Green Desert forged one of two powerful branches of the Danzig (by Northern Dancer) sire line and there are early signs that three divisions of the late Nunnery Stud’s line may be emerging. Right now it is the Invincible Spirit offshoot that is strongest, while the Oasis Dream one is yielding blacktype sires with, as yet, just one standout among them. This may change.
The third one is more of a bud, but we may be talking about a Cape Cross branch in the next decade.
Timeform 140-rated Sea The Stars, his most brilliant son, is one of Europe’s leading sires – and has young stallion sons of his own – Awtaad (foals) and Golden Horn (yearlings) are in early stages of their stud careers, Guignol is likely to be a new sire for 2019, and the other pattern winners backing up those Group 1 aces include Group 2 scorer Moohaajim who is off the mark this year with his first juveniles.
Narrow conqueror of Storm The Stars in an eight-and-a-half-furlong Nottingham maiden on his only start at two, Golden Horn went on to become a European champion at three, earning a Timeform rating of 134 and their Horse of the Year accolade.
He kicked off that campaign with victory in the Listed Feilden Stakes over nine furlongs at Newmarket, followed-up with an impressive defeat of Jack Hobbs in the Group 2 Dante Stakes over the extended 10 furlongs at York, and then became the subject of usual debate at that time of the year: would this exciting colt stay the Derby distance?
In my May 2015 analysis in The Irish Field, titled “Golden Horn bred to stay Derby distance”, I noted the speed elements of his pedigree that were leading many to think he would not last the distance, but also pointed out the strong middle-distance aspects of his pedigree, its “record when it comes to producing horses who can be effective at around a mile and a half.”
His unraced dam, Fleche D’Or (by Dubai Destination), is a half-sister to Group 1 Coronation Stakes winner and Group 1 Queen Elizabeth II Stakes runner-up Rebecca Sharp (by Machiavellian), but the middle-distance stakes winners Mystic Knight (by Caerleon) and Hidden Hope (by Daylami) are close-up too, and a three-parts sister to the dam of Golden Horn was a multiple winner at around 12 furlongs.
I closed the piece by saying: “There are, of course, no guarantees when it comes to pedigrees, and it is entirely possible that Golden Horn could come cruising two out at Epsom only to falter when his stamina is put to the test. But, his pedigree lengthens the odds of that scenario unfolding, and if he really is the horse he looked to be that day at York, then Golden Horn could be one of the brightest stars of 2015.”
He beat Jack Hobbs by farther at Epsom than he had done at York, and while that rival went to Ireland to take the Irish Derby, his dual conqueror dropped back to 10 furlongs to beat The Grey Gatsby in style in the Group 1 Coral-Eclipse at Sandown.
His neck defeat by Arabian Queen at York was a shock and a long way below his form, but he bounced back to beat Found in the Group 1 Irish Champion Stakes before taking the Group 1 Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe by two lengths from Flintshire, and then losing out by half a length to his Leopardstown victim in the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Turf at Keeneland.
There are no stallions evident in the first three generations of his family – the best winners have all been fillies or geldings – but he is a top-class son of a leading Green Desert stallion, he is by the sire of outstanding racehorse and stallion Sea The Stars, and there is an eye-catching mix of speed and stamina in his pedigree.
Golden Horn’s better two-year-olds are likely to be seen out in the second half of the season, with some of them being blacktype horses, but his strongest record promises to be with three-year-olds and older horses. Depending on whether it is the speed or stamina elements of both their sire’s and dam’s pedigree that his offspring get, it can be expected that some will be milers, while others will prove most effective at middle-distances, and some may stay farther – covering the full classic range.
Golden Horn stands at Dalham Hall Stud and there were 84 foals in his first crop.
GOLDEN HORN (GB) - b.2012 - Cape Cross - Fleche d’Or, 7 wins inc Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe (Gr1), Derby (Gr1), Coral-Eclipse Stakes (Gr1), Qipco Irish Champion Stakes (Gr1), Dante Stakes (Gr2) Fielden Stakes (L), 2nd Juddmonte International Stakes (Gr1), Breeders’ Cup Turf (Gr1). Sire in England. First foals in 2017.
Bc - Alfajer (by Mount Nelson) Tattersalls November 40,000gns
Bc - Alta Lilea (by Galileo) Arqana August €200,000
Bc - Astonishing (by Galileo) Tattersalls October 550,000gns
Bc - Bella Lulu (by Iffraaj) Tattersalls October not sold
Bf - Biz Bar (by Tobougg) Tattersalls October not sold
Brc - Candle Lit (by Duke Of Marmalade) Goffs October €17,000
Bc - Delizia (by Dark Angel) Tattersalls October 110,000gns
Bf - Discreet Brief (by Darshaan) Goffs October €170,000
Bc - Divisimo (by Dansili) Tattersalls October withdrawn
Bc - Dorcas Lane (by Norse Dancer) Tattersalls October 52,000gns
Bc - Faslen (by Fasliyev) Tattersalls October withdrawn
Bf - Festoso (by Diesis) Tattersalls October 35,000gns
Bf - First Fleet (by Woodman) Arqana August €200,000
Bf - Free Rein (by Dansili) Tattersalls October 95,000gns
Bf - Gaze (by Galileo) Tattersalls October 75,000gns (p/s)
Bc - Gwael (by A.P. Indy) Tattersalls October 200,000gns
Bf - Hikari (by Galileo) Tattersalls October 150,000gns (p/s)
Bf - Iowa Falls (by Dansili) Arqana August not sold
Bc - Karpina (by Pivotal) Tattersalls October 65,000gns
Bc - Kitty Wells (by Sadler's Wells) Tattersalls November 55,000gns
Bc - La Dorotea (by Lope De Vega) Tattersalls October 200,000gns
Bf - Lady Penko (by Archipenko) Tattersalls October 80,000gns (p/s)
Brc - Liber Nauticus (by Azamour) Tattersalls October 75,000gns
Bf - Longing To Dance (by Danehill Dancer) Arqana August €170,000
Bf - Lovely Pass (by Raven’s Pass) Tattersalls October 150,000gns
Bf - Molly Malone (by Lomitas) Arqana August not sold
Bf - Morzine (by Miswaki) Tattersalls October withdrawn
Bf - Morzine (by Miswaki) Tattersalls November 12,000gns
Bc - Night Frolic (by Night Shift) Tattersalls October 300,000gns
Bf - Nina Celebre (by Peintre Celebre) Tattersalls October 130,000gns
Brc - Ninfea (by Selkirk) Baden-Baden August €205,000
Bc - Polarized (by Medicean) Tattersalls October 200,000gns
Bc - Polly’s Mark (by Mark Of Esteem) Tattersalls October 220,000gns
Bf - Prima Luce (by Galileo) Goffs October withdrawn
Bf - Quezon Sun (by Monsun) Arqana August €200,000
Bf - Rose Et Noire (by Dansili) Arqana October €120,000
Grf - Sayfoonisa (by Azamour) Arqana August €32,000
Grc - Screen Star (by Tobougg) Tattersalls October 210,000gns
Bc - Sefroua (by Kingmambo) Arqana August not sold
Bf - Simonetta (by Lil’s Boy) Tatts IRE September €78,000
Bc - Snow Pine (by Dalakhani) Tattersalls October 280,000gns
Bc - Steel Princess (by Danehill) Tattersalls October 100,000gns
Bc - Time Being (by Zamindar) Tattersalls October 220,000gns
Bc - What A Picture (by Peintre Celebre) Tattersalls October withdrawn
Bc - What A Picture (by Peintre Celebre) Tattersalls November 40,000gns
Sires of Stallions