Classic-placed Group 1 sprint star Green Desert forged one of the two most powerful branches of the Danzig (by Northern Dancer) line and there are now several subdivisions emerging in Europe thanks to the exploits of Cape Cross, Invincible Spirit and Oasis Dream, each of whom has stallion sons of note. Right now it is the Invincible Spirit branch that appears strongest, but it is early days yet.
The early Oasis Dream stallions include Showcasing, a Group 2 Gimcrack Stakes winner and Group 1 Middle Park Stakes third whose three-year-old campaign consisted of an excellent second to Prime Defender in the Group 2 Duke of York Stakes and then two crushing defeats.
He is a half-brother to blacktype sire Camacho (by Danehill), his stakes-winning dam is out of Group 1 Cheveley Park Stakes winner Prophecy (by Warning), and his combination of pedigree, two-year-old talent plus early three-year-old sprint form all but guaranteed he would be a popular addition to the stallion ranks.
He is a member of the team at Whitsbury Manor Stud, his 25 stakes winners feature dual Group 1 sprint star Quiet Reflection and multiple Group 1-placed Group 2 Duke of York Stakes winner Tasleet.
He has also achieved something very important with regard to his potential to take high rank in the general sires' championship title race – he has proved his ability to get milers. Projected and Prize Exhibit – the latter a Grade 1-placed filly who is a proven sprinter-miler – are Grade 2 scorers over the trip in the USA.
If Showcasing can sire good milers then he can get classic horses, and if he can get good milers then, with the right mares, he can get some high-class 10-furlong horses too.
Heavy ground can exaggerate superiority, but it was hard not to be impressed with the way that his son Dice Roll won the Group 3 Prix Djebel over seven furlongs at Deauville on Monday, and it would be no surprise to see colt make the frame in the Group 1 Poule d'Essai des Poulains (French 2000 Guineas) – or even win it – and go on to become one of the leading milers of the year.
Dice Roll was bred by Gestut Zur Kuste Ag, he is a €130,000 graduate of the Arqana Deauville October Yearling Sale, and he is trained by Fabrice Chappet.
He made a short-head winning debut over six furlongs on good ground at Maisons-Laffitte in mid-July and rounded off his juvenile campaign with a one-and-three-quarter-length victory in a valuable mile sales race at Chantilly. His only defeat in five starts came when fourth of seven in a seven-furlong listed contest at Deauville a month after his debut.
The fourth living foal of 12-furlong scorer Schlague (by Pulpit), he is a half-brother to dual sprint winner Falcon (by Falco) and a grandson of Si Je N'Avais Plus (by Kaldoun), who earned her blacktype over seven and nine furlongs.
That mare's siblings include smart sprinter-miler River Of Light (by Irish River) and also two fillies who made their names at stud.
Battani (by Top Ville), who won once, is the dam of Grade 1-winning hurdler Me Voici (by Saint Des Saints) and of blacktype chase scorer St Devote (by Saint Des Saints) and she is the grandam of Grade 1-winning hurdler L'Unique (by Reefscape) and of Grade 2 hurdles scorer Baan Rim Pa (by Dyhim Diamond).
Dibenoise (by Kendor), on the other hand, was unraced but her string of successful offspring features Group 1 Criterium de Saint-Cloud and Group 2 Derrinstown Stud Derby Trial winner Recital (by Montjeu), Group 1 Prix Ganay star Corre Caminos (by Montjeu), and Group 2-winning miler Racinger (by Spectrum).
The third dam of Dice Roll is, therefore, the Group 3 Prix des Reservoirs winner and Group 1 Poule d'Essai des Pouliches (French 1000 Guineas) runner-up Boreale (by Bellypha), a daughter of blacktype miler Princesse Tora (by Prince Taj) and so a half-sister to listed scorer Tory Conquest (by Rainbow Quest) and to Group 1 Prix Morny third Princesse Lee (by Habitat).
The latter is also notable as being the dam of Princesse Lida (by Nijinsky), France's champion two-year-old filly of 1979 when she won both the Group 1 Prix Morny and Group 1 Prix de la Salamandre. She was rated 119 by Timeform that season and went on to take third in the Group 1 Poule d'Essai des Pouliches.
It is true that, with the exception of Baan Rim Pa, the middle-distance and staying horses among those noted above are by stallions with whom you would associate such aptitude, but their presence in the family offers hope that Schlague could be "the right mare" who could get a 10-furlong horse by Showcasing. And, if so, then this colt could also be a leading contender for the Group 1 Prix du Jockey Club (French Derby).
Oasis Dream was an excellent racehorse, one of the best by his sire, and he is now well-established as being one of the top stallions in all of Europe. Banstead Manor Stud's son of Green Desert (by Danzig) is also beginning to show considerable promise as a sire of successful stallion sons.
Just over a week ago, for example, the pattern-winning sprinter Captain Gerrard added his name to Oasis Dream's growing list of sons with at least one blacktype winner among their offspring when his son Alpha Delphini took a listed contest in England. And on Saturday the feature race in that country went to a daughter of Showcasing.
A lightly-raced sprinter who won the Group 2 Gimcrack Stakes, was second in the Group 2 Duke of York Stakes and third in the Group 1 Middle Park Stakes, Showcasing (by Oasis Dream) stands at Whitsbury Manor Stud, his oldest progeny are four-year-olds, and such is the success he has enjoyed so far, he is becoming one of the most sought-after young stallions in England. His current total is 13 individual stakes winners.
In addition to three pattern winners, a listed scorer and a classic-placed stakes winner from his New Zealand-born progeny, he has supplied the Group 2 Mill Reef Stakes winner Toocoolforschool, Grade 1-placed dual US Grade 2 scorer Prize Exhibit, this year's Group 3 Greenham Stakes winner Tasleet and Group 3 Premio Regina Elena (Italian 1000 Guineas) scorer Conselice, and, of course, Quiet Reflection.
The Karl Burke-trained three-year-old is a leading candidate for championship honours in the sprinters' division as she has won both the Group 1 Commonwealth Cup at Ascot and Group 1 32Red Sprint Cup at Haydock. The former was, of course, against her own age group, she was then third to Limato in the Group 1 July Cup on her first attempt against the older horses, and while it was a pity that the rain-softened ground led to him being withdrawn on Saturday, she was impressive in beating The Tin Man by one and three-quarter lengths.
Quiet Reflection began her career at Hamilton in mid-July of last year, winning a five-furlong maiden by five lengths. She was only fifth behind Besharah in the Group 2 Lowther Stakes next time – one of only two defeats in her career to date – but then won the Listed Harry Rosebery Stakes by four lengths at Ayr and followed that with a two and a half length score in the Group 3 Cornwallis Stakes at Ascot.
She kicked off her current campaign with a head defeat of Jimmy Two Times in the Group 3 Prix Sigy over six furlongs at Chantilly in April and then beat Donjuan Triumphant by three and three-quarter lengths in the Group 2 Sandy Lane Stakes at Haydock before her one-length Group 1 defeat of Kachy at the royal meeting.
Quiet Reflection was bred by Springcombe Park Stud and she was sold for £32,000 in Doncaster as a yearling. She returned to that venue for their breeze-up sale the following April and it was there that Burke secured her for £44,000. Her own-brother Full Intention, who made £54,000 at last year's Premier Yearling Sale in Doncaster, is winless in five starts. That said, he is rated 88, down from a peak of 93.
The colt was short-headed when favourite for a Windsor maiden in April, finished third to Mehmas at Chester the following month and was then fourth behind Ardad in the Listed Windsor Castle Stakes at Royal Ascot. He was odds-on in his two subsequent starts but had to settle for second both times, first at Chester and then at Thirsk, and all over the minimum trip.
The pair are the two foals out of the six-furlong juvenile scorer My Delirium (by Haafhd) and she, in turn, is one of two foals and two winners out of the Listed Hilary Needler Trophy winner Clare Hills (by Orpen). The other is the four-times scorer Finesse (by Shamardal) whose first-born is a yearling colt that has already been named Nine Below Zero (by Showcasing). That close relation to Quiet Reflection was followed by a Foxwedge (by Fastnet Rock) filly born in March.
Morale (by Bluebird), the third dam of Saturday's Group 1 star, was unplaced in France and produced just four winners from nine foals, but that was a better strike-rate than that of her dam Shebasis (by General Holme). That unraced mare was responsible for the the listed scorer and prolific Scandinavian winner Bluebeard (by Bluebird), and for the stakes-placed dual US winner Busheto (by Be My Guest), but that pair were among just four winners from the mare's 14 progeny.
Their siblings also include Zing Ping (by Thatching) who, although only placed, became the dam and grandam of a string of winners, the best of whom is the Group 1 Moyglare Stud Stakes runner-up Fear And Greed (by Brief Truce). That one-time scorer is, in turn, the grandam of the ill-fated Listed Windsor Castle Stakes runner-up and Group 2 Prix Robert Papin third Areen (by Kodiac).
These are the highlights of the first four generations of the pedigree, but Quiet Reflection is not the first Group 1 star for her family. The relationship is distant, because he was a half-brother to her fifth dam, Annie Aaron (by Buffalo Lark), but Alysheba (by Alydar) was the Grade 1 Kentucky Derby and Grade 1 Preakness Stakes hero of 1987, when he was champion three-year-old in the USA, and at four he was crowned US Horse of the Year.
His 11 wins also included the Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Classic, Grade 1 Santa Anita Handicap, Grade 1 Woodward Handicap, Grade 1 Meadowlands Cup, Grade 1 Super Derby, and Grade 1 Strub Stakes and he stood as a stallion in the US and in Saudi Arabia. His progeny included the Canadian Horse of the Year Alywow and, in Europe, the high-class Bright Moon, who won the Group 2 Grand Prix d'Evry, Group 2 Grand Prix de Deauville, and two editions of the Group 2 Prix de Pomone.
Quiet Reflection, who is one of the ante-post favourites for next month's Group 1 Qipco British Champions Sprint at Ascot, is related to an outstanding colt but she is easily the best horse to emerge from the family's most recent generations, and that suggests that a large part of the credit for her talent may go to Showcasing. She is unlikely to remain his only Group 1 star for long.