Danehill Dancer (by Danehill) was one of the top two-year-olds in Europe in 1995 when he won his first three starts, including the Group 1 Phoenix Stakes and Group 1 National Stakes, and then chased home that year's champion Alhaarth in the Group 1 Dewhurst Stakes at Newmarket.
He kicked off his three-year-old campaign with victory in the Group 3 Greenham Stakes at Newbury, but was only sixth in the 2000 Guineas, ninth in the Poule d'Essai des Poulains (French 2000 Guineas) and fifth in the July Cup before taking third behind Anabaa in the Prix Maurice de Gheest at Deauville, his best Group 1 form since his juvenile days.
The grandson of Danzig (by Northern Dancer) spent his entire stallion career as part of the Coolmore Stud team, he is now 23 years old, retired from active service in 2013, and has a tiny final crop of juveniles. His penultimate crop features Qemah, the filly who won the Group 1 Coronation Stakes (British Champions Series) over a mile at Ascot yesterday.
She was bred by Ecurie Cadran Bissons Sas Iei, she was sold for €200,000 at the Arqana Deauville August Yearling Sale, and the Jean-Claude Rouget-trained bay carries the well-known colours of Al Shaqab Racing. She was runner-up in a newcomers race at Deauville a year later, won over an extended mile at Longchamp a month after that, and then finished third behind Ballydoyle in the Group 1 Prix Marcel Boussac – Criterium des Pouliches on her final juvenile outing.
Qemah started her current campaign with a two and a half length victory in the Group 3 Prix de la Grotte over a mile at Chantilly, and on her only start between then and Ascot, she was third to La Cressonniere and Nathra in the Group 1 Poule d'Essai des Pouliches (French 1000 Guineas), a classic for which she was sent off favourite.
Qemah is the first foal out of Kartica (by Rainbow Quest), a one-time scorer who was placed in the Group 3 Prix Fille de l'Air and in two listed races in France, and her second is a Henrythenavigator (by Kingmambo) filly who was led out unsold at the Arqana Deauville August Yearling Sale of 2015. That filly has been named Niedziela, and she is followed by a Lawman (by Invincible Spirit) colt born to her dam 15 months ago.
To get a Group 1 winner with her first foal is an exciting start at stud for any broodmare, but what is particularly striking when you look at the pedigree is that Kartica's daughter is easily the best runner within the first four generations of the family.
Cayman Sunset (by Night Shift), the grandam of yesterday's Ascot star, won the Listed Dahlia Stakes at Newmarket and was later Grade 2 and Grade 3 placed when she crossed the atlantic, but other than Kartica her only blacktype earner is Lady Gorgeous (by Compton Place), a one-time winner who finished third in the Listed Surrey Stakes at Epsom.
Group 3 Beresford Stakes third Tarfaa (by Night Shift) and the talented dual-purpose gelding I'm Supposin (by Posen), a pattern-placed five-times flat scorer who also won the Grade 2 Kingwell Hurdle and took third behind Istabraq in a Grade 1 Champion Hurdle, are the best of Cayman Sunset's siblings, and they were out of Robinia (by Roberto), a mare whose sole success came in England as a two-year-old.
The fourth dam is the Florida-bred Royal Graustark (by Graustark) who won seven times in North America, was runner-up in the Listed Florida Oaks, and had five other winning progeny of whom Seal Ring (by Known Fact) was best. He was placed in a string of pattern events in South Africa, including two Group 1 contests.
Each ancestor in the fifth generation of a pedigree is contributing only 3.25% of the horse's genetic make-up, which makes their relationship distant at best, but the fifth dam of Qemah is of interest as she, Princess Roycraft (by Royal Note), won the prestigious Test Stakes in 1970 and later became the dam of the Grade 2 Lexington Stakes winner and successful stallion Royal Roberto (by Roberto), who was closely related to Robinia.
And if you want to go back even further, you will find that the seventh dam of Qemah, who is contributing marginally over 0.8% of her genetic make-up, was a mare called Adjournment (by Court Martial), a winner in England who was runner-up in the 1952 edition of the Coronation Stakes. She produced the Louisiana Derby winner Master Palynch (by Crafty Admiral) and the high-class seven to nine furlong filly Frimanaha (by Crafty Admiral), a prolific runner whose 11 wins included the Diana Handicap and Vineland Handicap.
Qemah is a classic-placed Group 1 winner by a leading sire whose daughters are responsible for the 2016 classic winners Minding (by Galileo), The Gurkha (by Galileo) and Hawksmoor (by Azamour), and that boosts her prospects of becoming a successful broodmare in the years to come. Right now, however, there are plenty of other good prizes to be won with her and it is possible that another trip to England may be on the cards as she holds an entry in next month's Group 1 Tattersalls 250th Year Falmouth Stakes (British Champions Series) at Newmarket.