad Al Sheba winner's immediate pedigree to suggest that he would become a Group race winner but his third dam, Municipal Bond, was a Grade 3 winner, and is dam of Mr Nickerson, a winner of 10 races, including two at Group 2 level, and Tax Dodge, a son of Seattle Slew, who finished third in the GameleyHandicap (Gr1).
Northern Afleet, who won the San Fernando Breeders' Cup Stakes (Gr2), the San Carlos Handicap (Gr2) and finished third in the Metropolitan Handicap (Gr1), was the sire of nine stakes winners and 20 stakes horses in 2008.
He moved to Kentucky from Double Diamond Farm in Florida in 2004, shortly before his best runner to date, the Preakness Stake (Gr1) winner AfleetAlex, finished second to Wilko in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile. Taylor Made having always owned a share in the stallion deciding then that the time was right to ship him to stand its premier farm.
His fee rose to $12,500 on transferringto the blue grass state; it has since moved down to $6,750 for 2009.
Big City Man is his sire's best runner since Afleet Alex and will be aimed at the Group 1 Dubai Golden Shaheen on World Cup night in March.