Archive for November 4th, 2008


Melbourne Cup 2008 Winner – Viewed

November 4, 2008

Well, the Melbourne Cup 2008 has been run. As always, it was an exciting race with a very, very close photo finish. However, the winner was clear by – ooh – maybe an eyelash.

I had determined ahead of time that I would have a look at the pedigree of the winner, so here goes…

The place results of the Group 1 VRC Melbourne Cup 2008 (Tuesday, November 4) were:

1st – Viewed [AUS b. h. 2003] by Scenic (IRE 1986) from Lovers Knot (NZ 1990), by Khozaam (USA 1982).
2nd – Bauer [IRE gr. h. 2003] by Halling (USA 1991) from Dali’s Grey (GB 1996), by Linamix (FR 1987).
3rd – C’Est La Guerre [NZ b. g. 2004] by Shinko King (IRE 1991) from La Magnifique (NZ 1987), by Kampala (GB 1976).

Having a glance at the recent ancestors of Cup winner Viewed (AUS), I thought it would be worthwhile having a closer look at some of the names in his pedigree.

Sire: Scenic [IRE b. h. 1986] by Sadler’s Wells from Idyllic, by Foolish Pleasure.

Dam: Lovers Knot [NZ b. m. 1990] by Khozaam from Mount Tryst, from Sir Tristram.

Sadler’s Wells (USA b. h. 1981) – Northern Dancer x Fairy Bridge
Sadler’s Wells was a winner of several major races, and was the leading sire in various countries for several seasons in the 1990s and early 2000s.

Idyllic (USA b. m. 1982) – Foolish Pleasure x Where You Lead
This mare’s main claim to fame is simply as being the dam of Group 1 winner Scenic!

Khozaam (USA b. h. 1982) – Seattle Slew x Par Excellance
This stallion had success as a racehorse and has stood at stud in Australia and the Philippines.

Mount Tryst (NZ b. m. 1980) – Sir Tristram x Mountain Heights

Great Grandparents:
Northern Dancer (CAN b. h. 1961)
Nearctic (CAN br. h. 1954) x Natalma (b. m. 1957)
Northern Dancer won several major American races, including the 1964 Kentucky Derby. He won several awards both as a racehorse and breeding stallion. His descendants include Danehill (USA b. h. 1986, by Danzig, from Razyana), who sired many great Australian racehorses.

Fairy Bridge (USA b. m .1975)
Bold Reason (USA b. h. 1968) x Special (USA b. m. 1969).
Fairy Bridge won her only two race starts. Interestingly she was half-sister to Nureyev – that is, their mother was Special (USA b. m. 1969). Nureyev (USA b. h. 1977) was the son of Northern Dancer (CAN b. h. 1961). Northern Dancer was bred to Fairy Bridge to produce Sadler’s Wells. Clearly, something about the crossing of these family bloodlines was a success. Both Sadler’s Wells and Nureyev were highly successful and significant sires of champion racehorses. Nureyev was the damsire of Zabeel, who is mentioned below as the son of Sir Tristram (IRE b. h. 1971).

Foolish Pleasure (USA b. h. 1972)
What A Pleasure (USA ch. h. 1965) x Fool-Me-Not (USA b. m. 1958)
Foolish Pleasure carries a triple cross in the first five generations to Blenheim (GB br. h. 1927), through his great-grandfather Mahmoud (FR gr. h. 1933), through the great-great grandparent Mumtaz Begum (IRE b. m. 1932) and through the great-grandmother Bouillabaisse (GB ch. m. 1935). He also carries a double cross to Mumtaz Mahal (GB gr. m. 1921, by The Tetrarch from Lady Josephine), who was considered one of the fastest 2 year old filllies ever and in an influential broodmare in modern pedigrees.

Foolish Pleasure won many significant races and was US Champion 2 year old Colt in 1974. He won the 1975 Kentucky Derby.

Where You Lead (USA ch. m. 1970)
Raise A Native (USA ch. h. 1961) x Noblesse (GB ch. m. 1960)
Where You Lead was placed four times in four race starts, with three major race placings at Group 1 and Group 3 level.

Seattle Slew (USA br. h. 1974)
Bold Reasoning (USA br. h. 1968) x My Charmer (USA b. m. 1969)
Seattle Slew was winner of multiple major races including the 1977 Triple Crown, which consists of the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes.

Par Excellance (CAN b. m. 1977)
L’Enjoleur (CAN b. h. 1972) x Cam Shaft (CAN ch. m. 1962)
Par Excellance was the winner of a few major races.

Sir Tristram (IRE b. h. 1971)

Sir Ivor (USA b. h. 1965) x Isolt (USA b. m. 1961)

A sire of Melbourne Cup winners Gurner’s Lane, Empire Rose and Brew, and major Australian and New Zealand major race winners. Sir Tristram’s son Zabeel was also a successful racehorse, and is the sire of major Australian race winners such as Might and Power (1997 Melbourne Cup), Octagonal (1996 AJC Derby), Jezabeel (1998 Melbourne Cup), and Efficient (2007 Melbourne Cup).

Mountain Heights (NZ br. m. 1972)

Rocky Mountain (FR br. h. 1966) x Wuthering Heights (NZ m. 1956)
In the first 5 generations, Viewed carries a double cross to Native Dancer (USA gr. h. 1950), through Northern Dancer’s dam Natalma (USA b. m. 1957) (Native Dancer x Almahoud); and through Where You Lead’s sire Raise A Native (USA ch. h. 1961) (Native Dancer x Raise You).

I always find it interesting exploring the families of major Australian race winners. Often, what one finds, is a rich history of amazing names in Thoroughbred horseracing. The human history that goes with these horses is likewise fascinating. Clearly, today’s Melbourne Cup winner has come from some quality bloodlines – and what an exciting race that was!

In case you aren’t sure, here’s a rough guide to interpreting the information.

“Sadler’s Wells (USA b. h. 1981) – Northern Dancer x Fairy Bridge”
This means that the horse Sadler’s Wells was born in the United States. “b. h.” is short for bay horse, that is, a bay coloured stallion. He was born in 1981. His father was Northern Dancer and his mother was Fairy Bridge.

Dam = mother horse
Sire = father horse
b = bay
gr = grey
bl = black
br = brown
ch = chestnut
h = horse (stallion)
m = mare (female horse)
Country of birth:
USA = the United States of America
AUS = Australia
GB = Great Britain
FR =  France
CAN = Canada
NZ = New Zealand

“by” = “referring to the last horse mentioned, its father was…”
“from” or “out of” = the horse’s mother

“Viewed [AUS b. h. 2003] by Scenic (IRE 1986) from Lovers Knot (NZ 1990), by Khozaam (USA 1982)” means:
The horse in question is named Viewed. Viewed is a bay stallion born in Australia in 2003. Viewed’s father is Scenic. Scenic was born in Ireland in 1986. Viewed’s mother is Lovers Knot. Lovers Knot was born in New Zealand in 1990. Lovers Knot’s father is Khozaam. Khozaam was born in the USA in 1982. This makes Khozaam the maternal grandsire (grandfather) of Viewed.

*You are encouraged to do the research yourself regarding these bloodlines. Information is given here in good faith but its accuracy is not guaranteed.*

References (all accessed 4 November 2008):


Flemington Melbourne Cup Carnival Race 2 Bloodstock Musings

November 4, 2008

As I write, the Flemington Melbourne Cup Day racing is on the tv in the background. I have always had a soft spot for Thoroughbreds, and while it’s been less frequent in the recent past, I spent a lot of time during the last decade studying the bloodlines of Australian Thoroughbred Horses. The best location for this is the Australian Thoroughbred Studbook.

I’m not particularly interested in gambling, nor in the inane vanity of the fashions and ‘celebrities’ that make up the between-race chatter. But the bloodlines of certain Australian lines of horses have been of interest to me – especially those of Thoroughbred, Arabian, and Standardbred lines. Perhaps its just convenient that each of these breeds are involved in racing! More information available, you see! And they’re beautiful creatures, that does help.

I looked up the winners of the previous two races just out of curiosity. Watching the horses in the mounting yard before Race 2, the mare Origami Miss caught my eye. Lean, beautiful, lovely walking action. I tipped her as one of the two horses most likely to win the 1700 m – which she did. After that I announced that I absolutely must check out her pedigree for more information. An animal that beautiful must be from a quality family, right?! Her immediate family does throw up some significant and high quality names.

ORIGAMI MISS, Winner Race 1700 m handicap, Flemington, Victoria, Australia – Tuesday, 4 November 2008.

Origami Miss (AUS) 2004 is by Helissio (FR b. h. 1993) out of Royal Isolt (AUS ch. m. 1998), by Royal Academy (USA b. h. 1987). Helissio is by Fairy King (USA b. h. 1982) from Helice (USA 1988). He is an attractive 16.2hh stallion who won several Group 1 and 2 races in France during his racing career, as well as a place in the Japan Cup, Tokyo.

Helissio‘s sire is Fairy King (by Northern Dancer [CAN 1961] from Fairy Bridge [USA 1975], by Bold Reason [USA 1968]. Interestingly about Fairy King, he is a full brother to the legendary Sadler’s Wells (USA b. h. 1981) whose progeny are extremely successful in top class European racing. Sadler’s Wells is a horseracing icon, with his great success at racing and stud. His daughter Playful Act set an astounding world record price for a Thoroughbred broodmare, sold for USD$10.5 million at the 2007 November Keeneland breeding stock sale.

References (all accessed 4 November 2008):
Australian Stud Book

Racing Victoria Limited

Stud Information on Helissio:

All-Breed Database

Coolmore Stud



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