Danzig (by Northern Dancer) was one of the world's all-time great stallions and a horse who had a profound and global influence on the breed. His tally of 198 stakes winners – 46 of whom won at the highest level – is among the highest ever recorded and yet he held court during a time when a stallion's full book was of a size that the industry would currently consider small. And, of course, he never shuttled.
Two major branches of his male line have established themselves – those extending from his classic-placed, Group 1-winning sprinters Danehill and Green Desert – and there are early indications that a third branch may be in its infancy, one headed by War Front.
It is a pity that the majority of the major male winners sired by the horse who has the distinction of being the final top-level winner by Danzig are geldings, but that stallion has only just turned 14, he commands a fee of $40,000 in Kentucky, and that he might come up with a few notable sons who could extend his legacy is not impossible.
That horse is, of course, Darley's Breeders' Cup and dual classic-placed Grade 1 King's Bishop Stakes scorer Hard Spun, who stands at Jonabell Farm. He had 17 individual stakes winners in the northern hemisphere half of his global first crop, his overall tally has passed the 60-mark, his nine top-level winners include Wicked Strong, and that Spendthrift Farm resident will have his first yearlings on offer this year.
Three of his daughters have been Grade 1 winners in the USA – including three-year-old champion Questing – and the best of his European-trained runners is also female, the now four-time Group 2 heroine Promising Run.
Godolphin's homebred is a member of the Saeed bin Suroor team, she is five years old, and her latest victory was a short-head one in the Group 2 Balanchine over nine furlongs on turf at Meydan this afternoon.
She gave 3lbs to each of her rivals in that race, although in pipping 105-rated Furia Cruzada and with 102-rated Opal Tiara two and a half lengths back in third, the bare form of what she achieved is below what you would expect for the grade.
Last month she was more impressive when beating the Irish filly Rehana by four and a half lengths in the Group 2 Cape Verdi over a mile at the same venue, she took the Group 2 Al Rashidiya over nine furlongs there 13 months ago, and her fourth Group 2 win is the Rockfel Stakes over seven furlongs at Newmarket, which she took as a two-year-old.
Promising Run is a half-sister to the Group 3 Lillie Langtry Stakes runner-up Arabian Comet (by Dubawi) and she is both the sixth foal and sixth winner out of Aviacion (by Know Heights), a Brazilian Grade 1 heroine who was effective from eight to 12 furlongs.
That mare is a half-sister to the graded winners Cerutti (by Ghadeer) and Persane (by Tampero) and also to Tipsy (by Fort de France), the Grade 3-placed dam of Argentine Grade 1 juvenile scorer Eddington (by Contested Bid).
Those are the highlights of the first three generations of her pedigree, but if you take another step back then you will find that her fourth dam, Swansea (by Turn-To), was a full-sister to Sir Gaylord (sire of Sir Ivor, Habitat, etc) and half-sister to the great and influential Secretariat (by Bold Ruler).
This detail will not show up on the catalogue page of any future offspring of Promising Run that may appear in an auction, but that does not alter her potential to make an impact when she goes to stud.
Both her dam and grandam have achieved high strike-rates of winners to runners, her third dam had nine winners from 13 starters, and that also augurs well for her prospects, especially given the likelihood that she will join Godolphin's broodmare band and so have access to some of the best stallions in the world.