The great stallion Danzig (by Northern Dancer) had a profound impact on global racing and breeding. Until recently we've been able to say that there are two major branches of his line: those formed by Danehill and by Green Desert – but we are now seeing a third one emerge, one being forged by War Front.
Tuesday's shock winner of the Group 1 Queen Anne Stakes at Ascot, however, represents the first of those branches as he is a grandson of Danehill, and he comes from the first crop of the late classic-placed, Group 2 Duke of York Stakes winner Delegator (by Dansili), who spent four seasons at Overbury Stud in Gloucestershire.
Delegator's initial crop also includes the talented filly Delectation, who won a Group 3 contest over six furlongs at Ayr as a juvenile before going on to further pattern success in the Group 3 Schwarzgold Rennen and Group 3 Grosse Europa Meile – that treble being scored by an accumulated margin of eight and a quarter lengths.
Accidental Agent, on the other hand, was notching up his first blacktype success when beating old rival Lord Glitters by half a length over the straight mile at Ascot. He had put up an eye-catching performance when sixth behind Rhododendron in the Group 1 Lockinge Stakes a month before, was third to Century Dream in a mile listed contest at Ascot on his seasonal reappearance, and was a high-class handicapper in 2017, rated 120 by Timeform.
Now that he has won at the highest level he has set up the prospect of a stallion career in his future. Hitting a peak as a four-year-old may suggest that he was a late maturer, but this colt won two of his four starts as a juvenile, one over seven furlongs at Chepstow in late July and the other a valuable six-furlong sales race over six at Newmarket two months later.
Accidental Agent is owned and bred by Gaie Johnson Houghton, who has had the family for several generations. He was bought back for just 8,000gns from Book 2 of the Tattersalls October Yearling Sale, and he is trained by the owner's daughter, Eve Johnson Houghton.
He is the first foal out of Roodle (by Xaar), who won over five and seven furlongs, and his dam's string of successful siblings feature Prize Exhibit (by Showcasing). She finished third in the Group 3 Oh So Sharp Stakes and fourth (no blacktype) in the Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf at two but went on to become a prolific blacktype performer in the USA.
The best of her seven wins came in the Grade 2 San Clemente Handicap at Del Mar, plus the Grade 2 Monrovia Stakes, Grade 3 Senorita Stakes and Grade 3 Megahertz Stakes all at Santa Anita, and the races in which she was placed included the Grade 1 Del Mar Oaks and Grade 2 Yellow Ribbon Invitational Handicap.
They are out of Roodeye (by Inchinor), who earned her blacktype when third in the Listed Dick Poole Stakes at Salisbury as a juvenile, and that mare is one of four blacktype earners out of Listed Firth of Clyde Stakes runner-up Roo (by Rudimentary). Two of those were listed placed, but Gallagher (by Bahamian Bounty) was second in each of the Group 1 Prix Morny, Group 2 Mill Reef Stakes and Group 2 Richmond Stakes – all over six furlongs.
It was over that trip that Roo's star sibling and relations got their best wins. Half-brother Bannister (by Inchinor) won the Group 2 Gimcrack Stakes at York, 'nephew' Astaire (by Intense Focus) – who is out of the unraced Runway Dancer (by Dansili) – took the Group 1 Middle Park Stakes, and Dead Certain (by Absalom), who is a half-sister to Roo's dam Shall We Run (by Hotfoot), was the Group 1 Cheveley Park Stakes heroine of 1989.
That star filly also won the Group 2 Lowther Stakes and Group 3 Queen Mary Stakes that year, she went on to add the Group 2 Prix Maurice de Gheest and take second in the Group 3 Cork and Orrery Stakes (now Diamond Jubilee Stakes), and her descendants include several stakes winners.
Pounelta (by Tachypour), a winning half-sister to Dead Certain, also deserves a mention as she was the dam of 1999's Group 3 Jersey Stakes winner Lots Of Magic (by Magic Ring), a grandson of Green Desert (by Danzig).
Accidental Agent's emergence as a Group 1 winner is something of a surprise, despite his 120 Timeform figure from last year, and it remains to be seen if it remains a career highlight for him or is a level of form that can be replicated.
His only big race entry is next month's Bunbury Cup Handicap at Newmarket, a race he will surely bypass in favour of more lucrative pattern options, especially as his newfound status could see him get a berth at stud upon completion of his racing career.