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Look Busy - Temple Stakes at Haydock - 23.05.09

Trainer Alan Berry with his €75,000 purchase Look Busy, a daughter of Danetime, after winning the Group 2 Temple Stakes

  PICTURE: Martin Lynch  

Look Busy: Danetime progeny getting busy


THEY said it about Elvis Presley, and they have said it about quite a few other short-lived pop icons since: "Dying is a great career move."

In the stallion business we might not phrase it quite so callously, but it has long been axiomatic that death will immediately precede a significant improvement in results, and that has certainly been the case where Danetime is concerned.

At the time he suffered a ruptured artery and had to be put down, in Australia in September 2005, he had given some indications of promise and already had a couple of Pattern winners to his name in The Kiddykid and Miss Sally. He had notbeen favoured with quality mares, having started at stud at a fee of only Ir3,500gns, but there was clear evidence that he was upgrading them, and better opportunities seemed sure to come his way.

In fact, he never did attain fashionable status, covering at only €6,500 in his final season, and the products of his five crops were virtually all from mares of no real distinction. On Saturday he had two Pattern winners within a few minutes - Look Busy in the Group 2 Temple Stakesat Haydock Park and Utmost Respect in the Group 3 Greenlands Stakes at the Curragh. He has now been represented by 11 winners of 20 Pattern events, and there will no doubt be more to come.

Low expectations ahead of stud career
There seemed no reason to expect much from Danetime when he took up stud duties at Tally-Ho in 1999. He had run 15 times in his three seasons and had managed only three wins, none of them at Pattern level. When allowed to take his chance in the top grade, he had finished second - though subsequently demoted to third - to Royal Applause in the Haydock Sprint Cup as a three-year-old, and third to Elnadim in the July Cup at four, and he signed off with a dull effort in the Prix Maurice de Gheest.

In summary, Danetime was essentially a decent sprinter, a cut below top class. He was remembered best for his victory in the 1997 Stewards' Cup, when he landed a colossal gamble for Michael Tabor and became the first of his age group to win that rich handicap for 14 years.

More than just cheap speed
As for his pedigree, he was by Danehill, who by 1999 was beginning to compile a significant northern hemisphere record without yet matching his deeds in Australia, but his female line seemed distinctly uninspiring. Small breeders could but hope that he would provide some cheap speed for their modest mares.

He certainly got his quota of modest mares, but consecutive winners of the Prix Morny - Myboycharlie (whose dam finished last of ten in her only start) and Bushranger (whose own dam was an unraced half-sister to an ordinary winner in Turkey) - can hardly be classified as cheap speed. The same goes for such as Dhanyata, beaten a neck in the Cheveley Park, Champagne Stakes victor Vital Equine, and Utmost Respect, whose success at the weekend was his fourth in Pattern company.

Should have followed in Danehill Dancer's footsteps
Considering his promise at the time of his death, and the better chances that would have come his way, one might well imagine that he would would have had some well bred two-year-olds to represent him in 2009 and would be commanding a substantial fee. As it is, his youngest crop is three, Bushranger and Triple Aspect among them, and there are only around 60 in total.

While he would not be ranking in the same league as his paternal half-brother Danehill Dancer, who had the winners of both Irish Guineas over the weekend, he might have been heading in that direction; after all, Danehill Dancer started out at only Ir4,000gns, with no help from moderate mares.

Look Busy: €7,500 worth of fun
Look Busy came from the fourth of her sire's crops, going to auction as a yearling before he was properly appreciated. It was no surprise that she was made to take her chance in a low-grade sale at Kill, because there was little on the catalogue page to suggest that she might develop into a high-class performer, and every indication that she would fetch small money.

Full marks, then, to AlanBerry for making the bold €7,500 bid that secured a filly who has now earned over £250,000 in prize-money for his patron, Adrian Underwood. She is as tough and honest as they come, has ten wins and nine placings to her credit from 27 lifetime starts, and along with her Group 2 victory at the weekend, she can boast three scores at Listed level and one in Group 3, last year's Flying Five Stakes at the Curragh.

That record amounts to an awful lot of fun - and profit - for such a modest investment, and one has to wonder whether Messrs Smith and Tabor derived as much enjoyment over their weekend Classic successes as Underwood got from his at Group 2 level.

What price the Prix de l'Abbaye?
Look Busy may yet attain Group 1 standard, particularly at 5f when there is some give in the ground, so why not aim for the top and have the Prix de l'Abbaye as an end-of-season target? But, of course, that is probably five or six runs in the future for one who so clearly thrives on her racing.

Look Busy's career spans three seasons, as did that of her dam, Unfortunate, but it is not so easy to draw other parallels between the pair, although they had wins incommon. The most marked difference is that of class, because the only two victories registered by Unfortunate came in selling company - at Southwell as a two-year-old and Leicester the following year. She was optimistically bought in at 3,800gns on the first occasion, but on the second - having caused a 40-1 shock - she was retained without a bid.

Unfortunate ungenuine
Unfortunate, who had nine starts on turf and 13 on the all-weather, never attained a RPR higher than 58 and the level of her form fluctuated wildly; she was once given a mark of four (yes, four) for one particularly dismal effort at Redcar. Rather than just inconsistent, she appeared to be ungenuine as well - the very antithesis of her daughter.

Unfortunate had been through the ring at Newmarket as a yearling, realising only 1,000gns, and nothing better could have been expected of a filly whose sire had won only a 7f maiden as a four-year-old and whose dam failed to shed her maiden status. Komaite was unquestionably a well bred horse, but few breeders could take him seriously as a stallion, and it came as a shock when he featured as broodmare sire of Dewhurst winner Milk It Mick, whose own dam Lunar Music, like Unfortunate, was a selling plater.

What price a second Group 1 winner out of a Komaite mare? With Danetime's help, that seems quite feasible.

Pedigree Assessment

Sire: Danetime
Bred by Holborn Trust Co. in Ireland. Goffs Ir13,000gns foal, Goffs Ir36,000gns yearling. Won 3 (all 6f) of 15 races, viz. 1 out of 3 at 2 years, 2 (inc. Stewards' Cup) out of 7 at 3 years, 0 out of 5 at 4 years. Also 3rd in Haydock Sprint Cup at 3 and July Cup at 4. RPR 95 at 2, 116 at 3, 119 at 4. Earned £118,368.

Sturdy, good-topped individual, 16.0hh., with a quick action. Typical sprinter in appearance, but much better at 6f than at 5f, ineffective over longer trips. Could be coltish, sometimes sweated up. Acted on firm and good to soft.

Quite well bred. By a high-class sprinter and champion sire. Brother to Gr3-placed winner Dane River, half-brother to 4 other winners, inc. 1 Listed. Dam modest winner at 3, out of smart juvenile 6f winner who failed to train on. Next dam unraced, produced Listed winner Dam Busters, grand-dam of Irish champion 2-y-o Mantovani. Respectable family.

Died 2005. Stood at Tally-Ho Stud, Co. Westmeath, latterly at a fee of Euros 6,500. Sire of 5 northern hemisphere crops of racing age, inc. The Kiddykid (Gr2), Miss Sally (Gr3), Dhanyata (Gr3), Le Cadre Noir (Gr3), Utmost Respect (Gr2), Vital Equine (Gr2), Domingues (Gr3), Look Busy (Gr2), Myboycharlie (Prix Morny-Gr1), Bushranger (Prix Morny-Gr1, Middle Park S.-Gr1), Triple Aspect (Gr3). Also sire of Megatic (Kingston Town Classic-Gr1) from 3 crops conceived in Australia.

Dam: Unfortunate
Bred by J.W. Orbell  in England. 1,000gns Newmarket December yearling. Won 2 (6f) of 22 races, viz. 1 out of 8 at 2 years, 1 out of 12 at 3 years, 0 out of 2 at 4 years. RPR 48 at 2, 58 at 3, 39 at 4. Earned £5,279.

Modest, inconsistent performer on both turf and all-weather, often competing in selling and claiming company. Both wins in sellers. Sometimes looked ungenuine.

Unfashionably bred. By a well bred horse who received few chances at stud, got one Gr3 winner, and is best known as broodmare sire of Dewhurst S. winner Milk It Mick. Dam poor maiden, but half-sister to smart Gr3-winning sprinter Singing Steven.

Distantly connected in thefemale line with high-class runners Prominer, Lombardo, Swell Fellow, Manikato and Pass the Peace, all descending from her sixth dam Grace Dalrymple, winner of 1929 Dewhurst S.

To stud at 4 years and dam of: Ela Charlie Mou (2002 c byRaise a Grand; winner in Greece), The City Kid (2003 f by Danetime; winner on all weather), Look Busy (2005 f by Danetime; Gr2 winner), Time and Tide (2006 f by Danetime; placed on turf in Ireland), Red Roar (2007 f by Chineur; unraced to date). Barren to Raise a Grand in 2004, and to Kodiac in 2008. Covered by Red Clubs in 2008.

Admirably honest, consistent sprinter who should continue to pay her way in Pattern company.





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