Brother to So Mi Dar heads exciting Watership Down Book 1 draft
Aisling Crowe speaks to Simon Marsh about their well-bred youngsters
Dubawi is enjoying yet another fine season and, with his first century of Group winners completed, the jewels among his progeny entered in Book 1 of the Tattersalls October Book Yearling Sale out of mares with excellent form, pedigrees or both will be in hot demand.
Watership Down Stud has enjoyed enormous success both at the sales and on the track with their progeny by Dubawi, including their homebred Group 3 Musidora Stakes winner So Mi Dar.
Her brother heads the farm’s draft for this year’s Book 1 and, according to the stud’s manager Simon Marsh, the colt resembles his older sister.
“He's a very nice horse, very straightforward and typical of what the mare has thrown so far. He is a full-brother to Lah Ti Dar and So Mi Dar and is doing extremely well,” he said.
The colt is the first yearling out of Dar Re Mi, whose three top-level triumphs include the Dubai Sheema Classic, to be offered for sale in three years since her Frankel colt was sold to Al Shaqab Racing for 750,000gns at the 2015 Book 1 sale.
Dar Re Mi is the dam of three stakes winners from four runners including the three-year-old Dubawi filly Lah Ti Dar, who won the Listed Pretty Polly Stakes at Newmarket on her most recent run.
She also has an unraced two-year-old colt by Dubawi, named Too Darn Hot, in training with John Gosden and he holds entries in the Group 2 Champagne Stakes at Doncaster next month and the 2019 Investec Derby.
“Dar Re Mi has a Dubawi filly foal on the ground and is back in foal to him. It seems to be something that works,” Marsh added.
Her yearling colt is not the only impeccably bred son of Dubawi among the Watership Down choice offerings in Book 1.
The Lloyd-Webbers’ farm also offers the first foal out of J Wonder, who won the Fred Darling Stakes and Oak Tree Stakes – both Group 3 contests – for trainer Brian Meehan in 2014 before embarking on a four-year-old career in America.
“I think we have a fantastic draft of yearlings for Book 1, which includes another Dubawi colt, this one out of J Wonder. He is a very, very nice colt,” said Marsh.
J Wonder is a daughter of Footstepsinthesand and a sister to Chachamaidee who won the Group 1 Matron Stakes at Leopardstown. Their dam Canterbury Lace, by Danehill, is an unraced sister to Alexander Of Hales, who was second to Soldier Of Fortune in the 2007 Irish Derby and a half-sister to Kingmambo’s 1,000 Guineas winner Virginia Waters.
At last year’s Book 1 sale, the stud consigned Seal Of Approval’s first foal, a Dubawi filly who was purchased by Godolphin for 1,100,000gns.
This year Watership Down sells the first foal of a half-sister to the Group 1 British Champions Fillies and Mares Stakes heroine.
By Shirocco, Gale Force won the Listed Prix Denisy at Saint Cloud on her final start and her first foal is a daughter of the incredible Frankel.
Frankel’s sire, the incomparable Galileo, is represented in the Watership Down Stud draft by a half-sister to Listed winner Chartreuse.
Marsh revealed: “We have a Galileo filly out of Bufera who has already produced a Listed winner to Lawman. This filly is an exceptionally nice yearling.”
Kelly Nicole has produced the Group 2 winner and multiple Group 1 placed gelding Aljamaaheer to Dubawi but her yearling in the Watership Down draft at Book 1 this year is a daughter of the Irish National Stud’s kingpin Invincible Spirit.
The resurgence of the French stallion ranks is also reflected in the identities of the sires used by Watership Down and their clients. Exciting young sires Le Havre and Siyouni are responsible for two promising colts the farm has for Book 1.
“We have an exceptional Le Havre colt out of Stella Bellissima,” Marsh enthused, ”and he is a very good-looking horse.”
Stella Bellissima is a winning Sea The Stars half-sister to Irish St Leger winner Duncan and Samuel, who was victorious in the Group 2 Doncaster Cup.
“Our Siyouni colt is out of Stirring Ballad, a half-sister to Coronation Stakes winner Balisada. He is a very nice colt and very well-balanced.
"Siyouni is an exciting sire and I believe in him,” Marsh added.
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