Machiavellian has magic touch as damsire

Territories: Dalham Hall Stud new recruit is out of a Machiavellian mare

PICTURE: Machiavellian has magic touch as damsire By Nancy Sexton 2:39PM 22 DEC 2016

WHEN the popularity of Mr Prospector was at its height in Europe, it looked a safe bet that Machiavellian would be among those leading the charge to maintain the health of his line.

Several other sons had naturally become targets for European investors, among them Kingmambo, who had raced in Europe, and Gone West, whose line remains a commercially viable option here through Iffraaj, by Zafonic, and Raven's Pass and Sepoy, by Elusive Quality. Seeking The Gold, meanwhile, gifted Sheikh Mohammed with Dubai Millennium, sire of Dubawi.

Machiavellian, however, was the Mr Prospector horse who proved the line could succeed from a European base. At one time the flagship stallion of Dalham Hall Stud, he left behind 13 Group/Grade 1 winners during his 14 years in Newmarket, thereby going some way to remedying the sour taste left by Hello Gorgeous and Damister, previous European-based sons of Mr Prospector who had been disasters.

That Machiavellian should be the Mr Prospector to succeed in Europe should have come as no great surprise. He had been one of his sire's most accomplished runners in Europe, a champion two-year-old for Francois Boutin who had captured the Prix Morny and Prix de la Salamandre. The Niarchos-bred was also backed up by one of the best families in the Stud Book as a son of the Halo mare Coup De Folie, a granddaughter of Northern Dancer's dam Natalma.

A smart looker, he was duly well supported throughout his stud career with a quality of mare that no doubt helped him achieve his prominent status. At the time of his death aged 17 in 2004, he had also made inroads as a sire of sires.

Today, the survival of his line primarily rests on two sons in Medicean and Street Cry.

Cheveley Park Stud's stalwart Medicean has a highly effective son of his own in Dutch Art, in turn the sire of Garswood and Slade Power.

Street Cry, a brilliant dirt runner on his day, was one of those rare stallions who cracked it in both hemispheres; he sired not one but two outstanding mares of their era in Zenyatta and Winx to head a high-class and varied list of runners that also includes Kentucky Derby winner Street Sense and top Australian juvenile Pride Of Dubai.

Now another trend is emerging to ensure that Machiavellian won't be remembered just through the stud achievements of a select group of sons.

On the face of it, Shamardal, Dark Angel and Zoffany are three stallions with different attributes from three quite distinct sire lines.

Between them, they are responsible for 21 Group/Grade 1 winners and each broke the £1 million barrier by earnings in Britain and Ireland in 2017.

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However, they all have one other thing in common; each is out of a Machiavellian mare.

Meanwhile, another leading sire, Lope De Vega, is inbred 3×3 to Machiavellian.

Shamardal, who was bred by Brilliant Stable out of Helsinki, a Listed-placed sister to Street Cry, was a leading light of Giant's Causeway's first crop, winning the Dewhurst and Vintage Stakes at two and the Prix du Jockey Club and St. James's Palace Stakes at three. He has since become a highly influential stallion for Darley as an emerging sire of sires and broodmare sire.

One of the horses who set the ball rolling for Shamardal was the intensely bred Poule d'Essai des Poulains and Prix du Jockey Club winner Lope De Vega. Out of a Vettori mare, Lope De Vega boasts two close shots of Machiavellian in his background (although it has to be said that physically, he arguably resembles Giant's Causeway and Shamardal to a greater extent than Machiavellian).

Such a background was embraced by several breeders. For example, Lope De Vega's first ever Pattern winner, Sirenia Stakes winner Burnt Sugar, was out of a mare by one of Machiavellian's lesser sons, Titus Livius. And exposure to Danehill-line mares, which provides further doses of the Natalma and Almahmoud family, has yielded Belardo and Very Special as well as the Group 3 winners Royal Razalma and Santa Ana Lane.

A tie in between Danehill and Machiavellian also comes to the fore through Zoffany, Dansili's leading sire son to date who was bred by Epona Bloodstock out of the Machiavellian mare Tyranny. Zoffany was one of Dansili's most precocious sons, an attribute that has to be at least partly attributed to Machiavellian's influence, and was quick to get off the mark as a sire of horses true to type, the finest illustration coming at Royal Ascot in 2015 when three members of his first crop, Illuminate, Waterloo Bridge and Washington DC, swept the Albany, Norfolk and Windsor Castle Stakes.

Two-year-old form also plays out strongly in the case of Dark Angel, by Acclamation out of the Machiavellian mare Midnight Angel. A stallion who started out at €10,000 in 2008 at Morristown Lattin Stud off the back of a single Group 1 season as a juvenile, he has become a formidable source of two-year-old talent, as suspected. Against that, however, he has reached even greater heights through celebrated older performers such as Mecca's Angel and Lethal Force.

It's a pretty powerful trio, especially when it is considered that Dark Angel and Shamardal fill two of the top ten spots on the leading British and Irish sires' list (Dark Angel lies in fourth and Shamardal is in tenth). While Shamardal is now exclusively the domain of the Maktoum family at Kildangan Stud, Dark Angel is set to command €65,000 in 2017. Zoffany will stand for €35,000.

Obviously stallion selection encompasses a number of variables, of which damsire is understandably quite often one of the least important. But this isn't the first time that a stallion has exerted such an influence in a similar capacity. The strongest example would probably be Secretariat, the damsire of Storm Cat, A.P. Indy, his half-brother Summer Squall and Gone West.

Then there was Miswaki, who runs Secretariat close as the sire of Urban Sea, dam of Galileo and Sea The Stars et al. Miswaki is also the damsire of Dalakhani and The Factor, a Grade 1-producing American first-crop sire of 2016, as well as Hernando and Dr Fong, other popular sires of their time.

It has to be said that the Machiavellian influence in this instance has played out relatively positively so far, which has to bode well for two of next year's new stallions in Mehmas and Territories.

Tally-Ho Stud's Mehmas owns an attractive background in that he is bred on the same Acclamation – Machiavellian cross as Dark Angel.

As for Darley's Territories, the 2015 Prix Jean Prat winner hails from the family of Shamardal and Street Cry – connections don't come much stronger than that.

Stallions at stud in North America and Europe out of Machiavellian mares standing for £2,500 or more in 2017

SHAMARDAL (02 Giant's Causeway – Helsinki) Sire of 18 G1 winners, 56 GSW
Stands at Kildangan Stud, Ireland, for a private fee

DARK ANGEL (05 Acclamation – Midnight Angel) Sire of 2 G1 winners, 20 GSW
Stands at Yeomanstown Stud, Ireland, for €65,000

ZOFFANY (08 Dansili – Tyranny) Sire of 1 G1 winner, 7 GSW
Stands at Coolmore, Ireland, for €35,000

RED ROCKS (03 Galileo – Pharmacist) Sire of 2 stakes winners
Stands at Calumet Farm, Kentucky, for $10,000

MEHMAS (14 Acclamation – Lucina) Retires to stud in 2017
Stands at Tally-Ho Stud, Ireland, for €12,500

TERRITORIES (12 Invincible Spirit – Taranto) Retires to stud in 2017
Stands at Dalham Hall Stud, Newmarket, for £12,000

    Read More at Racing Post Bloodstock

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