There is an often-quoted line that you wait all day for a bus and then three come at once. This quip can be applied to many things, even to a stallion's record of stakes winners.
Bushranger was popular from the moment he went to stud, and why not? He was a dual juvenile Group 1 winner by Danetime, a son of Danehill (by Danzig) whose star was on the ascendant at the time of his premature death. He is inbred 3x4 to Danzig (by Northern Dancer), his early progeny looked the part and won favour in the sales ring, but although they were also winning on the track, they came up short when it came to stakes races.
As his contemporaries grew their tallies of blacktype winners, Bushranger's total in this part of Europe remained zero and so the inevitable happened last year; he was sold abroad.
It is remarkable how often a stallion's best results appear when he is no longer available, either due to export or to death, and Bushranger is another example of that 'Murphy's Law of Thoroughbred Breeding'.
Mobsta won the Listed Abernant Stakes over six furlongs at Doncaster in early April, Ridge Ranger took the Listed Kilvington Fillies' Stakes over the same trip at Nottingham a month later, and the next day Now Or Never impressed in the Group 3 Derrinstown Stud 1000 Guineas Trial over a mile at Leopardstown.
We waited three years for a Bushranger stakes winner in Ireland or Britain and then three came together. But he has not stopped there.
Another five days passed and then Ross Castle, a three-year-old, won the Group 3 Prix Texanita over five and a half furlongs at Maisons-Laffitte. Then, in the space of 24 hours, Mobsta added the Group 2 Weatherbys Ireland Greenlands Stakes over six furlongs at the Curragh, Ridge Ranger was a half-length runner-up in a listed contest at Haydock, and Now Or Never finished third in the Group 1 Irish 1000 Guineas.
Several of his two-year-olds are already winners this season, his final crop conceived at Tally-Ho Stud have been arriving this spring, and the 10-year-old stallion now stands at the Jockey Club of Turkey. It is in that country that two of his other stakes winners have emerged, a pair of colts who were born there, imported in utero. Serseri won a local Group 1 contest in 2015, as a juvenile, and Inferno has twice won at local Group 3 level; these count only as listed status as per the International Cataloguing Standards.
Bushranger's Australian-born progeny include Jerilderie Letter, an Adam Trinder-trained gelding who won the Listed Tasmanian Guineas, Listed Hobart Guineas, and Listed Tasmanian Derby earlier in the year, and that talented three-year-old cost just Aus$11,000 as a yearling.
Bushranger is the best of several winners out of Danz Danz (by Efisio), an unraced half-sister to two winners out of the three-times scorer Darcey Bussell (by Green Desert). That mare is, in turn, out of Group 2 Queen Mary Stakes fourth Docklands (by On Your Mark) and that makes her a half-sister to Port Helene (by Troy). That filly won the Listed Oaks Trial Stakes at Lingfield, was placed in the Group 2 Ribblesdale Stakes, in the Group 2 Park Hill Stakes and in the Group 3 Lancashire Oaks, and in addition to being the dam of the Group 1-placed Group 2 Prix de Pomone scorer Helen Of Spain (by Sadler's Wells), she is the grandam of the Group 1-placed multiple pattern-winning sprinter Catcall (by One Cool Cat).
If you go back another generation then you find that the fourth dam of Bushranger is the Horris Hill Stakes winner Persuader (by Petition), and in addition to being the ancestor of the Grade 1 scorers Trade Storm (by Trade Fair), Super Moment (by Big Spruce) and Flying Continental (by Flying Paster), she was the dam of Night Off (by Narrator), the Cheveley Park Stakes winner and England's juvenile filly champion of 1964 who went on to add the 1000 Guineas the following spring.
Bushranger is no longer available to breeders here, but he should be well-represented at the yearling and foal sales this year, and given how his results have been so far in 2016, it seems a fair bet now that some of those he has left behind are future stakes or pattern winners in waiting. His recent run of success also makes it seem more likely that at least one of his progeny will manage to win at the highest level.
BUSHRANGER (IRE) – b.2006 – Danetime – Danz Danz, 4 wins inc Middle Park Stakes (Gr1), Prix Morny (Gr1), Anglesey Stakes (Gr3), 2nd Windsor Castle Stakes (L), 3rd Phoenix Stakes (Gr1). Sire in Ireland, Australia & Turkey. First foals in 2011. 7 SW inc MOBSTA (Gr2), NOW OR NEVER (Gr3), ROSS CASTLE (Gr3), INFERNO, JERILDERIE LETTER, RIDGE RANGER, SERSERI, Faithful Creek (Gr3), Fox Trotter (Gr3), etc.